This is part of a series of blogs from the four entrepreneurs participating in the Women’s Venture Xchange-Africa initiative. The Xchange is a mentorship and exchange program for high-growth women entrepreneurs based in Africa. The initiative is being run by the Case Foundation, the Mara Foundation, the Global Entrepreneurship Network and the U.S. Department of State.
On my first day in the Women’s Venture Xchange-Africa initiative, I visited the WECREATE | KENYA Center where I learned how to clarify my business ideas as simply as possible, and how to translate those business ideas into revenue. Sean Griffin was facilitating the Visual Thinking Tool Workshop for the female entrepreneurs of the Xchange. This simplicity of business ideas can be accelerated by the usage of visual thinking tools.
At the workshop I learned why entrepreneurs around the globe should start using visual thinking to build up their businesses. Here are some of the reasons:
Visual thinking will create a way to differentiate you from others in the marketing place. Start to put down your ideas and your work into drawings. Visual thinking will help you focus and think more clearly, boost your creative I.Q. and think bigger. When visual thinking, try not to think too much about what you are drawing, go with the flow from your stream of conscious. Focus your thinking, energy and drawing on what you want to create, a problem to be solved, or a new idea in development. This exercise will also help you manage your team and maintain all team members on the same page when communicating; we all know how quickly the human brain can process images. Visualize with your team the answers to these questions: “Where are we?” “Where do we want to go?” “How do we create what we want?” “What is our timeline?”
Visual thinking will help you clarify your business idea. If you can think it, visualize it, and believe it, and then anything becomes possible. What you need to do is to work with your brain’s natural ability to organize information. Visual thinking will enable you to take hold of a key that has the potential to unlock and open the door to achieve a whole new level of performance and design for your startup. To clarify your business idea visualize the answers to these questions: “Which challenge are you solving?” “What value are you creating?” “Who are your customers?” “Who is on your team and why?” “How do you make money?”
Visual thinking will help you overcome serious business challenges. Some of the most famous thinkers in history, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy, have been visual thinkers. Leonardo da Vinci, considered by many to be the greatest thinker of all time, started every meaningful brainstorm with a visual. You can create what you want in life and solve whatever challenges that cross your path by using visual thinking. This tool will help you get to where you want to go even faster. Here are the tips: first visualize on what works and do not put much energy into what doesn’t work. Second, visualize the challenge. Third, visualize what the solution will look like and help your team think outside the box. Finally, the last step is to visualize what is next and to answer questions like: “When are you going to start implementing?” “What are your resources?” “How are you going to get the project done?”
Hyasintha Ntuyeko is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and is the founder and CEO of Kasole Secrets Co. Ltd. Kasole Secrets manufactures and distributes sanitary napkins made of bamboo fibers. The company also informs children about menstrual hygiene and sexual education.