As a solopreneur, what do you do when something in business happens that angers or upsets you? You have no colleagues to help you through it and your mind won’t stop going over and over it. Let your learning journal be your sounding board and counsellor.
What is a Learning Journal?
Often universities recommend keeping a journal to record what is being learned during a period of study, a placement experience or fieldwork. Here’s an article by Worcester University to give you an idea.
As solopreneurs we are permanently in a placement and doing our own fieldwork, so keeping a learning journal is a very effective way to sort out our thoughts and feelings about our journey toward business success. As a business, it is very important to record our strategies, plans and results as well.
Discover What Tool
I recommend some experimentation. Try a variety of tools until you find what feels just right for your style of learning:
- A colourful Moleskine Journal (found in most stationery and bookstores) and favourite pen (mine is an old fashioned fountain pen) This can be transported and used in places that promote reflection for you. Are you able to get focused while evoking a kinesthetic approach with your own handwriting?
- An ordinary scribbler that you used in grade school if you are really good with words.
- An on-line note program such as Evernote. You can create a simple template and one notebook especially for recording your thoughts and observations. Create a separate note for each date that you enter – or for different topic areas. This is a more left-brained approach that can be suitable for business planning etc. It’s versatile because you can access it from both desktop and smartphone.
- A voice Journal. This is especially useful for extensive smartphone users because you can quickly and easily record thoughts, feelings and plans on the fly. Google Keep could be devoted to this. It is also accessible from desktop, tablet and smartphone.
- A creative sketching book. This is an alternative right-brained activity and for some of us, a welcome
relief from all that left-brained business activity. You can add visuals, drawings, and text to go even deeper if you need more than just words. I followed the creative exercises described in The Artist Inside and discovered a deep-seated need to move to Victoria.
Discover a way to take yourself from the surface of the matter to its depth implications to your life and business. Use these headers to guide your thinking and writing:
- Objective Reality – Record the episode or event. Be as specific and clear as possible (who, what happened, what was said, when, what you saw)
- Reflection – Record your reaction to the experience (thought, felt, wanted, did)
- The Meaning – Record why this event is important to you personally and to your business.
- Your Learning – Record what you learned from this examination and decide how and when you want to apply what you have learned.
The foregoing is just one more tool for Being your Own CEO effectively. See my recent blog How To BE Your Own Boss for more thoughts on what it takes.
Mindset Monday Challenge
Where is your most effective sounding board? Is it a coach? A friend? A spouse? Books? Yourself? Share what has been working for you.