Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the right-brain way {and a right-brain giveaway!}


If only Jennifer Lee had been in my life in the 90s! I was whiling away my days in a full time MBA program, both ambitious and bored. I wanted desperately to break out of the traditional corporate life & onto my own creative career path, but I did not have the understanding or discipline in my emotional toolbox to know what that even meant at the time. Ideas were whizzing around my right brain on roller skates with no interest in being tamed, while the left half was just doing everything it could to hang on to the curriculum and the structure I needed to get through the program. Neither side of my brain would trust the other, which meant there was either an ongoing battle between the worlds or the doors were simply glued shut. One day I was so overwhelmed by the struggle that I panicked in the middle of a finance class, grabbed my things and made a dramatic bolt for the door, bringing the class to a halt because I had so much baggage in my hands that I couldn't even get that door open and the professor had to let me out. There just weren't many resources, let alone support, to help me make sense of it all.

I finished my degree and tootled back into the corporate clutches to pay off my graduate school loans, and went through the motions until I hit my limit, jumped full time into my art, and spent a lot of time trying to broker the peace treaty between the left and the right. It took me years to find a comfort level doodling my way toward this new career (I didn't even want to call it a career for a while), and it took even longer to work up the nerve to launch my art into a business. I am thrilled with my choice but I have to admit that I still struggle severely with left-right woes. Every single day. Some days fifty things hit me all at once and all I can manage is to pivot in a large circle and get nothing done. It's frustrating. I can cope with it & get back on track more easily than I used to, though -- partially from experience and partially because there are now, thankfully, resources and support that didn't exist before.

Jennifer's first book, The Right Brain Business Plan, was a gift to my bookshelf and my daily life. Her writing helped me to get out my dreams on paper, clarify my goals, prioritize my plans and to look at my business in a holistic sense instead of compartmentalizing it all. Also, on a personal note, it made me feel like I wasn't a lone freak. I realized there was actually a community out there who struggled with the same things. I was even more anxious to get her new book, Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way: Sustainable Success for the Creative Entrepreneur (published by New World Library with beautiful illustrations once again by Kate Prentiss). While her last book was about the planning, this one is all about the doing. The doing is usually where it all falls apart for me, and I need the help!

In the publisher's words: Building Your Business The Right-Brain Way "combines solid business expertise with a right-brain perspective that inspires creativity and innovation. Jennifer Lee’s fresh, empowering approach emphasizes taking action and continually improving to achieve extraordinary long-term results. Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way offers real-world-tested techniques that can benefit all sorts of businesses, whether you’re a sole proprietor running a coaching practice, a crafter looking to license products, a wellness professional with a team of employees, or any creative soul making a meaningful difference with your work."

What I love most about Jennifer's new book is that she trusts the right brain to take the driver's seat in her approach to developing a successful creative business. Her book is methodical and easy to follow, but not one bit of it is dry or posed as an unbreakable rule. Her writing is entertaining and rewarding to read -- and her words are totally actionable. Each chapter is full of tips, prods, checklists, questions, colorful work(play)sheets, action accelerators, reflections, confidence builders, right-brain boosters, left-brain chill pills, suggestions on cultivating connections, ideas on how to identify your creative gifts, cultivate your message and package your product/service offerings, and personal anecdotes from other creative entrepreneurs. I loved reading their stories, identifying with obstacles they faced, appreciating the sacrifices they made, learning from their experiences, and celebrating their successes.

Another personal takeaway from this book is realizing that the chasm between the two halves of my brain is not really as wide as I so often (and histrionically) like to pretend. It's all in the attitude & finding the way for both sides of my brain to work in sync with the other to fulfill my own personal passion and mission. That (for me, anyway), is the key to building a successful (and sustainable) art business. Bolting from a finance lecture is not the way to do it.

If you need The Right-Brain Way (Right Away!), and I understand if you do, you'll find it at Amazon or New World Library

If you'd like to play a giveaway game (you know I love to do those), I have one extra shiny copy sitting on my desk just waiting to be sent. Just answer me this (a question from page 40):

What would you tattoo across your chest?

I'll pick my favorite answer on Sunday, April 27!

38 comments:

Giggles said...

My tattoo would say " Whimsical Wonder"! It came to me immediately too. But I came here to tell you I saw a woman on Bethany that reminded me of you....Bethany was helping her get her mini messages launched. http://www.bethenny.com/2014/04/21/bethenny-in-your-business-love-n-notes/
I thought you might like to check it out!! Sounds like a great book!

Hugs Giggles

Mandee said...

I would tattoo "Saint Warrior." I have been through a lot of hardship, but I still try to keep a positive attitude and help others. I love random acts of kindness and I want people who buy from me to feel special and that they matter. And that no matter what, to keep going.

Laurence Happy Soul said...

Hello :)

Thank you for this giveaway !
I would tatto on my chest these lines from William Henley :
"I am the master of my fate :
I am the captain of my soul."

Being strong, independant and creative in both my business and my life is my goal :)

hsing3kinder said...

I would have "this too shall pass" in my grandmother's handwriting tattooed across my chest. It inspires me to know she believed it in the ups and downs of her 93 years, and I believe it too.

makingbabytrader said...

Across my chest, huh? Probably "these use to be higher"? Ok, seriously.... Probably "You are beautiful", because it wouldn't hurt to have a reminder of that everyday! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!

Chel said...

either a Tegan & Sara lyric "Keep on fighting to remember that nothing is lost in the end" (which means it's about the creative journey and NOT the success- it's all worth it) or "Inner Compass" (which is kinda self explanatory)...

Jen Niles said...

"Always trying" was the phrase that first popped into my mind. The message wasn't directed at myself, but at "the world," because I too often feel that as I juggle homeschooling a challenging and intense child, managing a part time day job AND trying not to let my art business get swallowed up by the mundane--I feel like I'm failing most of the time. BUT regardless of the results, or the current state of my dreams and goals, I am never, ever, not-trying. That much is true, and will always be true.

Natasha said...

I have just gotten the book on my kindle but I have already found I need the hardcopy so i can put in bookmarks!

Nothing like a real book. I would tattoo 'magic maker' that is my calling of the moment. The words resonating with me right now and leading me in new focused directions. Searching for my own magic spot in a very right brained organised way.

Valerie Lorimer said...

Mine is so simple...creative soul. Pretty much sums me up in two words. If I'm not creating, I may as well not be breathing.

tink-ink said...

flesruoY tsurT
(so that I can read it everytime I look at myself in the mirror.)

Christine Phelps said...

Survivor!

Colleayn said...

This is hard to come up with because I've always thought I can't have a tattoo because I would want to change it every week. :) Today I would choose to have a tattoo of one of my colorful mandalas and I would enjoy it each day.

lynn said...

Mine would say autism in honor of my grandson Jackson.
Thank you, lynn

Gramma Sue ~ Grampa Max said...

My tattoo.will be a row of tiny whimsical shamrocks! This book sounds like a great one to get in on.

Pattyskypants said...

copacetic

millygit said...

my tattoo would be the word "hope", becasue that is what I have had to hang onto through a very traumatic time. Hope that my life will change, and I will see the sunlight again.

Angela Skellams said...

Mine would say - "Wait... What?"

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

My tattoo would say "freedom". Free to be whatever I want, free to create, free to be real.

Kelley said...

My tattoo would be "shine". It took me a long time to realize that displaying my talent and creations was not boastful or prideful, that, in fact, I could "shine" and illuminate a path for others to tread. Once I started sharing, it seemed to encourage others to do the same.

Shine on!
Kelley

Ps. I watched all the summit videos, and bought the ebook, but this is one of those that I need the physical copy; it's difficult to keep post-it notes attached to my ipad!

Linda said...

Wow Aimee -what a very informative post! I would so love to win this book(thanks so much for the giveaway)! My tattoo would read "anything is possible" and I know this book would only affirm that thought.

Marilynart said...

This too shall pass.

I have it invisibly tattooed on my forehead !

Marilyn

Sleepyhead Designs Studio said...

If I had to tattoo my chest :), I'd probably put, "Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life". A lesson I wished I would have learned at a younger age. Sounds like a wonderful book-and I need a copy!!! I have many of the same sentiments as you-so many ideas that sometimes I spin in circles. Thanks for the review!

denthe said...

I've been thinking of buying this book. But of course it would even be nicer to win one ;-)
My tattoo would say "dolce vita", because I think it's important to always be aware of that ....

zareen fatima said...

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Cathie Walker said...

Mine would say "you are enough." I'd have it done in a mirror image so I saw it first thing every morning.

Ann Dreyer said...

"just be"

Artsy Matilda said...


"All in good time".
Not an original thought, but inspired by an amazingly talented and generous artist who very recently reminded me of the phrase.
That's my tatoo!
I love Jennifer, too. She is an amazing teacher/mentor/motivator.
And of course, you rock!
xoxo

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Great post! Excellent food for thought . . . I'd tattoo YRATUBIRT (tributary) - my word this year to remind me that I can lead others to a larger life, like a tributary leads ground water to the sea... xx

plovers8@netscape.net said...

I would tatoo on my chest "Who Are You Without Your Story?"

Sharon said...

I would tattoo "Destination Unknown". Since at 61 I am still searching for the life I really want! But my art journaling has me close.

Deepa Gopal Sunil said...

I typed a long comment and the net went off!

So here I am trying again...

I would tattoo "I DARE" as i would like to dare to so something that i had always dreamt of but lacked the guts to busk it up and perhaps this book could boost up morale and help me out.

Seriously, I have been thinking of becoming an entrepreneur in artistic capabilities in a small town like mine where almost every person and situation would stand up and say arts is just a pastime, for fun...not serious business...I really really would like to achieve a name in the field...i even have plan charted out and I am waiting for the right contacts/sponsors, trying to figure it out... and I am waiting for all of it to happen the right way.

Deepa Gopal Sunil said...

typing mistakes...*dare to do so*...*buck*

anika said...

I've thought about this for a while and I am going to stick with my first instinct (which I realized is also probably my most right-brained idea!), so it would be "Otto" which is the name of my dog. He is a cute little dachshund who follows me all around and totally has my heart, so it would be the perfect place to tattoo it! :) He was my inspiration for wanting to freelance from home in order to spend as much time with him as possible and has helped me to see and believe that you can create and arrange your life exactly as you want if you focus on your goals.

Andria said...

Oh good heavens...I am NOT a tattoo girl! I just saw this article about three dimensional tattoos, and a girl had one that made it look like she was opening her chest to reveal a giant eye ball....it was really quite terrible. Um...how about "Create or Die." I would never do it, but I'll propose that as an exercise! :-)

Natasha said...

Zareen Fatima needs to get that tattooed on their chest...in small letters if they don't have a big chest.

julie said...

I'm not a tattoo girl, either...so probably just a barely-seeable white tattoo of tiny doodled flowers.

The book sounds amazing!!!

~Julie

Phoenix Peacock said...

I don't think Id go for words on a chest piece. I would love a geometric diamond with sparrows and peacock feathers on either side.
I've always believed the diamond is the go-to stone for wedding rings because it is tough as nails. Your heart requires both beauty and strength, grace and endurance.