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It’s the perfect time for a retreat!


We are almost mid-way through September. Before you know it, you will be involved in fall shows and your holiday production season will be in full force. Your focus will be on the “doing” part of your business. You’ll be working “in” rather than “on” your business.

When was the last time that you took time to work on your business? I like to set aside time to do this on a regular basis. Now is the perfect time to do this before you get heavily involved in the fall work. Get out your calendar and schedule a retreat for yourself to do this. It doesn’t have to be several days. It could be one full day, two half days or even a couple of hours a few times this week.

Why take a business retreat?

  • All of us find it really easy to work in our businesses but do you work “on” our businesses? I’d always heard about this concept, but didn’t really understand it as much in the early days of my business. Well, that was because I was spending all my time working “in” my business. Much of what I learned about this concept came from the E-Myth people, particularly Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. The premise is that we can’t grow our business if we spend all our time doing the work in the business; i.e., being the technicians or doers. We have to learn and utilize management and entrepreneurial skills to build the business. Your goal should be to have your business work for you, not you working for it.

How much of your time is spent “doing” the business?

4 keys to consider

You don’t want this retreat to be a one-time activity. You want to set aside times to do this on a regular basis. And, if you take into account these four keys, it will be easier each time you do this

Develop a clear vision about the path your company will take

This clarity is critical for you and for any people that you hire, whether full-time or on a project basis.

Take time to work on your business

I continually hear from artists in business that you need to spend two-to three hours marketing your business for every hour you spend fabricating your art. The best approach here is to set aside the time that works for you to do this. It could be three hours every morning or it could be every Monday and Tuesday. Sometimes you need to try working on your business in a different surrounding. I have a friend who goes to the local café each week to work on her business. The goal is set a time consistently to do this.

Look for ways to create systems in your business

This could be anything from a system to contact potential buyers to a system to process orders. Systems make a difference in how much time you don’t spend as a technician or doer. I’m continually looking at what I do to see if a system could be initiated.

Work on your own personal development

In addition to spending time working on your business, you need to work on yourself. The late Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” And, who you become as a person spills over into your business.

I’ve blocked a couple days for this next week. I’ll be heading somewhere that is not my studio. It’s easier to do this without distractions.

Your turn!

Do you ever take a business retreat? How has that worked for you? If you haven’t, will you commit to one sometime this month?


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