A month ago yesterday I hopped in the car and drove to Banner Elk, NC it was not the first time I've made that drive but it was the first time I had ever signed up to spend two and a half days with 9 complete strangers. It was our Tuesday Together groups first Retreat.
Tuesdays Together, is a local chapter of our bigger group The Rising Tide. You guys have heard me talk about both in past blog posts! The catch- I had never actually been to a Tuesdays Together meeting, they usually meet on Tuesday nights and unfortunately I'm usually at work until 7 or 8 on Tuesdays. But they put on our FB page that they were having a retreat and anyone was welcome to come. I didn't think twice I signed up, I paid my money and the day of the trip I packed a cooler full of food, a car full of everything but the kitchen sink, I typed the address into my GPS and up the mountain I went!
It wasn't until I hit Wilkesboro that I thought "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!" What were you thinking spending two days in the mountains with total strangers, What if they hate you, What if they kill you and pitch your body of the side of a mountain? -- Okay so maybe the last question was a little dramatic, but completely plausible.
All I knew was I had to go. I had to see if this retreat thing could make me more business friends, I had to see if I could grow from putting myself out there, and to be honest I loved the idea of hanging out with other business owners. I normally don't "feel" like a business owner, I watch all these small business owners around me stand with pride and confidence, they walk in the room, head held high, and you know "They do something great!" I hoped a little bit of that would rub off on me!
I wont go through the details of the trip other than to say I received some of the best education and insight from people who are genuine and open. We shared fears, mistakes, dreams, and life. We slept, and ate and learned together, and the bond that we share after two days in the mountains still blows my mind. So lets jump to a month later.
This past Tuesday night, one of the ladies from the retreat got in my car and we drove to Burlington, we walked into Sara-Ann Photographys's Studio and we met more business owners. Our entire meeting was on "Collaboration" how could our dreams involve the community and business owners around us. I sat in the back of that room and I looked around. There were a handful of girls in the room from the retreat-- and I knew their dreams! We had already shared them with each other! What they didn't know is that I have been dreaming bigger than ever since our trip! Some days I feel like my heart could bust at the seams I have so much I want to do! Again, we shared, we laughed, we dreamed and we shared life.
Now I don't know about you but for me sharing life with people is what I live for, the raw moments, the real moments, that's what you share with people and it connects you, it keeps you close. Without our retreat I would never have realized I could have that in my business world. In the business world your taught to stay professional, never cross a line, and keep it business not personal.....
Well my business is personal.
And now so are my business relationships; personal, rooted on laughter and life and being real. I can not wait to see where this new train of thought will take me or the business owners around me! 2 days, 9 new friends, and 1 month later and I am a better woman than I was before.