Creating, Hosting + Leading Live Events and Retreats [Part 1]

Creating my first-ever live event, the Retreat for Goddesses, back in 2010 created a HUGE GROWTH SPURT in my business. Up until that point, I was a classic life and career coach who was stuck in a one-to-one model simply trading hours for dollars.

While I loved my work and my clients, I had hit a wall. I couldn’t grow anymore and knew that with the birth of my second child in 2011, things would have to change. I wasn’t willing to just scrape by and only touch a handful of people with my message and teachings.

Enter the Retreat for Goddesses. It literally came to me in a dream when I moved from New York City to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. The name of the event just dropped into my body. I went with it even though I’m not sure why I was selected as the teacher of all things Goddesses.

GGS#1

Hosting that event allowed me to step into the next level of my growth as a business owner and human being. During the retreat, I launched my first 9-month coaching, training and mastermind program. I stopped trading hours for dollars. I attracted more committed clients who were willing to invest in themselves.

All because I created, hosted and led a juicy live event experience.

And next month I’ll be hosting a live event for the 4th year in a row in my business. ALCHEMY Live is the name of my upcoming event and I am SO excited about leading this transformational journey for my crew.

The venue for ALCHEMY Live: a gorgeous resort spa!

The venue for ALCHEMY Live: a gorgeous resort spa!

Do you want to lead an event or retreat for your tribe? It’s certainly an art and a science with many lessons to learn. But in my experience (and I used to produce large conferences in my corporate job), there is no other type of experience that goes quite as deep as a live event.

Let’s dive in to what you need to know:

1. VENUE

Choose a venue that will be appealing to your ideal client and tribe. Consider geographic location, venue vibe, sleeping room arrangements, food, view, activities onsite.

You’ll also want to consider what you’ll be responsible for in the contract and price your tickets accordingly. The first two years, our venues required an all-inclusive price where my company was required to take all room reservations and roommate requests and then pay the venue a lump sum based on the numbers of women we attracted to sign up.

sanctuary

Last year and this year, I chose to work with a venue that would handle all the bookings and payment for those rooms, while my company handled event ticket reservations. I realized I had no desire to become a travel agency, which is what we were the first two years handling roommate requests and pairing people up and dealing with cancellations and changes. Not my cup of tea! But you must do what feels right to you and your biz.

Contract for a number of people you are confident you can attract, but that also scares you a bit because you know you’ll have to stretch. Understand what is included in the price and market these details to your peeps (how many meals are included? what activities are included? what are the accommodations like?).

listening

Also consider if you’re booking a classic retreat center, a hotel or a resort. I have experience at all types. There’s no right or wrong, but your venue should be a reflection of your brand and should attract your juicy clients like bees to honey.

Find a few options and go on site visits before you make a decision. If you can eat a meal during your site visit, do it. Good quality food = happy campers!

Group shot in front of greenery beauty

2. DATES

When do you want to host your live event and for how many days? I recommend a 3-day event as you’ll need that time to really go deep. Consider adding on an optional VIP upgrade at an additional cost where you provide a ton of value and an exclusive experience that only the VIP peeps will get.

I’ve hosted live events on weekends and during the week. At this stage in my business, I personally prefer hosting my 3-day events during the week because I don’t want to miss the weekends with my children. Plus, I’m attracting business women with flexibility in their work schedules so getting away during the week shouldn’t be an issue when you are working ON your business (vs. IN it).

Parlor Room

You need to start promoting at least 4 months prior to your event (earlier if possible). Lead time is crucial in your marketing efforts. You must give your clients and prospects notice if you want to fill seats. Yes, you’ll get last-minute sign-ups, but the majority will sign up a few months prior. Don’t underestimate the importance of this! When I was a conference director in the corporate world, we did studies that found that the more lead time we had, the more registrations we had. The sweet spot was about 5 – 6 months out.

3. AGENDA

Who will be leading your event? You the entire time or will you invite guest teachers to join you? This is personal preference though I highly recommend inviting some guest speakers to share in the “holding of the space” and to help you promote the event. Hosting an event (I don’t care what size it is) is a HUGE undertaking and the more help you can get with this, the better. Plus, your attendees will enjoy learning from another teacher who will know more about a particular area of expertise than you do.

Just be mindful that your speakers understand what you’d like them to teach, when they’ll be speaking and what your guidelines are for “selling from the stage” (when appropriate). It needs to be a win for all parties. Be clear upfront about your expectations.

Christine on Stage

As for your teachings, I recommend building in plenty of exercises for your peeps to participate in. Don’t just straight-up lecture! That’s not the point of a retreat. You want to give your attendees a chance to INTERACT with the material, try it on in their businesses and lives, connect with their fellow attendees, and go home with a plan and direction. My team passes out lots of worksheets to our attendees that truly brings the lessons I teach to life. It’s amazing watching the magic unfold.

When it comes to creating my multi-day events, I build in time for personal exploration and play. I’ve been to so many events, where you are in a conference room from morning until late at night without much fresh air or processing time. That’s not my bag. I’m all about giving people the SPACE they need to get the answers they seek. And guess what? Those answers won’t only come from you. You are creating the sacred space for your attendees to find their own answers. This is SO, SO powerful.

Giddy-up Rayna

Like what you read here? Stay tuned for next week’s continuation of this series.

And if you want to take one of our FINAL spots at my next event ALCHEMY Live, hop on it! Last time I checked, we had 4 spots left. It’s time to turn your GIFTS into gold. Join us this October in the magical Berkshires of Massachusetts! It’s going to be AH-mazing.

Go here for details.

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Dealing with Haters and Critics on Facebook

haters and critics

I’m pretty fortunate that I haven’t had to deal with too many haters and critics in my biz. I mean, there have certainly been some people who have NOT liked my work and style, but for the most part people have been pretty respectful and kind-hearted.

But … there have been SOME mean-spirited comments, including recently when a Facebook “friend” couldn’t understand why I was putting my daughter in daycare (at my next door neighbor’s home daycare no less – the same place my 2 sons went when they were younger) rather than staying home with me full-time.

This “friend” went on to quote Dr. Laura about the tragedy of women who put their children in daycare. (No offense to Dr. Laura, but we speak different languages.)

There are a lot of tragedies in this world (including women hating on other women’s choices), but getting help with your children so you can spend part of your day creating a body of work that changes the world … well that’s not one of them.

I wonder if the vast majority of men who return to work after having children are made to feel guilty for not being with their children “full time” and returning to work to support their family? They often are praised and applauded for this choice.

Why the double standard?

critics

One of my biz chick buddies said when she had a baby and shared she was getting a nanny she received a Facebook message from one of her fans saying they were so relieved she was getting a nanny instead of putting her baby in daycare because of all of the horrible things that happen in daycare.

My buddy was taken aback by the unsolicited opinion as she wasn’t looking for approval of a choice that was very personal …

WTF?

If there’s one thing not to challenge me on, it’s a woman’s right to DESIGN her own life and CHOOSE her own path when it comes to work, family, home, EVERYTHING.

There is no “one size fits all.”

Although my business path has me in the public eye, I don’t believe in taking shit from anyone, especially on Facebook which aims to foster connection … and you don’t need to in your business or life either.

big bear

I share this with you because my tribe often asks me how to handle this “underbelly” of business fame as you start RISING UP and becoming more and more visible in your work.

Have you received rude comments on Facebook that you weren’t sure how to deal with? You know, the ones that totally took you off guard?

Let me give you a tip when it comes to dealing with mean-spirited critics on Facebook:

1. Unfriend them

2. Ban/block them from your personal profile or biz page

3. Delete the comment in question (dissolve the energy from your page)

The likelihood of changing a hater’s mind and making them see your point of view is pretty slim. It’s not worth the effort.

Now there are times, when I will write a response but my intention ALWAYS is to take the high road when I make my point … then I bless them, move on, and cut the energetic cord.

I’ve got too many amazing things to focus on to waste my time on trying to convert critics. I choose to invest my energy helping my tribe.

You need to realize that there are certain people who are in your TRIBE and certain people who aren’t. If you’re trying to please everyone, you’re screwed because your message will be totally watered down and boring.

Go ahead, piss some people off. Let them not understand you. Some of these people will get triggered by you and the way you live your life and run your business … and many of them will TELL YOU how much they don’t agree with you.

Leo

Awesome.

Why awesome? Because now you have an even CLEARER picture of who you’re here to help and who you’re not.

If you’re trying to help everyone, you’ll help no one.

Get specific with your niche.

Think 1-inch wide and 1-mile deep.

That’s your tribe.

tribe

Your tribe loves you.

Your tribe understands you.

Your tribe needs you.

And the best part? The feeling is mutual.

xoxo

Signature (Jenny)

P.S. If you want some HELP and GUIDANCE as you build YOUR TRIBE, check out my new course TRIBE BUILDING BOOTCAMP. It’s time to reach more, make more, and play more.

Doors close Monday, September 22 at noon EST.

TBB

Who Is Your Tribe?

Who Is Your Tribe?

In a recent survey with entrepreneurs, I uncovered some major FEARS. Can you relate to any of this?

  • Failure
  • Loss of money
  • Not being able to get clients
  • That people won’t want to buy what I have to offer
  • If it’s not “perfect,” I can’t launch it
  • Spending money I don’t have
  • Not knowing how to get known to the clients who need me
  • Being visible
  • Not enough time to get it all done
  • Fear of success and leaving the pack behind
  • (The list goes on!)

If you said HELL YES, you’re not alone.

These issues DERAIL so many biz chicks … it really breaks my heart. I should know – this stuff derailed me for SO many years in biz … and still does at times. These fears are deeply rooted in our old stories, our childhood, our past lives (if you believe in that!), our tissues.

As my yoga teacher Mark says, you’ve got to “release the issues in your tissues.”

These ISSUES are at the root of why you:

  • Play it safe in your business by being too “vanilla” in your messaging and marketing
  • Hide behind your computer instead of getting out in real life and meeting prospects, clients and referral partners
  • Undercharge for your services and products and overservice your clients and customers because you have no boundaries
  • Have been tinkering around on your website for a year now and still have nothing to show for it
  • Are afraid to ask for the sale when talking to an amazing prospect
  • Make excuses (no money, no time, scared to travel) for why you can’t be attend an event that will change your business forever
  • Have inconsistent cash flow
  • Aren’t publishing regular pieces of high-value content and instead consume everyone else’s content and worry that you’ll never be “good enough”
  • Are afraid to step into a leadership role as head of the tribe you are here to serve

Unless you RELEASE these issues and truly say YES to growing your business by BUILDING YOUR TRIBE, you will stay exactly where you are now (or worse, you’ll quit because it will get too freakin’ hard).

Your Tribe is your crew of ideal customers that you TOTALLY dig working with and serving.

There is a distinct subset of the population that is HUNGRY for the transformation you provide. Your tribe is SO attracted to you … and once you find them and they find you, well let’s just say that’s when you reach NIRVANA, baby.

As leader of the tribe, it’s your job to be pulled into their needs and giving them what they want on a regular basis. When you do, the rewards – financial, emotional, spiritual, physical, relationship and more – will BLOW you away.

I should know. I’ve built my 6-figure business (after a few years of not knowing what the hell I was doing!) by leading my tribe with courage and grace.

Here’s How I Did It

I launched my business in 2008, but it looked very different than it does now. Although I had been in biz my entire career, I had no clue how to run a business by myself. I wore every hat you can think of.

The one thing I was clear on was that I was here to serve women. Gutsy women. Mission-driven women. Gals who desired to walk an unconventional road sharing their gifts and talents with the world. But the clarity about my tribe came from me taking imperfect action and course correcting as I go.

If there was one thing I was good at it was just GOING FOR IT and TRYING things to see what worked.

I refused to let anything stop me although there were MANY moments I wanted to give up because the money just wasn’t happening at the level I wanted it to.

And although I was attracting clients, they weren’t always the perfect fit … and I wasn’t brave enough to know when to decline an engagement because I was still muddy as to exactly WHO was in my tribe and who wasn’t.

I didn’t launch my website and newsletter until my biz was 1.5 years old and it took a few years for my list to get past the 1,000 person mark.

And although I’m now at the 6,000-person mark for our database and the 6,000-person mark for my social media presence, if I knew then what I know now … holy shit, I’d be much further along!

I wasted a lot of time on projects that simply didn’t matter. I chased distractions disguised as opportunities. I was afraid to ask for what I wanted. And I held myself back from being fully ME in my business for fear of being too “out there.”

Seeing other successful entrepreneurs doing their thing very successfully online, I often sat back like a “good girl” waiting for it to be my turn instead of standing up and claiming my space in the spotlight.

It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom in 2011 with a measly $1,500 in profits to show for my efforts that year when I said “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”

Right then and there, I decided to FLY MY FREAK FLAG high and proud. I had something to say and people to serve and by God, I was going to do it now or never.

I was going to claim my EXPERT STATUS.

Expert badge

The next year – in 2012 – I led my business to $110,000 in revenue, quadrupling the revenues from the previous year.

The business has grown ever since.

I’ve launched program after program, hosted training after training, been a guest speaker on dozens and dozens of telesummits and events, written a book that’s soon to be published, and created a slew of content that keeps my tribe engaged, served and growing.

People have called me a “Content Creation Machine.” I enjoy consistent cash flow. I have a kickass team (all virtual to suit my introvert style!).

Most importantly, I’m a mom to 3 young kids (5, 3 and 4 months) and a wife to my fantastic husband Steven. And I create my biz schedule to fit into my active lifestyle with my family. I work about 20 hours a week on projects and with people that make me come ALIVE in my soul.

family love pro

How do I do it?

My building and leading my tribe of gutsy biz chicks just like YOU.

When I looked at the results of my recent survey I told you about earlier, a message hit me loud and clear:

YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR TRIBE.

This is the missing link for you.

Once you get this, everything will shift. EVERYTHING.

So I’m so PUMPED to introduce an ALL NEW program that will help you REACH MORE, MAKE MORE and PLAY MORE.

It’s time to step into your rightful role as a GIRLBOSS.

It’s time to earn the consistent income you deserve.

It’s time to help more people.

It’s time to attract better clients.

It’s time to have more fun.

It’s time.

Go here to get all the details.

Want More Clients?

In my recent survey where I asked gutsy biz chicks about their biggest fears as an entrepreneur, this answer sent a chill up my spine …

Not knowing

Your clients (present + future) NEED your services and offerings.

But if they can’t find you, then you’re in TROUBLE … and you’re doing your tribe a GRAVE DISSERVICE.

This whole idea of GETTING KNOWN ONLINE is what you need to know NOW to move to the next level in your biz.

And I want to help you help those beautiful people you are here to serve.

Ready to attract more clients now?

I’m going to be spilling the beans on my upcoming training THIS Wednesday, September 10.

Are you coming?

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.

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If you want to create consistent cash flow in your business, you must know how to attract ideal clients!

It’s an art and a science.

To be successful, you must create raving fans who buy from you (repeatedly), refer you business and follow you.

You can do this … when you know where to focus your efforts and energy (especially if you’re working on a limited schedule like I am with 3 young kiddos to raise!).

You can reserve your spot on the FREE training here now.

Ready to build your tribe fast?

xoxo
Signature (Jenny)

PS – It’s time to bring an end to those sleepless nights wondering where your next awesome client is coming from.

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.

 

 

 

 

2 Simple Steps for Making the Most of Divine Downloads

Trusting Divine Downloads

Today I want to talk to you about DIVINE DOWNLOADS.

These amazing flashes of data will help you UPLEVEL your business and life, but only if you know how to CAPTURE and ACTION this powerful insight.

I’ve used Divine Downloads to grow my business like gangbusters these last few years. Co-creating with the Divine is so much fun!

If you’re not doing this, you’re working too hard. Why do you want to work harder than you have to, gutsy biz chick?

In my new episode of Get Gutsy TV, I share my 2-step process for making the best use of this amazing data!

Enjoy.