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To Be Successful In Business – Write. . .Early And Often

September 30, 2019

Publish or perish

It’s a phrase that comes to us from acadamia. I have friends who are college professors. Some of them wrote books. All of them wrote papers.

At one point I considered becoming a professor. Not just a teacher, but a full on professor. I love teaching. And the writing obviously was not something that worried me. I didn’t end up becoming a professor. But, I did end up becoming a writer.

But, it wasn’t until recently that I started calling myself a writer. And yet, I’ve always written. To be successful, even in IT, it helps.

Mark worked for me at a large non-profit in Utah. He was a brilliant engineer, if somewhat green. Working at the non-profit I think might have been Mark’s first full time job. And he was good at his job. Like anyone who’s good at their job, Mark wanted to move up. He wanted to be promoted.

It wasn’t working out. Prior to me becoming his manager he’d been working at it for a couple years. It was one of the first things we discussed when I became his manager.

Mark was certainly skilled enough to be a senior engineer. He had tenure. But, he couldn’t write. Oh, he knew English. He could write a tech document well enough. But, he wasn’t a careful writer. Grammer mistakes and errors speling.

It was something we focused on. And it’s not like I did very much. I didn’t teach Mark to write better. I didn’t really do much of anything. All I did was explain the importance of his writing. He turned on spellcheck to make sure he didn’t make simple spelling mistakes. He asked me to look over some of his project writeups. But, the key for him was understanding that it was a priority.

At the next review period, Mark got his promotion. He’d earned it. He wrote his way to it.

The victors write the history

History isn’t like science. A physcist can tell you what will happens if you apply a specific force on a specific object for a specific time. In fact, given the same set of variables, every physicist will give you the exact same answer.

History isn’t like that. Even a simple event can have multiple perspectives. Ask two different people to describe the same event and you will get two different events. Which one is the “true” retelling of the event?

The one that gets written down.

Many people believe that during WWII Polish troops attacked German tanks with horse mounted cavalry. It didn’t happen. But, the Germans wrote about it. They turned it into a propaganda story. And now, 80 years later, the truth is less well known than the the story.

I write these scribblings here, of course. I also actively write from my local smalltown newspaper, the Timpanogos Times. (Sorry, there’s no online version.) And I’ve written a couple of books. They were technical books, written about software that has long since become obsolete.

And yet, of all my writing, the books still get traction.

I shall forever have respect for anyone who has written a book. For, until I undertook the effort, I had no idea how challenging it was.
– Charles Darwin

Just having completed the task, means that for better or worse, I’m known as an author.

Some people like to write. Some like to have written.
– Science Fiction writer, Ben Bova

If you want to be successful, if you want to be viewed as an authority, if you want to shape history: write.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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