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Welcoming visitors to my favorite place in the world, Cape Cod, has always been a treat. But hosting an entire group of business owners for a weekend retreat in my happy place can’t be matched. For the last 3 years, that’s exactly what I’ve done.
On June 2nd I opened my doors to an eager mix of business owners from across the country for my 3rd annual B-School Business Building Retreat. Guests were extended a free invitation to the retreat when they signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-School with me as their partner guide. Full disclosure, as an affiliate partner for B-School I do get a commission for each registration. This gives me the opportunity to throw in exciting opportunities for students – like hosting this retreat event.
B-School is an 8 week online based training program that teaches passionate business owners and hopefuls how to establish a stable business foundation with online marketing. Marie Forleo only opens the doors to B-School once per year (in February) and the students who join get access for life. (It’s pretty much the best thing on the internet)
Having gone through the program myself about 5 years ago I knew exactly how I wanted to add to the virtual experience with a weekend retreat.
We kicked things off Friday night with a meet-n-greet cocktail mixer. I now like to start the weekend this way before diving into education because we all want to get to know each other a little more because everyone arrives with their own business background and different goals. The first year I hosted the retreat I tried to have the intros as part of the Saturday morning ice breaker but it took too much time away from education. Getting to know your peers, and hearing the common struggles others are facing can be such a powerful experience so I bumped it to Friday night and the outcome was wonderful.
To set the tone, as guests checked in they were greeted with local signatures, a Cape Codder cocktail and a fresh lobster roll. We mixed. We mingled. We Instagrammed (a lot). We shared our business backgrounds. And then we took a short walk down to the beach for a picturesque sunset complete with a rainbow.
Next up on Saturday morning I invited a private yoga instructor to the lawn so we could move our bodies and get our blood pumping. This had to be one of my personal favorite parts of the weekend because we all got to connect on an entirely different level. There’s something about folding yourself into a pretzel next to someone you only know from the internet that can’t be recreated in any other way. Agree?
Immediately after yoga guests were given breakfast and then we dove right into business workshops. Throughout the day my team members Morgan Sutton and Rachel Polish and I each taught mini workshops about topics related to the B-School curriculum that we each specialize in. We covered things like the online business cycle, content production, email list growth strategies, calendar management, and community building best practices. Quick breaks between sessions gave guests an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to each other. At the end of the first education day, guests were able to explore and get an even better flavor of Cape Cod life.
Sunday picked back up with a group power walk to once again get out blood pumping and mental juices flowing. I also got a chance to have more personal conversations with those who came along for the walk which was also a total treat.
After breakfast on Sunday, we get started a little bit differently. Have you ever gone to a conference or event, learned a ton, then went home only to have no idea what to do next? It happens all the time and I didn’t want that for our guests. So Sunday was all about choosing the next move and planning how to make that goal happen based on what was taught the previous day. We literally have everyone pull out their calendars and choose dates. So many people said that this was the difference maker. Instead of going home feeling overwhelmed and lost, we sent people home feeling empowered.
The weekend wrapped up with a few “hot seat” sessions. This is where one person at a time got to describe to the group their biggest struggles at the moment. Then as a group, we had a discussion, gave feedback, and provided helpful ideas for whatever is needed.
At the end of the weekend, it’s always bittersweet because I love getting to connect with people in real life. However, I’m happy knowing that when people get home they have real work to get done that will change their business. (And I’ll still get to see their faces online)
Moral of the story…we couldn’t have hoped for a better 2017 B-School Retreat this year!
Each year more and more B-School students are able to attend the Retreat so we’re already planning for 2018.
In February Marie Forleo will open enrollment for B-School and once again we’ll be sharing all the details. Students who join B-School with me as your leader will get a free ticket to the retreat as well as several other bonuses. The first place to look for information is in your inbox. We will be sharing all of the B-School details via email.
Join the B-School interest list here to be the first to know when Marie releases her free training series and then opens enrollment for B-School.
Lastly, if you ever get the chance to attend an intimate retreat with a group of people who actually “get you,” I highly encourage you to jump on the opportunity. Whether you come to our retreat or any other, you’ll gain so much AND go home with a brand new support system.
Comment below with more questions about the B-School Retreat Experience or the B-School program.