Mark Jamnik offers a Mind Mapping Strategy session to help turn ideas in your head into a visual map so you have clarity to more forward. Heather, a client, wrote the article below that explained the process and how it helped her align her business from the inside so she didn’t spend valuable years growing a business she wasn’t passionate about.
By: C. Heather Saxon
Introduction to Mark and Mind Mapping
What caused you to initially work with Mark?
My aunt introduced me Mark and Mind Mapping. She initially showed-off his work for her jewelry business. I remember feeling awe-struck when I saw what he created. It was huge, hyper-organized, detailed, and colorful. She walked me through a few categories, and explained how it worked: a central concept forms the foundation of Mind Mapping, such as a business or business idea. Nodes are then added, branching from the central concept, which represent sub-topics. This process continues until all data and thoughts are recorded and organized in a tree-like structure. So, you have a comprehensive diagram of hundreds or thousands of your ideas, now in a hyper-structured pictograph. I was impressed, but I felt a little hesitant about doing it myself. It looked overwhelming as I was launching my small business. I also have zero experience running a business, so that added to my wariness.
Then I met Mark in a networking meeting, through a barter economy called Avontage. We are both members, and I was brand-new to the platform. I could sense his passion for his work, and that he really believes in what he does. That’s an important value for me when I’m deciding to work with someone new. I value passion and optimism, and he brings both. After connecting, Mark reached out. I decided I had nothing to lose because I was drowning in the learning curve of starting a business, which I’d been loosely working on for two years or so. At the least, I thought I could get myself together, learn something, and make a plan, right? So, I scheduled a Mind Mapping session hoping Mark would help me launch faster, more efficiently, and in a way that aligned with my values.
What small business did you launch using Mind Mapping?
Well, I was supposed to launch a yoga business. I spent the last 5.5 years in academia studying the neurophysiology of trauma exposure, where I focused on prevention and intervention. I worked hard to get double certifications in yoga for trauma exposure, and I created my own yoga program and researched it as an adjunct clinical intervention in graduate school. I offered it cost-free in the community to increase access. I never wanted it to be for-profit. It was purely volunteering. But people kept encouraging me to go with it and launch a business. I decided I may as well give it a go. So, when Mark reached out, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.
A big part of me believed I wasn’t giving my all because of the learning curve, so our connection was fortuitous. Next thing you know, we’re working together to build a Mind Map for yoga as a new business. And I was unbelievably excited. Brevity isn’t my strong point, so I worried about the novella-length answers I gave to Mark. But he seemed excited – like the more I added, the better. This made it feel like I had a space where I could “brain dump”, so-to-speak. Mark transformed the convoluted mess in my head into something digestible, understandable, and in a way I could really visualize my path forward. I tend to struggle with brevity, and that’s euphemistic, but Mark wasn’t phased by it at all. I basically did a brain dump on the intake form, so what I offered him was a complete mess
Mind Mapping with Mark Jamnik
Can you tell me about the Mind Mapping experience during the session?
To make a long story short, I was freaking out when we first started. Everything, and I mean everything, was exhausting for me. Everything was stressing me out. And not because I was working too many hours at the time, but because I was still resisting any launch of my new business. The process of Mind Mapping evoked a lot of thoughts to stir in my head. I’d practiced yoga for over 10 years. I studied it. Researched it. Earned two graduate degrees with yoga as central to my theses. But you have to remember, it was all grounded in supporting people with complex, chronic, or acute trauma exposure. It was a free community practice. I did it because I really believed in it. Because it was meant to give back.
As I’m working through the Mind Mapping process, I realize two things. Not in a linear way, either. First, I didn’t want to monetize yoga. It made me physically ill to think about it. There were extreme physiological reactions to the thought of it. It was visceral. For me, it was evidence requiring attention and thought. Body sensations are like messages, and I needed to listen.
Concurrently, and second, yoga started to become something that didn’t feel like mine anymore. Like I was offering myself to heal others, as I sacrificed myself for money. That’s not a life I could live. It felt like I was watching something I love, and fall back onto for support and mental health, morph into something it was never meant to be. Plus, it kept pulling me into my past and graduate school. I realized I needed to move on. No, it was more than that – I wanted to move on. I wanted to turn the page. It was an epiphany. I chose my values and my health and gave myself ‘permission’ to make a 180-degree turn. It was terrifying and liberating all at once.
How did the organization of the Mind Map catalyze your epiphany to pivot your business?
Great question. The epiphany itself was on a phone call with Mark, during our Mind Mapping session. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I told him I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t move forward. It was instantaneous. I think we were both a little shocked at the words coming out of my mouth. But it was my truth. And Mark was super supportive. Because I’d had a breakthrough. Maybe not the typical breakthrough, or standard path, of Mind Mapping, and that’s okay. In the same conversation, I said, “I’m a writer. It’s just who I am”.
To create some context: I’d been a freelance writer for a handful of years before graduate school and had a couple gigs before my Mind Mapping with Mark. I wrote a lot throughout grad school, too, as you may imagine. Essentially, I dropped my business and started a completely different – I made a complete 180. This was like a breath of fresh air. I felt a weight lifted. In a matter of moments, my path forward was clear. And I really believe this is the whole point: to find clarity. When you have clarity, the path forward becomes so much easier and productive.
It wasn’t an easy experience for me. I made a choice to let go of something I’d worked for, in some way, for over 10 years. It was insightful and life changing. And I’m cultivating my passion … by realizing what I didn’t want. And through Mark’s hyper-organization, support, creativity and non-judgmental guidance. And that’s essential. It’s essential for a coach to meet you where you are and without judgement. He didn’t judge me at all as I made this switch, though I did judge myself some as I grappled with this new, sudden reality. So, maybe you need to launch, scale, or pivot your business, and he’s perfect to help you find that efficient path where you’re profitable and love what you do. I just happened to need something else. And he was able to offer that through his approach. Mind Mapping is so detailed, clarifying, and ridiculously organized. The process was so valuable for me.
How do you think about organization after Mind Mapping?
Mark reframed how I think about organization. I’m not organized in the traditional sense. I have messes that are color-coded at best. My notes are dabbled about pages, unreadable to anyone else. And that’s okay. I learned organization isn’t about everything being perfect. It’s not about your organization looking like someone else’s organization. There is one goal with organization: to create time.
I’d never conceptualized it in this way before. The first step was organizing my thoughts to find clarity. Once my Mind Map was created from my messy web of thoughts, the finished product was a hyper-structured visual of my hundreds of ideas. Literally, hundreds. The level and style of organization allows you to see, up close and detailed, just what your business will look like and how you’re going to get there. From marketing to creating time, it’s all-inclusive.
Mark is super skilled at meeting you where you’re at. He asks questions that make you dig deep. You get honest with yourself. And you get what you give. Before the session, I filled out an intake form integral to both the session and the Mind Map itself. It covered a variety of categories within the scope of optimizing and organizing your business goals and your path to get there. And bring your mess of ideas! Like me. Because Mark is there to work through it with you. It’s literally his job. You know what you want. You know what you need. Even if it doesn’t feel that way – you truly do know. He has a way of bringing it out of you, while uplifting you and validating your choices, and then organizing it all into something achievable.
I have yet to complete my Mind Map to scale my writing into a small business, but I have a skeleton, so-to-speak, of the Mind Map that I can adapt to writing. That’s another amazing benefit of this: you can revamp your Mind Map at any time. It’s changeable and reusable!
Benefits of Mind Mapping
What’s your valuable take-away from Mind Mapping?
That sometimes you can’t recognize what you don’t want until you can see every piece of the whole. I kept trying to fit myself into doing something that, deep down, I didn’t really want to do. Mark offered me space to work through it, asked compelling questions, and offered the single largest organizational tool enabling me to reach that conclusion. I want to say, “We just threw away the whole Mind Map”, but that’s not quite accurate. I didn’t toss the Mind Map – I adapted it to match the person I’m becoming and the person that I want to be.
I think everyone’s experience will be different. But I think anyone who needs to figure out how to launch, pivot, or scale their business should consider Mind Mapping. Mind Mapping may be just what you need to take your business to the next level. It’s a powerful tool to discover clarity through organization. And organization creates time. More time is how you exponentially increase your efficiency and productivity, while doing what you love. And it’s okay to change. It’s okay to start anew, no matter how old you are – even if you’ve already made big plans for something. This is how you find balance between your heart and your head. We all need someone to change how we think and flip our perspective sometimes. It’s okay to ask for a little help.
Mark gave me outside validation that we all need sometimes, which translated into gifting myself permission to step into a new business. To turn the page in the book of my life. The thing is, I was on a path that would result in success by almost any definition. But even if all of that happened, I was going to be miserable. My work, my thoughts, my convictions, were not aligned. And for me, that doesn’t fit within the parameters of how I define success. I discovered alignment in my business goals through Mind Mapping. And with Mark’s guidance, I found the courage to step into the next part of my life. To step into my own evolving skin. I’d call that a successful step forward, and I think you can find it, too!
Each month, he shares a newsletter. You’ll receive receive top time tips. Includes videos, book recommendations and exercises you can apply to create a new relationship to time.