I recently attended my first business retreat with five other amazing female entrepreneurs. We spent a weekend staying in a villa in Old San Juan while we learned how to put online sales funnels together for our signature programs.
Even though I was only in Puerto Rico for a couple of days, it seemed like I was there at least a week. I learned so much about my business - and about myself - in such a short amount of time. I came back refreshed, renewed and ready to get down to business again.
Here are just a few of the lessons I learned on this retreat that won't just change my business, they'll also change my life.
It's okay to want big things for yourself.
It's time for a confession. For the past year or so, I have felt uninspired in my business.
You see, I started an online business as a writer and coach so I could meet my basic necessities and travel when I wanted to. Once I reached that, I was having a hard time staying focused and motivated because I felt like I no longer had a good reason to.
Every time I thought about the next level of where I wanted to take my business and my life, I felt nauseous. I got what I wanted already, shouldn't I just be content with that? It was very difficult for me to even imagine what the next level would be.
During this retreat, these amazing women helped me break out of that. It was as if I was given permission to want more and they reassured me that it was okay to keep going bigger. I don't need to keep growing my business as a means of survival anymore, I can keep growing it because that's what I desire - and that's okay.
Work and play don't need to be mutually exclusive.
One of the hardest things I've had to unlearn is that your life doesn't need to be organized into specific boxes. I spent years chasing these ideas of success and balance that quite frankly don't exist.
We're told that careers need to "look" a certain way or that play time and self-care must meet certain requirements. We're taught that work is difficult and has its specific time and that play is enjoyable and often times suffers because we need to work.
It's all a load of horse poo. I did both during this retreat. I worked hard on the next steps of my business and enjoyed San Juan. I created an awesome sales funnel in between photo shoots, salsa lessons, and glasses of Sangria.
Rather than trying to live your life by specific boxes society has set out for you, why not design a life where work and play can coexist?
There is no such thing as "making it."
Life and business are an endless journey. We evolve to new levels all the time otherwise, we'd get bored.
That's why a lot of people still feel dissatisfied even after they've finally written that book, hit a revenue goal or landed that client they've been dreaming of.
Even if you initially feel accomplished, it won't be long before you're saying, "Well, that was anti-climactic. What's next?" I've done all of those things and I'm still always looking for new ways to evolve and improve.
The reality is that a) this is human nature and b) it's a necessity to success. You have to realize that there is no such thing as "making it." There will always be a new challenge, milestone or shiny object vying for attention. There will also always be something new to learn in order to evolve.
I've already accomplished what I initially set out to do, so it's time to find new goals. One of those goals is to add more scalability to my business model.
The Bottom Line
And so it would seem as if my first business retreat was a success. Not only did it help me figure out the next tactical steps in my business, it also helped me push past some of the mental blocks I'd been struggling with for months. Being able to do that in the Caribbean was an added bonus.