Writing in a journal sounds so 2004, doesn’t it? With our current addiction to the four-sided screen in our pockets and the whole world slowly turning digital, who would wish to burden themselves by carrying around a diary and pen?
But let me tell you, there’s something about keeping a journal that nothing else quite matches up to. When we were kids, we used to use it to write about the colour of the raindrops. When we were teenagers, we’d use it to vent about our friends and family. And when we grew up, we snapped it shut and put it in the corner of the shelf.
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Now let me ask you this — are you at peace right now? Or do you have a thousand thoughts jumbled in your head, and without an outlet, you lose three while trying to hold on to two? Do you often experience a light-bulb moment like in the cartoons, where your eyes become huge and start sparkling while a neatly rounded bulb dances on the side of your forehead — a clear indication of a ‘good idea’— and just not manage to pen it down anywhere and thus bid farewell to your momentary euphoria?
Well, if like me you suffer from periodical bouts of nostalgia and reach out to the corners of your desk or look inside the shoe boxes under your bed and pull out your old journal, which now has sprinkles of dust on the surface, you’ll open the first page and realise that this book contains a story — your story.
Today, I’d like to tell you why as an entrepreneur in this digital world you should maintain a journal that will help you in your race towards the finishing line. Some of the world’s greatest business moguls have spoken about how keeping an everyday journal from the very inception of their startups helped them to turn them into the successful ventures they are today. And here’s how:
A canvas for brainstorming
Maintaining a business journal isn’t your everyday ‘Hello, Diary…I’m having a rotten day’ scribbles.’ Its blank pages beckon you to pen down all the jumbled ideas that are running through your head. Once you have them on paper, line by line and point by point in your own familiar handwriting, you can start centring plans around them. Running a startup means that you need to keep up with the changing times, trends and market and what better way to compare these changes than to have it all written down in one single book?
Tracking your own growth
The journal acts as an unbiased, stark reality of your business journey, recording everything from your biggest mess-ups to your greatest wins. It contains your set goals, your five-year plans and once you have these in writing, you can flip through the pages from the very beginning to where you’ve stalled and see the change in your methodology and technique when it comes to your startup. And you’ll see just how far you’ve come since.
Clearing out your mind = mental peace
When I was a child, my teacher once told me to maintain a diary, not because I needed to cultivate my love for writing but more to clear out my head. I didn’t really understand the philosophy of that sentiment until I started pouring out my heart onto the blank pages every day. It was like having a secret confidant and I remember always feeling tons lighter afterwards. For an entrepreneur in this day and age, dealing with a fluctuating market cycle, changing demands, engaging in promotional activities, meeting the mandatory turnovers, prowling for clients and investors — it’s a roller coaster of ups and downs and more often than not, it tends to invade on your mental peace. Relieving yourself onto a few pages will do miracles for your state of mind, and for those having to live with you!
Reflection and guidelines
Your journal is like a ‘pensieve’ into your business life and someday when you’re being written about, you can go back to it and remember where you started from, the trials and errors you’d penned down, the formulas you’d created and rejected, the accounts you’d messed up, the clients you’d won and lost, and that one single event that changed it all. It’s like indulging in a literary panoramic view of your journey — a story told through the many scratches and scribbles through the pages, ones which when the time comes, can be passed down to another, to help create their own legacy.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a diary, uncap a pen, and start writing!