I recently started writing every day.
Since doing so, my life as a startup founder has become significantly easier. I’ve become increasingly happier, level-headed and a lot of good things have come our way as a result of writing (including revenue).
Now I should caveat this blanket statement I just threw out with a few things about my situation:
1. I’ve been writing for my entire life (usually not every day)
2. I really enjoy writing and I’m told I’m at least decent at it
3. I run a small startup with my cofounder
4. I publish most of what I write
So the extent to which this post rings true for you may depend on those factors.
The good news is both 1 and 2 don’t really matter since you’ll get better really quickly. Point 3 is just to state that we’re still early and small, so if you’re running a 50 person startup you may not see the same level of results. Point 4 might affect you if you only write for yourself, which is still amazing and you’ll get a lot out of it, but maybe not everything I talk about here.
If you CAN relate to me, then you should build a habit of writing every day. Here’s how it’s helped me in building a startup:
As a founder it’s very likely that you have a lot going on in your head and in your business at any given time.
You’re juggling the challenges in front of you, the lessons behind you, the bigger vision and everything in between all up in your brain.
Add to the mix that you’re probably working a lot of hours and you start to see how your brain is working on overdrive at all times.
There are two ways to get ideas out of your head and clear your mind: meditation and writing.
Meditation is a temporary (but amazing) fix. Writing things out is more permanent. You are putting the thought down on paper and making it tangible.
After writing out your thoughts, they’ll be defines and clear, meaning your brain doesn’t have to figure it out anymore.
Key benefit for founders: you become less stressed by all the things going on.
In addition to getting the idea out of your head you’ll also gain a better understanding of that idea.
You’ll be surprised by how much you already know.
The problem is our thoughts are irrational and inaccurate. Our words are specific. Writing forces you to think through a vague idea.
You’ll learn what you really believe. You’ll learn what you love and hate about an idea. You’ll start to see different angles and perspectives.
Key benefit for founders: Get smarter about the challenges you’re facing and the ideas you have.
If you have a business that needs to reach people on the internet and you’re not thinking about content, you’re doing it wrong.
Content is everywhere. It’s your website, your blog, how you speak to people about your company, the story you tell and every word that you or your company put out into the public.
Writing every day means you become a content machine. You can churn out posts for your blog, articles for other publications and copy for website.
When you can create content regularly, you can create surround sound (a phrase my friends Rob and Emily taught me) where people start to see your brand everywhere. You improve your brands credibility when people see it over and over again.
You can also define your brand through the content you create. Who you are is created by what you say and do.
Key benefit for founders: You have a never ending pool of content to pull from whenever you need it to spread awareness.
By publishing your content and putting your ideas out there, people start to gravitate toward you.
I can see the tangible results of my writing by simply looking at who I’ve gotten to know through my writing.
Not only have they gone on to help share my content and reach even more people, but they’re all people I learn from every day and I hope to stay close with for years to come.
The people you meet through the content you (and they) create are authentic. You’re connecting with each other based on a true mutual respect rather than one person needing something from the other.
These relationships lead to partnerships and friendships.
It’s how networking should be done.
Key benefit for founders: It’s all about who you know, and writing will increase the odds that good people will get to know you.
To be honest, I haven’t gotten a great deal of press out of my content yet, but I’ve seen many other people do it successfully.
By creating amazing, unique content or providing valuable data around a certain subject, press might share your content in their articles as references.
SeatGeek, a company I used to work with, has always been really amazing at this as they publish their data about sports and concert tickets which a lot of the sport publications would then use in their articles.
Writing constantly also improves your ability to relate to the journalists you’re pitching. You start to understand what makes a good story and what sounds like marketing BS. You become much better at crafting a pitch so that it’s helpful for the journalist instead of just another pitch.
Key benefit for founders: Get more traffic through press mentions and get better at pitching media.
My recent writing binge is now the second time that I’ve built my reputation entirely through my writing.
The first time was when I first started my career. I blogged about social media and I was one of the first young professionals to do that. My blog quickly grew and while it never made it do “internet celebrity” status, it created a great deal of credibility for me.
The funny thing is I was just a kid who had no clue wtf I was talking about. But I would be honest and open. I’d share my opinions, which were often counter to what everyone else was saying, and people respected that.
The times when my career has thrives correlates directly with the times that I’m blogging consistently.
For whatever reason, people respect those who write and share their ideas. True, it doesn’t always add up to actual value, but that’s up to you. If you want to be someone who just writes but doesn’t actually DO anything of value, we won’t stop you.
The simple lesson, write and people will follow (eventually).
Key benefit for founders: Your reputation is everything. It will determine who you get to meet, how much you can raise, who will work with you
and for you and anything else where people might make a decision based on your character.
This post originally appeared on WhatSpinksThinks.
Be sure to check out David’s other posts here.