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 http://www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com. You can also visit http://rightbrainersinbusiness.com 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!