What’s an entrepreneur? Let’s ask Google, shall we?
Here’s the definition the search engine leads to:
A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
Is this a complete definition? Absolutely not. An entrepreneur is much more than a person who starts a business, takes risks and “hopes” for profit.
This is an exceptional person, who is both the leader and the manager of a company. It’s someone with a creative approach towards running a business. The employees won’t see him as a distant boss, who’s rarely in the office. The entrepreneur will maintain frequent communication with all levels of employees, be it through meetings, emails, presentations, or reports.
This person is also very successful at promoting their business through their personal brand. Just think of Richard Branson. He is active on social media. He’s published several books. Likewise, he is also active on his personal blog.
Through these activities, he successfully promotes his businesses, but he’s also developed his immense authority as a modern leader.
This brings me to today’s point: the importance of writing skills for everyone who wants to become a great entrepreneur.
How is writing important for entrepreneurs?
You might be wondering: what does entrepreneurship have to do with writing? Can’t you build authority without such a skill? Of course, you can. You can be a successful entrepreneur if you don’t know how to write a single sentence. But you know what? You’ll be a much better one if you improve your writing skills. It’s something that expands your capacity and appeal as a business person.
There are several reasons why we should all start working on better writing skills:
1. You’ll get to promote your business and yourself in a much better way.
Would Richard Branson be the same person without all those books, talks, and blog posts behind him? The ability to communicate a message in written turned this leader into who he is today. Sharing your knowledge, wisdom, tips, and humor through blogging will make you a recognizable influencer in your niche.
2. Writing is part of your communication skills.
How do you intend to communicate with your business partners? Can you always arrange meetings and make phone calls? No. You’ll have to write emails, and that’s where your writing skills will make you shine.
3. Writing helps you fight stress.
Freewriting is like a meditation. It helps you clear out the mess inside your mind and create some order in your thoughts. It lets you keep in touch with the deepest thoughts and emotions. You’ll identify the stress triggers if you just let yourself go and write whatever you’re inspired to write today.
4. You simply need to write in different situations.
If you want to write an email, blog post, or social media update, you might as well hire professional writers to do that for you.
You may also get someone from your team to do that for you.
But let’s get honest: will you pay someone to write each tweet you want to share? Will you ask people to write every single email message for you?
Sometimes you have to write urgent messages. Let’s say a potential business partner texts you and you have to send an immediate response. If you can’t clearly express your point in writing, you’ll lose your authority as an entrepreneur.
A single misspelling or senseless sentence can cost you your reputation.
5. You can publish a book; if you know how to write.
Elon Musk wrote a book. Bill Gates and Richard Branson wrote several of them. Warren Buffet published collections of essays.
All great entrepreneurs have the potential to share their legacy with future generations. They only need some time and great writing skills.
How future and current entrepreneurs can improve their writing skills.
Those points were convincing enough, were they?
Our college professors were always reminding us how important writing was, but we never took their warnings seriously. Now that we face the actual need to write, we’re not as negligent as we were with essays, are we?
The good news is that everyone can learn how to write. Maybe you won’t become a masterful writer, but hey; you’ll at least get better than you are at this point. That’s a big advantage your future self will have over your current self.
So how do you do it? How do you build those much-needed writing skills?
1. Identify the main point.
What’s the message that you want to send?
That’s the first thing you need to identify.
Without a clear goal, your message will become a pure mess.
It’s surprising to see how many people mistake good writing for overly-intellectual style. When they see endless sentences and big words, they think the content is good. It’s not. A great piece of content is clear and readable. It’s free of any unnecessary digressions. It identifies a clear thesis statement right at the start and explains it in detail without creating a clutter.
So think of your main point before writing whatever you want to write. Go even further: create an outline that will keep you on topic.
2. Adjust your voice to the reader’s needs.
Before you start writing something, think: who will read it?
Are you writing an email message for a potential business partner? If this is a person from your industry, you may allow yourself to infuse some business slang in the message. They will understand. Talk to this person as you’d talk to them during a meeting. Be polite and respectful.
Are you writing a blog post for a broad audience? Then you might want to cut the slang. Casual readers don’t understand it, and they won’t like asking Google what a particular term or abbreviation means in the middle of the reading process. In this case, you may infuse light humor and a lot of personalities. The audience wants to get to know the real you.
Are you writing email messages for your employees? Adjust your style again. This time, you need to be authoritative, but not authoritarian. There’s a big difference. Provide clear directions. Keep the sentences brief, and the message free of clutter. You don’t want to make it too long. You don’t want to leave space for any miscommunications to occur.
3. Write every day.
You can’t expect your writing skills to fall out of the sky. You won’t acquire them by chance. You have to work for them and that’s a fact.
The best way to refine your writing potential is to practice. Every day!
You may try journaling. It’s a great exercise that not only improves the way you write but also helps you get your thoughts and emotions in order. It’s a technique that builds your immunity against stress. As an entrepreneur, you could surely use such an immunity boost.
How can you make writing part of your daily life? Turn it into a hobby! You don’t need more than ten or twenty minutes to devote to it. You may do it during a break at the office, or before you go to bed. Just write about your day.
If you want to focus on something other than your personal life, you may write on abstract or realistic topics. You’ll find great creative writing prompts that will trigger the daily routine. Or you may write about your impressions after watching the news.
4. Take an online course.
What’s the first thing you do when you want some of your employees to gain a new skill or take their current skills to the next levels? You educate them. Well, that’s exactly what you should do when you want to improve your writing skills: educate yourself. Sign up for an online writing course. Coursera has great ones in its offer.
How do you improve any type of content?
Simple: You edit it.
You take away the unnecessary things and add new elements to clarify the main point. You clean up the grammar and spelling mess. Not only that, but you improve the formatting, and you provide proper references. That’s what the editing process is all about: improving the quality of content. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written an email message, blog post, social media update, or an entire book. It must never reach the reader before you make sure it’s ready.
There’s no compromise: Writing is a skill you must work on.
Hey; no one is asking you to become the next Hemingway. I’m simply saying that you should improve yourself to a decent level. When you’re able to write what you need to write and people understand what you’re saying, you’ll be good enough.
Every entrepreneur should at least be good enough in that aspect.