1 Prepare your jounal

Accomplished after this lesson: You will have created your best companion for the next months. (and started a habit for life!)

Good to know

This course has been designed to help you transform your initial idea towards a business setup with potential. No worries if your initial idea changes. That is all part of the process. So hop on and enjoy the ride! I will facilitate you with feedback and tips on the Course Forum. Also check the mostly asked questions, it may be that your question was asked before and that you can get the answer directly.

TIP: If you want to print a lesson, use the Google Chrome Browser for better printing results. Saving as pdf is also possible in case you want to continue offline.

On the Course Forum is a board for clarification of definitions and words. I have tried to make the English as easy as possible but do make suggestions for improvements.

It is smart to install the Business Dictionary app on your phone. This way you have definitions at hand. Google Translate is often helpful as well (not for sentences but words will work).

Buy yourself a notebook / Journal

Succes is in the preparation so in this first lesson you will focus on that. Start with buying a notebook. Not too big if you want to be able to take it with you (A5: 13cm x 21cm is a nice size). Choose one that has dots instead of lines or squares (they are often called journals instead of notebooks). Dots help you make straight lines and graphics. But dots are not as visible as lines on a page. More pleasant if you want to make drawings or add pictures. Make sure the notebook has at least 180 pages. My personal preference is an extra notebook, thin pocket size, that I always keep with me in my bag to write ideas and inspiration in.

Old fashioned in this time of online and digital? No way since it is proven that your brain will remember better when you write things down. And with a pen this works better than with a keyboard or a touchscreen (sorry to list making apps).

  • An idea in your head that is put on paper will come to life, become something to work on.
  • Your brain is observing and creative at all times and you can get inspiration on the go, so it is better to write things down when they come to mind.
  • A notebook gives you an option for self reflection, you can write down what you would like to change or what you encountered on a personal level.
  • Having ideas can also be pretty overwhelming. If you write them down and break them up in small steps you will see that your plan is going to grow and grow and that is inspirational!

Materials to use for this course

If you don’t have them already, at least buy these essentials:
  • A good writing pencil.
  • A writing pen in a colour you prefer (make sure it is not visible on the other side of a page).
  • Drawing pens in a few different shades of grey for making graphics. Light grey for lines and darker grey for titles.
  • A few highlighting markers and coloured pens / pencils for colour coding notes.
  • An eraser.
  • A ruler.
  • A large sketchbook, A4: printer size (or even bigger) sheets of paper.

Tip: I made a print-out for you with the basic shapes you will need during this course. Download it here. Have it printed, and laminated if you like, at a printshop on heavy paper (300+ grams) and cut out the shapes.

Prepare your notebook for the course:

  • Use a pencil and reserve the pages as stated below (number your pages to make it easy to go through your notebook):
    • 1-3: Index .
    • 4: Vision
    • 5+6: Manifesto
    • 7-9: My idea
    • 10+11: Potential check
    • 12+13: P’s and C’s
    • 14: Strenghts
    • 15: Weaknesses
    • 16: Opportunities
    • 17: Threaths
    • 18+19: SWOT
    • 20+21: Confrontation matrix
    • 22-25: Strategic activity combinations
    • 26-33: Persona’s
    • 34+35: Brand archetype
    • 36+37: Brand essence
    • 38+39: Brand message
    • 41- 130: NOTES section. leave these pages empty for all the ‘Notes’ you will make during research and analytical activities. With each exercise I will give you the page numbers that you should add your notes to.
    • 131- 176: RANDOM IDEAS section. use these pages for ‘Random ideas’. These pages will fill up quickly and give you lot’s of ideas to dig into later on. You can add the most important ideas to your index for quick searching.
    • 177+: TO DO section. Reserve the remaining pages for your to do list. This will help you organise the to do’s that you think of during the lessons.
  • Add all listed items to your index.
Some ideas to make your notebook a personal companion:
  • Use bookmarks for the sections ‘Notes’, ‘Random ideas’ and ‘To do list’. These can be bought but easily made with a paperclip, pieces of (Washi / paper) tape or stickers).
  • Add inspiring photo’s and clippings.
  • If you like, you can add the star with the title of this course to the cover of your notebook with this download that also includes other graphics used in this course.
  • Make small, simple drawings. You can use special journaling stencils for this if you like. Small stamps can also be handy.

Create a ‘Stare at this dot’ page on the last page of your notebook

Further reading / watching

Ideas for making your notebook organised and attractive
  • Online you will find notebooks of famous people like Einstein etc. If you find one that you would like to share, you can do this on the forum page of this course.