This year, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, we did a four-day AdventureQuest business retreat. This was joined by existing clients and podcast listeners to name a few. We had a great crew and the weather was perfect. There were many lessons learned and we learned from all the things we did.
“The wisdom is in the group”. That was the mantra I repeated over and over. There was a specialness around coaching and being with a group.
There is a sacredness of bringing people together in a retreat, especially considering that the time of everyone is valuable, so we had to make the most out of the time that we had. As a leader, I had to show up with that specialness in mind. I had to be excellent. I had a great team and the events turned out really great. Part of the things we did were caving and rock climbing.
During the first day, we went caving. Most people had not done any wild cave tour in their lives yet, so it was a challenge. People had to crawk through muddy water. There were salamanders and bats camping out in silence. There were a lot of interesting formations. So far, it was outside the people’s norms at it really leveld things up. People were giving themselves permission to be dirty.
One of the unforgettable events during the trip was when we were all packed in one vehicle, so we had a lot of drive time together. We were able to do some coaching, ask questions, and we basically got to know each other on this drive. The extra bonus time forced the group to bond, and it was amazing.
For the retreat itself, we had a great space for everyone. The business workshops were done in the back porch which was overlooking a river and a golf course which had a really natural setting. It was such a natural setting which was perfect for coaching.
The point was to get the team to a natural setting where they can connect with nature and at the same time, reconnect with themselves. This not only gets entrepreneurs in a natural setting, but also opens up a lot of new ways of thinking.
We were staying that the StoneBridge Resort, Branson, Missouri – a hotbed for country music and shows of all types. We did three story go-karting, and mini golf. We went to a great farm to table restaurant, run by the local college.
One thing that didn’t go as planned however, was food poisoning. Two of us had food poisoning, including me. So if you run events, always leave rooms for changes of plans in case something like this happens. You’ll always do what is best for the group and be ready to make decisions on the fly.
As for me, it was hard to bring my energy back up because of the food poisoning. The group went for a hike and solo forest meditation for an hour while I was there laying down, moaning in pain.
The business workshops were in multiple sessions which went longer than expected. We got half as much done so I had planned, which was fine. Next time, we will reduce the schedule and allow more time for the sessions to unfold. People got really engaged and involved in helping each other, that was why the time took longer than planned. Always use the wisdom of the group.
In the coaching sessions, we learned techniques such as mind-mapping, networking, accelerated learning, and working on our mind set, exploring life development areas. Surprisingly, spirituality came up frequently.
On the last day, the team went rock climbing. We started on an easier route because no one in the group had done outdoor climbing before. We spent the day coming up with analogies for how running a business is like rock climbing: In business, you try everything to get to the top. There are no rules. You can try whatever you want to get to where you are going. There were also a lot of encouragement from people on the ground. As in business, encouragement from peers is important. If you try a difficult move, you might fall. In rock climbing, you get caught, but in business, you prepare that safety net. As in most things, different people approach problems differently. There are different paths to get to the top. People use different gifts, and different techniques.
The feedback for the AdventureQuest was great and there were positive benefits as a result. Everyone was courageous and brave and living bigger lives because of the retreat. It was better than expected!
We proved the model is a big success – Physical challenges bring people together, and outside time recharges and emboldens entrepreneurs. In 2018 we are planning to do more AdventureQuests trips in Bali (for establish entrepreneurs) and Morocco (for Instagrammers and Influencers).