The Value Of Using A Journal

Are you one of those people who uses a journal?  Or do you hear the word journal and immediately thinks diary?

Sure, a diary is a daily record of your life, thoughts, hopes and wishes or, in the business sense it can be a record of your appointments and movements.

A journal, whilst similar to a diary, does not need to be written in each day, although you can if you want to.

A journal is your personal record of the journey that we are taking in our life. Each of us is at a different point in our life journey, so we will each have varying needs at different times. With a journal, there is no wrong or right way.

It is entirely up to you as to the type of journal you keep. There could be aspects of your life that you want to change, explore or expand upon. Once you have begun identifying the area, then you’re ready to begin your journal journey.

Download my tip sheet to get started with your own Journal Journey 

So what kind of journal should you keep?

This really depends on which areas you feel the need to work on and is very much a personal choice.

For instance, if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, a “Me Time” journal could be in order. Consider a “Relationship” journal if you need to work on your relationships, or perhaps a “Memories” journal to help keep a record of special people and special moments.

If you are unwell or facing a difficult illness, then a “Healing” journal can offer immense value.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I started to maintain a wellness journal which was so valuable in the sense that I was able to reflect back at the end of each week and month to see how far I had progressed.

I was able to visibly notice how much better I was coping with each dose of chemotherapy. Yes, it was making me sick, but with each dose, my recovery time was shorter rather than longer. As I reflected and read back over the entries in the journal, I felt more empowered. More in control over my own health. I was also able to pinpoint the activities that had taken place to make me feel better or worse.

In the workplace

If you’re self-employed, or a first time manager a business journal is also another great way of holding yourself accountable and debriefing.

Your business plan is the official roadmap, but your journal is the place where you have the luxury of exploring how you are travelling in terms of personal feelings, experiences and fears.

Writing a journal is a wonderful way to slow down and take the time to analyse situations and our reactions to them. The mere act of sitting quietly and handwriting helps to still chattering monkeys of our minds.

Thoughts should be allowed to flow unbidden onto the paper in front of you. They do not need to be in a specific order.

Once the mind has emptied itself, you can go back and read over what has been written.

It’s quite incredible what insight you will often gain by re-reading your own words.

Discipline

It’s not always easy to get into a new habit and finding time to journal can often be a challenge.

The secret lies in being disciplined.

Set yourself up for success by allocating a set time to journal.

First thing in the morning, last thing at night or during a lunch break are times that seem to work well for many. Allocate the time in your calendar and stick it.

Taking Control

A journal is a great way of taking control, being empowered and keeping track of where you are heading in your life, your business, and even your relationships or finances.

The way you chose to use a journal is very much a personal choice.

There are many products on the market that provide visual prompts for your journal. They come at various price points, and it is very much a personal choice how you choose to journal.

Often simple is best. A blank notebook and a quality pen are all that you need to start your journal journey.

There’s also a great article here on the 10 Surprise Benefits you’ll get from keeping a journal.

Do you currently keep a journal? I’d love you share your experiences of the benefits you’ve discovered in the comments below.

Michelle

Download my tip sheet to get started with your own Journal Journey

How to effectively toot your own horn

How to effectively toot your own horn, and promote yourself and your business without looking like a complete self promoter is something that so many of us grapple with.

Do you find it easy to toot your own horn?

If you’re like a zillion other business people I know, then your most likely answer is going to be no. And that’s a perfectly normal answer.

Learning how to promote yourself without sounding like you’re bragging is not always the easiest thing to do. If you feel uncomfortable you are not alone.

It seems a bit braggish to be boasting about how wonderful you are. Braggish – is that even a word?

Nothing more annoying that those people who pop up all over the place telling you how wonderful they are, full of their own importance and it’s all about them. You know the kind I mean. Very rarely share anything about anyone else, just tell you all about themselves. They kind of tend to be the same in real life too – never stop to take breath or ask anyone else about how they are doing.

On the other hand, you kind of have to admire the size of their ego and the fact that they are totally oblivious to anything but themselves, their own needs and wants.

SO – how do you tell people how wonderful you and your business are without coming across as being full of ego?

Well, here’s the thing.

I have spent a great many years working in the not for profit sector. Most people in this sector are amazingly giving and generous with their time and knowledge. They do what they do for others, rather than themselves. Sure, they may get paid, but the wages are paltry compared with the corporate world.

I crossed from corporate to not for profit and now into the world of self employment.

I always found it very easy (and I still do) to promote a charity or a cause that I am working for. That’s because I only work with nice people and causes I believe in.

It’s very easy to ask for money for others. It’s easy to ask for support for a charity.

When it came down to promoting myself, that was a whole diferent kettle of fish. I had one major stumbling block.

The difficulty was…..

Making the ask for myself. When I first returned to Australia, I needed to let people know that I was looking for business locally.

It was not easy.

Up until that point, I had never needed to ask for myself.

I felt uncomfortable actively telling people about my own credentials and successes. It felt like I was bragging. I’ve never been particularly good at the me, me, me thing.  In my business successes I’ve always put my achievements down to whole teams efforts, crediting those working me for their contributions.

Then I realised that all these people I have helped, people who said they admired my work, were actually very willing to help me move ahead in my business.

The problem was…..

They did not know I needed help.

What I had to do was ask. They were not mind readers.

Ok, I had to do a little bit more than ask.  I needed to be clear about HOW they could help me and be specific about WHAT I wanted them to do.

I found LinkedIn a truly valuable tool for helping promote my business skills.  It was a place people could look me up, and the recommendations, honours and awards on my profile did the horn tooting for me.

Click here to grab a copy of our 8 Top Tips for using LinkedIn

I also honed my  pitch, so that I could quickly explain

“Dragons Sisters can help you to connect, convert and sell. We do this through strategic communication and a proven formula of Smarketing – strategy, sales and marketing.”

The team at Dragon Sisters has many talents, but it all boils down to helping clients with connecting, converting and selling.

To understand more about what it takes to connect, convert and sell  Click here to grab your copy of our FREE e-book on How to Create Engagement with Strategic Communication. It’s packed with engagement tips and information to help you succeed.

Once I started to express exactly what we do, the business stared to flow and we’ve not looked back. In fact, it’s rather nice to be in the position that we have many repeat clients and lots of word of mouth referrals.

To  each and every one of the businesses we’ve worked with – THANK YOU! It’s been a great pleasure to help you move your businesses forward.

Michelle

 

 

 

How to choose a business consultant

Consultant (noun)  – A person who provides expert advice professionally.

In business today consultants are popping up everywhere. They come with a myriad of different titles. The common element is you are paying them money for their expertise.

The key word here is expertise.

There is an abundance of so-called experts, but exactly what their qualifications are can be somewhat dubious in some cases. Yet heaps of people are duped into parting with their money.

Consultant, business coach, marketing guru – there are many different names used.

A consultant is a big investment.

This means you need to be making sure you’re choosing the best one for your current business needs.

Over the (almost) 10 years that Dragon Sisters has been operating, we’ve been using a wide range of consultants and experts.

Paying a fee for a consultant is an important business investment. Naturally, we always expect a return on our investment and over the years, we’ve become pretty good at choosing the best consultant for the job.

If you are wondering how to make the best decision in selecting a consultant you might want to grab a copy of our tip sheet to help prevent you making expensive mistakes.

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Why businesses choose Dragon Sisters

You might think you’re paying us to write strategic smarketing content, to give some advice, to run a project.

Yes, that is true, but what you’re really paying for is our knowledge. The knowledge gained through our history of working across a diverse range of industries, experiences, and countries.

You are getting our combined lifetime business acumen and insights that are proven to get results.

Our brag box is full of testimonials that attest to the credentials you need to ensure when using a consultant.

In the 30 years plus of international service with Rotary, I have never come across a business that possesses the unique skills and talents offered by Dragon Sisters. Their combined international experience and corporate background give Michelle and Yvonne a unique and impressive outlook on business and professional development.

The Dragon Sisters have harnessed their experiences and channelled them into a highly effective business model that provides top class results for both corporate, SME’s and not for profit organisations.

With professional integrity of the highest level, they are the perfect ‘go to’ for anyone seeking personal profile and brand elevation.

Allan O Jagger OBE
Chairman, Kirkdale Industrial Training Services & Rotary International Director 2011 -2013

Our forte is helping businesses connect, convert and sell effectively. We do this by using our strategy, sales and marketing expertise – our Smarketing Formula.

Occasionally, a client will ask for something that is not our forte.  We never hesitate in referring our clients to experts elsewhere who can better meet their specific need.

The practice of referring has stood us in good stead by cementing our reputation as an authentic business of the highest integrity. After all, isn’t that what everyone looks for in a good consultant?

Do you use a coach or consultants? We’d love you to share your experiences by leaving a comment.

To your success!

Michelle & Yvonne

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Time out – are you craving it?

Do you need time out? Ever look around and feel that you want more out of life? Feel like having a tantrum, stamping your feet and screaming at everyone?

Hey, it’s okay to admit it. You’re not alone!

If you’re in a busy career, a high-pressure job, or just generally undergoing some serious stress in your life it’s pretty normal to feel that you’re going to have a meltdown. The pressures of day to day living can really mount up.

Maybe you’re juggling a family.  Kids, partners, elderly parents or perhaps all of those. Maybe your workplace is putting on extra pressure.

Whatever the reason…..

It’s important to give yourself permission to get off the crazy train. Permission to take time out.  Time to be kind to yourself. Time to refresh, reframe and relax.

In my own life, I am constantly juggling a series of demands placed on me by family and business obligations.

I avoid the crazy train by carving out time for myself each day.  Time to meditate, time to reflect and to journal as well as several times a week getting out on the water in the dragon boat. It’s my personal self-care plan, and how I refresh, reframe and relax.

It’s not an easy thing to do. To make time for yourself. It takes discipline and cultivating a habit.

If you’re not in tip-top condition then how can your business thrive? How can you be expected to look after your family? How can you make solid decisions?

Make a little time for yourself today

5 minutes to meditate, 10 minutes to journal, 20 minutes to go for a walk.

Whatever you can manage. Anything is better than nothing.

Do one or better yet do all of these things. The main point is do something for yourself.

Go on, give it a go and see if you feel any different. I bet you will.

If you’d like to discover more about looking after yourself why not join me in beautiful Bali for 5 days dedicated to Brand YOU?

A sacred time out where you’ll discover how to make time each day for yourself, how to stay on track in your busy day to day life by empowering yourself each and every day.

Our sojourns take place twice a year and have been put together by Andrea Wicking, and myself especially to help you refresh, reframe and relax. 

Michelle

If you are experiencing a crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 on 13 11 14

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.