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By Sharon Vornholt
Today’s article is on the “6 ways journaling will make you a better real estate investor”. I am the first one to admit that the topic is a little bit different than what you’re used to. However paying attention to your mind-body wellness is really one of the keys to your success.
We get so caught up in the “day to day” of our businesses, that sometimes when we are stuck or feeling burned out we cannot figure out why. Sure; we know we’re bone tired from chasing deals, but it’s more than that.
Journaling is a process that has many unexpected benefits for all entrepreneurs including real estate investors. Better focus is just one of them. If you’ve real Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”, you know that journaling is one of the things he suggests you do every morning.
It’s Easier than You Think
I know a lot of people say, “I have no idea where to start”. For all the women reading this, just think back to when you were a young girl. I’ll bet you had a diary. You just sat down and wrote. We dumped all of our feelings into that little book.
I can tell you that it works pretty much the same when you’re a grownup, but here’s the difference: Instead of unloading all that teenage drama onto the page, what you will be doing is freeing up some brain space to work on your business.
Are you ready to at least give it the benefit of the doubt?
Here we go.
6 Reasons You Should Start Journaling Now
- Journaling clears your mind which leads to better focus.
Over time, our brains get clogged up with details. There are things we need to do, things we should have done (and didn’t), projects, plans, emotions and more. Remember that tenant that is driving you crazy or the house you should have gotten under contract but you botched the offer?
Carrying all this stuff around weighs us down, and it takes our attention off our business.
David Allen wrote the book “Getting Things Done”. In his book he suggest that we periodically do a brain dump. I personally think you need to do this on a regular basis. How often you need to do it will be an individual decision. In general when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s probably time.
Doing a brain dump is also a way to begin your journaling experience.
In another one of my favorite books “Double Your Income doing What You Love”, Raymond Aaron talks about cleaning up your “messes”. He is referring not only to physical messes, but to all the things AKA “messes” in your mind that take your concentration away from your business.
Action Step: It’s time to do a brain dump. Write down every unfinished or half-finished task, project or idea you haven’t gotten around to. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Once you do that, you will have the framework for a plan of action.
- Journaling helps you be more creative.
Regular journaling can help you brainstorm new ideas. You probably think your ideas are pretty dull and ordinary. However once you put all those ideas on paper, you will begin to see a bigger picture emerge for growing your investing business. Thoughts, ideas, and opportunities begin to come together once you begin writing.
Action Step: Once you’ve done your brain dump, look at what you have written. Where is there an opportunity for creativity in your business? What ordinary thing can you do differently; in a more creative way? You might just surprise yourself.
- Journaling helps you think big.
Write “no limits” at the top of one of your pages. (Remember that no one has to see this). If there were no limits, what would your dream business look like? You can put all those big ideas on the page without your inner voice telling you, “That won’t work”. This is a judgement free zone.
Action Step: Write down 3 big ideas you have for your REI business you haven’t said out loud. Nothing is off limits.
- Journaling helps you build better habits.
Once you begin journaling, you will automatically become more aware of your actions and your habits. Whether it is things you need to do more of (like exercising or eating better) or things you are doing too much of (like wasting time surfing the internet), they will become apparent as you write about your days. As an entrepreneur, over time your habits will likely be largely responsible for the success of your real estate business.
Action Step: Decide to write even a paragraph in your journal each day that describes your previous day. Be sure to include the good, the bad and the ugly whatever that might be.
- Journaling provides a healthy way to process emotions and relieve those stresses in your life.
Remember the deal you blew and the tenant that’s driving you crazy? The simple act of writing down these types of things (before having a physical meltdown) can literally save your business and your reputation. It’s a much healthier outlet for those emotions.
Carrying around all that stress weighs you down, and it can do actual physical damage to your body. It definitely prevents you from being the best you can be.
Action Step: Write down something that is causing you stress. How do you feel? What emotions are holding you back? Once you get those down on paper, write out a solution or a way to at least deal with the situation that will take the weight of it off your shoulders.
- Journaling helps you feel a sense of achievement.
We all have those thoughts. You know; the ones about how we are falling short when it comes to our real estate business.
When you commit to a regular journaling process (even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day), your progress and achievements will be right there on the page. Journaling allows you to celebrate all your wins no matter how big or small they are.
Action Step: Write down at least 5 “wins” you can claim for your business. They can be simple things or big achievements. Then pat yourself on the back.
You may be the type of person that uses the computer for everything you write. If you are that person, there are plenty of online journals you can use. A lot of people prefer online tools simply because they are more private.
I’m more of a pen and paper person when it comes to a journal. In fact, I love writing in a beautiful quality journal. The actual book is as important to me as what goes in the book. You just need to find what works best for you. The important thing is to just get started.
Here are some resources that you might want to take a look at when it comes to online journals.
This is a free app that can be accessed from anywhere. JRNL is rated one of the top online journals and it’s private. You can customize the pages in your journal, you can share entries in your journal (although I’m not sure why you would do that since they are meant to be private), and you can “write on the fly”.
You can check it out here at JRNL.com
Penzu has both free and paid versions of its online journal. They say they have over 2 million users around the world. This journal is password protected, fully customizable and they will send you an email reminding you to write in your journal each day.
It you cannot wrap your brain around how to get started journaling, ONEWORD might just be the tool to help you to get started. The premise is simple. Create your free account and you will be directed to the next page. Once you’re on that page, you’ll see one word at the top of the following screen. You have sixty seconds to write about it. This is actually a great way to start if you’re not used to writing.
Ready to Dive In?
If you’re still on the fence about keeping a journal, I would say just give it a try. I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it.
Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.
Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.
Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.
In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.