Adjusting to the High Value Entrepreneurs Put on Their Time

My current project is reading books about entrepreneurs and sharing what I learned via blog posts and audio recordings I distribute via a podcast. I started in April, and as of now, the following are the major steps in my process:

  • Read, notate, and highlight a book
  • Distill my notes and highlights
  • Write and publish a blog post
  • Record an audio post
  • Edit the audio recording
  • Publish the recording via podcast

I did a survey (basically customer discovery) earlier this year and learned that many entrepreneurs don’t read physical books because reading doesn’t fit their hectic lifestyle. However, they want to learn, and they consume a large amount of audio while they’re multitasking. I figured I could read for them and share what I learned via audio.

When I started this project, I thought reading was the most important thing, given that most people weren’t doing it. I figured reading two hours or so a day would position me to share my learnings at an accelerated rate. The reading is important, but the last few weeks have highlighted something else.

Let’s say a 300-page book takes someone 10 to 12 hours to read. I could easily share everything in the book in a two-hour recording. But entrepreneurs won’t listen for two hours, even knowing it would take them much longer to read the book.

The value per minute spent listening to a two-hour recording about a book is higher than that of reading the book. But it’s not high enough. Entrepreneurs want maximum value per minute of their time if they give you their attention. I suspect they want a value per minute that’s 15x to 20x that of reading a book.

Now that I understand this, I see the distillation process as a key step in my project. Identifying the most valuable wisdom from books and formulating insights are key to providing maximum value per minute.

It’s easier said than done. This past week, I began testing approaches to distilling what I’ve read. I’m still not where I want to be, and I’m going to keep trying to improve. My goal is for people who listen to one of my recordings to feel that the value they receive significantly exceeds their time cost. I think that indications of this are people thinking deeply about something in the recording or being motivated to keep persevering on their journey, whatever it may be.

Prefer listening? Catch audio versions of these blog posts, with more context added, on Apple Podcasts here or Spotify here!