Petro Law Firm April 2019

April 2019

(205) 327-8311

‘Become an Avid Reader’ How Reading Has Helped Me Grow

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day, and it reminds me how important reading can be. As a kid, I read very little for leisure. The only times you could catch me reading was when I was forced by a teacher or because one of my classes required me to. As I got older, I didn’t mind reading as much, but I never went out of my way to read for fun. However, when I was right out of law school and at the first firm I would ever work for, my boss at the time, Gusty Yearout, gave me one of the best pieces of advice I ever received. He told me, “Become an avid reader of good books.” And from that day forward, I’ve become a passionate reader. I’ve read a lot of different genres over the years. I enjoy fiction as a form of entertainment, but some topics I really enjoy diving into are personal development, success, faith, and marketing. A few of my favorite authors are John Grisham, Rick Bragg, Pat Conroy, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Bishop Robert Barron, and Zig Zigler. I’ve read nearly all of their works and enjoyed each of them immensely. Sheen and Barron write on the Catholic faith, and reading their books and writings have helped me become more educated and knowledgeable about my Catholic faith as a whole and helped me grow in my faith too. Learning more about marketing is also a passion of mine because it’s really important when running any kind of business. No matter our vocation in life, we are all in marketing and sales. Lots of people think of legal marketing as

“... my boss at the time, Gusty Yearout, gave me the best piece of advice I have ever received. He told me, ‘Become an avid reader.’ And from that day forward, I’ve done exactly that.”

being on television or billboards, but that’s not the only option available to us. We can reach people through social media, Google, and even newsletters like this. I enjoy learning about these other methods, keeping up with popular marketing trends, and other unique ways to market without having to worry about getting my mug on TV and billboards. Personally, I’ve never liked that business model. As I love to read, I’ve tried to instill that same feeling to my kids. When they were younger, we would sit down and I’d read “Madeline,”Dr.

Seuss, and all the books that a parent would typically read to their children. Now that they are older I’m constantly trying to encourage them to become readers, but they don’t have that hook. Honestly, they remind me a little of my younger self. Maybe they’ll start to pick it up as they continue to grow as individuals and find a genre they really enjoy. It was that first nudge from Gusty to start getting serious about my reading that has helped me become who I am today. I believe that reading all those books has helped broaden my mind. I’ve learned a lot by becoming an avid reader, and I use that knowledge every day, both in my law practice and in life.

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-Mark Petro | 1

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