At the ripe old age of 37, I can already look back at my life so far and identify some game-changing moments: a couple of experiences at school that shaped me, starting university, kissing my husband for the first time, my first job (and incredible boss), getting engaged, getting married, growing and birthing my kids… and… my first ever business retreat in LA!
My first Business Retreat in LA
The back-story is: I’d been building my business for a good 7 years, largely single-handedly, winging it through and hoping it’d all work out. I’d had a lot of fun, a lot of challenges and was making money… but not as much as I wanted to. I’d always been the starter of communities and hadn’t really found one that I wanted to be a member of, until I met Niyc Pidgeon.
Niyc was the only other person that I had come across who was talking about Marketing and Psychology. I thought it was just me, trying to blend these two threads! And I immediately warmed to her open-nature, massive smile and incredible brain!
I invested in working with her as my Coach and Mentor during lockdown. Although British, she had built a life and settled-down in Los Angeles. And as lockdown was lifting, she made a throw-away comment about whether we’d actually fly all that way to meet here (and each other) and we all gave a resounding “hell yes”.
Fast-forward a few months and I was making a big decision… to fly out to LA, on my own, leave the kids and invest in my business and my future.
I’d never taken a trip like this before, I rarely travel alone and I’d certainly never taken my business this seriously before. But I knew I had to do it! And so there I was, sat on a plane (in July 2022), with 4 other women who were taking that same leap, on our way to our first ever business retreat in LA! WTF?!
What was the Business Retreat in LA?
In a nutshell, it was game-changing on a level that I never expected! I knew I was going out to LA to meet other women entrepreneurs – some earning a similar amount to me, some earning waaaaay more! I knew I’d be networking and learning from Niyc and the other people in the room and I knew I’d get some time away from my daily life as mum, wife, solopreneur, to get a whole new perspective on my business.
When I got there, I was beyond excited to travel (it was a long lockdown here in Manchester!) and to be me! I wanted to take in every moment and every experience.
I had a couple of days before the 2-day business retreat with Niyc began, to acclimatise and get to know the other women who were in the same hotel as me (Sixty, Beverly Hills by the way – loved it!). It made it way easier that we got to do this by the rooftop pool, sipping rosé!
Then it was finally the big day – Day 1 of the business retreat in LA!
We were all so full of gratitude to be travelling, meeting each other and in Niyc’s space. I’d been working with her for nearly a year by this point and it was the first time we got to squeeze each other in person.
And Day 1 was a mixture of intention-setting, meditation, self-discovery and hot-seats.
I wasn’t ready for that level of energy and emotion in the room. It was intense, yet powerful!
We were in the most incredible home in the Hollywood Hills and Niyc had her personal chef cook an delicious spread to fuel us and talk over by the pool. We left back to our hotel a mixture of shell-shocked and elated. I’d learned so much and was questioning so much all at the same time!
Roll on Day 2 of the business retreat in LA!
The next day I felt a bit more prepared. I had more of an idea of how to maximise my time in that space, make the most of the access to Niyc and the other incredible business owners in the room. I was giddy, but a lot calmer and intentional.
And after a bit-stop at the Hollywood sign for the obligatory photoshoot #HollyWoodinHollywood we rocked-up at the house and settled-in for an incredible second day.
It’s hard to put into words what actually happened at this business retreat in LA, but all I can say is, I experienced a massive energetic shift (and I didn’t even know what one was!). I saw myself in a different light. I finally started to see myself as a CEO and tuned-in to the success I wanted, without feeling apologetic/guilty about it. It all finally seemed possible.
And I met some incredible people and made some wonderful friends!
This was the first of two trips to LA for the same Business Retreat with Niyc. The second was even more powerful and held across 4 days (I’ll tell you about that separately). And it was also the start of me hosting my own Flourish Tuscan Retreats, which are now a firm part of the way I do business.
I’ll write another post on where I stayed and ate whilst in LA, as there is some stunning food to be eaten out there!
But for now, the moral of the story is – take that leap! Take yourself and your personal growth seriously. Book that flight. Take that trip. Change your life.