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Puzzle of Retreat

Did you know there was a National Puzzle Day?

Who knew? Everyday is puzzle day in my house! I love the calming process of zenning out with a puzzle. And if they grow on me enough I will mount and hang them!

Disney ones, of course!

Are you one of those people that starts on the edges and works around the corners? Let me tell you that when your puzzle is shaped like Mickey Mouse, there are no corners. That certainly made things interesting.

As I dumped out the box and spread the pieces everywhere, I looked at the cover. I knew where I wanted to go… I just didn’t know how the heck I was going to get there. Especially without those corner pieces.

It’s actually just like retreat planning. It’s so easy to envision the final product:

  • Your participants arriving to the resort, giddy with excitement

  • Your space looking inviting

  • Activities that are both invigorating and calming at the same time

  • A spread of appetizers that make your participants reach for “one more”

  • Smiles on their faces when no one wants to leave

I can see it now… just like the cover of this puzzle. Except - how do you get there?

When I do any jigsaw puzzle, I first sort out the pieces into a few “buckets”. Like edge pieces vs. inside pieces. Or group them by colors.

I start to see where a few pieces with the same image fit together (okay, I started with the Disney logo because it’s easy - don’t judge!)

Before long you have some “clusters’ of pieces together… maybe some lettering or most of a character. But now you have all these clusters, and you STILL have to get them to fit together. When a piece is wrong, you know it’s wrong! So how are you filling the gaps?

Retreat planning is exactly like putting together a puzzle. And if the pieces don’t fit just right, you could be in for some expensive trouble, exhaustion, or participant disappointment.

When planning a retreat, most coaches do a great job of tackling the big clusters:

  • Reserving the venue and estimating the major costs

  • Planning the mind-blowing activities

  • Bringing their unique energy to the event

But as they say, the devil’s in the details. And just like a puzzle, it has to fit together perfectly to wow your guests.

This is where I come in…behind the scenes, finding those missing pieces, snapping them all together.

Here are some of the missing pieces you should never have to worry about:

  • All the tips and gratuity required (you’d be surprised)

  • Knowing how much downtime you need to build in

  • Watching out for the red flags when selecting a venue

  • What insurance and waivers you need

  • Verifying the included amenities are actually what they say they are (that’s for another blog)

  • Knowing when you have TOO MANY extra activities (yes - there is such a thing)

  • All the hidden marketing costs (again, you’d be surprised!)

  • Understanding what the venue includes - and what you need to supplement (they don’t really tell you that!)

A great retreat leader makes it look easy like a 100 piece puzzle… but has the behind-the-scenes help to put together the 1,000 piece puzzle that is the destination retreat of a lifetime…and convert new clients.

The best part is, no one will ever know! My job is to make your perfect puzzle look effortless. You bring the magic of the image - I’ll help you put it all together.

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