Making the Most of your Retreat Experience | Preparing for the Illume Retreat

August 18, 2015

I can hardly believe that with each passing day we get that much closer to the October session of the Illume Retreat, y’all! For two-and-a-half days this coming fall, a small group of some of my favorite boss ladies will gather together to welcome a group of hardworking, endlessly talented creatives who are dedicated to building businesses filled with purpose and passion. From incredibly useful and inspiring speaker sessions, to hands-on creative breakouts designed to encourage you to try your hand at a new skill or art form, this experience promises to be nothing short of life changing.

Whether you’re attending the Illume Retreat this fall (a few seats are left!), or are making the time to get away at another business-focused retreat, it’s important to do all you can to prepare for this kind of experience. Making the choice to invest in yourself and your business is one we do not take lightly, and we want to share our favorite tips for protecting that investment through proper preparation and planning.

making the most of your retreat experience at the Illume Retreat via b is for bonnie design | Illume Retreat styled shoot as styled by b is for bonnie design, photo by Lauren Carnes Photography

Keep Yourself Open

Walking into a new experience, no matter how intimate the group size or how restful the experience promises to be, can be scary. Unless you’re attending with your boss lady bestie by your side, there’s a lot of unknown that you can encounter. Remember that when you walk into the Illume Retreat, you are walking into a safe space where you are so welcomed. Every single speaker, creative session leader, and volunteer is genuinely excited to meet you! And in order to get the most out of this entire experience, you’ll need to arrive with the same open mind and heart that we promise to give you. With our walls lowered and our hearts open, we can share more deeply, dream bigger and better encourage one another to pursue what matters most.

Be Fully Present

I fully understand that running your own business entails a huge amount of work. From answering emails, to blogging, to running your marketing, we all juggle about a dozen hats every day! With that in mind, you get very few opportunities a year to truly unplug, take a step back and focus on your business and not just in it, right? Do yourself, and those around you, a favor and put your phone on silent, or leave it in your bag entirely. Put up your auto responder and take the entirety of the retreat off from work. Clients, vendors, inquiries and everything in the middle will be there for you when you get back. But the sweet promise of two full days spent forging new relationships, dreaming big for your business, and drafting out an action plan to take your business to more purposeful, heartfelt heights is one that doesn’t come often! I personally would hate to see you miss out on one second because you had to take a client call, or were up until 1 am answering emails.

Be Prepared

Even though the heart of the Illume Retreat is to equip and encourage you in a rejuvenating, restful space, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to do some work while we’re here! Our speakers have prepared tirelessly to bring valuable, pertinent content to the table when they present in front of you. Ensure you’ll get the most out of each session by looking over each speaker session, their topic and who they are as a creative so you’re fully aware of what we’ll be covering. Write down any initial questions you might have, or discussions that fall under a speaker session that you might like to discuss with the presenter at some point. You’ll be receiving lots of face-to-face time with our entire speaker lineup, so don’t be shy! Oh, and leave the heels at home this time around. Our venue is beautifully integrated into the natural, rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country, so ankle boots and closed-toe shoes are a safer bet – and are so fall appropriate!

Kiss Your Comfort Zone Goodbye

Maybe you have a biz crush on one of our speakers. Maybe you’re really excited to meet a fellow attendee you admire. Whatever the scenario is, go for it! Don’t let fear or timidity hold you back from making a new friend, establishing a solid boss lady relationship, or laying the foundation for a future collaboration. This intimate group of men and women have the potential to become your tribe, those who will support and encourage you no matter what, if you let them in. And sometimes that looks as simple as walking up and saying that initial hello!

For those of y’all who are joining us October 26-28 at Travaasa, we cannot wait to see you! If you haven’t reserved your seat yet, you still have the opportunity to join us while we learn how to infuse more authenticity, intentionality and purpose into our work! Only a handful of seats are still available (we have payment plans, too!), and the next Illume Retreat session will not take place until mid-2016. Hope to see you there, friend!

  1. Birgit says:

    I can’t wait to join you one day. But living in Europe makes it a bit expensive to come over ????. But one day if I can combine it with a holiday I would love to meet you ladies. I just love how you create opportunities, how you encourage one another to be your ultimate best, how you support and dream together. Do have the feeling that we lack this in Belgium. So maybe, just maybe… You can do a European version?!? Don’t forget we’ve got the best waffles and chocolate in the world ????

    • Bonnie Bakhtiari says:

      Hi Birgit! Oh, I would love to take the Illume Retreat to Europe one day! Until then, I’ll be dreaming of your incredible chocolate and waffles. Hope we’ll be able to connect in person in future! xx

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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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