The Profit Planner Retreat
For most of 2018 I’ve been a part of the Profit Planner Lounge, a membership focused growing into the CEO of your business, planning for profit through the year, and identifying and prioritizing the profit-generating tasks inside your business. It’s been a really instrumental tool for the growth of my business this year, and Haley, the entrepreneur and total girl-boss who runs it has grown into a friend.
When she announced that she wanted to bring the magic of the Lounge to an in-person retreat I signed up without hesitation. I knew I needed to go, not only to finally meet her in person, but also to have access to her business mind in this kind of setting. This girl knows her stuff, and has been the catalyst to many of the changes I made in my business this year.
And the Profit Planner Retreat did not disappoint! It was an amazing experience and highlight of my year for sure. I joined 15 other female entrepreneurs and small business owners, Haley, and her team at an incredible lodge about an hour outside Nashville, TN from November 15th - 17th. Almost all of us stayed on site for the weekend and enjoyed some incredible weather and scenery at our Retreat location.
A bonus to attending the Retreat was being partnered up with 2 others at the event who are in similar phases of business to be our Mastermind for 2019. So the whole event began on Thursday afternoon with introductions and getting to meet our Mastermind partners. They had us seated at the same table throughout the event, which worked great for getting to know each other, our businesses, and all be on the same page moving forward to support each other in our goals and plans for next year. It was genius. I was partnered with 2 fellow designers, Meg of Little Dot Creative and Sam of Sam DiNicola Digital. We hit it off instantly and I can’t wait to continue to work with them next year. We’re planning on meeting every other week, and I know that having them on my team will be a total game-changer for my business!
The first learning session on Thursday was all about assessing where our business currently is in terms of departments or pillars. We evaluated and broke things down into Operations, Sales, Finance, Mindset, and Leadership and got a starting score to work with and use to guide our goals we set. Then we talked about strengths and weaknesses and moving forward from a place of strength, even if that means doing a big pivot in our business. This evaluation is something I know I’m going to go back through every quarter to see and track my growth. Loved this exercise!
The session ended with the always-lovely Liz White leading us all through a guided meditation to get super clear on our vision for our life and business in 2019. It was a very powerful moment for me, and an amazing way to start off the event because the best metric for success in your business is if its feeding and supporting the vision you have for the life you want to lead.
Thursday evening ended with going to get food with my girls Carley and Alyssa. We’d only just met at the airport that morning and we shared a car for the weekend, but we had an instant connection like we’d been friends for years. So grateful to have these women in my life now.
After getting up early Friday morning to watch and photograph the sunrise and go on a couple walks with my new friends we started the next learning session. This was where Haley’s 90-Day Profit System came into play. We started with our big income goal for the year and then broke it down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily numbers, making that big number feel totally manageable. Then we separated out our income sources, set a goal for each of those offerings per month, and then broke those down even further so we know how many of each offering we need to sell to reach our goal. Once I got started I realized I had capacity for so much more so I went back and doubled my revenue goal for 2019! And I have a plan for how to reach those numbers every month. Its such an empowering feeling!
Having a vision + knowing your numbers = empowerment in business
After lunch and a big group walk around the grounds we dove into the next learning session called The SOA Method. This powerful breakdown of business departments, tasks in each department, seeing the big picture of what tasks are pushing leads and sales, cutting the fluff and then systematizing, outsourcing or automating the rest was a total game-changer. I’ve never before seen my business from this birds-eye view, and I love the clarity it gave me. I can now clearly see how my weekly emails lead to sales, and how the connections I make on Instagram and the time spent there directly leads to money coming into my business.
We post-it noted our way through our businesses and ended the day with a clear picture of what tasks are profit-generating, where we should be focusing our time, what we can delegate or not, what we can completely cut that’s just wasting our time, and the metrics that matter when tracking these tasks.
The next day was all about execution and putting into play the plan we just made. Haley demonstrated her new favorite project management software, ClickUp, and taught us how to implement the plan we made into our very own Playbook for 2019. We took our post-it notes, separated them out by business department and then gave due dates and pulse meters for each task.
During this part of the event Haley had me come up on stage to map out my business model inside ClickUp and walk me through how to set everything up for my own Playbook. It was like doing a hot seat call with her and I so appreciated having her mind on my business for bit. She was inspiring, insightful, and so helpful.
The Profit Planner Retreat will go down as a total highlight of 2018 for me, and I know my business is forever changed by the time I spent there, the things I learned, and the amazing women I connected with.
If you’re looking for this kind of clarity in your business too, I’d love to invite you to join me and Haley inside the Profit Planner Lounge, a monthly membership where you’ll find community, mini-courses on things like Pinterest, passive products, pricing, and automating your business, Quarterly Planning Parties, Office Hour calls and Hot Seats. Its been one of the best things I did for myself and my business this year and you’ll love it! Find out more here.
I can’t wait to see where Your Ampersand Studio goes in 2019, and I’m honored to have you along for the journey. Have you ever been to a retreat or conference? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please share in the comments below. Here’s to big dreams, even bigger goals and making the vision we set for our lives a daily reality!