Today I’ve decided to frame up some of the major lessons I’ve learned leading retreats (40+) for the last seven years in the format of a 10-part series of short articles pulled from a resource I’ve developed called “The 10 Core Principles That Make Up Your Captivation Factor.”

The Captivation Factor has to do with the way you own the room, and draw people toward you. Captivation is NOT about being loud or commanding, and it doesn’t happen in just one way. In fact, trying to be captivating is often the killer of the natural skill you possess. So what does it really take?

Captivation is critical when you’re hosting a retreat – it makes all the difference between a workshop with “nice information” and an experience that transforms. Are you ready?

Captivation Factor IconCaptivation Factor #1: I know what I’m about in my business and I own it!

Picture it: You’re at an event for business owners and you’re having a conversation with another business owner you just met. They ask you the standard question, “What do you do?”

You answer with a well-prepared and perfectly scripted response. (OK, so maybe it’s not so perfect, but you at least know the thing you’re “supposed to” say).  Then they go off-script. Perhaps they tell you their opinion about your topic, which is different from yours. Perhaps they ask you if you also do “Y” that is related to but actually different than what you do. How do you respond?

How you respond in these day to day conversations give us a good picture of how you’re doing with Captivation Factor #1 – I know what I’m about in my business and I own it.

It’s important to find clarity within yourself such that regardless of how someone else responds to you, you are grounded in your own Truth and won’t be swayed off track.

You’re going to have lots of beliefs about yourself, your business, your subject matter, and life in general. That’s normal. Yet your business can’t stand for all of these things or it will truly dilute your power as a mission-driven entrepreneur. When you have that one core “why” in your business, the one perspective that you want to align with above all else, you are unshakable in conversations that relate to, and even don’t relate to, what you do in the world.

When I work with my clients I refer to this as the “Clarity Point™.” The Clarity Point™ is what you know for sure. It guides all that you do in your business and your life and allows you to move through the world with a confidence that captivates, or draws people in. It completely guides your business but is not your business – in other words it is not necessarily your tagline or even language you use in your marketing directly, but it helps you stay clear in confident in guiding your clients and your work.

There are a series of exercises that help someone discern their Clarity Point™ which I teach in my Retreat and Grow Rich™ program that are too much to share here, but I will give some examples of Clarity Points to help you get a sense of the energy behind them. They are a declaration for what is so, in the perspective that individual.

  • Who you are being is more important than what you are doing.
  • You are just right.
  • You have to LET your SELF be seen.
  • Connection is healing and healing is connection.
  • You already know.
  • Be a target for Spirit.

Knowing your Clarity Point™ allows you to keep the most important thing as the most important thing, and focus your conversations, and especially the leading of your retreat, on what is most important in guiding your clients to the outcome you stand for.

How does this Clarity really help?

I’ll give you some examples of how this clarity helps in real life. When I was first starting my business, it was key. I didn’t call it a “Clarity Point™” back then, but it was the thing that made the difference. I kept in the back of my mind the statement “Who you are being is more important than what you are doing.” I knew that to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I knew had a gift of helping people see how they were being. So as I went out into the world to meet clients, I didn’t have any experience with small business. I didn’t know what the people I was meeting were experiencing and I didn’t necessarily know their business situations. But I knew that if their BEING wasn’t jiving with their words, I could help them.

My recent Clarity Point™ is “You have to let your self be seen.” This comes from something I’ve learned over the years – that the real reason people struggle in business is because they aren’t willing to let their true selves shine. That we put up barriers to people seeing and knowing the real us because we never learned it was safe to do so. Again, I can spot when people are holding back or hiding out from alignment with their Truth. If this is the reason they aren’t fully thriving, I know that I can serve them.

(Incidentally, being Captivating is all about letting your SELF be seen!)

As you can see the Clarity Point™ can change over time as you grow. However it will generally hold firm for a few years so no bright shiny syndrome!

Your clarity also helps when you’re leading retreats. Lets say a participant asks a question that is out of left field or irrelevant based on the work you really do in the world. When you’re grounded in this level of clarity you can quickly let them know that their question isn’t really addressing the heart of why they are there, and redirect them to a question that would be more powerful for them. That’s how transformation really happens – but you’ve got to be owning your own clarity.

It goes beyond your business!

This month I took a long awaited trip. It was the 10-year anniversary of my stepdad’s death. My mom, sister and I went to Niagara Falls to celebrate. When he was diagnosed with cancer, my stepdad let us know that he had a goal of seeing the falls in his lifetime. He never made it there.

When my stepdad passed it changed everything for me. It made me wake up to the fact that life is not guaranteed. It is also helped me to see how disconnected we all were as a family. There were so many things I’d never learned about him or from him, and as he was fighting his disease there seemed to be no space to have the conversation, “I know you aren’t dying but just in case, tell me about your childhood.” I got very present to how hard it is for human beings to share themselves with one another. This inspired me to want to turn that around.

Fast forward 10 years later as I headed out on my trip with my mom and sister, I took a moment to get present to my Clarity Point™ – you have to let your SELF be seen. And I made a commitment to bring the FULL me to the trip. Not the me who behaves in ways that make my family comfortable by holding back or taking charge. Being the real me created a smooth trip of connection and intimacy… and ZERO drama! A true Niagara miracle.

So what about you?

How clear are you about who you are and what you’re about? How skillfully do you redirect a conversation to the conversation you really want to have? How able are you to say, “No, I don’t do that?” when someone is asking you to work outside your genius? How easily do you stand for your Truth when others may see it in a different way? Are you able to stay grounded in your own intention when things don’t quite go as you envision? If so, you’ve taken the first step to being Captivating, in your marketing and in your life, AND in front of your retreat room!


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