≡ Menu

Jennyann Carthern

Name: Jennyann Carthern
Business Name: Paint Is Thicker Than Water
Website: http://paintisthickerthanwater.com
Instagram: @beingjennyann
Facebook: paintisthickerthanwater

Note from Jenn: Our next “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight is on awesome artist and art teacher Jennyann Carthern who has been a long-time RBBPer and was part of our mentorship Cohort Circle back in the day. She also participated in our Product Development Playground where she made several cool products including a coloring book and an e-course. I just love the story behind the screenshot below. Jennyann a guest on one of my webinars and that’s her showing me the visual she created to help her manifest her goal to one day be a panelist on one of my live video classes! So creative and fun!

This is part of a series of “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight posts that will be shared throughout 2021 in celebration of the Right-Brain Business Plan book’s 10th year anniversary.

Jennyann was a featured guest on a Big Vision webinar with me.

Business Plan Spotlight

What is your business and what makes your business unique?

Easter Paint Nite Canvas 2020

I’m currently relaunching my business Paint Is Thicker Than Water as a Virtual Paint Party Business to help Women escape the daily grind in exchange for fun, painting, and creative growth! Delivering two types of virtual painting experiences. One that forces you to start without a Plan called No Rules Paint Nite and your regular ol’ Step by Step Paint Nite! Along with Art & Art Kits.

My uniqueness lies in my vision. I’m creating a culture of creativity in the daily lives of women. I believe that the more you invite creativity into your life, the more it will start showing up for you on a day-to-day basis. Leaving behind joy and less stress in your life.

Both of my painting experiences challenge women to be brave, to commit to the process, and to just let go, have fun, and bond with new friends along the way!


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?

Jennyann’s RBBP 2011
The Right-Brain Business Plan really helped me have more fun creating my business. I’ve always been a visual learner, and learning, in general, has been somewhat difficult throughout the years. Only because I was trying to be someone else’s idea of what a smart person looks like.

Well, I now know that a smart person finds what works for them. The Right-Brain Business Plan works for me. It’s given me permission to bring more play into my life and my business. I’m no longer trying to put a square peg into a round hole. In fact, I’m designing my own pegs!

What has stuck with me the most is my project planning process, yearly vision board collage, and my right brain business accordion book. Even though I lose them all the time, they still manage to show up for me when I need them the most.


Tell us about your RBBPs through the years:

Jennyann’s 2020 RBBP

I discovered the Right Brain Business a little after graduating from Art School, sometime around 2010. It was a printable ebook at that time, that I downloaded, printed, and put together.

Later, there were summits, cohorts, and just a whole lot of fun. Including connections with other creative people, that I had been missing after leaving art school.

What I had then was a little blog I created called Paint Is Thicker Than Water. I shared things about illustration and what to do after art school and participated in Blog Hops. Little did I know, that years later, I would take that name and turn it into a Business.

In between that time, I did lots of independent illustration projects and collaborations with other illustrators as well. I also taught as a Teaching Artist.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the Right-Brain Business Plan was really my building block to what I wanted my business to feel like. It built a foundation for me and really revolutionized how I thought about what a business is and what it should like.

It took down all those walls that used to tell me that I had to act or be a certain way to run a business. This Weird Aquarian Introvert has created coloring books, taught workshops to educators, and shows up as herself in the world.

I wanted a business that I enjoyed. I enjoy making art, and I also enjoy teaching. So year after year, I continued to do that. The Right-Brain Business Plan kept those principles alive for me until I crafted something that was right for me.

Today, I’m relaunching my business as a Virtual Paint Party Business on May 13th!


What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Jennyann’s 2017 5th Avenue Coloring Book

1. Be patient with yourself, if you don’t have it all figured out!

2. Take chances, and do hard things! I had to move my website domain from one website to another recently. I didn’t know how to do it, so I called customer support and asked them to walk me through it. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help but do it.

3. Keep some things to yourself as you’re creating your business. Sometimes people assume or say things that could make you think that you’re wasting your time. You have to guard your mind, your vision, and your dream.

Check this out!

May 13th is the Big Day!
I am launching something Amazing!
A Virtual Paint Party Business!
Sign Up Here to get notified when I launch and get 30% off one of my Paint Nite Passes or Summer Art Kits that are coming soon!

Want to create your own Right-Brain Business Plan®? Check out our flagship course The Right-Brain Business Plan® Home Study.

Lauren Brownstein

Name: Lauren Brownstein
Business Name: PITCH: Fundraising and Philanthropy Consulting
Website: http://pitchconsulting.com
Blog: http://pitchconsulting.com/blog

Note from Jenn: Our next “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight is on the inspiring Lauren Brownstein. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren when I led a Dream Box Workshop back in 2009. That was a fun evening! I featured Lauren’s incredibly creative paper plate mobile RBBP (one of my all time favorite formats!) in the RBBP book and I’ve loved seeing that Lauren has continued to make new RBBPs through the years to help her envision her goals for her business. For non-profits or fundraisers, make sure to check out Lauren’s offer at the end of her spotlight! Enjoy!

This is part of a series of “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight posts that will be shared throughout 2021 in celebration of the Right-Brain Business Plan book’s 10th year anniversary.

Jenn and Lauren got to meet at a 2009 Dream Box Workshop Jenn led in DC.

Business Plan Spotlight

What is your business and what makes your business unique?

Lauren’s paper plate mobile RBBP featured in the RBBP book.

PITCH: Fundraising and Philanthropy Consulting helps nonprofits work smarter and raise more philanthropic dollars, through strategies that help organizations stand out from the pack in a crowded fundraising marketplace. From grant writing to fundraising campaigns to board and staff training, PITCH works with nonprofits across the country and around the globe, with a particular specialization in foundation relations and in working with small to mid-sized nonprofits. PITCH’s Small & Mighty Membership Program, designed for those smaller nonprofits, delivers a tightly curated set of fundraising and nonprofit management resources directly to its members’ inboxes each month.

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?

Lauren’s RBBP evolving

The RBBP has helped me walk the talk. My company embraces a creative approach to grant writing and fundraising; in a highly competitive fundraising landscape, creativity helps organizations’ fundraising communications stand out and remain memorable to potential donors. My RBBPs have helped me stay creatively ignited while reminding me of the innovation, playfulness, and personal touch that I bring to my work. My clients appreciate working with me because I am meticulous, focused, personable, and fun! My RBBP reminds me to stay true to my vision and values.

Lauren’s RBBP

Tell us about your RBBPs through the years:

Lauren’s updated RBBP on a loop.

I want my clients to raise more money with greater clarity and ease. I want them to feel taken care of, and also empowered. I want them to have fun with this work! These values always have been a part of the “vision” section of my RBBP – a powerful reminder for myself, each year. I’ve also outlined various revenue goals; not just how much money I want to bring in, but what I want my real hourly rate to be (how much I actually earn divided by how many hours I work). This helps me measure my progress towards my ultimate goal: work less and earn more! Some years I hit my annual goal, and some years I don’t, but overall, through the 10 years I’ve been making RBBPs (and the 18 years I’ve had my consulting practice), I have been able to raise that real hourly rate. I also have consistently gotten feedback from clients that the kind of experience I want them to get is the kind of experience they are getting by working with me.

Folding RBBP

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Any entrepreneur can be a “creative entrepreneur,” even if the work doesn’t at first seem creative. Taking a creative approach will help you crystalize your vision and feel, even more strongly than you may already do, that you are really a part of your business, that your heart and soul is in it. Embrace that! It’ll provide the motivation that helps you keep going when the going gets tough.

Lauren’s RBBP cards

Check this out!

What if fundraising could be inspirational?
And creative?
And… fun?
What if you could approach your next grant proposal with confidence?

What if you could work smarter and achieve fundraising better results?

What if raising a fortune didn’t cost you a fortune?

While there are plenty of fundraising resources out there to help you write grant proposals, find new donors, and stay on top of philanthropic trends… it’s just way too much information for anyone to absorb. Some of what’s out there is helpful. Some of it is mediocre. A lot of it is junk.

With the Small & Mighty Membership program, you won’t have to sift through the clutter. Each month, you’ll get short, actionable, results-oriented tools that have been road-tested over 25+ years of working with a vast array of nonprofits. All for the price of about two trips to Starbucks per month. More info at: https://pitchconsulting.com/product/small-mighty-membership/.

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.

Spotlight on Jen Young

Jen Young

photo credit: Kelsey Arrington

Name: Jen Young
Business Name: Jennifer Marie Young
Website: https://jennifermarieyoung.com
Blog: https://jennifermarieyoung.com/musings
Instagram: @jenyoungdakini
Facebook: https://facebook.com/jenyoungdakini

Note from Jenn: Our next “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight stars the wonderful Jen Young. Jen was a long-time cohort in my past mentorship program and I had the pleasure of also coaching her 1:1 then as well. Then in 2019 while I was in the DC area for my meditation teacher training opening ceremony, we finally got to meet in person!!! It’s been inspiring to see Jen’s journey from doing personal training to choosing to teach yoga full-time and how she’s continuing to evolve her offerings. Make sure to check out her upcoming new book and classes shared at the end of the spotlight!

This is part of a series of “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight posts that will be shared throughout 2021 in celebration of the Right-Brain Business Plan book’s 10th year anniversary.

Jenn Lee and Jen Young in 2019 in the DC area

Business Plan Spotlight

What is your business and what makes your business unique?

BYDC Shakti Circle
photo credit: Emily Belson Photography, https://emilybelson.com/

I’m Jennifer Marie Young. I’m a Somatic & Yoga Instructor, Medicine Carrier and Temple Artist. I recognize the body as a uniquely constituted temple, where the individual self and Divine Self unite. I love to empower change-makers to cultivate an intimate relationship with themselves, sustain their vitality and embody all they were born to become.

My clients and students appreciate my ability to pay close attention to both what is said and what is not said during our sessions. Through this intuitive communication, a personally curated experience unfolds. It thrills me to witness a client’s face light up in amazement when they discover a gift, talent or ability they did not know they possessed.

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?

Jen’s 2013 RBBP

I find that approaching a business plan the Right-Brain Business Plan (RBBP) way is the most practical. The facts and figures approach of traditional business plans has always felt nebulous. Numbers are intangible to my mind.

Images and metaphors, however, have amazing manifesting power for me. When I first created my RBBP Big Vision board in 2013, I may not have understood all the images I placed on it at the time. Over the years, I recognized that what was manifesting in my business and life corresponded to that board. My right brain seems to know what my business needs long before my left brain gets the message.

With each revision of my RBBP, I trust the guidance of my imagination more and more.

Tell us about your RBBPs through the years:

Jen’s 2013 RBBP Perfect Customers

I discovered the Right-Brain Business Plan (RBBP) from Jennifer Lee’s 2012 Video Summit. I felt excited about creating my first Right-Brain Business Plan and had so much fun working on it.

Over the years, I have been amazed at how my Right-Brain Business Plan has intuitively guided my business.

Not long after creating my Big Vision Board, I recognized that I no longer wanted to be a personal trainer and train people to “work out” in artificial environments. I was teaching yoga at one of the gyms I worked for. I looked out at the people in the weight room and felt my heart drop. I saw the woman in the upper left corner of my RBBP with the words “Free Yourself.” I immediately decided to leave personal training and pursue teaching yoga full-time.

My right brain knew that I would receive a big lesson from nature about how media teaches us to loath our bodies, especially our bellies. In 2015, I created the 30-day Belly Love Challenge. “Listen to Your Gut” was right there on my RBBP.

My first Perfect Customer Portrait included affluent adventurous moms. When I looked at that portrait, I didn’t feel that passionate. It simply reflected who my clients were at the time.

So I intuitively created a new Perfect Customer Portrait that I call “Creative Spiritual Warriors.” Within a year of creating that portrait, I was teaching yoga to the very people my right brain revealed to me in that new Perfect Customer Portrait. I have witnessed these young change-makers blossom into community leaders who serve from a place of abundance rather than self-sacrifice and depletion. We have co-created the Bhakti Yoga DC Shakti Circle together. Some of these creative spiritual warriors have started their own circles.

The foundation of my RBBP supported the changes I needed to make in my business with the 2020 shutdown. “Dreaming in Jennifer’s Magical World” showed up as a book I wrote called “Harnessing the Power of the Senses,” which chronicles my spiritual journey during the 2020 shutdown.

Without my Right-Brain Business Plan, I don’t know if I would still have a business at all. I may have become disgruntled, burned out, and resentful had my right brain not had a say in my business.

I look forward to what my right brain has in store for 2021.

2021 RBBP Perfect Customers

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

I would advise other creative entrepreneurs to get clear on whom you serve and why you want to serve them. Knowing WHO and WHY is magnetic.

Once I defined who my perfect customers are, they started to show up to my events and classes. Once I understood why I serve them, ideas for stand out offers began to flow.

I had to take some time and pay lots of attention to what showed up on my RBBP to find my who and why but it has made all the difference in honing in on my offerings recently.

Jen’s 2021 RBBP Big Vision

Check this out!

Jen’s first book is coming out this spring! Harnessing the Power of the Senses accounts her 42-day exploration of sense appetites influence on the mind, perception and reality. Included in the book are instructions for practices to inhibit sense appetites for creativity and mental health. Visionary Artist, Summer Blake, illustrated the book.

In late 2020, Jen gave a webinar on the yoga practice of controlling the senses. Sign up to receive the webinar slides and audio and learn more about the book at https://jennifermarieyoung.com/the-book.

Jen will also be teaching in the FIFTH YEAR of Pull, Pen, Paint with Kiala Givehand and a host of other stellar guest teachers. Pull, Pen, Paint started the week of March 19th with the first of four VIRTUAL RETREAT style weekends. Registration is still open and will be ongoing through September. Jen will be guiding a ceremony during the next Pull, Pen, Paint retreat during the weekend of June 18-20.

This class is about learning to listen to your intuition more deeply by connecting to a long list of tools, techniques, and topics. We use tarot, oracle cards, astrology, numerology, poetry, painting, storytelling, signs, symbols, and systems to strengthen our inner wisdom. Kiala has brought together more than 30 teachers from all walks of life to share their love of journaling, creativity, divination, and self-exploration to uncover the answers that live inside of us.

You can learn more at http://bit.ly/ppp2021templearts.

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.

Rebecca Villarreal

Name: Rebecca Villarreal
Business Name: Rebecca Villarreal, Author
Website: http://rebeccavillarreal.com
Blog: https://rebeccainspiresnow.com
Instagram: @rebeccavillarrealwriter
Facebook: Rebecca.Villarreal.Writer
Twitter: @RebeccaVWriter

Note from Jenn: I’m delighted to bring you our next “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight featuring the fabulous Rebecca Villarreal. During one of my video summits, Rebecca submitted a super inspiring video (embedded below) to win a scholarship and I still remember how much her enthusiasm and passion shined through as she talked about her book idea. Then, it was soooo cool to see when she hit the milestone of publishing her book! She brought her Big Vision to life – Yay! Rebecca and I got to meet in-person in 2014 at the World Domination Summit in Portland and I remember getting to ride on the shuttle with her and hearing all about the creative stuff she’d been up to. She just oozes inspiration, positivity and creativity!

Rebecca will be featured on The Listen Podcast on March 29 featuring her stories from East Africa and more writing adventures. I hope you can tune in! Please follow her blog at https://rebeccainspiresnow.com for updates on the sequel and inspiring tools for your heart and mind. And consider purchasing The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship for yourself or a loved one! Or ask your local library to carry it!

This is part of a series of “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight posts that will be shared throughout 2021 in celebration of the Right-Brain Business Plan book’s 10th year anniversary.

Rebecca and Jenn at the 2014 World Domination Summit

Business Plan Spotlight

What is your business and what makes your business unique?

Radio interview for book

As an author, my business focuses on food, family and fiction as a pathway to peace. I’m writing the sequel to The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship. The story centers around multicultural middle schoolers with magical powers who go on a quest from Chicago to rescue a “kidnapped” dad and inadvertently save the world while committing a felony and eating their way through Italy. There’s also mermaids and fairies who make a mean sweet potato pie. The unique goals are: to help readers of diverse backgrounds believe in everyday magic by seeing themselves reflected in the characters and to raise awareness about the value of real food, combating the work of corporations who are poisoning our food systems. I also work with clients who would like to move a dream, business or book to concrete reality through strategic intuitive business consulting.

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?

Rebecca’s RBBP on a breadcrumb can

The RBBP provided me a visual framework to keep my dream alive and focus on the elements of my novel. In 2013, at my day job, I hung a long orange ribbon fastened with everything from motivating words related to the novel to an actual light bulb as a physical reminder to keep the ideas coming. The Get the Word Out playsheet was instrumental in my simple and highly effective #telltwo book launch as it was timed just two months after fulfilling another lifelong dream of moving my family from Chicago to California. The business landscape playsheet was also the launchpad for creating another visual tool in 2015–this time out of a breadcrumb can which focused on my ideal reader. Using visual tools over plain documents and spreadsheets provided the anchor I needed as a creative to ground me in the purpose of my business, especially during times of self-doubt and uncertainty.

Tell us about your RBBPs through the years:

My big vision for my business is to foster peace through family, food, fun and fiction. And it’s family in the non-traditional sense of the word. I started by winning a scholarship from Jenn based on the desire to finally finish writing my novel and publish it. Up until lighting a spark with my involvement in the RBBP community, it was very slow going given that I was juggling motherhood and a full-time day job. I also decided to donate 5% of net profits to Teaching for Change which is an organization committed to social equity and justice, starting in the classroom. One of the fundamental aspects of both of my visual representations of my RBBP was the idea of embodiment. I wanted to continue living a curious and adventurous life while completing the first novel and later while researching and writing the sequel. A few highlights include researching labyrinths in various parts of California, returning to Orcas Island for a Writer’s Retreat in the woods, manifesting a research trip to Italy, a feature in the Huffington Post and a radio interview. Equally important were the friendships I formed through the RBBP community. Monica Garcia took me to my first labyrinth. Barbara Boyd hosted us in Italy and is my book coach for the sequel. And I co-facilitate a mastermind with Ho’omalamalama Brown [who is also a long-time RBBPer].

Research trip through Italy

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Join a community like RBBP and learn from the tools. The flexibility of Jenn’s approach allows for tons of creativity and freedom while providing a structure for accountability. Focus on reciprocal relationships with creatives who are doing the work daily or at least weekly. It’s normal for all of us to feel the feels and shared vulnerability is great, but when it becomes a habit that prevents you from moving forward, pay attention and ask hard questions. You don’t have to love every aspect of your business, but it’s important to recognize if it’s aligned with your inner drive.

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.

Spotlight on Kalema White

Kalema White

Name: Kalema White
Business Name: Called Beautiful Creative
Instagram: @calledbeautifulcreative

Note from Jenn: I had the pleasure of meeting (and sitting next to!) Kalema back in 2014 during my London RBBP meetup and hearing about her inspirational card designs. Here’s a group shot of that fun afternoon (ah, looking forward to when we can safely gather in-person again!). A few years after that, Kalema and I had the chance to chat about her Big Vision at the time. I was delighted to get this recent RBBP update from her and to see how she’s really claiming her artist self! Woohoo! I also love how her RBBP journey shows us that visions unfold and evolve over time and how important it is to enjoy what you are doing. Thanks so much for sharing, Kalema! I’m so excited for you about this new direction and I can so feel the joy and creativity behind it.

This is part of a series of “Where are they now?” RBBP Spotlight posts that will be shared throughout 2021 in celebration of the Right-Brain Business Plan book’s 10th year anniversary.

Business Plan Spotlight

What is your business and what makes your business unique?

Kalema’s 2020 RBBP cover declares, “I am an Artist!”

My new business has not started yet through this process I realised that I am an artist. Which makes no sense if you were consider that fact that I have a degree in Graphic Design, I have freelanced and up until a couple of years ago had an Etsy shop designing cards with inspirational messages! Because of choices I made out of fear I relegated my creativity to a hobby and then it died a very slow and painful death!

I plan to become a book artist and I will create beautiful pieces that tell stories, I’m still figuring out what these stories are!

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?

Kalema’s super creative Business Self Portrait from her 2020 RBBP

When I started this plan I had no idea about what I wanted to do, the plan gave me a structure to work through but also the freedom to figure things out as I went. I discovered what I really wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I was able to dream big dreams at the beginning then work out all the small steps that I needed to take to get there.

As the plan was just for me I was able to express myself knowing that I was the only one that needed to understand it.

It was also a great tool to use to help me to communicate with my husband about my vision, once I had finished I did a show and tell with him and explained each section and he had an opportunity to ask me questions and make suggestions.

Tell us about your RBBPs through the years:

The cover of Kalema’s 2016 RBBP

My first plan was done in 2016 I had already started my business on Etsy but felt stuck and wanted to take my business to another level. The plan helped me to identify what was important to me and the direction I wanted my business to go in. As a result I did a redesign of most of my product lines and packaging so that things began to look cohesive. Sales began to steadily increase I received my highest order to date which was a sale of 200 units. BUT! as time went on things began to drag and I realised that I was not enjoying what I was doing.

The inside of Kalema’s 2016 RBBP

At the end of 2018 I decided to take a break to regroup and reorganise and see if I could inject some life back into what I was doing. It was only meant to be for a couple of months but it turned into over 2 years. In that time I attempted 2 more business plans but didn’t complete them. I also started to train as a life coach thinking that this might be the way I could redirect my business but this too became a drag.

Then the pandemic hit and although I was working from home I had a lot more time on my hands so I decided to do a few online creative workshops and I found that I was really enjoying them, something about painting and mark making resonated with me. I realised that I hadn’t felt this way in a very long time, not in my previous Etsy business and not as an aspiring life coach.

In September 2020, I began my current business plan, I had no idea what I wanted to do but that didn’t matter and it wasn’t the point. I wanted to just be honest with myself and see where that led me. The cover declares: “I AM AN ARTIST” – this was my realisation as I was putting the plan together. About a month after completing the plan I knew that I wanted to be a book artist, something I had loved doing when I was at University.

So my goal now is to develop my skills and get my work out there and see where it takes me.

The inside of Kalema’s 2020 RBBP

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

It’s ok to stop. If there is no enjoyment in what you do then this is an indication that something is off and there are times when you will only be able to figure it out once you give yourself the space to do so.

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.

Hit Pause and Reset

Guest post by Cass Mullane, Creative Innovator, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I live in Colorado and as a state we’re in the process of moving out of Stay at Home into “Safe at Home” with businesses slowly phasing back into operations. Let’s hope for a smooth transition.

COVID-19 has been a real kick in the teeth.

It’s totally disrupted our world and our sense of what is normal. It’s taken people we care about. It’s showed how unprepared we are, how fragile our health care system is, how delicate our economy is and how heavily we rely on others to “take care of things” for us. It’s also put a glaring spotlight on how little we plan for contingencies and save for the unexpected in our society.

As a small business owner, it’s been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I was rather surprised when a large percentage of my regular small business clients decided simply to tuck in and wrap themselves up in both the disruption to their lives and in the fear around not knowing what’s coming. In addition, the building that houses my art studio and office closed to the public. Obviously, all of this negatively affected my monthly revenues.

COVID-19 has been a real gift.

On the other hand, I get to Hit Pause and Reset. I have the chance to really practice what I preach and take the time to scrutinize how I was doing in my business and my life. Because I tend to look ahead and plan, I am able to remain calm and nimble. I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to exercise my creative muscles and figure out how to replace at least part of the lost income. I’ve learned how to do live art classes online and was able to get them up and running quickly. I’ve revisited my coaching programs and have refined what I’ll be offering once people come back out of their shells. I continue to stay focused on what is really important and take a lot of the other stuff off my plate. As a result, I find I have more time to make my own art and just to BE.

The non-profit arts organization I chair jumped on the available funding opportunities and was able to keep the staff employed even though the building was closed to the public. They continue to look ahead and come up with creative ideas on reimagining the organization, re-engaging our community, and restarting normal activities like First Friday openings and art walks as well as classes and events. Lots of rules, restrictions, and rigor are required to make our facility a safe environment for the public and staff as well as the 80+ artists that have studio space in the building. But the mindset is ‘we’re in this together’ and we’ll do what it takes to come back strong.

So, what are you doing now to help get your business into a new normal once your Stay at Home orders are lifted? Here are three suggestions:

1. Do Stop, Start, Continue exercises on your business and on your life [click to continue…]

When I’m feeling especially tense and stressed (like in the beginning of shelter-in-place!) and my normal daily practices aren’t cutting it, one of my top self-care strategies is to book a relaxing massage. Of course with shelter-in-place measures and social distancing, that wasn’t an option.

Early on in my quarantine, I reached out to my friend Eugenia anyway and inquired if she’d be willing to do some virtual healing work with me in lieu of an in-person massage. And, low and behold she was already cooking up some online offers (they’re now up on her site)!

We met up on Zoom and she guided me through a very grounding personalized session that included some gentle yoga, breathing exercises and self-massage instructions. It was no surprise to me that her therapeutic gifts and supportive energy translated beautifully to a virtual experience. I left the session with the same kind of grounded feeling I’ve had after getting direct bodywork from her but I didn’t have to drive home under the (“blissed out”) influence and I learned some additional practices to add to my self-care routine. Cool to get some unexpected benefits of being forced to work with her in this new way.

Now, I don’t know if she would’ve created virtual offers if we weren’t under stay-at-home orders, but by golly, times of uncertainty, challenge and change certainly demand innovation from us, right?!

If you do mostly in-person work or you don’t do much business online yet, I’m wondering what this anecdote sparks for you?

Some in-person work adapts fairly easily to the virtual world (think therapy, coaching, or art instruction). But other folks like bodyworkers, hairstylists, portrait photographers, dog walkers, acupuncturists and doulas, just to name a few, may have to think outside the box to discover new ways to work within our current restrictions.

Here are some questions to help you think outside the box:

  • What are some related skills that might translate more easily online or to an info product? For example, perhaps a dog walker might be able to offer virtual private obedience training sessions with pet parents and their dogs. Or an acupuncturist can create resources that show clients some acupressure points that they can do themselves.
  • What are some tangential, adjacent or past skills that you can leverage now? Maybe you’re currently a yoga instructor but in your past life you were a bookkeeper and you can temporarily offer some bookkeeping or financial systems support to yoga studios that have had to move online classes and change their backend systems.
  • What are some fresh ways of looking at how you can deliver the same results, knowledge, or support through a different medium? And how can you trust in your own natural impact? If you focus on the benefits or how you want your client to feel, you might be surprised that there are other ways of getting to that same or close enough outcome. My session with Eugenia above is a great example of this. Eugenia just showed up as present and supportive as she always does and that is the core magic of her offerings. The delivery method almost doesn’t matter at that point. I’m just happy to have a way to work with her!
  • What’s something you’d love to do, but just haven’t had the chance to get to yet? When our normal routines get majorly disrupted like they are now, it can be a great opportunity to reset or try something new. Give yourself some space to experiment and play, even just for a bit. Allow yourself to be inspired and see where that takes you.
  • Who are some of your most creative, off-the-wall-thinking friends? Ask them to do a call with you to brainstorm or free associate some new ideas. Sometimes you’re so close to your work that it just takes an outside perspective to open up options.

If you’re like most people I’ve been hearing from during the pandemic, you’re wondering how to keep sharing your gifts and serving your peeps, while still tending to your needs as the ground continues to shift beneath us. I hope these examples and prompts have planted some seeds for some beautiful innovations to sprout and flourish.

If you need more support or guidance on how to package your know-how into digital products or virtual offerings, please check out my Product Development Playground. It includes a pandemic-response inspired Quick Start Guide with tips to get your Minimum Viable Product (read: quick and scrappy product) out there faster than you think with little to no cost.

Previous Posts
Featured in:
The Right-Brain Business Plan®

The Right-Brain Business Plan®