It’s Back-to-School and we’re doing a ten-part series on lifelong learning. This week the focus is on the importance of writing. The summary is below.
We’ve kicked off our series with 3 R’s we learned in school – Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. Last time we talked about how to get more out of Reading. That brings us to wRiting.
Let’s go to the Professor’s Whiteboard for 4 ways writing helps you succeed…
1) Take Note: You’ve gotta take notes!
[George] One thought I had, as we were preparing for this show, is how many people don’t write. Here’s what I mean by that: it always amazes me how few people take notes at training sessions, meetings and conferences. I don’t have empirical evidence for this, but I will tell you that my best employees always took notes. My best students are prodigious note-takers.
[Mary-Lynn] George, do you think they succeed because they take notes or do they have other characteristics, which may lead to a propensity for taking notes, which propel them to success?
[George] Good question, Mary-Lynn. I don’t really know the answer to that, but I would guess the latter of the two. It reminds me of something my Dad used to say,
“A short pencil is better than a long memory!”
[Mary-Lynn] The act of taking notes helps you recall it later with less effort. It helps you digest the material more fully. You learn faster which means you reach BIGG success faster.
2) Write with purpose, on purpose
Whereas reading involves comprehending a message, writing is about crafting a message. They’re both communication, an absolutely vital skill today.
One of the chief skills is learning how to word your message so your reader not only understands it, but it moves things forward.
[Mary-Lynn] Here’s a great example regarding email that The Professor taught me. This week I emailed a client, and while there are two questions I need to ask, I only asked one. People are very busy so keep it simple, get the answer to one question (which moves things forward), then follow up with the second question.
[George] The first time that anybody ever mentioned that to me was during a conversation with the CEO of a company that one of our vendors. What I found was with this person, and with top level executives, the best thing to do is deal with one thing at a time, get one done, check it off, get the next one done. Why is that? Because people are busy and trying to get through tasks quickly, which means your going to get the answer back to just one question anyway, whether you like it or not!
Writing is a process with a purpose. Keep your purpose in mind throughout the process.
3) Start with a blank sheet
When we talk about writing these days, we usually think of sitting in front of our computer screen typing. There may be value in taking a trip back in time and doing it the old fashioned way.
[George] I often find that, when I’m planning the BIGG picture and trying to set direction, it’s helpful to sit down with just a blank sheet of paper and a pen.
[Mary-Lynn] You may work better with a tablet or laptop. Do whatever works for you. But there is something magical about physical paper and pen that can’t be fully replicated on a screen.
[George] When I’m brainstorming, I think one of the benefits to pen and paper is to have all the ideas right there in front of me. When I’m using a word processor, I tend to edit a lot. When I write it down on paper, I may cross it out but it’s still there. Sometimes that helps me find a path I may not have found otherwise.
[Mary-Lynn] Then he usually ends up transferring those ideas into a document on his laptop. Which is why we’ve switched to using Rocketbook notebooks. You write as usual, but their special paper lets you upload that document, digitally, instantly! Then you just wipe away those notes and start over. It helps us save time and paper. Learn more at BIGGsuccess.com/Rocketbook.
4)Write for your most important audience – YOU!
Our point is that sometimes the most important audience for your writing is yourself. When you transfer your thoughts onto paper, magic happens.
You may find your ideas aren’t as fully developed as you thought. At least we often do.
[Mary-Lynn] It’s amazing how getting your your thoughts out of your head onto paper, helps you build confidence and and fill the gaps. Because when it’s floating around in your head, sometimes you don’t see the full picture.
[George] Many times when I need to write something, the very first thing I do is start walking around. Thinking about it helps me get a little bit of the formality of the structure in mind and then I can immediately start writing down an outline.
This works for business ideas, a report, a complex email you or some kind of a letter that you’re needing to put out to staff or to your boss.
Mary-Lynn shares why she wrote a letter to herself, and how it’s helped on her entrepreneur journey. Hear the story in the podcast starting at 13:25.
Getting your thoughts in writing makes the intangible, tangible. You can physically see it instead of just seeing it in your mind. When you can see it, you can be it! You can be a BIGG success!
Please join us next time as we look at the third R: aRithmatic, and the 2 things you need to understand about money.
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
Direct link to The BIGG Success Show audio file | podcast:
Get our free eBook, Back to School for Adults: How to Profit from Lifelong Learning.
Each chapter has action items so you can implement what you learn right away! Get your copy.