Have you tried to write a business plan and have almost bored yourself to death doing so? Yep. We did that too. Sure, business plans are important, but they don’t need to be a 125-page document. If you’re a visual person, then you might prefer to use the Incited way of business planning: using a vision journal or a vision board.
You’ve probably heard successful people discussing how keeping a journal is one of the keys to their success. Oprah once said, “keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you never imagined”. In fact, it is such an effective tool, many successful people often do it first thing in the morning to plan out their day, AND at night to reflect.
While journals can be very personal, here at Incited, we use our vision journals for pretty much everything, including:
- Evolution of ideas
- Plans of action
- Setting goals, and asking ourselves how we are going to feel when we achieve them
- Inspiration: eg: writing down tips from our idols or mentors
- Problem solving
- Reflection and review
In fact, it is very rare to see us without a pen and notebook or a vision journal. We are always creating lists, notes, sketchnotes or doodles, and writing down anything we find inspiring. Apparently, we are not alone. Richard Branson once wrote on the Virgin blog: “Note taking is one of my favourite pastimes. I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas”.
You see, for us, our vision journals have become more than just a notebook. They are our very own blueprints to map out and smash our goals. They are a tool we use to creatively plan and document our journey. Rather than just creating pages and pages of writing, we use sketches, photos, clippings from magazines/newspapers, quotes and text to essentially make what we call a “vision journal”.
The reason why the process of creating a vision journal is so powerful, is because it becomes your book of inspiration. A vision journal will evoke particular feelings and emotions, because you fill it with meaningful words and images. This means, you are more likely to take action on your goals because it is far more motivating to look through a visually stimulating journal, than it is to read a long boring text document. When you look back through it, you see your dreams coming to life and evolving. Awesome, right?
Here are five ways you can build your business using a vision board or journal:
- Business Management: Develop your initial concept, products and services by brainstorming ideas. Jot down your strengths and weaknesses. Collect photos of what similar businesses look like, and think about what your point of difference will be. Map out the structure and model of your business.
- Business Operations: Think about what the day-to-day operations will look like. List out the activities you will do to generate income, and take photos of where will you operate from (or maybe where your dream location is). Search for images of what your stock will look like and stick them in your journal. Pencil in potential suppliers, and set up pages to track and measure your success.
- Business Marketing: Create a mood board of your brand using words, colours, and imagery. Build an avatar of your ideal client and let it evolve as your business does. Brainstorm your social media campaigns, and write or sketchnote drafts of your content for blogs, articles, and press releases.
- Business Finances: Use your journal to set goals and track your finances. You can use imagery to help you visualise the rewards you will receive by reaching your targets (we have photos of beach houses and holidays on the financial pages of our journals to help motivate us).
- Personal and Professional Development: A journal can help you create and track habits you need to succeed. But you can also use text, photos, and snippets of articles to inspire you to become great at what you do. These can include books to read, podcasts to listen to, and information on leaders in your industry. These pages will help you to become aware of motivates you, and what skills you need to master.
Now, if you think you like the idea of building a business using a vision board or journal, here are a few tips:
- If you like creating vision boards, but want to change them as you evolve, snap a photo of them. This way, you can stick the photos of your boards you won’t forget what you had on them. By using your journal regularly, you can watch your business plans evolve.
- Join a FB group for inspiration and support. Vision Journal Collective is a FB group we run where we all share ideas about different techniques we use in our journals. We’d love to see you there!
- Create a spread in your journal of an ideal day or week to help keep you on track with your goals.
- Collect images and text from newspapers and magazines, scrap bits of paper, photos – whatever you like, and keep them in a box so you can add them to your journal or vision board. If you are short on time, grab yourself a Vision Journal Toolkit from our shop. It is a printable pack that deep dives into vision journals and has questionnaires and prompts to help you set goals in life and business. It also contains images and text you can use to get you started with your journal or vision board. The photo below shows some of the elements available in the pack.
When you think about it, there are limitless ways you can use a vision journal for your business. The great thing is, you can fill your journal with anything you want. You only need to check out Instagram or Pinterest to see the many ways people use their journals. But, we gotta warn ya – be prepared to become obsessed big time, because people are getting really creative with how they make their journals unique and inspiring. You are bound to find a style you love.
Janine and Lynda xoxo