Reading books is a great habit to get into. Some of the most successful people in the world are voracious readers.
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share what I was reading in 2018. I highlight one book specifically that I read multiple times and had the biggest impact on me.
- 00:34 – Cultivating the reading habit
- 01:01 – The one book that stood out for me in 2019
- 01:18 – Who is James Schramko?
- 01:33 – What is Work Less, Make More?
- 02:14 – What can you expect to learn in Work Less, Make More?
- 02:35 – An effective workday is about energy management
- 03:21 – An offer that converts is the beginning of a viable business
- 04:09 – Making money on books
- 04:49 – Set the thing you love as the thing you do every day
- 05:28 – Fewer products and services can be more profitable
- 06:09 – Is the book worth checking out?
- 06:42 – Getting more reading done in 2019
I’ve talked endlessly about the importance of reading books on the blog and the podcast.
And, judging by how much traffic posts about books tend to generate for The Music Entrepreneur HQ, it seems like most of you agree that it’s a habit worth creating in your life.
I consider myself an avid reader, though I will readily admit that my reading habit took a bit of a dive in 2017 and 2018.
I was still reading up on a variety of topics, especially online, and I did get around to finishing a few books too.
But there’s only one book that stood out for me. And, it’s also the only book I read multiple times in 2018 because I wanted the concepts and ideas to become a part of the DNA of The Music Entrepreneur HQ.
What book am I talking about? Work Less, Make More by James Schramko
Who is James Schramko?
James Schramko is the Founder of SuperFastBusiness, an online community where business owners go to receive coaching and learn how to grow and optimize their online businesses.
If you’d like to learn more about James, you can have a listen to episode 86 of the podcast.
What is Work Less, Make More?
Work Less, Make More: The counter-intuitive approach to building a profitable business, and a life you actually love (affiliate link) is James’ first book. I liked it so much, I bought two copies and gave one away.
In the hustle obsessed culture, we now live in, working less and making more sounds both counter-intuitive and refreshing.
James is a contrarian in this regard. He doesn’t agree with the many experts who are constantly pushing the idea that if you aren’t working 16-hour days, you aren’t going anywhere fast.
James himself is living proof. He works about 20 hours per week, and spends the rest of his time surfing, watching movies and spending time with his family.
What Can I Expect to Learn in Work Less, Make More?
Work Less, Make More is a shorter book with minimal fluff, and that’s by design.
So, virtually every sentence is packed with value. That’s not something I can say about the majority of books I’ve read.
Even if wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to communicate everything I’ve learned from this book. But here are a few examples:
1. An effective workday is about energy management, not time management
James talks extensively about the fact that what matters most as an entrepreneur is effectiveness and not productivity.
There are plenty of people out there who are obsessed about getting things done. And, while we all have things to get done, especially as business owners, if we aren’t focused on getting the right things done, we can waste a lot of our time and energy on the wrong things.
Further, a lot of people seem to focus on how time is a finite thing without considering that their energy is also finite. When should you work? At a time when you are awake, alert and focused.
So, tackle the most important items on your to-do list when you’re feeling you’re best. Leave low-impact activities for when you have less energy.
2. Once you have an offer that converts, then you have the makings of a viable business
It’s amazing how many people launch blogs and websites without even considering what their audience wants or what they’re going to sell to them.
There’s nothing wrong with having a blog. But a blog in itself is not a business.
Now, there are plenty of people online saying you should build your audience first and sell to them later. For the most part, there’s nothing wrong with this approach. The one downside I see is that when you finally do create something, you have no assurance that your audience will buy it.
But if you have a product that sells, you might have a real business on your hands. So, starting with product is not a bad idea. And, before you even build it, you can try selling it first. If no one buys it, don’t make it. If a few people buy it, then start making it.
3. People who make money on books do so because they have a high-value product or recurring membership to sell
This was an important insight for me, because when I was first reading it, I didn’t have something to sell on the back of my books.
I’ve since worked at selling bonus content packages, and also launched The Headquarters membership.
If you’re planning to put together a book, this is something you should also be aware of. There isn’t a lot of money to be made on books. I’m not saying it’s impossible to build your income over time, as I know there are some authors out there making five figures on a monthly basis.
But keep in mind you would have to write a lot of books. It’s much easier to make money if you have something to sell on the back of it.
4. Set the thing you love as the thing you do every day
This is something I’m still processing but I think it’s hugely important.
What James is saying here is that we should spend time doing something we love to do every single day. And, preferably, it should be something that brings us outdoors and gets us moving (i.e. exercise).
Skateboarding is something I’ve been fascinated by for a long time, ever since I started playing the Tony Hawk games as a teenager. So, gradually I’m beginning to think about investing in skateboarding gear so I can engage in a worthwhile hobby.
James says if you engage in what you love every single day, it will give you the energy you need to get important things done.
5. Fewer products and services can often be far more profitable
I’m not sure exactly how this could work in my business, which is maybe a problem.
But I will say this – I’m always looking for ways to update and consolidate my products, so they bring more value to those who consume them.
And, I also understand why fewer products or services is better. It requires less infrastructure overall. The more products you have, the more funnels you’ll need to set up, the more blog posts you’d need to write, the more social media campaigns you’d need to run, the more emails you’d need to send, the more customer support tickets you’d need to answer and so on.
So, don’t always be thinking about adding a product to your business. Determine how you can optimize the ones you already have.
Is Work Less, Make More Worth Checking Out?
This is just one man’s opinion, but I think James Schramko’s Work Less, Make More (affiliate link) is a must read.
As I already mentioned, every sentence is packed with value. There are plenty of valuable insights in this book, regardless of what level you and your business are at.
And, it also gives you a way to measure your overall effectiveness. That’s more than I can say for most if not all of the experts pushing hustle.
I’m currently on my fourth read through of the book, and I can also tell you that there are plenty of things that will pop out at you with repeat visits.
Though I did less book reading in 2017 and 2018 than in preceding years, I’m planning to get a lot more reading done in 2019. First, I’ll start with the dozen or so books that are beginning to build up on my nightstand.
What books are you excited about reading in 2019? What do you hope to learn?
I look forward to answering your comments in the show notes.