Recently I read Jason Cohen's post about the challenges of writing and being a CEO and Ryan Hoover's reflections on the time that writing takes away from building.
Being in an industry as fast-paced as the startup world, time is our most precious commodity. Where you focus and where you spend this limited resource is critical.
It took me more than five years of being in this industry before starting to write.
For me, like any entrepreneur, I was always pulled in too many directions and those competing priorities always took precedent. I also struggled to believe I had much insight to offer, being surrounded with such experienced people everyday at Springboard.
But even after just a month of writing, I have a different perspective. I think more entrepreneurs should make the commitment to writing for one simple reason, especially first-time entrepreneurs.
Writing helps you become a better leader.
You start looking for lessons and learnings in your interactions.
You think more independently and creatively.
You explore new industries which brings diversity of thought.
No, these influences won't likely result in immediate, tangible results on the bottom-line. You have to be in it for a long-term investment. But I already feel myself growing in new ways, and reaping benefits far earlier than I'd anticipated.
One positive side effect is that you meet interesting people you might not have otherwise. I recently connected with Turkish VC Dilek Dayinlarli and Seedchange founder Kevin Smith who would not have known about me or Springboard if I hadn't started writing.
Hopefully you will also become more approachable through your writing. People want to do business with people that are approachable.
Hopefully, too, you can demonstrate unique insights on your industry that will elevate your credibility and leadership with a potential investor (thought leadership will help you not just with your current company but also your next).
But that's a lot of hope. And you're probably just thinking the same question I always did.
"How can I focus on writing a blog when I don't have the time?"
And the simple answer is: As an entrepreneur you're already used to making the impossible possible. Like anything you want to do, you just have to make the time.
Here are a few tips to get you started: Make a public commitment and start with small steps. Schedule writing time on your calendar like any meeting. Brainstorm a few post ideas and draft the headlines. Find inspiration on Medium and Svbtle. Write without editing. Then edit in a separate sitting. Don't worry about setting up your own blog at first. Post on Medium, Quora, or LinkedIn where there is already a built-in audience.
Writing is an investment. You'll reap many long term benefits but it also pays dividends. I hope it is as rewarding for you as it has been for me.