I’m taking the most wonderful (and the most challenging!) course right now: the Right-Brain Business Plan with Jennifer Lee.

Writing a business plan is hard!!! It brings up all my inner demons — procrastination; waffling;  shyness; fears (of commitment, that I’m not worthy, and that I won’t do it right, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah).

Luckily, Jenn has us playing with art as we crunch left-brained numbers. And that certainly makes it more tolerable. Down right fun, at times! Of course, in some cases I use the art as a procrastination tool in and of itself.

However, Jenn is encouraging us to trust the right brained process. And I’m encouraging myself to turn down the volume on my self judgment demons and trust that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing at every step.

So even though I didn’t get all my homework for Week 2 done, I did want to share some of my small successes!

First I cleaned off my workspace. Ahhhh, a clean table top is such a delight:

Then I bought art supplies (markers, paint pens, acrylic paint) and fun orange containers in which to house them. I used to keep my markers in drawers, but I never used them. I think I’ll be more likely to make art if they are out, organized and visible, like this:

Then I finally launched into the easy part of Week 2’s assignment: asking folks for 3 Words that describe me. I posted a request on Facebook as well as sent out a GoogleForm to all my clients. Here’s what I learned from my fabulous friends and clients (there appears to be major consensus about a couple of adjectives):

Finally, I got into the hard part of the assignment: researching trends, markets and competitors. Blech. Numbers, numbers, numbers. I have so many different parts to my business: academic coaching for teens, writing and creativity coaching for grown-ups, MuseCubes. The overwhelm almost got to me, until I found a fun picture of a detective and remembered that I had an old magnifying glass lying around:

After taping them to a poster and putting the whole shebang up on the wall where I could see it, I suddenly found motivation! I decided to focus this part of the business plan on my academic coaching work, and began researching trends and competitors. I’m certainly not done with this research process, but at least I got started:

So there you have it: I’m inching closer and closer to my right brain business plan. Very imperfectly. Very incrementally. But getting there. And it’s actually kinda fun.

A few learnings about what motivates me in a difficult and triggering process like business plan writing:

  • colorful tools like paint pens
  • basic supplies like blue tape and poster board
  • plenty of wall space so I can keep my work visible while I’m working on it
  • a key metaphor and corresponding image (like the detective and magnifying glass) to keep me focused on my role AND to make it seem more fun
  • the permission to go incrementally and be imperfect
  • the freedom to make art along side make lists
  • a community of women doing the same thing and sharing about it online (Jenn has us working together in an online space).

Although I’ve taken and enjoyed Jenn’s day-long in-person workshop, I highly highly highly recommend this virtual process!! If you’ve been hemming and hawing about writing your own business plan, check out Jenn’s website.