“I’ve always dreamed of going to Istanbul.”

​That’s how it all started.

Back in 2011, I replied to Kelly, a new subscriber to my mailing list, whose email signature said she was an American creativity coach living in Istanbul.

We struck up a conversation and discovered we shared the mutual dream of leading creativity workshops in exotic locations around the world.

“Why not do it together?” we mused.

That led to a year of weekly Skype calls, a website, lots of planning and promoting, and in October of 2012, we made it happen:

​A week-long creativity retreat in Istanbul!

That was supposed to be the first annual retreat of our partnership, but then Kelly got a full-time job, and that was the end of that.

“Why not lead my own retreats here at home?” I thought. 🤔

So I scrambled to find a venue, and in 2013 I created my very first, local creativity retreat: Creative Sandbox Retreat.

All by myself, with no fancy, exotic destination as a draw.

I was so nervous!

​Leading the opening circle the first night, my head pounded with a migraine, but I refused to let that stop me.

My body was strung tight with nervous tension all weekend, so it was hard for me to be fully present and relax.

That first retreat was just 2 nights long. The next year I extended it to 3 nights. The year after that, to 4 nights, Wednesday to Sunday, which is how it’s stayed ever since.

10 years later, leading my creativity retreat feels like coming home.

​(Of course, since some of the participants have been attending for years — some every single time since the very first retreat — it really is like coming home.)


In 2013, it was new, and it pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was stepping into a bigger space than I was used to.

Now, in 2023, facilitating these experiences has long been “the new normal.”

This is how transformation works.​

If you want to learn anything new, it is going to be outside of your comfort zone at first.

It takes effort  — consistent effort over time — to see lasting results.

Think of:

  • Learning a language
  • Building muscle mass
  • Learning to play an instrument

​You can’t expect to spend just one day at it and get lasting results!

​No, you need to put in the hours repeatedly, consistently, over the long haul.

If you want to see results.

So what does this have to do with business teams?​

If you’re a leader and you’ve been frustrated with lackluster results from your team offsites, it may be that you’re expecting the wrong things from them.

One-shot offsites are great for bonding, but lasting transformation in terms of behaviors and skills? Not so much.

​It’s why the programs I design — like my Influential Leader program for developing more impactful, effective communicators — help your team absorb and implement over the course of a year.

Because transformation takes time.

​And here’s a bonus: transformation leads to transformation.

For example, that Istanbul retreat I co-led in 2012 is what gave me the courage to lead my first local retreat in 2013.

And it was leading creativity retreats that made me realize I wanted to pivot from the primarily online business I was running, to start my consultancy, working with teams.

Leading my retreats showed me that working with groups in this way was my “joy and genius zone,” as a mentor of mine calls it …

And gave me the courage to take that step.

It was leading my retreats that made me realize I had the skillset and the toolkit to make the leap…

And l it was leading my retreats that helped me grow the mindset to actually make the leap.

Sound familiar? This is exactly what I help my clients do:

🧠 Transform your MINDSET
💪 Build your SKILLSET
🧰 Develop your TOOLKIT

​​And guess what? All of that took time.

​In the same way, the new “muscles” I equip my clients with allow them to step into bigger spaces for themselves.

Transformation leads to transformation in ways they often cannot predict.

​It doesn’t have to take ten years, but lasting transformation doesn’t happen overnight.

You may be amazed at the results you see if you’re willing to invest in a year of transformation for your team.

Are you ready to build a strong foundation of connection and communication for your team? Let’s connect!

 

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