A week ago, I received my Big Ideas Journal in the mail, and immediately began putting it to work. The Big Ideas Journal is the creation of THRIVEAL founder Jason Blumer. His intent behind the journal was to coach his friends through their journaling, telling us what to write, instead of simply giving us a blank canvas and saying “go at it”.
You can read more about Jason’s reasons behind the journal here.
I’ve used a few journals before, and I have to say that the coaching is really making a difference on this one. There are planned weekly and daily “assignments”, but other than that, the entire journal arrived blank. My first assignment was to set it up by writing the Table of Contents and numbering all 284 pages. This is my journal. No one else will write or print in it, not even its page numbers!
Daily, I’m to take 6 minutes for general observations. This is the bulk of my journal, and it’s where the rest of the journal is fueled. What am I struggling to make happen? Have I seen anything in the world around me that piqued my interest? How did that restaurant treat its customers? Why does that auto mechanic invoice me the way he does? Why does it take 4 shoppers in line before another cashier is called to the front? Why not 3? Why not 5? How does all this translate for The Green Abacus?
Also, daily I am supposed to review The Big Three. These are three big picture goals that need long term traction. They’re bigger ideas than me. They’re bigger than my business. I’m to keep reminding myself, and refreshing them every day. What do I want to be about? What do I want to make traction on in the next year or two?
And then weekly, I have two check-ins: a thirty-minute Planned Check-in and Planned New Stimuli. The new stimuli is something I need to pick every week to try out. It could be changing a pattern or eating a new food, just something to stimulate new thoughts and experiences. Why did I pick it? What was its effect? And the planned check-in is a weekly “what’s ahead” overview (though I started mine off at week’s end as a look back…). How am I progressing? Is there anything I said I need to do in my journaling that I still have not?
The last two sections are where ideas sparked in the first four are recorded. They are Pruning – what do I need to cut from my life to make room for something good – and Income Ideas – how can I increase revenues through the stimulation I am receiving.
This past week has led to a few big breakthroughs, and the journal is doing more for me than giving me a place to capture them. It’s helping me execute, an admitted weakness of mine.
I’ve already filled out two of my Big Ideas, and come up with one thing to prune from my life and two income ideas. And I executed one of them yesterday, with my offer of free Xero for new businesses. My new stimuli led to a five hour conversation with a friend in the parking lot of a pub last Saturday. And I’ve been more proactive in keeping my Big Picture at the forefront of my mind, and it’s helping me preach that big picture to those around me.
Here is my first Big Idea. It is the new one, the ah-ha moment that I always felt but haven’t articulated. It goes:
A business’ financial situation is more than a collection of ratios. Contained within those ratios lies a story of the owner’s dreams, successes, failures, opportunities and future possibilities. It’s a story of kid’s activities foregone, new adventures pursued, and college tuition to be paid. In other words, it’s not just business to them. My role as a CPA is to bring that story out, that it might either align with, or discredit, the story the owner already tells herself.
It’s been a great week. I’ve already received one inquiry from my offer, and am wrapping up another job today and starting with another new customer. And on top of that, something big came to light yesterday that has great potential. And it’s partly because a leather-bound blank book is causing me to pay attention and capture my Big Ideas.
Ready to start capturing yours?
PS. My offer for free Xero stands until the end of the year. To qualify, you must have started your business since 2009, and contact me for a proposal of services. We’ll talk for no more than 30 minutes, and you can goo with my proposal or walk away. Either way, a 12-month subscription to the software is yours. Contact me today, and launch something big.