I’m not a natural writer. I’m one of those guys who aced math with zero effort, but just got average marks in English with even extraordinary effort. In school, a five-paragraph essay usually took me six hours to write. Though they were decent, I had to will them into existence. The challenge of fixing my shortcomings in writing has always interested me more than leveraging my strengths in math. I still write painfully slowly, and I can spend two hours or more crafting an important email. I understand the critical importance of getting messages across succulently through writing.
Without hesitation, I can say that writing has been critical to my success as an entrepreneur. Without spending a good chunk of my time writing webpage text and email communications, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My businesses are SEO-centric, which, at its heart, involves curating a library that also sells stuff. Write it once, and you see a perpetual payoff. In my paddle board business, writing great content means that 50,000 unique visitors per month find my site through organic search. Additionally, I got on ABC’s “Shark Tank” because of a well-crafted email response and then earned an investment with Mark Cuban. Mark himself only communicates via email for efficiency purposes to run his more than 80 businesses. Now, more than ever, the success of my business and future investment opportunities hinges on my ability to communicate intelligently via email. It’s the reality of the world we live in.
—Stephan Aarstol is the CEO and founder of Tower Paddle Boards, an online, manufacturer-direct brand in stand up paddle boarding. Tower Paddle Boards was invested in by Mark Cuban on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” was named one of the show’s “Top 10 Success Stories” by Entrepreneur Magazine, and was featured by People Magazine as one of “Shark Tank’s Biggest Winners.” Stephan is an entrepreneurial thought leader and online marketing expert, and he welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Google+.