This is a guest post by Annie Wallace, with some great insight and tips into being a successful (primarily) right-brained entrepreneur. AKA the “creative type” that loves the “idea phase” but struggles a bit with “the biz” side of things. Now who does that sound like… you perhaps?
In business and in life we tend to categorize people as ‘left brained’ or ‘right brained’ depending on their personality traits. Those who are left brained tend to be good at planning and organizing, running a business and taking care of administrative tasks. Those who are right brained tend to be better at creative endeavors than their left brained counterparts, taking like ducks to water when it comes to ideas, entrepreneurship, design and theory.
It’s not always this way, but Right brained people are often the entrepreneurs who have unique ideas and break boundaries. Problems arise, however, when it comes to those right brained people putting the wheels in motion. Organizing a team of colleagues, running accounts, formulating business plans and drawing up spreadsheets do not always come naturally, and the ideas struggle to get actualized.
Many creative individuals start their own business and become self employed because it allows freedom of thought. It often doesn’t make sense to limit creativity from 9am until 5pm, and in that way right brained people work well on their own. Many do grasp the business side of employment too, and this is when right brained people succeed exceptionally.
It’s a myth that creative abilities can’t be applied to logical, academic ones, and indeed artists manage their own design companies, and writers learn computer programming languages.
The key is to stop thinking of yourself as a solely left or right brained person, and understand what your company or venture needs from you. Of course one side of you is going to preside over the other, but that doesn’t mean a creative person’s left side is redundant. At the same time, this doesn’t mean you have to always be using your left brain if you don’t want to.
Administrative tasks and business procedures can be carried out by an expert (perhaps a virtual assistant), but you will need to use left-brained thinking to hire them in the first place. Let an accountant handle the accounts, and a secretary to handle your meeting arrangements, so that you can concentrate on entrepreneurship.
Some issues that you will need to address before becoming self-employed are:
- The fact that you will need to decide upon prices, and work carefully towards a profit margin that works for you. You will need to balance giving free ‘samples’ to gain exposure with earning what you need to progress, and you will need to decide when you start charging for your work.
- The fact that a business works well with a solid routine. In order to meet deadlines and have stress-free time for creativity and thought, you should establish your schedule and test out systems before you ‘go live’. It may not feel natural, but it’s best to ensure your service works before you offer it.
Tips on Successful Right-Brained Entrepreneurship:
- Don’t shy away from hiring people to help you. If you proof read your own writing, but still miss the mistakes then hire a proof reader for that part. If you’re good at selling your work but clam up when it comes to invoicing, hire a VA or set up an accounts department to help. Identifying what you’re not so good at should help you concentrate on what you do best.
- If you feel out of your depth, employ a business coach. It’s often the case that a business plan will work spectacularly well, but the right-brained individual who came up with it just needs to learn some key business techniques. That coach can give advice and feedback on your ideas as well as ensure you’re on top of your schedule. Think of your business as a climbing flower, your schedule as a trellis and your coach as twine. You tie the flower to the trellis until it grows around it, then the twine can be removed and the plant grows onto the wood by itself.
- Don’t forget about your personal schedule once you’ve established your overall business’s one. Use your creativity to manage your time however you like, and get whatever needs doing done in your own way. A simple ‘to-do’ list should keep you on track.
To summarize, synchronizing creative entrepreneurship and the running of a business takes work, but with good organization it becomes an easy routine. Hiring a coach and small team of professionals can prove very valuable to your time, and ensure you still have the freedom to exercise what you are best at, and have the time to keep pushing your business into new, exciting pastures.
So how about you? Are you a right-y or a left-y? Creative brains or dubious brawn? 🙂 Drop your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!