Head for the Hills

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it. Corporate retreat, strategy session, working retreats, planning weekend, get-a-way, etc. Yet for small business owners, getting away to plan, or heck, to just get away, can seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Obstacles & Objections

  • What would happen if I left? Would the proverbial building burn down?
  • Employees constantly have so many questions, they need me to help them.
  • There’s SO much work to do, if I left I would be even more buried when I return.

In truth, especially if you’re a small business owner, getting away is vital to your health and success.

We had the young business owner come to the hotel for a six day stay. He owned and operated a tech company in Portland that was growing gangbusters. He arrived with a massive pile of thick novels, his clothes, and not much more. He told me that he was on business retreat and he strives to do this once a quarter (realistically, he said, it happened once or twice a year).

My first thought was, “six days away from your business every quarter?? Are you kidding me?

He chose places to go that met very specific requirements. The more remote and isolated the better. If there was no cell service the place received high marks.

Off to his room he went, happy as a clam, massive books in tow. There was not a business book or planning pad in sight. He came out only for meals. I hope he showered. We barely saw him.

It was four days later in the afternoon that he came rushing down and caught me in the dining room. He looked like there was a mini fire upstairs. He looked frenzied and disheveled (maybe he hadn’t showered!?), a bit like Einstein. He asked for any kind of paper I had and a pencil or pen. He didn’t care. I got him a legal pad and pen. He disappeared.

When he emerged for breakfast the next morning, he looked relaxed, refreshed, and inspired. He showed me his business plan for the next 6-12 months. It was IMPRESSIVE. To me, this guy was a kid in his early 20’s, but his wisdom was clearly beyond his age.

“Without fail this happens to me every time. I go somewhere without distractions, bring only pleasure reading, and I completely unplug. That’s the key. People cannot get in touch with me but for a dire emergency. About day three or four, without having thought about any business, the next growth trajectory plan comes rushing to my head and I can hardly write it down fast enough!”

He thanked us and was on his way!

There are real benefits for owners to schedule a regular hiatus.


  • You’re a boss that inspires employees because you are inspired.
  • Staff will be motivated and invigorated by the plans that have hatched.
  • Staff is empowered, through your absence, to step up to the plate. They gain new skills and confidence.
  • You realize your business CAN run without you there every day.
  • You return from your retreat a happier, more motivated person.
  • You’re refreshed and rested.
  • You’ve set a powerful example for your staff.

When we create space, great benefits come. Our mind needs time to rest so it can assimilate, organize, and create. ~Samantha

Pick up this book: Rest why you get more done win you work less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

I’ll also post a blog review on it soon. It will blow you away, especially if you’re a workaholic, creative, or perfectionist.

It’s vital that we rip off that band aide and just go! There’s no better time than right now.

New Year, New Planning, New Growth!

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