01/27/2016 02:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Written Word Is No 'Monkey Business'


Words have a special place in this world. They have tremendous power to implement change; change within ourselves and to the mosaic of life that we see around us. For thousands of years throughout the endearing genesis of human history, the power of linguistics has manifested in mankind's greatest achievements.

From the seemingly coherent words uttered via the lips of our stone-age ancestors, to the exuberance and eloquence of pioneers who spearheaded The Renaissance - the captivating effect of human communication has been the bedrock of our civilizations on this little crumb we call earth.

The cultural paradigm of political correctness to which the pulse of our societies beat to is one where words speak louder than actions. Which is why, in business, words can either make or break you as a professional even before that coveted sale-closing handshake takes place. In the world of today - amid the non-stop flow of data and plethora of information on the internet highway - what you say about you and your business can either set you apart from the hordes of crowds or squash you down to just another footnote in a long monotonous page of gibberish. Gibberish nobody really cares for, with about as much of an interest that an Inuit Eskimo igloo-owner has in a lawn-mower - at best.

Thus, the badge of 'perception' is highly crucial in determining what people think of you. To harness the power of perception, the criticality of communication - both written and spoken - is beyond important. In essence, on a planet where human interaction flickers to the drumbeat of social-media in almost every sphere of our lives with our Twitter tweets and tags, our Instagram photo collages and our blogs, our paid adverts and our Linkedin profiles, our official Facebook pages and the not so official Whisper confessions; the need to be masterful and as sharp as a crackerjack with words is all the more consequential.

The bottom line is this: now more than ever, what you write is 'who' you are. Yes, really! Unfortunately, your writing sucks! Now, this may be offensive to some of you, but for an overwhelmingly large majority it is the harsh truth; a brazen reality that has at some point or another throughout the narrative of your life poked you in the arm or murmured in the ear. The disregard of which has made you suffer where you should have gained, succumb where you should have persevered and failed where you should have conquered.

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey; the sights and sounds; the dynamics and kinetics; and the ebb and flow of 'success' has been manifested in some of the most accomplished startup executives in the world whom I've come across. These business leaders, movers and shakers and protagonists of major world industries all have one salient feature in common as a mutual denominator. They all communicate their corporate vision and market their individual persona through the cogent skill of the written and spoken word.


In mankind's unwavering odyssey for unraveling the secrets of power and glory since time immemorial, the magnanimous effect of the sovereignty generated by the pen is unrivaled by any other source. The written word is here to stay.

From Aristotle and Hemingway to Avicenna and Shakespeare. From Robert Kiyosaki and Steve Jobs to Chef Anthony Bourdain and Bill Gates. Throughout history, great writers and communicators have been not only successful at what they do, but have also imparted tremendous influence on humanity's progress through the ages; effects that are still visibly prevalent till this day.

You 'are' what you portray of yourself, and thus in the world of business you inadvertently become what people 'think' of you as an individual or a professional. Hence, when it comes to writing and corporate communications, the 5 most pristine and fundamentally critical things that everyone should implement are:

1. Be knowledgeable about what you communicate to your target audience

Your target audience includes prospective leads, customers, investors, trade-partners and so forth. Your knowledge of what you want to say is as important as their lack of it.

2. The nucleus of any effective communication is listening, not just speaking
Knowledge is best grasped through listening skills and being observant of others. Take the blue pill and free your mind!

3. Understand what clients say, then convey your thoughts with empathy and precision.

Listening to what clients want is different than understanding what clients need. Make the distinction. Understand it. Repeat!

4. Expand your vocabulary
Read books of interest even if they are not related to business. Search for words in the thesaurus just for kicks. And remember, learning new words and devising different ways to construct sentences makes your prose multidimensional, while inducing more dynamism within your message for lasting effect.

5. Write, Speak!
And lastly, put the pedal to the metal and practice! Communication - both written and verbal - is a dimension that encapsulates both mediums. Effective communicators consider writing as not a chore, but an extension of the-self. Thus, embracing the-self means submitting to your inner being. That submission entails fine-tuning yourself to the frequency of your intellectual faculties, mental wavelength and emotional resonance. None of those elements can be polished or leveraged if one does not practice expression!