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So here’s the business model problem that keeps retreats empty: you don’t actually have a business model that is set up for how people buy retreats.

Hi and welcome to today’s podcast episode, “The Business Model Problem That Keeps Retreats Empty.” This is Darla LeDoux. I am the host of Retreat and Grow Rich, the podcast and we are in the midst of a new series called “The Retreat Business Model Series.”

In this series, I’ll be exploring various ways to use retreats to increase your revenue and to make a bigger impact with your clients. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about one specific problem that keeps people from filling their retreats. And within that I’m going to share five factors to having a client say yes to retreat with you. And these are things that you may not have thought about.

So here’s the business model problem that keeps retreats empty: you don’t actually have a business model that is set up for how people buy retreats.

I see this way too often, people decide, maybe spirit calls you to host a retreat, I totally get it. This happened to me. This happened to me way back when I was in corporate and I was first trained as a coach and I started getting the call to lead people on transformational journeys. However, even though I was getting this call, I didn’t fully trust it, and I really resisted it for a long time. And one of the reasons I resisted it so heavily is so many people said to me, “how are you going to make money at that?” And I was working as a chemical engineer and I believed them. I believed that in order to do this work that was calling to me and that I really loved, I was going to have to sacrifice making a living. And that didn’t really work well for me. And it took me a long time to actually say yes to the calling.

And even when I did finally say yes, I still believed it, I still thought I’m going to be broke because I’m making this choice to host retreats. So I really got committed to creating a business that could be profitable and actually have me make more money than I did as an engineer hosting retreats and I set out to kind of sort out how to do that.

And the issue is so many people get this call to host retreats and yet they miss the information about how to actually have it work. Have your retreats filled and have your retreats be profitable. I see countless retreats being advertised. I see lots of posts about my next retreat, and here’s the page, right? So someone makes a beautiful post, post some amazing pictures of a fabulous location, and a link to register for their retreat.

And this is all great. And maybe you’ve seen these posts, maybe they’ve even been my posts, and you’ve seen them and you’ve gone, oh, maybe 1.  I would like to be there. That looks amazing. But maybe 2. Oh, this twinge of envy, because I wish that was my retreat. I wish I was doing that. And you’re seeing people doing this and thinking they’re really successful and they’re doing these retreats all over, but what you don’t know is that a lot of them get canceled and a lot of them lose money.

In fact, I was talking with someone who will be a guest in this series who met someone who has done eight retreats and not made a dime. Eight very successful retreats, right? They look successful based on all of the posts on social media, but they haven’t made any profit. I don’t want that to happen for you. I also don’t want you to have your room be empty. So what I want you to know is even for me today, I’ve been marketing retreats for 10 years, almost 10 years, nine and a half, and I’m filling retreats, you know, almost since the start of my business. And very rarely do I post a link to the retreat and have someone register.

Very rarely, I want you to get this, do I post a link to a retreat and have someone register.

I still post links to my retreats so people are aware of what I’m doing and it could be that my posts help sway someone who’s been in a decision process towards saying yes to come to our retreat, but the post itself is not responsible for filling the retreat.

So many people think I’m just going to make a really cool page, and sometimes people make a page that actually isn’t addressing anything that your clients need to understand before they make a decision. This is possible, but you might even have a really great page that walks people through the decision process in a really aligned way. Yet, if you’re still just posting it on Facebook, you’re not likely to fill your retreat, and this is what I’m going to tell you about today because you don’t need just a retreat. You don’t want a business where you’re hosting individual retreats on different topics all the time. This is the fastest way to make your work harder than it needs to be.

I host about eight retreats a year, but I only market one or two, really two, I have one that’s been an international retreat that I do and the other is a retreat that I do over and over and over again. It’s called Retreat and Grow Rich Amplify and that’s it. So a lot of people feel like, well, I’m going to do all these retreats, and I’m going to do one on self love and self care, and one on health, and one on relationship, and one on this, and one on that. And unless you have a huge following that is highly engaged, fully trusts you, and will do anything that you want, I don’t recommend that vision, let that vision go.

And what you want instead is to have a business model that’s centered around retreats that actually helps invite people to say yes to one retreat with you.

That’s their first decision is yes to one retreat with you.

You can find out more about the business model I recommend over on our podcast on episode 1 on the Retreat and Grow Rich business system. There’s even a little graphic you can download and everything.

What I want to focus on today is not so much the business system, over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing bits and pieces from the business model I recommend, today I want to talk about how we can make this mistake that keeps it hard to fill our retreats. And the way I want to approach that is to look at the five factors to consider when someone says yes to work with you. So saying yes to retreat with you is a big ass deal, because I’m not just saying yes to investing money, whatever you’re charging for your retreat, which by the way, we’ll talk about this when I get to speaking about rich retreats, but people obsess about what to charge for their retreat when it’s not that big of a decision actually.

So the investment, yes, while it has people be committed, it’s not the biggest piece that goes into their decision because yes, there’s an investment to register, there’s also an investment to travel to wherever your retreat is if you’re inviting people from all over the world, but there’s more to it than that. This decision is going to change their lives, right? Because if you’re offering transformation in your retreat, there’s five really specific reasons that this is a big deal for them to say yes, and you need to really understand that that’s what’s going on within them, that it’s not just so simple. So people put their link up to their page and they think people should just register.

I find, and I know I’ve been here, okay, so I’m admitting this, people can get mad that nobody’s registering. You know, people might comment and say, “this looks awesome, you’re awesome, you go duh, duh, duh.” But they don’t register, and it’s because you’re not really thinking about what goes into people registering.

So to shortcut the Retreat and Grow Rich Business System so that you get where I’m coming from, what I recommend is that you have some way for people to work with you. I call it a gateway program for them to invest a little bit and that doesn’t involve them having to get on a plane and travel. Where they can get to know you and your work and your philosophies, what it’s like to actually be in your energy field, what it’s like to interact with you, where you come from, what you believe, all of those things before you invite them to your retreat.

That way the people who love and resonate with you they’re already leaning in. And the people who are never going to be your people, you’re weeding them out through this process of offering this gateway program. I have a whole episode on it, so I’m not going to go any deeper into it right now.

What I want to share is these five factors which will help you understand why just a cold post about your retreat on Facebook is not going to be the best way to have someone say full on, I’m totally committed, yes to coming to your retreat.

So factor number one is what I call the tangibility factor.

So let’s dive in. So factor number one is what I call the tangibility factor, the tangibility factor. So when we market, just in general, if you’re a coach, consultant, creative or healer, and you’re learning about how to market your business, we’re taught to offer tangible benefits, right? We want them to have something they can see, feel, and touch that they will get as an outcome from working with you. And this is true when you’re marketing retreats as well.

It’s important to include tangible outlet outcomes for your retreat, like making more money or having more free time, or having better sex, etc. However, when you’re offering transformational live experiences, you also need to leave room for magic.

We need to choose language that signals transformation to your ideal client in a way that they can hear it. I teach a concept that I call “the onion” when it comes to offering transformation. A client who is closer to the center of the onion, as I call it, they’re going to need different language cues to understand that they’re going to be having a breakthrough when they come to this retreat than someone who’s further out on the onion. Further out on the onion means they’ve been through layers. They’ve transformed a bit. They may be have a different language about transformation than someone who’s just beginning has.

In other words, back when I was in corporate and I had my first coach training, which blew my mind and I say it cracked my shell, because prior to this training I had no clue that the things that were happening in my life or that things that had happened in my life when I was younger were having an effect on me as a 20-some year old. I had no clue about that, honestly. I was sure that everything that happened to me was just fine, and it was in the past, and it was having no impact, and I was very certain about that. And the language that someone would need to have reached me at that point in my life would have been very different than the language you’d need to reach me now, because at that time I didn’t know words like transformation. I didn’t know words like energy, or essence, or a mindset, or limiting belief, or vibration. I didn’t know those words. So to reach me then would have looked totally different than to reach me now. And the things that you would have had to say, what would have felt like, oh, I know something’s going to change in my life as a result of this retreat would have been very different then than now.

Right? The things that you would have said to me then today would feel boring and irrelevant, right? Like been there, done that yet the things that you’d need to say now for me would land to the old me as really out there or irrelevant, right? So you really need to know who your person is at any layer of the onion. No matter if they’re new to transformation or they teach transformation, like the people that I work with. You want to speak to practical, tangible outcomes, right? More money, more energy, better health, improved relationships, get a promotion, you know, get a career that’s aligned with your purpose. Things like this. Something that’s tangible and those things might be very similar for someone who’s newer on the journey and further out on the journey. Okay. They could be totally different but they could be very similar. But the language you use to talk about the transformational aspects, or the magic of the retreat, is going to be very different if they’re close in on the onion or further out.

So you want to be really tuned in to the language cues of your person.If you make your retreat marketing more esoteric, people will won’t be able to provide their logical mind with a reason to prioritize this expenditure. So you do need that practical outcome that speaks to the logical mind. Even for the most spiritual, you know, love and joy type of person, they are still, their rational mind will still want that practical thing that they can tell themselves to justify the expense, even though their soul is saying yes to the energy you’re putting out. And it doesn’t have to be a whole big litany of practical benefits. It can be one thing, right? I used to market, “make more money while being true to you.” One thing that helps them say, yes, I want that, and yes, that’s worth investing in.

If you make your retreat marketing too practical and concrete, a lot of people go this other direction, people won’t understand that they’re embarking on a life-changing journey and again, then similarly, they won’t prioritize the experience.

So you need that tangibility sweet spot.

They need to know there’s something practical that’s going to change in their life, that they can categorize this- their left brain can categorize the expense, okay, you can think of it that way- but you also need enough magic that there’s a little bit of mystery and a little bit of, I’m not sure what’s going to happen here, but I know there’s a technique that’s going to help me see something I haven’t previously seen, which is going to help change my life and help me get that tangible outcome. So you’ve got to leave enough of that in there.

They don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to get the outcome. You want to know enough about how you’re going to get the outcome that you’re feeling really confident marketing the outcome. You may not know entirely how you’re going to get the outcome because this is a co-creation with spirit and this is my perspective, or my come from is that when each person registers, they’re contributing to the third mind or the mastermind along with you. And the energy of the container and spirit working through you helps to create the results. So you still may not know everything about how they’ll get the result, but you want to know something about your technique or your approach to the result so you feel in alignment and in integrity when you’re marketing it. If you need help with this, by the way, go to our website, go to and get some help, request some help download our kit, all of that.

Factor one is that tangibility factor and you’re looking for that tangibility sweet spot. This isn’t a formula. This is personal to you, who your client is, where you’re taking them, the transformation you provide. But ask yourself, am I in the sweet spot? And your intuition will help you know that. And as you reread your copy, or any marketing you’re doing for your retreat, you want to just be aware of that sweet spot, not too practical that they don’t, you know, recognize their life can change and not to woo woo that they can’t rationalize the expense. Okay? That’s number one.

Number two is the trust factor.

The trust factor. So when someone gets on a plane and rearranges their life to spend three days with you, they’re putting tremendous trust in you. Most human beings have trust issues, by the way. So be aware of that. This is part of why, you know, just posting a post isn’t gonna fill your retreat. Most of us at some point in our early experience of life had our trust broken.

So there is a trust factor. They’re putting a lot of trust in you. They’re also putting a tremendous trust in themselves and their own discernment. So they might be leaning into your retreat, but there’ll be having thoughts like, am I crazy? You know, to go across the country or go across the world to explore this thing? They’re wondering if they can trust that they will get what they came for. And what they’re really asking is do I trust you with my authentic self? Do I trust that you can help me access a part of me that I can’t see on my own? So what you’re looking for when you think about the trust factor is letting people know both they will be fully safe to be fully themselves, yet there’ll also be challenged to see things differently.

And this is an interesting balance, right? And it’s really, really important because most people have walls up to their authentic self. And probably the reason you’re drawn to host retreats is because you want to help people let those walls down. So I’m imagining you’re, you are naturally a really safe space, but what you want to understand is most people are coming in with trust issues. So they’re coming with a wall up. And if you think about any event you’re going to go to, like think of something on your calendar in the future, like within the next month that you have,  I have a family reunion coming up for my inlaws family, right? So just imagine something like that, right? Most of us already have pre-decided when we’re going to any kind of event who were going to be there to show up in the way that we think people want us to be, and to hide our authentic self and keep us safe, right? What is my strategy for surviving here?

So you really want people to come to your retreat willing to let go of their strategy for surviving. So they need to trust, first of all, that it’s safe, that you won’t judge them and that you won’t allow judgment in the room. And also, though, that when their authentic self wants to show up, that you’ll be able to challenge and help them see something that they haven’t seen before.

You need to establish cues throughout your marketing and educational materials, everything that leads up to offering them your retreat, to let people know that you’re a safe space, that you walk your talk, that you have the results they’re seeking, which means you’re doing your own inner work and sharing vulnerably about that journey. They also need to trust that you are strong enough to challenge them when their ego tries to step in and put the wall up.

Now keep in mind they don’t likely have the language or training to understand when their ego’s talking. Some, some people do. It depends on where your ideal client is in the onion, right? But sometimes those of us who actually do have the training and understand it can be the most challenging. But you need to signal to them and share by example what it looks like to be challenged by you in a loving way and in a safe way.

So there’s several strategies for this that we teach in our programs.

How do you demonstrate for them an example of what it will look like to be challenged by you? And this is really, really important. This is why there needs to be opportunity for them to interact with you and build trust before you make that invite to the retreat. It’s just critical.

I’ll tell you a story. I went to, actually the first live business retreat I went to many years ago, which then from that I actually purchased a high level program with someone, which totally changed my life. But in that event, it was actually quite a big retreat, like tons of tables and microphones and all of that, but it was very transformational. I went to the microphone and I asked a question and I got coaching from the leader at the microphone. And here is something that was fascinating. A lot of people came up to me afterwards, and that was my first experience of this so I wasn’t actually fully prepared for it, but people sought me out. And the number one question they asked me was, how did you feel when you were being coached?

So it wasn’t around, you know, my breakthrough, or my insight, or my life, or anything like that, it was how did you feel when you were being coached? What they were asking is, did that leader make you feel safe? Because they could see that I was being challenged. Did you feel safe? Did you feel gotten, did you feel seen and heard? How did it feel to interact with them?

Now to me, I thought it was obvious because I had a big breakthrough, but that was the thing people were curious about. That’s what people want to know about you, will it feel loving, and safe, and will you feel heard and gotten when being challenged? That’s the trust factor.

Okay, so that’s number two. The second factor you need to think about that people are considering when they’re making a decision to register for your retreat.

The third factor that I want you to know is what I call the visibility factor.

So when someone makes a decision to attend your retreat, they’re making a decision to get visible on many levels. If they’re traveling and arranging childcare or asking their family to pick up some slack while they are away, the people in their life will know that they’re investing in themselves. So when someone takes a course behind their laptop, no one knows they made that decision and no one is holding them accountable to their results. It can be invisible, right?

People take a whole lot of courses and don’t finish them or don’t act on them, but it feels safe and it makes them feel like they’re doing something, but there’s no visibility to what they’re doing and so they can actually just continue to act like they’re making progress without actually making change.

The moment they travel, all eyes are on them. People are wondering what they’re up to, right? They’re posting on Facebook. People are seeing that they’re traveling. They want to know what’s going on. They’re worried they’re in a cult. They’re checking in to see that they got some sort of change and that it was worth it.

There’s a different level of visibility, and therefore accountability, when someone attends your retreat. This is a very big deal and this doesn’t mean that, this isn’t to scare you, but you want to be really aware of this, that this is all that’s coming up for someone. Now if they’re in a habit of regularly traveling, then you know, this might not be as big of a deal. But if, especially if someone’s new to attending retreats or traveling for their own personal growth, it’s a big deal. And even if you do it a lot, it’s still a big deal.

Even when someone hires a coach one on one, you can really get slippery, hide your patterns, you can disappear, you can stop scheduling calls. But there’s another aspect to the retreat that is the visibility factor, which in a retreat, there is no hiding. You’re going to be visible. You will be seen. In addition, there’s even more to this visibility, right? So the individuals in the retreat are going to get visible, especially if it’s an intimate retreat. But even if you have a bigger retreat, if you design it really well for transformation, you will create systems for how they will be visible so no one disappears. No one can hide.

As the leader, you’re dealing with your own visibility factor, you will be seen and you cannot hide. You have to show up. And you have to share, and be vulnerable, and take leadership, and be willing to challenge people, and rock the boat. And often as the leader, it’s your own fear of this level of intimate visibility that can subconsciously repel registrants.

In other words, if you’re afraid of them really seeing you, because they will, then you may secretly want it not to happen, even though that’s not really what you want, right? If there’s a part of you that secretly wants to cancel your retreat, that’s the exact result you will create.

And there is no way around this visibility factor. If you have a big event, I work with a lot of clients who who recognize this, that you know what? Speaking on stages at a big event, I can be with that. That can feel comfortable for me because there’s distance between me and my audience, right? Basically, you can talk over people and survive speaking to a big room, but in an intimate room for multiple days, when people are going on a transformational journey, which means their stuff is going to be up, they might be behaving in ways that are different than they would normally behave, right? Because normally people are going to be on their best behavior, right? But when you’re in transformation, you are going to be practicing behaving in ways that are different than your normal, you know, conditioned self would behave.

So you’ve got all of these things coming up and so there’s no way around it. You can’t lessen your visibility with fancy marketing or anything like that. You’re going to get visible. Your going to be called into a new level of leadership as you leave this room and people are going to see you there, they’re aware of everything in this intimate space.

What you can do is be aware of this visibility factor and what you can do is speak to the courageous hero within your client who is willing to get visible in honor of their own transformation. Incidentally, inherent in being truly seen is transformation. My favorite quote, if you’ve listened to this, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, is by Kurt Wright, who says, “as a human being, we cannot accept a part of ourselves we haven’t shared with another human being and had validated rather than violated.” What that means is we’ve got to let our stuff get visible so people can see it and validate it so we don’t have to hide it anymore.

So inherent and getting visible as transformation, inherent in being truly seen is transformation. So you as the leader need to embrace this visibility factor for yourself, right? Start getting comfortable getting vulnerable, being seen, letting your guard down in as many ways as possible because that is what is going to have you be able to hold the space for their visibility and when their fear of visibility gets triggered at the decision to register for your retreat.

So as a recap, we have the tangibility factor. We have the trust factor. We have the visibility factor. Now we have the time factor.

This is number four, the time factor.

So another unique feature of a live retreat, which is actually shared by any sort of live educational event, is that there is a hard date and time and location for the experience.

At a certain point there’s a deadline. There’s no deciding next week or next month. The time is now and date conflicts and data objections are really real. Or are they? Yes, there are some date conflicts, such as getting married, or well, getting married that are immovable or not easily rescheduled. Most things are moveable.

I’ve had a client reschedule her grandmother’s hundredth birthday celebration to attend a retreat. Okay. 100th birthday only comes once a lifetime if we’re lucky. Right? So I’ve had people reschedule vacation. I’ve had people miss things that they felt obligated to come to because,  you know, of whatever programming they have, and actually the decision to make that change created their transformation, the decision to speak to someone in their life and say, you know what, I’m not able to do this. That actually created the change.

So most things are movable. The question is, are you willing to have this conversation with people to look at what’s really going on that this date conflict feels permanent or unworkable?

So there is either that they aren’t actually committed to the outcome of your retreat at the level of getting uncomfortable with their time, or they’re really not a fit for your retreat, but they’re being too polite to say so. I’ve had people say, “oh, I have something at that time” before they’ve ever heard the date, right? What that really means is I’m not interested in your retreat, here’s my excuse, right?

So a lot of people in the process of marketing your retreat are going to tell you they have a date conflict and you want to explore that with them and be willing to get uncomfortable. There’s a guy named Albert Gray who has a paper called, now I’m blanking on the name of it, but it’s all about what the common denominator of success is, what it’s called. And he said the common denominator of success is being willing to talk with people about things they may not want to talk about.

So they may not want to explore their level of commitment to transformation and what it would take to be able to make the date work. And, you know, what they could reschedule. And if this is actually part of their growth journey to reschedule and prioritize what’s most important to them. It’s not that everybody should reschedule things cause your retreat’s not right for everybody, but you want to really explore that. A lot of people will have a breakthrough in people, pre-people pleasing by deciding to rearrange, right? Or if they really have a money conflict, but they’re using the date as an excuse. You want to explore that because money scarcity belief is something that you want to help your clients understand.

Not everyone will be willing to reschedule. Not everyone should. And people are free to have whatever priorities they want. Your job is to help them discern the priority of this transformation in an authentic way, rather than giving them the out of the date conflict before they even consider the opportunity of the transformation.

So what this might look like is not putting dates on your page so people can’t rule it out. So you can at least find out if someone’s interested, because if they’re interested in this transformation, are committed to this transformation, but they can’t make the date, you can always use that to know, oh, let me do another date. Right? But a lot of times people hear, a lot of people say, oh, I have a date conflict, I have a date conflict. And so then they go reschedule their retreat. And those same people have a conflict because they weren’t actually committed. So don’t let the date conflict to be an issue. So even if, so you may keep the date off of your page and just let people go through an application process and get on the phone and speak to you, or you may just put a little note, alternative dates available, please apply. Or if someone says, “I can’t make that date,” you could say, hey, let’s have a conversation anyway because you know, if this is really a fit for you, there may be another option for how we can work together.

I always recommend people have another option. So if they can’t make your retreat, maybe you have a three month package to work with you, one on one by phone or a private retreat, right? Okay. You can’t make those dates. Let’s work privately together, here’s the data I have available, you fly in, we’ll have a retreat that’s just for you. So there’s lots of options. But what I want you to be aware of is that the time factor is a factor when it comes to adding retreats to your business and it, so it’s different than a program that’s kind of accustomed to whenever they want to start.

What’s great about this is there’s built in deadlines both for you and your clients when it comes to making the decision if they want to come, right? So this is what’s really great is it’s a reason to activate people and get them to choose now versus later. Whereas when you have a coaching program that can start at any time, there’s no real reason, right? It’s like, “oh, I’ll contact them next week, call, ask them later.” But when there’s a hard date, there’s a hard date.

So that’s number four. The time factor, and you just really want to be aware of this in everything around the marketing for your retreat, and not just the marketing for your retreat, but your business model, right? This is why the business model that I teach really works, because with the gateway program, you have a place for people who can’t make the date. You have something to offer them that is a place for them until the next retreat date comes to be, and we’ll talk more about this in this series.

Number five, factor number five is the control factor.

The control factor, and I alluded to this a little bit earlier. We all have strategies for survival in all situations. We have the things that we do and the things that we don’t do as a matter of course, right? This is who I am. Our ego has crafted these things to keep us safe. Because we have always been a certain way, we have a pretty good idea of the outcome we’ll get if we continue to be the same way. We are each in our own way. Total control freaks, because control makes us feel safe. When your client registers for your retreat, they’re stepping into a container in which they don’t really know what will happen. At least if you’re designing a powerful transformational experience,  they shouldn’t know what’s going to happen because this is part of the transformation.

And even if you describe your agenda hour by hour, which I don’t recommend, they’re still not really gonna know what to expect because they don’t know who else is going to be there or what conversations will come up. There’s a lot of unknowns. So a, you know, and as I said, if you’ve designed a retreat the way I recommend with a powerful awareness creating experience on day one, they’re very likely to experience a loss of control at some point during your retreat. And this is really great for transformation. However, talking about loss of control is not great for your sales, right? Because people don’t want to lose control even though they do.

So here’s what’s interesting. Even if you have a retreat that’s filled with tangible, practical benefits and people think they can imagine how it’s going to go. If you’ve designed a transformational experience as part of your curriculum, even if you don’t talk about it on your website, which I recommend not specifically talking about the transformational experience, like exactly what you’ll do, your clients will sense it.

There is an invisible energy that surrounds a transformational retreat. When you’re really clear about the transformation and the soul of the retreat is born, people can tap into it. Their intuition can tap into that energy of the soul of the retreat, and they have a sense of what’s coming, even if they don’t know what’s coming. Okay, this is really, really important.

So if my conscious mind has no idea what to expect, my subconscious mind can be tuning into it and sense the impending transformation. And my ego gets nervous. My ego wants to protect me. So our ego will start to feel out of control well before the decision to attend has ever been made. If you’ve ever felt that, like, uneasy feeling in your stomach about a decision, even though you know it’s the right decision for you, that’s what’s going on,

You know this is happening as the person filling the retreat when someone has a lot of reasons come up for not going, even though you and they have identified that there are a perfect fit. If you’re in a live conversation with someone, you can address this with them. However, often they’re having this experience all from behind their laptop, reading your registration page and you have no idea this is happening, right? Cause they’re going through this whole decision process without speaking to you. They’re evaluating, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money. The dates don’t work. All of these things, yet you don’t even know, right? So you might be putting out an amazing retreat. You have no idea if a hundred people want to come or zero people want to come when this is happening without them talking to you. This is why it’s so important to have strategies that get your client prepared to say yes to the transformation, not to the retreat, to the transformation that will happen in their life and get them excited and inspired by the possibility of releasing control and discovering new parts of themselves.

And there’s several ways you can do this, and we teach this in our programs, how to really get your clients prepared to say yes to the transformation so when you present the retreat they’re seeing this and experiencing this feeling of “I’m going to lose control” as a positive, because it’s something they want because they know on the other side of that loss of control is their freedom.

So that’s number five is the control factor. So again, I’m going to recap. We have the tangibility factor, the trust factor, the visibility factor, the time factor, and the control factor. And these five things need to be taken into account when you design your retreat business model so that you’re not spending all of your time trying to overcome these things in the wrong ways and not optimizing for the people who say yes because they’re ready.

It’s totally worth it. Okay. At this point, you might be thinking, there’s a lot of obstacles here. Is it worth it? It’s totally worth it and you can design your business to actually work for you. There are ways to make this streamlined and easy.

For years, I sold a course and only people who had taken the course were invited to my retreat and the course strategically addressed these five factors within it so that when I made the offer to come to the retreat, they were ready and 70% of people who bought the course attended the live retreat.

For several years, I had a funnel set up, Facebook ad to opt-in gift to live webinars, which offered our course with a ticket to the retreat. Live humans registered for my retreat every single time I offered it, without me ever having a sales conversation with them along the way. This is because my marketing addressed these five factors.

So how you structure your marketing, and how you structure your offerings, and what goes in them and how you be about them, right? How you present these concepts will help you master these five factors. This is personal for you in your business. There’s no one size fits all formula, but there are a lot of pieces of a formula and a structure that I’ve created to help you make decisions about how the system will work for you, and what goes where in your marketing and the content of your actual programs.

So in our programs we give you this full system.

If you want to learn more about that, you can head on over to and really, you know, help you start to understand the retreat leader archetypes, what I call the rooms in your castle. What type of retreat you’re doing, all of this.

Okay. I hope this has been tremendously valuable. Looking at the business model problem that keeps retreats empty, and I hope you’re leaning in to our business model. Remember that that’s over an episode one that’s all available to you at no cost, just your energy investment. And stay tuned in this series because over the course of this series we’re going to explore, I’m going to talk with several people who follow the Retreat and Grow Rich business system, whether they call it that or not or know that or not,  so you’ll get to see real life examples of how this is working for businesses at all different levels.

And we’ll also explore creative ways to make your retreats profitable if you’re not in the business of really offering transformation over time like I am. So we’re going to explore that as well in the coming episodes.

Thanks for being here. Please share your comments. If you would love to give a review, it would be much appreciated.

This is Darla LeDoux of Retreat and Grow Rich. Signing off. Bye, everyone.

Have you been called to integrate retreats into the way you do business?

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