People think that because I run retreats that I am away a lot on holidays. The truth is I have not had a holiday in over two years – not a good balance but I now have one in the planning – I am going into the bush (that’s the forest for you people in the other hemisphere from me) and reconnecting with the earth and myself and just being alone.
Running a business that is based around Retreats – big international ones and smaller ones closer to home just for a weekend – I often feel like I am spinning plates. That is what I feel like right now – so much happening, not enough hands or enough time. It makes me wonder how I will have everything done this year that I have planned and still get time for me. It is never ending – I wanted to do one of those cartoons with the six pictures of what I do compared to what others think I do, but I have not had the time (or the skill).
So instead let me give you a rundown:
1. My mom who lives with us thinks I am on Facebook all day (which I am but half the time I don’t post anything personal as I am too busy working, and there are times I have Facebook burnout but know it is a vital part of my business.)
2. My friends think I drink cocktails all day when on Retreats when in reality I am sometimes herding cats in a marketplace.
3. My kids, well they don’t care as long as I can drive them to where they need to be and bring them back presents.
4. Attendees are just grateful that they have the most amazing experience and it feels seamless to them.
5. My partner thinks I spend all the profit on shopping (not quite!)
6. And number 6 is what I really do:
• Each day I spend a couple of hours or more on Facebook marketing and posting on countless business groups, the reality of the business world now is this is where my clients are.
• I spend hours pouring over the details of a Retreat, working, and reworking until it is perfect.
• I spend hours finding the perfect location and accommodation.
• I make sure that I have the perfect gifts in the Welcome bags so you love them. Often choosing things specifically just for you.
• I plan the payment plans just to suit you, so you are not stretched and feel ok about coming.
• I spend hours each week answering people’s questions both potential and booked participants, “Will my hair straightener work?” or “Will I have to do anything I don’t want to when we are away?” – Yes, it will! And no, you won’t!
• My luggage is often overweight because of all I have to bring and ‘the check-in airline’ person looks at me like, “Really? Are you leaving and not coming home?”
But all this makes it worthwhile when we arrive and the MAGIC begins. I see lives change in an instant, and all the stress of planning before they go, so that their families and lives are managed, melts away.
I get to see those AHA moments, and the experience of a deep connection with another person changes their lives. I see everlasting friendships that stay long after their return home. I also see women excited about their lives and what is in store for them as they walk the path of their destiny.
I even love that feeling of herding a group of cats in a marketplace – women scattered everywhere, shopping, laughing, and connecting with locals.
With all that, I love it…I love it all! And being away from home and writing lists of who is where and when makes me feel organized. I am away this weekend running my Art of Retreats Training and have just organized lifts to kids sports so my mom can do something she has planned and my partner attend a photo shoot. I have already brought the kids lunch snacks for the next week so it does not need to be thought of and cooked some food to freeze. Being organized is the way I feel balanced.
Running Retreats is so worth it – it is not only life changing for our participants but can also be for you.