Confession time: The more I journal, the more my business grows. Look, I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. In this post I break down exactly how you can use journal prompts to build your business too!
I journal every day (including, as you can see by these photos, the days I was on vacation in Italy!).
It’s one of my absolute favourite daily practices. Journaling helps me get very clear, very quickly on my priorities, refocus on the vision that I have for my business, my most important tasks, the things I may need to shift or do differently — the list goes on.
Are you surprised to hear that journaling can be a powerful tool in your business?
It’s true! From time to time I’ll journal about my life more broadly too, but most of my journaling activity these days is business focused. I’ve designed my approach to journaling specifically to help me get clear on my most important stuff, make confident decisions quickly, and figure out how best to take action.
If you’re wondering exactly HOW to do just that, you’re going to like today’s post.
You see, I have a series of specific prompts I like to pose myself at the beginning of my journaling session before I spend a few distraction-free minutes free-writing my responses to see what comes up.
The most amazing thing about this little activity? It’s like an “unlock” button for my brain.
If I’m ever confused or overwhelmed or worried about something in my business? By journaling and using this approach of using specific prompts, and allowing myself the freedom to write whatever comes up without judgement or stopping, I’ve found time and again, the answers just… appear. And along with those answers comes potent confidence and certainty.
That’s why today, I want to share some of my absolute best journaling prompts!
These are specifically focused on business building and will work best for women coaches, creatives, and solopreneurs.
So if you’ve got a big goal or milestone on the horizon, or you’re feeling a bit stuck or in need of a solid dose of clarity in your business? This one’s (and all 11 prompts I’ve included) for you, lady.
Now without further ado: Here are 11 of the best journaling prompts to help you build your business.
Prompt #1: “What is my intent for _____?”
For example: What is my intent for this collaboration? What is my intent for this project?
I find that clarifying your intent is a great way to sow the seeds at the beginning of a journey, project, or task. Regardless of the size, importance or complexity of whatever you’re currently working on in your business, getting clear on your intent can help guide you every step and decision along the way.
Some more examples you could ask yourself: “What is my intent for creating an e-course or a program?” “What is my intent for my next coaching session?”
Spend some time writing on it, and see what comes up. Your deeper intention just might surprise you!
Prompt #2: “What does my business need from me today?”
This is a question I’ve asked myself through journaling so many times. For me, it’s especially powerful if I’m in the lead-up to the launch, or if I’m thiiiiis close to achieving my goal but deep in resistance.
The things I come up with in response to this journaling prompt, and the way I access my creativity surprises me every time!
Whenever I find myself in a space where I’m wondering “Shit — I don’t know what to do!” or I’ve got low motivation, and use this prompt? I’m always amazed at the things that come up, and how practical and clear the action items are!
Prompt #3: “How would a ____ behave in this situation?”
For example: How would a six-figure businesswoman behave in this situation? How would a fully-booked coach behave in this situation? How would a blogger that nets 50,000 views a month behave in this situation?
This journaling prompt is about projecting yourself into the future you desire as already having achieved your goals, and from that perspective looking back at the actions and behaviours that you demonstrated along the way.
Turns out, reflecting on how you got to your goal before you actually arrive can be crazy clarifying, especially when you’re trying to create an action plan for yourself.
Prompt #4: “What would ____ believe about herself in this situation?”
This is similar to the last prompt, but this one focuses on belief rather than behaviour.
So for example, ‘What would a six-figure coach believe about herself in this situation?’
I like to pose myself this journaling prompt anytime I know I need a good talking to. This is particularly relevant for all of us who spend the majority of their time working alone — because experience tells me negative self-talk often thrives in isolation. This is also a really useful prompt to use when you want to take your business to the next level because self-doubt can creep in and can make us start questioning everything when we’re stepping outside our comfort zone.
Asking yourself what someone who had already achieved your goals would believe about themselves can be a powerful mental reset. BTW, if you like affirmations, this can be a really great way to identify what the right affirmations are for you.
Prompt #5: “What are 10 ways to ____?”
This fill-in-the-blank prompt is best used when your creativity or problem-solving skills are waning, OR you have a big goal ahead of you.
For example… What are 10 ways to win 5 clients this month? What are 10 ways to add 1,000 subscribers to my newsletter in the next 60 days without spending any paid promotion? What are 10 ways to make $5,000 in the next 30 days?
The idea behind this prompt is actually inspired by James Altucher. Every single day as part of his morning routine, he brainstorms 10 ideas around a topic — any topic of his choosing. This bit of brain gymnastics fuels his creativity and confidence.
I find when I apply this brainstorming activity to a business goal, or the things I really really want, it can also relieve a huge amount of stress. Why? Because so often I’ll catch myself thinking that there’s only one way of getting what I want. And, man, being hung up on a single way of getting from A to B can feel really, really stressful — especially when things aren’t going smoothly.
If I brainstorm 10 ways that I could reach a particular goal, it takes pressure off the specific “how”, and it makes me feel much more confident that I’m going to achieve my goal. If one of my “how” options or the one way I’m going with doesn’t work? It’s not the end of the line – I’ve got at least 9 other potential strategies.
Prompt #6: “What do I want to be known for?”
Every time I respond to this journaling prompt, I find I’m writing about the impact that I want to have in the world. And that is such a powerful thing to imagine.
Using this prompt helps me refocus on what’s most important to me and my core values. These are especially important when it comes to setting the course for, and making decisions in, your business.
Anytime you’ve got multiple options, or you’re not sure which path to walk, asking yourself this question can act like a mighty little compass to help you find the best direction to take.
Prompt #7: “Why do I want to achieve that goal?”
So you’ve got a goal — but WHY do you want to achieve it?
Ultimately, this journaling prompt is all about reconnecting to my purpose, my calling(s), and underpinning my desire to achieve whatever business target I might have. This is actually something I go into a lot of detail about in my program, Purposeful.
There’s a whole bunch of research out there that indicates that businesses that are focused on their why are able to build strong communities, have raving fans, and that purposeful people are likely to be healthier and happier.
Prompt #8: “How do I want people to feel when they come across my brand for the first time?”
This journaling prompt is one of my favourites because it’s is all about clarifying your brand values and brand voice.
Having a handle on your brand values can be helpful in a number of ways. For example, they can help you identify the kind of projects and collaborations that you should be involved in, and the kind of voice to use in your website copy, content and marketing copy.
Asking yourself: “How do I want people to feel when they come across my brand for the first time?”, is a question so few ever seem to pose. But when you do, I promise, it pays dividends.
Prompt #9: “What do I have to change to make it happen?”
This prompt is all about getting real with yourself and identifying how life might have to shift if you choose to pursue a goal.
Let me give you a couple of examples here. Things that have come up for me at various times when I’ve journaled my responses to this prompt are: I need to redirect more focus onto list building. I need to prioritize going to bed earlier. I need to learn more about affiliate marketing. I need to be more consistent about putting myself out there. I need to get serious about hosting at least 5 Discovery Sessions next week. I need to re-establish boundaries with a client. I need to dedicate 2 hours a day to content creation.
Hopefully, you get the idea about how clarifying this prompt can be when it comes to the really practical day to day changes that will help you achieve your goals.
Prompt #10: “If it could be exactly as I wanted, how would that be?”
This journaling prompt is all about giving ourselves permission to remove the limitations that we’ve put upon ourselves and own what it is we really want. It’s about being able to give your vision wings and give yourself permission to put it out there.
Don’t worry about whether or not it’s realistic, or the hurdles you might need to cross to get there. With this prompt, you’re free to focus on your ultimate vision. See what comes up.
Prompt #11: “If it could be easy, how would it look?”
I’m always seeking more ease day to day in my business! And I know that’s something that many of my friends and clients are seeking too. If you can relate — or if you know you’re an overthinker (like me) — this one is for you.
I have a history of thinking I have to do something a certain way because someone I admire did it that way, or some guru says it’s the “right” way, even if the approach feels heavy, clunky and/or complicated. But that’s not true at all. Bringing more ease, fun and lightness into your business building journey IS always an option. This journaling prompt will help you explore how easier could look for you.
Anytime I pose this question at the beginning of a journaling session, it’s incredible what comes up!
Which brings us to the end of the best journaling prompts, and the beginning of my curiosity:
I hope I’ve inspired you to give journaling and these prompts a go! I’d love to learn which prompt appeals to you most? Post the prompt you’ll be tackling in your journal this week in the comments below, and tell me why you chose that particular prompt. I can’t wait to see which ones resonate the most for you!