Category: Books & Writing
As I was writing Heptagram, I realized that all these steps could be combined into one business design system, a system that I wanted to be able to share with all of you. I hope that Heptagram will be as helpful to other entrepreneurs and business leaders as it was for me.
I just finished editing the bulk of my book, and what is left now are only a few final edits and formatting work. I don’t know how I am going to publish it yet (if anybody has any tips, I will be glad to hear them!), but for now, I feel liberated. Writing that book took everything I had.
I always wanted to write a book and I finally decided to write one in 2019. Initially, when I started in January of that year, I set out to write 60,000 words. I borrowed some material from my blog because I have developed many of my ideas there. I also wanted to find academic papers and books to support the views I had and to add many other new ideas.
The novel coronavirus pandemic must be one of the strangest and most challenging experiences any of us have had. We have all had to adapt in the best way possible. I am writing this in September, half a year after the pandemic started for me, and it seems like a good time to evaluate my approach during the pandemic to see what I might learn from it.
I had minor surgery on March 12th, just days before our city shut down. Because it was my first surgery, thoughts of my recovery dominated my mind. Then, when we had to close our office and move to remote work on the following Monday, the surgery was overshadowed by the indefinite work-from-home order. In the span of two days, my life shifted to a fight for the basics of life: education for my girls, figuring out my household in this new environment, and scariest of all, what would happen to our company. That first week was filled with fear and survival-mode action.
I officially launched my blog over two years ago. Writing has been an unexpected path for me, full of trials and gifts. I write one blog entry a week around topics I find interesting or have found challenging as a business leader.
Along the way, I have also been experimenting with different types of material as I write. I started by writing about processes and systems and have moved to other topics such as productivity and overall company management. My articles have taught me and helped me clarify my ideas.
In his book, The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, Howard Marks (public library) writes extensively about risk. As the co-founder and co-chairman of a highly successful asset management firm called Oaktree Capital Management, he assesses investment risk daily and has unique insight into how it works. Risk is variously defined as volatility and uncertainty – he describes it as the “likelihood of loss.”
Most of us do not buy and sell securities for a living, but we all face risk whenever we make a decision. The quality of our outcomes depends on how well we deliberate and manage the inherent risk in our choices. We aim to select the best possible path, but there is always a risk that it will turn out differently.
The agony of the writer. I am not the first to write about this and certainly not the last. But alas, I will try to render my personal experiences and inspire something positive out of this profoundly uncomfortable feeling.
I’m in the middle of editing my business book, which is an exploration of what I have learned about building a business – it is, in essence, the business handbook I wish I had had when I started as an entrepreneur. I thought the writing process was going to be the hardest part, and editing the book would be a breeze. I would only have to hire a great professional, and the rest would sort itself out.
Writing is a wonderful practice — whether you choose to publish your writing or not, the simple act of putting your thoughts and ideas to paper will help you grow as a person and a professional. We often view writing as means to an end. But writing in itself has many benefits that go beyond getting information across to others.
I started writing four years ago, first in spurts and then eventually consistently. I didn’t realize how beneficial writing is to the author before I began, which was an unexpected gift for me. Now it’s a regular part of my routine and an important part of who I am. Through writing, I get to express my ideas and clarify my thoughts with others and am enriched by their feedback.