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Retreat to Sustain Your Business and Yourself
Charlie and I often get questions about the “whys” of what we do, both on the personal and the business side and how we blend them to take care of ourselves and our team, business, and community.
If you’ve been on this journey with us, even for just a little while, you’ve probably noticed that we have strong opinions about taking care of your greatest resource (yourself) and keeping that centered when you are making plans of any kind, be it for a priority project in your business, in relationships, within your family or community, or anywhere else.
You’re likely aware of the trends and energetic cycles that happen within your business or organization. Often these cycles correspond with the seasons of the year and how you serve your audience at that time of the year. What energy is required?
Are you also aware of your personal energetic cycles? Some of us are more energetic during the summer months, when the days are longer, there’s more sun, perhaps more “life” happening outside your window. Others find summer to be a low-energy season; slowing down with the warmer weather, needing more time to rest and restore, or perhaps burning through the winter and spring working on important projects so now it’s time to chill.
More than a decade ago, already aware of the energetic cycles and trends that we saw within PF, Charlie and I started to become more aware of our own personal energetic cycles and how those were “playing out” in the business.
Bumping Into One Another
Charlie has a supernova kind of energy in the mid fall to late winter. I am almost the complete opposite: leave me alone during the winter 😉 but watch out in the spring to late summer time period… I get into ALL.THE.THINGS!
As you might imagine, there were plenty of times that we were “bumping into one another” because one of us had very different energy and expectations about what we were collectively going to be able to do or accomplish in the business.
Because we are all about problem-solving and really do love to work together, we realized that we needed to do some work on understanding how our own personal energies could be honored and channeled both within PF but also in our personal lives and the personal projects that we got into.
Over the (27) years of being in life together and (15) years of being in business together we have learned a lot about ourselves individually, as a couple, and how we work best together in a team, in the business, and with other teammates and our community.
Retreats for Our Community
Part of the “problem-solving” we did was done as a reflection from earlier retreats that we hosted back in 2010 – 2013. We hosted these Lift Off retreats twice a year with our dear friend, Pam Slim, to help entrepreneurs focus on their businesses growth.
Charlie and I adore doing this kind of deep, transformative work with amazing souls and while the magic that happens during those few days together is wonderful, it’s the long-lasting takeaways attendees have and the implementation of what they learned that is life changing.
As with any transformative work, the experience itself is the tipping point. However, it’s what you do after — honoring that experience, yourself, and the time, energy, and resources you put into it — that can change your life for the better.
Inspiration Is Never Enough
We noticed the essential nature of these retreats was not only that the participants had a transformative experience and came away inspired, but that they developed the roadmap and plan to take what they learned about themselves and their business and apply it consistently when they arrived home.
Taking it a step further, they needed that roadmap and plan and they needed to know who was going to do the work with them so that they didn’t feel alone making the great things happen.
I know I’m not alone in the experience of having gone to an amazing event, conference, or retreat and then getting home only to feel like I fall back into my old patterns and behaviors. That what I learned didn’t stick.
Perhaps something was wrong with me. That I didn’t care enough or wasn’t smart enough to figure it out on my own. I mean, I had all the pieces and inspiration and yet, a month later, life looked very much the same.
Your Magic + A Good Plan + Your Success Pack = A Better Life (and Business)
Being someone who can be pretty hard on myself, it’s actually a nice celebration for me to say: There wasn’t something wrong with me. 🙌
Those events had been wonderful experiences. They brought out some amazing awarenesses in me. They were inspirational. What most of them lacked was a roadmap and plan and more importantly a focus on who could support me beyond that time.
I am the kind of person who really likes to get things done (Checklist, please! Charlie jokingly refers to me as Achiever Angela at times; those of you familiar with Strengths will get that.) and if I’m being honest, I also often like to get things done on my own because I can do it on my timeline the way I want it done (ugh, yes, also a recovering overachiever and perfectionist).
Charlie and I have been blessed the last 15 years in PF because we have had the honor of working with amazingly smart and talented and big-hearted people who work in different ways to bring to fruition their desires for a better world, whether it be in their own business and how they serve their own communities or as a team member, manager, or leader in an organization.
What we see across the board is that the desire to do the great work is there, and often the talents and knowledge and tenacity and heart is also present. What each of us needs is a roadmap and plan that makes sense for us and how we think and work and to have the people around us to support us in following that vision.
Using Your Own Medicine
This is where I circle back to the seasons I spoke of, the bumping into one another that Charlie and I were doing, and how retreats became one of the success factors for us for a more sustainable way of being together in life and business.
Charlie and I took a page from our own “book” and started to schedule out a year in advance for our own retreats together. The way that has looked has shifted over the years due to many different changes in life, family structure, business needs, health, and more.
There have been years where we have had four or five days each quarter “away from” life and business and meetings to reset and rework our roadmap and plan for the business. This has been the most common.
There have been years where we have had three days several times a quarter to focus on a book launch.
There have been years where we have not planned out quite as well in advance and were only able to schedule two owner retreats — one in the winter and one in late summer. They still made a big difference.
Each one actually looks a little different because what we need at the time is different. For some we have much more down time and time for ourselves personally and just a day on business planning. For some we really focus on the quarter ahead and others where we do more of the five-year visioning and then break that down to smaller time chunks. And for some the focus is one priority project.
The Necessary Ingredients
What is consistent throughout:
We always take time to take care of ourselves on the personal side
We always start with celebrations and looking back and honoring where we are
We always get real about challenges
We always walk away with a plan
We always account for the who and how we will lean on our success pack to move forward
The necessity of caring for our greatest resources (ourselves) is never an afterthought when it comes to planning for a business retreat and the real plan with the support of others is also always part of this work for us.
Last Year’s PF Business Retreat Led to This Year’s Level Up Retreats
During our summer business retreat last year, Charlie and I started on our plan to bring in-person events back to PF. Just before the “COVID lockdown” in March 2020, Charlie and I had just begun the planning for hosting a retreat for our community. It had been since 2017 that we had hosted a retreat and we were both itching to get back to doing this kind of deep, transformative work with our people.
Those plans were put on hold for a few years and so as we started to see the “world open up again” we realized that it was time to take those plans off the shelf and refocus on being with our people in real life for these journeys together.
We reintroduced retreats last fall and hosted our first Level Up Retreat in February in Mexico. It was phenomenal to be back to doing this kind of work with special souls looking to go deep on taking care of themselves to do better work in the world.
All of the ingredients of successful, transformative experiences are accounted for in the way Charlie and I plan and host these retreats:
Focus on self, on taking care of your greatest resource
Understanding and honoring your dreams, legacy, and best work
Making plans that are sustainable, in alignment, and include your success pack so that you have support after to do your great work
If you work in a team, how to get your team on board and using their strengths
And, even though we all know that taking better care of ourselves and being a full human with lives outside of work is reason enough to take a retreat, we also know and understand that many of us and our supervisors or board of directors or just your own business owner self need to hear about the results and how time will be saved, or revenue generated, or priority projects pushed to done.
All of that is true, as well, with the way we design our retreats and the strategic plans and roadmaps and assets that our attendees walk away with.
It’s easy to talk about results, but what really matters to Charlie and me is that we know and get to see how this work with our community has changed their lives and their work and their communities for the better. That’s what this work, for us, is all about.
Better Work and Better Results
We’re honored to share the stories and results from some of our February Level Up retreat attendees with you and also have the chance to highlight the work that they do in the world.
Kendra, the founder of Rebel Media Agency, shared: “I now have the skill set to be a more thoughtful and intentional leader, which is life-changing for my team and clients, not just me.” She also commented that “the unique structure of the retreat left me feeling restored, even after working on my business, which has never happened at an event like this.” Kendra walked away with new ways to grow her revenue and work with her clients that she had not known she could offer prior to the retreat.
Andrea, former CEO of Waterfall Community Health and now founder of Brite Side Consulting, shared: “I went to the retreat thinking that I was going to take back a plan to be a better leader and really what I took back was a different, better version of myself.” Andrea also shared about her experience after the retreat saying, “I came home with possibilities I didn’t know I had; the possibilities of a magnificently delicious life.” She also now “leads from the heart” and says “I can’t put a price tag on that. It’s priceless.”
Jacquette, a business and financial coach and speaker and attendee of the February retreat, has been giving more work to her assistant and “fully integrating her into all aspects of her business” and has been amazed at how much lighter she feels. She let us know that “this was the business retreat she didn’t know she needed and that the impact that it has had on her business and personal life already has been immeasurable.” Because she was already familiar with the work that Charlie and I do she shared, “I knew I was going to get a lot from this experience but it was more than I could have expected. Charlie and Angela do deep work with their community: I knew that going into this retreat, but I had no idea how deep we would go and how transformative it would be.”
If you’d like to hear even more from our attendees about their experience and results from the February retreat, as well as what we do at these retreats you can see more about that here.
Location and Timing Matter
We are hosting our second retreat for 2023 here in beautiful Oregon (where Charlie and I live) in September. We will be holding space for five full days at beautiful Tumalo Lake Lodge, just outside of Bend, Oregon.
I shared earlier what the essential ingredients are for a transformative experience, as well as the importance of recognizing energetic and seasonal shifts in yourself and your business or organization.
All of those are considerations when Charlie and I choose dates and locations for our retreats. Not only do we think about the ingredients of the things we do within the retreat, but we also think about the seasons of life and business, as well as the locations that can support the kind of work that many people may need to do at that time.
We choose dates and locations that are respites — in the winter, we go to sunny and warm places. In the late summer, we go to cooler, greener places.
The Pacific Northwest is the place to be in September. Sunny but not hot days, the smell of trees in the air, the laid-back vibe of the West Coast — even Hawaiians come to the Pacific Northwest this time of the year! ☀️
The Tumalo Lake Lodge amplifies that vibe, being situated outside of Bend, Oregon and next to a lake. The trip from Portland, Oregon to Tumalo Lake Lodge will be a vista itself. You'll feel a world away from wherever you're coming from, which is exactly what we're going for.
Will You Join Us?
We currently have three spots remaining for our September retreat. You may be wondering if you are a fit.
At our first retreat those in attendance included speakers, authors, coaches, artists, founders, CEOs, those switching from one career to another, those who were mid-career, and those who were close to retirement and thinking about their next stage. Some who worked for themselves and some who worked in organizations.
The common threads that allowed us to beautifully serve and hold space for each of these amazing souls is that they knew they needed the time and space held for them, honored that knowing, understood that to get to their next desired level (whether in life, business, career, relationship, or another area) they needed support, and invested in themselves to make it happen.
Charlie and I are in our “zone” and doing our best work when we hold space for others to level up. We’d love to do that with you if you are ready to go there.
Our early registration deadline is tomorrow (Wednesday, May 31st) but you can still join us after that date if there are seats available. If you know you want to join us in one of the last three spots we have available and want to make sure to get the lower rate please contact me before the end of day tomorrow and we can find a time to talk to make sure this is the best fit for you.
We Want to Help
What unites many of those in our community is a passion for the work they do, knowing that they have great things inside that they want to share with the world, really big hearts, lots of smarts, and often already much success (even if they aren’t able to admit it freely).
Charlie and I have similar passions and we beautifully compliment one another in how we do this work together to guide and advise those we are blessed to work with.
Charlie brings the strategy, the smarts, a lot of care and heart, decades of experience in leading, advising, and coaching and because I’m writing this and he’s not and wouldn’t say this about himself 😉, he also brings a level of excellence and genius at coaching that I have never seen in any other coach I have worked with.
I am the “heart” and the “weaver” of the work we do. My expertise is in understanding people and communities and weaving the bigger picture of WHY the work matters and HOW you bring your best self to make sure it is in alignment with who you truly are. When the work is authentic and sustainable and the people matter, the results (even those “crunchy” results I mentioned before) happen — and they stick and are not fleeting.
September is a wonderful season, full of renewed time, attention, and focus after the often surprisingly busy summer months that can pull us in many different directions. It’s a time many of us can get back into our own personal groove. On the professional side, it’s often a time of needing to realign our teams, priorities, and projects to end the year strong. The Level Up Retreat is intentionally designed to give you the space and support you need at this time of year to reset and recalibrate.
If you do not feel called to join us for this retreat, I still want to encourage you to take some time to think about the energetic and seasonal shifts both internal to you, as well as for your business, organization, team, family, or community. When you make space to align with those energies, plan well in advance, and bring others into your plans to help, your chances of success (however you define it) are greatly increased.
And, that’s what matters, at least to me. Doing what you love, in a way you love, with people you love, and making a positive difference.