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“90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head.”

Jon Acuff

Philip Struble

Everyone who reads my blogs knows I’m not a professional writer.

I write what I think, so it usually makes sense, but not always.  I’m sure most English teachers would cringe at my sentence structure, my use of punctuation, and my choice of words.

I’m an engineer.  I design things that get built.  I like hands with dirty fingernails, big equipment, and rolled-up construction plans.

I also like the Lord and Savior.

I also like running a business.

So my writing is a combination of my experiences and my thoughts.


Back to writing, I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing, and I came across a trick that convinced me I didn’t want to be a professional writer.  It’s called TK.

That’s right – TK.

TK is an editing mark that means “to come” and is equivalent to leaving a blank or brackets in the text.  For example, if I was writing about employment contracts but was unsure what I was saying, I could write: “When writing contracts, the TK must always check with TK to make sure the TK’s are all correct.”  In theory, I would go back later when editing and replace the TKs with actual words.

My first comment about TK is that they teach this in writing classes.  It’s TK, which means “to come.”  Not TC?  And they are English majors.  I’m an engineer and can spell better than they can.  Ha Ha Ha.

Second, if I don’t know what I’m going to write about, why write?  I at least do enough research to be able to fill in the blanks as I write.


The concept of TK, however, has some real applications for us as business leaders and entrepreneurs.


OK, so they think TK means “to kome,” not “to come.”  I’m sure that is not really the truth, but it makes for a fun story.  Their story (and I’m sure they’re sticking to it) is that editorial marks are often misspelled intentionally to avoid confusing them with the final copy.

The point for business leaders is that during our business process, we all make many small mistakes.  The point is to keep our businesses moving forward.  As we implement new management procedures, start a new design project, or begin a new venture, we cannot let the little missteps halt or divert us from our ultimate goal.

The writer’s goal is to tell a story, and they cannot let a few little unknown details stop them from drafting the story.  Those details can be fixed later.

The same is true when running a business.

Unknown Territory

The TK is used to leave space for the unknown.

We in business should understand and appreciate this more than anyone.  We are constantly venturing into unfamiliar territory.

We hire people based on a resume and an interview, but they are mostly an unknown commodity.  We contract to design things we think we can do, but they always hold a lot of unknowns.   We take on new clients, but they are unknown to us until we work with them for a while.

Writing is like that.  I didn’t know I’d be here in this story until I just wrote this paragraph.  It was unknown fifteen minutes ago.

The Bible

TK reminds me of two Bible verses.  The first is Isaiah 30:21.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

This is from the Old Testament, and the Israelites have been punished for disobeying the Lord.  But He is encouraging them.  The Bible is often called the Word because, in its entirety, it is the advice and witness from God to us.  We may have many TK moments, but we know God will fill in the blanks.

The second verse is 1 Corinthians 14:33,

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

God’s work is not to confuse us and make us wonder.  When God’s Word fills in the TK blanks, those words are to give us peace.  They may not be what we want to hear, but they are always what we need to hear.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs should not fear using a TK. 

Instead, we must focus on moving forward and knowing we can always fill in the unknowns later.  And in times of great uncertainty, we know that God’s Word is there to give us the peace to venture forward.