So delighted to bring you an inspiring interview with Jennifer Lee, author of The Right Brain Business Plan. If you’ve ever been intimidated by the words business plan… and believe me I have, this is the book for you. Thank goodness for Jenn Lee!
How did you come up with the idea for the Right Brain Business Plan?
The idea for the Right-Brain Business Plan came about very organically, which I suppose is totally appropriate! I was participating in Leah Piken Kolidas’ November 2007 Art Every Day Month challenge and at the end of the month I decided to work on my 2008 business plan. Since I had to make art anyway, I thought why not make my business plan in some creative form. So, I collaged my vision on the front side of an accordion book. The next day, I wrote out the details of my plan – my executive summary, products and services, marketing plan, financial goals, and actions on little cards that I tucked into envelopes on the backside of the accordion book. I never would’ve guessed that little personal art project on my kitchen table would’ve turned into all of this!
What makes the The Right-Brain Business Plan? different than a traditional business planning approach?
When we think of formal business plans we think of reams of paper or a slick slide deck with fancy charts and spreadsheets. That’s fine if you’re going for a loan or getting venture capital funding. But for us solopreneurs and creative types that traditional format can be intimidating or just doesn’t feel relevant for what we’re up to. However, we still need to have a roadmap to helps us track where we want to go and how to get there. So, a Right-Brain Business Plan gives us permission to have our plans look any way we want and to approach the planning process with our creativity, imagination and heart. This makes the whole process more accessible and fun! I’ve seen RBBPs in all sorts of inspiring formats – from a leather cuff bracelet, to a paper plate mobile, to Michelle Ward’s Box o’ Business Brilliance made out of a Cheerios cereal box.
What are your favorite creative business planning tools and resources?
I swear by sticky notes, Staedtler pens, and Levenger Circa notebooks. Plus, the academic wall calendar from Paper Source has become my command central for all things planning and scheduling.
What advice do you have people just starting out in their creative business (or for more seasoned entrepreneurs)?
First and foremost trust yourself. You know way more than you think you do. And find a supportive group of people to help nourish your dream – I know the Mondo Beyondo community has been helpful for so many people in that way, so continue to find encouraging and positive souls. That will help you in any phase of your business (and your life, for that matter!).
What are a couple of your goals for the year?
To take my business to its next level of success so that it rewards me both financially and emotionally in ways I could have never imagined! I have lots of various strategies to support that such as developing new products (including my forthcoming Right-Brain Business Plan Kit), offering high-end coaching programs, and leading a retreat later this year.
To celebrate our 10-year anniversary by going with my hubby on a relaxing week-long vacation to Hawaii this fall.
Where can we find out more information?
You can find out more about the book at http://www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com. You can also visit http://rightbrainersinbusiness.com to learn about the free Right-Brainers in Business Summit that’s going on through Friday, March 11th.
What’s your mantra?
Be. Breathe. Believe.