The word â€˜boutiqueâ€™ originates from the French, meaning a small shop selling fashionable clothing and accessories. More recently it has also come to mean a small company that offers highly specialised services in a specific area.
It goes without saying that at a boutique business retreat the surroundings are stunning, the food is delicious, and we have hand-picked massage therapists who will help you unwind soon after you arrive. However, one of the key ingredients of a boutique business retreat is its matchless intimacy.
Below are 13 more key differences between a boutique business retreat and other business retreats:
Bespoke V Off-The-Shelf
The experience is tailored for you and your vision, so itâ€™s important to get to know you. Weâ€™ll begin working together a couple of months before your stay with initial conversations over the phone to learn about you and your vision. Weâ€™ll talk about the plan, conundrum or vision you want to bring with you, your likes and dislikes, what you love to eat and what you hate and the little things that matter to you. Every client will have a unique experience as a result of this preliminary work. This ensures that you have the optimum experience possible when you get to the cottage.
Private Space V Public Space
You have the luxury, the intimacy and the privacy of having the cottage all to yourself for a minimum of 4 nights. The time spent here is always all about you. Thereâ€™s no need to search for a quiet corner to snatch some time to reflect and ponder. Time to reflect, go deeper and process is a natural part of this business retreat and gently runs in the background throughout your stay.
Progressive, Provoking Conversations V Fact Finding
You may or may not have developed the art of self-enquiry. Either way, having a skilled and impartial listener provides a counter-point to spending time alone, and is a fundamental part of the week. Probing, provoking and full of curiosity, the conversations are woven into the experience. These can be held in the sitting room or talking while walking in the hills above the cottage. The conversations are intended to gently elicit answers or challenge ingrained assumptions and are woven into the experience to open up paths to your unconscious, helping you to discover information held in your hidden seams of inspiration. They pull together all the threads of the insights gathered throughout the week.
Just You V A Group Of Colleagues
Spending time alone is an overlooked but important element of teamwork, dovetailing into and enhancing your work with your team. In developing visions, taking time out to reflect, to process and to evolve is essential. Itâ€™s a time where you can glean information in a pure and uncluttered space, then return to share your findings. Sometimes, other people, however important they are, can be an un-necessary distraction.
Inspiration V Motivation
Inspiration is internal â€“ motivation is external. When youâ€™re inspired, youâ€™re pulled forward by something bigger and unstoppable. You might not feel completely in charge of the process, but you canâ€™t help but allow it to take you. You trust that it will unfold. Motivation needs to be generated from you or someone else. Itâ€™s external. When youâ€™re motivated, youâ€™re pushing things forward â€“ it can be an effort. Being inspired is effortless.
Your Agenda V Organiserâ€™s Agenda
While there will be suggestions and pointers for you about how to get the most from your time at the cottage, including a loosely choreographed timetable, ultimately you can choose your agenda â€“ when to eat, when to sleep, when you get up and when pay attention to your vision. You can go with your gut instinct and choose what you do when. The entire experience is designed to provoke intuitive nudges, get creative solutions and answer the bigger, deeper questions. You wonâ€™t have a train of thought interrupted because you need to be somewhere else. Youâ€™re in charge.
Creating V Analysing
Everyone has an innate potential to create. The intention of the boutique business retreat is to encourage more of your creative seeds to germinate and flourish while youâ€™re there and to have put down deep enough roots so that they will continue to grow long after youâ€™ve left. You wonâ€™t see any charts, graphs, modules or handouts at the cottage.
Allowing Intuition V Thinking Hard
Thereâ€™s no wracking your brain, searching online or thinking hard. The experience is designed to help you connect with your intuition, to naturally trigger insights, answers, possibilities and new ideas.
A Unique Dynamic V Something A Bit Similar
Spending an extended amount of time on your own creates a unique dynamic and connection with your Self and your surroundings. A boutique business retreat isnâ€™t about deepening relationships with colleagues, although relationships are an important part of the experience. Itâ€™s about helping you notice your part in something much bigger. The relationships youâ€™ll begin to notice evolving are with yourself, your surroundings and your vision, because you are free from the usual interactions with colleagues and the mundane distractions of the office. Spending time alone, and immersed in nature, itâ€™s almost impossible not to become aware of a deeper connectedness at play.
Being V Doing
When I was thinking of what to call the business, the phrasebeing at the cottage wouldnâ€™t leave me alone; so it stayed. When you stay at the cottage itâ€™s all about being more and doing less. In the peace, the solitude and the potential that is inherent in being immersed in nature, itâ€™s about finding that extraordinary part of yourself which in turn supports you in pursuing something extraordinary and making a difference, potentially on a significant scale. You pack your vision and you leave the rest behind. Doing becomes insignificant.
Allowing V Making It Happen
This is about going with your own flow and allowing things to evolve. Youâ€™ll begin to listen to your Self and learn to tap into the information your unconscious holds â€“ mining those hidden seams of inspiration. Thereâ€™s no need to roll your sleeves up, brainstorm and â€˜make this thing happenâ€™. When you get good at having a dialogue with your inner self, youâ€™ll notice synchronistic events unfolding more and more. The striving to â€˜make things happenâ€™dissolves and life and events flow. It all starts with allowing.
Offline And Unplugged V Internet Connection
Research shows that deeply resting and relaxing your brain takes a minimum of 3 days. For this to happen effectively itâ€™s important to be offline and unplugged. In order for you to settle down and in to the experience of a boutique business retreat you need to be able to feel peaceful, unhurried and undistracted. So, thereâ€™s no access to any of the usual tech stuff. Thereâ€™s nothing here to remind you of the office.
Your Way V No-one Elseâ€™s Way
A boutique business retreat is about supporting you to optimise the realisation of your vision â€“ your pursuit of something extraordinary. The answers youâ€™re looking for are already inside you. The experience is designed to help you to elicit those answers. There are no â€˜done for youâ€™ handouts.