I recently posted about this on my Instagram and received a lot of messages from people who wished they had known some of these tips beforehand so I thought I’d share these with you.
Leading a retreat without a strong understanding about the rhythm and timing of things can lead to the experience feeling chaotic and disorganized. Over the last 9 years, I’ve made a lot of my own mistakes and seen others have their own unfortunate experiences with retreats and they can be stressful for the retreat leader and the participants.
Retreats are supposed to be a time when participants are able to relax and unwind so living up to that expectation is crucial. While these avoidable mistakes are just the tip of the iceberg, these are some of the most common ones that I see:
𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲: If you are doing an international retreat, give yourself a year to plan and market. I suggest teachers have a good chunk of people (at least the bare minimum they need) signed up by the 6 month mark, which is completely doable if you give yourself time to get the word out. Your clients will often need to hear about your retreat over and over 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 again before they decide to pull the trigger.
𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵: Every now and then I come across people who say they’re not interested in making money as retreat leader and they want to offer a retreat out of the kindness of their heart, which is admirable. In fact, I was like that at one point in my career and wanted to be as accommodating as possible, but that didn’t pay my bills. Leading a retreat requires so much energy from the leader and receiving money for your time is an important exchange of energy. Chances are you’ll be tired when you’re done and when you return to life and bills that need to be paid, you’ll be glad you can relax financially. PLUS, you will offer a way better retreat experience when you know you’re coming home with $10-20k.
𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴: Think you want to cook all the meals for your retreat? I’ve been there. Just don’t. Cooking meals for retreats is a 𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗼𝘂𝘀 undertaking and takes hours 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 of your time to prep, serve and clean up. I mean 𝗵 𝗼 𝘂 𝗿 𝘀. You can hire a chef (side note: I know plenty of people who’ve had chefs cancel last minute) or I suggest finding a place that includes food to keep your costs down- it’s a huge weight off your shoulders. Some people want to have their retreat participants take turns cooking the meals….(besides the fact that this is so time consuming) most people want a break from cooking, especially if they’re the ones in their households doing it. One of the biggest pieces of feedback I get from people on my retreats is that they love not having to worry about cooking for once.
𝗥𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗶𝗿𝗯𝗻𝗯: The biggest thing I’ll say about this is, 𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗹 and I’ve seen it happen before. Then the retreat is cancelled, you have to return everyone’s money and those people probably won’t retreat with you again. Also, when renting Airbnbs or villas people will often times have to share rooms 𝗼𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗱𝘀 with people they don’t know that that can be uncomfortable. I’ve done it. Would never do it again. Airbnbs also don’t have housekeeping service so the place gets dirty much quicker than you would think. On top of this, you probably need to hire your own shuttle service and this is another huge undertaking that’s stressful and exhausting.
These are only a few of the many mistakes I guide people away from making- I want you and your students to have the 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 experience possible so that you can have a stress-free and profitable retreat that students will want to come back for.
Ready to get on a call with me to discuss your next retreat? Let’s make it happen and create something incredible!