I've read hundreds of books on the topic of public speaking, particularly about overcoming the fear of public speaking. I was sick of aimlessly trying to overcome my fear, so I figured educating myself before trying would be the best way to go about it. I read for hours a day, finishing a book or two week. For two years, I read piles of books and sporadically applied the lessons I learned.
I've read dozens of books on investing. Everything from Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" to "Rich Dad, Poor Dad." I learned about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bull markets, bear markets, 401ks, Roth IRAs, when to buy, sell, hold; you name it. I'd even give investment advice to friends who were newbies to the stock market.
I've lost count of how many books I've read on entrepreneurship. I've divulged content from some of the top entrepreneurs in the world and even attended workshops and seminars led by these entrepreneurial giants.
After reading countless books on the subjects that I wanted to learn most about, there is one lesson that stood out above all others: The answers I seek won't come from reading, listening or watching someone else. The answers will come from doing.
Hundreds of public speaking books read, but I learned more from one presentation I conducted than all of those books combined. Dozens of books on investing, and I learned more within a week of making two inconsequential investments in the stock market. Hundreds of hours spent reading books on entrepreneurship, but I learned more by giving myself a shot to build my own product.
Reading is great. It'll give you a base. It'll set your mind straight. It'll improve your approach. But if you truly want to learn, you need to leave the comfort of reading words and just jump in.