By Skills

As a self-improvement junkie, I know that reading a lot of books is one of the best ways to get better at just about everything. It’s challenging though to find time to sit down and read considering all of life’s other demands. Between working long days, growing a business, getting this blog off the ground, taking care of a husband, two busy kids and a household, there isn’t a lot of free time left. When I have the time I don’t always feel like reading, so my reading time was limited to time sitting in airplanes.

The solution for me has been turning my 30-minute commute to work each way into planned time to read with my ears. I rarely listen to music in the car anymore because there are too many books on my “to-read” list!

I have been a fan of podcasts for quite some time, but more recently I started listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks have been around for a long time as CDs and I have found some good titles from my local library so that’s one way to get them. I have a little problem though with getting books back on time, so although those are free in theory, they are often not free for me.

Lately I have been loving Audible. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a service by Amazon that allows you to stream books and listen to them through your computer or moble device. You can download the app on your phone and listen in your car using Bluetooth or an auxiliary cable.

Books I have listened to recently using Audible

Gary points out what an exciting time we live in now. Never before in history have regular people had the ability to build a brand and a business and so easily reach so many people with the power of the internet and social media. Regardless of the type of business you have, whether you are a dentist, a realtor, or a blogger, you can start creating content and sharing it via facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube and other platforms in order to build your brand. Gary shares his insights as well as the stories of entrepreneurs in various fields and how they built huge businesses.

One fun benefit of Audible is the fact that often the authors read their own books and it’s fun to hear how they tell their stories. In the case of Crushing It, Gary goes off script sometimes and updates certain parts. It’s a very entertaining and inspiring read.

Rachel is a media mogul who started from scratch building her website, the Chic Site. Rachel is like your best friend who isn’t afraid of being honest and telling you like it is. Reading her book allows you to challenge the lies you have been telling yourself about why you don’t have or can’t get the life you want. It is an awesome book and I highly recommend it.

If you are REALLY short on time…

Another trick is to listen to summaries of popular books. It’s like the Cliff Note version of popular books. The summaries give you the main points of the book without the fluff. These summaries can often be finished in 30-60 minutes as compared to several hours for full-length books.

Lately I have read summaries of The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss as well as The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson. The 4 Hour Work Week teaches how to efficiently build a business to get more accomplished in less time. The Slight Edge talks about how each day we are faced with multiple decisions to make and these decisions accumulated either get us closer to or farther away from out goals.

I like personal development and business books but you can read any kind of book including fiction and even romance novels.  My favorite fiction book I have read lately is The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren.

How it Works

Audible costs $14.95 per month but there are sometimes discounts available.

If you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can receive 3 free months of Audible with one free download credit per month for a total of 3 free audiobooks. This is a savings of $30. You also get a 30% discount on for 3 months.

If you haven’t pulled the trigger yet, I highly recommend getting Prime. You get a lot of benefits for the price. If you don’t want to pay the fee upfront, you can also go month-to-month with Prime to give it a try for $5.99 per month.

Help a sister out! What books should I add to my to-read list?!

This content was originally published here.

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