I have been working on opening my own international retreat business for more than 5 years now. Primarily, I have been working and saving money, conducting research, seeking out retreat locations and interviewing retreat owners. I have been writing a curriculum, conducting marketing research and doing major brainstorming about different offerings.
I spoke with a number of friends, and got one friend to agree to do it with me. We talked about it on and off, and every time I spoke to her, she seemed enthusiastic.
Then I got stuck.
I just wasn’t sure what my next step was going to be. It seemed like all the pieces were in place. I just didn’t know what to do next. Then, an opportunity fell right into my lap, in the form of a Facebook ad that I clicked on. Now, my sails are set and I’m going full steam ahead.
I signed up for a training program that cost me thousands of dollars, but in the first day alone, I learned more than my accumulation of research that had transpired over the last years of trying to put this together. I am ensconced in a professional organization and coaching team that assures me that if I follow their program, I can expect to bring in from $20-100K PER RETREAT! This program is so extensive, so organized and so packed with the support that I need, that I’ve already made leaps and bounds. I am amazed!
So I contacted the woman I was going to partner with and asked if she was ready to go. She responded that she was booked up for the next year and that she was going in an alternative direction. There had been no discussion, no information….She simply changed her mind, while remaining open to the idea, but I needed more of a commitment than a person who was only willing to “remain open” to the idea.
Would have been nice to have known this before I spent the thousands of dollars for the training….but she is a talented writer and in a great-sounding writing program, so it would be hard to hold any ill will toward her, and I do wish her all the best….but I felt somewhat dismayed about having been left high and dry.
Then, I posted about my endeavors on Facebook….and what happened next proves that when one door closes, another opens.
I was contacted by a woman who had been my art instructor when I attended a small, private university in New England that my husband worked at as Academic Vice President. Jessica has held retreats before in Italy, and has many great resources. She has years of experience and feels enthusiastic about working with me.
We had clicked when I was her student, but we moved away before she and I ever had the opportunity to arrange any type of working arrangement together. She told me this morning that she had always felt that our time together was “incomplete” and both of us feel that this was meant to be…..Therefore, I thank my friend who turned in another direction, because this looks like it’s going to work out for EVERYONE. It works out for the original person I was going to do this with, and it works out beautifully for Jessica and for myself.
The program’s work is very intensive and difficult, but I feel such joy as I embark upon completing it. I SMILE as I go through the homework. These women are true professionals that know this business like the backs of their own hands. They have already reached out to me repeatedly and have given me some amazing feedback.
This morning, I had a long talk with my husband about all of this, and asked for his advice. He reminded me of why I had attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where we had met. It was because of an ad that he had placed in the Houston newspaper when he was Dean of their Evening and Summer Division. The ad had said something about it being MY turn to complete my degree, and because of that ad, my life changed forever. That’s where we met, and as a result, subsequently married.
So now, I’m borrowing John’s idea….or it was given to me, I should say, and I have high hopes and great happiness. My retreats will be transformational by design, glamorous, luxurious retreats in the most gorgeous locations worldwide….in Italy, in Spain, in France. I can hardly wait.
My wanderlust is in control now!.