In working with some successful individuals, we always ask "How have you developed the skills or characteristics that make you so successful in your vocation?" A common answer received from most of them is quite simple. At some point in the day, they make an investment of time devoted to thinking about how things went and what changes they can make in their business to improve. As small business owners, there are two resources that are always in short supply, time and money. An exercise that many business owners implement is a simple journaling exercise that they use to capture these thoughts. They then successfully apply the ideas that that they discover to improve themselves and their organizations.
There are two elements to this exercise:
Daily – Answer the following three sets of questions (do not take more than 15 minutes for this exercise, best done at end of the day).
What went well today? Why did it go well? What change can I make to increase the impact of this success?
What didn’t go well today? Why didn’t it go well? What needs to change to avoid this in the future?
How did I do at implementing the change I committed to last week today? (skip this for your first week).
Weekly – Read through your entries and look for a pattern of behaviors in your questions. Pick one item and resolve to make a change in your business. Usually this change consists of completing a task or changing a habit. If it is a task, be intentional and put this task on your calendar and get it done (even if the task has multiple steps, committing to the first step inspires you to finish the task). If it is a habit, write it down in clear bold letters and put it somewhere you look often.
This journaling exercise is a small investment of time and money to start on the path of taking a critical look at how your business is doing and make positive changes that will impact your future success. Please contact your KOS Advisor if you have any questions.