I want to tell you about a friend of mine. He is a doctor. He performs an important out-patient surgery. His calendar is full. He arrives in his office early in the morning, and the first surgery is scheduled pretty much right off the bat. I have lunch with him about once a month. I bring lunch to his office. He walks into his office for lunch just having finished with a patient. He has one hour, and usually has to make a phone call or two before we can visit – to other doctors, about the needs of his or their patients. He then operates on others through the afternoon. He has an amazing support staff. They keep his schedule flowing smoothly.
He takes off early one afternoon a week. On that afternoon, he catches up on “paper work,” and reads professional journals. This really is mandatory reading for a man in his profession. (He also gives lectures to others in his field). He is very, very good at what he does. D Magazine listed him as among the best in the city for his type of medical practice.
He has more than one child – at the age where they do everything: soccer, baseball, Lacrosse, and that’s just the activities I remember. He described a recent weekend, and it was multiple locations, multiple events, all week-end long. He is a former top level athlete, in great shape, and he was exhausted by the demands of the weekend.
His wife is also a Doctor, with the advantage of working a self-imposed reduced schedule. But when she works, she works as hard as he does. (She is also very, very good at what she does!)
So, I have a question: when will he read books that would be “good to read?”
He is not lazy; he is not a poor time-manager; he is simply too busy doing his job and serving/enjoying his family to read books that he wishes he had time to read.
When you read this blog, you are inundated with book titles that make you say: “I need to read that.” And so you buy the book, open the book…but, I suspect that your stack of partially read books is becoming a mountain.
I don’t have a solution to this problem. I do know that my Doctor friend needs to be doing what he is doing, and reading the books may never make it into his schedule.
By the way, I share most of my book synopsis handouts with him. It is not enough; it is not as good as hearing the synopsis while following along with the handout. It is not as good as reading the book himself. But he can find the few minutes it takes to read the handouts that I point out to him as especially valuable, and he is grateful.
I asked him recently if my handouts are valuable to him. He said “absolutely!” He was not hesitant. He said they give him ideas, help him think about his practice, especially the “business end” of his practice. And he said that he simply would never have time to read the books themselves.
I would never think less of him for not finding time to read the books; I’ve seen his work ethic. If I need his kind of medical attention, I want it from him. He provides exactly what people need.
You may be as busy as my friend. Or, you may have friends who are that busy. A little insight from a book is better than none at all, isn’t it? And our synopses provide more than just a little insight from the books we present. We provide two pages of key quotes from the books; the outline of the key content; and if you can find time to listen to the audio, you hear a cool/key/enlightening story or two.
No, it’s not as good as reading the book for yourself. But it is not nothing!
You can order our synopses, for yourself or that busy friend of yours, with handout + audio from our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.