Why I’m Taking A 3-Day Business Retreat – At My House!

Yes, that’s right. I’m going on a retreat right here in my own living room. Now before you start rolling your eyes at me, hear me out. See, I have this growing pile of sticky notes that I keep nearby of things that pop into my brain that I really should work on for my own business. And I have a gazillion “Note to Self” emails hanging around in their own file in my inbox. And let’s not forget about all my ideas in Evernote, Google Drive, phone Memo app, and God knows where else!

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably laughing knowingly right about now.

All of these things get shuffled to the bottom of the to-do list because I spend most of my days getting projects done for my clients, taking time out for self-care (which half the time merely involves remembering to feed myself), and dang it – sleep just has to be a priority! I am NOT about that “hustle so hard I don’t sleep” life, okay?

So I decided that it’s time to take a 3-day solo business retreat right here at my house. Let me tell you about how this came to be:

There I was, sitting at my desk staring at the Google Sheet that builds out all of my client projects and my eyes scanned down near the bottom of the sheet to the gold bar that reads, “Business To-Do’s.”

I snorted.

All of the projects there were at least 2 months old and quite frankly, some of them were just not relevant anymore. So I deleted them all (knowing full well that they also exist in all of the aforementioned hiding places).

Suddenly the bottom of my spreadsheet felt pretty naked. I needed to put SOMETHING back in there, but what?

I hadn’t thought about which tasks were the biggest priority in umpteen weeks and I really wasn’t feeling particularly inspired by any of them, if I’m being honest.

So I thought, “maybe I’ll find something new to do this week to jog the old inspiration train.” I started perusing through some of my favorite Facebook entrepreneurship groups and discovered that Allyn Lewis of Gem Nation was hosting a 5-day challenge called Spark Your Story, so I signed up! Maybe some exercises that someone ELSE put together would get me going again. I committed to full participation for the duration of the challenge (because if I can’t commit to five days, then what in the heckin’ heck am I doing running a business?)

While the challenge primarily took place on Instagram, I decided to move one of my stories over to Facebook. In case you don’t feel like reading it, I explained a struggle I was having and asked my audience for help figuring it out. I posted it across a few groups and one of my favorite coaches, Joy Martinez of The Strengths Empowered Entrepreneur, picked it up and got on a live video to address my questions:

  • Have you ever had a great business idea and before you could launch it, another entrepreneur close to you unknowingly launched exactly the same thing with great success?
  • Did you complete your own project?
  • And if you got stuck for a long time, how did you get your fiery passion for it back?

I watched the video live and we chatted back and forth for a few minutes about how it might be a good idea for me to develop a 90-day plan of attack. That’s when the idea struck –

“I need to unplug from social media, emails, clients, EVERYTHING, and just focus on this project for three days!”

The solo business retreat was born, folks.

Sure, it would be nice to go away somewhere else but frankly, I just don’t have the means to do that on such short notice and my notebooks work exactly the same right here at home as they would at a fancy resort. Besides, if I open up my balcony doors I can see the ocean 😉 My living room is a great retreat location.

The important thing here is that I’m insisting on calling it a retreat. It’s a mindset thing, and I’m standing by it.

So how does one plan a solo business retreat in her own living room? Ah, this isn’t something I’m at all familiar with. I’ve never done one before! But since fate aligned to bring all of these things together, it gifted me with this: a former client of mine and business pal, Lauren Black of Bosscation has just launched a new subscription box full of goodies to help entrepreneurs plan some time away from their business to work ON their business. It’s still in Beta mode, so I reached out! Perfect timing or is it perfect timing?

Lauren was thrilled to offer me a spot in her Beta program and send a bunch of tools right over to me. I have one more day left before I get this retreat started, so I haven’t looked through them just yet – but it’s slated for this afternoon. (I will absolutely be including more info. on how this went in my next post!)

What I have done this week is sift through all my piles of notes to see which projects really need some TLC. There are more than I care to admit, but I narrowed it down to the top 3. I decided that I wanted to create an agenda for myself, as if someone was preparing a retreat for me to attend, and filled in a rough schedule of what to focus on during which blocked off periods of time over the three days. Satisfied with how the itinerary felt, I set it aside to focus on client projects for the rest of the week.

It felt really good not to be worried about my own business needs, knowing that they will be receiving my undivided attention this weekend.

As I carried on with things, my Graphic Designer and college girlfriend, Mollie Coons of MC Creative popped up to check in with me about my new website (seriously so excited to launch this thing!) and we started generally chatting about business. It’s so nice to have friends who do this entrepreneur thing, too! We got around to talking about “leveling up” and how writing out financial projections can totally shift your mindset and empower you to be greater. I’ve done some financial projections before – in fact, the last time I did one I ended up having (at the time) my highest earning month to date! There’s some real powerful magic-y stuff in setting financial goals for your business.

But after we talked, it occurred to me that I really haven’t done a projection since then and that it might be nice to think about my money in terms of the tasks I’m focusing on during my retreat. So I spent about an hour last night figuring out what it would take to hit a specific income target by the end of the year.

If you’ve ever done this, you know that you work backwards and crunch out some numbers and deadlines. By the end of the hour I was spouting out encouraging things to myself like,

“Yeah! I’m such a badass biz babe. I’m GOING to hit that goal by the end of the year.”

I’d also, only semi-intentionally, scrawled out something that resembled a launch calendar.

Whoa. Goodbye social life.

Okay, maybe not. But I realized that I’m in one of those growing phases of my business that is going to require some serious dedication and hard work and I am ALL. ABOUT. IT.

With my new deadlines in mind, I revisited my retreat goals and re-prioritized them – nixing out my #3 project in favor of totally focusing on the top 2. I think there will probably be some more rearranging tomorrow when I sit down with Lauren’s toolkit (so excited!!) and I will be back after the retreat is over to post an update! So stick with me!

I’m going off the grid at midnight! Wish me luck!

P.S. In writing this post it occurred to me that a little Mastermind Magic was at play here. I’m throwing this out there as an unanticipated extra to this post – any other Boss Babes out there who had the dedication to read through that whole thing interested in weekly group phone calls to make some more of this magic happen? I’m interested in hosting! Here’s a signup form that literally has no welcome letter or anything attached to it (seriously I just thought of this!!). This is something we can play with when I re-enter society on Monday! Xo!

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P.P.S. For an update on how the retreat went, check out this follow up post!



The reason I took a solo business retreat... in my house! Every entrepreneur needs a few days to find some focus and work on those back burner projects. ------- Want to become a VA? Sign up for the beta session of my signature program "VA Essentials: Build Your Biz" ------- www.joyandcoffee.com/va-essentials -------


  1. Hi Jamie-Lynn, When I clicked on another offering from the Thank You page, your WordPress login page opens. Thought you would want to know.

    • joyandcoffee says:

      Ack! How awkward! Yes, thank you SO much for letting me know. I’ve just fixed the links. I don’t know how the admin links were inserted instead of the public links. Thank you!!

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