It’s all YOU! You’re the one who leads your business. You’re the one who guides your team.
You’re a solo business owner, an entrepreneur… a small business owner and yes, you’re the one who makes the decisions— what to blog about; who to hire; your marketing strategy; how to deal with a “difficult” customer.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of the month in the fetal position, sniveling about how exhausting it is.
What it DOES mean, is that you must create habits that consistently (1) build your focus, (2) ignite your clarity, (3) amplify your trust in yourself, and (4) Uplevel your momentum, too.
One of the best practices for achieving this high energy level is to keep a business journal. Forbes, and Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile say– journaling is the #1 productivity tool to improve business performance. Numerous entrepreneurs have sworn by this practice… from Benjamin Franklin to Richard Branson.
Why is that? Here’s what’s behind my Focus 101 tip for entrepreneurs:
1. First off, the ritualistic act of uninterrupted writing teaches you how to focus.
2. Clarity comes from writing. Nope, the many voices that constantly drone on and on in your brain is NOT thinking. THAT would be noise. When you write, you slow your mind down enough to acknowledge where you are, recognize what you’ve accomplished, and see what’s challenging you. This level of clarity is vital.
3. Writing in your business journal is a self-trust builder. It creates confidence in your ability to make quick decisions — a requirement in business. Indecision robs you of much-needed energy and stops momentum every time. Sure, most of us make daily decisions. But sometimes, when we face a decision we just don’t want to make because it may be painful or scary, we tend to put off deciding. And, we (unconsciously) live in the land of “maybe” for days… weeks (sometimes months), not even realizing the energy suck this involves.
See, when you trust in yourself and function at a higher level of awareness, you no longer fear or put off decisions. Keeping a business journal keeps you on track to successfully grow your business, by reminding you of the issues you need to deal with at the moment, and what decisions are on deck.
4. Writing Uplevels your experiences. Most entrepreneurs have an entire lifetime of successes and failures – but they never consciously grow or learn from those experiences. Or, if they do, there’s a vague recollection of unpleasantness or stress– but no real awareness as to why.
When you keep a business journal, you are deliberately recounting the lessons learned and the perspective gained in your business experiences. This is HUGE.
Ok– How do you keep a business journal?
I like to keep my business journal in my iPad. I use the world’s coolest stylus – the AluPen – and write by hand into a digital notebook titled “Uplevel YOU.”
I use my iPad because I can have my journal at my fingertips when I travel– and great when I go to Dobra (my favorite Teahouse in Asheville, NC) on Fridays to journal, and assess my week.
With that said, I’ve also used actual pens with paper journals. I still love writing by hand on paper. And, studies have proven that writing by hand improves memory, cognitive ability, and goal achievement.
It’s up to you what your best business journal methodology is for you and your lifestyle. But the most important thing is to have ONE place where you write your journal.
Next, you must determine a schedule for keeping your business journal. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly. It depends on your needs. I prefer to stick with a weekly ritual.
Final Question: What should you write?
If you come to this with full intention and energy, but then suddenly feel a bit lost when it comes the writing, you’re not alone. It can be daunting to begin this practice!
Well, never fear.
I created a tool that gives you five Business Journal Power Prompts (with helpful explanations). You can download it for free right here. Use these to help you get started, and to come back to when you need some direction.
You’ll soon discover your own structure and rhythm to your new ritual of keeping a business journal.
TIP: The important thing isn’t about “getting it right.” Remember, perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. What’s important, is to create this ritual and see for yourself how much your clarity increases and how you’ll massively build the momentum in your business – to continue to grow your business like the rock-star entrepreneur you were meant to be!
Now… SHARE YOUR WISDOM: In the comments below, tell your fellow Uplevelers if you keep a business journal and how this has helped you in your business. Resistant? Just not for you? I’d love to hear why…