Entrepreneurs are better off taking lessons from journalists than business professionals, says Shane Snow, himself an entrepreneur and former journalist. From Richard Branson, who began his storied career as a magazine editor, to the Columbian Journalism School, which boasts 40 start ups launched by its former students, it seems that being a good reporter equally prepares one to start a business. Above all, says Snow, keen observation and good listening skills are essential to a successful business, yet many business professionals trap themselves by offering solutions to a problem without properly understanding it.
What’s the Big Idea?
Where exactly do journalism and starting a business intersect? Telling a good story is essential to grabbing people’s attention up front and making sure they leave with crucial information if they decide to check out early. And just as journalists must meticulously fact check their story and be willing to abandon a project if it does not pan out early, entrepreneurs must also learn when to walk away. Finally, the age-old journalism advice to ‘cut your story in half’ is a lesson well learned by entrepreneurs, meaning “tearing ideas down to their fundamentals, forgoing bells and whistles.”