Organize Your Own Retreat
If leading your own retreat is on your business bucket list this is a blog for you! Whether you want to lead a Pilates, Yoga, fitness, nutritional or meditative retreat the same rules apply. And, there are some key things to keep in mind before you even put down your deposit somewhere. Retreats can be lots of fun but they are equal amounts of work! If not more work. The number of hours you will spend before you lead your retreat will double or triple the time you spend on the retreat.
And, something I think is incredibly important is to know and understand is that a retreat really is not a paid vacation. If you are leading one to have a paid vacation I do think you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
A few questions I want you to answer before you continue. The answers do not mean you should or you shouldn’t lead one. But, these are things you need to know before you go.
- Are an organized person?
- Do you have enough existing clients who would go on this retreat or will you need to market to people who do not know you?
- If the retreat doesn’t make you money will that affect your business negatively? Or, can your business handle a non-profitable event?
- Are you comfortable asking for the sale or telling a client no?
- Can your website handle taking payments for an event?
- Do you like to be the leader, hostess or be in charge?
I have tons of other questions that I ask those I coach through organizing their own retreat. But, I think these get your mind and juices flowing and picturing yourself actually going through the process.
How to Run a Retreat?
As far as putting one together, the sky is the limit! You can have a day retreat, a workshop weekend retreat, a week or 10-day long retreat. I’ve seen retreats where they are all-inclusive to ones that only cover portions of the trip or time.
On this potential retreat, what does it look like? Where are you at? When they leave what are they saying was their favorite part? How do you feel and the attendees feel? What are they saying as they leave? Before you plan a retreat sit down and meditate on what the retreat looked like when it was over. This will help you not stress out about things that don’t matter. It will also help you answer some of the questions above.
When you start planning the retreat it’s easy to get distracted by all the questions that you’ll have to answer. It’s like a wedding. You start out wanting just a small outdoor wedding and by the end of it you have this luxury destination wedding at the Sandal’s resort and you’re looking at a bunch of faces you don’t know.
The details in between the start of a retreat when you announce it’s happening to attendees showing up, the day-to-day agenda, and how to handle when shit happens will vary from retreat to retreat. The stories of scrambling I have had to do on a retreat are endless. But, most important none of my attendees knew that I scrambled. The time my chef fell through 4 hours before retreaters arrived was crazy! But, the way we fixed it was brilliant and the food was delicious.
If you want to lead your own retreat you not only have to think through the actual retreat, but price it out so that it is profitable. Please, please, please do not skip that part! You have to think through a lot of “what if’s.”
My husband has created a sheet, systems, and more to help make sure all of our retreats not only are fun and fulfilling to our guests and us but also to help us sell them, make sure every attendee has all the info they need, makes sure we get paid on time and more.
He’s helping me with our from demand course on “How to Create and Lead Your Own Retreat.” And, if you are leading retreats or thinking of leading retreats this is the course you need to be at. We are giving out all deets on how we do what we do!