‘Close up of The Thinker’ by Brian Hillegas

Should Founders Blog?

I saw this question today on Twitter (asked by @jrmck of mirin.vc) and it immediately polarised me.

There have been so many blogs I've read that have been invaluable to me; whether I'm trying to solve a wonderfully peculiar technical issue, or staring into the abyss of a seemingly boundless business challenge. The generosity of the authors sharing their knowledge & experience in these blog articles, immediately had my subconscious screaming “Yes! Blogging is essential, of course founders must blog!”.

You see, the journey of a founder is an experience which is crammed with the stories of success and failure that they amass whilst cutting their path through a jungle of opportunity and peril. These stories are sometimes completely unique (and circumstantially specific) but, the majority of them will have many founders nodding their head, recalling a very similar memory of their own.

It’s in the darkest moments, the sleepless nights, and the indigestible worry that I've found the most comfort from reading the stories of people that have gone through some of the very same problems and come out the other side. The articles have given me renewed vigour and the courage to battle on, when many around me still looked puzzled as to why I’m still ‘in the ring’ taking punches and apparently smiling.

So why wouldn't I want founders to blog? Well, the practical side of me was screaming “When the hell am I meant to do this?!!”. I’m a passionate, driven guy — when I’m building a start up, I want to give it everything I have, every minute, and every creative thought possible to ensure its success. In the middle of that completely, and wholly, absorbing process, not once does my mind feel able to rip itself away from the list of tasks that keeps growing to reflect on where I’m at, or to share it with others. (“I could use that time for job X, or research a little on job Y. That’s surely more important right?”)

Trying to squeeze extra time, for reflection and sharing, into already long days seems at times insurmountable and completely impractical. Yet, as I sit here on my Sunday evening, my black cat curled up at my side, and my young son chattering away in his bedroom, resisting sleep as my wife tests her patience. I can see that there is time, you just have to pick your moments and use your time wisely. (Thankfully tonight I’m not on bedtime duty!)

Sharing your journey with others can be as cathartic for you as it is supportive and encouraging for others on that same journey. More than that, it gives you times to digest some of the challenges you’re facing, to think deeply about them and if you’re lucky, free your mind long enough to work out a few potential paths forward.

I've taken my share of support from those generous to give it through their carefully crafted blog articles, and I think it’s time I gave back. I may not be able to do it every day, but for a founder that is up against the ropes, looking for some logic to grab in their crazy, unique situation, I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, my words may give them some comfort.

We must blog, we must share and we must grow together.

Matt Woodward is the Co-Founder of Reflect Growth — an EdTech start up focused on Teacher Professional Development & the Growth Mindset based in Adelaide. You can reach me at matt@reflectgrowth.com or on Twitter as @woodwardmatt.