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Reading ROI For Contractors: Maximize Results Reading Business Books

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Feb 03,2013 @ 06:00 AM

Jim Lex, Better Homes and Remodeling


Guest Blogger: Jim Lex is the owner of Better Homes and Remodeling, a Design/Build firm serving the greater Atlanta area. His passion is to make homes better by designing and building spaces that serve better!  As a full service remodeler, he also offers home maintenance and handyman services. On the national level, Jim supports the construction industry by teaching classes on lead, mold and radon.  I ran into Jim on LinkedIn.  He participated in a discussion I had started about great business books for remodelers.  I liked some of the comments he added to discussion regarding his approach to reading and asked him to do a guest blog.

Reading ROI For Contractors: How To Maximize Results When Reading Business Books

Reading for a Positive Change

Reading for remodelersReading can be a powerful tool to help grow your remodeling business. However, reading is of little benefit when it is done casually. Casual reading works fine for the news, novels, and entertainment.  But with business, casual reading isn’t enough because it brings only casual results. As contractors, we need great results with measurable change.  If you haven’t been getting that from your reading, then perhaps it’s time for a reading pathway.

Reading for a Positive Change is a reading pathway involving several key steps that culminate in both personal and business growth.

Read wisely and widely

A wise king once said, “You can get anything by either wisdom or money, but being wise has many advantages.” So be sure to read wisely and widely to get all the advantages.

  • lots of books for remodelersRead wisely – Identify industry movers and shakers, ask for their referrals and check online book reviews. Starting with the right book ensures you are getting the best answers and insights.  It will save you time and money.
  • Read widely – Remodelers tend to be strong on technical skills and product knowledge.  But your positive change might be elsewhere like your presentation, office, or running your business. Read widely to improve your skills in other vital areas such as selling, design, marketing, managing, communicating, finances, technical/computer, building processes, and so on. Your width and depth in reading supports you like the width and depth of a foundation supports a home.

Great reads don’t always cost a lot.  With Amazon used books, I recently obtained several excellent business classics ($20 and up new) for as low as $1 each.

Read actively

To get the most from any read, begin with a posture that is open minded, disciplined and focused. Avoid early judgments of new ideas as you may miss the very thing you need most. Be sure to notate and contemplate:

  • Reading pathwayNotate – Use 1, 2 or 3 stars for anything you MUST remember or implement.  Highlight key concepts and paragraphs. Underline key industry words, phrases and clauses.
  • Contemplate – Review your learning notations.  Think about how and when you should be using your underlines.  Review your highlights and stars.  I often use times away from a book, such as driving, to process how challenges can be solved.  Questions I might ask myself include, how could I have closed that missed sale? What more could I be doing to obtain customer loyalty? How can I better manage customers expectations? After asking yourself insightful questions, talk it over with someone. It’s extremely beneficial to hear yourself processing it.  

Implement for a positive change

At the end of the day, if you don’t learn something new, understand it in your own words, and then implement it for a positive change, nothing happened! So don’t wait. Do something now while it is fresh in your mind.

  • Reding ROI For RemodelersBegin using the underlined words immediately.  It will increase your communication and professionalism.    
  • Create a one-page summary of takeaways as bullet points. It will help “nail down” what you learned.  At the bottom, write page #’s with “future” points to revisit.
  • Write implementation goals with start and finish dates. Work it and track your progress.  The success of your implementation is your return on investment.  And who doesn’t love a good ROI.

If your reading hasn’t been bringing great results with measurable change, then perhaps it’s time for a reading change.  A reading pathway can make a big difference and bring immediate results in your remodeling business!

** Quotes are proverbs from the wisdom literature.

Topics: Fun Stuff, Success Strategies, Guest Blogs, Opinions from Design/Builders