„just tell me what to do“: Compressing books into directives

I´ve read a few dozens of books and uncountable blog articles on the internet about business, marketing and entrepreneurship in the last years. In the beginning I read as many books as possible – soaking them in but recognizing that I forget most of the information a book offered me after reading the next 2-3 books.

I started summarizing them to get more out of the books and being able to re-read them from time to time.

Once started summarizing and sharing them with friends I started my blog selfvestors because this was way easier to share the insights I got from books and articles which everybody who might be interested.

This is my kinda 3-stage-process of reading a book. Reading, summazing and compressing for my blog. Through repetition and summarizing I can get the most value out of the book.

But today I´ve read a new article by Derek Sivers – “just tell me what to do”, which is super great to get even more out of a book and above all: make it more practically and useful.

Derek says that he also read hundreds of books so far and summarizing them for himself and friends. But they often said “We don´t need a summary, we need a directive and a advice ‘what to do’.”

He gives an illustrative example: Once he wanted to read a book by Pollan about the history of food. 450 pages … so he never read it. His second book “food rules” has less but still 250 pages … so he never read it. His third book compresses all of his advice into 64 sentences. That´s what people are looking for.

Compressed advice with no huge history and explanation.

We all know this feeling when you really want to get the insights of a book but you have less time so you pass a book quickly with the risk of missing important parts.

So why not compressing books into directives?

Derek puts it in a simple example:

For example, this observation — “Behavioral psychologists Stephen M. Garcia and Avishalom Tor showed that merely knowing there are more competitors in a competition decreases our performance.” — turns into this advice: “Avoid awareness of competitors.”

Why not building an own Wiki with directives for marketing, doing business and so on?

Instead of only summarizing books, I from now on will write down clear and short directives into a kind of a knowledge database where I can always look for advice or directives when it comes to a special action needed.

For further information I still can have a deeper look in my summary to get relations between directives and their background.

So, if you want to build up an online mastermind group sharing some thoughts, summaries and book recommendations, just write me @ timo@selfvestors.net


Reading in Bali

This post was brought to you from beautiful Bali, Indonesia, where reading is even more relaxing than back home. :-) That´s where the cover photo is made.

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