Practical Advice on How to Read 20 Books a Year

Ep. 374 with Lesley & Brad

“It’s not a question of whether or not we can read the books. It’s a question of whether or not we value it enough.”

Brad Crowell

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Show Notes

Lesley and Brad reflect on Lesley’s interview with Nick Hutchison, founder of BookThinkers and author of ‘Rise of the Reader.’ Discover Nick’s inspiring journey from indifference to reading to becoming a passionate advocate for personal development books. Learn practical strategies for reading more effectively, including setting specific, measurable goals and integrating reading into your daily routine. Get actionable tips on how to read 20 books a year and retain valuable information, enhancing your personal and professional growth.

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In this episode you will learn about:

  • Why feeling like an impostor is normal when starting something new.
  • The value of audience engagement and feedback in the creative process.
  • Importance of reading books that address specific problems or build skills.
  • Set SMART goals in retaining and applying knowledge gained from books.
  • Targeted reading to address and solve personal problems effectively.

Episode References/Links:


Brad Crowell: He always asks them, “If I paid you $10,000, if you read this book in the next month, would you do it?” And of course they would say, “yeah, yeah, yeah, I would totally do it.” And he said, “Great, I’ve caught you in my trap.” And the trap is obviously prioritization. We don’t prioritize reading, so we don’t read, right?


Lesley Logan
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self-doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.


Lesley Logan
Welcome back to the Be It Till You See It interview recap where my co-host in life Brad and I are going to dig in to the pragmatic convo I had with Nick Hutchison in our last episode. If you haven’t yet listened to this episode, you should. You should just listen to it. So listen in any order you want. Doesn’t really matter to us. But go listen to Nick. He is incredible. He’s amazing. He’s also just like, really like, sweet, nice dude. And he, it’s announced we can say, he is expecting his first kid.

Brad Crowell 1:32
I didn’t know that. That’s exciting. Congratulations, Nick.

Lesley Logan 1:35
Oh. Get on social. I know.

Brad Crowell 1:37
Yeah, I’m all over that. (Inaudible)

Lesley Logan 1:39
Well, he can do Dad’s Club. He could do Vincent’s Dad’s Club. Yeah.

Brad Crowell 1:39
Yeah. I’ll connect the dots there, Nick. That’s exciting.

Lesley Logan 1:46
I love it. He didn’t even ask for dad advice and I’m like you should do this thing

Brad Crowell 1:50
Congratulations. You’re going to get it.

Lesley Logan 1:50
So today is May 30th. It is World MS Day. About this day, World Multiple Sclerosis Day, falling on May 30th, invites dialogue on the disease. Multiple sclerosis, MS, is a relapse-remitting disease with a very slow progression. MS is also known as encephalomyelitis disseminata and its symptoms include muscle weakness, double vision and mental physical problems due to lack of research studies on the disease. The exact causes behind it are generally unknown. Many scientists believe that there might be connected to the onset of the disease and genes or nerve-cell dysfunction. Furthermore, there’s no permanent cure yet. The symptoms can be relieved using the right set of treatments and medication. I just want to like shout out because there’s actually been a lot of talk about this. Selma Blair, I believe, did a docu-series or documentary about this. She’s been very vocal about it. Christina Applegate is now in a cane. And she, I believe, has to stop acting because of it and like she had a really amazing show, even up until very recently.

Brad Crowell 3:00
We just met someone in Phoenix PLT who has MS.

Lesley Logan 3:05
Yeah. Jack Osbourne has it. Montel Williams and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. There’s actually more. There’s, I’m gonna see if there’s anyone you might know. But there’s Tamia Hill, David lLnder, Walter Williams, Jonathan Katz, Janice Dean, Richard Pryor, Neil Cavuto, Trevor Bayne. So there’s a ton more. I’m sure there’s more. The only reason I brought these people up is like, you might have like, loved them for a long time and wonder what they’re doing. And the truth is, is that this is a really hard and really sad thing that we have no information on, there’s not a lot of treatments or studies being done on it, and it’s a real shame. So anyways, but shout out to Selma Blair for the work that she’s been doing to draw attention to it. So what do we got coming up? Okay. OPC Summer Camp is like this weekend. It is this weekend, not like, it is this weekend.

Brad Crowell 3:56
It is May 30th. That means we’re looking at two days from now is June 1st.

Lesley Logan 4:03
Yes. So Brad and I will have our blue blockers along (inaudible). We are going to have to go to bed early tomorrow night, Brad, because you have to get up super early on Saturday. We are it’s all hands on deck because it is just like Zoom. Like it’s seven Zooms a day, seven different links, seven different teachers each day. Different groups of people, some people have day pass, some people have bought ala carte, so we have to be on top of everything. As a camp directors that we are, and we have 13 other camp counselors and just an incredible lineup of events for you. This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done online and we really hope you join us because it’s, it’s really it’s all about the Pilates practitioner. You do not have to be a teacher to join these. And if you can’t join us live you get to have the replays. So buy them anyways.

Brad Crowell 4:48
That’s right. I think that’s the key. If you can’t join us live, you get to keep the replays.

Lesley Logan 4:53
Yeah, so is how you get your tickets before we go live. Okay, after that we’re actually going to head out on tour. OPC Summer Tour. We’re headed to the Midwest, y’all. We’re hitting cities. We just pretty much skip over all the time. And so, Chicago. I’m looking at Yale.

Brad Crowell 5:13
Milwaukee. One of the Twin Cities.

Lesley Logan 5:14
Milwaukee. Yes. One of the Twin Cities.

Brad Crowell 5:15
We’re actually looking at

Lesley Logan 5:18

Brad Crowell 5:19
Yeah, sure.

Lesley Logan 5:19
We have something in Denver. I mean, we go to Denver all the time, but we’re going to, we’re going to Denver. Colorado Springs. We are looking at Indy. I think we talked to someone.

Brad Crowell 5:31
We’re potentially gonna be in Cincinnati. We’re looking at that.

Lesley Logan 5:34
Yeah. So at any rate, lots of places. I think there’s like 12 cities over the two weeks.

Brad Crowell 5:40
We’re gonna kick it off in Vegas. So we just added a 13th.

Lesley Logan 5:42
Oh, hello, Vegas. Hi, for the love, thanks for being our kickoff location and sending us off on the way. So anyways, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Our headlining sponsor is Balanced Body, that means goodies, and you know, you’re gonna get certificate towards buying that piece of equipment you’ve always wanted. And if you use my link, you get the discount. So boom, extra credit. Okay, then another thing that’s happening as we speak now, but in June, hopefully open up the doors to eLevate for 2025. And I know that sounds a little early, but the reality is, is that the mentorship is a nine-month program. There’s five weekends, I like to give people plenty of time to get their schedule ready, get ready for it, plan for it, and also be able to pay for it. So it is an investment and I don’t take that lightly. So if you are wanting to learn more about eLevate if you want to, if you already know you want to do it, we only take 12 people in a round, you want to go to And by the way, my name is spelled L-E-S-L-E-Y L-O-G-A-N ( That means eLevate waitlist.

Brad Crowell 6:45
If you missed all that and we still have spots left, just reach out to us. If you want to join us.

Lesley Logan 6:51
We don’t know if we have spots left because we’re recording in the

Brad Crowell 6:51
We’re recording ahead of time.

Lesley Logan 6:55
Ahead of time.

Brad Crowell 6:57
But yes, let’s shift over to the audience question. So this is from schonliving on Instagram, I’m building my hours towards my Pilates mat certification and I find teaching group classes is much harder than one-on-one. Any tips to overcoming the fear, insecurity, anxiety and the form of impostor syndrome that I’m experiencing from being in front of a group class?

Lesley Logan 7:24
Yeah, so schonliving, let me, okay, I love this question. First of all, a lot of people even say that they prefer a class to a private and that’s because in the class they like it’s kind of chaotic, and they, they don’t have, there’s a lot going on. So no one will notice that they might be nervous and on a one-on-one people can sense it. So I love that you are so confident on your one-on-ones it’s actually quite hard to do. So I would say you’re winning. The second thing I would just say is if you find you have imposter syndrome and you’re new at anything, so this is for anyone, if you’re new at something, you should feel like an imposter. You are new at it. If you didn’t feel nervous. You are an egomaniac, narcissistic person who should probably go get like, like checked out. So anyway, here’s what I will say is if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode goes into my my answer on cueing, you are new, you are not going to have it all figured out. You are going to have been a little nervous. What I would say first of all, the thing that I always do when I step into something that makes me nervous, I could just go, it’s showtime and I be it till I see it. How would you act if you already were feeling confident teaching group classes? How would you act? How would you hold yourself? Like how would you welcome people into your class? How would you? How would you greet the class? How would you start the class? What is your speech for the class? How would you end the class, right? Don’t worry about

Brad Crowell 7:24
Yeah, you just be it till you see it.

Lesley Logan 8:43
Yeah, don’t worry about what you’re gonna say in the middle of class. What are the in cast that you can control that you want to say to invite people into a space that you’re in control of? Okay, so that’s first and foremost. Second, my teacher Jay Grimes would say bad Pilates, get used to it. Dangerous Pilates, never. I always translate that to ugly Pilates, get used to it. Dangerous Pilates, never. When you’re teaching a bunch of people who have different learning styles and different abilities of paying attention, it’s gonna be a hot mess. So you need to look at a class and like be able to spot danger and correct that. Anything in between danger and perfect, just let it be. Okay? It will, they need to come back and they will get better. So that’d be my other thing. And the next thing is, is that people become teachers and in weekends now, like literally in a weekend or months, maybe showing that you, you’ve been doing this for a year, I don’t know. But something tells me probably not. My teacher would say you’re not really a teacher till I’ve been teaching for five years. And so just teach as many people as you can.

Brad Crowell 9:54
Not in a judgment way. But the reality is there’s so much to process and dots to connect and you know, just understanding plus you have to, you should be feeling it in your own body, too. You know, so it just takes time, y’all. It takes time.

Lesley Logan 10:09
A lot of questions and worries and concerns you have they kind of answer themselves, the more you teach. So what I would say is get some friends together that love you. And to say I need to practice teaching a class and just teach them and they in return should give you testimonials. That’s what they should do. That is, but that’s going to help you but your goal, of course you’re gonna feel nervous. You obviously care about doing well. So that says to me, nervous energy, and impostor syndrome just shows that you care and that you’re brand new at something. You would never let a client go, oh, I can’t do the 100 on day one. Because (inaudible).

Brad Crowell 10:14
You would laugh at them and say, of course you can’t.

Lesley Logan 10:49
You’re new.

Brad Crowell 10:50
You just started.

Lesley Logan 10:51
So my dear, of course you are nervous. You’re new. And so for anyone who does teach Pilates, all this stuff applies to everything you want. You got to be it till you see it. How would you act if you already knew how to do the thing? And second of all, if you’re beginner, kindness and graciousness and patience with yourself.

Brad Crowell 11:09
Yeah, to yourself with yourself. Exactly. Yeah, great question. Okay. Now let’s talk about Nick Hutchison. Nick Hutchison is the founder of BookThinkers, a company dedicated to helping authors promote and market their books. Initially indifferent to reading, Nick’s outlook transformed in his early 20s after discovering the transformative power of personal development books. Today, as he’s a lifelong learner, he has penned Rise of the Reader and podcast host of BookThinkers, Life Changing Books, his work across various platforms provides valuable strategies for implementing the lessons learned from books into everyday life.

Lesley Logan 11:51
Yeah, he’s cool. I really, I really enjoy him. I was on his podcast, BookThinkers, by the way.

Brad Crowell 11:59
He’s the nicest dude.

Lesley Logan 11:59
Just really nice, very thoughtful. He’s very perceptive. He listens. And he integrates it, he analyzes it, and he puts it out. It’s just really wonderful. Get his book, you guys, if you are reading books, so that we’re talking about on the podcast, and like, I’m not retaining enough, get his book. It’s so, so, so good. It’s been so helpful. Based off of his book, he taught a little mini version of it to us at the BBG event we went to, and I found that I took less tasks home, because I was like, the only thing I have to do is this thing, I’m only here for this thing, this is my intention for the next few days. And I really listened to a lot of things I was like, That’s a great idea, not mine, that’s a great idea, not mine, I left going, I just have these three things I’m going to do when I leave, and it’s only been three, it’s like two. And I’m really, really happy about it, because it’s just great. So go get his book.

Brad Crowell 12:47
Love that.

Lesley Logan 12:48
One of the things I love he said that don’t assume what your audience wants. And we mentioned the four agreements.And so the four Agreements, in case you’ve not read the book is don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions. The other two are be honorable with your word. If you say you’re gonna do it, do it. And then there’s a fourth one, always do your best. He said, don’t assume what they want, ask them what they want. And then they should be brought along with you. Too often, a lot of people who are in this, maybe you’re not wanting to write a book, but maybe you want to create a product or on-demand course or have an event. Most people protect it, hold it preciously to themselves. And then they’re like, I get it. Here it is, here’s the thing I made for you. But you didn’t get any feedback along the way. So they weren’t part of building it with you, which means they’re not invested in the thing that you’re excited about. And you didn’t get the feedback along the way to know that they would want blue over green.

Brad Crowell 13:35
Well, you guys both used personal experiences to relay, relay this obviously, the the first launch of Agency. You know, there was a lot of emotions tied up in that flop and also a shit ton of hours to spending time to like make this thing actually come together. And then Nick laughed and said, oh, I did that. He built an entire app. And he spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to build this app and nobody used it. And that’s because we were making assumptions prior to rolling the thing out and then what you talked about with the flashcards was when you were rolling out the second reformer deck, you share the process along the way. And it got people that much more excited that much more excited. And it was it was considerably more of a powerful experience and launch for people than the first deck.

Lesley Logan 14:31
Well, we were just at Pilates on tour in Phoenix. And this one girl is like, oh, I’m on the waitlist for the barrels and I’m like, oh, thank you so much. And I went to update her she’s like, oh, I got the email. You’re in the editing process right now. And she was so excited. So like take them on the journey because they actually get excited with you. They want to know what’s going on. Like it was really cool and we hopefully by the time this comes out, it’s on presale, because were obviously recording earlier, but it is part of it. And I can’t recall if we’ve ever talked about this on here, but I’m just gonna bring it up in case you missed the episode. You know, we were at the Soho House couple days where we saw Nick in person last month. And this guy was just like how do you get people to wait for things. And it’s really not about waiting for things. It’s also about buying things. He was bringing up waiting, but to me how I think about how purchasing power you all listening have the purchasing power, every single one of you. You determine if something is successful or not. So you need to know that in everything that you buy, you actually give feedback based on your dollars. Okay, you’ve voting dollars, like you have a lot of different things you can think about with your money. And I, I shared that I bring people on the journey, I get them excited, I tell them the process behind the thing. And eight years ago, I might not have done that because I might have been like oh my God they’re going to take my idea. They’re going to be able to do it. Now they know how to do it. Here’s the thing. And Nick and I talked about this. James Altucher says that less than 2% of people, yeah, less than 2% of people actually take action on any idea, let alone yours. And being part of the process makes them want to do it. So at any rate, I really love that he brought that up. I think it’s useful not just for authors, but for anyone creating anything anywhere. What did you love that he said?

Brad Crowell 16:14
I really loved when he was talking about the different reasons that people use excuses, justifications that people use why they don’t read. He was talking about, I’m so busy or in a company, I’ve got a family, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he he always asks him, if I paid you $10,000 if you read this book in the next month would you do it? And of course, they would say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I would totally do it. And he said, great, I’ve caught you in my trap. And the trap is, is obviously prioritization. We don’t prioritize reading so we don’t read, right? And his book is pretty cool in that it gives some practical advice on how to read 20 books a year by doing 15 minutes a day, which is 1% of your day. If you, if you do that, you’re going to put yourself on track to read those 20 books a year. And he basically said, listen, it’s not a question of whether or not we can read the books. It’s a question of whether or not we value it enough. Right? It’s about picking books that solve problems and build skill sets. And so you know, you know, whether you read as an escape, like, you know, to like to step away from the crazy hectic that you have, or you read to learn. When you’re picking up a book for, especially for the learning, the rest of his book helps you actually apply and retain and apply the information that you’re learning from that book.

Lesley Logan 17:55
Yeah, I mean, I actually do like that you said that. We had another guy who said like, what if I told you if I pay you a million dollars to lose 50 pounds overnight could you do it? And he went like 50 pounds overnight? And he said, sure you could. You could have a leg off. Right? He’s like, not ideal, but you could, right? And I

Brad Crowell 18:12
He did say that and I was like I heard, he did say that. That’s true.

Lesley Logan 18:17
There’s always a way. And I think it is, you know, like really asking yourself what you’re prioritizing. And I think we talked about this in the episode which is like, you know, your entertainment time? Like, how much of it are you watching? Like Netflix? What if you just took a little bit of it, like a little portion of your entertainment time and read a book? That could solve the problem.

Brad Crowell 18:35
Well, I laughed when he said, Yeah, it was working for this guy who suggested that I take my drive time, my 10 hours of drive time and start listening to podcasts. And I started taking notes on the pods, then decided to implement some of the strategies on the pods. And later, that same boss was like, wait, hold on. So now you’re reading books, you’re taking notes on the books, and then you’re actually taking that advice and implementing it into your life. And he said, Nick, that’s weird. He said nobody does that. That’s amazing.

Lesley Logan 18:37
He was using it in his job and it was making him way better at his job. And his own boss was like, what? How do you know this? How do you do this? So like it can, if you want to differentiate yourself, like it’s not about being like 10 years ahead of some people sometimes just being a little bit ahead and that knowledge is that kind of power. So yeah.

Brad Crowell 19:26
It’s true.

Brad Crowell 19:27
All right, welcome back. So finally, let’s talk about those Be It Action Items. What bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted action items can we take away from your convo with Nick Hutchison? He said, set a SMART goal for each of the books that you read. We’ve talked about SMART goals before. SMART stands, it’s an acronym, stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. Right? So specific, measurable, measurable meaning what’s not measured can’t really be managed. So set goals that are measurable, attainable. Set a realistic goal, trying to consume too much of an unrealistic goal makes you, it allows procrastination to creep in because it doesn’t seem attainable. Then, relevant. You emotionally connect to the information. What does this book going to do for you? Ask yourself why am I actually reading this book and then time-bound. Give yourself an actual deadline to take actions on what you’re learning in that book. Or for some of us, it might just be a timeout action to read the damn thing in the first place. Right? So he also includes writing down intentions on the inside cover of the book that you own and then reviewing it every time you read another chapter. So what are your intentions for this book, finished chapter two, go back and read your intentions. finished chapter three, read your intentions, finished chapter four. I think it’s a really interesting way to stay focused on what you’re trying to get out of the book. And you know, instead of just being like, I’m reading the book, I got through the book. Okay, next. I got through that book, too. I got through this book, too. No, you’re actually anchoring, what you’re learning against what your intentions for that book were. Pretty cool.

Lesley Logan 21:08
Or I think, also, if you, like some books might have several things you can learn from them. But if you stick with one intention, you can always go back through. And like read it with a different intention. Yeah, yeah. But this way, you can actually not just take in information, you can integrate what you’re learning, because you’re not taking on too much information at one time.

Brad Crowell 21:24
I love it. What about you?

Lesley Logan 21:25
Okay, he said do a little personal edit, find a problem that you’re dealing with and identify the problem and then go there and find a book that can help you solve it correctly. So he said, a lot of us won’t do this. He’s a warrant. If you don’t fix it over the next 30 years, you’ll experience that problem almost 11,000 more times. So.

Brad Crowell 21:42
It’s pretty insane.

Lesley Logan 21:43
It’s insane. But it’s true. Because if you think of like, we have like 60,000, or whatever the amount of thoughts per day, and like 80% of them are like the same thought, because you haven’t solved the problem. And you’re just like rerunning that in your head. So I would just say, a lot of times people ask for advice on like, what books should I be reading? But yes, you could ask others for that. That could be very helpful. But if you first identify the problem, you might like the book that you pick up first better because it’s about you. And we only care about solving our own problems. So there it is.

Brad Crowell 22:15
Yeah, yeah.

Lesley Logan 22:16
Anyways, Nick is awesome. Just you can actually follow him on Instagram and get really great book advice. You could you can also listen to his podcast BookThinkers to get really great ideas on like, what’s a book that can solve a problem that you want to solve? So check him out and let us know what your favorite parts were. Share this with a friend if you’ve got a friend who’s like saying they want to read more. That’s a really good episode. Help them understand how they can do that and prioritize that reading goal. And until next time, you guys, I’m Lesley Logan.

Brad Crowell 22:41
And I’m Brad Crowell.

Lesley Logan 22:42
Thank you so much for listening. How are you going to use these tips in your life, share with us, share with a friend and until next time, Be It Till You See It.

Brad Crowell 22:48
Bye for now.

Lesley Logan
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us and others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!

Lesley Logan
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of The Bloom Podcast Network. If you want to leave us a message or a question that we might read on another episode, you can text us at +1-310-905-5534 or send a DM on Instagram @be_it_pod.

Brad Crowell
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.

Lesley Logan
It is transcribed, produced and edited by the epic team at

Brad Crowell
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music and our branding by designer and artist Gianfranco Cioffi.

Lesley Logan
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals.

Brad Crowell
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all of our content to our website. And finally to Meridith Root for keeping us all on point and on time.

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