Innovative Business Plans for Creatives with Art Journals

Innovative and creative minds need artistic alternatives to traditional business plan templates. Linear models operate from traditional business concepts that often just don’t resonate for creative minds. Still a solid business plan is key to success for artists who intend to earn a living primarily from their own creations.

These unique alternative business plan templates provide ways to work on business plans in a VISUAL way by creating an art journal business plan. This application helps creative folks to absorb the necessary concepts and get incredibly inspired and motivated. Some of the journal entries might be just writing and some just art while others could be a combination of both.

Creative people are often driven by both seeing and doing. Their need for this kind of creative involvement makes traditional types of tools feel vague and confusing. When creative people can work with hands-on, inspiring art projects in combination with other tools for expression, then the floodgates are much more likely to be magically opened for all kinds of creativity and abundance. Create and enjoy this fun & inspiring way to create a business plan that sings!

This art journal is a place where you make your own plans for business. Consider it a safe place to brainstorm, strategize, plan and dream… while releasing creative energy and expressing ideas in a FUN and non-linear way to manifest your future dreams in an artistic business plan.

The sections below are introductions to each lesson and business plan template, NOT the lessons themselves. EACH of the eight lessons includes many pages of journaling prompts and other creative & inspiring exercises to help you dig deep and discover your own truths and realities as you create your own unique plans. You can even decide on all 8 templates OR choose those indivdual ones that interest you most.

Artella-is-a-creative.SARKThese tutorials were created by a wildly creative artist and successful entrepreneur named Marney. Her website (Artella) is an absolute marvel to the eyes. Rarely do we see such unique creativity on computer screens! Marney has created an online community of artists at Artella who contribute and trade in a wide variety of art media as well as ongoing business courses for artists, writers and creative minds.

I don’t know why Artellla hasn’t been nominated for a Pulitzer yet…seriously Artella has changed the scope of art and words forever.”
~ Jill Badonsky, artist and author

EIGHT Components of a Solid Business Plan – Each with a Creative TWIST!

#1: Define Venture Capital – Define Adventure Capitals!
#2: Analyze the Mission – Tantalize the Vision!
#3: Expenses and Profit – Senses and Prophet!
#4: Evaluate Your Assets – Evaluate Your As-Yets!
#5: Financial Balance Sheet – Life/Work Balance Sheet!
#6: Moment by Moment Plan – Momentum by Momentum Plan!
#7: Marketing Plan – MARK-ITing Plan! (Make Your Mark!)
#8: Micro Projection Chart – My Crow Direction Art!

1) Define Venture Capital becomes “Define Adventure”

Your credentials are important in launching your blissness. Get yourself tuned in to your own passions by giving yourself credentials in any way you like.

Add some initials after your name to show you DO have whatever it takes to accomplish your blissness. For one example, instead of CEO I like calling myself CFO = Chief Fun Officer! Play with words and define your own adventure into the blissness of your business.

solospark.surfer.shine.online2) Analyze the Mission becomes “Tantalize the Vision”

Artists of all kinds need passion. A true passion is so strong that it no longer is an option NOT to pursue it. Passion is the motivation that keeps you going when you hit obstacles or become ‘stuck’ in your artistic endeavors.

This portion directs you through a variety of exercises that begin by helping you to clarify your passions with templates that steer your toward a clearer vision.

Then stoke it to the point of creating a mission statement that is the most awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping JOYFUL statement that it can be and expressed with images that speak to you in ways that inspire and motivate.

3) Expenses & Profits becomes “Sense and Prophet”

Yes, expenses and profits exist in any business. Here you are instead invited to focus on ‘Senses and Prophet’. Using prompts provided, you use your senses to become a prophet of sorts, to look into the future at your own marvelous life once your goals are reached. Many pages of exercises lead you toward making the vision ALIVE in beautiful detail.

Come Get Inspired!
Visit Artella Land…an inspiring paradise for writers, artists, and creative spirits!

4) Evaluate your Assets becomes “Evaluate your As-Yets”

Determine WHY you haven’t followed this dream all the way yet, or made your dream all it can be. For example, one common roadblock to success as an artist is this – that many people who are creative think they cannot also be good at business. So that perception itself – even though untrue – can end up thwarting the very efforts needed to move forward. Consider that creativity itself is actually the most important resource of ALL in business, for it allows us to think in unconventional ways that can turn ideas into abundance.

There is no pre-paved path to building a business (myth) and the resources needed for building businesses are not so specific that they can’t be flexible and negotiable (another myth). So in this section it is your turn to figure out … ‘What YOUR roadblocks?’ What IS it that has kept you from following your dream ‘as of yet’? The intention is to clearly identify them so you can move past them.

What are your goal roadblocks?

What are your goal roadblocks?

5) Financial Balance Sheet becomes “Life/Work Balance Sheet”

It takes awhile for revenue to appear in a new business, yet there ARE other ways that your business is building a profit. It’s about balancing financial goals with other ways to measure success.

Consider “Accounting Your Blessings” by keeping a record of … things you are grateful for with prosperity values and a record of ‘small change’ – meaning the outward changes you are experiencing in life. Most people who committed to this ‘gratitude journal’ process felt dramatic effects. It can make a HUGE difference to simply allow yourself to feel prosperous even if the profits coming from your business aren’t necessarily financial, at least not yet.

Exercises in this section lead you toward focus on profit everyday, some type of benefits gained as you navigate along the business building journey in order to make sure you see your ‘balance’ as growth.

6) Moment by Moment Plan becomes “Momentum Plan”

Creative people can become overwhelmed by a highly detailed and very long-term plan. Maybe the LAST thing creatives need is a very rigid marketing plan, yet they DO need consistent and effective marketing.

One of the keys to effective marketing is to constantly keep the momentum going, to continually promote your business to the right audience. Interactions on social media can be a good way to fuel this momentum.

One artist who does this very well is Karen Salmansohn. Her messages and art is always uplifting and inspirational…but she doesn’t stop there. Momentum! She has created ways to connect via mobile and iPod and more. If you LIKE her style (and I do) the woman is brilliant about creating momentum with that style online!

This section leads you down the path of doing just that with templates that have enough clarity to provide direction, yet also having room for flexibility to be easily adapted to your own style.

7) Marketing Plan Becomes “Mark-IT-ing Plan”goldfish.dare.different.solospark

Shed old beliefs about marketing. Re-define ‘what marketing is’ to YOU. Maybe you have a negative view of marketing due to those sales people who drive a hard-sell in your face toward a product that never appealed to you in the first place. That certainly happens, but those feelings don’t come from marketing itself, which is actually neutral. So why not put a positive spin on it and focus on the fantastic value in what you have to offer?

Think of marketing as simply this… How are you making your mark?

You are simply interacting with people, talking and listening and having fun while leaving some way of finding you again in a methodic and professional way. You are leaving your mark…so MARK IT!

8) Micro Projection Plan becomes “My Crow Projection Plan”

This is your detailed actions, your calendar of events and daily plan that gives DIRECTION about what to do when. A corporate micro projection plan might lull creatives to sleep, yet this one is not only efficient and practical but also very creative and inspiring.

Consider the tiny steps taken by a crow – the bird in the expression ‘as the crow flies’. When you give ‘MY CROW’ steps a try, you take tiny steps, moving ahead in small but sure increments. So then ‘MY CROW’ projection is when you work from a step-by-step plan.blissness.plan.cover

“Marney has a way of accessing both the left and right side of my brain. She speaks to the logical part, and sings to the creative spirit… She got me present to what I am really committed to, and how to push through the negative voices to get to the place where I can hear my own voice again.” ~ Melissa Daimler

“The ‘Blissness Plan’ works toward synergy using both sides of the brain. Traditional business planning is linear and sequential – very left brain. The imagery, visions and spontaneous creative expression encouraged in this method resonates for right brainers. The process brings an effective balance between the two sides of the brain for a more meaningful business plan.” ~ Carolan Ross

The Blissness Plan includes EIGHT books in all for only $15.00. These digital books contain instructions, inspiration and the business plan templates that might make a huge difference. There’s also an option for purchasing any of individual sections if preferred for only $3.00 each.

Check out the free Artella newsletter while you are there, for you may never have witnessed a more creative and whimsical item on your screen ever. Her newsletters are pure delight for creative minds of all kinds. Get the Free Artella Newsletter

So how’s your business plan working for you? Bliss? or maybe drudgery? nonexistent? “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Would this idea of a Blissness Plan grab you as a more meaningful and inspiring alternative to the traditional & linear formats for a business plan? Please comment on that below. Thanks.


Carolan Ross

CFO(Chief Fun Officer) at SoloSpark
Freelance writer, creative soul, solopreneur and former teacher who networks with rebels, visionaries, artists and other square pegs in round holes. I support solopreneurs with copywriting and juggling life and business to SHINE ONLINE!


  1. livwelnow says

    Thank you for an inspiring twist to doing a business plan! (which I find a complete drudgery) I have bookmarked your blog. 🙂

    • says

      Oh yes, complete drudgery is right! Yet a solopreneur MUST focus on a well thought out business plan with clarity, this is so crucial. No reason we have to resort to those boring linear approaches.

  2. Lisa Mallis says

    Ahh . . . I have a colleague that helps start-ups create business plans. I’m going to send her this link. Love that you put a creative twist on the categories of a traditional plan.

    • says

      Hey thanks a lot Lisa. This kind of a strategy was a life saver for me, truly. Traditional approaches to business plans put me to sleep! I have another similar one that I’ll be publishing about soon, very creative and artsy FUN! I use both and finally actually enjoy business plans, who’d have thought?

  3. patinkc says

    I don’t think I ever laughed before while reading about a business plan. I love Tantalize the Vision! and My Crow Direction Art!

    • says

      HA! Isn’t it nice to give business plans a lighter perspective? Gives one a whole new attitude about this task, and the idea of creating inside an art journal rather than boring linear text? Works for me.

    • says

      Hey thanks Leanne. I feel the same way, and business plans are simply WAY too important to allow them to be boring. No can do, we MUST find ways to spice them up and make the process enjoyable.

  4. Just Hazel says

    Great Idea…always felt heart going towards boots feeling about business plans so am really looking forward to trying out this approach.

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