Current mood - in complete awe.
During the last Wildly Business Retreat, in January of 2023, I had the thought cross my mind that next year (2024), I may actually need to plan on two retreats! The January 2023 retreat sold out at the last minute. I was pumped and awestruck, and it was so amazing to have a house FULL of women ready to grow, connect, and work on their goals and dreams - basically my dream. I had the thought that I may need to plan for two retreats next year but of course my amazing friends actually said the words out loud and spoke affirmation to what I was thinking (friends are awesome).
So as it came time to plan and announce the Wildly Business Retreats for early 2024, I decided to put out two dates. Two separate weekends. Two retreats to fill and plan. And I was FREAKING OUT! I reached out to the cabin rental people to double check their cancellation policy and asked for a bit of special treatment in case I needed to cancel the second retreat. Always good to have a contingency plan, right?! Also, it was pretty clear that I did not fully, 100% believe in the fact that I could have two retreats and actually fill them both. Obviously a bit lacking in the belief in self, which I know you understand because we all feel it sometimes, especially when doing something new or beyond what you’ve done previously - so cheers and hugs, you’re not alone, we can work on this practice together!
Anyway, as I’m writing this (November 2023), my first retreat for 2024 has officially sold out and the second retreat is about half way filled. Woah. I am floored, grateful, and feeling a bit of self confidence coming back on the scene. Wowza!
As I was soaking in the fact that the first retreat has completely filled, I surprised myself as I got a little emotional. I got emotional because I started thinking back to the evolution of the Wildly Business Retreats, all that has happened for myself and others because of these retreats, and how the retreats actually started. So I thought you might like to hear a bit of background and the evolution story of the Wildly Business Retreats. If not, totally cool, I’ll have this blog as a journal entry for myself, and that’s pretty awesome too.
Before Wildly You, I owned a boutique called The Paisley Pod, that was opened in 2015. With the crazy of business ownership/entrepreneurship and the non-stop feeling of always working in the business and struggling to step back and look at the bigger picture and work ON the business, I realized (with the help of my business coach) that I needed to get away for a few days and have a retreat of my own where I could do just that, work ON my business. So in 2020 I took my first solo retreat.
It was great.
I spent a weekend in a hotel by myself. I worked on my business, created business goals, wrote out plans, used a ton of sticky notes, and felt accomplished and refreshed by the end of the weekend.
Now, this solo retreat was amazing, and beautiful, and very refreshing. I’d totally recommend you taking one. But also, I felt like it was missing something… it was missing a sounding board for my ideas and thoughts, it was missing connection, it was missing encouragement and support, and it was missing outward accountability to pursue all of those thoughts and ideas that I had written down on the many colorful sticky notes.
So the next year, I decided to try something a little different…
The First “Unofficial” Wildly Business Retreat
As the end of 2020 came around and I began thinking about taking my yearly business retreat in 2021, I decided to ask a few friends of mine that were also business owners to come along. Now, we know what was still happening in the world in early 2021 - not cool. BUT, it did make for pretty cheap airfare… and I decided we should take advantage of that.
In February 2021, myself and four business owner friends flew out to Arizona to spend time in an AirBNB working on our businesses, taking in the sunshine, and go for a couple hikes.
What happened was SO much greater than that. Yes, we worked on our businesses, created goals and plans for the year, but more importantly than that we connected, spoke new dreams and ideas out loud, talked openly and vulnerably about our fears and struggles and were supported, challenged, and encouraged throughout ALL of it.
It was MAGIC.
It was at this unofficial retreat that I mentioned wanting to make my little blog (Wildly You) into something more. I wanted to put on a women’s empowerment event and encourage women on a broader scale. And guess what, the very first Wildly You Women’s Summit, my large women’s empowerment event, took place that fall. And I fully believe that wouldn’t have happened without this retreat and without the encouragement of the women who were there.
The First “Official” Wildly Business Retreat
Throughout 2021 I became extremely passionate about connecting women, encouraging and uplifting them, and creating a community to do the same. I became passionate about the awesomeness of the business retreat and wanted more women to be able to experience that. So I began to plan for the first official Wildly Business Retreat for 2022.
I wanted the retreat to be just that. A retreat. A place where you could go and work on your business with absolutely zero other responsibilities. I wanted you to feel cared for, comfortable, supported, and able to finally listen in to what you needed and be able to do that for yourself. I wanted to create a space for connection, vulnerability, openness, support, and safety. And it turned out to be exactly that.
This retreat was small, with just 6 of us in attendance (myself included), and it was perfect. Big things once again came from this retreat for myself and the women in attendance. For me, this was the retreat that I allowed myself to realize that I wanted to let go of and close the boutique I’d had for almost seven years. That was the heaviest decision I’ve ever made, and I had MANY months of being beyond scared and at the lowest of lows, as I figured out all of the “hows” in making that decision a reality. Even though it was a heavy decision, it was the best decision I could have made. And it was because of the retreat, the women at the retreat, and the continued support, accountability and encouragement that I was able to go through that time and come out feeling so much lighter.
I knew this retreat was amazing and I knew in my heart that it was going to be even bigger the next year, and I began making plans for that pretty immediately after we got home that January in 2022.
2023 Retreat - Growth and Beauty
As I began planning an even bigger retreat, with more thought and care. More workshops, activities, and an actual agenda (gasp!). Again that small voice of unbelief started rearing it’s head. “Who do you think you are planning a business retreat?” “Who is going to want to come to that?” “What makes you think you’re qualified to host this retreat?” “How in the world are you going to get 10 women to invest in themselves and this retreat?” Yeah, I know, this voice of mine is a mean one!
What did I do? I told the voice to shush her mouth and began moving forward. I leaned on the women who attended the retreat the prior year. I asked for feedback, I asked if they’d be interested in attending again (every single one of them did). I told them my doubts and fears and they listened. They held those doubts and fears for me as they simultaneously spoke affirmations and belief into me. AND best yet, they shared their experiences of the retreat that they’d gone on, all that it meant to them, and how it impacted not only their businesses but also their personal lives. That’s all I needed to hear - everyone needs this retreat! The 2023 retreat sold out. In total there were twelve of us in attendance. It was beautiful. The stories and business growth, change, and transition since this retreat are seriously OUT OF THIS WORLD (saving them for another time)!
I truly believe and know that this is what I’m put on this Earth to do and provide. And I can’t believe that this coming year, 2024, I get to put on two of these retreats. Twice as many women get to experience the magic, growth, and energy of the Wildly Business Retreat. And dang! That is so so cool.
I will continue to practice this belief in self thing and I hope that I can encourage you to do the same. Because dang, when you believe in yourself really wonderful, needed, and impactful things can happen.
If this spoke to you in any sort of way. If you want to learn more about the Wildly Business Retreats, coaching with me, or any of the other events that I do with Wildly You, please email (email@example.com), DM (@livewildlyyou), reach out via carrier pigeon, whatever - I’d absolutely be honored to hear from you and be a part of your adventure! Stay Wild! xoxo - Chrystal