Want to run retreats?
Our first retreat was in Bali.
We got a group of our pre-med students together, hired a pimp-ass villa in Seminyak and spent 5 days teaching them interview skills, laying on the beach drinking Bin-Tangs and visiting local schools to hand out school uniforms.
It was amazing. Hard work, but amazing.
A little background…
As part of our GAMSAT preparation company we mentored a few of our students as they ran a fundraising campaign to clothe 500 Balinese school kids. They named it Barefoot Bali.
They wanted to do something that would help a lot of people and something they could put on their applications.
So this was a perfect fit.
They set up the website, created a logo, the messaging, printed t-shirts, did press releases, they
were interviewed by the media, organised sponsors, they did the whole thing.
We just mentored them and they raised enough money to clothe 500 Balinese school kids.
It was a win-win-win.
The students won, the school kids won and we won.
The best part of all was we flew over to Bali to hand out some of these school uniforms. The kids sung songs to welcome us and we ran a couple classes. No foreigners had ever visited
those schools. The whole team got to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Plus, Mare and I spent a week in Thailand before the retreat… because, why not!
The truth is, it was a lot of work to get it organised.
The hardest part for us was the whole fundraising campaign and communicating with the local charity that co-ordinated the school visits. The retreat part was much easier.
Another great example of what retreats can do is what we’re calling our Tanzania Experience or
The way this came about was that last year Mare and I were invited to go on safari with Richard Branson and his Virgin Unite team. While over there we visited local entrepreneurs, got to know the projects happening on the group and provided help in various ways.
Then we hung out with Richard for a few days on his private game reserve in South Africa. This in itself is a great example of a retreat, but the reason why I brought this up is that one of the Virgin Unite staff running the tour also travels to Tanzania in her spare time to be an advocate for some of the AIDS patients over there.
I wanted to help and they needed doctors. We have a large community of doctors. So I asked if she would like some to visit. She said, yes, and another retreat idea was born.
Here’s what you need for a retreat (and how I created TanEx).
1 – You need to love travelling – that’s an obvious tick, right!
2 – A group of people who need your help and you would like to spend 3-5 days with.
For the TanEx retreat we’re getting a bunch of burnt out doctors who want a holiday and to reconnect with their passion for medicine.
You might like to work with a group of patients, colleagues or someone else.
3 – Something to do. What will you do with them on the retreat? How will you help your clients/patients? Include a bit of work on the topic they need help with.
I find that combining a little work and a little fun/sightseeing is the best combo. People use the retreat as a bit of a holiday so they want some time to explore and relax.
4 – A place to go. This depends on where you would love to go as well as a location that can help you work with your clients. For example, Tanzania works well because we can spend a few days relaxing in Zanzibar, then head to the villages in Tanzania to work with the patients.
Another example is if you’re running a retreat for stressed-out over-weight executives then somewhere you can do some cool physical activities would be fun – like hiking in Hawaii.
The options here are HUGE.
You get to pick who you would love to work with, you get to go to places you would love to go, and you get paid to do it. You can even throw in some cool community work (like the Barefoot Bali stuff), if you want to.
If you want help refining your retreat idea and getting it off the ground, then click here, enter your details and we’ll help you create a plan.
Retreats are also a great way to create ongoing clients/patients because once the retreat is over, they’re going to what to know what’s next. They’re going to want more from you. So you can provide it to them.
Like I said, the possibilities are very exciting.
Let’s chat about what you can do.