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Monday, November 22, 2010

THINGS OF VALUE: Just Write It Down

Things Of Value with Yossi Feigenson

I’m back in the groove of this monthly column, which I have so thoroughly enjoyed. One of the interesting benefits of writing this has been the ability it has given me of going back and seeing where my mind was at different times throughout the year. The moods of the moment really dictate the subjects I write about and the style I employ. To be sure, I enjoy the process and it gives me great satisfaction, but from the perspective productivity and business growth is writing something I should bother with? Or, to frame this question in the context of this column; is there any tangible value to writing?

It is not a stretch to suggest that the majority of us will not blossom into widely read authors, or become well paid for our efforts. Most likely, we will be writing to a small audience or none at all. So why bother? Where is the return-on-investment for the time and effort?

Another perspective on writing: One of the surest, or perhaps the only way to ensure that any idea one may come to its fruition is by the simple act of writing it down. Any Idea, by its very nature, is an elusive dot (point) of insight that hits us unexpectedly, without prior warning, and often at inconvenient times, and just as quickly as it arrives, it disappears. So, before we continue the discussion on the values of writing one thing we should all take with us is this: Get in the habit of writing down your ideas. You have more ideas than you think and you are more creative than you think. The problem is that ideas come and go, and if we don’t catch them, they may be gone forever.

This idea was brilliantly brought to light by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the wildly popular “Eat, Pray, Love” in at TED Talk she gave about creativity. She so eloquently described how any idea or a thought can run away from us if we are not prepared to catch it. (It may be worth your while to see that at

One of the great rabbinic masters used to complain about the Sabbath (a day in which orthodox Jews are forbidden to do things like write) that many of his ideas would be lost to him because he couldn’t write.

These are the great and creative minds, who intuitively realize and understand the value of writing down their thoughts and ideas. What about the rest of us? How relevant and important is this notion? Can an entrepreneur really have so much to gain by employing this practice? The commerce minded person is focused mostly, as he should be, on business, or to employ the tired phrase; on the “bottom line”.

The notion, however, that if you are not in a creative endeavor there is no creativity to your work has been debunked and argued so ably by Seth Godin in his latest work, “Linchpin”. His basic premise is that we all bring art to our work, and it’s our creativity that will set us apart from being just another cog in the wheel. Which will then turn us into; you guessed it: A linchpin.

The average business person is simply not in tune with the creative juice that is flowing within. Mostly this is because we don’t have a platform for the expression of the creative ideas. When we sit in a meeting and keep proper notes we increase our odds of better follow up.

While writing is closely associated with being a creative craft, it holds within it crucial business applications. Taking written notes helps you be more engaged in your thinking process. It forces you to work through and crystallize your thoughts and ideas. It also keeps the creative juices flowing.

Creative ideas and bottom line business are closely linked. And the way to connect the two is through utilizing the simple tool of writing the ideas down.

For more information, please visit Yossi's TNNWC Bio.

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1 comment:

Bill Doerr said...

My dear friend, Yossi you've done it again with a beautifully eloquent, timely and insight-full article in TNNW this month.

Your example of the rabbi who'd lose ideas because of the restrictions of the Sabbath was excellent. Whether due to religious practice or the lack of a system for recording and retrieving information of value, 'idea management' is a key skill and function for success in life and in business.

Yossi, you DO have an 'audience' of loyal readers who find value in the words you share that reveal the lessons you so graciously make available to us every month. I am merely one of many fans!

Thank you.

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