The Right Brain Business Plan
When you've laid out a grand big picture for your creative business, it can sometimes feel daunting or unattainable because it is huge and exciting. Part of maintaining the magic and momentum is to stay connected to your inspiring dream even when you might be doubtful or discouraged.
Here are some lessons I've learned when it comes to manifesting big visions.
When I created my first Right-Brain Business Plan and wrote a letter from the future to myself, I was bursting at the seams, ready to have it all start coming true immediately. While some milestones happened for me on schedule or even faster than anticipated, the majority of them took time. Lots and lots of time. Sometimes the bigger vision has to be delayed because smaller pieces of the puzzle must fall into place first. You may not even be aware of these smaller pieces lining up to get you to where you need to go. Knitters know that it can take a while for the pattern to emerge. You need to give your vision time to take shape and gain momentum.
Thinking that the vision will progress in a specific sequence can lead to frustration when things don't go as planned. Believe me, I know! However, by staying with it, you will start to see connections between various parts of your vision. So, forge ahead while holding your intention lightly. You'll be open to synchronicity and surprised by what unfolds.
People won't know about you if you don't show up. So have a physical presence. Build a website, set up an Etsy store, post flyers for your workshop, go to an event and meet new people, dialogue on Twitter, have a booth at a show. In chapter 4, we covered a lot of practical ways for you to get yourself out there.
Showing up also means being fully present in the moment. When you're present, you engage with people in an authentic and meaningful way. Ultimately, it's you, not your marketing materials, who will enroll your perfect customers.
Loosely translated from Sanskrit, drishti can mean "vision," "insight," or "point of view." In a yoga pose, drishti helps you practice your internal and external focus by holding your gaze at a particular spot. Drishti allows you to simultaneously look inward as you connect with your highest self, and outward as you set your attention consciously in the physical world.
The key to drishti is holding a soft focus. You don't need to bore a hole in the wall with a hard, laserlike stare. If you do have an extreme case of tunnel vision, you'll certainly miss out on a lot of other important aspects of your experience. Just as you don't need to crane your neck in a seated forward bend to see your big toe, you don't need to fixate or tie yourself up in knots to force your Right-Brain Business Plan to manifest. Don't strain yourself to reach your goals. As you take this lesson away from the yoga mat, remember to hold your vision lightly. Oh, and breathe!
Speaking of yoga, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that sometimes the demands of entrepreneurship will throw you off balance. It isn't worth sacrificing a rich and fulfilling life just to have a successful, creative business. Who cares that you're rolling in dough if you don't have time to enjoy yourself, spend time with your loved ones, or take pleasure in the creative pastimes that used to bring a smile to your face? Might as well go right back to your cubicle-land job!
As you do in your business quarterly check-ins, make sure you check in with yourself regularly not just regarding your work, but also concerning the other important facets of your life, like health and well-being, personal growth, relationships, physical space, and fun. How would you rate each of these facets of your life on a scale of one through ten, with ten being "totally satisfied"? If some of your scores are low, what actions can you take to move the needle up?
Another important way to find balance as a creative entrepreneur is to let your thought processes flow freely between your right brain and left brain. As you've seen throughout this book, each side of your noggin offers valuable gifts. It's a matter of knowing when to lean on which hemisphere for what and, many times, seamlessly integrating the two.
The Left-Brain/Right-Brain play sheets on pages 196 and 197 will help you assess how well you're accessing both sides in the planning process. Color in the number of hearts and stars to show to what level you agree with the statements. Filling in all five means you completely agree; leaving them blank means you completely disagree.
How does this right-brain/left-brain assessment differ from your initial responses to two questions in the introduction to this book: "Which description do you feel more comfortable with, and identify with, and why? Does your preference differ according to the circumstances?" And how has making your right brain your business buddy helped you to tackle the left-brain details that may have once seemed daunting?
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
As we talked about in the beginning of this book, your right brain is a gift in your creative business. It plays an important part in helping you kick off your business planning in a fun, big-picture way. It also plays a vital role in helping you maintain the magic and momentum along your entrepreneurial journey. It's what will keep your work fun, engaging, and meaningful for you, even when times are tough.
Below are some suggested practices to help you continue making friends with your right brain:
All these simple suggestions can help you breathe new life into your business and your creativity. Pick a few to play with this week. Think of them as enchanting toys in your creative entrepreneurship's toy chest. Pull one out when you need to shake things up, when you want a fresh perspective, or when you simply need a right-brain break from some left-brain drudgery. See what brings a smile to your face and a spring to your step.
While these activities may not necessarily seem like work, trust that by giving yourself a playful space you're enhancing your overall ability to show up fully on the job and at home. You may even develop some of these as ongoing practices to help you engage regularly with your right brain. Weave them into the fabric of your work and personal life and see how effective and enlivening this integration can be.