Book Review: The Right-Brain Business Plan


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.