you are only as good as the content you consume
“The average CEO reads 60 books a year”
“About a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form”
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The person you will be in five years is decided by the people you spend time with and the books you read today” — Joe Duncan
If you know anything about me you might know that I’m a tenacious reader. I truly always have been. My mom and I used to read books together every single night growing up. I used to win all the “reading competitions” through elementary and middle school.
But then… I stopped reading. Why? Not exactly sure. I didn’t read in high school. Those assigned books? Ooooh, I don’t think I really read those. I got A’s on my papers so why should I read them?? Same practice in college… I got an A on a 5-page paper I wrote in 3 hours without even purchasing the book.
But then 2 summers ago I realized something, I hadn’t read a book in a while. I kept seeing things that stated the average CEO reads 60 books each year. So I thought to myself… well, I want to be a CEO, don’t I?
So I started to read books.
People take in content in various different ways. Some people like to listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, or read articles (maybe like mine), but I primarily read books. This will be the focus of today, Tuesday will revolve around the reading goals I have, and I’ll follow that up on Thursday with more detail into what I’m reading, how much, and why.
So those are the 3 main things I want to reflect on today, the 3 secondary things that I do in terms of consuming content.
1. Listening to podcasts
2. Watching YouTube or IGTV videos
3. Reading articles
1. Listening to Podcasts
These are great, and I do enjoy hearing some of these. But, there can be a lot of fluff. If I’m listening to an interview, I might have already heard this message before, I might already be acting on this message. But, I like to see things through to the end, when it’s content. I like to hear different perspectives and podcasts definitely allow me to do that. But, if it just ends up being something I’ve heard already, I would have rather spent my energy elsewhere.
With that being said, some podcasts I enjoy listening to at times (linked below) include Lewis Howes “School of Greatness”, Gary Vaynerchuk’s “GaryVee Audio Experience”, Joey Sewilo’s “The Joe Money Podcast”, Gary Roth’s “Blue Collar Consulting Group Podcast”, Rashad Bilal’s “Earn Your Leisure” and my personal favorite… Andy Frisella’s “The MFCEO Project”.
2. Watching YouTube or IGTV Videos
I watch YouTube videos, videos on Twitter, and videos on IGTV. But, I don’t make those a focus, why not?
Some of the people I follow are Grant Cardone (and Elena Cardone, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jahspreet Singh’s Minority Mindset account, Daymond John, Randall Pich, Tim Grover, Andy Frisella, and Tai Lopez, among others. Though those listed above are the people who post the most long-form content that I watch on YouTube, IGTV, or both.
It’s all free-flowing. While I do love that type of long-form content, it’s sometimes difficult for me to track my notes in an easily retrievable way. If I am to watch videos, I tend to not take as many notes as I would if I were reading something that is printed. As a result, I feel that my retention is not as good when I watch videos versus when I consume content that allows me to take notes directly within what I am learning.
3. Reading Articles
I love reading articles. I follow some great people (linked below). I see articles on LinkedIn from Oleg Vishnepolsky and Gary Vaynerchuk. I follow Ayodeji Awosika, Benjamin Hardy, Darius Foroux, and a few others also.
But, most of these people don’t focus on JUST articles. Gary has written numerous books and speaks frequently. Ayodeji Awosika has written 2 books so far. Benjamin Hardy is in the midst of writing a book. Darius Foroux has a podcast and an E-book, amongst other resources.
Articles are great, but they don’t really take that long to write… (I should know since I’m writing 3 every week). Coupled with the minimal time that MOST, not all, take to write, they also don’t require extensive data or thinking either.
Some people, like Mr. Hardy, go much more in-depth in their articles than I or Oleg or Gary might, who sometimes have articles with less than 200 words.
Overall though, articles generally lack enough information and comprehensive data, when on their own.
I love consuming content in different ways and from different people. It’s awesome and I always learn. What works for me might not work well for someone else, and that’s okay. That’s what I admire about Gary Vaynerchuk, he is on EVERY platform, produces content in every form and is authentic always.
I’m always willing to try new things, I follow more fashion influencers today than I did 6 months ago. Many of the books that I read or think about reading come from recommendations from others. Much of the music I listen to could be because someone else told me about the album or the artist.
We all have different goals, and I’m going to talk in-depth about my reading goals in Tuesday’s piece.