I used to be an obsessive/compulsive, anal retentive, over the edge planner right down to 15 minute increments! No joke-I was so in my linear, logical left-brain that I almost got to the point of scheduling when I would breath-seems practical doesn’t it? Thanks to the intervention of friends and loved ones, (also known as the people I was driving crazy!) I have found life without excessive planning can actually be just as productive. In fact, it opens space for movement and flow, which is required to function in this highly dynamic, ever changing world.
All that being said, I am not throwing the baby out with the bath water! Planning is still a vital skill that supports growth both in life and business. But, as much as I try, it is hard to step back into that linear planning –it feels so heavy.
So, I have explored other ways to plan and have fun with it. I have abandoned my left brain for a bit and have engaged with my right brain thinking! I am moving from the science to the art of planning.
Mindmaps have been around for a while and I never considered them to be a high-level planning tool, however, I was wrong! When you get all your disconnected and random thoughts captured, you then have the flexibility to move them around and actually create a work of organized art! I downloaded a free application called SIMPLEMIND free. Here is a screen shot of what a Mindmap looks like:
Even if you don’t download this and use it on your computer, you can use a whiteboard or piece of paper with different color markers to get started. First do a mindmap assessing your current business. You could ask yourself these questions and build the mindmap from there:
- What is the reality of my business right now? First get clear on ‘what is’!
- Where did my business come from this year?
- What are my numbers?
- What story are my numbers telling me?
- What marketing showed a return on investment?
- What did I do differently that supported the growth of my business?
- What challenges got in the way of the growth of my business?
- If I had to do the first 3 quarters over again what would I change?
- What did I do this year to develop myself, within my profession and/or as a business owner?
Once you have seen the reality of what is, then start envisioning what you want to create for your 2015 business. You could ask yourself:
- What do I want to earn next year?
- If it is more than last year, what will I do differently to make that happen?
- What new markets do I want to explore?
- Who do I know that I could connect with in these markets?
- How do I want to grow myself professionally next year?
So many questions, so little time! A great solution is to follow this mindmap below and give me a call to create and plan what you want for yourself in 2015!