How to Create Your Own Day-Long Business Retreat

On January 2nd of this year, I booked a hotel and locked myself in with room service, fluffy robes, Law & Order episodes and business plans for 2015.

The time has come for me to do another one of my signature business retreats! YAY!

This time I figured I would share how I designed mine so you can do your own. You can do this for your quarterly goals, the rest of the year or pick a 90-day plan (Amber has a great resource on this).

I did mine for the whole year because I’ll be doing a lot of moving around this year. I’ve been traveling these last 2 months and man, oh man, my planning skills have gone out the window, and I don’t want to get stuck feeling perpetually behind.

Pre-Work:

Put it in your schedule! Make sure your friends, your family members, your pool boy toy, your dog, your DVR full of Swamp People episodes (Just me? OK!) know that you are not available for a bit. This is your time, my friend. Make it happen!

Go somewhere secluded! This doesn’t work if you have any pulls on your time and energy. Book one day at a hotel! Go to a log cabin in the woods! Lock yourself in your room with a microwave, a mini fridge, some pizza and dark chocolates! (Just me again? OK!)

Get a notebook and some pretty pens that will make you feel awesome. Take a long luxurious bath. Have a dance party. Make out with a sexy stranger. Watch The Avengers 2 times in a row.

Do whatever you need to do to get yourself in the business mood. For me, this usually means doing something active, like taking a walk with my dog or making a super sweaty session happen at the gym. I also like to blast my super playlist of movie soundtracks.

Some other tips: Sometimes I use a timer for some steps along this path because I can easily get caught up in different aspects of this process. I especially get caught up in research and planning sometimes. Don’t pressure yourself to get it all done today. You can always schedule a retreat hour or a retreat afternoon to get things done. Ok, let’s do this!

Step 1: Brand Visioning 101! + Research

Get clarity on what your business looks like, BIG PICTURE.

Who likes you? Who do you work with? What do you spend your time doing? What do you have time for? What don’t you do anymore? What do your days look like?

You can make this a really clear statement like:

I work 4 days a week at a coffee shop writing and spend one-day having retreats with clients. I don’t touch my email on the weekends. I don’t talk on the phone. People know me for giving soulful “warm tea in one hand and a Kindle in the other” type posts that feel like a warm hug and a shake back into reality at the same time. I get emails constantly from people who love what I am doing and want to thank me for them. My clients sing my awesomeness to the mountain tops. I go to happy hour everyday.

Stuff like that!

If you need help with that, grab my Brand Vision guide here in my stash.

Step 2: What needs to change so you can get there?

This is a planning method I put together for my students. You get a piece of paper and split it into 4 categories.

I split goals for business into 4 Categories

1. Offers: What am I offering? What am I launching?

2. Marketing: Do I have list/social media goals? What techniques have I been wanting to try that I haven’t yet

3. Growth: This is for biz operation type things, again; Amber is a great resource for this. Moving mail providers? Have some autoresponders you want to be implemented? Thinking of hiring someone new? How much money do you want to make? This stuff goes here.

4. Branding: What needs to be done to strengthen your brand? Do you need new headshots? Need to make tweaks to your site? Want to get some custom Instagram graphics created? These go here!

List as many as you can in each category and circle 1-2 in each category. Those will be your focus.

Step 3: Put it on the calendar.

“Without vision, your fancy planner is just a pile of expensive paper.”

Remember that? That is what I said in the Brand Awesome Challenge.

Once you have goals for the categories, you can put it on a timeline. Basically, you’ll be plotting out the schedule in a timeline so you can see it all together.

Step 4: Develop a new daily schedule that reflects those brand goals and your vision.

I LOVE SCHEDULES. Well, kind of.

I don’t love strict schedules, but I like themed weeks. Instead of loading up your schedule with a million things. My weeks will have themes.

  • Site Tweaking Week

  • Marketing Planning Week

  • Admin (and Dance Party Week)

And from there I pick one small task a week.

  • Blog writing days!

  • Autoresponder days!

  • Admin days!

  • Action on email days!

  • Site tweaking days!

By making sure that you have days scheduled for specific things you wanna do, you avoid spill-over into other days and, as a result, you don’t spend 2 weeks trying to update your WordPress site.

You don’t have to do something every day, but you need to make sure you have a day put aside for everything you wanna do.

Let me repeat that: Make sure that you have a day PLANNED for everything you want to do in your list. The idea is to do 1 thing from each category every month and if there is time, add more on if you can get to it.

Step 5: Do some creating!

Usually, my little retreats spark a creation frenzy. I write blog posts. I outline new products. I reimagine marketing materials.

Spend some time (maybe an hour or so) working on your business. What is that thing you’ve been meaning to create but haven’t yet?

Some ideas:

  • Create some Pinterest images

  • Write some blog posts

  • Outline your next offer

  • Start planning your launch

  • Make a start on your sales copy

DON’T WORK ON TECHNICAL DETAILS. Create the content for your business. The fun creative stuff is what you want to do!

I can’t wait to hear about your retreats. Hit reply and let me know about your big retreat plans!

Want to access some resources that will help you build an awesome retreat?

Kaitlyn Kessler