Name: Barbara Boyd
Company Name: Barbara Boyd: writer
What is your business and what makes your business unique?
As a development editor, I help authors transform their ideas from spark to printed page. I take on clients directly and work through a publisher. Helping authors bring their books to life is often as rewarding for me as for them.
As a blogger and author, my goal is to entertain and inspire readers to find the magic in the mundane. I’ve transitioned from writing how-to books about technology to writing about topics that are closer to my heart: my life in Italy as an olive farmer, hobby beekeeper, yogini, and meditator. On my blog, I share tips about cooking and farming along with observations about life. The memoir I’m writing recounts my story of finding home and my place in the world during a two year period of building a house in southern Italy.
My superpower: organization. I can see how pieces fit together to form the big picture.
How has the Right-Brain Business Plan® helped you? What is different for you and your business after approaching planning in a creative, visual way?
The Right-Brain Business Plan helped me think of myself as a business rather than simply an author looking for the next writing gig. It provided the motivation and accountability to take the time to think about what I had to offer and how I wanted to bring it into the world. Week by week, the RBBP exercises guided me to identify my values and understand how they apply to what I do, brought focus to my business, and helped me create specific goals. Before RBBP, my goals and plans were mental and ephemeral, whereas tapping into the visual part of my brain helped clarify the why, for whom, how, and when and put it into physical form. As a writer, any ideas and plans I had jotted down were word-based; having a visual image to refer to provides an instant reminder and checkpoint of what I want to offer.
What goals (big or small) on your business plan have you already accomplished or have made progress on?
The RBBP helped me understand the importance of not trying to do everything on my own and a medium-sized goal was to look for help. I invested in an online memoir writing workshop to begin a writing project that had been dawdling in a desk drawer, and when the writing workshop ended I decided to continue working with the book coach/editor so that I can finish the rough draft by the end of December 2016.
I created a public Facebook page for my writing. I’m making progress on my social media presence and am starting to be more public about my ongoing work, whereas before RBBP I was tight-lipped until I had a finished product.
I’ve developed an editorial calendar for my blog for the second half of 2016 so I don’t have to come up with ideas every month.
How do you use your creative intuition in your work?
A lot of my work is about listening and observing. When working with clients, I use my creative intuition to hear the things they aren’t saying, to listen to the subtext, and then ask them about what I’ve intuited. Difficult questions asked with a soft tone can usually get them to open up and dig deeper, which always makes for a better story.
As an author, I have to write whether I’m inspired that day or not. Before I begin to write, I stop for a moment, take a deep breath, listen, then begin.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your Right-Brain Business Plan® in terms of what it’s made out of or how you made it?
My Right-Brain Business Plan is the classic RBBP accordion book that I made from poster board and then pasted the images that I’d collected to make a vision board. While I did the exercises each week, I didn’t make the vision board when it was assigned at the beginning of the course but toward the end and that worked out well for me because my ideas were clearer. I chose images and words that spoke to me and loved how the board came together organically. It follows a sequence that I’d like my business to follow: it begins with the book I’m writing, flows to the topics I write about and the ideal reader, and ends with a future, big vision component: hosting a writer’s retreat on my farm.
What’s your big vision for your business?
My big vision is to host writer retreats on my farm in Italy where ‘ve found inspiration and a tranquil workspace and would like to share it with other writers and artists for short, organized group retreats or longer, individual sojourns.
What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?
Take the time in the beginning to think about your values, goals, your ideal customer, and what you can offer and go forward with clarity.
There’s a lot of talk about starting, not procrastinating, not getting hung up on perfection and I agree, however, some ideas need to percolate or mature before they’re ready to be launched and that’s okay.
Find a like-minded cohort or community to share your ideas, fears, successes, and doubts. The more you share your work and progress, the more it becomes real.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” Simon Sinek
Want to create your own Right-Brain Business Plan®? The Right-Brain Business Plan® Kit includes supplies to make your own accordion book style visual business plan.