Here’s the thing: don’t let problem-solving get in the way

As a business owner and a creative, you’re probably pretty good at problem-solving. Many of us are. Sometimes it’s spotting an opportunity. Somethings it’s rushing through the long list of orders you have to get through, or replying to that tricky customer.

Many of us LOVE solving problems, fixing things, making it better.

And it serves us really well. It makes us good at customer service. It makes us good at creating products and services that people need. It makes our lives better, and helps those around us, too.

Because who doesn’t want fewer problems?

But in business, problem-solving can become a distraction.

When we’re always looking at the list of things that need sorting out, the orders to post, the printer to fix, we’re not able to focus on the bigger picture.

The more we see and solve problems, the more problems come up that need to be fixed.

And all these little problems keep all our attention, which means we don’t have the care or time or energy left to address the bigger issues.

Big questions, like:

Is this really what I want to be doing, how I want to be spending my days?

How can I earn a good living by doing the things I really love?

Where is the profit coming from?

What’s the meaning and purpose behind my business?

What am I here to do?

If we stay in problem-solving mode too long, getting distracted by urgent things that are shiny and have a short-term importance, we wake up in a life and a business that doesn’t quite feel right.

And this isn’t just one big crisis. Sometimes this happens a couple of times a year, or every two years or so.

This is the process. Get good at something. Get good at solving problems. Get distracted. Get restless. Get frustrated.

Then we stop. We reconnect. We look at the bigger questions. We get clear.

Yes, you can look at the bigger questions (and their answers) daily.

Yes, that will help you to stay focused on what really matters.

Yes, you can get EVEN BETTER at solving problems when you look at it from a bigger perspective.

So. Are you ready?

Come and dive deeper into the bigger questions with me on Friday 10th May at my Creative Business Day Retreat.

Let’s celebrate your awesome problem-solving skills, while also getting you set up to feel better, play bigger and find more success.

Dive into the big questions yourself, and you’ll discover clarity, answers, resources and energy that you’ve been missing. It’s thoroughly recommended.

And doing it in a group with a talented guide (ahem) can give you even more strength through community, inspiration, and accountability.

This is why I do what I do.

You matter, and so does your business,
Jenny xx

Retreat with me in January

I’ve created a long weekend that takes care of you, where you don’t have to think about making dinner or looking after anyone else, and you can simply focus on looking after you and your business.

In my own life and business planning, I’ve found it completely invaluable to have time out, in a different (and beautiful!) place, with a group of like-minded people. You’ll have chance to reflect on your business as it is now, the things that have gone well, and the dreams you have for the future.

Small Creative Business Retreat 2017I’ll be running workshops that will help you identify your core strengths as a business and an individual, that will help you to plan for the next year, and that will inspire you to move your business forward.

The practical workshop stuff will be balanced with some real retreat stuff, too, to make sure you go home on Monday feeling rested, nourished and energised. You’ll be able to have a massage, sleep in, take naps, take walks in the beautiful gardens, and have time to read and write. We’ll do some simple meditations together that will settle us in to doing the important business planning work.

Small Creative Business RetreatWorkshops will be as a whole, and in smaller groups, and I’ll be available throughout the weekend to have some one-to-one time where it’s needed. I’m confident you’ll be leaving with plenty of ideas and tools to help improve your business.

Ready to book your place? Click here to choose your room and book.

 

 

 

Save the date: Friday 6 to Monday 9 January 2017

When: arrive Friday afternoon, leave early Monday.

Where: Pedington Manor, near Berkeley in the Cotswolds

Who: me, you, and a group of wonderful small creative business owners
(up to 14 people max.)

This particular retreat weekend is only available to new attendees, those who haven’t retreated with me before. This year, I decided to offer repeat retreats for my existing group so that we can dive deeper the second or third time around. Anyone who retreats with me for the first time in 2017 will be able to do the same next year!

 

Previous years

I’ve been lucky to have so many brilliant women at my retreats in previous years. Here are the highlights:

2015:

 

2016:

 

Accommodation and catering

We’ll be staying in Pedington Manor in the beautiful Cotswolds. It’s a gorgeous and cosy manor house with lovely and inspiring suuroundings. We have the whole place to ourselves, and lots of opportunity for comfort and relaxation.

When planning the retreat, I wanted to find somewhere luxurious but cosy and homely – somewhere we could really settle in together and would feel like an escape. Pedington is full of open fires, squishy sofas, and comfy beds. There are places for a peaceful moment all to yourself, and plenty of room to connect and create with our supportive group.

A number of accommodation options are available to suit different budgets and preferences. I’ve included more info below.

Small Creative Business Retreat

The retreat is fully catered from Friday night to Monday morning. If you have any dietary requirements, we can work with that – just let me know. There’ll be copious tea and cake, naturally!

There’s plenty of parking available at Pedington. Your travel to the retreat isn’t included in the price, but I can help to coordinate travel from nearby train stations.

 

Rooms and prices

The accommodation at Pedington Manor is all gorgeous, with a variety of different rooms available to suit your budget and preferences.Small Creative Business Retreat

En-suite individual room: £1,200
Individual room: £950
Standard twin room: £750
Dorm room: £550 (up to 4 people sharing)

 

 

 

All rooms (except individual en-suites) have lovely shared bathrooms.

Please note prices do not include VAT.

 

Who’s coming

Our group will be a maximum of 14 – a number that allows us to get to know each other and create a truly supportive group. This retreat weekend is for new retreaters only. I’ve had such a high re-booking rate (hooray!) that, this year, I decided to offer repeat retreats for my existing group so that we can dive deeper the second or third time around. Anyone who retreats with me for the first time in 2017 will be able to do the same next year!

I firmly believe that everyone coming on this retreat will benefit not only from a restoring weekend, but will also receive the ongoing support of a close and non-competitive group. We connect with each other in a private group on Facebook before we meet in person, and we really work as a group to listen to and see each other clearly.

Why retreat with me?

I adore running retreats. It honestly feels like the work I’m meant to do in the world. My work as a coach and mentor brings me plenty of experience working with individuals and groups, and I bring a wealth of experience – personal and professional – to the table.

I’m open, honest, and I hold the space for you. I bring structure to conversations about who you are, who your brand is, what you really want, and how to move forward. I know from personal experience that big change can come from retreats and deep insights. Sometimes it’s gentle, sometimes dramatic, but it’s always from a place of truth and authentic growth.

If you’re up for a relaxed, informal, yet insightful way of learning how to improve your business and your life, this is the retreat for you. And you’re bound to make some friends along the way.

To book:

  1. Pop over here and choose your room type
  2. You can choose to pay in full now, or pay a £250 deposit with instalment options. If you choose to pay in instalments, I’ll email you to set this up.

Please note your deposit is non-refundable. If you change your mind or are unable to attend, your place can be transferred to someone else if available. Otherwise, you will be charged in full.

Any questions? Please let me know if there’s anything you’re worrying or wondering about. You can email me: jenny (at) thejennyhyde.com

I can’t wait to see you there!

Jx

 

Guest post: Gabrielle Treanor tells us what it’s like to retreat with me

Gabrielle Treanor

Gabrielle Treanor is the overthinkers’ coach, and you can find out more about her amazing work at GabrielleTreanor.com. She’s an ambassador for happiness, a stationery lover, and a lovely client. In this post, she describes her experience of my Small Creative Business Retreat in 2015.

There are a number of words that spring to mind when I think back to the Creative Business Retreat in March: space, connection, realisation, learning, reflection, laughter, relaxation, inspiration, comfort, insight.

The Retreat gave me something I didn’t know I needed – time to think, to step back from the business of daily life and look at my work and my life from a slight distance. When you’re in the thick of things, beavering away at your business and getting on with everyday life, it feels normal and right. To take a break from it, to step away from work (yikes, what will happen to the business if I’m not there!) feels risky, indulgent, unnecessary even.

Taking myself off to the Peak District for three nights felt really self-indulgent and I felt quite guilty about ‘abandoning’ my business and deserting my husband and dog. Spending a long weekend with a group of women talking about our businesses but also spending time relaxing (Jenny was quite clear on that point) seemed like a luxury that was hard to justify to myself.

But, as it turns out, that long weekend was exactly what I needed, for me and for my business.

Cliff House bedroom

The workshops Jenny held were a chance to really step back and look at your business as a whole. Thinking about your purpose, what do you want to communicate to your customers, brand, marketing, photography – all so important to your business but not something that we necessarily give enough time, space and thought to. When we’re working to deadlines, getting out orders, designing new products, managing staff, paying tax bills and the other 87 jobs we juggle, it’s hard to make time for the stuff that we know is important but isn’t so easy to tick off a list.

I knew a couple of the other women at the retreat, I’d spoken with a few on social media but there were several women that I’d had no contact with before that weekend. All of them, without exception, were friendly, interesting, running their businesses in their own way, doing amazing things and, not realising just how brilliant they are.

Through the workshops and in informal chats we learned about each other’s businesses. Everyone ran their business in different ways, some on their own in the house, others with staff in premises but we all had similar worries and fears, and we all learned from each other. Running your own business can be a lonely affair so having time to chat with other creative business owners, in a relaxed environment, felt so good. The knowledge that your worries aren’t unique, and picking up ideas and ways to deal with issues was invaluable.

As time went on and we got to know each other a little better, we opened up more to each other and shared our dreams for our futures. Just as everyone is different everyone’s hopes for their businesses and their lives were different, and so inspiring. Sharing and learning in this way is only really possible, I think, in this sort of retreat setting, where you’re spending several days, not just hours, together.

One of the biggest treats (and benefits) of the retreat was not having to do anything! Jenny had thought of everything and her lovely team meant that we didn’t wash up so much as one mug the entire weekend. I think I may have managed to make myself one cup of tea but that was unusual as there was a constant supply of tea, coffee, cold drinks, and snacks. Plus there was a choice of what to have for breakfast, as well as filling lunches and dinners. There was no chance you could go hungry on the retreat!

While it felt a little wrong to do so little to help around mealtimes and clearing up, the effect it had was quite remarkable. With no need to spend thought, time or energy deciding on what to eat, making it, washing up afterwards, we were free to spend more time chatting, laughing, relaxing and reflecting on our businesses. That brain space was so important in how beneficial the weekend was.

Out of all the words I listed at the top of this post I think space is probably the one that sticks out for me. At the retreat I had space to relax, to make friends, to learn, to reflect on my life and my business, to feel inspired and motivated, to savour my life as it is and how I want it to be.

The support and encouragement we all gave to each other felt so good, and continues now. Goals I was just dreaming about in the Spring of this year have been achieved, in part, due to my time at the Retreat.

My life and business is undoubtedly better for having experienced Jenny’s Creative Business Retreat. I’m already excited about what will come of the Retreat in 2016.

***

Find out more about retreats here.

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