On Saturday, November 1st, eight San Diego entrepreneurs returned from a four-day business retreat, led by Felena Hanson, to Catalina Island. The Flight Club retreat, which has happened annually for the last several years, is an intimate retreat open to women who are serious about building their business success road-map.
Last year, the retreat took place abroad with the Hera Hub Sweden family in Uppsala, Sweden. This year, the strategic business excursion was on the beautiful Catalina Island, just off the southern California coast. Despite the location; the goal always being to encourage small business owners to get away from their routine to focus on their business strategies.
Mornings were filled with hiking, yoga, or writing, and afternoons included in-depth and hands-on strategic planning business growth sessions. In the evenings, celebrations of the day’s accomplishments were shared over a wine, karaoke, and music-filled night embracing the many delights of Catalina Island.
Transportation to the island was by way of ferry, for most, with the exception of two participants who decided to “take a flight” to flight club. Literally. Nichole MacDonald and Jenny Gerling of Sash Bag, hitched a ride on a private plane after a morning meeting to join the rest of the group on the island.
To kick off the week, Felena Hanson began with a “State of the Union” address to welcome the group. The first day’s business focus was an emphasis on measurable, big-picture goals (1-year and 5-7ear), personal and business mission and values and a high-level snapshot of it all at a 30,ooo foot view. Each participant evaluated what was working (and not working) in their business as well as pinpointing things currently being done that no longer were necessary.
Each day Flight Club business owners explored a critical business area. Some explored past target demographics while others dove into new market opportunities. Each took a close look at business financials, evaluating revenue funnels, creating financial projections and understanding what key performance indicators would be most important for the growth of their respective companies.
Service-based business owners focused on developing efficient processes to make a transition of ownership and step out from the spotlight of running their business while those with products tackled the variety of challenges that come with manufacturing and distribution. With a unique mixture of participants, the conversations were wide-ranging.
The inspiring and distraction-free environment allowed each the dedicated time needed to dive into each of their businesses. Each was able to walk away with energy, a clearer picture of their business’ future and most importantly, an action plan to get it all rolling when they stepped back into their normal routines.
While a lot of strategic planning took place, it’s safe to say, quite a bit of fun, bonding and celebrating happened as well.
Here what some of our participants had to say:
Karen Van Dyke, Founder & Certified Senior Advisor at Senior Care by Design
I started out with saying no when I heard about the Flight Club. One might say I was kicking and screaming (sort of) – I won’t do it. You know, those internal dialogues you have that don’t serve you all the time…actually this voice ended up motivating me to go. I figured if I was in high resistance, I probably should do it.
The four days of exploring my business from every angle possible were the perfect steps for me to take in pressing the reset button for 2019 and beyond. The magic of the women gathered coupled with Felena’s business brilliance (and patience!) was a perfect combination of renewing all that is fabulous about my company, Senior Care By Design. And I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that we had a lot of fun along the way. With the utmost gratitude…
Kathryn Evans, Global Director of Diagnostics Sales & Marketing at Hematogenix
Once again, this year’s Flight Club did not disappoint. At this time in my entrepreneurial career, I’m shutting down one company and mapping out my next adventure. The event was a keen reminder that “it’s not always what you can just take from an event, but it’s also what you can give.”
I was able to really have a breakthrough to see that I was not just interested in pursuing the next entrepreneurial venture but I was committed and I took massive action on the spot to make it happen, which was emotional.
Being surrounded by a group of women who have the same mindset, ambition, and goal is extremely fulfilling. It’s an excellent environment, and I would encourage you to want to be a part of it.
Sylvia Norman, President & Founder of Sandhill Crane Diagnostics
Getting away to a beautiful and relaxing location with a great group of female colleagues provided the perfect environment to focus on business goals for the next year. It was a pleasure to be part of such a creative and supportive group!
Watch this video testimonial from Cindy J. Lin, CEO and Co-Founder of Hove Social Good Intelligence