How Journaling Can Help You Lay Out an Amazing Business Plan
If you’re here, you’re probably a thinker, a leader or an entrepreneur — someone with a vision and the motivation to make things happen. That said, sometimes visions get stuck in our heads. We get cold feet, or our idea feels too big to tackle. We might think we have a plan in place, but we fail to realize that the execution of a plan is just as important as the plan itself.
Fortunately, there are tools for people who want to start a business but don’t know where to start. Some of them are as old as business itself, and others are new, modern tactics that most people don’t know about. We’re going to explore both old and new tools today, and in doing so, help you set yourself on the path toward turning that pie-in-the-sky business idea into reality.
Old tools: journaling
Did you know that English business magnate Richard Branson keeps a journal? The billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist swears by his diary, which includes everything from organizational lists to calendar meetings to personal mantras between its pages. Branson isn’t unique in this — countless famous upstarts throughout history have kept journals.
Why? Simply put, journaling is good for planning, and even better for idea generating. Have you ever had a wonderful idea strike you, only to forget it by the time you were ready to act upon it? Or perhaps you think of a brilliant solution to a problem, and you fail to write it down because you think it’s too good to forget — but you forget it all the same.
The truth is, we would all probably be a lot more brilliant if we were writing everything we ever thought down. And that’s exactly the point when it comes to journaling: keeping a digital record (we think digital is best, since you can access it from multiple places if it’s cloud-saved) of all your ideas, plans and organizational notes is as liberating as it is exhilarating. The simple act of keeping a journal is a key part of getting your “big idea” out of your head and onto the page.
But, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably not satisfied with the simplicity of a journal. Diaries are great, but they’ve been around forever, and there’s not a lot of innovation when it comes to jotting your thoughts down. No, you want something that will work even harder for you — and you should.
New tools: journaling with a responder
Picture it: you have a great idea. You know bits and pieces of it, but it needs work. You write down everything you know about your idea in your journal, and then you walk away. When you come back to your journal the next day, you see a comment on your journal entry. The commenter asks you questions about your plan, challenging all the “grey areas” you didn’t know existed. You start to see the gaps, and you respond by filling them in.
Your plan is even better now! Not only that, but the next day, you get another follow-up to your response that inspires you to improve and develop your idea even further. This relationship goes on as long as you want until you feel you’ve got a plan that’s ready for implementation.
Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, talking journals do exist — and no, they’re not magic. The Journal That Talks Back™ is a journaling service where certified responders offer comments and ask critical questions about whatever you write. Specialized prompts allow you to explore the depths of your business plan and receive real-time feedback from someone committed to helping you improve and expand upon your ideas.
Think of it as a logical next step in journaling. After all, what good are all your brilliant thoughts if they’re not stress-tested before execution?
A business coach should challenge assumptions
The truth is, starting a business is not as impossible as it sounds. But many people do it without proper planning, and that’s why an unfortunate 20 percent of businesses fail within their first year. There are countless reasons why businesses don’t make it: money miscalculations, improper management, labor issues and more. At the same time, each of these problems share a similar origin — they suffer from a lack of proper planning.
That’s why journaling with a qualified responder reaches the problem at its source, instead of combating the symptoms. By working with someone committed to asking questions, challenging your assumptions and reviewing your ideas, you’ll be exposed to potential blind-spots that you alone might not see. A responder will dig deep into your journal entries and help inspire you while ensuring you remain committed to a workable, implementable plan.
So, if you’re a business-oriented entrepreneur looking to launch your next great idea, our recommendation is to get started! Just remember to start properly, with the planning and support you need to turn your business into the right kind of statistic.