As much as I love summers in Vancouver (especially when it’s hot and sunny like it has been), I also crave heading out of town for a few days to get away from it all. I find it’s such a fantastic way to reengage with nature, finish reading the books collecting on my bedside table and reflect upon my business and life. One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you can decide when you take time off and you don’t have to get anyone’s permission…except your own!
Earlier this week my brother/business partner Chandler and I decide to have a 2 day Make It creativity retreat to help us get clear and focused about our upcoming holiday shows in Vancouver and Edmonton. We decided to head down to Harrison Hot Springs mostly because it’s close and I’ve heard good things. After a quick hour and a half drive we were enjoying the spectacular view of Harrison Lake from the resort balcony.
Normally when I go on a short trip there is no intention set, but this time since we were calling it a retreat the focus shifted. As much as Chandler and I wanted to sit around the hot springs all day, we made sure we took a nice chunk of time each day to brainstorm, plan and dream about Make It. It was amazing how much easier this is to do when there isn’t the normal everyday distractions. Something about staring at the stunning blue lake surrounded by mountains allowed us to think of fresh new ideas I don’t think we would have otherwise. I felt way more calm and open to the flow of thoughts and didn’t dismiss anything that came up.
Nature is the most effective catalyst for creativity.
After our Make It jam sessions, Chandler and I made sure we had lots of fun to reward ourselves! This included renting a boat and zipping around the lake, relaxing in the various hot springs and drinking beer on the patio. It felt even better to do these things after some intense brainstorming.
I once heard someone say, “work on your business instead of in your business.” A retreat is a perfect time to do this because you are removed from the day to day. It can be hard to step back and “work on your business” when you are running around like a crazy person all the time.
Here are my tips for planning a creativity retreat:
- Make sure you spend at least a couple nights otherwise it will seem too rushed and forced
- If you don’t work with anyone else make sure the people you bring along are supportive. Having others to bounce ideas off of can be very helpful. Otherwise do a solo retreat!
- Don’t do any busy work like answer a ton of emails because it will take you out of the moment
- Brainstorm and strategize when you have lots of creative energy. I recommend the time between breakfast and lunch
- Bring a notebook and your favorite pen to write down ideas so your computer doesn’t distract you
- Don’t edit your thoughts, let them f-l-o-w
- Treat yourself to healthy meals and get as much sleep as possible
- Do a physical activity each day to get connected with your body
- Schedule in pampering and fun. You deserve a reward!
I hope I have inspired you to take your own retreat. You won’t regret it and plus it’s a business write off! I would love to hear where you are planning to do in the comments below.
Wishing you a happy long weekend!