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Preparing to Retreat

This year has been rather tumultuous for me, as I feel as though I’ve spent the majority of it moving from place to place, which wasn’t something I had planned on doing.  Guess that’s the definition of life–life is what happens when you make other plans…:)

Consequently, I missed the boat and failed to hold my annual business planning retreat this year.

This notion of doing a business retreat for myself is very new, although not novel, as I used to do this every year as a part of both the Student Affairs staff and the Residence Life staff at the college where I once worked. When I heard about this same concept for solo business owners, I thought, "Why am I not doing that for me"?

Last year I headed to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts to set my business vision for the next three years, and to soak up some Berkshires culture, to boot!  My friend Jacque graciously provided her house for my retreat, and I worked feversishly at my plans during the day while she was at work.  Sitting on her back deck overlooking her back yard and the woods while I was working away at my laptop is a fond memory I have of that time.

This year, I’m taking a few days off next week to do my retreat planning, but I’ll be doing it here locally.

First I’ll be writing my 3-year vision.  It won’t be a vision where I expect to accomplish everything in the next 36 months.  It’ll be a rolling vision, as it will be something I’ll continue to work on and revise at a minimum each year at my retreat. I fully expect it to evolve and change, as most visions do, but at least I’ll have some idea of what direction I’ll be headed.

Then, I’ll be reviewing my 90-Day Goals List that I’ve been keeping this year, and see how those goals will go into the shaping of my 3 year vision.

I’ll also have with my handy Quickbooks file with all of my financial info for the last few years, and I’ll be doing some financial forecasting for the upcoming year.

I’ll also have my calendar with me, and based on my vision and financial goals, I’ll start to craft my 2006 calendar in terms of vacation time, travel I’ll be doing, other kinds of rest days, profit-generating days with clients, and business development days for my business. I did this for the first time this year (2005), and it’s made all the difference in keeping me focused!

When I leave from my retreat, I know where I’ll be headed in 2006 -2009 and some idea of how I’m going to get there.

If you join me in the Jumpstart Your Year program, you’ll see what I’ve come up with for my 2006!

About the Author Donna Gunter

Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.

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