The Right Brain Business Plan and a Giveaway!

March 1st, 2011

I'm thrilled to share this interview with Jennifer Lee, author of the recently published The Right Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success. Jenn is a friend of mine and I've loved seeing the process of this book go from a spark of an idea, to proposal, to draft, to finish product. I'm so proud of you, Jenn!

The book is awesome and I'm so excited to be giving away a copy! With all the creative folks who stop by here, I know many of you would benefit from this work. I'll have more details about the giveaway at the end of this post. I also want to be sure you've heard about the free Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit that's taking place this week. Check it out, there's loads of great information being shared.

On to the interview!

Jenn, how did you come up with the idea for the Right Brain Business Plan?

Funny you should ask, Leah, because the first Right-Brain Business Plan was born when I did your fabulous Art Every Day Month challenge for the first time back in 2007! So thanks for creating a space to help the idea blossom. During the last two days of the challenge, I was also working on my business plan and decided that I would use the opportunity to do something creative with it since I had to make art for the day anyway. I collaged my big vision for 2008 and beyond on one side of an accordion book and then the next day I put details such as my marketing plan, products and services, financial goals, and action plan on fun cards on the back. The plan helped me reach my goals the next year and became the inspiration for the e-book, workshops, e-Course, and now the book. Just goes to show you how having a regular creative practice like AEDM can spark fresh new ideas!

What advice do you have for creatives out there looking to start their own business?

You don’t have to go it alone. It can be scary to start your own business and put yourself out there, so make sure you have a circle of support – I like to call them your creative cohorts – who you can lean on and learn from. In fact, Leah, you and I connected through our blogs several years ago and have been great sources of support and encouragement to each other even since.

What is the first step to crafting a Right Brain Business Plan?

Start with getting clear about your vision for your business (and your life). What are you passionate about? What do you and your company stand for? What values are you honoring in your business? What does your success look and feel like? This will serve as the foundation for the rest of your plan.

How do you recommend creative people deal with the overwhelm and fear that can come with putting a business plan together?

Find ways to make it fun. Use colorful markers and sticky notes on fun paper instead of forcing yourself to go straight into a spreadsheet to crunch numbers. Pick one piece of the plan to work on and then jump to another part if you get stuck. Don’t feel like you need to have everything ironed out before moving on to the next piece. Give yourself healthy doses of what I call Left-Brain Chill Pills to quiet your judging mind.

What are the benefits of crafting your business plan in this way?

People who have unsuccessfully tried to do a traditional business plan have actually completed a Right-Brain Business Plan because they had fun with it. So actually finishing a plan (and a plan that you’re totally jazzed about and that you look at again and again) is a huge benefit. This RBBP approach allows you to think outside the box and make your plan in any format that tickles your fancy (I’ve seen a bracelet, a paper plate mobile, and even a plan in a paint bucket decorated with a feather boa!).

Above is the fabulous leather cuff bracelet created by Bevla Reeves of Hair Conspiracy.

What are some of your favorite creative business planning tools and resources?

So many. Basic things like sticky notes and colorful markers (Mr. Sketch and Staedtler triplus fineliner are my faves). I’ve been using the Levenger Circa notebooks for more than a decade – it’s an amazing cross between a spiral notebook and three-ring binder. I also love Levenger’s Oasis Concept Pad for brainstorming ideas. My friend Lisa Sonora Beam’s book The Creative Entrepreneur is also one of my favorite creative business planning resources.

How do you stay creatively inspired in your business?

I like to connect with other creative entrepreneurs and see what they’re up to. I work with a coach who helps me innovate and try new things. I look for ways to blend my various interests to form new ideas. I practice self-care Fridays so that I refuel my creative spirit. I love to read.

Where can we get more information about you and your book?

You can find out more about the book at You can also visit to learn about the Right-Brainers in Business Summit started this week.


To win a copy of Jenn's book, leave a comment on the post below by Friday, March 4th at 12 pm EST. If you'd like, leave a comment about how you think the book could be helpful for you!

UPDATE: Congrats to Sheri D. Maple who won a copy of Jenn's book!

59 Responses

Oh what timing! I’ve been fighting myself with starting a business this year, I think this would help me a lot to get focused and started. I’ve signed up for the summit and look forward to learning.

Thanks Leah & Jenn for the opportunity & inspiration!

I’ve tried to get through other business plan books before, and I’ve found every single one to be absolutely deadly! I really have hope for this one, though. It sounds like it is the perfect alternative for someone like me to actually come up with a working business plan.

Thanks for this giveaway!

I would like to have this book!

I am considering how to start using my talents and interests to produce an income and what could be better than making the business side of this an enjoyable, creative and inspiring part of the process?

:) If I don’t win it, I’m totally buying it!! Thank you for sharing this interview with the inspiring Jenn.
I’m just beginning to envision my photography business – and I’m not going the traditional route.

I know it’s time to take myself and what I do much more seriously (and treat us with respect!); I can use all the help I can get!

Thank You for this great post and to let me know about this great book and the video summit ( where I know already a couple of people )
This book looks so great and could not only help me but could help me help others because I am always sharing and helping other creative people do business in their own way.
Be blessed

Thanks for sharing, sounds like something I will need to read. I’ve got my intention and vision, but no business plan.

Hi Leah, I remember that I met Jen at a workshop you held a cople of years ago. I was really intrigued with her fun ideas then and remain so. I would love to win her book, of course. Count me in :) (I really need all the help I can get).

I could so use this. I entered another giveaway, but I’m going to try here, too, because I need a kick in the pants, I have been going nowhere for the last few months. Jen Lee, save me!

great post … I’m loving the inspiration and encouragement I get from your blog every day. Just being connected with other creatives makes all the difference in the world; We touch each others creative energy and it translates right over into our own creative offerings. Thanks so much for opportunities and sharing.

Love this new way of thinking…I think it’s all too common that we feel it’s either being artistic or being business-minded…hard to do both!

gimme gimme gimme please, this would be an awesome resource to have for myself in my freelance capacity but to also pass on to other through my blog and workshops, let’s share!

I’m just starting out selling my work but I do feel it needs some kind of structure (even though that word alone makes me shudder and want to run away); this book really appeals to me as a way to do it that isn’t scary, and might even be fun!

I need all the help I can get. lol I could really use this book. What a fabulous offer!! Thanks!!

I just finished listening to the Day 1 info and it was GREAT! I can’t wait to see what the next video summit brings!

This book sounds like an absolute must-have – for me anyway. I have NO clue how to start a business plan, so I need all the help I can get. Thank you for giving us the chance to win a copy. If I don’t win I will definitely be buying one.

This books sounds great–if I don’t win, I’ll have to buy it or find it in my library.

I’m getting ready to begin a business plan for my artwork and I would love an alternative to the traditional plan. This sounds like just the perfect solution. Thank you for the opportunity!

Business plans are intimidating! I have a loose one pulled together and I’m doing okay, but I gotta think that making this endeavor fun would help to move me past some of the areas where I’m not seeing the growth that I really want with my business, www.!

This will be going on my purchase list! Thanks for the heads up.

looks fabulous! i’ve been reading Jen’s posts, yours, and other creative inspriations for awhile now and just love the affirmation of following non-left brain impulses. good luck to Jen on her new book and i’ll get a copy one way or another!

I thinking about starting my own business with handmade body products and need all resources available to create ideas to market and promote products to increase the customer/client base. I love Lisa’s book as well.

The business side of crafts can be so overwhelming and a drag. I’d like to read Jenn’s book and see what ideas she has.

Jenn’s book sounds a wonderful for creative people like myself who may be a bit scared of the standard business plan & associated paperwork. I’ve done business plans in the past for small business ventures and hated every minute of doing them. I seem to get freaked out by the practical necessity of regulations, accounting, forms etc. I had recently learnt of this book & thought it could be good for me.

Thanks for the interview!

Kat :-)

I’m taking her free class right now and it IS very informational. I’m going to buy the book but if I win it would be awesome!!! :) thank you for the chance!!!

Wow awesome !
I am just starting to put everything in order to begin my art business journey. So this book seem like the perfect tool to go along with me as I step in this big scary leap.
Thanks for doing this giveaway.

just the thing i need to give me the push in the right direction! i’d love to win it, but if i don’t, i’m definitely buying it soon! thanks for the great info!

Business Plan?? What is a Business Plan? I definitely need this book!

I’m watching the video summit and it’s really great! Having the book would be wonderful, as I’m starting my business very slowly, again, after almost 20 years. Thanks for inspiring Jen to do this with your class, Leah!

Wow – the stars are really aligning for me this year! Leah, I just found you online in Dec. I signed up for your newsletter because I really wanted to get back to my roots, drawing and painting. I’m enjoying have a theme ea month to keep me focused and motivated – just the best. It has reconnected me to all my fine art materials again. Thank you – I’m having so much fun! (I promise to not let them get dusty again) I’m also a jewelry artist and have enjoyed watching my business grow and gain momentum over the last few years. This yr I feel like I need re-evaluate the direction and vision for the biz and decided to create a business plan. Looking for inspiration and guidance I JUST found Jen online on Feb 27th and signed up to receive her phone conversations re creating a right-brain business plan. Crazy, right? I would love to be considered for the give away. Thank you both for keeping us all inspired and most importantly, MOTIVATED!

I almost started to buy a copy today but realized I am too strapped for cash this week :P then I saw your giveaway!
I have been wrestling so much with how to make a business plan, cause I have NO clue. I know I want to be Self employed and do it creatively but I’m still trying to figure out the how’s.
I did purchase the art + money guide which helped me formulate how to get myself out there, but I still need a business plan and one that works for my right brain!

Hey Leah! Thanks for posting about this wonderful book, interview and Web Summit! I participated in the first two sessions this morning, one live and one recorded. Very inspiring! I am realizing while in a career transition, I am refocusing on my artistic dreams and how that is a real service to humanity, to help others live their creative dreams by living my own. Got really clear during today’s summit presentation about offering healthy and powerful images to youth, young girls in particular about being your true self and listening to the inner voice. Living your true spirit is a blessed gift we can all give to this world.

thanks again for posting about this.


Thanks for this interview!! Starting out on your own can be intimidating but I don’t want that to stop me any longer. I am so grateful for people like you and Jenn who share their stories, tools and inspiration and for people who are acually living their lives on purpose. I am so ready to dive into my creative career and not worry about my family and friends who don’t understand why I need this. I am ready to Unfold! I’m also super excited about Jen’s book! Much Success and Love to both of you ladies and anyone reading this comment.
Light and Love,

I would love to win Jenn’s book! I’ve been following her blog for sometime now, and when I saw her being highlighted here I smiled at our “small world.” I am at a point in my life that I have decided I want to be done with soul-sucking day jobs and am taking steps to living my passion instead! And that passion is to support myself through my own art(business)! This book would be extremely helpful in helping me take one more step in the right direction!


Leah – thanks so much, hon for hosting me on your blog and being a super, duper friend throughout my publishing journey! :)

Wow, really loved reading everyone’s comments and seeing how so many peeps want to be doing their creative work or want to take their creative work further. Yay!

And I’m thrilled to know that some of you have been watching the summit and getting great stuff out of it.

Whoever is the lucky winner – hope you enjoy the book!!

I’m a color grapheme synaesthete and can’t even do basic math without a calculator most of the time, let alone comprehend most business plans put forth by many books out there. I would love to win a copy of Jenn’s book! :)

This sounds really helpful. I’ve been considering having my own business so this is something I’ll have to get.

Leah, your site has been an inspiration for artists like me to stay creative and just do something everyday that can help us grow and be confident. You have talked about your good friend Jen and it is a pleasure to have such creative friend because like what she says.. we need some creative cohorts.

I really hope and pray to have this book of Jen’s. This can help me further with my creativity as well as take each trials as a good challenge that I have to face. I am starting to make a website. It’s really hard thinking of a good logo but I am game on.

Thanks again and God bless!


Thanks for sharing all of this great information. I feel so stuck in place businesswise. This is very helpful.

My brain is bursting with ideas, my bookshelves are overflowing with books, and my computer is a disaster of saved newsletters and blogs that I don’t get around to reading.
When it comes to anything practical, I’m completely overwhelmed.
Help! I would love to have this book. :)

What a great idea! I have been so frustrated by the traditional way to form a business plan and it never seems to work for me. Sounds like just the ticket! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Oh I’d love to win a copy of Jenn’s book. The summit has been awesome so far. The book would help me really focus on where i am going and what I really want my business to be. Thanks for having the giveaway.

I sold my house at Christmas and downsized. With money in the bank I hired Cynthia Morris as my Life Coach to help me bridge the gap from corporate life to a more creative world that involves art and travel. In our coaching call last night Cynthia recommended your book. The left brain techniques of the “nuts and bolts” of business as modeled for me by the corporate world leave me overwhelmed, bored and freaked out. Did you know the corporate model is based on the MILITARY? I never thought about it being creative also. I hadn’t looked at this blog – probably since Christmas – no coincidences. I get the message. I’m supposed to read your book! P.S. Step 2 of the plan- quit my job – last day is April 1

I have been following the summit and I have to say, the interviews are just setting off fireworks in my head. Problem is, I let creativity roam free and can’t pin any one idea down to get it growing enough to call a business. I am freelancing, which is the halfway point to entrepreneurship for me, but I need some guidance like Jennifer Lee’s book to concretize the ideas that are floating around in my head.
Good luck to us all!

I love Jenn’s blog and I’m just now listening to the video summit she has going. I would love to dive into her book to learn more about what my business could be about in the future… :-) Great interview, thanks.

This book sounds wonderful! I would love to win it!

I took the leap not quite a year ago and quit my job to sell my art. I create inspirational handmade ceramic tiles and could use alot of help in how to run my business!

I would love to try something different. I have seen the “usual” business planning books and I know this one…is the one for me.

Jenn’s an inspiration – I accidentally stumbled upon the summit a few days ago and am so hooked! The book would be a god-send for me since I’ve been unemployed for a while and have been stuck as to how to start my business, my way :) What a wonderful interview as well!! xx

I love this – and it so relates. I just went to a “Creative Industries Day” in Colorado discussing how art and business can marry to stimulate the economy and inprove our communiites’ well being. It is the right time and the right place for artists to rise and be successful!

I would love to win a copy. Thank you so much for doing such a generous give-away! I am gaining so much from the summit and would love to learn more from the book!

I’m feeling stuck. I obsess about the business side of things and don’t end up getting much done creatively. I’m wondering if this book might be the boost/encouragement I need…

awesome post!

being a leftie not sure right side brain works? lol but it all sounds interesting. um, starting a business to encourage women who have little self-esteem would be something i want to do esp ones living in shelters.

Wow oh Wow! How cool is this! Artists need career mapping strategies that ooze right brain functions. I have so many goals right now and any help to get all my ducks swimming upstream would be awesome. I’ll check out the Right Brainers Summit, too. Thank you, Leah, for having such a helpful giveaway. Great interview and tips, too. Thank you, Jenn and Leah, for all your encouraging words and inspiring lives~

What a great giveaway! Love4d the interview with Jen! Thanks for all the information! Please enter me in the giveaway.

I am attending Jennifer’s online Right Brainers in Business Video Summit and working through her Right Brain Business Plan book. Both are FANTASTIC and I am SO GLAD I got involved with this! It has given me the impetus to expand my business in a creative, non-scary way and I am looking forward to what will evolve. Go check out the summit — there are still four days left and grab her book if you’ve been thinking about doing a business plan — but from a very different place!

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