How did you get to a place in your life where you can fully embrace yourself as a creative being and entrepreneur?
If you've been bouncing around the blog world these days then there's no doubt you've come across the free spirit and super fabulous Jennifer Lee, founder of Artizen Coaching and author of The Right-Brain Business Plan. I've been an admirer of her work for a few years now and was ecstatic to see her new book.
I took a FastTrac program several years ago to write my business plan. I loved the course. I stayed up late every night working on my content, mission statement, marketing plan... And then it came time to do those darn financial statements. I stumbled. I procrastinated. I froze. Looking at spreadsheets...ick...even the word Excel made me cringe! And to this day that detailed business plan is stuffed in a 3-ring-binder on the top shelf of my office closet...unfinished.
I'm happy to say that Jennifer's new book is just the kind of inspiration I've needed to dust off that binder and get working on my plan again. She embraces the creative spirit in us all and guides us to celebrate the right-brain. It doesn't matter if you don't have plans to start a creative business, Jennifer's insight will provide you with a fresh perspective on loving the whole YOU.
Enjoy her Free Spirit Spotlight interview...
It's been quite a journey! I'd say the biggest influences that have helped me embrace that I am a creative being and an entrepreneur have been my coach and leadership training and then just taking the leap.
I actually drew a decade in review at the end of 2010 and that really depicts a lot of the key things that have happened throughout my journey to where I am now.
As a creative being, sometimes we can become consumed by all of our million ideas, so we end up doing none of them because we can't focus! What are some tips you can offer on how to commit and stay focused?
Write all of your ideas down. I like to put them on sticky notes and move them around. I might want to work on all of them at once but when I map them out on a calendar it becomes pretty easy to see when I'm doing too much. I find working with a coach can help me sort through which ideas make most sense for me to focus on.
I love how you say in your book, "The challenge is when left-brain thinking comes too early in the visioning and planning process and kills the party with its questioning, judgment and need for every single piece of the puzzle to make absolute sense before taking that first step." What are some ways you suggest keeping that left-brain at bay during this much needed creative stage?
Give yourself some healthy doses of what I call Left-Brain Chill Pills. These are simple practices to help quiet your judging mind. One of the first things to do is to acknowledge that both your left and right-brain bring different gifts to the table but that at the beginning stages of an idea, the right-brain needs to take the lead. You can let your left-brain know that you'll need to tap into its skills and expertise a little later when you need to do research, list out your to-dos, and take action.
What would you say to those who feel stuck, scared and overwhelmed - and just don't know where to begin?
Trust that you know more than you think you do. Just take the first step and you'll start to gain more confidence and momentum. It's important to have lots of great positive support when you're taking those first steps so make sure you have a few encouraging friends or creative cohorts to lean on.
So many of us have issues with time - feeling like we never have enough of it. How do you manage your time and make space for your creative dreams?
While I'm pretty ambitious in my professional life, I keep my personal life pretty simple and drama-free. I've learned to say no to things that drain my energy or aren't the right fit. I also block out time in my calendar for my creative dreams and I don't schedule over it. During that time I let my phone go to voice mail. I use the application called Concentrate to keep me focused on my projects for hour-long intervals and then I take breaks.
How do you maintain a sense of balance in your life?
I practice self-care Fridays. I don't schedule meetings on those days.
What's your favorite art medium for self-expression?
Hmmm, it's too hard to pick just one. I go through phases, but I'd say throughout my whole life, painting has probably been my favorite. I like how fluid and freeing it is.
What is a free spirit to you?
Someone who listens to her intuition and follows her inner muse.
What inspires you?
Nature, beauty, creativity.
What do you do for fun?
I do art, take photos on my iPhone with Instagram, spend time with my hubby, hang out with friends, play with my dog, read.
What do you envision for your creative future?
More happiness, abundance, and play.
Thank you, Jennifer, for giving creative spirits everywhere the permission and tools to shine in business and in life.
To learn more, visit The Right-Brain Business Plan website. And to connect with Jennifer, check out her personal blog or find her on Twitter @artizencoaching.
Your Personal Reflection: What one creative dream do you have that needs some attention? In what ways can you start embracing your right-brain and celebrate YOU as a creative dreamer and entrepreneur?