Sweet Dreamer, I’m willing to bet you’ve got big, bold ambitions for 2014. Doubling your revenue! Rolling out new, better-than-ever products and services! Hiring a staff of people to help grow your business!
But what about the creative ideas you’ll need to make those things happen? That requires not just dreaming, but innovative thinking, brainstorming, and extracting those little bits of inspiration out of the depths of your brain – to form new ideas for your biz!
But the usual way to idea-generate, is just by making lists – writing every idea down in a linear fashion. Now, I’m a pretty big list-maker – I make lists for lots of different things – but, I’m also a very visual person (maybe you are too?!), which means that sometimes, lists just don’t cut it.
Sometimes, getting “visual” with your ideas is just a much more effective way to “flesh them out” on paper – leading you to a better conclusion, AND helping you visualize the results you desire.
3 visual techniques to put your idea-generation and goal-achievement on steroids:
1 Don’t just make a list, draw a mind map! Lists go in only one direction – top to bottom – but with a mind map, you can “flesh it out” in any direction or format you desire, draw connections between different ideas, and come up with more and more ideas as you go along. Score!
2 Don’t just make a spreadsheet, create a graph or chart! Bring your revenue goals and other numerical values to life. Microsoft Excel makes it easy to transform a simple spreadsheet into a pie chart or other visual aid, so you can picture what needs to happen in order to achieve your ambitions for 2014 and beyond.
3 Don’t just visualize it in your head, put it on a vision board next to your workspace! Make a collage from magazine clippings or printouts, or pin items to a corkboard, to represent any aspect of your business-planning/goal-visualization you like. For example, use your board as a reminder of important events for 2014, like your marketing efforts, or product launches. Start in the center with your business values & mission, and pepper the area around it with praise from your clients, goals you want to reach, or other such things. Or, use your vision board to measure your progress towards a goal (i.e., paste on a thermometer graphic with your goal number at top, and color in the thermometer to show your progress as you go along). The sky’s the limit!
One final note: pencils & pens are for list-making, not mind-mapping or vision-boarding! Dig out some markers, crayons, or whatever you have on hand, and have fun with it. 🙂 Use color to denote different categories or topics, and throw in whatever else you feel like (stickers, paint) if it helps you be more creative.
Need a new website, brand facelift, or other visual leg-up to get your business where you want it to go in 2014? Apply for a complimentary Brilliant Brand Strategy Session with yours truly (it’s a 30-minute, 1-on-1, on-the-house design consultation, just between you and me). Just fill out this brief questionnaire, and you’ll be on your way to a more beautiful + effective + awe-inspiring + whatever-you-want-it-to-be brand for the new year!
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!