Stepping Up Your Game, Are You Ready?

New York Public Library. a room sorrounded by ...
New York Public Library reading room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You were kind enough to give me three minutes two months ago so I could show you how to become a better entrepreneur.

Earlier in the year I hit you with a pre-summer checklist to grow your business.

If you are ready to take your venture, and yourself, to a whole new business development level lean in close I’ve found something else.

Chris Brogan (if you’re not familiar with him you should certainly peruse his site has issued a dietary challenge. Read only three, that’s right he said three books, for an entire year.

3 for 3
The impetus of this 3-book diet is the fact that people (read “we”) don’t do well implementing a book’s lessons. We suffer from a “getting it done” bias who’s intrinsic value is crossing it off of a list. The diet’s point of concentrating on such a small number of titles is to disrupt this purpose bias and give you the chance to implement what you’ve learned enough times so that it becomes a habit. After all, the reason we select the titles that we do is so we can improve what or how we do something.

Chris’ rules are simple:

  • select three books to read from November 1, 2012 through November 1, 2013
  • read each at least twice during the 12 months
  • implement what you can
  • after November 1st you have only one week to change one title
  • students have permission to read outside of the 3 books

No excuses. We can all benefit from this challenge even if you’re in a role, like myself, which requires that you consume a number of books that far surpasses three.

This is what I plan on doing.
Follow the framework. By making the time read to each of my selected books at least two additional times, not eliminating other titles. My thinking is that each time I re-read the book, along with my previous notes, the speed of doing so will increase which means the incremental yearly reading load will only grow by three books equivalents. Will this give me the same benefit as those that only concentrate on three titles for the year? Perhaps not, but the insight and deeper understanding, and behavioral shifts I expect to receive certain surpass the “one and done” nature of past years.

Notice that there is no requirement against concentrating the subject matter. I’m going to select a set of books that focus on business model discovery and effective speaking. Here’s why; in today’s complex, uncertain business environment those that are able to capture and succinctly communicate a value proposition rule the day.

I’m kicking my diet off in January – it’s an academic trait that’s hard to shake – and I’ll certainly keep you posted of my progress. But, the big question is are you down to join the challenge?


Donald McMichacel teaches BE 261 – Starting a Small Business.
Follow him on Twitter at @DonaldMcMichael or Google+ at +Donald McMichael

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