Keeping a Personal Success / Business Journal
Objective: To assist you in the process of accelerating your life of success on purpose
from imagination to creation, profit and prosperity.
"The indispensible first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." -Ben Stein
from imagination to creation, profit and prosperity.
"The indispensible first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." -Ben Stein
Okay, I can hear you protesting from clear over here, "Why should I have to keep a business journal?" Would you like some cheese with that whine? Just kidding - Lighten up! In all seriousness though, keeping a business journal is one of the most proactive things you can do to take control of your life and all situations going on around you in your life. A Business Journal is the most important of all the tools you use to take and maintain control.
Your Key Success Tool to Your Future
Have you ever noticed that many people who have become successful usually keep some kind of a business Journal? Is that a coincidence? Did their biographers just get lucky by having letters written by these people as well as journals they could refer to when writing the person’s life story? A better, more penetrating question to ask is this, “Could there be any connection between a person who writes in a Business Journal and the success they are able to create?” With that in mind, is there something to the following quote?
“An unexamined life is not worth living.” ~Socrates
What would you think if you were to discover that the success you create with your business or any other important area of your life that you want to succeed with, could very well depend on you writing in a Business Journal regularly? If journaling is something that is out side your comfort zone, then this most likely sounds like a crazy idea, doesn’t it?
Who Writes in a Business Journal?
First of all, let's define the use of the word “Business” in reference to keeping a Business Journal. Some of you reading this might be inclined to think that this does not really apply to you, because you do not have a “Business.” In order to clarify this idea better, understand that when we use the word "business," it is in reference to anything that is "your business" and perhaps nobody else’s. Surely you have heard the term, “mind your own business.” How does that apply if you are an employee or a home maker or student, and do not have your own company/business? Business certainly does refer to a company; a business for making money. But it also refers to whatever you spend your time doing each day and night. Minding your own business is whatever you do that matters to you. So the process of keeping a Business Journal is referencing the activities of your life that are your own business, as well as managing a company/business, if you have one. Make sense?
Now, of course, not everyone who has accomplished great things in life has kept a Business Journal, but on the other hand, many have. Those who have not are very much in the minority. The vast majority of successful people in this modern day and age keep some kind of a Business Journal. Most all leaders in every significant field have kept Business Journals – pioneers, scientists, explorers, military leaders, stateswomen & statesmen, athletes, coaches, artists, writers, religious leaders, business leaders, team leaders, mothers, fathers, mentors, consultants, etc. The list could go on and on. Quite frankly, we do not know of a single instance where any successful person became successful on their own, without using a Business Journal. All the great personal development gurus like Stephen Covey, Maikel Bailey, Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy and others, all talk about the importance of keeping a journal. All great entrepreneurs, even the greatest, like Donald Trump, John Marriott, ER Haas, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and many others regularly use a journal.
The ability to create a vision of the future, define it in writing, and then create it successfully is a relatively rare skill. (Notice that it is a “skill” which means it can be learned.) Many people dream, but do not follow through. Others do take some kind of action towards progress, but do not dream or envision what is possible for themselves to really accomplish, and so in turn they accomplish much less than they could.
Why Bother to Write in a Personal Success Business Journal?
There are plenty of powerful reasons and benefits for writing in a Business Journal. If you are now Journaling, or have ever written in a journal, you probably understand the power and insight it can create. If you have not, then you have a whole new world before you and one that you may have never imagined.
A Business Journal is a tool that brings together any and all other tools you use to manage your self and your quest for success, ie: the Success Process, Personal Vision Statement, Personal Commitment letter, Advanced Time Management, SMART Goal setting, and all other activities in your life. A Business Journal coordinates all of them and maximizes their effectiveness. It is the synergistic tool that will assist you to work smarter, more effectively, more enjoyably, and ultimately, more successfully. Keeping a journal will allow you to track your progress, or in other words, see where you are, where you want to go, and what you must do to progress. You will be able to develop a greater sense of clarity. As you get everything that may be bouncing around in your head, out of your heard and down on to paper, the natural benefit is that you will be able to see and think much more clearly.
Writing in your Business Journal is having an honest conversation with yourself. It is a way to report what is going on with you and your life's activities around you. It is also a terrific way to clear your mind of frustrations, upsets, anxieties, negative feelings, and doubts.
Other Powerful Reasons for Keeping a Business Journal:
- Clarity of thinking
- Clarity of feeling
- Clarity of envisioning
- Clarity of understanding your needs
- Clarity of problem discrimination
- Clarity of problem solving
- Clarity of idea generation
- Clarity of resources
- Clarity of decision making
- Clarity of commitment
- Clarity of confidence
- Clarity of goal setting
- Clarity of planning
- Clarity of timing
- Clarity of communication
- Clarity of team building
- Clarity of synthesis (bringing together the best ideas)
- Clarity of leadership
- Clarity of winning
- Clarity of action
- Clarity of analysis
- Clarity of refinement of action and results
- Clarity of what it takes to be successful
- Clarity of the success you’ve created.
It is right up there with: mental rehearsal, positive self-talk, pondering, setting goals, making plans, time management, and much more. In fact, it is the ignition, engine, and drive train for each of these and should be an integral part for each, connecting them all together to work in unison.
"Writing in a Business Journal is a fundamental and powerful way to
create Success on Purpose in any area of your life." ~Maikel Bailey
Clarity - a Major Key to Success
As you read over the above list, perhaps you noticed the abundant use of the word “clarity.” Why would that be? Have you ever had an experience where you may have gotten stuck while working on a particular task, and you were not quite sure what to do at that point to get unstuck? From that lack of clarity, even if you “thought you knew” what to do, most likely you did not know how to take the next specific step at that moment, which indicates you were experiencing a lack of clarity. So, what did you do? You did nothing. You remained stuck. This can create great frustration to say the least. When a person does not have clarity, frustration and discouragement usually follow close behind.
Specifically, using a Personal Success Business Journal is going to assist you in two powerful ways.
1. It is going to help you build a successful career or business, and
2. It is going to help you manage yourself more effectively and efficiently so you can build what ever it is you wish to experience Success on Purpose with.
You see, you are not only building a new business or career or taking the business you already do to new heights. You are creating a new you! A more successful and dynamic you to own and use the power and belief required to build your business filled with Success on Purpose.
How to Use a Personal Success Business Journal
There are four main times you should write in your Business Journal. It is best if the first and third times are scheduled in order to make them a part of your regular day; so they become a habit.
1. When you get up in the morning before you start your day.
2. During the day when you find yourself getting upset, derailed, bogged down, lost or confused.
3. At the end of the day, reporting to yourself what you accomplished that day and your preparatory plans for the next day.
4. Any time when you need to figure something out, make a plan, come up with ideas, make a decision, etc.
What specifically should you write in your Business Journal?
1. At the Beginning of the Day - Take five to fifteen minutes in the morning to write in your Journal before you start your day. You can do it before you walk out the door for work or when you first arrive at work, so long as you know you will not be interrupted while writing. If you work from home already, take this time before you launch into your activities for the day.
Do a brain-dump; whatever you have on your mind, whatever you are thinking about, the things you want to accomplish that day, or things you did not accomplish yesterday (“Carry-overs” from yesterday, the things you meant to get done, but did not). Whatever wandering thoughts or preoccupations you might have at the beginning of your day write them into your Journal. This is the “stuff” from which you will CREATE your brand new day.
From this “stuff” organize your day by putting your action items into your planner or calendar – tasks to do, calls to make, projects to move ahead or complete, preparation for meetings, etc. This becomes your planned day which is up to you to actually go out and make it happen.
2. During the Day - As your day progresses, if you find you are getting off track, upset, distracted, and so forth, take a couple of
minutes to write in your Business Journal to clear your head. Confusion is the antithesis of clarity, and you now know that clarity is a strong foundation for success.
Examples might be:
- I am really feeling upset about a meeting, phone call, discussion, etc.
- I am feeling confused about what to do next.
- I have a decision to make and am not sure how to handle it.
- I have a meeting to prepare for, but am not sure what I am doing.
- I just came out of a meeting and have to come up with a plan of action.
3.At the End of the Day – Take the time to report to yourself what you accomplished for the day. Give yourself the time to evaluate, celebrate, and pat yourself on the back for your successes of the day. Those items you did not complete are not failures. They are Carry-overs to get done the next day. (Just make sure you don’t keep carrying them over day after day.) Let the glow of success sink in as you reflect on the tasks, phone calls, etc. that you checked off after accomplishing them. It is a great feeling – enjoy it!
4.Anytime Day or Night – Keep your Business Journal with you as much as possible. The truth is, you never know when a great idea is going to pop into your head or you need to write down a bit of information. If you do not grab it then and there, then there’s a good chance it will slip away.
If you keep your Business Journal on a desk top computer, then be sure to take a Traveling Business Journal with you wherever you go so that you can record those ideas or work through those challenges and issues that pop up throughout the day. Maybe it is a small notebook you carry with you, or a portable lap top computer, or I-Pad. You can enter your writings or thoughts into your desk top computer later that night if you want to.
If you are on the run often, driving a car, or moving from meeting to meeting, then a digital recorder could become your Traveling Business Journal. Some people will call their cell phone or business phone and record messages to themselves as a means of keeping a journal, or method for remembering important, spontaneous thoughts.
And of course, keep it by your bedside when you retire. Some of the greatest ideas can come to you as you are dozing off, in the middle of the night or when first waking up. Grab those ideas, record them and examine them later for their usefulness when you are fully awake.
Here’s the Deal – The Real Benefits of Using a Business Journal
Over the years, there has been a real pattern of achievement and success for my students who make writing in their Business Journal a regular routine habit. Those who write in their Business Journal in the morning and then make their plans for the day report they are much more focused and productive.
Whenever a student reports that they “hit a wall” and then made time to write in their Business Journal, they often report how amazed they are that they did not get stuck in upsetting emotions or situations, bogged down by problems, confused by decisions to be made, or procrastinating on plans that need to be carried out and followed through on.
Most students are delighted when they write in their Business Journal to discover how much they have actually accomplished. It feels good to acknowledge and celebrate their successes! Even small ones build confidence. Where before it was just another day, now writing in their Business Journal and reviewing their day boosts their confidence. Their belief in what they can do seems to grow a little more each day.
Those who reported keeping their Business Journal close by indicate that they are now capturing those great ideas that before escaped them and were lost forever. They find that the more ideas they capture by writing in their journal the more ideas keep coming, and they can refer to them at a later time.
Secondary Reason for keeping a Business Journal
Remeber the law of Insanity? Doing the same things you have always done and expecting different results? If you are not accustomed to keeping a Business Journal of any kind, then doing so is going to be outside your comfort zone. This is going to be one of those things that you do which is different from normal, which helps you to avoid living in the law of insanity. Another important reason for keeping a journal is to get rid of any programmed blocks in your subconscious that may be preventing you from attracting more positive situations in to your life. By committing to write in a journal every day, you are in essence training your self in developing a success mind set. You are reprogramming old negative habits or beliefs. It is going to require you to use discipline to really follow through and write consistently day in and day out. As you do, you are going to create a new routine, and it is that routine that is going to lead you into new habits of success. It is those habits, then, that lead you to creating Success on Purpose. It is all part of training yourself to get over negative habits (subconscious blocks) and replace them with new positive habits and belief systems.
With that in mind, it is critical that you create the new routine as soon as possible. That means you must write every day in your journal. At these early stages of the process, it is not always critical what you write. Some times, some people will not write in their Business journal because they simply do not know what to write. If you find yourself in that place, then write that. Write, "I do not know what to write, but my coach told me to write, and so I'm writing." That may seem ridiculous, but the fact is that even in writing nonsensical writings, you are at the very least creating the new routine, which leads to the new habit. Eventually, your subconscious mind will get bored with the nonsensical writings and you will find yourself writing about more substantive issues automatically as time goes by and you continue to write every single day.
It is not just what you know that matters, it is what you are clear about to take powerful action, step by step to achieve your dreams and goals. In this case it is building a successful business so you can live the lifestyle you desire. Using a Business Journal is the means to take what is in your head and heart, getting it clarified on paper so you can get to work, and get it done.
If you are interested in getting things done, such as getting more customers so that your business makes more money, get it down on paper, create a clear a plan of action, and get it done starting today!
Start keeping a Business Journal now and write in it daily. It does not matter if you do it by hand in a notebook or on your computer or an I-Pad. Either way, you will soon find out how valuable it really is. It will not only keep you focused and motivated, it will help keep you on the track to success.
Keep in mind that writing a journal is not what some people think. It does not have to include day-to-day mundane things such as what you had for breakfast, what you wore that day and the fact that it rained most of the day. These are details that are not necessarily important. Dig deep down with your journal. Write things that, when revisited in months or years to come, will have some meaning for you. Write about your life, not your day. What motivates you today? How are your spirits? What are you looking forward to? What are you dreading? Make your journal a glimpse into your life. A look at the real you and the success you are creating on purpose.
We have found that some people resist keeping a journal because they are concerned that other people will think if they ever read what what was written. A journal is for your eyes only. It is not to be read by anyone else. This is why you can honestly and openly write what is in your mind. If prying eyes are a concern, lock up your journal in your file cabinet or keep it on your computer in a password-protected file.
What kind of experiences you have with keeping a journal will be different for everyone, but regardless, everyone who keeps a journal benefits in one way or another. I had a student once who felt like she had made a big mistake in getting involved with a new business venture. She had so many other important things going on in her life, she just did not know why she decided to start a new business, since she had too many other things happening. As her mentor, I finally got her to start keeping a journal. After two weeks of following through on her commitment to do so, she found from what she was writing that she would often spend several hours running errands that should have only taken her maybe 15 to 20 minutes to do. Once she realized how she was using her time based on what she wrote in her journal, she had a huge "A-Ha!" experience. Suddenly she realized that all she had to do was restructure her time, and then she had all the time she needed to work her new business. Today she has a very successful business going on, living the life style she had only dreamed of for the first 40 years of her life. But if she did not keep her journal, she never would have known what to do differently to find a way to succeed.
Many and varied are the examples we could share with you about people who have had amazing successes because of using a Personal Progress/Business Journal regularly. If you still feel resistant to the idea of keeping a journal, consider that some times when you understand the benefits of something, it is easier to engage in that something. Be sure to check out the article called:
Free Your Mind and the Rest will Follow, where you will learn more compelling and fun reasons for keeping a personal progress Business journal.
One final reminder, your Business Journal is for your eyes only so you can write in it whatever it is you are thinking, feeling, observing, doing, or planning to do. There may be times when your mentor/coach will ask you to send over parts of it or to read from it, but this is not a document for others to go snooping through and read. If you have concerns in this regard discuss them with your mentor/coach. Writing in your Business Journal is an integral part of your success.
So, to be clear – Need you ask when should you start your Business Journal? Start it today!
© Copyright Maikel Bailey & Adam Wade, 2005 - 2017