Our minds approach solving big problems — or big business goals — differently. Some people are analytical; some people are logical; some people are creative; others are visual.
Visual mapping is a straightforward strategy that takes your largest business goal and breaks it down into chunks that you can easily act on.
If you’re the type of person who needs to see how everything connects, and the thought of putting everything into a spreadsheet makes you feel like sleeping — Well, you’re in luck, you visual learner, you. This business template is perfect for the way you think.
Alright, grab a pen and paper (or download our handy template here)
Go ahead and write your “ultimate business goal” right in the center. Then, write down as many things that you’ll need to do in order to meet your “ultimate business goal”.
We have a handy guide on setting business goals if you need help.
If you’re having trouble getting started on the brainstorming, ask yourself:
Each goal is going to be different, of course. So, take the time to really exhaust every single possible thing that you might need to do in order to reach your ultimate goal.
You with me? Good.
Alright, now do the same thing for each of the smaller goals that you’ve brainstormed. Eventually you’ll have a big “map,” with your “ultimate goal” in the center, smaller goals around it, and even smaller goals around those.
But, while visual mapping is great for getting a bird’s-eye perspective of how everything connects — it’s not so great for actually organizing the steps you need to take in order to reach that big goal. However, there is a visual way to organize your goal mapping: brackets.
A classic example of bracketing is the way sports championships are organized. But, rather than placing a winner at the top — you’re going to put your ultimate goal there.
Then, take a look at your visual map and place the goals that lead immediately to it on the next level down. Keep going until you have all of the steps — from tiny to huge — organized into clear brackets. Now you have a visual representation of how everything connects (the visual map) and a visual representation of the steps you need to take (the brackets).
Wanna take it one step further? If you don’t use a project management app already, be sure to check out the project management tools Trello and Asana. Each of these tools enables you to create as many different types of lists as you want (for free!) and they each let you color-code tasks, which is great for visually-minded people.
And if you don’t think that visual maps are going to work for you, be sure to tune in later to review our SMART goals template and more.
Emma McGowan is a full time blogger and digital nomad has been writing about startups, living with startup people, and basically breathing startups for the past five years. Emma is a regular contributor to Bustle, Startups.com, KillerStartups, and MiKandi. Her byline can also be found on Mashable, The Daily Dot's The Kernel, Mic, The Bold Italic, as well as a number of startup blogs.
Follow her on Twitter @MissEmmaMcG.