Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Beyond Books

This weeks posts are dedicated to the importance of reading and learning to help advance your career.

Beyond Books

I have spent a lot of time singing the praises of reading books. Heck, I even wrote a book (Thank you to all the blog readers who have read my book, by the way). But reading goes far beyond just leafing through the latest best seller from Barnes and Noble. You must read all kinds of materials if you want to stay informed on current affairs, business, history, trends, etc...

Magazines: There are countless magazines that you can read regularly. Most are monthly (some, like Time, are weekly) and cover a specific topic. I suggest you select a business magazine, a trade journal, a news-weekly and an entertainment/pop culture magazine to subscribe to and read regularly. I read Business 2.o, Professional Selling, Time and Esquire on a regular basis. In addition I also read Fast Company, Professional Speaker and The Beta Theta Pi Magazine (my college fraternity's quarterly publication) on occasion. This is a lot of periodicals to cover, and if you do not read regularly, it is easy to acquire a big stack of un-read magazines. My wife helps out by tagging articles in these publications that she knows would be of the most interest to me.

Newspapers: You must read your local daily paper everyday, even if you think it stinks!! Many people boycott their local paper because of the editorial political slant (some think their local paper is either too liberal or too conservative). But if you do not read your local paper, you are not able to keep up with the events that are happening in your own back yard. Read every section. If you are not a sports fan, you at least need to have enough knowledge to know what teams will be playing in the Rose Bowl on January 4th (did you even know that the Rose Bowl will not be on New Years Day this year???). Yes, the USC Trojans had better watch out because the Texas Longhorns want that National Championship!!! In addition to your local paper, The Wall Street Journal and your local Business Journal are important papers for business people to read every day.

Websites and Blogs: There is so much information on the internet that it can be overwhelming. You could never be able to read everything. However, you should regularly check a couple of sources. Find a news-sight (Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc...) that posts updated headlines throughout the day. This will help keep you be aware of what is happening in the world. In addition, I recommend you find three or four blogs on topics that interest you and read them regularly (This blog is a great choice!!!). If marketing topics interest you, take a look at the blogroll list on the left of this page and you will discover some great blogs.

Newsletters: You probably subscribe to one or more email newsletters . Often times people just delete these without reading them, but I find that reviewing them often reveals some great information. Do not subscribe to too many newsletters, as they seem to come too often (like magazines) and you will always feel behind on your reading.

I know this sounds like a lot, and it is. But information is a powerful tool. To not read is to fall behind. Just remember that your competition is always looking for ways to out-shine you. You must stay ahead of the pack.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Matt Pardo said...

Thanks! This is another good article, Thom.

Here is a suggestion for readers who are tackling this task: spend some time each quarter reviewing what you do read and examining new things. Add a few new items in order to try them out. Drop the ones that have the least payoff from the entire list. Continue to cycle through information this way and it is more manageable.

Also, another tip is to consider a good blog reader. Something like Sharpreader or Bloglines. Both are great and make reading blogs much easier because you can do much larger scans and only read the more interesting posts.