By Mary Fisk-Taylor, M. Photog., Cr., CPP, ABI, API Summer…
There’s been some discussion recently about the validity of right brain vs left brain, but myth or not I’m still a believer. Regardless of some of the scientific data out there, I think we can all agree there are two primary disciplines in our industry – the artists and the implementers. You know from your own experience what you’re best at versus those things you simply hate to do and need help on a regular basis.
I spend a huge part of my life with photographers and it’s a real mix of left vs right brainers. In other words, creative artists vs operational/administrative managers. There are even a few well-balanced with great visualization skills as well as operational abilities.
Years ago at Polaroid, they put a bunch of us in the marketing department, together with the engineers, through a program called Right Brain Left Brain. There was an ongoing battle between the engineering/design groups and the marketing team. Engineering would scream we didn’t know how to market the features of the new cameras. Marketing, on the other hand, would scream back, “Engineering doesn’t know how to build in the features everybody wants!”
I’m not about to claim to be an expert on the topic, but here’s the general explanation. The right side of your brain is responsible for creativity, while the left side handles the details and implementation. The left side is analytical while the right side is artistic. Even better than me trying to explain it, just Google the words “right brain left brain” and you’ll find plenty of websites with easy online tests to see where you fall.
The point of Polaroid bringing in experts on the subject was to point out that in order to get any project done, you need both sides, one to create the other to implement.
Each member of both groups completed a series of multiple-choice questions prior to the day-long workshop to determine which side of our brain was dominant. Then they paired off each member of marketing with an engineer and the challenge was to design a product and the steps to launch it. I knew what I wanted to do, but couldn’t draw it to scale, while my engineer partner understood the design aspects, but not the creative side. The end result for all of us, both marketing and engineering, was the understanding we couldn’t complete the task without each other’s skill sets.
Here’s my point, stop trying to do it all! While there are some people who are equally dominant on the left and right sides of the brain, most of us are stronger on one side than the other. That’s why I love to write but hire an accountant. That’s why I love to read but always ask my attorney to look at documents before I sign them.
It’s not a liability for you to have incredible creative talent, but be unable to build a promotional budget or plan a direct mail campaign. It’s only a liability to not respect or outsource to somebody who does.
It’s the perfect time for me to mention Marathon’s MAP program. This isn’t a sales pitch but a reality pitch! Stop trying to do everything yourself. Most of you are 1-3 person businesses and even if you might be lucky and be well-balanced in your right brain left brain skills, you don’t have the time.
MAP gives you a facilitator backed up by Marathon’s staff of experts. That means MAP members essentially have their own marketing department just “down the street” at Marathon’s office and always just a phone call or a mouse click away! Click now for more info.
You are your business’s greatest asset and success these days is based on relationship building. So, get some help in designing and implementing your promotions and activity calendar. It’s time to free yourself up and get to know your target audience. Even better they need to know you!
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