In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that
have shaped their business philosophy.

Vice president of customer success, Sigstr


The email signature services and templates from Indianapolis-based Sigstr are tools for marketing and employee engagement.

The Mistake:

As I look back it wasn’t necessarily one event, but as I have gotten older I have started to really appreciate the value of reading. I did not read as much as I should have in my mid-20s.

I didn’t invest the time and I didn’t like the idea of reading.

You have a little bit of a head start the more you read.

The Lesson:

In my early 30s, I started to find business books more interesting and I started to appreciate the nuggets of applicable knowledge that I could extract from the titles. More specifically, the topics that are related to my career path and the type of work I am doing in customer success started to become more interesting.

If I had to do it over again I would have taken reading more seriously after college and in my mid-20s. It’s a little dramatic to call it an MBA, but by reading more I have up-leveled my knowledge relative to the work I am doing day in and day out.

I lean toward leadership books or subject-matter books related to my career in customer success. There are a lot of buzzwords out there, but to really understand the concepts and the strategies, you have to study them. Through reading a handful of books, I felt like I was really able to turn a corner and get my arms around some of those strategies and concepts.

The trick is the execution, the exercise of taking it from a page and applying it to everyday life. For me, anyway, it feels like you have a little bit of a head start the more you read.

Dave Duke is on Twitter at @djdukeiu and Sigstr is at @SigstrApp.

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