Jehan Lalkaka

I help startups grow revenue by accelerating research, messaging, and content, from strategy to hands-on execution

How can I become a better writer to advance my career? I've been asked that question several times by friends and co-workers. If you're interested in developing writing skills so you can present yourself as clear, compelling, and informative, I recommend four books found below.

Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

In a simple, punchy format, you'll encounter common grammar mistakes and learn how to fix them. Some writers find this book outdated, but Strunk and White's grammar instruction stands the test of time. It gives us a solid foundation to build upon as the English language and grammar norms evolve. Thousands of professionals use this book to master the mechanics of grammar, the first step in creating sentences worth reading.

The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto

Refrain from following the writing example set by this book. The writing is a little dry and needs stronger editing. However, I still highly recommend Minto's work. This book teaches structure and how to get organized before you write. You'll learn how to clarify your thinking, create a narrative, and spot the gaps. As a bonus, the mental models found in this book apply to presentations, speaking, and other forms of communication beyond writing.

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

Written by an excellent writer and trainer of others who write for the New York Times, this book dives into over 55 writing techniques and explains how they can liven up your work. Filled with helpful examples, you'll learn concepts like rhythm, pace, and levels of abstraction alongside many other essential tools writers use. After reading it once, you'll reach for it again every couple of months when facing a writing challenge that needs quick guidance.

Building Great Sentences by Brooks Landon

This book explores the most basic component of writing: the sentence. You'll learn how to construct sentences that string phrases together, hold attention, and communicate a clear message. Landon provides a visual framework that decodes sentence structure, showing you how to break down sentences and build them back up, making them smoother, more powerful, and more satisfying to read.

Each book above is a gem in its own right. At times, the authors have differing views, and at other times, they agree but take a different approach to teaching the same concept. Those are good things because writing isn't a science. If you read these books in the order shown above, you'll gain a powerful, well-rounded toolkit packed with multiple ways to break open any writing challenge.

Happy writing!

This short post will walk you through how to generate leads without relying on spray-and-pray marketing. The answer lies in 1) finding a high-priority problem that your target customer must act on and 2) that problem should have a quickly approaching deadline for your target customer. I'll illustrate how solving such problems can liven up your marketing and inform a new approach to marketing altogether.

Photo by Ian MacDonald on Unsplash

A few days after Halloween, my window cleaner gave me a call. He must have been calling to sell me another round of window cleaning. Perhaps he wanted to tell me about a winter special promo that he was running. To my surprise, he offered to hang my Christmas lights on the exterior of my house, and he quoted me a reasonable price. It's as if he read my mind. The time, effort, and timing of when I was going to knock that to-do off my list were very top of mind for me that week. After hanging up the phone, I googled 'residential Christmas lights installation near me', which turned up a few results. So, I called those local businesses for a rough quote. It turns out that my window cleaner quoted me 50% less than his lights-installation competitors.

I started thinking, why would my window cleaner offer such a service? Is lights-installation a huge market? Probably not. Can lights-installation provide year-round revenue? Nope. But, because installing holiday lights is something many households will prioritize during holiday months, such a service, even if offered at cost or low margin, can...


Marketing experts often say that buyers don’t care about features alone. ‘Buyers care about how your product will benefit them.’ But benefits alone can often fall short. Benefits alone can’t carry a buyer from where they are today, risk-averse and standing still, to taking a chance on an unfamiliar solution that will cost them time, money, and/or effort.


Use plain language, simplify buying decisions, and focus on buyer pain points. siggi's yogurt brand thrives in a fiercely competitive category by matching its messaging to the way people make buying decisions. This brief post breaks down each messaging insight and provides examples.


Learning SEO can be a daunting task. Given the dizzying volume of advice out there, it's not easy to pin down what 'good SEO' means or how to get started. In such cases, it's best to skip all the high-level theory and go straight to the bottom: the actual tools used by SEO professionals.


This guide will help you figure out Todoist and get started in 20 minutes. It's a walkthrough of how I personally use the app to manage my life and keep the stress levels at bay.


I decided it was time to build a product and sell it myself, without a large team and a big budget. So I joined Indie Hackers and sold a productized service.


When a big product or strategy decision looms on the horizon, different teams often have opinions that are at odds with one another. You might ask, can’t quantitative data resolve such conflicts of opinion?


A collection of quotes with fundamental truths about marketing success and business growth.


A common perception: If I ask a customer how to improve a fan, they’ll ask for a bigger fan, not an AC. If Henry Ford asked people what they want, they would have asked for a faster horse, not a car.


Enter your email to subscribe to updates.