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Skills Insight of the Day #12 Journaling

Journaling isn’t something people associate immediately with entrepreneurs, but it’s an important part of building mental toughness and setting up the road to success. Here’s why freelancers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs should keep a journal.

Reflection and Mindset

It’s not easy to start your own business. Find me a business owner who says that it’s easy to succeed at your own business, and I’ll owe you a fire-breathing dragon.

Mental toughness is crucial for the self-employed. There are guaranteed bad days when you question the wisdom of your decisions and guaranteed good days when you see your dream within reach.

Journaling helps build that mental toughness. Write about what went well and what you need to work on. It’s a time to evaluate your progress, work out your problems, and face your fears.

When you see your fears and problems in print, you can look your “adversary” in the face. Is it fear of failure? Is it financial struggles? What can you do next to deal with these issues?

Write about your successes as well. Celebrate your first customer or first employee. Be proud of your new skills.

Document these good days and bad days as a reminder that starting a business is like a roller coaster ride, and if you hang on, you’ll get past the ups and downs.

Goal Setting

Putting your thoughts on paper is the first step to getting organized. It’s okay to write your thoughts in a jumble in your journal. When you’ve got what’s on your mind on paper, you can start planning next steps.

For example, you’re excited about getting your first client.

What’s next? Would repeating the same actions get you the same results? Could you get the next client in half the time it took you to acquire the first?

If you’re deeply concerned about your financial situation (maybe you owe money from loans to start your business), then jot down a plan. What could you do to ease your stress? It could be taking a closer look at your bank balance. Or speaking to someone for some advice.

Journaling is a first step to setting goals and making plans after getting your thoughts on paper.

Writing Skills

When you write often, you improve your writing skills.

It’s a way to eliminate writer’s block if you’re the type who self edits while you write. You become obsessed with your spelling, grammar, and quality of writing instead of simply writing down your thoughts.

When you write more often, your writing skills improve for writing emails and reports. Writing also helps you organize your ideas if you create mind maps, flow charts, or outlines.

The best part of writing is inspiring yourself. It’s a challenge to start your own business. Document your wins, no matter how big or small. At a future date, look back and see how much you’ve learned and what progress you’ve made.

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