Why Start Your Journey with a Journal?
In our first article we considered the links between inspiration and motivation and how to avoid desperation.
If you're still with me and reading this second article, can we assume that you have already been inspired to start a new journey in business, or perhaps in your life? Following the inspiration, you now need motivation to get going and keep going. So where does ‘goal setting and getting’ come into play?
What is the first thing you need to know? Let’s look at an unlikely and fictitious situation which we can use to illustrate this next all important point.
Imagine, you have been kidnapped, (I said it was an unlikely story!), and taken blindfolded, to a place in the middle of a desert and left to find your own way out. Apart from the sun you have no means of knowing your position or in which direction to go. Eventually a search plane circles overhead and drops some supplies and a map of the desert showing several oases. Relief turns to despair, as you realise an essential fact is missing from the map. Can you guess what that is? Yes, it is the all-important, "you are here" arrow, showing exactly where on the map your present location is. Without that single fact you still do not know in which direction to start moving!
The very first thing you need to know to start your business or life journey is where exactly are you now? This is so basic, yet many new business owners and entrepreneurs totally overlook the importance of acknowledging their exact starting position.
How can you establish this?
What are some of the factors that determine your current position?
This is a time you when have to be brutally honest with yourself, you need to appraise exactly what you are going to be able to put into your business. Although you need to be positive and optimistic when you start a new business venture, you also need to be realistic.
● So what assets do you currently have?
● What is your financial situation?
● What time do you have available?
● What experience do you have to draw upon?
● Have you established that there is a market need for your product or service?
● Do you have the support or backup from family or friends?
● Do you have enough funds to be self – sufficient for the time that you will need to get your business into a profitable position?
What you are actually doing here is very similar to what happens when you activate the GPS system in your car, which establishes your position by taking bearings from different satellites. With the above questions you are observing yourself from different angles which in turn will give you your current ‘position’.
These are just a few of the questions that you need to write down in your journal together with the honest answers that you come up with. “When you know what you’ve got, you will know what you need!” (Tony James)
Incidentally, a journal should be a key component of your business administration. If you don't have one then may I encourage you to purchase a hardbound A4 notebook, or better still, a ‘1 page to a day’ diary, with lots of additional pages for writing out your long, mid and short term goals and ideas, and get into the habit of using it every single day! Even if you also use a computer based diary or calendar, (for example a Google calendar or similar), a hand written journal or diary is a far more powerful tool, not just to record events but for time management, and setting and attaining your goals.
Did you know that when you physically write something, the mind registers much more effectively than when you just hit the keys on a keyboard? Oh!, and don’t be tempted to use a cheap wire bound or perforated pad – you need your journal to give you a permanent record of your achievements and failures, and only by truthfully documenting these steps will you progress and succeed.
Having discovered where you are, what goals are you going to write? I mentioned long-term goals (LTG’s), mid term goals (MTG’s) and short term goals (STG’s). Why so many? Do you know what your goals really are? How important is it to have goals?
You may be surprised at some of the answers that we will look at in the next article.
PS Don’t forget to get that journal!
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