Hosted by Hanne Vervaeck

WBS 09: How and Why (!) to Read a Book a Week


Ever wondered how some people manage to read so much? I'm one of those people and in this episode I explain how and WHY I believe reading a lot is so important.


You'll like this episode if:

  • You think you don't have time to read
  • You want to up your learning game
  • You know this could help you but you just don't know how to get started

Sounds good? Then listen to the episode!

Automatic Transcription

Really, you have time to read a book a week, how it's something that I hear very often.

And this episode is for you, if you feel like you don't have time to read, if you know that it would be beneficial, but you're unsure where to start. And if you want to make learning a priority, then keep on listening.

Hi there, I'm Hanne, host of the well balanced success podcast. In this weekly podcast, we explore how you can have it all how you can have a successful career, an active social life, a thriving love and family life, all of that while being healthy and happy. Now, if that sounds like something you would like, then keep on listening.

Yes, I read at least a book a week. And often I follow an extra online course, every blog post, and much, much more. Now, the reason is that I truly believe that it should be a priority. I believe that learning is eternal. And the moment you stop learning is the moment that you start regressing. And especially in something like online marketing, or business, the moment that you think you have things figured out, and that you have nothing to learn anymore, that's when it becomes really, really dangerous. Now, I think that reading is just the best way to broaden your thinking, because you can hear the opinion from people that you would otherwise never hear about. And I don't do passive consumption. Because a lot of the time when people say that they read, I don't know how many books a week, it just means that they consume, consume, consume, but never actually use that information. And I think that that is kind of stupid, because then you don't get the benefits of actually reading that much. So I always try to find action points when I'm listening. Which brings me to the next point, I used to read and get excited and sidetracked with just about everything, I decided to take a course on learning how to program API connections, or I read something about investing and then realized halfway through the book that this was only applicable to Americans. Or I even did a full course on local business marketing, even though I do not have a local business. And I was not working with local businesses. So as you can see, at the time, I was really consuming anything and everything that I could get my hands on. And that is when I decided to start applying what I now call jitter, just in time reading. So you only start reading what you really need to know right now. So only start reading a book about the problem that you are trying to solve right now. And this will allow you to find the absolute best resources for the problem that you have and to go really deep into a topic. So for example, I will read four books on selling before writing an actual sales webinar. And this allows me to then immediately implement what I learned in the books into something very practical. Now then the question remains, how do you find the time to do that? So I think the very important thing first is to realize that this is a priority. This is not something that you do at the site, or at least that's that's how I consider it. So for me, it is part of my job. And I do not feel guilty when I'm reading during quote unquote, work hours, because like I said, when I'm reading on how to sell better before making a webinar, it will make the webinar better. So it actually is part of what you are doing on a day to day basis. Now, I also switched to audiobooks. And I listen on double speeds. Now that is something that might seem a bit extreme to you if you're not used to that. But once you're you start listening on double speed, it's really, really hard to go back to normal speed. And I know that you're probably thinking like, Oh my God, this. Yeah, this generation that can be concentrated anymore. Everything has to be fast, fast, fast, fast files and even audiobooks. You have to listen on double speeds. I mean, I agree it has to go fast. And actually for me, it allows me to be way more present because it is a little bit too fast for my brain so I actually have to pay attention to what I'm listening. So I find that when I listen to audiobooks on double speed, I actually pay more attention to what I am listening. Now just to be very clear, this is not for fiction books. I do not do this. When I'm just trying to enjoy reading a book, this is just for the books that I'm reading to actually learn something from it. So if you are one of those people who's like, ah, but audiobooks aren't real books or audiobooks isn't reading, I'm sorry, I still call it reading a book, if you want, we can call it consuming a book. But that just sounds a little bit weird. So yeah, most if not all of the books that I'm reading are on audio. Now, I do take notes, and I make sure that I'm doing active listening while listening to an audiobook because it is really easy to just have something in your ears, and not actually pay attention to it. So usually, like I said, I can listen to an audiobook and actually sit at the table and take notes while I'm listening to that audiobook. Or if I'm doing something else, if I'm working, for example, I will usually the moment that I come home, actually jot down my notes. Now, and that is one of the advantages with audiobooks, right, you can actually do it while you're doing something else. So you can take it on the roads, you can listen in your car, you can listen to it while walking or doing your, your sports or whatever. And I also usually have my earphones in when I'm doing grocery shopping, or when I'm cooking when I'm on my own. And then the last rule for me to make sure that I find the time to listen to the interesting books is that I don't feel bad about abandoning a book that is not good. But I make a very conscious decision to stop listening to that book. So instead of just starting 10 books and having 10 different books open, and not knowing anymore, which one was good, and which one you wanted to listen to, and which one got your board and which one lost your attention. I really decided that either I'm gonna listen to a book full on, or that I'm just gonna stop listening to it altogether, and then I raise it from from my device. And I don't feel bad about doing that at all. By now, I hope that you are motivated to start reading more or to start listening to more books. And so you might be wondering, where do you find the right ideas? Where do you find those really good books that will help you solve that problem that you currently have? Well, first of all, if you're not used to reading a lot, I would say start with the classics. There are always books that everybody has read that most of the people find really, really good. And if you don't have much of a background, then that is actually a good way to start. Then what I would also very often do is I listen to a book, and then I will go into the reference material that that book was actually using to make their opinion. So often, if you listen to a book around a certain topic, they will reference all their books, or their studies, and other authors. And that those can be really, really good books to then go deep into your topic, like I was saying, to do that just in time reading for the learning that you want to do, and get that full picture view. And then last but not least, of course, is just ask around as someone that you respect and someone that you consider good at a certain topic like Hey, I know you're good at copywriting. Which book would you recommend for somebody just starting out, and then you're I'm sure that people will happily help you out. I always do. And, and of course, like podcasts can also be a really good way to, to get to know about new books, I often talk about books that I read. So if you like the the topic and the podcasts, then often the books that I recommend might also be your cup of tea. Now, there are two books that I recommend at the moment. So if you want to dive right in, maybe one of these will be something that you would like to read about. The first one is rebel ideas, the power of diverse thinking, by Matt, your site. And this is about the importance of exploring different points of view, to solve problems. So I actually think this is a very meta book about what we're just talking about. Because sometimes all you need is having that different opinion is reading something that is completely out of left side of what you are trying to do and then that will can help you get that different opinion. And then the second book that I also recommend is tribal leadership by Dave Logan. And this is on how groups of people relate to each other, and how you can leverage that in your organization. So this is really really good for for managers for leaders. But also if you are part of an organization and you're not sure why you're unhappy, or you're not sure Why your friend group behaves a certain way, then this is actually a really interesting book. So those would be at this point in time to recommendations. Now, of course, if you ask me about a specific topic, I'll probably be able to give you other books and don't hesitate, leave a comment, and let me know. So, what about you? Are you a bookworm? Are you an avid reader? Or is this something that you never find the time to do? I would love to hear from you. If you are, tell me your top three, because as always, I am looking for interesting books. And I believe that the best way to do that is to ask other people, so let me know come to the website, well balanced and leave a comment underneath this episodes. Thank you very much for listening and talk to you soon.

Let's Discuss!

Are you a bookworm? Any recommendations? I'd love to hear them! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

As always, thank you for listening and talk soon. 

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SELECTED episode:

WBS 02: How to Create Meaningful Connections 

About the Show

Hi there. I'm Hanne, host of the Well Balanced Success podcast (WBS) in this weekly podcast, we explore how you can have it all. How you can have a successful career, an active social life, a thriving love and family life all that while being healthy and happy. Now if that sounds like something you would like, then subscribe to get notified.

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