The power of reflection

November 7, 2016

Reflection, according to, means to think deeply or carefully about something. Happiness and success experts have estimated that some of the most successful people take time to reflect and learn from their current experiences.   

Joel Gascoigne, Co-Founder and CEO at Buffer, a media management platform, recently reflected in a blog post after not writing for some time, “I started this blog around the same time I started building my latest startup Buffer and in many ways I think they have both hand-in-hand helped me to grow very quickly over the last year.” As to be expected, Joel is busier than ever due to the fact that Buffer went from around 10,000 to 50,000 customers in a little under a year. Having a way to reflect on this success is important for both his personal success and his businesses. He foes on to say, “I attribute a lot of this success to taking time to reflect on my current thoughts and whether I’m happy with how things are going. It was only when I was reflecting on things that I’d have thoughts to blog about and that I gained these benefits.” 

Tim Ferris, a famous Tech Startup Guru and Podcaster, put it very simply in a recent video on his website: 

“It is important that you pay as much attention to appreciation as you do to achievement. Achievement without reflection on what you have and the gratitude for that is worthless.” 

Don’t forget that failure has values as well. Learning lessons from your failures is not a new idea by any means but how you learn them isn’t always an obvious concept. Learning lessons from those failed moments may require you to step back, analyze what went right and wrong, focus on the details, and then believe that you deserve success. Once you have done this, try again! 

That’s awesome right? Now you know that reflection is an important part of the learning and growth process for an entrepreneur. You are probably thinking, “How do I find the time?” The process of reflecting on your accomplishments varies based on your own personality type. It could be that you can reflect instantaneously after something impactful happens, or it may be that you need to sit in a secluded spot and really think broadly about the experience. Maybe journaling is the best way for you or maybe starting your own blog would be helpful and a good way of getting your words out to share with others.  

“When I had a consistent sleep ritual involving going for a 20 minute walk before bed every evening to disconnect from the day, these walks were where I did a lot of my reflection. I believe these 20 minute periods of reflection allowed me to clear my mind and ingrain thoughts which would turn into action”, Joel explains. 

As they say, “knowing is half the battle”. Doing is a completely different story. Don’t lose sight of why you started and where you want to go. These reflections are meant to be a personal experience that allows you to see if things are going the way you planned or if you have strayed from the path you envisioned for yourself. Even if it’s only for a few minutes every week or 1 time per month, set some time apart to catch up on yourself first and then watch it transform your life and business.  

Written By: Austin Rains, Dayton Tech Guide Marketing Associate