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Wong Artisan of Silly Art
How to Have a Successful Business Retreat at Home
By Reggie Odom
Are you thriving in your business and having the impact you are meant to have? OR are you being run by it? It is easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day busy-ness of your business that you have little time to envision, plan and create for such things as "thriving" and "impact." If this is your experience, then it's time to plan a "soul" business retreat.
An at-home variety of retreat is simple! And it has the added benefits of minimal expense, planning, packing and travel. Plus you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed each night. Read on to find out how!
What's a "Soul" Business Retreat?
A "soul" business retreat is a sacred time in which you withdraw or pull back from the ordinary routine of your business, and reconnect with your own essence, that of your business, and what's most significant. During this time, you focus on key business activities that are guided by passion, purpose, vision and values - it's time to bring your heart and soul to the fore.
How Do I Prepare?
First things first! Make a decision to do it. Then energize your decision by scheduling it into your planner.
I scheduled my first business retreat as a compromise to scheduling a vacation. My coach was urging me to schedule a vacation in my planner. When I began to unleash all my considerations she stopped me with a wisdom statement: "Just do it."
While I didn't schedule the vacation then, in a moment of willingness, I turned
seven-eight months ahead in my planner and highlighted a five-day work retreat in the early fall. Even that took my breath.
The yellow highlighter seemed to have extraordinary powers. A few months later while checking ahead in my planner I saw those glowing neon yellow marks boldly claiming five weekdays. I began to dream.
Closer to the scheduled time, the retreat became an at-home venture. It felt right, and seemed simpler after the traveling I'd done in the previous months.
Prepare For Success!
Some simple preparations before your retreat will help insure that it flows smoothly.
During the month before, keep the days of your retreat free when scheduling business or other activities.
- Prepare your clients and business associates - schedule them and all else either before or after your retreat.
- Notice what of your work excites you as well as what drains you. Notice what you are secretly longing to do regarding your business that you haven't seemed to have time for. And take note.
- If you live with others let them know what you will be doing and when. Share with them why this is important to you, let them know what you need from them and ask for their support. Make specific requests - they may not be able to read your mind.
In the week before, you are setting the tone and preparing your physical, mental and spiritual space.
- Clear and clean your retreat space. Better yet, hire someone to do it.
- Make sure you have plenty of newsprint and markers.
- Buy your favorite, healthy, easy to prepare foods and have plenty of fresh water on hand.
- Ask your higher self the question each day, "What is most important for me to focus on during my retreat?"
- Decide your overall intention for the retreat, what your goals are for each day (what you want to accomplish) and write them out. Allow your heart and soul to guide you.
During The Week Of Your Retreat - Keep it Simple and Keep Your Retreat Sacred
- Change your phone message and put an auto responder on your email.
- Unplug your phone and disconnect the sound from your email.
- Exercise, take quiet time, eat well, and get plenty of sleep every day.
- Take rest and refresher periods throughout the day.
- Paper your walls with large sheets of newsprint and plan, play and create on them with markers - it's amazing how much the large format will free you.
- Take note of inspiration in the form of ideas, dreams or desires.
- Take time to stand back and look around the room to get a bigger view of what you're accomplishing.
- During free time, read, watch or listen only to what inspires you.
- Have a friend or coach available to check in with you if you feel the need.
- Bring closure to each day and re-order your space for the next day.
- Savor every moment.
- Celebrate your accomplishments!
Oh, and one last thing before your "soul" business retreat is complete: Take out your planner and schedule the next one.
Chances are, you will return to your business refreshed, revitalized and reinspired. To stay that way, incorporate some aspects of retreat into every day. Integrate your new ideas and expanded vision into your business. And remember the wisdom of Goethe:
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least."