This is the front of my right brained business plan which shows the overall vision for my design business including marketing, business profile and ideal client profiles.

Since November, I’ve been working on a new way of doing my business plan. It’s made up mostly of collages I put together using images and phrases I cut out of magazines and then carefully arranged and glued onto manila file folders I taped together to create an accordion. The resulting visuals are no doubt puzzling or meaningless to most people who look at it. But to me, it’s my daily dose of motivation and inspiration to work on further developing my business and moving it forward. Isn’t that amazing?

My dear friend and creative cohort—life coach/clutter clearer Alice Braga, turned me on to the magic of Jennifer Lee’s book, The Right Brain Business Plan. And that’s how this collaged business plan came to be. I have to confess it took me over a year before I actually really looked at the book. It seemed like a fun idea. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept that I’d have a viable business plan based on what seemed to me to be whim and chance. I mean, what if the editorial and photo staff of whatever magazines I ended up using for source materials decided to publish images and headlines completely unrelated to what I wanted? It just didn’t sound like something that would work for me.

The back of my right brain business plan shows a bit of the left-brained planning that's involved like my competitive landscape, list of services and an action plan for a self-promotions project.

But lo and behold, it did work. And is the first program for creating a business plan that has. I’ve taken a week-long, in-person, coach-led program for creating a traditional business plan, have read tons of how-tos on websites about business plans. And countless articles and books. But never made the kind of progress I have with this program.

No doubt some of my earlier efforts helped lay down some foundation. And I am grateful for those experiences. But after going through the sweat and sometimes tears of writing and brainstorming and creating spreadsheets for my plan, I’d put all the printed out documents into a book and never look at it again. So never went back to finish it. All those hours of effort, while somewhat meaningful because of the thinking I had to do to produce the work that I did, wasn’t lasting because it just sat on my bookshelf gathering dust as it continues to do so today. I don’t even want to look at it because I know how dull and dry the thing is. I mean, why have a dry old stale piece of cake when you can have a creamy delicious ice cream sundae!

I now reach for my Right Brain Business Plan almost everyday. It’s fun to look at and helps keep me on track and accountable for all the actions I need to take to make my business a success. I’m in the process of making some tweaks and edits here and there and also have some left-brained number crunching and planning to do as well. So will share more later as this master plan of mine unfolds.

What does your business plan look like?

Mary Maru