Why entrepreneurs need to read outside their comfort zones

18th Aug 2017
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Dr. Seuss once said: “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

He hit the hammer straight on the head with that one. Reading has no religion, caste or communal boundaries – it is the one untainted activity which is open to people hailing from all backgrounds. Apart from being an essential factor for personal growth, reading also facilitates professional development. Reading works of industry veterans goes a long way into helping you understand the intricate dynamics of the respective field.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

However, it is equally important to spread your literary horizon and read outside your area of expertise. This brings about a holistic viewpoint of the world outside your board room – which are bursting with stories of victories, failures and everything in between. A well-read entrepreneur, is equipped to understand and question the different facets of the business and even the society it looks to flourish in, hence it is advisable to read as much and as far as possible.

Here’s why.

Conceptual unification

The process of conceptual unification refers to the exposure of one’s brain to ideas and visuals, which it is rarely exposed to. Human beings are wired to adapt to a particular kind of style and stick by it, because it is both familiar territory and essential for becoming an expert on the subject. Sometimes, the answer to your question lies beyond the periphery of your known knowledge. Hence, when you read beyond what you already know, it opens up a door of new possibilities and experiences. It works as a creative stimulant and enables both the work at hand and other aspirations you wish to carry out in the long run.

“The problem is, if you don't expand your horizons, you get stuck in the same world. Your mind may be open to possibilities, but if it can't fathom what those possibilities are, then it doesn't accomplish much. And yes, you can totally solve part of this problem by going out and experiencing a lot of things first hand, but not everyone has an adventuring budget that can support this,” said Melanie R. Meadors, a reputed author of fantasy-fiction.

Network expansion

Being an entrepreneur is all about expanding your network, be it physically or virtually. When you entertain literature of different genres, you broaden your horizon to multiple discourses, this in turn will open varied avenues of networking. The more diversified your reading list, the more expansive your thought process and understanding of the different kind of tropes that can exist within and outside of your professional space.

“Some of my best reading experiences have been with books outside of my comfort zone. On many occasions I’ve challenged myself to read beyond my preferred genres and expand my horizons,” says writer and contributor Michael David Wilson.

A renewed perspective

Breaking it down to the simplest, reading a wide-range of books – across genres, authors and subjects – helps form a new kind of perspective, which further develops your natural analytical instinct. Being an entrepreneur not only means being significantly creative, its mantra entails ‘thinking outside the box’. And what better way to do this than by traversing to a literary expedition down the path of the unknown?

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