Last week, I hosted my 11th annual creative entrepreneur business retreat. Formerly known as Indie Cruise, Indie Business Retreat 2021 was huge fun and a super success. This post provides an overview of our activities and shares pictures of some of the entrepreneurial fun we had.
One of the things that made this retreat different from any over the past decade is the fact that it took place in the midst of a pandemic. To account for this, I capped attendance at 10 and selected a domestic venue over an international one. We also approved and confirmed in advance the safety protocols of the venue — Pelican Grand Beach Resort.
Venue: Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Pelican Grand Beach Resort is located in sunny Fort Lauderdale. As you can see, it's yellow, happy, beach vibey and gorgeous. The rooms were spacious and the beds were comfortable. I can highly recommend this venue. And look at the stunning blue sky! It was gorgeous like that for the entire retreat, then it poured down rain the next day. What great timing!
Dinner, Cocktails and Handmade Gift Exchange
Our first order of business on Sunday was to gather for dinner at the lovely OK 2000 Restaurant where we enjoyed outdoor dining on the veranda with warm sand and ocean waves just steps away as our backdrop. The menu included, among other things, Charcuterie (with dripping fresh local honeycomb), Ahi Tuna Tartare (my personal fave!), Roasted Beets, Thyme-Roasted Free-Range Chicken, and Shrimp & Scallop Scampi. Desert options included Key Lime Pie and Death by Chocolate Cake. We topped it off with a round (or two) of the beverage of everyone's choice.
Here is a picture of our small but mighty gift exchange table. We exchanged gifts like hand-pounded sterling silver earrings, fragrant wooden hand-lasered smart phone stands, handmade picture album books, hand-poured soy wax candles, silky handmade soap, and lavender hand sanitizer.
First thing Monday morning, Maria Gelnett of Nia With Maria hosted a wonderful time of Nia dance, stretching, and meditation. Here she is leading the way with participants Robin Parker Schmidt of Dragonfly Soap and Marilyn Dexter of Anthology Albums.
Lead + Pivot on the Patio
After Nia, we gathered for my signature Lead + Pivot presentation and workshop. This is one of my favorite shots from the retreat. Taken rom the 11th floor ballroom, the view down to the terrace we reserved for our outdoor masterminding was spectacular.The Lead + Pivot presentation and workshop included looking back at 2020 and casting our vision for 2021. Since our time was limited on the retreat, the masterminding is continuing this month inside our private retreat Facebook group.
If you know anything about me, you know I love supporting couple-preneurs. This year, I welcomed Dean and Meredith Dexter of Flying Monkey Manufacturing all the way from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Here is the focused couple taking notes during the Lead + Pivot presentation and masterminding.
Monday afternoon was reserved for free time and spa. Jennifer and Troy Smith headed to Flamingo Gardens. Here is some of what they saw.
Video and Video Marketing Training
Tuesday morning was invested in video and video marketing training. I tag-teamed with my husband, Darryl Johnson, on this one. Darryl has over 30 years of experience as a videographer and photographer, having worked with broadcast industry talent like Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, John Walsh, Ted Koppel, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Barbara Walters, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, and on shows like Monday Night Football, Good Morning America and America's Most Wanted.
Darryl shared great tips to help entrepreneurs present themselves in the best light as they market their businesses online using tools like Facebook Live, Instagram stories, YouTube and others. Among other things, we covered camera orientation (landscape vs. portrait), lighting, audio, how to achieve the best color effects and how to create videos that appeal to your target audience. I think this presentation will become an Indie Business Retreat staple!
On Tuesday afternoon, we enjoyed a fabulous 2-hour cruise through the inter-coastal waterway. As you can see, the pink and lavender sunset was breathtaking, as were the waterside mansions and super yachts of people entrepreneurs like Marcus G. Smith, owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Ted Turner of CNN fame.
Questions for discussion and sharing
Have you ever joined me on one of my entrepreneurial retreats? I'm already planning another one for January 2022 at a Caribbean destination we've never been to before. Won't you join me? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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