Back a while ago, my business partner and I took a small group on a creative retreat. From Friday afternoon through Sunday noon we talked, created a small photo album, napped in front of the fireplace, ate, walked, and listened to music. We tucked our participants away in two B&Bs in Granville, Tennessee – away from the Internet, cell phones, family, business, and TV. It brought home to me the constant information overload we have become addicted to, think we absolutely must have – an information overload that can serve at times to increase our anxieties, fears, and sense that we are in control. (We aren’t!)
I watched as each participant relaxed and realized that it was really just fine not to know what was going on back at home every single hour of the day. Giving up constant control is an exercise in delegation and trusting others – two thing most small business owners have a hard time doing. Giving up instant access to information flow is an exercise in focusing on the true thing rather than the minutia.
Faced with uncharacteristic freedom to breathe and be, our group dove into the fresh air of a slower pace, a small community of listeners, and a supportive group. As we occupied our hands with paper, glue, and ink our hearts opened to share our current stories. We strategized on topics from growing new employees to facing health problems to tax reduction strategies to delegating. We practiced collaboration (the best business model there is for today’s business owner) as we shared supplies and creative ideas. We deepened our knowledge of each other’s characteristics and skills – things we can draw on now that we are back into our normal world. We learned that quiet and space is necessary for our sharpest thinking on key issues. We fed our body, minds, and souls in ways that benefit us both personally and in business.
No matter how busy and involved you are, the world actually will function without your oversight and input. It is a good growth experience for you and for those you leave behind. Quarterly retreats are a part of my business plan, and I strongly suggest them to you. Give yourself (and everyone else) a break. Plan a few days away, and watch your focus sharpen as you relax. Just another tool to help your business thrive!