From Doubt to Dashboard: Using MindManager Dashboards to Manage your Business
By: Miquiel Banks (Guest Blogger)
This is Part 2 of Miquiel’s guest blog series on how business owners use MindManager to survive and thrive. Click here to read Part 1 of the series.
For many new business owners, the hardest challenge is getting started. It’s a big leap – stepping out into the unknown – but it’s the beginning of an incredible journey that delivers emotional and spiritual benefits.
The first benefit is Reality Bending. Before you start your business, there are a million reasons why it won’t work (or at least that’s what you tell yourself). It’s during this stage that all those inner demons in your head give you any excuse you need not to even try. The demons will say things to you like:
- Are you being honest with yourself? There’s no way you can be a successful business owner.
- Nobody cares about your ideas. Who’s going to hire you to do their marketing when they can hire someone more qualified?
Once you have overcome this first step, and jumped in with two feet, you’ll have bent your own reality of what’s possible. And this leads to the second benefit – Confidence. 99% of all businesses run on a strong fuel that we call human will, but is more commonly known as confidence. Without this confidence, no business can sustain the strong pull of slipping from excellence to mediocrity. And like all new business owners, Susie is having a crisis of faith, and questioning whether her business is successful or whether it was all luck.
Luckily for Susie, she’s about to discover that all it takes is a little help, and the right tool, to help put you back on the right path to confidence.
How MindManager Helped Restore Susie’s Business Confidence
When Susie enters Beef O’Brady’s, she reflects on the incredible changes she made last week. She went from an unsure, overwhelmed business owner struggling to keep her head above water, to finding and trying MindManager, to meeting with Sophie, her first shot at landing a huge client. Many of her friends and associates told her that was a win, but something inside Susie kept pushing her to find higher ground. Afterall, she hadn’t heard any feedback on her meeting with Sophie yet, so she didn’t want to get too ahead of herself.
Up to this point in her career, Susie has been a documents person. She creates documents, she delivers documents, she presents documents. That’s what Susie does. But deep inside, Susie still felt that inner demon of fear and self doubt that many business owners feel. She knew there had to be a better way, especially if she was going to be successful with these new, intimidating clients.
“Would you like anything to eat for lunch, ma’am?,” asked the waiter.
“I’ll take #5 with no sauce, an extra side of mayonnaise, and some lemonade,” Susie replied as she eyed a quote on the wall.
I got the first part right, Susie thought to herself, at least I left home. But now it’s time to get busy.
She had realized after presenting to Sophie that she was entering a new world where Executives, CEOs, Presidents and Board Members roamed, and that familiar fear and self doubt had started to creep back in. Was she out of her league? Why would a huge chain settle and give their account to a small one-person marketing consultancy from South Tampa? How could she finish her thousand tasks without help?
Right on time, Susie’s phone rang. She sighed, then answered.
“Hello Susie, this is Sophie, from Beef O’Brady’s. I’m sorry to say that I heard your presentation with our other store managers didn’t go well, but I wanted to give you some advice. I can honestly say that what you talked about was spot-on with what we need, but those managers are going in a different direction. I think your ideas were solid, but you have some to work on your presentation to make it more focused and razor sharp. If I put in a good word for you, are you willing to do another round of presentations to some other managers?”
“Sure, Sophie, that sounds great. Just send me over the details,” said Susie before hanging up.
What did I do wrong? I thought that presentation was solid.
As Susie browsed through her documents and video recordings of previous presentations, she noticed a common problem. She was never fully prepared for her meetings, and the material she presented wasn’t coherent. As she went over the long nights she’d spent prepping for these meetings in her mind, she noticed a common problem. She was constantly jumping from MindManager to Trello to Google Docs to PowerPoint to this and this. She didn’t have a centralized place for any of her documents or work.
Am I disorganized?
As the waiter came and cleaned up her plates, Susie browsed through the MindManager videos section on their website. As she read, a curious word caught her eye. What is a dashboard? She watched several videos that taught her about how to create and use dashboards in MindManager, and realized that they could help her solve multiple problems, like:
- Diminishing her workload.
- Managing her daily, weekly and monthly priorities.
- Managing her tasks and deadlines.
After taking her tasks out of Trello and putting them into MindManager, Susie came to a happy realization. She could prioritize her tasks, give them due dates, organize them by client and type and, most importantly, all this information could be viewed in one, easy-to-navigate screen. Suddenly her mind went from confusion to confidence, and the feelings of fear and self doubt began to subside.
I can do this!
After she was finished organizing her tasks, Susie called Sophie back and asked to reschedule their meeting for a week later. This time, she thought, I’ll be ready.
When she got home after lunch, Susie elaborated on her dashboard and organized her work into project folders. Then she created hyperlinks to each of her documents within each project and, with a click of a button, she had instant access to all the projects documents and deliverables she would need. Not only that, Susie came to the realization that she could create dashboards for her home and work life. Having everything in one place would make juggling all of her to-dos so much easier!
Having saved hours she would have spent organizing documents, and trying to manage all of her thoughts and tasks, Susie realized she had a tonne of free time on her hands. She decided to go back to the gym and take the rest of the day off to unwind.
The next morning, Susie’s phone rang. “Susie, I’ve got some great news for you,” said Sophie. “We have scheduled a time for you to present, but this time it will be to our Regional Manager. I hope you’re ready!”
“Thank you, Sophie!” When she hung up, Susie realized that instead of doubt and fear, she was filled with excitement and a confidence she didn’t have before. And she realized this newfound confidence wasn’t because she was different, it was because she had the right tool to organize herself in order to succeed.
After the call, Susie finished her presentation documents and mailed them to Kinko’s to print out for the meeting. As she pressed the final “send” on her presentation prep, she thought back on all she had accomplished in the past week – she had bent her own reality, she had gained confidence and, most importantly, she had taken back control of her time. She now had time to manage and promote her business, go to the gym and live her life. The world was looking brighter as closed her laptop, grabbed her gym bag and headed out into the world.
Start Creating Your Own Dashboards With MindManager
Haven’t gotten your hands on MindManager yet, and want to experience the time saving benefits of a dashboard like Susie? You may be interested in a free 30-day trial of MindManager!
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.