The thing about the word “solo” in front of the words “business owner” is that you’re often alone.
You’re the one who leads your business. You’re the one who guides your team. You’re the one who makes the decisions about next steps — who to hire, what to write, what products or services to market next, what to budget, how to deal with an unruly customer.
This doesn’t mean you need to have a pity party for your poor lonesome self.
It DOES mean that you must create habits that consistently build your focus, ignite your clarity, amplify your trust in yourself and Uplevel your momentum.
One of the best practices for achieving this high level of energy is to keep a business journal. From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Branson, the entrepreneurs who swear (and have sworn) by this practice are numerous.
Why is that?
Well, for one, the act of uninterrupted writing teaches you how to focus. As a business owner in a massively distracted time (reality check: how many tabs are open in your browser right now?), you must protect and build your focus. You can complain about the noise, or you can do the hard work of rising above the noise. Choose wisely.
Writing also forces you to get clear. That stream of voices that constantly drones on in your brain is NOT thinking. It is 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 crucial.
Writing in a business journal builds self-trust. It creates confidence in your ability to make quick decisions — a requirement in business. Indecision is an energy stealer and momentum stopper. Most of us make decisions on a daily basis – but sometimes, when faced with a decision that’s painful or scary, we’ll put off deciding. We’ll unconsciously live in the land of “maybe” for weeks (sometimes months), never recognizing that we are robbing our precious energy in the non-process.
When you trust in yourself and live at a high level of awareness, you no longer fear or put off decisions. Keeping a business journal keeps you on track, reminding you of what issues you need to deal with and what decisions are on deck.
Writing Uplevels your experiences. Most entrepreneurs have experience after experience – racking up a 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 happiness – but no awareness of why. When you keep a business journal, you Uplevel your experiences by deliberately recounting the lessons learned and the perspective gained.
So, how do you keep a business journal?
These days, I keep my business journal in my iPad, using an app called NoteShelf. 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 travel a lot – and this way I can have my journals all at my fingertips at any given moment.
With that said, I’ve also used, yes, actual pens with paper journals. I still love writing by hand on a piece of paper the best. Studies have proven that writing by hand improves memory, cognitive ability and goal achievement.
You will need to determine the best business journal methodology for you and your lifestyle. The most important thing is to have ONE place where you write or type your journal.
Next, you will need to determine a schedule for keeping your business journal. Daily, weekly or monthly. It depends on your needs. I stick with a weekly ritual, making time on Friday afternoons to assess the week.
Final Question: What exactly do you write?
If you’re a little lost when it comes to sitting down and doing the writing, you’re not alone. It can be daunting to begin this practice!
Well, never fear.
I created a tool that gives you seven Business Journal Power Prompts (with helpful explanations) just for you. You can download it instantly here. Use these to help you get started.
Soon, you’ll discover your own structure and rhythm to the ritual of keeping a business journal.
The important thing is not about “getting it right.” Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity. The important thing is to create this ritual and see for yourself how your clarity increases and the momentum in your business builds massively.
SHARE YOUR WISDOM: In the comments below, tell your fellow Uplevelers if you currently keep a business journal and how it has helped you. If you don’t keep a business journal, tell me why or ask me a question about this practice…