Writing: the essential skill for entrepreneurs

Richard Branson once claimed his most essential possession is an old school notebook. In fact, the act of writing regularly, whether that's keeping a journal or doing a periodic word dump, has proven psychological benefits that are of huge interest to entrepreneurs.

Think and communicate more clearly

The act of putting thoughts to paper is not only a great motivator but allows you to engage in a creative process that takes ideas and experiences and transforms them into different ways of thinking and potential solutions. Writing is a proven way of communicating complex and difficult concepts much more clearly.

Even a simple 'pros' and 'cons' list can be extremely effective in marshalling your thoughts. By exploring potential outcomes, you'll begin to create strategies for effectively solving the issue.

The four-question approach

A simple recipe for success when you begin to write on a regular basis is to answer these four questions before you start your day:

• What was the best thing that happened yesterday?
• What could have gone better yesterday?
• What are you thankful for this morning?
• What would make today even better?

Use this simple exercise every day until you feel comfortable with the processes of reflection, giving thanks and planning to make better decisions. By articulating your vision for the future through your writing, you'll be strategising for success. And through clarifying and prioritising your thoughts, you're taking the first steps towards developing a coherent business plan.

The joy of keeping a paper journal

Of course, you can commit your daily thoughts and reflections to an app and you'll still be able to gain valuable perspectives and insights while developing strategic thinking. But there's something very mindful about the act of putting pen to paper, as it requires you to focus directly on the physical act of writing as well as the psychological processes involved. It's also a more methodical process than typing which can help to slow down your thinking - a great way to unwind if you're feeling overwhelmed.

The act of choosing your own beautiful personalised notebook means you're already engaged in and committed to the act of keeping your journal. And it's that engagement that will drive your commitment to writing on a regular basis and tapping into the key skill that entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Richard Branson all prize so highly.

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