I first met the very lovely Jennifer Lee at Squam Art Workshops back in 2010. Jenn is a life and biz coach who’s been inspiring people with her right-brain approach to business for many years now. When biz stuff feels stuffy and intimidating I look to Jenn to show me how to infuse my creativity into the business systems I need to implement. Her first book, The Right-Brain Business Plan, turned the notion of the boring business plan on its head. Her newest book, Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way, guides the reader through the next phases of biz building, all with her solid biz expertise and delicious right-brain perspective. A business book filled with illustrations and creative exercises? Yes please!
Today Jenn’s kicking off a new series I’ll be running occasionally on the blog. Inspired by my own book, This I Know, I’m inviting the people who inspire me to answer the following questions: What are you most passionate about? What do know to be true?
Here’s what Jenn had to say…
I’ve always known that I’m creative. As a kid I loved to paint and draw and live in my imagination.
BUT it wasn’t until 10 years ago when I participated in an intensive leadership program, that I really, really got in my bones that creativity is much needed in the world and that creating beauty, meaning, and spaciousness is a tremendously valuable gift. Up until then, I thought that in order to succeed or be taken seriously I needed to be something I wasn’t. I thought that all leaders needed to be loud, fast, directive, demanding, masculine, and left-brained. And so, especially in the corporate world, I did what I could to fit in (and boy that certainly took its toll since I was everything opposite!).
I used to think that something was wrong with me for being so sensitive and quiet. I felt like people didn’t get me or overlooked me. Since I disregarded those creative, right-brain qualities in myself, I made it easier for people to disregard what I had to offer.
Now I know that my sensitivity helps me tap into my intuition and creativity; that it allows me to notice and deeply feel things that others may not quite yet see and to trust that I need to give voice to that.
Once I took the leap from corporate and started to step more into my softer, more right-brain style of leadership in my work and life, things began to shift. I began to slowly infuse more of my artistic side into my work and that’s when I started to attract more of my tribe and started to have more fun and more forward movement in my business.
Sure there are still people who don’t get me and even think the way I do business is silly, stupid, and cheesy (yep, I’ve got Amazon reviews to prove it!) but I know those folks are not my right peeps. What I do know is that my right-brain way of doing business resonates with those I’m most meant to serve and that I need to keep putting myself out there so that those creative souls know they are not alone. By showing up fully as my creative, authentic self, I give others permission to do the same.
The first guiding principle in my new book Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way is “Be uniquely you and embrace your creativity.”
For me “being uniquely me” means that:
I have colorful pictures in my business books.
I get so moved by emotion that I cry when I’m teaching on video or speaking on stage.
I have an entire wall covered in bright sticky notes to help me plan out my year.
I have funky, colorful hair.
I love to collage my business and life visions.
I’m still on a journey of becoming more and more of who I really am. And I know that with each step, I’m on the right path in my work and in my life.
How do you show up as uniquely you? How can you embrace more of your creativity in your work? What would be possible for you in your life or business if you owned more of who you really are?
Jennifer Lee is the author of Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way and the bestseller The Right-Brain Business Plan, which has helped tens of thousands of entrepreneurs around the world launch their creative businesses. After spending 10 years climbing the corporate ladder and getting tired of living her dream “on-the-side,” she took the leap to pursue her passions full-time. Jennifer has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, U.S. News & World Report, Whole Living, Family Circle, and Cloth Paper Scissors Studios. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and sweet husky-lab mix.
Find out more about Jenn at http://www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com.