When reading stops helping

In recent years I’d often choose what to read based on where I was stuck. When I was uncomfortable managing my finances, I read on books on investing. When I was struggling to monetize a side-project, I read books on sales and marketing.

I liked this way of reading. The books were always relevant and I felt like I was learning.

But it’s been a weird year. I went from reading thirty-two books in 2019 to nine in 2020, and most of those books didn’t feel very helpful. There were several periods where I felt like I was in a rut, and my reading didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast by the Convertkit team and these words felt really applicable:

You can read how-to information until you’re blue in the face. And, at some point learning more is not the thing holding you back. It’s actually the doing.

What I have found is that when I know a lot of what I need to know but I’m not putting it in action, reading stories about other people who have done things that I admire, or that have broken through some barrier they thought they had, is what keeps me going. Its what motivates me.

Barrett Brooks, The Future Belongs to Creators (12 Product Ideas You Could Launch in 2020)

This made a lot of sense, so I’m starting to read more stories about people that inspire me. It’s still early in the process but it feels right so far. It’s just another good reminder that when something isn’t working, it’s time to mix things up.