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A Retreat for Professional Organizers

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Webinars, teleclasses, chapter meetings, conferences, and live workshops are all excellent ways to connect with and learn from your colleagues in the organizing industry, but I’ve recently learned about yet another option, and I’ve invited Jane Veldhoven of Get Organized! Professional Services to tell you all about it today.

Jane, I read in your blog about your recent Professional Organizer Retreat, and I’m sure my readers would love to know what it involved, and how they can do something similar.

Can you tell us what happens at a Professional Organizer Retreat?

The main objective is for us to get together to create our strategic plan for the new year.

Was it all about work, or did you get a chance for some R&R?

Oh yes, this year we started what will definitely become a part of our annual planning – we went to a fabulous spa for 7 hours where we did yoga, soaked in hot baths and steam rooms, and had a massage the day before our work.  It was truly amazing.

How much advance planning was required?

It was a team effort for sure but didn’t require a whole lot of advance planning – about 6 weeks.  We investigated the spa back in early December and the two of us who were flying booked our flights by mid-December so we could arrange the actual days we were together.

How many people attended?

We have five professional organizers in our group.

How did you find other organizers to team up with for the retreat?

We all attended a Strategic Planning Bootcamp for Organizers in January 2008.

It sounds like a lot of your focus was on planning for the coming months. Do you have a system in place to stay connected and follow up on each others’ plans?

Yes, we do.  We ‘meet’ by phone quarterly to review where we are and where we are going, hold each accountable for our plan and motivate one another as well.

Will you do it again in the future? With the same group?

Absolutely – January 2011 is on.  Plus we have planned a relax day together at a spa in Montreal following the POC conference.  Obviously we need a lot of relaxing in order to be strategic – ha!

Do you think a retreat is appropriate for new organizers, established organizers, or both?

I would say you need to be in business for three years before this process would be beneficial.  New organizers, though, should definitely sign up for some type of basic business planning workshops in their hometown.

Is it better for the group to be at the same stage in their business, or at different stages?

We have all been in business for at least five years and that seems to work well.  However, our vision for each business and our personal goals are very different which also works.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Since I started this process in 2008 I have been able to grow my business significantly. I would have to say that the time spent planning and creating a strategy has been a key component, but having a support group of other organizers has been the most amazing experience.

Readers, I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds like a wonderful way to work on your business and get a little R&R at the same time! What do you think?

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar Moreen Torpy on February 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    This sounds like a fabulous way to cloak business planning in a fun event, and make the process palatable! Whoda thunk it?

  2. Avatar Janet on February 13, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I know! It seems that someone could even make a little money coordinating this sort of event, but I’m not sure it would be as effective if the professional organizers didn’t already have an established relationship.

  3. Avatar The English Organizer on February 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Great idea! I love how these Organizers equate Spa with Strategic – perfect!

  4. Avatar Janet Barclay on February 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    It does sound very inviting, especially at this time of year. I don’t know about you, but I have had enough of this winter!

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