We’re constantly sifting through noise every day. It happens when we meet people, serve clients, drive and walk down the street. All these events and interactions can ignite emotions and thoughts to process at a later time. Sometimes they inspire creativity and other times they make us feel confused and anxious.
That’s why I say:
The most important thing any entrepreneur can do is journal.
It led me to some of my most important epiphanies regarding my business, and myself.
Your body is always responding and giving you signals or warning signs! It’s important that you take the time to sit down and reflect on them. The more you do that, the more you become aware of how certain people, environments or topics make you feel. As I journaled and committed to spending that time with myself, I noticed certain observations emerging in my writing.
And these insights ultimately influenced critical business decisions.
Here’s an example. When I first decided to become an image consultant, I wasn’t sure what I needed to do. But one thing was certain: I hated the show What Not to Wear.
I. Hated. That. Show.
I journaled about why I thought the show was a turnoff, and the journaling revealed the types of experiences I wanted to create in my own consultancy. There was nothing wrong with the content of the show –I simply did not like how they made people feel bad and demoralized by their style preferences or sentimental clothes! There were several episodes where people would have something that reminds them of their childhood. They are holding onto those items because, even though they might be ‘outdated’, it reminds them of a time when life was carefree and stress-free. Instead of letting these emotional reasons have their weight, the people on the show would come out and say, “That looks ridiculous! You’re a big girl and shouldn’t be wearing that.”
My reaction? What about the story? I appreciate people’s stories, and not giving their story the space it deserves is disrespectful. I didn’t want my business create experiences like that!
Knowing myself allowed me to make critical decisions with confidence, and knowing myself came from journaling.
As you attend conferences, listen to podcasts, read books or have client appointments take time to process your emotions and thoughts. Ask yourself critical questions like:
- How am I feeling right now?
- Did I like that experience or not? Why or why not?
- What did I like about it?
- What didn’t I like?
- Was it what I expected? If not, why not?
These are just a few questions to get you thinking. Regardless of where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, make it a regular practice to take the time to process your experiences so that you’ll start identifying what important to you, which will enable you to sidestep experiences and investments that might have seemed attractive but ultimately weren’t in line with what I wanted.