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Every single person I know wants to earn more money.
They’re not greedy, they just want some of the many benefits financial freedom brings.
One of the things I’ve noticed, though, is that these people often have no idea how to GET more money.
In order to earn money, you have to have an idea that helps people and that others find compelling enough to pay you for.
These ideas come in various shapes, sizes, and forms.
It could be a pocket-sized computer which also doubles as a phone and jukebox (thank you, Steve Jobs). Or maybe it’s a book filled with ideas on How to Win Friends & Influence People (thank you, Mr. Carnegie).
Whatever the case, ideas = potential earnings.
One of the best ways I’ve seen to replenish your idea tank and increase your potential earnings is to read more.
In fact, Author Thomas Corley details in his book Rich Habits that the average self-made millionaire has the habit of reading for self-improvement every day, leading to them reading 2 books A MONTH!!
Two books A MONTH!! That’s like…2 times 12….carry the one…24 books a year!!
That’s CRAZY. And humbling.
When you start to read more and fill your mind with the thoughts of the best and brightest, you’ll have an idea tank that will be overflowing. And with an abundant supply of ideas, you’ll have tons of opportunity to build earning potential.
Starting to Read More is Hard
But ramping up your reading is tough.
Reading more takes time, time that most people don’t have (or think they don’t have).
So how can you take your reading to the next level? How can you finish those books that have been sitting on your nightstand for the last year (oh wait, that’s me!). How can you read more?
Jon Acuff, in his book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, details how the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals isn’t laziness.
No, it’s actually perfectionism.
Contrary to what most people think, to reach your goals, you actually need to take the pressure OFF.
Some of the tips below almost feel like cheating. You’ll be tempted to think you’re cutting corners. But if you want to read more books, they absolutely work.
In fact, if you want to set yourself up for millionaire success by reading 24 books in a year, you need to give yourself a break and have more fun when reaching for your goals.
So let’s dive in and look at the top 21 tips to read more books this year and become a page-turning, high-earning SUPERSTAR.
1. Raid your own bookshelf
If you’re like me, you don’t have to look far to find a stack of books you’d like to read. You don’t need to make a list of books you’d like to read. You’ve got your list (at least an initial one) already done and it’s sitting on your bookshelf or nightstand.
2. Track your progress
To spur you on to read more, you need to keep tabs on your progress. The best way to do this is to keep a list of the books you’ve read.
A lot of people set goals like this and don’t ever keep track.
This is a recipe for discouragement and quitting.
Whether you’re using the notes on your phone or a fancy printable page, be sure you’re tracking your progress.
Knowing where you’re at will motivate you to get where you’re going!
3. Give yourself a head start
We work harder in reaching our goals when we’re given a bit of a head start. Starbucks and every company with a loyalty card know this, which is why they often start you with a bonus stamp to nudge you in the right direction.
Psychologists call it the Gradient Effect, and it describes how our motivation ramps up the closer we are to reaching a goal.
Take the last 1 or 2 books you’ve read and add them to your progress chart. It doesn’t matter if you read them in the last month, year or decade.
Add them to your progress tracker.
Adding them gives you the illusion of progress. And even though it’s an illusion, it’s a powerful motivator that will propel you towards your goal.
4. Use the library
A common objection when starting to read more is that it can be very expensive to buy all those books. But reading doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Tap into your local public library. For $5 or so you’ll have access to hundreds of thousands of books just waiting to turn you into an idea filled millionaire.
5. Skip the fluff
You want to read more to fill up on ideas, so don’t waste your time reading the introduction, acknowledgments, or appendix. Stick to the meat and potatoes, and don’t nibble at the edges.
6. Redefine what counts
It’s your goal read more, so you get to make the rules of what counts and what doesn’t.
Graphic novels? You decide.
The back of the cereal box?
You’re pushing it.
7. Reread your favs
They’re your favorites for a reason. You love them and they hold great ideas and lessons.
Don’t be stingy. Some of our best ideas come when we revisit a favorite book and we’re inspired by fresh insights and perspectives.
8. Listen to audiobooks
I recently got an Audible Membership and it has been AMAZING in helping me to read more. I’ve been crushing books at a pace that previously seemed out of reach.
Not only that, but I’ve been able to replenish my idea tank while I’m in the car, instead of losing my mind at all the crazy drivers. I’m learning and lowering my blood pressure, a win-win.
9. Set up listening time
Having audiobooks at my fingertips has actually made me WANT to do things I previously wouldn’t have looked forward to.
Cutting the grass? That’s an hour or so of uninterrupted listening time.
Going for a jog? Ooooh, yes please! I can listen to that new book I can’t put down.
10. Give up to gain
Make choices to read instead of fill in the blank. In the past, you may have just sat on the couch and wasted an evening on some mind-numbing show.
Instead, make a conscious choice to read.
By making the conscious choice to read more, you’ll not only cruise through more pages, but you’ll feel empowered and in control of achieving your goals.
11. Use a page toll
Are you dying to watch the latest episode of the Bachelor? (nope, but my wife often is!) Pay a 10-page toll before you plop down on the couch.
Excited to buy the latest album from your favorite band? Pay a chapter toll before you hit the purchase button.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to incentivizing your reading.
12. Reward completion
Tying in with #6, when you complete a book and add it to your list, throw yourself a mini celebration party. Go out with friends and get the fries, enjoy a night where you crash on the couch and binge Netflix, or buy that little treat you’ve had your eye on.
Whatever it is, celebrating your success goes a long way to building momentum in reaching your larger goal of reading more books.
13. Use mini-goals
Set tiny goals to help you along the way. Do you have a social event on Friday? Tell yourself you’ll finish your book by then so you’ll have something interesting to talk about.
Do you have a business trip next week? Make it a goal to complete the book you’re reading so you can start a new one on the flight.
Setting these mini-goals will add up quickly and you’ll be zipping through books like a hot knife through butter.
14. Read different genres
No one can read self-help books constantly. Not even millionaires.
Well, maybe Tony Robbins can, but for the rest of us, we’re human.
Switch it up when it comes to the types of books you read. If you’ve been reading lots of books on money, try switching it up and reading a biography or history book. Have you been crushing the self-help section? Take a spin on some great fiction.
By switching up the genres you read, you’ll stay fresh as you strive for your goal.
15. Go shorter to get unstuck
If you want to read more, this is going to happen. You’re going to get bogged down at some point along the way.
Plan for it by having a stack of shorter books on your list that you can easily power through to get the momentum humming again.
16. After heavy, Go light
Speaking of getting bogged down, reading too many voluminous tomes will stop you in your tracks.
After you’ve bitten off a tough read, follow it up with something light and fun.
Not only will it feel less like work, but you’re more likely to finish something if you’re enjoying it!
17. Have more than one book on the go
There’s nothing wrong with reading two books at the same time. In fact, it can even be helpful if you’re reading one that’s a bit more “dense” than another.
Try mixing up different genres to keep things fresh and your interest piqued.
For example, you may have a light novel you read before bed and something a bit more “involved” for when you’ve got the mental energy.
18. Be a finisher
If you start a book, finish it.
Make the commitment that you’ll power through.
Remember, it’s your challenge, so if you want to skim read some books that are less interesting, go for it!
But don’t quit. Finish what you start.
19. Break up the biggies
Some books are big,
If you’re having trouble finishing that 1000 page tome, break it up into chunks. If it takes you 6 months to finish it, that’s fine.
You’ve got a whole year, so take your time.
20. Shout it From the rooftop (or laptop)
Share your goal publicly. Whether it’s with your family, friends, and colleagues, or on social media, once you put your goal out there, there’s no getting it back.
Making it public will hold you accountable.
Or, in other words, the shame of being labeled a quitter will keep your butt in gear.
21. Never finish a book without having another at the ready
Be sure to always have your eyes peeled for great reads you can add to your list.
An awesome place to look is in the books you’ve already read and really enjoyed.
No idea is completely new. The author you love got their ideas from someone else and probably referred to them in their book, so go straight to the original source to get yours.
Bringing It All Together
Everyone wants to make more money, but most people have no idea how to even get started.
Now you’ve got 21 tips to read more books and reinvigorate your brain to come up with fresh ideas and insights that you can use help people and earn more money.
Just common sense, tried and true strategies to power through the pages.
When you start to read more books, you’re taking an important step in growing yourself not only as a person, but as a wealth producer.
Yes, readers may be leaders, but high-earners are most definitely page-turners.
How has reading helped you build wealth? What steps have you taken to read more? Add to the conversation in the comments below or on Twitter @method_money or my Facebook page Method To Your Money. You can also find me on Pinterest. Want more great ideas for mastering your money? Sign up to receive my weekly emails detailing how to keep more of your hard earned cash!
Great Read, Matt. Been trying for 1 book a week myself but it’s pretty darn hard in between everything else.
Good insights to work with here, really helpful – thanks!
Wow, a book a week is IMPRESSIVE!! I find with blogging taking up a lot of my spare time, I don’t have a ton to read. But that’s just an excuse, I know, and I need to whip my butt into gear!
I’m definitely a book lover.
Books opened up the entire world to me when I was an impoverished teen growing up in the middle of nowhere. I’m so grateful to the authors, librarians, and the Carnegie funded library in my home town.
My biggest challenge now is remembering what I read and putting it to use. I get depressed when I look at books I read and remember almost nothing from them.
Maybe I will use Evernote or GoodReads.