Every time Christmas comes along, I give away books as gifts. I like giving away books because I find that there’s tremendous value in reading and learning from a perspective other than your own. But every once in a while and more often than not, someone I’ve given a book to comes to me and admits to not having read it at all.
It’s not that they don’t like reading, but it’s that often because they find that the book I’ve given to them in particular is better suited for entrepreneurs and people interested in business.
While it’s true that most of the books I do give out have a tendency to be startup or entrepreneurship-related, I believe that there’s still tremendous value to be found in reading them even for people not belonging to the industry. Advice that comes from books can usually be applied across multiple industries and the value of seeing a perspective other than your own is invaluable to all.
Take ‘persistence’ for example. It’s a trait that’s found in many startup-related books. Is it a trait that can only be applied within the startup industry?
A mother of three with a passion for writing is taught to persist. She’s struggles to take care of her children but continues to write, even when she has no time, even when it’s just in the 10 minutes of waiting in the school parking lot for her kids.
A college student who wants to learn programming is taught to persist. Day in, day out, he struggles through coding problems and relies on no one but the internet because that’s the only place he can learn how to program. He has no idea what he’s doing, but he continues anyways.
An eighty year-old man gets into modeling. He becomes famous and people call him an overnight sensation, but he laughs and says, if only you knew that it took me 60 years just to get here.
All of us have dreams and goals we want to accomplish.
Books that teach persistence teach us how to fulfill those dreams and accomplish those goals. It teaches us how to look at our goals objectively, how not to overthink and that actions are always stronger than words. It reminds us that everything is just a matter of starting and continuing to persist once we’ve started.
Persistence has little to do with being an entrepreneur. It’s about holding yourself responsible and staying committed towards your goals and dreams — everyone, even non-entrepreneurs can afford to be more persistent.
Most people put too much effort into the classification of books; they don’t even attempt to read it because they don’t realize what they could be missing out on.
I’ve often found that books in different industries are often those that give the best advice. Even if you’re think a book might not be suited for you, there’s no harm reading it; worst case scenario, you just don’t learn anything as expected, but if you do, it might be advice worth remembering for the rest of your life.
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” — Jackson Brown, Jr.