When Warren Buffett was asked what his key to success was, he pointed to a bookshelf and said:
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
When Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockets, he said:
“I read books.”
And they’re not the only ones out there. Bill Gates reads around 1 book every week – totaling over 50 books per year. Mark Cuban will read for more than 3 hours every day, and billionaire Charlie Munger was quoted:
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads — and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”
Correlations between financial success and reading
Author, Tom Corley, conducted research in order to complete his book, ‘Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.’
He found that both rich people and poor people read frequently, but a key difference was that the less financially successful people read only for entertainment. Whilst on the other side of the coin, rich people read for self-improvement.
Corley also uncovered some very interesting statistics from his research.
- 11% of rich people read for entertainment, compared to 79% of poor people
- 85% of rich people read two or more education, career-related, or self-improvement books per month, compared to 15% of poor people
- 94% of rich people read news publications including newspapers and blogs, compared to 11% of poor people
- The books rich people read were mainly made up of non-fiction books, such as biographies, self-help, history, science, career-related books, and general educational books.
It’s important to note that for these statistics Corley defined ‘rich people’ as having a liquid net worth of $3.2million+ and an annual income of $160k+, and ‘poor people’ as having a liquid net worth of $5k or less and an annual income of $35k or less.
Corley explains that “The rich are voracious readers on how to improve themselves. They’re reading self-improvement books, biographies, books about successful people, things like that.”
I need to read more books!
When I first discovered this information, I wouldn’t have called myself a voracious reader. I would go through phases where I’d read lots of books, then I wouldn’t read for months on end and then I’d read frequently again.
But at the beginning of 2017, I committed myself to reading and reviewing non-fiction books and started a book blog, which is now merged into this website (just click on the ‘Books’ tab in the main menu bar.)
If I had to provide my followers with a constant stream of book reviews, then I’d have to read a constant stream of books.
Since starting the blog, I have read and reviewed over 30 non-fiction books in the categories of business, entrepreneurship, marketing, professional development, and biographies of successful people I admire. (As I update this post in 2020, I have now read almost 200 books)
I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have learned more in the past 12 months than I have in any other year of my life and although I am just scratching the surface, I am starting to reap the benefits.
Books give high value at a small cost
The best investment that you can make is an investment in yourself.
Mentors, coaching, and courses can be expensive and sometimes be completely out of your price range.
I love books because you can get such a great amount of value for such a small investment.
For example, Russell Brunson’s book DotCom Secrets, which I reviewed and called the ‘online funnel bible’, is a big favorite of mine. In the book, Brunson teaches you how to build marketing funnels and sales scripts to improve your company’s traffic and conversion. And if you choose to, you can pay Brunson and his team to come into your office and implement the funnels and techniques set out in the book.
Currently, Brunson’s book is being offered on Amazon for $19.95 for a paperback copy. If Brunson was going to go into your office and implement it all for you, he is going to charge you $1million! – I shit you not.
He explains in the book that he charges companies $100,000 cash upfront as a first deposit, and then 10% of the company’s profits, up to the value of $1million.
So, if you want to learn what it is that he is putting into someone’s company that makes it worth $1million, then you can buy a book for $19.95 that will tell you.
The value that you can get from books is incredible. You can easily get your money back 10-fold, if not more.
Reading is a cheap, easy, and cost-effective way to learn.
I encourage you to read
Although my book reviews on my blog are selfishly being created to encourage myself to read more, I hope that they will have a rub-off effect and encourage you to read more too.
With a bit of Googling you’ll find tonnes more facts that cement this correlation between reading and success – and not only financial success.
I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences on this. As well as any books that you would recommend me to read and review in the future.