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Women who work in the Wellness Industry often ask how they can run retreats as successfully as I seem to, so today I am sharing some of what I feel has made Vibrant Women a success.

  • Satisfaction – Yes yours of course! but also mine. I love what I do, and will continue until I stop loving it.  Those long haul flights take their toll, so I imagine there will come a day when I’ve had enough of that, but for now I have a deep sense of satisfaction with the work I do, this is numero uno!

  • Have multiple streams of income that dovetail into each other. One of the benefits of working for yourself is being able to claim professional development on your annual tax return, like many women do on our retreats. Also I keep adding bows to my string, which keeps me fresh and interested and creative but also provides new experiences for retreat participants and gives me new services to offer.  I am already a fully qualified Counsellor and Yoga Teacher, and last year I undertook my Nia Dance Teacher Training. I have also become interested in the powers and benefits of Bush Flower Essences. This year I am doing a Nutrition course, and a Detox Specialist course. Providing complimentary services gives people more opportunity to connect with you in different ways.

  • Being OK with the fact that not everything you do will make money. I used to have a yoga teacher whose classes I really enjoyed, but if someone missed a class, she would complain about the cost of petrol and room rental, and that if we couldn’t commit she would have to stop teaching. She would give us the guilts!  But people get sick, go away etc and can’t always commit 100% unconditionally to things. I teach yoga, because I love the practice and sharing it, not to make a lot of money. Because I’m not dependent on any one thing to be a success, the pressure to earn income can be shared across multiple avenues. Like everything in life you can’t be too attached to a particular outcome, you need to be realistic about your expectations and see the value in the work that is not purely financial. 

  • Word of Mouth, Referral and Repeat customers – This week I received my profit and loss statement, (thanks Cheryl) its tax time people! and one thing that was very obvious straight away was that in the past 12 months we spent 40% less on advertising than the previous year, and in fact it has been steadily declining over the past 5 years.  I owe this to the fact that over 70% of women who attend my retreats, (I am not making this up!) are repeat customers!  The rest are made up from word of mouth, referrals from professionals, facebook and google searches. We currently have 38 women booked in for retreats in 2017 and 29 of those are repeat participants. So all I can say to this is, Thank You! You can read our testimonials here to see what people are saying about our retreats.

  • Listening and adapting – It is critical to the success of all businesses that you listen to feedback and make changes accordingly. I have never received any feedback that I have not agreed with or not acted on as I want to improve the experience for future participants. Some things can’t be changed ie too many stairs or too much Indian food, hee hee we are in India people! Feedback from your clients is the best gift they can give you, receive it with the good intentions it is intended.

  • Remain reasonably priced – This is subjective of course and what is reasonable for one person is totally outrageous for another. I have recently seen retreats though that have made my mouth gape, these were in USD $3500 for 4 nights and $24,999 for a month long retreat, wowzas! both in Bali and both juice fasting retreats. The more successful you get doesn’t mean the more expensive you get. I pretty much know my target audience and what they can afford, I also know I what I would pay. The only regret I have is that the people who would most benefit from our services often can’t afford them, which is why have partnered with Joining Hands so we can support them to provide health and well-being services to vulnerable and homeless young people.

  • We are in a position to give back – I have mentioned Joining Hands above but we also support the communities we are visiting. I remember feeling so elated when I was able to offer a $200 donation to Bumi Sehat Birthing Clinic in Bali 4 years ago, I felt like, OMG! I’ve made it!! I can now give back, such a great feeling. So it may not have been much but it’s a balancing act with keeping things affordable and appreciating the communities you are visiting. You can view our, “How we give back page” here to see other ways we have supported communities during our travels.

  • We’ve made some wonderful friends and relationships – Even though this article is about how we measure the success of our business, probably the most important thing to me is the stories shared, the relationships formed, the laughs had, the tears cried, the love. Yes I am getting teary now and if you know me you will know this is pretty usual. I do feel the love, everyday so thank you and know that it goes both ways. The pure feeling of joy I get from my work is the ultimate measure of success. xx

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