I love to read. I especially like to read anything art or creatively orientated. So I thought I would share some of my favorite recent artistic reads! This summer during my residency, I began to work through a book about business planning. I thought it would be a good way to stay on track as an artistic entrepreneur and keep my goals insight. I began to read Business Plans Kit
for Dummies because I had no idea what I was doing as far as business planning goes. It was an easy to read breakdown of all of the important aspects of a business plan, but after creating a 30 paged rough draft document, I didn’t even want to touch it, let alone work and operate from this well thought out plan. I cant remember how I stumbled upon this book, but I checked out a book by Jennifer Lee called, The Right Brained Business Plan.
I recommend this book to any artist ready to take the next step professionally and begin operating with a clear plan. It makes those scary executive summaries and profit loss financial statements do-able. The best part is actually exercising your creativity in making your business plan. My favorite thing to read about is time management and how to maintain momentum in your career. I flipped ahead and saw this project planning calendar. So I decided to make one before even finishing the book. In my calendar, I have four weeks laid out in a calendar format. Four rows for four weeks and seven columns for each day. I bought a pack of regular sized Post It notes for larger projects and then a smaller pack of thin ones for smaller tasks and projects..all different colors. I chose 6 projects that I was currently working on:
(Tiny) Orange: Blogging
(Tiny) Pink: Random to-dos and tasks to complete
(Tiny) Purple: Inventory and archives
(Large) Blue: Commissions or creative projects
(Large) Lime green: Social networking and marketing
(Large) Red: Business planning project
The pockets on the side are folded envelopes which hold my blank post-it notes! And then I decorated the calendar in letters and colors to match my bright post-its! Since making this, I’ve spent about 3 weeks working with this calendar. The best part is when I didn’t complete a task, I just rearrange the Post It notes a bit and I am still on task. It’s actually been very helpful in visualizing where my time goes and when projects need to be completed! Especially as I have about four commissions due in the next few months! Some may worry that being able to just rearrange your notes when you fall behind just gives you the sense that you’re still on task while not actually completing anything, but for me its been the opposite. I see this brightly colored calendar hanging on my closet and I am motivated. It’s not your boring datebook. It’s visually stimulating and interactive. I can see my progress as I remove completed tasks.
I also keep an Accomplishments Journal. This is not a project recommended by The Right Brained Business Plan, but something I began to do last year. It’s nothing fancy, just a journal I found laying around my room. Every page is a week of the month. I make a list of everything I accomplished for that week. Some accomplishments are completing my goals, while others are small. It is important to celebrate every accomplishment and by writing it down you can track your progress throughout the weeks.
So besides my awesome new project planner, I haven’t had the chance to work through any more of the projects The Right Brained Business Plan has suggested, but I do plan to convert my 33 paged boring document into a visually orientated creative new business plan!
After reading the entire book, I would definitely recommend this book to all creatives! I still would recommend the Business Plans Kit for Dummies, but use it after you have read The Right Brained Business Plan to assist with transferring your creative plan into a more traditional format for possibly a business loan or additional professional need.
Want to check this book out? http://www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com/book/.