Mapping Your Mind

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Creative business people are the best. They come up with the most innovative ideas and really unique ways of helping people. Even if they plan to deliver something that is commonplace, creative thinkers have an original take on how to deliver it or give it an unusual twist. That’s why I love working with creative business owners and solopreneurs.

Too many ideas

One of the common problems that creative solopreneurs have is that they have TOO many ideas. It is hard to translate these into business applications and have everything happen at the same time. Yet when all these ideas are buzzing around in your head, it can be difficult to prioritize or figure out how to make them work for you.

The first thing you need to do is get them out of your head and on to paper (or, if you like, on to the computer). But, you say, I already have them written down, on scraps of paper here, there in my journal, on sketch pages, or even on napkins. Sound familiar?

What we need to do now is to get them down in a way that we can see them all and get them organized. I’m a really visual person and having a visual way to envision my biz is helpful to me. One of my favorite tools to use is a graphic organizer/mind map.

What is mind mapping?

It is a powerful way to visualize your thoughts. It encourages a free flow of ideas, which makes it the ideal tool for brainstorming and creative problem solving. You start by drawing a circle in the middle of your paper and put the name of your business or project inside. You then draw branches (lines) with keywords that describe each major category of your business. Now add more branches of subcategories and other aspects of your work. As you build out your map, other ideas will spark and possibilities come bubbling up. It is, in this way, the time for exploring what the possibilities are, how these possibilities might relate to one another. It is a way to identify synergies, note intersection and overlap ideas. What if I did this? What could it lead to? Your mind map gives you a powerful way to view your ideas, to physically visualize what you have been pondering and to brainstorm those ideas to new possibilities.

This is a pretty simple version of a mind map of my business. A bigger paper and more detail await development of greater possibilities. Arrows can be used to show interaction and overlap of segments.

There are lots of ways to make them pretty and to organize them. My suggestion is to just use what works for YOU. If you want to do it on the computer, there are lots of (free) choices, just web search “graphic organizer/mind map” or “mind map.” I found one called mindmeister.com looks good, as does https://bubbl.us. While I haven’t used them, they both look like they can do the job.

How did it work?

I sincerely hope that you’ll give mind mapping a try. I’m anxious to know how it worked for you. It would be great if you left a comment below with your experience with mind mapping. Can’t wait to hear from you!

xoxo Karen

xoxo Karen


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