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Episode 232: How To Plan Your Next Team Retreat – with April Beach

SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

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Who This Episode is Great For:

This is a great show for entrepreneurs and companies who want to have successful retreats. 

Summary:

So, you’re hosting a team retreat? Amazing! Team retreats are one of the best uses of our time and resources. Though I’ve hosted team retreats for decades, I’ve finally nailed a planning process that helps us actually accomplish the goals I set forth, in a way my team loves, that blows the ROI out of the water. 
 
This is a great episode if you’re looking for structure in your business retreats, but you’re equally focused on building up your team, accomplishing crazy big goals and having a lot of fun in the process. 

At the end of this episode you will:

  1. Learn my pre-retreat planning process
  2. Know how I set my team up for success before, during and after our retreats
  3. Get excited about the power of breakout sessions and mini-masterminds amongst your team members

Resources Mentioned:

 


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Full Show Transcript:

You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator, a probate. Hi, you guys. Welcome episode number 232 here on the Sweetlife entrepreneur and business podcast. I’m April beach host of this show and founder of the Sweetlife company and everything. We do everything you find here on the show are proven,

trusted business strategies to launch scale and amplify your online business for four and a half years and counting. And I’m so glad that you are here. Joining me today. Welcome to summer 2021. It is not kidding you a hundred degrees here in Colorado. It’s it’s what it’s been all week. So I hope wherever you are, you’re in a nice, cool place,

surrounded by water or doing something that you love as you’re listening to this show today, we are talking about a little bit behind the scenes. I’m actually opening up a little bit behind the scenes about our operations here at the Sweetlife company. And I’m sharing with you how I plan for our team retreats. As a matter of fact, as you’re growing your team,

if you haven’t yet started having team retreats. They’re one of the most powerful ways that I have found to not only grow our company and our footprint and the people that we impact, but grow those people who are part of our family, our company, family, and really elevate them into their purpose within our company. And if you listen to last week’s show with Tracy Lowe,

she was talking about how to get over the fear of hiring. And so I felt like this was a really good episode to continue on that journey. Last week, we talked about hiring this week. I’m talking to you about planning for this next team retreat, and we’re talking a physical retreat. And so welcome behind the scenes of the Sweetlife company, all of the show notes and everything that we’re talking about here can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com.

And this is episode number 232 in this show today, you can expect to hear the three steps that I plan before holding our team retreat. And some of the philosophies that I have about growing teams and getting work done during the retreat, both for me personally, and for my team. So thanks so much for joining me in, don’t forget to join me every single week at,

in clubhouse at 12 o’clock Eastern time for the clubhouse room, where we get to jam on this topic. And I get to know you more. If we are not connected yet on clubhouse, you can find me at April beach. Okay. Let’s dive into today’s show. Okay. Welcome to the scenes of the Sweetlife company. You guys, let me give you a little history about this company.

This is my second business consulting firm, and this company has really been active in motion for about a decade and in my first year consulting firm, which is still an active company, we used to have these huge, amazing retreats, and they were all centered around work and business. And we used to head to trade shows together in Vegas, and it was so much it’s fun.

It was life-changing. I know for the women who are part of that company, and for me, it was really important. And then we went through this lull here with the Sweetlife company where we really didn’t do any of them until fall of 2020. Yes. In the middle of a pandemic, we hosted our first in-person team retreat for the suite life company after eight years.

And it was the most powerful week that we had ever spent together as a team. So we have team members all across the world. We have a team member in the Philippines, in the UK. Okay. And over here in the United States and we don’t have a big team. There are only eight of us, but our core team, it’s really important that we’re together in that we’re lifting each other up.

And I’m a big advocate of doing that for my team members as a company, when we come together, the ideas that we have produce and the energy in this space, and frankly, the love and respect and admiration for each other, Heather just overflows my heart. And so it was, it’s a really powerful thing when we did this in October and I wanted to do it again as quickly as possible.

So the one I had to share with you a bit behind the scenes of how I plan for team retreats, and then also to share just recently here in Colorado, Kelly, who is the COO of our company was here and we had a mini retreat. So I want to share these tips with you and explain to you my process and the three areas that I plan for before I host team retreats,

whether you’re doing a whole entire team retreat or whether you’re hosting a retreat for just you and one other person, it doesn’t matter. As a matter of fact, as I’m saying this out loud, these three steps could totally work for your own solo two retreats. I’m also a big advocate of escaping by yourself for retreat, weekends, whether it’s a writing weekend or a creative weekend or learning weekend,

whatever that is. I’m a big advocate of that as well. So tonight I’m going to give you these three steps and share with you behind the scenes. How I do this in an effort to help you, if you’re planning for your next team retreat, or maybe you’ve just never thought about hosting an in-person retreat, here’s some steps that can help you help you make that time that you’ve invested in spending together even more productive and frankly so much more fun than you ever imagined.

So the very first thing I do when I am planning for a retreat is I set our primary objective for the time away. It’s not necessarily just to retreat to hang out which that is a great part of it, but these are working retreats. And so as a leader, it’s important for me to set the primary aim, where are we going? What are we focusing on?

What are the goals of this particular short period of time together? And if you’re like me, that means that you always think that you have more time than you actually do. If you schedule for a five day retreat, those five days are going to fly by and what feels like five hours. So it’s really important that you’re realistic with yourself in what you can accomplish.

And you set a primary aim for the company as a whole. And the things that you’d like to have clarity on the things that you’d like to have built or created, or those primary aim outcomes after you set that primary aim. My very next step that I do is I share that primary aim with my team members. And I say, this is what I want to have accomplished.

This is what I want the end result of this time together to be in. Then I ask each one of the team members to dive into each of their areas of expertise before they ever get there in think about how their part, their super power, which is one piece to our entire company puzzle comes together to form that complete picture of the primary aim,

objective that we want to accomplish in that retreat. So before we ever get to the retreat, I want them thinking about what things could get in the way of them being successful, what processes that we might need to discuss before they ever get there. So it’s not a problem so we can flow through and really get things done. So I want them to think about any blocks that are going to inhibit them from working through that primary objective.

And then the second thing is I really want them to think about what it is that they want to bring to the table. I want them to get excited about how their specific area of genius or management fits into the primary goals. And so their creative juices are flowing far before we ever get to this. So they can start doing research. They can start doing whatever they need to do.

And here’s the most important part to me is that they can feel ownership, that they know that they’re important, that their area of expertise is needed. That without their part, we can’t do it, that all, you know, the sum of all parts equals the whole. Those are the things that are incredibly important to me as a leader. And that is why I do this.

So first I set the primary aim and the objective, and I have to be really realistic. Again, the reminder on that one is if you’re like me and you think that you can accomplish so many things, scale it back because I’ve done that way too many times. And I ended up leaving feeling like, ah, I didn’t do enough, or I didn’t get enough done.

So set smaller primary aims or objectives, or very clearly just one primary aim or objective. And then you can always add on to that as you go through. And as you do an awesome job being efficient in your goals during your retreat time. But my recommendation is to set something that’s clear and a little less aggressive, but also something that’s going to definitely move the marker on your business and give your company a transformation.

And then the second thing is I do is I share that with my team and I asked them to start getting ready to contribute to this awesome main goal, get them really excited about it. How can you make this great? How can you bring more to this? What creative genius do you have or thought or training? Is there something that you need to train the rest of the team on your area of expertise,

as it relates to what we’re trying to accomplish together as a company, and when they bring these genius to the table, it will blow your mind as long as you are intentional. And you share this with them ahead of time and you ask them to start dreaming big and getting ready to present in their area of expertise. It is so powerful. And I’m so grateful personally to my team for always being so incredible about this and in teaching me and teaching all of us and contributing to the greater whole,

the sum of what we’re trying to accomplish together. And then the third step. The third thing that I do is I make sure that we have an, what I call an afterburn implementation plan. So after you leave, there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s oftentimes like going to a conference and leaving with a whole bunch of things. And so it’s really important that even before we get to the retreat that I build in implementation time for whatever it was we accomplished during that retreat.

And then my team does it as well. So we have afterburn meetings. We have the afterburn benchmarks based on the primary objective that we need to meet together collectively as a team and independently. And before we leave there every single person who is part of this retreat, whether they’ve joined us physically there, or some of our team members have to join virtual,

unfortunately not everybody can always make it, but every single one of them has their own afterburn implementation plan and really aggressive benchmarks in order to accomplish this company, aim this company objective from our retreat together. Now, here are a couple of things about that, that I want it, that I will also want to share. That is much more behind the scenes,

but this is real business. Oftentimes one of our team members can’t get something done without support. And so what we do is we pair up our team members. So team members that need help accomplishing things during the retreat time, they will go and they will have their own mini strategy sessions or their own mini, like scrum sessions to work on certain things because they can’t do it alone.

And frankly, the whole entire group, can’t always be working together as a whole entire group for the whole retreat. That’s unrealistic. So sharing with you a little bit behind the scenes, we break off into these little groups, almost like these mini masterminds to accomplish certain things. And last year in the retreat that we had, you would find that like two people would be working on something sometimes up until two and three o’clock in the morning.

Cause they were on fire and everybody else’s, you know, passed out asleep, totally exhausted. And then the next morning three other people would be outside, you know, having coffee right on the ocean, talking about another project. So when you structure your retreat like this, like I do, it’s really powerful because you’re creating an environment that honors genius,

that honors disruption, that honors collaboration and that honors thinking outside of the box and in, so doing, you are going to honor the people that you’ve brought together in your team and your company is going to be so overly, amazingly blessed like mine is when you structure it. Like this is a, let me give you a really quick recap about how I structure these team retreats.

And so that if you were thinking about hosting your next internal team retreat in person, hopefully these steps and these strategies can help you achieve amazing results like we do at our retreats as well. So first of all, again, set your primary objective and be very clear about it. Number two, make sure you’re communicating this primary objective to each one of your team members and giving them permission and encouragement and an opportunity to pre-work about their zone of genius and how their Joan of genius can contribute to this greater company.

Objective that is going to happen in this retreat or the bigger project you’re working on. But also having them think about what things could get in their way, either to strategy-wise or systematically before they ever get to their tree treats. So when you guys are there, you are hitting the ground running. And then the third thing I do is I have a very,

very clear afterburn plan all for the company as a whole and the benchmarks that we’re going to hit, but each individual who is there develops their own afterburn implementation plan, and they set their own realistic, but aggressive benchmarks to get things done. And then the overall culture just sharing behind the scenes of what we do here at the Sweetlife company is that we hire based on specific areas of expertise.

And so we honor those people who are part of our team and we honor their expertise. And so we elevate each person and I’m a believer that when each one of our team members can see and grow their future lifestyle, profit plan and wishes within this company, then it’s better for everybody. And so with that being said, I advocate for independent thought disruptive thought.

And I also advocate for mini mastermind in amongst my team members, because truly that is how we collaborate and get more things done. And I just wanted to share this quick episode with you. Some of these solo trainings I do here on the podcast in the summertime are a bit shorter intentionally because I want you to get great proven business strategies and information that you can take to the bank right away and get you back to the beach when dive in that ocean headfirst or climb that mountain or wherever you are faster.

So thank you so much for hanging out with me here on this wheat life podcast. This is episode number 232 and all of the show notes and everything we talked about can be visited, can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com, simply click on podcast and click on 2 32. And if you felt like this was a great episode and you took something valuable out of it,

I would love to hear from you. You can ping me on Instagram at April beach life, or take a screenshot of this episode and tag me in it. Or of course, connect with me on clubhouse. I’m happy to jam with you and talk about how to plan your next person, company retreat, any time important to you to make sure it’s really effective and efficient.

And you are truly leaving that retreat and everybody in your team is leaving that retreat, getting your company to the next level. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. Thank you for subscribing to the show. I appreciate you guys so much. Thank you. And I know I’ve said this a bunch of times in the last few episodes, but thank you again for the honor of naming me,

taught at the moms and podcasting. You guys are absolutely amazing. And I will talk to you next week here on the show with the one and only McCall Jones. And we are diving into all about charisma hacking. You are going to love her. If you don’t know this woman, yet you also, if you are doing video marketing, don’t want to miss me next week’s episode.

All right. You guys be awesome. And I’ll talk to you soon.