Writing ideas and inspiration in a notebook may be the best business habit you get into. You’ll be creating your very own, priceless Business Bible.
Business Bibles: Book in some time
Working for yourself can be daunting – especially when you are responsible for every aspect of business, from accounting to marketing. The great news is that you can easily source wide-ranging business advice from a multitude of places: books, business magazines, forums, seminars, LinkedIn, blog articles (like on Flying Solo) and even conversations with friends.
The not-so-great news is that you might become overwhelmed by the volume of available information, and the difficulty in capturing it.
But there’s a solution. I regularly take a few moments to write down the best tips and ideas in a notebook (and I don’t mean my laptop). After a few years, and countless entries, this book has literally become my own Business Bible.
A spot-on prediction I wrote in my Business Bible
A few weeks ago I attended the World Business Forum in Sydney. I took out my trusty notebook to jot down a few pointers from the session. I inadvertently opened to the first page and discovered my first entry in 2009. It was a business prediction that the future of retailing was online!
The benefits of having a Business Bible
My notebook may not be high tech, but it contains countless nuggets of business and marketing wisdom that has been collected over the past five years.
Writing down ideas and tips has meant that for a few minutes, I stop working for my business, and instead think about how to improve it. The simple act of filling in a little book with handwritten words has often sparked a new direction, a great marketing campaign or a conversation starter with a potential customer.
It may seem quaint but it has helped me make some major decisions, and also saved me hours of searching for something I’ve read somewhere.
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If a notebook isn’t for you, use technology.
If writing in a notebook is too old-school for you, there are a multitude of note-taking apps for iPad/iPhone and Android, such as Evernote, One Note, Papyrus, Springpad and Drafts.
Tips for creating and maintaining your Business Bible
The biggest challenge is not letting the ideas and nuggets of inspiration vanish before you’ve captured them. Most people only remember a fraction of what they hear each day, and we forget about 50 per cent immediately after we hear it.
How many times have you come across something brilliant, only to instantly forget it because you’ve been distracted by more urgent tasks? Here are my tips.
- Grab your notebook or phone/tablet whenever you stumble on a great piece of information, or whenever your own inspiration strikes.
- Keep a pen and some paper (or your mobile phone) on your bedside table, just in case you wake up during the night with a brilliant idea.
- Set yourself goals to keep up the practice. For example, you might schedule a few minutes each day to capture anything note-worthy.
- When you’re on the internet, set a time limit or an alarm so you don’t get absorbed in blogs, webpages or social media – we are all time poor, so it’s important that you search with purpose.
- Collect all types of information, like a useful business contact or an interesting comment you heard in passing.
Invaluable ideas, advice and tips are everywhere, so grab a pen or a tablet and write them down. The act of writing in your Business Bible can give you clarity and focus in a world of information overload.
Where do you capture your business ideas and inspiration? What are your thoughts on creating your very own Business Bible?