You are ready to host your first retreat and this is why
Don’t let fears or limiting beliefs hold you back from hosting your first retreat.
As with a lot of the new things we want to achieve in life, they are scary and out of our comfort zone. As you are reading this article, planning and organising your very first retreat is probably one of those things. Perhaps you have been thinking about this for a few months or even years now. You might have even read my post on ‘How to organise your retreat in an eco-friendly way’.
But the thought of actually taking action and bringing this idea into reality is triggering overwhelm, uncertainty or fear. Result: you just keep postponing taking action or getting support because “now is not the right time”. But probably you are much more ready to host your first treat than you think.
That little voice inside your head
If you’re a bit like me – and every other human for that matter – then you’ve probably had at least one moment of inspiration or enthusiasm. Your idea emerged again and you started thinking about your retreat dream. That little voice inside your head that keeps talking? You know it’s your intuition that’s not giving up! And as a coach or digital entrepreneur, you probably already know at least a thing or two about mindset or limiting beliefs. But hey, you are also just a human, and some things are harder to do than others.
But – you probably know where this is going by now– it is not hard, you only need to know how to get started and what to pay attention to. Let me shed some light on a few things. So you will feel a lot more confident to put this project back on the top of your to do-list.
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller
Keep it simple!
First of all, keep it simple. You already have a ton of superpowers that make your clients love you. They will join your retreat for who you are and what you have to offer. So, there’s no need to learn a lot of special skills or tools, just do you!
>> My strategy: Together with my clients, I look at how we can offer their services in different formats. Or include fun exercises, activities and much more. I can guarantee you: your program will be full before you even realise it!
Bye, bye perfectionism
Go to a mirror and repeat after me: there is no need to be perfect! Things will go wrong, whether it’s your first retreat or not. And that’s fine! It’s just part of life itself. Nobody expects you to have everything under control for every minute of the day. And if they do, then they are not living in reality!
>> My strategy: Part of my support service in planning my clients’ retreat, is that we look at all the practical aspects. This way, they know exactly what to do and who to get in touch with if things go wrong. Communicate openly and honestly with your participants. Then they will be more understanding and have more patience while you solve their issue.
Ha, this is a big and probably a very familiar one – at least to me. I struggle with procrastination whenever I try something new that’s way out of my comfort zone. So chances are you are seriously procrastinating on taking the first step to bring your retreat to life. The reason could be that you’re afraid it’s going to be too much work. Or that you don’t know how to do it, that it’s a scary financial investment … and the list goes on and on. Am I right?
The good news is: it’s a completely normal reaction of our brain. It’s wired to protect us from new and potentially dangerous endeavours. The bad news: it won’t get you anywhere. So how do you move past it and get things done?
I help my clients overcome their fears by creating clarity and by developing an easy-to-follow strategy so they know which steps to take with my support.
Break things down in little tasks that you can do without triggering the amygdala in your brain. The amygdala is the ‘boss’ that decides whether something is safe for us or not. If it’s not safe, we will feel afraid and this leads to procrastination. Divide tasks in small steps to prevent this mechanism from getting triggered.
>> My strategy: Another way to overcome procrastination is by getting retreat planning support. I help my clients overcome their fears by creating clarity on their dreams and needs. I develop an easy-to-follow strategy so they know which steps to take with my support. On top of that, they get to keep doing what they are best at: focussing on their clients. In the meantime, I take care of all the research and logistics.
Start sooner rather than later
There is more to organising a retreat than the actual organisation. And I’m not saying this to scare you! I just want to highlight two (practical) things to keep in mind.
When you are looking for a place to host your retreat, it’s smart to do this at least six months in advance. Assuring that the location is completely suited to your clients’ needs and you get to go with your first choice.
Also, check whether it’s the high or low season as this will strongly influence the availability (and prices!). Retreat accommodations will most likely also ask you to pay a part of the total fee a few months before the retreat. Thi is to secure your spot.
>> My strategy: Start planning around 9 months in advance. Then you have 3 months to sort out research and logistics. The other 6 months give you a comfortable amount of time to focus on sharing your offer with possible participants.
As you’ve read in the above advice, there is another reason to start planning everything early. You’ll have pictures of the accommodation, a program and activities to showcase for your clients.
This will allow you to communicate with your clients in a more relaxed and confident manner as opposed to when you’re putting the pieces together as you move forward.
Everything is already being taken care of behind the scenes. And you have plenty of time left to talk about it, let people get used to the idea and sign up for their transformative experience.
>> My strategy: Avoid overwhelm and play it smart. If you divide the work into smaller action steps, it’s easier to get it done in a relaxed and confident way. I help my clients with setting up a strategy so they know how to take inspired action. Depending on their needs I also offer help in writing their sales pages and other communication platforms.
Yes, profit is possible!
Last but, certainly not least, money triggers so much fear that it stops many coaches and online entrepreneurs from organising the retreat they dream of. The upfront investment is such a scary thought, that it ends up feeling like a really heavy weight on your shoulders.
Second in line is the idea that it’s hard to generate profits with a retreat. Let alone the idea that you can afford to hire a retreat planner to do the work for you and help you dream bigger. Truth is, if you are just starting fresh it might be challenging. But if you have a decent client base, it’s much more doable than you probably imagine right now.
Become aware of your money mindset. Are you focussed on scarcity or on abundance?
The system we use for it is called reverse engineering. Instead of hoping you will make some profit, we turn everything around. The pricing of the retreat is based on your added value and the fixed costs. These are the only two parts of the equation; it’s as simple as that.
> My strategy: Become aware of your money mindset. Are you focussed on scarcity or on abundance? Part of my services is a Financial Strategy Session. I help my clients uncover their limiting beliefs around money. And together we look at the ideal price point of their retreat, their costs and their profit margin.
I hope you feel much more at ease and informed to start taking a first action step towards creating your retreat after reading this article.
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I’m Yana - the founder of Ecoscapes
I help coaches and online entrepreneurs worldwide with research and logistics to set up eco conscious retreats. These have a positive impact on both their clients and their destination.
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