I write for impact, not for likes

Illai Gescheit
3 min readDec 13, 2020

I started writing articles about entrepreneurship, leadership and venture building a long time ago. When Pulse, the writing platform that Linkedin acquired for $90m was just integrated, I wrote a few articles and got amazing traction. Thousands of views, hundreds of likes. It felt so gratifying to write something and get featured. But this enthusiasm quickly disappeared as the platform become an integral part of Linkedin and everyone started writing articles. I felt I was swallowed in mountains of words and content. I then started writing on Linkedin and the experience was the same apart from one single article that keeps gain traction about my leadership and design framework ZIZO.

This experience made me to take a step back from sharing and writing on both platforms. I wrote an article now and then but not very consistently. Several months ago, I decided to become more active on LinkedIn and write daily posts — be consistent with the goal of reaching broader and larger audience.

I realized that I was after the wrong thing — I was after traction. I was trying to see how many likes, or comments I get for posts, replicate the times of posts, the type and follow structures I read online. I would go back every 30 min to check if the number of reaction is up or not.

However, I have learnt that traction is not what I’m after — it’s impact and value creation that is the reason for my writing. It’s the relationship and personal connections and opportunities that might come out from having sharing my thoughts and ideas.

I got approached by at least 10 entrepreneurs in the last 2 months in private who told me they love reading my posts and articles. It helps them so much with building their ventures, taking a step back and think about themselves as leaders and really look at the world and society and think if they make good with their hands and brains. One of them sent in a message a few days ago writing “they (the articles) highlight areas that I SHOULD be thinking about and help form a position on that is aligned to my principles and values”.

Most people who know me and my leadership style, know that building trust is the base of what I call the Responsible Leadership Pyramid. It is the core of any relationship or partnership. Writing is a way to gain initial trust between people, but it’s an opportunity to create real relationships. I follow up with many of the people who send me messages and with some some I had1:1 calls and with some I still speak occasionally which gives the opportunity to help as a mentor but also learn from my ‘readers’.

Most of the people who reached out in an email or direct message did not like my posts even once — but it touched them in a deeper more meaningful way — it made a real impact that led to real action and discourse.

Here is my advice to all business leaders, founders, entrepreneurs and investors— we all have something to say. Be consistent and write what you think, your passions, and add real value to others. Tell real stories about your life — the success and failure. The the opportunity to build trust with your network.

Write consistently because there’s someone out there in your network you can change his life of business — a real person and not only metric. If you just keep counting likes you’ll probably give up quickly, just as with building a new startup. However, if you endure and persist you will find your fit.

If it all made sense and you would like for me to share my ideas, thoughts and experiences you can find me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/illaigescheit/

Let me know what you think in the comments?