Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the title of this post alone was enough to make some of you groan and think one or both of the following:
“You’re kidding me, right? Writing in journals is for pre-teen and teenage girls!”
“Do I really need something else to add to my plate? Sounds like too much work!”
Regardless of your initial impressions, I’d like to build a quick and perhaps even compelling case for why I think keeping a business journal for your real estate investing can be a very effective success strategy for any serious real estate investor.
1. It’s good to have a place (one consistent place) to capture great ideas you read or hear about
How often do you come across an awesome idea in an article or a blog or simply in conversation with others and think to yourself “I don’t have the time to do this now, but that would be a great idea!” or “Some day I’m going to give that strategy a shot for my business”? I know it happens to me often — I’ll read great ideas in real estate investing forums such as the one right here on BiggerPockets or see a great video tip from one of my real estate investor blogging pals. It’s impossible to process or take action on all of this. Rather than be distracted by the ideas, you can file them away in your real estate investing journal to refer to at a later time.
2. By the way, you also need a place for your own random thoughts and killer brainstorms
Ideas (whether good or bad) can be forgotten as quickly as they are formed in your mind. Why not get those ideas written down so that you can truly evaluate them later? Sometimes you’re so concerned about forgetting something that you’re unable to move forward with other important things, but if you write it down you can get it off your mind and move on. Perhaps you’re having a challenge and need to brainstorm some solutions…do it in the journal where you can have record of it later.
I know some people who are really savvy about this and keep a voice recorder at all times so that they can capture their thoughts even if they are driving or are somewhere that makes writing impossible.
3. You have a written history of your businesses successes and failures (lessons learned) to celebrate
For me personally, this is one of the greatest benefits of keeping a journal for your real estate investing business. You can capture what is working well, what isn’t working at all, the obstacles that you had to overcome, etc. Not only will this help you moving forward in your business, but it will also allow you to truly appreciate how far you’ve come when you go back and read the journal in later months or years.
You can take this a step further and also consider the value of handing a journal like this over to a child, sibling, or someone you mentor in the years to come. It’s bound to be inspiring when you have reached some or all your real estate investing goals!
There are actually a number of other reasons I can think of to keep a journal for your real estate investing business, but these are three solid ones to consider. Your journal can be on paper or electronic, but even as a major technology fan I will tell you that I do believe that there is something powerful about putting pen to paper. You also don’t have to write on a daily basis, but the idea is to be consistent (at least weekly) to gain the most from the process for your business.
Would love to hear your candid thoughts. Do you keep a business journal? Do you think this could make a difference in your business or does it seem like a bunch of fluff?