[Please excuse any typing errors this is a direct transcription for your benefit.] Denise: Good afternoon. Sharon: Good afternoon, everyone. Denise: FUF time. Sharon: Different venue today. Denise: Very different venue. Last time, we had sea, sun, probably a bit of sand and rock behind us, now we are back in Cumbria & on retreat. Sharon: Slightly lower temperature as well. Denise: Yes, slightly different temperature. Even though I’m still in T-shirt mode because it’s been quite a casual event. This is FUF, Finish Up Friday, and a few lessons from the week. We’re on location in Windermere in the glorious Lake District, we’re actually not far from where we live anyway, and you can probably see all the flip charts behind me. We’ve been here with some of our VIP clients for three days. They arrived on Wednesday, and they’ve, literally, just left. It’s one of those moments where you go, “And, relax.” Sharon: I think they’ve probably done the same thing getting into their cars, driving off, thinking, “Ahhh. Big sigh” Denise: So, we spend a few days with them, and, I think, one of the great things is that we are able to work with them directly on their businesses, to give them help and some guidance and cover a number of different subjects. I think one of the leading benefits for them is being somewhere else, away from the business gives them chance to focus. Do you want to say a bit more about that? Sharon: Yes, and I think that I know many of you, listening to this, and watching, may think, “Oh no, how on earth? I couldn’t possibly afford to do that,” but I would challenge you, and say, “How can you afford not to?” Because there are lots and lots of benefits of being able to just create some uninterrupted time away from your business. When you’re not involved in the day to day stuff, you’ve not got clients to deal with; you’ve not got the challenges of a team making demands on your time. Getting away, out of that office, into an entirely different setting, especially if you can get out into the countryside, something completely different that’s out of the city, that can give you some real headspace. Headspace to just reflect, quietly, about where the business is at, what you have achieved, maybe some of the things that you thought you could have accomplished this year, and maybe you’re not quite there, so it gives you some thinking time and chance to reflect, where you haven’t got all the everyday office distractions, I’ll add here that it’s okay to switch your phone off too, even if you just switch it on to silent for a while, give yourself half an hour before you check-in again, give yourself that headspace. Now, the other thing you may not know, there’s been lots of research that show when you put yourself in, let’s say, a rural setting, that actually being close to nature allows you to become more creative. I think it’s calming. It allows you to clear your head, and think about all the possibilities you have with your business. And, I think the beauty of getting yourself away from your business, and the everyday running of it is you get a chance to work on it, and not in it. And, I think, as business owners, we spin plates just like you do. Even if you can, say once a quarter, get a day, or get half a day, away. Go and hire a meeting room in another venue, or go and sit in a lounge somewhere, that’s got some lovely views, in a hotel, where you can take your book, and you can do some reflecting, and some thinking, and some planning. I think you might be sat there thinking, “Well, look, I take myself off to the meeting room, in another place in the building.” Do you know what? That’s not going to create the kind of environment that we’ve been able to develop here. I think that, really, one of the resounding pieces of feedback at the end was just the value of getting away from the business, and being able to think and to plan. So, people have gone away re-energized and full of ideas. Denise: It’s interesting, the way our bodies react when we go somewhere different. You’ve probably had that experience when you’ve been away on holiday. Not that this has been a holiday for our clients, but it’s like there’s all that preparation and thinking time before you come, so during their journey we got them to do some prep, and then while they’re driving here, because none of them live in the Lake District, they’re processing and thinking, and then they’re here, and we’re having conversations, and there’s no rigid agenda, they don’t have to sit and watch presentations or anything like that. There’s a lot of thinking time; they can voice their thoughts out loud, it’s just all very creative and different, which then opens that ability for them to think differently, too. Sharon: Yes. And they can consider some different options. As a result of their time away this particular group’s been able to leave with some real focus priorities, and plans for the last 10, 11 weeks of the year, like a 90 day plan, and, also, have got some themes and some critical areas of focus, I would say, to start doing their planning for 2018 as well, specifically from a marketing perspective.
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