I mean this in two ways. First, read news and know what’s going on in the world. Second, read books. Doing both is important in all facets of life.
As for news, read whatever you like, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post or other papers. Better yet, read or skim two, preferably with different takes, such as being left or right leaning. Reading different points of view allow you to process issues, ideas and positions. It also will help you craft your own point of view coming from a well-read place because you’ve educated yourself on issues. You can create the time to do this by calendaring time with your morning coffee or for a mid-morning break. Knowing what is happening locally, nationally, and globally is part of being a citizen of all, and therefore of the world.
Reading books matters too. Reading the type of books, you enjoy matters more. I rotate between fiction and non-fiction. And, with the non-fiction books, I rotate between biographies and business-related books. I usually use my time reading books as an escape from work and thoughts piled up from my day. However, sometimes I hear about a business book I find intriguing and I am willing to read something likely to make me think. You should read whatever motivates you to read. It’s not a contest to read the classics, or more business books than someone else you know. It’s your time, so choose what you read based on your interests.
The best part of doing this is taking time for yourself, but it has other benefits. It will help you be generalist on the current news and other topics you read about. It also will allow you to be a specialist in specific areas in which you have real interest. Both combine to make you more interesting to speak with at a networking event or in conversation with friends and family. You will be able to have a conversation with anyone, which will provide you with opportunities.
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, Business Law Guy.
About the Author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts, and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000.