By: Miquiel Banks (Guest Blogger)
As a business owner, you are always overwhelmed with multiple items. The biggest problem is understanding how to manage your business, your projects, your tasks, yourself, your stress, and your time.
You may ask yourself:
- How do you determine what is most important?
- How do you determine what to do next?
- How do you determine which project will yield the best results?
- Where do you look to find “gaps” in what you know and what is actually “happening” to your business?
Most business owners, caught in this situation, view the situation as hopeless, a veritable sinking ship. But instead of going down, most business owners view the leak as a necessary evil. Instead of fixing the leak, the focus sharpens down to being more productive than the leak. So the business owner rushes to get more work, get more clients, and get more time. The normal workday ends at 5 p.m. for everyone else, but the business owner deduces that working until 10 p.m. will slow the leak.
Now the leak is spilling over into home, family, and mental clarity. What is the cost of not fixing the leak? It is catastrophic to the business owner and not worth addressing. So instead, before we show you how to fix the leak, we’ll show what life looks like without the leak.
Imagine a world where you come to work and your processes, procedures, projects, and productivity are in tune. You know exactly what needs to be done this year, this month, this week, today, and this morning. Imagine being successful for six months and then after missing a few tasks, you are alerted that if this behavior continues, the next two projects will be late. Imagine doing this without hiring six assistants, buying several mobile apps, or subscribing to multiple SaaS products. Imagine leaving your normal world of chaos for one of order. Now imagine all this being solved with one simple solution.
Do I have your attention now?
Meet Our Business Owner, Susie
Let’s talk about Susie, the owner of a local marketing one-stop shop. She has managed to generate new clients, but her leak has widened and now she wonders if she can continue at this pace
Up to this point, Susie has tried spreadsheets, Google Docs, Office 365, and Trello. Each attempt turned out to be a disaster that left her with more questions than answers. And even worse, no solution was in sight.
She had heard about a new technique called mind mapping, so she decided to take a long lunch and try it out. She ordered some fish tacos for Taco Tuesdays, went into a corner, and pulled out several sheets of paper as 80s music soothed from the overhead speakers. She started with her business. How do I manage my business better than I have?
After mapping out her issues, she realized that she should package her workload into projects and tasks. She was interrupted by the waiter, “Hello Miss, here’s your tacos and your ginger ale.” As she started eating, she wondered how she could afford a Project Manager at this point in her life. The last time she hired an assistant, she lost over $15 thousand and it took her months to recover the time and funds.
As she was eating, she pulled out her laptop and Googled productivity and mind mapping. After looking at several options, she stumbled across MindManager, which got her thinking. Maybe she could use this software to manage her projects. But how would she deal with the task management problem?
Susie scoured the use cases and examples from MindManager customers, ranging from projects to transparent communication to tasks. And she was particularly intrigued when she read that MindManager is the final app in the Microsoft Suite. She watched an introductory webinar as the waiter brought her a third refill. As she learned more about MindManager, Susie began to no longer fear the leak.
She downloaded the trial version and started thinking about her issues, frustrations, projects, and possible tasks. As she browsed the templates, she liked the idea of a timeline. “What’s this about,” she asked herself. And before she realized what was happening, she had a project timeline of her workload for the next six months.
And as she stared at the screen, the waiter asked her about a fourth refill and she shook her head, “can you bring me the dessert menu?” Before he returned, she had created a timeline of her events and was even driven to set priorities for each of her tasks. As her map grew and changed, the fear of the leak slowly dissipated.
Suddenly, her life made sense and while she nibbled on her molten chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream, she realized that if she moved the items around, she could focus her energy in the right places. After closing the Harbor Island and John’s Creek meeting, she started brainstorming on innovative ways to pitch her ideas for the Car Dealership Campaign. As she did her research, she felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned.
“Sorry to bother you, but I’m Sophie Rodriguez, the Store Manager for Beef O Brady’s on Himes Avenue and while engaging the staff here, Brian, your waiter, raved about your work and these maps that you were working on. He even said that you closed two deals while eating dessert. I’d like to talk to you about your marketing and how you can help out my store!”
Even though she was a newbie, Susie took her laptop and paperwork to the office and she presented her ideas to Sophie for rebranding to capture the South Tampa socialites, the downtown fall over for the Riverwalk, and the students from the University of Tampa. After finishing, Sophie responded, “Wow Susie, your ideas are spot on and so specific to the area, let’s continue this conversation next week. I’m going to reach out and ask other store managers to sit in on the next one and if it goes well, you may well have your first major client, Susie!”
As Susie walked out to her car, she realized the leak was not the problem. It wasn’t her commitment or her knowledge. It was her focus. As she focused on what was important and put lesser items in the background, her pinpoint focus drowned out the noise of the leak and everything else. With MindManager and mind mapping, she understood that a shift in perspective was necessary for change. And just using the software from day one proved to be invaluable for her success.
Try MindManager for Yourself!
When she got home, she looked at the other templates and worked on concept maps and flowcharts for her big corporate meeting with Susie and Beef O Brady’s. Like Susie, you should take MindManager for a 30 day trial and and see how mind mapping can change your business, change your perspective, and change your life!
About the Author: Miquiel Banks is a highly experienced technical writer, blogger, UX designer, award-winning freelance author and a longtime, avid user of MindManager, Miquiel is a very advanced mind mapper, and is very active in the MindManager community. His long career as a writer has led him to work with such major brands as the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, AT&T, Dell, Jabil, Olympic Games, Verizon, Spectrum and many more.