I’ve just returned from leading my first overseas retreat in beautiful Barcelona. It was a delightful adventure and I will definitely do overseas retreats again. There’s nothing like a complete change of scenery to help you lift your head up and look at your business and your life more clearly.
The purpose of the retreat was two-fold: 1) to get the attendees out of their regular environments and routines to allow them to clear their minds and give them an opportunity to really look at their world with fresh eyes, and 2) to introduce them to the joys of Barcelona.
The group that attended was comprised of businesswomen with varied backgrounds and levels of experience. Some were solopreneurs, some were parts of larger teams. All were exploring options in an effort to make changes and to move ahead.
Barcelona is a beautiful, vibrant city that combines art and business in a most elegant fashion. Centuries old buildings sitting adjacent to wonkily stacked modern apartments challenges our normal architectural expectations. Being in an urban environment with small food markets and cafes on practically every corner provides a different neighborhood experience for many of us. The sights, smells and sounds were unfamiliar and forced our brains to fire on different cylinders.
I took advantage of this during my three business workshops. I asked people to look carefully at their mindsets, the people they spent the most time with, their teams, and at what was really most important to them. I also asked them to identify a few specific action items to take back and accountability partners to ensure they took the actions they said they were going to take. Because they were in an unfamiliar place, their minds were already open and ready to consider new thoughts and possibilities. The result was deeper introspection, more laser focus on what was really important to them, a lot of ‘ahas’ and a lot of openness to making changes when they returned to the States.
What do you do to step back and take an unbiased look at your business and your life? How to do clear your mind to strategically consider what your next steps will be? While you do not need to travel all the way to Barcelona, where will you go to have a retreat to focus on your business for 2018, even if it’s only with yourself?
Normally, the fourth quarter is when you should make time to think about the coming year and lay out your plan for success. In order be most effective, I would highly recommend that you get out of your normal environment, clear your mind and carve out time specifically for dreaming and planning. Then, laser in on what’s really important to you and build a plan to start moving in that direction.
Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass Mullane’s calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, a contemporary abstract artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ Retreats.You can also visit Cass on Facebook!