February 18, 2021

Keeping A Diary: How To Survive The Turbulence Of Your Entrepreneurial Flight

leather notebook glasses and pen

During my first year in business, I kept a weekly diary. It helped me to reflect on the week that just passed, take a look back at prior weeks to look for trends and learning, and just give me some quiet time for “therapy.” The Diary of Year One is not a book meant to scare you, but more to share what I learned with you and to let you know you are not alone (but I remind you that you are on your own). If you read it, you will in fact, see the exact moment and examples of when I learned, discovered, or synthesized many of the phases and laws in my book.

During your entrepreneurial journey you’ll be going through a roller coaster of emotions (daily), so knowing what to expect can help, knowing that you’re not alone, and knowing when to recalibrate can be of comfort. I refer to this period in your business’s launch as The Emotional Phase, and you should know you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur worth their salt goes through these emotions, so take comfort in knowing no matter what the degree of success other entrepreneurs have that they have been here.

If not a diary, find a way to self-reflect in a quiet way on a frequent basis. I found I needed to create quiet time within the loneliness to reflect and pause. To do this, every Friday, religiously, I would close the door in my home office or sit on the outside deck and write a few pages about the week that was. I would often look back a few weeks to see what I had written as a starting point for the week’s diary entry.

Truth be told, I am not a diary kind of guy. But I found the diary helped me think about the week, reflect on prior weeks, and also plan ahead. Since I was on my own and “lonely,” it was a cheap form of therapy and almost an internal board meeting. It became a place I would vent a little if I needed, celebrate a bit when warranted, and panic to some extent—all in private. I read the diary frequently as a way of calibrating how it was going. I would reflect on what I said or wrote in prior weeks and see if those things happened, or did not, weeks or months later. I would be able to start to see patterns and “laws,” many of which helped me stay balanced and on-point.

Originally featured on Forbes.