Tips for Planning Your Own
Creative Business Retreat for 2009!

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One of the most important things you can do for your business is to plan a creative retreat. Even small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs need time away from their home office to reflect, dream and plan for the new year.

Taking time away will shift your perspective, help you tap into your creative energy and give you new ideas for the next year for attracting more of your perfect clients, more money and creating products and services. This time out of the office and away from daily activities will pay off in a big way because you'll be setting your direction for the year. When you set your direction - you are gathering your energy, your focus and your commitment - that's very powerful.

Here are a few tips about how to have a successful creative retreat:

  1. Schedule it on your calendar
    This time is important. It isn't an urgent fire you have to put out, but it will be some of the most important time you will spend on your business. This time will shape the success, your focus, and the outcome for your entire year! It can be a half day, whole day or a weekend. It will be worth it to focus on what's possible.

  2. Get out of your home office
    I find that my creativity sparks, ideas and inspiration don't usually come when I'm sitting at my desk. Going to a new environment like a café, a friend's retreat house, the lobby of a beautiful hotel or even renting a lovely space for the day will shift my energy. What do I mean by shifting my energy? Instead of having a "head down - what needs to be done next" focus, I'm able to have a "heads up and looking at the horizon" type of perspective. By shifting your location you are able to shift your perspective and then you shift what's ideas come to you. Just the act of planning to go on a creative retreat outside of your office will subconsciously start pulling new ideas and thoughts toward you. Suddenly you will find that you are making notes of ideas to explore when you have your retreat time. Your commitment will cause your creative momentum to start moving in that direction.

  3. Bring creative supplies
    You don't want to develop your marketing strategies, creative ideas and tap into inspiration with a boring yellow legal pad. Pack your favorite markers, pens, or pencils, add some colorful, fun sticky notes to capture spontaneous free flowing ideas, bring paper or a tablet for making mind maps of ideas (a great way to access your right brain creative thinking before your left brain logic kicks in).

  4. Set the stage for inspiration
    I find that inspirational ideas don't always just happen when I say it's time. I find that it works to "prime the pump." When I go on creative retreat time I bring an inspirational book (something by Wayne Dyer or Marianne Williamson works well when I want to be called into my purpose and passion; SARK books work well when I really want freedom to express my joy). Bring along your favorite magazines like O, Ode, an entrepreneur type magazine which will help you get you sparked. Read a few pages to get the creative juices flowing and ideas moving.

  5. Bring your Joyful Business Guide™ system
    The Joyful Business Guide system provides the smart business tools you'll need - for getting clear about your ideal client, marketing system, team planning, and vision story along with the attraction tools for setting your Intentions and focusing on your projects. We make it easy for you plan and then keep it alive each day. I hear stories all the time from entrepreneurs all around the world using their JBG's in cafes and libraries and having a surprisingly wonderful time planning for their business. (it's like they are breaking all the rules!) You can get yours here:
Know that the joy-infused work you are doing on your creative retreat will set your intentions in motion for 2009. Get clear about the few projects you want to focus on, the specific marketing strategies you want to implement, and watch the universe deliver up what you are focused on. When you are focused and clear - you'll see all sorts of opportunities, people, synchronicities and invitations coming your way to support your success. Then it's up to you to take the inspired next step...

If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog please feel free to do as long as you include our credit information: Written by Laura Howard West, Center for Joyful Business ( I would also appreciate it if you'd send us a copy for our media files.

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Laura West is an award-winning entrepreneur, and president and founder of the Center for Joyful Business. As a certified business coach, author and speaker, she helps thousands of women entrepreneurs create successful businesses filled with passion, purpose and prosperity. She is known for making marketing simple and fun for passion-based business owners. She is also the author and creator of Joyful Business Guide™ Home Study System, and she is author of the upcoming book, Awakening Your Inner Business Goddess. She is also the Fresh Entrepreneur Expert at Ladies Who and creator of their Fresh Entrepreneur workshop and workbook program.

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