Book Review: The Right-Brain Business Plan

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There was a time when Jennifer Lee thought that creativity and business mixed as well as oil and water. Then she succumbed to the entrepreneur bug. That’s when she realized that business and creativity do go hand in hand. In fact, they have to if one wants their idea to surpass hobby level. The Right-Brain Business Plan shares the process created during the journey that allowed Ms. Lee to reconcile the two entities.

“In this book, you get to make better business buddies with your artistic, visionary right brain. You’re invited to fully embrace your creative nature in the realm of business.”

In the end, readers produce what Lee calls a Right-Brain Business Plan — “a visual, creative, and fun road map for your business success” that can be “translated into a more formal plan, if needed.”

The book is divided into nine chapters plus an introduction.

The introduction covers why one needs a business plan, what kind of thinker will benefit from the book, the difference between right-brain and left-brain thinking and drives home the problem with left-brain thinking when trying to develop a vision.

“The challenge is when left-brain thinking comes in too early in the vision and planning process and kills the party with its questioning, judgement, and need for every single piece of the puzzle to make absolute sense before taking the first step.”

Readers also receive validation through a Right-Brain Entrepreneur Badge of Honor affirming their brilliance and talent and the value of creative work.

The author also shares her own success story.

The first chapter lays out the book’s agenda. It describes the tools readers are going to encounter along the way: Right-Brain Reflections, Illustrated Play Sheets, Exercises, Right-Brain Boosters and Left-Brain Chill Pills, Success Stories, and Left-Brain Checklists.

Then readers learn what a Right-Brain Business plan is, how it maps against a business plan for “the suits” and which chapters cover: business vision and values (Chapter 2), business landscape (Chapter 3), getting the word out ( Chapter 4), managing the money (Chapter 5), corralling creative cohorts (Chapter 6), turning the plan into action (Chapter 7), the policies, processes and procedures that will allow you to get the work done (Chapter 8), and keeping the plan alive (Chapter 9).

The Right-Brain Business Plan operates on several levels — visualization, handling your inner critic, and feeding your creativity though play. Lee uses these elements to help people who never imagined tackling the business side of their entrepreneur endeavors do just that. She succeeds in creating a resource for anyone “bored by business planning…[who] finds the process daunting…[who] is too busy doing what they love to bother with complex spreadsheets or lengthy templates.” This book provides “an enjoyable, accessible, and visual approach to clarifying the big picture for your business and to developing a plan of action that will help you get the job done.”

What is the downside? The book works on the big picture level. Lee herself states the right-brain visual business plan is not what you want to use if you are asking for a bank loan, applying for a grant, or trying to attract investors or partners. To do that, you’ll need the full blown left-brain business plan. As long as you realize this, The Right-Brain Business Plan will not disappoint you.

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The Freelance Nation is Here

My friends and I had a feeling that it was true. But you know how it is…no one really believes you until a study verifies what everyone already knows.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. What had my friends and I already figured out? That jobs that well-educated people who make made up the middle class no longer exist. What happened to them? Technology.

Technology has taken away duties that once belonged to middle managers. Technology has also created companies that simply don’t need to hire lots of people. In the Scientific American article, “The End of Economic Growth?”  Carl Benedikt Frey notes that earlier computer-based business employed far more people than the current ones do.

Whereas in 2013 IBM and Dell employed 431,212 and 108,800 workers, respectively, Facebook employed only 8,348 as of last September (2014).

…in 2010 only about 0.5 percent of the U.S. workforce was employed in industries that did not exit a decade earlier.

This is proof that the all of you still looking for a “middle class” job need to start thinking differently. Those jobs may still exist, but you and everyone else will be fighting for the few that are out there.

It’s time for a different mentally. Stop thinking of yourself as an employee and start thinking of yourself as self-employed. The article states that:

Indeed, self-employment might become the new normal.

We believe that:

Indeed, self-employtment is the new normal.

 

 

 

You’re Creating Your Future Right Now

Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.

I experienced that today as I was riding my bike.

You see, I’m not the most versatile bike rider. Pedestrians — I can manage. Cars looking for cars, not bikes — ok. But, big trucks trucks blocking my path forcing me to merge into fast, uncaring, traffic — that makes me nervous.

So today when I saw a big truck doing unannounced road work ahead of me, I started thinking about how I was going to get around it, and not about what I was doing at the moment. And at the moment, I was about to run into the curb at a speed that could have sent me flying over my handlebars.

Ikes.

Luckily, I returned to the moment in time to divert an accident. Then I easily negotiated my way around the truck.

“Wow,” I thought. My future could have been quite different if I hadn’t returned to the moment.

Lesson Learned: Your actions today shape your future, so don’t get caught up in the “what ifs” of the future as you imagine it could be. Live the moment in a way that’s consistent with the future you want.

In my case, I want to arrive at my destination safe and happy.

Get Your Dreams Out of Your Head 15 Minutes a Day

It only takes 15 minutes a day to get your dreams out of your head and into you life.

In my role as an ESL teacher, I’ve often told my students that practicing English 15 minutes a day is enough for them to improve. Upon first hearing this, students are surprised and doubtful. But, those who try it see that the 15 minute rule allows them to make progress on a daily basis which adds to to big gains in the long run because 15 minutes doesn’t demand much from them mentally or time wise, so they do it.

The same approach works when you are trying to transform the dreams in your head into reality. Give them 15 minutes a day of effort and guess what? Each 15 minute session will bring you closer to realizing your dream.

Ok. I already hear the excuses.

“My day is so busy, I can’t possibly set 15 minutes aside,” you say.

And you’re right. So don’t try to fit it into the middle of your day. Simply get up 15 minutes earlier every day and dedicate that time to working towards your dream.

“But it will take me forever,” you may say.

But isn’t your definition of forever better than never?

What better time to give this a try than the beginning of a new year?

Remember: You create your future today.