Clarity – Plain and Simple


I was out with my wife a few weeks ago; looking for a dining room set.  We come in the store and meet this really nice sales rep. She takes us around and shows us the different kinds of wood options – cherry, mahogany, oak; then the different finishes; then the different legs and chairs and two books of fabric options. Well, you get the picture.

After a good 45 minutes, we’re really confused and a little bit frustrated going back and forth trying to figure this all out.  We get through all of it, decide on what we want. As it turns out, the particular wood we liked didn’t come with that combination, so we had to start all over again. Incredibly frustrating. All we were seeking was some clarity.

You may have had similar experiences in business as well.  We know our clients come to us with similar experiences. They’re dealing with a very complex world of money with all sorts of moving parts coming from all directions. They’re looking for clarity.

We help them gain clarity with a different tool than you may have seen. We use a mind map. It’s something you may want to incorporate into some of your own work.

To understand what a mind map is, first think of a grocery list.  Let’s assume you’ve never been in a grocery store before.  You go to the store with a big list, get a cart, and look at the first thing on the list: milk.  You start walking and eventually find the dairy aisle. Sure enough, there’s milk; put it into the cart and check it off.

Next on the list: Cheerios. You find the cereal aisle (remarkably not next to the dairy aisle) and get your Cheerios. Check. Next item, eggs. And you think, “Wait. I was just there.”  All the way back to dairy.

You won’t likely go through a grocery store precisely like that.  You probably will keep eyeballing the list and try to sort things out in your head. The point here is that the list is linear and you have to go through the list over and over again to make sure you get to everything. It’s grocery shopping – there should be a simpler way without memorizing the store.

Take a look at this linked mind map.  It’s set up by aisles.  And in each of the aisles it has a little sub-list, which is basically what you’re doing in your head anyway.  You can see how this list can make it a little easier to get through the store. With clarity and a lot less frustration.

Think of this design for your business.  Think about all those elements within your business. As an example, let’s take a look at a business mind map. We put it together for a business owner specifically for his company.

It may not be precisely like your business, but, think of your business in the center. Then look at the various branches on this mind map. You’ll see there’s a branch for information, and there’s a branch for the organization, a branch for products and services.

In addition to several other branches, there’s a branch for personal items for this particular business owner.  You may notice on each of the branches for this particular business owner there are those things that are important to him relative to what he’s trying to do with his business.

And his mind map really clarifies and simplifies it and presents the key items of the in a one-pager with all the important elements for him.

So as you’re running your business and you’re trying to get clear on about what’s going on with your business, you can pull out this mind map periodically and check yourself. You can update it, you can change it. With it all right in front of you, you can ask yourself great questions about where you’re going in the future, how you want to get there and what you have to bring with you. You can see all of the various elements that need to fit together.

This mind map will take that very complex world of dining room furniture, of business and place it into the simple map that you can see and review.  It allows you to make the connections between various things going on within your business.

It will help you get clear about things; you can cut through all of the noise and make some very clear decisions. Decisions about how to employ your people, your processes, your equipment, your products, everything involved when working with your business.

Clarity. We all seek it both professionally and personally. If you want to gain clarity about your own business, I encourage you to take a look at some of the mind mapping resources that are available. One site that I highly recommend is The MindMapping Software Blog by Chuck Frey.

For those of you looking to get clear about your money, come to one of our seminars called Taking Charge of Your Wealth. We spend a few minutes presenting some mind maps that have helped our clients gain greater clarity. Sign up today at http://coylefinancial.com/seminars .

Or call us for a free consultation toll free at 800-853-4108, where we can personalize that clarity around your specific needs. And continue on that path toward greater clarity.

So until next time, enjoy.

Send me your response, query or comment to gklaben@coylefinancial.com.