In 3 weeks I’ll be running my fourth retreat, with my group returning for their third quarterly retreat, and so I’ve been reflecting on what progress my clients have made in the last 7 months.
What is it that’s getting my group to take the action that’s actually changing their business, and so changing their futures? Because understanding how this is having an impact means you can use these principles in your business too, even if you’re not coming on the retreat programme.
Making real changes to your business, creating a more certain financial future, takes consistent hard work. It doesn’t come from reading a blog, watching a webinar or reading a book.
It takes action. And it takes persistence. And it takes accountability.
1) Time out for deep thinking
Our daily lives are full of noise, distraction and complexity. It’s hard to find head space and time to stop and think. Having 2 days away from your life creates invaluable thinking time that can literally change the course of your life. Try to book at least a day a quarter where you have no distractions and where you can do Deep Work on your business.
“I’ve been racing at 100 miles an hour for the last 12 months and now I’ve put the brakes on to focus what actually is the most important thing to me”
“Spending time away from my business without distraction was brilliant and I could really think clearly about what I wanted from my business”
2) Having a plan you’re excited about
Deciding what you really want your life and business to look like, and making up your own rules.
On the Breakthrough retreat we spend the weekend creating a vision for your life and business – using that deep thinking time to get beyond the day to day busyness and connect with what it is you really want. Coming up with a plan that you’re genuinely excited about. We focus just as much on personal life as business during the retreats – living a healthy, balanced and happy life.
“I’ve realised that money is the enabler, the route to financial freedom – that’s hugely transformative”
“It was all strategic life-changing stuff. It gives you a framework that empowers you to make the big changes”
3) Deciding the priorities that matter
When you’ve got your plan, something you’re excited about, then the real priorities become much clearer. Capture your priorities – know the key things you need to focus on to make your plan happen.
“It provided enormous clarity on where we need to be heading and what my role should actually be”
4) Time out to plan ahead properly
Rather than spending your days, weeks and month in reaction, actually think how and when you’re going to get the important things done – so they don’t just stay on your To Do list. We create a quarterly plan by day to see how to free up the Deep Work time to make the big things happen.
“It forced me to take 2 days out my usual environment and do the big picture thinking”
“Thinking is hard work. We’re used to be busy doing, but not used to thinking”
5) Taking action
Of course, none of this will make the blindest bit of difference if you don’t take action, and let’s be honest; it’s the most difficult part to do. So the important jobs need to get scheduled, and they need to be so important to you that you don’t let any distractions take you off course. “
I determined what was important to me, where I wanted to be both personally and as a business, and how my business had to shape up to take me there, and can’t think of a day since where the goals I set have not been at the forefront of my mind” “
We’ve all benefitted from taking time out of our businesses, working ON it”
I’ve seen a lot of research that says accountability is one of the biggest success factors. We have 3-way accountability on the retreats:
- Accountability to yourself to achieve the plan you’re so excited about
- Accountability to the group – knowing you’ll have to tell everyone next quarter what you achieved
- Accountability to me as their finance coach – we have weekly check-ins that keep everyone on track for every week of the 13 week quarter.
Who could you hold yourself accountable to?
“I now feel like I have a rule book of guiding principles, and it’s a great way to hold myself accountable”
7) Being part of a group – shared experiences and support
Running a business can be really lonely. After 17 years in business myself I’ve had some really low points, and there’s nothing like knowing that other people have the same challenges as you, and have the same doubts and worries.
Being part of a mastermind group means you’re not alone, and knowing that you’ve got a support network to lean on. People who share their own worries openly and honestly. We have a masterminding session during the retreat where the group help solve each person’s biggest challenge that quarter. Who would you have in your mastermind group?
“Listening to everyone’s experiences around the table has been life-changing – I didn’t realise as a small business how much I’ve got in common with larger businesses’ that was really encouraging”
“Working within a small group of likeminded business owners made all the difference”
8) Seeing the financial return
Because of what I do, I’m very focussed on any client seeing a real financial return on any investment they make. In every retreat we’re focussed on the bottom line and making sure the actions being taken are making their businesses stronger quarter by quarter. How often are you focussed on your bottom line profit and working on ways to improve it?
“It’s massively changed how I look at my business. Now I understand what the figures mean I’m really focussing on my profit”
“Since returning from the retreat my business has progressed at a far greater rate”
Do you fancy joining us?
If this sounds like what you and your business needs, why not come along to a retreat? The next one is the 9th and 10th of June, and we currently have 2 places left.