(This article originally ran on May 28, 2010.)
If you want to make it in today's world, then you need to read books. Lot's of them. I especially recommend books on business management and Internet marketing. Today I will recommend some of my favorites.
The reason you need to read books is that books help you to improve yourself and to learn.
Many people say that now is the digital age and if you do not have command of IT and the Internet, then you are doomed to failure. I might partially agree. But I'd also like to point out that today, and a
I work in publicity, mass media, advertising and marketing in Japan and I know if I don't keep up on new things, I will fall behind very soon.
I know one guy at a major Japanese TV station who complained to me that things weren't going so well. I recommended that he start reading books... He looked flabbergasted. Now, here's a guy who is about 40-some years old and in-charge of about 16 people. His business is going really bad. I told him to look for the answers in reading books... he replied, "Mike-san, I hate reading books. I haven't read a book since high school."
I replied, You know what the difference is between a university graduate who doesn't read books and, say, some illiterate villiager living in the mountains? There is no difference: neither of them read any books.
"There's is no difference between people who can't read books and people who don't read books." Think about that.
He acted as if it were impossible for him to read books because he has some sort of learning disorder.
This is a guy who is a section chief at a company that is losing a quarter of a million US dollars every month! Are you surprised that they are losing money? I'm not. Doesn't he realize that he has a responsibility to his staff to keep up on information? Doesn't he realize that he is being negligent towards his families' future?
No. He doesn't. Why doesn't he? He watches too much TV and hasn't read a book in almost 20 years?
Reading books helps you to imagine, to grow, and to develop your skills and knowledge. You'll need to do these things and constantly improve yourself to be able to compete in the next 10 - 20 years.
As famous American professional basketball coach Pat Riley once wrote, "If you are not getting better, you are getting worse."
One of my favorite books is Focal Point by Brian Tracy. In Focal Point, Mr. Tracy supports my argument by writing; "To earn more, you must learn more... You are your most valuable asset... You must continually feed your mind to develop more of your potential. You must continually upgrade your abilities to think and perform at higher levels. "
So improve yourself. Get into the habit today of reading at least one book a week... Preferably not novels or comic books... I mean books about business and self-improvement.
Improve yourself... You are the only real asset you have.
Here are my recent favorites:
Brian Tracy; Focal Point and Goals
David Meerman Scott; New Rules of Marketing & PR
Chris Anderson; Free the Future of a Radical Price
Seth Godin; Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, New Edition and Linchpin
Malcolm Gladwell; Outliers
Marie Winn; Plug-in Drug
Keywords: business, internet marketing, books, skills, knowledge, Brian Tracy, Focal Point, upgrade, ability, abilities, self-improvement, publicity, advertising, marketing, Japan, Mike Rogers, Mike in Tokyo, Marketing Japan