Book Summaries are the Best Information Diet for Success

By: Kingston J. Amadan


Years ago I ran into a long time friend of mine while on a cross-country business trip. Steve was a legitimate business magnate. He owns and runs 35 different companies with multinational operations. I agreed to meet Steve for dinner one evening to catch up on family and business.

He sat up in his seat while we each ordered a glass of Pinot Noir as our conversation drifted my extensive travels. But I was more interested in his astounding ability to manage his life and work so efficiently. At one point in our conversation, I asked, “How do you learn new skills, sharpen old ones and keep abreast of the latest ideas in business?”

“I am on a low information diet”, Steve replied without hesitating. “Put down your wine so you don’t choke. I am going to let you in on a secret that changed my career. I have bought one book in the last five years, in the Denver International Airport and only because it gave me a discount on a Diet Coke.”

“That’s crazy! You are an informed and seasoned businessman. You operate in a global marketplace. How do you keep your competitive edge?” I blurted with rapid fire. “I’ll answer all of that, but wait - it gets better”, he calmly replied. “Last week, I read three top ten business books on a two hour flight to L.A.” I had to get a hold of Steve’s secret weapon.

It is not enough to read. What you read must be relevant and important. If it isn’t, don’t read it. Information is useless if it is not applicable to something important or if you forget it before you have the chance apply it. I used to have the habit of reading a book from cover to cover just for the sake of saying I read every word. Often, I would need to reread the same book when I finally needed the information. This was stupid and redundant. When I broke this bad habit, I became more effective and efficient with my time. With well-written book summaries, I retain a lot more of the content than I ever did reading a book from cover to cover.

From this point forward, I’m going to propose you develop the uncanny ability to be selectively ignorant. Ignorance may be bliss, but it is also practical and very effective. It is imperative you learn to focus on information that can solve your problems, advance your business goals, and boost your personal wealth. Executive book summaries will help you do all three. I read 5,000-word, eight-page print summaries in just 15 minutes or listen to specially scripted audio summaries in about 20 minutes - and nothing more. With book summaries I am able to maintain a laser focus on information that is relevant to my professional goals. In five years, I have not had a problem due to this selective ignorance.

As our dinner conversation came to an end that fateful evening, I concluded I needed to take my change my information diet and increase my appetite for book summaries. Boy, have I saved a lot of time. Book summaries have given me extra time to spend time with my wife, bond with my children, and sharpen my competitive edge.

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