Turn Dreams Into Reality With The Stroke Of A Pen

draw your big idea is a book of sketchnote exercises for entrepreneurs by nora herting and heather willems of imagethink

Harness Your Entrepreneurial Spirit With Pen And Paper

We all have dreams and ambitions, big goals that we wish could become a reality. ImageThink started the same way, with an entrepreneurial spirit that still lives with us today, pushing us to expand our services and improve our team.  

Self-starting is certainly the zeitgeist of our time. According to a survey released by  Bentley University  and Forbes Magazine, some 66 percent of millennials are interested in starting their own business, while about  54 million Americans  now consider themselves freelancers.  

But sometimes, the bigger the dream, the harder it can be to get started on it. Whether you want to start a business, open an online shop, or develop a body of work, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just… put it off for one more day.  

If only there were a way to break it down into more manageable chunks—something you could do that would allow your brain to fully activate in coming up with the answers you need.   

 It turns out there is a first step you can take to start to make your big ideas and dreams come true: You can pick up your pen and start drawing.  

graphic recorders create sketchnotes at a desk with draw your big idea

A pen and paper is all you need to start your entrepreneurial path.

The Power of Visual Thinking

ImageThink began with the dream of infusing the business world with creative thinking. As graphic facilitators, we stoke creative approaches through real-time visual transcription. Like any other big idea, it took some time for us to get up and running. But we had at our disposal what we now provide to the companies we support: a visual approach to problem-solving. And that made all the difference when it came to turning the idea of a graphic recording company from a sketch on the back of a napkin to a 15-member team that supports hundreds events worldwide each year. 

How could simple pen and paper make such a big impact in our growth? The answer has to do with the power of visuals to engage your entire brain. Drawing engages four learning modalities—visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile. Contrary to the popular notion that creative thinking is a solely right-brained activity, visual thinking actually stimulates the entire brain and allows for an internal dialogue to take place between the spheres of logic and creativity.  

 In fact, visual thinking activates the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which is the section responsible for all of your complex cognitive behavior and decision-making. The act of drawing stimulates this most powerful part of your brain in a way that makes it more effective at processing information and problem-solving.   

Not to mention that drawing is a lot of fun! That means you invest your task with emotion, making you more likely to stay engaged with an idea, and to remember it later.  

sketchnote exercises for entrepreneurs in imagethink's draw your big idea book.

Visual thinking is a powerful tool that can help entrepreneurs hone their goals and visions.

So What Does Drawing Have To Do With Entrepreneurship?

Remember that big idea that seemed to vast to realize? Well, because drawing is such a simple yet powerful action, visual exercises have the power to help you view it from different perspectives, and to break it down into actionable tasks. Even better, drawing can help you communicate the value of your concept to others in a flash. In other words, you can literally draw your dream into reality. 

ImageThink’s co-founders took what they learned building a business, and distilled it into Draw Your Big Idea, a book of 150 creative exercises to help you clarify your thoughts, break tasks down into manageable chunks, and take real steps towards realizing you goals. They’re exercises that we practice with our clients and internally alike to find focus, collect meaningful information, and chart paths.  

Think of them as a visual toolkit for aspiring entrepreneurs.  

Rather than a business-advice book, Draw Your Big Idea is all about giving you a concentrated space to explore your passion and motivations, and to ask yourself important questions about what it means to turn that into an achievable goal. 

Try Visual Thinking Out For Yourself!

Don’t take our word for it. Try out these exercises from Draw Your Big Idea to see how visual thinking can hone your thinking and help you find concrete steps forward. 

A sketchnote exercise from the book Draw Your Big Idea, by Nora Herting and Heather Willems.

Get Started With 5 Simple Drawing Elements

Maybe you’re a self-described artistic genius. Maybe the last time you drew a picture was grade school. At ImageThink, we believe anyone with pen and paper can draw. That’s because all you need to make an effective image are five simple elements: squares, circles, triangles, lines, and dots. Take a look around the room and choose any object. Draw it using only variations on these five elements, and you’ll be surprised at what you can visualize.  

A sketchnote exercise for entrepreneurs in draw your big idea, by imagethink co-founders nora herting and heather willems.

Bridge The Gap: Uncovering Ideal States and Obstacles

Now that you’ve got your drawing legs, it’s time to get into reason you’re here: charting your entrepreneurial path! 

Visualizing where you want to be in a year from now is only the beginning. Use this exercise to not only envision your future, but to take stock of your current state, and the challenges you will need to overcome to get where you want to go. Identifying discrete obstacles is the first step towards empowering you to overcome them. What actions can you take to bridge the gap? Be as specific as possible. 

a sketchnote exercise for entrepreneurs from draw your big idea, a book by imagethink co-founders nora herting and heather willems.

Connect With Your Audience, With Empathy Mapping

Whatever your entrepreneurial goal is, one thing is for certain: it’s success will depend on how well your audience relates to it. Use the empathy map to get into your audience’s heads. Think about what their needs are, what their daily tasks are, where they live and what they do for a living. Clarifying who your audience is will help you tailor your product, service, or message for them. 

two people read draw your big idea, the sketchnote workbook by imagethink

There’s More Where That Came From!

Ready for more sketchnote exercises? Check out Draw Your Big Idea, or explore our customized graphic recording workshops. You’ll unlock the creativity you need to clarify goals, overcome entrepreneur’s block, and chart a meaningful and achievable path towards success.  

Ready to change your thinking?

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