It’s been four days since we all left the beautiful Compass Workshop room and came back to our individual offices.
And it’s taken me four days to get my head and heart around what really happened at the Compass Workshop, to process the entire weekend and find my own gems.
After spending Friday through Sunday with a group of self-employed small business owners, I’m more convinced than ever of a few truths:
- It’s hugely valuable to take time away from your home and office to deeply focus on your business. Our lives are so busy that we often get only fragments of time to think big thoughts about our businesses. You have got to carve out an entire day or an entire weekend so you can really focus.
- Amazing things can happen when you surround yourself with a group of like-minded self-employed people who brainstorm with you, help you solve problems and generate new ideas. This support is immeasurable and the results are astounding. When ideas and problems are circling, circling, circling inside your head – STOP trying to do it alone. The very act of describing your problem or verbalizing your dream to other people helps to create significant clarity. The masterminding and brainstorming springboard ideas one on top of another, giving you two things: choices and hope.
- It’s necessary to have a tool that allows you to get everything out of your head and onto paper. I created the Compass Blueprint as such a focusing tool and all the participants remarked how seeing problems, solutions, ideas and areas for exploration right in front of their eyes was a opportunity for immense clarity. I don’t care if you use mind maps, lists, journals, vision boards, or whatever works for you. Do what you must to get it out of your head and on to paper.
- Environment matters. At the Compass Workshop we were surrounded by a stunningly beautiful room with wooden floors and ceiling, huge windows and natural daylight. We were also surrounded by the loving staff at Pendle Hill, a peaceful 24-acre Quaker center for contemplation. At the beginning of the Compass Workshop, Pendle Hill staff introduced us to the facility and said, “We know you are here to do important and meaningful work. Let us take care of you this weekend. Let us take care of the food and the rooms. Let us hold you in the light, so you can do what you came to do.” Let’s face it: this workshop would have never been the same if it had been held at a Hilton or a Sheraton hotel. Choose your environments wisely, both your retreat environments and your everyday office environment.
- People are everything. We had an extraordinary group of self-employed small business owners at the Compass Workshop this past weekend. Their willingness to explore, to be vulnerable, and to share deeply with each other was awe-inspiring to witness.
- And finally, patience and preparation pay off. I’ve been working on the design for the Compass Workshop for nearly a year, reading 45 books, hundreds of articles and ebooks, and watching videos. Many a time, in my impatience, I wanted to “just get it finished.” But I trusted my mind and my intuition to know when the class design was truly complete. When it came to delivering the Compass content this weekend, it was effortless. Surprisingly, I wasn’t exhausted – even teaching for two days straight, and sitting around the fireplace each night for several more hours talking about business and life. Looking back, the only reason I can see for why I wasn’t utterly exhausted was because I felt completely prepared and I knew deep inside myself that I had created a great program. Don’t rush yourself in order to “get it done.” Trust your inner compass to tell you when you’re truly finished with a plan or a project.
So, that’s my experience of the Compass Workshop as the teacher and creator of it. Throughout the weekend, participants mirrored these observations about community, environment, brainstorming, and the need to get away from everyday life so we can think and dream.
It was an awe-inspiring weekend, Karyn. My only wish is that it had been longer!
I came away with enough ideas and inspiration to keep me busy for many months. More importantly, I feel supported by the other women in the group, which will be very helpful when I start implementing my new projects.
Yeah, Pamela, I was starting to think, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had another whole day?” 🙂
It was an incredible weekend. And I agree about one more day…
I walked away knowing that this kind of retreat and focus is essential for my business. I am excited about the Compass Blueprint because of the visual nature of it. Thank you Karyn for designing it and for sharing it.
I am so appreciative of the space – Pendel Hill was beautiful, and of the community of people we met. The mastermind was an essential element for exploring what in our minds is often “mucky”. They helped me find clarity.
I am most grateful. Have lots of ideas and am already working on putting those into action!
I’ve got lots of good tips coming up in our next mastermind group meeting and our mastermind group message forum, Julie, on creating action plans and implementing ideas! Stay tuned… 🙂
As a participant of your truly energizing and inspiring retreat, I couldn’t agree with you more! The lessons that I learned are invaluable. For me, the biggest takeaway was just how much I gain from surrounding myself with smart, insightful and on savvy business owners, especially business owners who work in industries that are different from mine. The perspectives and ideas I gained by listening to others’ insights transformed the way I want to engage with my business in the future. Not only do I want to be part of an on-going mastermind group, but I also want to redo my office so it feels like more of a ‘holding environment’ that is conducive to productive work. I have already rearranged my schedule so that I have a weekly block of time that I can devote to my business. Thanks Karyn!
I felt the same thing, too, Claudia! Having biz owners from different industries opens my eyes to possibilities.
As for environment — once again, I’m looking around my office and thinking, “How can this space better support me in creating my future?” I sense a clean sweep day coming up soon! 🙂
And now I even know how to add a photo to my posts!
I just love http://www.gravatar.com!
The weekend really was wonderful in many ways. A great mix of practical info and structure, the openness of brainstorming and masterminding, and the sharing and creativity of the amazing women who were there (and our token male Aly too!)
Pendle Hill was a perfect setting – it would be great to go back there for a few unplanned days just to continue to process and work on what we started on the weekend!
Thanks for putting it all together in such a great way Karyn!
It would be great to just set aside a one-day or two-day “open mastermind” event, maybe even masterminding with the entire group in a circle, so that everyone’s ideas can bounce off of everyone else’s ideas.
Helga M Matzko
It took me longer than 4 days, Karyn. I hope to be back in full swing today.
The group was beyond anything I could have imagined. I was blown away, inspired, and awestruck by the accomplished and energized businesswomen contributing like experts and accepting invited feedback with enthusiasm and appreciation.
Karyn, your “smarts” and business acumen never ceases to amaze me. You are a veritable Donald Trump minus the ………! How about a TV show?
I am looking forward to receiving the chart so that I can continue working on my business. I have some good ideas.
By all means let’s keep going. God bless. Helga
A TV show, huh? Don’t give me any more ideas, Helga! 🙂
I’m glad you enjoyed the Compass Workshop and found it helpful. More to come in the next four months of our Compass Mastermind Group!