I was just looking through my projects to see what’s what, and where I’m spending my time and to understand how one thing might better feed another thing. In doing this, I found that drawing it out, using a mind map, was a great way to ensure that I could see some flow, some overlap, some sense of what was going to work and what wasn’t, and more importantly, where I might feed one thing with another thing. I want to talk about my projects, but I want you to be thinking about drawing a map like this for your own work. (If you want some advice on how to map ideas out, you can check out Mark Dykeman’s book, Unstuck, Focused, Organized – affiliate link.)
In that graphic above, it dawned on me that my professional speaking is still a very important part of how I’m getting business. As I’m planning to throttle it back in 2011, I’m going to have to work to replace that experience. Yes, [chrisbrogan.com] also brings me a “home base” for all these projects, but that’s online, and somewhat insular.
It took drawing this out with some circles and lines (nothing fancy) to understand it better. What will you see when you map out your projects?
Scale and Growth
My efforts to grow New Marketing Labs have paid off, and we have a good practice going on over there. As I’m moving into helping develop The Pulse Network, our live streaming Internet TV network, I’m looking for ways that I can further feed those relationships, and help build up the content-community-marketplace projects that it will offer. But I didn’t learn how to scale myself and my ideas right away.
It wasn’t until figuring out how to run Human Business Works with Rob Hatch that I started realizing how vitally important scale is to a business and its development. Having smart people at NML was one great move. Having Rob at HBW so that he can help me execute my ideas even deeper into the system, and apply his own strategic and executive knowledge to them is golden. In drawing this out, it’s amazing how much of the picture Rob is acquiring as his area of responsibility. I didn’t see that before I mapped out the projects.
Looking for Focus
An entrepreneur looks for holes and tries to fill them. It’s a growth mindset. I’m naturally looking to push myself into new growth, but as I explained in my idea locker post, I’m trying my best to shelve a bunch of these for later. Drawing a map of my ideas lets me see where things might be getting a bit fuzzy and where I need even more focus.
One way I’m doing that is by hiring Merlene Paynter to run Human Business Media, which will oversee some of my blog properties, and will be a partnering opportunity for some other bloggers. That way, I don’t have to sit around and plan every move of HBM. Merlene can. And I can assist and share my vision and then she can run with it. I didn’t see how that would work until I drew out my plans visually, because I felt like it all fit nicely and that I could run it all myself.
Drawing Opens Up Ideas
I’m working on a new TV show of my own for The Pulse Network. I can’t let C.C. Chapman and Steve Garfield have all the fun. In doing so, I wanted to figure out some topic areas so that I can cut the show segments/vignettes together in a similar way. I needed to draw pictures to get some better thoughts out of my head. I’m not there yet, but that picture to the right of this text gives you a sense of how I started. The next version of that picture really let me see what needed doing.
Have you used drawing in this fashion before? I’m finding it so useful to what I’m doing.
Again, if you want to check out Mark Dykeman’s work on the topic, I think it’s really useful. I’ll also be putting up a video review that I did recently that might be of interest on a related book.