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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Accountability Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I just spent a lovely week in Vail, CO at a business retreat with one of my mastermind groups. Here’s the weird thing… we never left the condo except for a few very short walks, a couple of dips in the hot tub and a couple of grocery runs. We planned it well, and, most importantly, we were all in the right mindset to really delve deep into our businesses.

This particular group is all artists who are also business-minded and has been meeting monthly for a couple of years. We’d originally planned this retreat in conjunction with a teaching gig one of the group members had in Puerto Vallarta. But that didn’t work out for a number of reasons. Looking back, I think it was a good thing as we would have been very distracted by the fun of Puerto Vallarta and not terribly focused on our business planning and strategizing. Our trip to Vail was great because we’re all from Colorado and we hang in the mountains a lot, so the lure of Vail was not a huge distraction.

So, we each found a comfortable spot in the condo to spread out and do what we came to do. It was quiet and productive. We generally came together for meals and talked over where we were and bounced ideas off each other. We started off each morning with an exercise that got us in an expanded frame of mind and in the evening we either played a crazy fun game or watched a training type video or just worked until it was time to wind down. We each marched to our own rhythms, we were happy and we were focused.

As a business coach it was great to watch the earbuds go in, the flipchart paper go up on the walls and see the colorful sticky notes starting to appear. I saw mind maps, colorful shapes and arrows, I saw research being done, budgets being considered, calendars being filled in. I watched these ladies buckle down and do the work necessary to have a successful business.

And I felt very proud of them. They’ve got it. They understand what it takes to make strategic decisions about their businesses. They know how to get clear on their vision and set strong goals to go after their vision. They know how to look big then break it down into small, manageable steps to take home and implement.

I’m also proud of myself because I took the time I needed for ME to work on my business. Lots of coaches experience a similar problem: we spend so much of our energy on helping everyone else work on their businesses that we neglect to make the time to work on our own businesses. Well that was not the case in Vail. I got some much needed focus and attention on where I’m going in the next 18 months and it’s exciting.

The point is that amazing things can happen when you hang out with motivated people. So, who are you hanging out with? Are they supporting you and challenging you? What are you proud of in yourself and in those around you? Look for your own group of motivated people. Find them, get to know them, work with them. Get yourself a quality accountability partner… or two, or four. Then get to work on finishing out 2014 strong and enjoy cruising into 2015 surrounded by great people.

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, textile and mixed media artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar coaching program. Visit Cass on Facebook!
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