Starting, maintaining, and managing a business is a difficult task. In most cases, you get out of it what you put into it. If you commit to every step of the process with a thoughtful and thorough mindset, your result will typically reflect it. If you start your business sloppily with a slacker mentality, you will either fail immediately or run into significant problems as a result of your negligence. We all know this. It’s logic and common sense. So why do people still not realize that to go a step above and beyond the “average” they have to resort to alternative means? Way back when, it was entirely commonplace to do research and self-educate through books. However, now in the age of the digital revolution people resort to scrolling through Internet articles and screening headlines as “research.” In ideal circumstances the Internet is a SUPPLEMENT to research, not a SUBSTITUTE.
The Internet is Available to Everyone
Your business is built on competition. You’re competing with your neighbor for market share and you’re competing against the clock to stay above water long enough to reap the rewards of your business. If you’re only reading what is publicly available to you (typically mainstream articles or well-known blogs) then chances are your competition is reading the same material. You can bet that your competition won’t be scouring the bookshelves for reading material. Reading something new and different can help you gain a different perspective which will translate into a competitive edge in the market.
Books are More Substantial
Many companies that crank out blog posts put little effort into the material they publish. They’re more interested in establishing contact with their community through a shocking headline and amassing page views than actually educating their audience. The business of a book, on the other hand, is primarily to educate. Writing a blog post is a minor commitment, but writing a book takes years of research and usually consists of a very carefully constructed and well-supported argument. A book will go into much greater detail and back up its argument with case studies and historical points…which is much more beneficial to you and your knowledge base.
Attention Span Improvement
Internet articles are designed to be skimmed through. A typical day spent skimming through Google Alerts will deliver to you recycled, redundant and often obvious information. Articles are designed around headlines, key points and lists such as The 8 Ways to Improve X. You quickly scan over the key points of the article then boom! Onto the next one. Reading an academic book will reteach you how to process, think about, and digest information in a way that helps you learn and grow along with your mental bank of facts.
You need to spend money to make money. So go spend that $30 and hit the stacks!
Don't know where to start? Check out 7 great books about data visualization here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/06/30/best-books-data-visualization-computational-art/