Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears Present

The Boss of You

It's a book. It's a blog. It's a guide to running a business your way.

Right Brain Business Plan: A Review & Give Away

April 1st, 2011 by Emira · 15 Comments

Jennifer Lee came across our radar back when we launched our book in 2008 (holy heck batman time flies!) and we immediately marked her as a kindred spirit. Smart, passionate about making business work on your terms and creative as all get out, Jennifer is a lady to follow for sure.

When I was offered a review copy of her new book The Right Brain Business Plan I was excited to see how her years of work on developing a creative approach to business planning had come together. The book arrived during a time when Lauren and I were doing annual strategic planning for the company as the owners and also doing a planning retreat with our staff. As a result, I found myself reading the book with the “revisiting your business plan” lens rather than thinking about starting up a business from scratch, and as a tool for strategic planning for an established business I can vouch for it as a great resource.

I had a chance to chat with Jennifer last week and asked her some specific questions about how the book can be a great resource for those of us a few (or in our case 11) years into their business.

Here’s what she had to share:

Emira: Does The Right Brain Business Plan work as a tool for seasoned entrepreneurs?

Jennifer: The main thing about the book is that it’s more about the how than the what. It’s an approach to doing business and strategic planning which doesn’t only have to be applied in the early stages of a business. For an established business, it can be a particularly useful and interesting tool to use with a team as it allows for a lot of space for people to add their ideas and contribute to the overall plan in really creative ways.

Emira: I can definitely see that. Having just gone through a day long staff retreat, I can see how this would be really useful to engage different types of people. I can also see that going through the whole book would not be possible as a team without putting aside a lot of time, so if a team were to focus on a few chapters which do you think would be most valuable?

Jennifer: Chapter 3, Painting your Business Landscape, which is basically a more fun way of doing SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis is a great one. It can be a great process to go through even if you’re just looking at launching a new project or venture within a business. Chapter 7 Action Planning, which deals with goals, strategies and action steps would also be good. Also Chapter 9, which looks at making time for reflection, quarterly check-ins and stop/start/continue is great for a team.

Emira: I know you have some excellent concrete examples on your website of people putting the Right Brain Business Plan into action (found in the Spotlight section), do you have any examples of people doing the process for strategic planning or doing the process as a team?

Jennifer: Sure! The following examples are definitely worth looking at:

Emira: So I’m excited about using the Right Brain Business Plan as a guide for strategic planning and revisiting goals for an established company, but what about when you need a more formal plan as well?

Jennifer: Of course. The right brain approach is a great way to start, to help an entrepreneur or a team feel more concrete about what their goals are, but you’re definitely not going to walk into a bank with just that. What you will get out of it is the ideas and the structure that you can then translate into a more formal business plan, which I address in Chapter 8.

The Right Brain approach is really about making those ideas and goals more tangible and clear, then, if you need to you can always hire someone to translate it into a formal plan, but it’s hard to hire someone to set your goals and vision for you!

One of the synergies between The Right Brain Business Plan and The Boss of You is Jennifer’s focus on defining success on your own terms. She addresses that as the second point in her Badge of Honour and it’s something we stress throughout The Boss of You. To celebrate the publication of The Right-Brain Business Plan we’re doing a joint give-away with Jennifer, she’s giving away a copy of The Right-Brain Business Plan to one of our readers, and we’re giving away a signed copy of The Boss of You through her blog. To win a copy of Jennifer’s book, share with us in the comments how you define success for your business (established or just starting out) and we’ll do a random draw for the winner on April 8th (Lauren’s birthday!) .

The winner, as chosen by the random number generator, is Brigitte. Brigitte I’ll contact you to get your mailing details!

Tags: Boss Ladies We Love · Resources for Women in Business · Uncategorized

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cynthia // Apr 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I define success for my business as a holistic thing: on the inside it’s about satisfying my personal values and ethics; on the outside it’s about sharing my knowledge and ensuring that I am financially secure and the business is paying itself off.

  • 2 Becky // Apr 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Success equals balance to me, both in the business arena and personally with self and family. The business runs well when all parts are fed; while that can be a challenge sometimes, it is what I strive to do.

  • 3 SewTara // Apr 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Success for my business is about getting to create things and share my ideas and products with others. Balance is also key. Having the right amount of creative, work and family time is tough but makes for a happier me.

    Thanks for this great chance to win such awesome resources.

  • 4 Wickie Stamps // Apr 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Success is providing my skills and talents to an ideal client who appreciates me and my services and can expresses that with an equal exchange of money or barter. Success is when we both feel good about what we are bringing to the table!

  • 5 Elizabeth // Apr 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I define success not by how big my business can grow but by the depth, the strength, and the values it can embody. Do I feel satisfied by my work? Am I making connections with my customers? Do I feel I’m doing the best work I can do? How am I giving back? Am I still learning and growing personally and professionally?

  • 6 Rene // Apr 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Success is accomplishing my goals.

  • 7 Elizabeth Harper // Apr 4, 2011 at 3:23 am

    First stage of success would be moving from the tiny steps I’ve taken to implement a loose action plan, to giant leaps based on a more focused and detailed series of events that need to happen to call it a true business. I’m still a startup in the dreaming and planning stage of things and mind mapping alone is not getting me where I need to be.

  • 8 Brigitte // Apr 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Great interview!

    I define success by creating a business that nurtures my life, rather than splitting me into two (work me vs all the rest). My successful business takes my talents and values and puts them in service of others.

  • 9 Eileen // Apr 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Success for my new business (side note: yay business!) means attaining financial and personal independence while providing excellent service to others. It’s a spiral of increasing achievement for everyone involved.

  • 10 Shenee // Apr 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Hiii! So, I define success as doing amazing things and getting paid to be blissfully happy doing them. This is my dream. To feel totally financially comfortable doing work that is both challenging and feels “easy” to me. Hope I win : )

  • 11 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 1:41 am

    I define success by using my talents to express myself and help other people while developing a sense of purpose within the boundaries of my disability. I try to balance stretching myself and acknowledging my limitations.

  • 12 Lisa // Apr 7, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Success for me is…
    -build a financially independent enterprise that provides a revenue generating tool for small business clients
    -implement a business model that remains agile to quickly respond to changes in the overall market
    -set a good example for my teenagers to be fiscally smart today and in the future

  • 13 Lisa Gold // Apr 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I’m just starting my new business, teaching other female entrepreneurs to start and grow their own biz too. This article is something that I’ll refer them to AND use myself. Having already built 3 others, my friends asked me to create one to help them. I love the female empowering female approach. Great going gals.

  • 14 Hannah Nunn // Apr 24, 2011 at 5:46 am

    I found both of your books at the same time and having been dipping from one to the other over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been in business for over five years but was feeling a the need to sit down and review everything. BRILLIANT. Thankyou so much all of you clever clever ladies. My creative juices are flowing again and feels amazing to be sharpening my business vision and goals. I’m sitting behing my shop counter right now feeling proud of where I am, grateful to my wonderful customers and raring to go!!!! Thankyou.x

  • 15 Emira // Apr 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Hannah, thanks so much for sharing this! This is so great to hear. I’m going to make sure Jen sees this too.