The Right Brain Business Plan
Where is your business headed, and what do you and your company stand for?
Your work, like that of most creative entrepreneurs, authentically expresses who you are. You set up shop because you want to do things your own way and make your unique impact on the world. Your creative business reflects your vision, values, and voice.
Your vision is the big picture of your business (and your life). It's where you see yourself heading and includes how you're making a positive difference, what success looks and feels like to you, and what makes life and work ripe with fulfillment and meaning.
Your values are what you hold as most important to you. Values are your lifeblood. Values are what make you tick. Many solopreneurs honor their personal values through their work, so your business values may be based on your personal ones.
Your voice is the unique way in which you show up in the world. Your authentic voice helps you stand out from the crowd. If your vision is the big picture you're painting, and your values are the colorful paints, then your voice is like the beautiful brushstroke you use to bring your vision to life.
These cornerstones of your business your vision, values, and voice will help guide you in making the decisions that are right for you and your business, and in this chapter, you'll get to explore each of them.
The first step in creating your Right-Brain Business Plan is to connect wholeheartedly with the vision of where you're heading in your business and life. While many traditional business books espouse starting a business by evaluating the external environment, your Right-Brain Business Plan begins by looking internally at what has heart and meaning for you. You'll use your creative, visual, emotional, and intuitive right brain to imagine what you desire and what's possible (or seemingly impossible!).
Think about why you wanted to start your own business in the first place. If you're like most creative entrepreneurs, your work is a labor of love, you crave more autonomy or life balance, and you want to have passion and purpose in what you do. You might also use your work to make a positive difference in the world around you. All these aspects and more make up your vision. In the following guided visualization, you'll explore your ideal day, desired business accomplishments, new offerings, your work space, perfect customers, financial abundance, and the legacy you want to leave.
While you may come up with a grand, detailed vision, make sure you hold it lightly. Your business may grow and unfold in unexpected ways. You'll gravitate toward things that you can see more clearly because you know what you're looking for. And by simply moving forward, you'll unearth many hidden opportunities that will unexpectedly enhance your business and your life. The more connected you are to your vision, the more likely you will keep progressing toward it and will manifest it.
To fully access your creative intuition, make sure you find a place where you can be completely relaxed and uninterrupted while you visualize. Turn off the ringer on your phone. Post a Do Not Disturb sign so your family won't bother you. Light a candle or burn some incense to set a mellow mood.
In this relaxed space, give yourself permission to let your imagination roam freely. There is no right or wrong here. As you listen to the guided meditation, you might have an epic vision filled with colorful details, or you may simply experience an inkling or a feeling. Either is perfectly fine. Also, you don't need to take everything that you see literally. Your right brain may be speaking to you in symbols and metaphor, so allow yourself to interpret the deeper meaning later, if needed.
Each time you do this exercise, you might experience something slightly different, and that's okay. It doesn't mean the original vision you had isn't valid anymore; it may just mean you're accessing another part of your imagination and expanding what's possible, or that you have a new sense of clarity. It may also take a few rounds of visualization to really sink your teeth into the exercise. And finally, don't beat yourself up if things are fuzzy. There will be plenty of other exercises to help you tap into the various aspects of your vision, so trust that your big-picture dreams will sharpen over time.
Find a nice comfortable position, either sitting up or lying down. Let your eyes close. Allow yourself to take some gentle, deep breaths in and out. With each inhale, breathe in creativity and vitality. With each exhale, let go of any tension or worry. Again, breathe in deeply. Good. And breathe out completely.
As you connect with your breath, start to notice what sensations you feel in your body. You might become aware of your belly rising and falling with each breath. Just relax your entire body, allowing yourself to be fully supported by the ground or seat beneath you. You might start to feel a tingling sensation in your fingers and toes. Allow that tingling sensation to begin radiating throughout your entire body, through every muscle, as it melts away any tension or worry. Let the tingling sensation radiate up your torso and back, up your neck and up through the crown of your head. Let it run down your shoulders and arms, and out the tips of your fingers, allowing you to relax even more. Then let the tingling radiate down your pelvis, legs, and feet to the tips of your toes. As you let these soothing sensations radiate through each and every cell of your body, you become more and more peaceful and calm.
Now that you feel completely relaxed, allow yourself to imagine that it is some time in the future. A year from now, two years, five years it's up to you. This is your opportunity to experience the success and abundance of your business in the future.
To start this journey, allow yourself to picture where you do your work. See the space where you turn your dreams into reality, where you pursue your passions, where you make a difference.
Notice what is around you. Look around and take in what this environment is like. Is it large and expansive? Or small and intimate? What are the colors, textures, and smells of this place? What is the energy like? Is it exciting and thrilling? Is it serene and grounding? Or perhaps inspirational and uplifting?
Take in the details...What are the materials in this space? What do you surround yourself with?
Now, go to a specific spot in this work space. Perhaps it's a table and chair, a counter, a spot on a stage or in front of an easel, or a seat at a desk or by a computer. Maybe it's outside in the open air, in the expanse of nature. Visualize wherever it is that you can truly engage with your work. Take in the essence of this specific spot. What does it tell you about your business and how you run it?
Now take a look around you. Do you work alone, or are there other people with you, perhaps coworkers, customers, friends, family, partners? Who are they, what are they doing, what's their energy like? What do they say about working with you? What impact do you have on them?
Now allow yourself to connect with what brings you the most joy and fulfillment in your work in the future. What is it that you truly en-joy about your business? What values are you honoring in your work? How are they a reflection of what your company is known for? What legacy are you leaving through your work?
Allow yourself to imagine that your business is wildly successful and overflowing with abundance. You are earning money easily and effortlessly, doing what you love. You can even picture people happily paying you again and again for your work. What do you notice about wealth and abundance in your business in the future? What do you enjoy spending your earnings on?
In addition to your financial success, you have achieved your goals and dreams. What successes and milestones have you celebrated? What awards or recognition have you received? What is new or different in your business? What new products or services are you offering? How have you grown, expanded, or evolved?
Really allow yourself to take in the full experience of living and breathing your work in the future. Know that it is a reflection of who you are, a representation of your values, voice, and vision.
Feel free to take another look around this special place where you do your work. What else do you notice? Just let your senses drink in the sights, sounds, and smells of this place. What special details do you want to make sure you remember?
Before you get ready to come back to the present time, do what you need to in order to say good-bye to this wonderful place of work, and know that you can come back and visit anytime you wish.
In a few moments, we'll count back from three to one. At the count of one, you will be awake and renewed, knowing you can remember everything you need to of your future vision.
Three. Coming back now. Becoming more awake and alive. Two. Wiggling your fingers and toes, moving your body and feeling the temperature of your skin. And one. Eyes open, feeling totally awake and renewed.
From the book The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success. Copyright ©2011 by Jennifer Lee. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, www.newworldlibrary.com.
Jennifer Lee, founder of Artizen Coaching, spent a decade climbing the corporate ladder before pursuing her own creative dreams. More
What came up in the visualization? What had heart and meaning for you? Take a moment to journal about what you experienced. Record as much detail as you can remember, including images, colors, sensations, and emotions. Talk through your visualization with a trusted friend. Have her ask you open-ended, curious questions, such as "What was that like?" "What did you notice?" or "How did that feel?" to help deepen your exploration.
Allow yourself to imagine what else is possible. It doesn't have to make sense or even seem feasible at this point. Remember, creativity, intuition, and big-picture thinking fuel your right brain.
Write notes about your visualization on an index card or piece of paper (you can add this to your Right-Brain Business Plan later). Include as much detail as you can remember. Bring your future vision to the present by using the present tense. Here are some prompts to help you:
I am proud of:_____.
It feels: _____ to have accomplished:_____.
I am honoring my values, which are: _____.
I set myself apart by: _____.
If you have someone to do this exercise with, you can each take a turn sharing what came up for you. When you're through sharing, write down any other notes on your card.