Monday, April 23, 2018

Journal Your Way To Prosperity

by guest blogger, Mark Hopkins

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group, posted an urgent blog request not long ago asking for help in finding his misplaced journal. He uses it to keep a record of projects and ideas he has while he is on the move. When I saw the post, I felt a great affinity with him. The recommendation to keep a journal (or a personal blog) is one of the most heartfelt that I have for anyone pursuing a more gratifying and prosperous life. 

I started keeping one when I was in college, thanks to a recommendation from a friend. In retrospect, I can say I learned more from my journals than I did from any other source. Because, for me, the most valuable knowledge was the self-discovery of what I liked, what I was good at, what was important to me, and ideas on how I might go about pursuing what I wanted. I was learning enough about how the world worked from my studies and the people around me. What I really needed to know, and couldn’t learn any other way, was how I worked. And my journal helped me rediscover that well into my professional life. Eventually I used the journal to determine that I got bored in every job I ever had. And that helped me realize that the rigorous pace and constant new challenges faced by an entrepreneur could be a good fit for a guy like me.

Start a journal. It’s easy—because, if you are like most people, you are your own favorite subject. It is simply a matter of making the time to do it. Find some dead time in your schedule and start using it to document what you are thinking about—what you are learning about yourself. Airplane time, commute time, contemplative Sunday afternoons are all great times to make a few notes. Keep your journal handy to use to capture insights and ideas as they happen.

Just try not to lose it.


Mark Hopkins earned engineering degrees from Cornell and Stanford and then spent the next twenty-five years deciphering the factors that make some people prosperous, successful and happy After building a leadership career with companies like Hewlett Packard and Emerson Electric, Hopkins founded Peak Industries, a medical device contract manufacturer, which he grew to $75 million and later sold to Delphi. He then founded Crescendo Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Catalyst, a private foundation supporting Colorado-based nonprofits and micro-lending in the developing world.  He is the author of Shortcut to Prosperity: 10 Entrepreneurial Habits and a Roadmap For An Exceptional Career.

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