“If you love it, let it go,” they say.
Throughout the last few years, Pam Slim and I have been co-hosting our Lift Off Retreat for entrepreneurs a couple of times each year. During our latest retreat in August, we independently came to the conclusion that it’s time to start winding the program down. After talking about it, we decided that we’ll do two more.
The next two Lift Off Retreats (in 2012) will be the last.
It’s hard to let it go because we love it so much, but it’s time.
Why is it time? Because we want to focus on nurturing and focusing on the community we’ve already built rather than trying to balance bringing more people into the community and nurturing the community that’s already. We’ve sold out the last two retreats, so, assuming we do so for the next two, there will be around 80 committed, caring, and luminary entrepreneurs. The group effect that we’re already experiencing at 50 is phenomenal at the same time that it’s a lot to keep up with – another 30 will put us at that “just right” size.
I’ve often espoused a “small fire” approach to business building that allows us to build deeper relationships, guidance, and impact rather than getting big for bigness’s sake and barely being able to keep up with what you’ve got. Everything about Lift Off has carried that ethos with it – we’ve limited the number of seats per event, we’ve baked-in implementation calls, and we’ve been pretty damn selective about who gets in (so much that we’ve turned away people).
Closing the program after Lift Off 6 is a natural extension of everything we’ve done thus far. We want to build the community up more than we want to build it out. We’re both excited about the next stage of development of the community.
The truth of the matter is that there are some exceptional leaders within the program. They’ve done amazing things thus far like creating new startups, expanding their businesses like crazy, getting media features, starting new non-profit programs, and a whole slew of other accomplishments that it would take a whole post to list. Seth Godin wrote in his core conversation contribution that when you breathe the air of great people, your game is raised. Our Lift Offians are raising our games, and, to match the call, we need to dig deeper.
We are also explicitly modeling growth. Pam and I separately have some new growth areas we’re working on, and carrying too much will stretch us too thin. It’s out of alignment for us to be “bigger” but “thinner” with the service journeys we’re on.
You may have seen partnerships begin with great hopes but fall apart due to interpersonal conflicts, poor substance, or a lack of a market that can bear the partnership (among other things). That’s anything but the case with our partnership. It’s been a transformative program for us that’s enriched our relationship, so much so that I often forget that I’m not supposed to call Pam “sis” when we’re in public or teaching. The individuals within the community are so much more than “customers” or “clients” – these are people who we want to grow with over the next few decades. (Yes, I said “decades;” remember that I’ve got a very long view in just about anything I do.)
Our partnership isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re just getting warmed up – but it’s time to start closing the doors on this particular event. We’re excited to welcome the next two groups of Lift Offians.
Now it’s time for you to decide if you’re going to join this group of creative, committed, and caring leaders.
We will host two more Lift Off Retreats, one from February 16-19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona, and the other in August, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. Details can be found at the Lift Off Retreat home page.
Poke around the site, but make a special note to check out the Alumni page to hear about their journey and what they got out of Lift Off. It’s all about the people.
We have 13 seats left for our next retreat in February and would love to see you there. We’ve got big plans for our Lift Off peeps – do those plans include you?
Thanks for this link, maybe I can join you guys on February 16-16, 2012.
I have been seriously thinking about people who should be part of this community — and I am not embarrassed to say I have been evangelizing my little tail off. Lift Off is a big deal, and you’ve created a wonderful thing. I expect it will only get better.