One of the greatest tools for success that brought almost all successful people to where they are now is reading. In praise of this great act, Ken Courtright gets into growth mode by showing how reading presents you ideas that would inspire you to move business to a whole new different level. He takes this idea together with the previous episode’s reticular activation, telling us that by reading books full of ideas about business growth, the path to get there will show up.
Listen to the podcast here:
This episode is titled Reading, and it’s not just about reading. It’s about reading with the understanding of the previous episode on Reticular Activation. As a summary, if you didn’t read episode 162, I recommend it. Reticular activation, in summary, says we see what we’re into. I gave the example of if you drive a 2011 Camaro, you’re into that Camaro. You’re in it every day. You happen to notice the 2011 Camaro’s everywhere. If you trade that in on a Mustang, you’re going to notice the new Mustangs everywhere you go. You see what you’re into.
I want to read a couple of paragraphs from the foreword of a Verne Harnish book and it goes like this. “When Larry Page, CEO of Google, was asked how he learned to run a company, he responded, ‘I read a lot.’ For instance, he read the three books on how to name things. Bill Gates for decades, maintained his famous think week, devouring a record 112 books during one session. Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, reads three hours per day. His goal is to find one idea he can use to give him and the over 150 companies in which he’s invested an edge in the marketplace. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal development priority in 2015 was reading a book every two weeks exceeding by two the number of books, 24. Topgrading author Brad Smart separated A-player executives from B and C players.” Reading is everything.Combine reading with reticular activation and you can go anywhere you want to go. Click To Tweet
For those of you that have read my episode, the Success Wheel, that’s one of our top five most downloaded episodes of all time. It went viral almost immediately. The concept of the Success Wheel talks about how does your personal wheel start, and mine happens to start with books. I’m passionate about reading. There’s no question reading got me to where I am now. There’s no question we’re a three-time Inc. 5000 company because I’m in the middle of the third time, Cameron Herold’s Double Double. I’m reading Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up. I finished Perry Marshall’s 80/20, Jeff Walker’s Launch and the list goes on and on. I don’t stop for I don’t know how many years I’ve done a book a week. How does this relate to the people reading this and growing their business, not Ken’s business?
Reticular activation says that you see everywhere what you’re into. If your company needs growth, what would happen if you did a twelve-week course and read twelve growth books twelve weeks in a row? Four to six weeks into this, your subconscious would understand, “We’re into growth.” As soon as you get into something, like you’re in that Camaro you see everywhere, you’re going to start seeing growth everywhere. Certain employees that you work with that prior to going into this growth mode of in where you’re into growth, you thought they were acceptable. You thought they were quite frankly good employees. Now that you’re reading these incredible books on business growth, you’re realizing how critical every employee is, how critical every relationship is, how critical certain advertising mechanisms are. You see growth in a completely different way.
Let’s say you’ve got to hire one to five specific people. Maybe you go on a reading campaign just on hiring. You’re going to start seeing hiring opportunities everywhere. You’re going to start seeing and feeling good ways to ask questions and bad ways to ask questions in interviews. What if you need sales? What if you need door-to-door selling, email selling or website sales? What if you went into a binge and you started reading every killer sales book you could get your hands on? Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling, the Little Red Book of Selling, The Ultimate Sales Machine. What if you read the greats and you went eight to twelve weeks in a row, eight to twelve books. You would be so into sales, I have a feeling it would give you a gag reflex of how you have wasted so much time using the systems you’ve been using. It’s just a guess.
You can use this concept of reticular activation plus reading to see anything you want. You can get into anything you want. The better way to state it is you should get into anything you need. If you need growth, get into growth because then reticular activation is going to force you to see it everywhere. If you need marketing or if you think a division of your company is lacking and you want to be able to truly help them, get into it. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t be afraid of hard work. You can do audiobooks, you can do physical books. It makes no difference how you absorb it. When you start absorbing this information on a consistent basis, reticular activation is going to kick in within a couple of few weeks.
You are going to start to see physically and you’re going to feel like you’re manifesting stuff like it’s rain. If you want to get into sales, go twelve weeks, twelve books. I’m telling you, it’s going to rain deals. Deals are going to come in. Orders are going to come in. Your website’s going to all of a sudden start selling stuff because the problems in front of you will stick out like a sore thumb. The roadblocks that you don’t even know you have up that are stopping you from selling. The phrase is, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” When you get into the books you need to get into, the answer is there. The teacher is there.
Years ago, a mentor of mine said, “Ken, I want you to read How to Win Friends and Influence People. I said, “Brad, I’ve already read the book.” He goes, “You don’t understand. I’m not finished. I want you to read the book every January and the first time you read it, I want you to use a yellow highlighter. I want you to wait a year and do not read it again for a year, but the second time you pick it up, I want you to use an orange highlighter. As soon as you realize why I’ve given you this exercise, call me back.” He had counseled me throughout the year, but he’d never mentioned this again.
The second time in January when I used an orange highlighter, I only got a third of the way through the book and I called Brad and I said, “Brad, that’s amazing. You’re a genius.” He says, “Why? What’s the lesson?” I said, “None of the stuff I highlighted the first time is sticking out at me this year.” He goes, “What does that mean?” I said, “It means I’ve grown as a person. I’ve grown as a leader. Now, there are new parts of the book that I didn’t even see before. I didn’t even notice them before and I’m highlighting them in orange everywhere.” What does this mean? It means the first time I went through the book I needed the parts in yellow. My reticular activation was exposed to those paragraphs. I saw what I was into. A year later, I wasn’t into that. I had grown. I had fixed those problems. I was into different problems, different business challenges. What I was seeing was different everywhere. Are you catching this? Combine reading with reticular activation and you can go anywhere you want to go. I hope this helps. Take care.