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How many of you cringe when you hear the words business plan? Or maybe even worse… budget, cash flow or P&L statement? If you’re like me, those terms (especially the financial ones), make your skin crawl. Yet, as an entrepreneur it’s vital to know where you’re going and what it’s going to take to get there.

So, how about approaching business planning (and life planning) from a visual, creative and fun perspective instead?

The idea of doing a more right-brain approach to my business plan came to me while brainstorming materials with my colleagues Starla Sireno and Tara Russell at The Fearless Entrepreneur. As we refine resources and exercises to use with our business coaching clients, it’s also important that we walk our talk, too. So, I revisited my business plan (originally in a boring, static Word document) and decided to update it for 2008 and beyond using my art visioning techniques.

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Above are the front and back covers of my Artizen Coaching business plan accordion book. I started off decorating the front with a really cool art studio image from a magazine. Then I thought it would be clever to have the back be more of the “zen” in the Artizen.

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Here are some detail shots of the interior.

Typically a business plan has sections such as: an executive summary, company description, industry analysis, target market, financials, marketing and sales plan, etc.

In the first couple of pages I wanted to just set the tone of my business and also list out the different products and services I’m offering or working on.

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Next, I got clear on my strategic alliances and affiliations – who I’m working with and what organizations I belong to for networking and support. It’s a relief to know I don’t have to go it alone!

For the finances, I really wanted to concentrate on abundance and chose images/words around that. I have my P&L statement folded up in the little manila envelope so I can pull it out and look at it when I need to.

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These last pages are about marketing and getting myself out there. Part of what triggered doing this project now was that today I received galley copies of the book that I’m featured in: The Girl’s Guide to Kicking Your Career in Gear and I got excited about next year! I also want to write a book, so there’s a little 3D book attached to one of the pages.

Tomorrow, I’m going to write out more details on the back of each page. Now that I have visuals and the emotional connection to what I’m wanting to create, I can articulate it more clearly in words. I’ll probably write out my strategy and tactics in a creative way, too, and have some images as well.

How do you plan out your business and personal goals? What if the process was more fun and engaging? What else would be possible for you if you let your creativity and intuition run wild?

[tags]National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, Art Every Day Month, business planning, right-brain business plan, art visioning, expressive arts coaching, business coaching, entrepreneurship, collage, book arts, accordion book[/tags]

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