I just got back from the most recent Monkeypod retreat in San Diego, and I wanted to recap my experience.

I have been following Greg since 2017, when I met him at Infusionsoft PartnerCon.

What I really like is how Greg is authentic and personal in everything he provides.

His approach, and attitude makes me feel at ease. He offers advice, suggestions, and options, but he does it so I feel empowered – without pushing for a specific agenda.

I first learned about his retreats from one of his automated nurture emails.

He walks the walk as well as anyone there – wanna know about his retreats? Or just experience automated follow up done well?

Subscribe to his blog (here) – or grab one of his ebooks (here) and pay attention to how his automation is designed.

I’d thought about the retreat in the past, and decided it was time to try it out.

Put simply, it was an amazing experience.

There were four retreat attendees – myself and three other business owners. So the whole experience felt very intimate.

We were each matched with a mentor – someone who we could strategize with ahead of time, and work side-by-side with during the event.

We arrived in San Diego Wednesday afternoon and left on Saturday morning. The two days in between were exhausting – and wildly productive.

The venue was a beautiful property in the hills of La Jolla, with great views of the ocean (and serviceable wifi).

The first evening was relaxed – we took the time to get to know each other and share a little about our businesses over a nice dinner.

This warm-up set the stage for the following day – the hot seats.

Day One: Hot Seats

Thursday was broken up into two-hour hot seat blocks – one for each business.

You might be thinking – “er, what does that mean?”

Fair question – let me explain:

The hot seat is when you use the group to focus on an idea, or a pain point that you currently have in your business, and that you want to address during the retreat.

The intent is to use the people around you – the business owners, the experts, and Greg and Justin – to come out of your session with an action plan for how you’re going to move forward.

It sounds easy, right? Maybe, until your turn…

Then it’s a bit intimidating.

Because during those 2 hours we do a deep dive together.

For me – I shared what I wanted to focus on – which was optimizing the customer journey I have for my product, SchedulerLink.

And then the questions started:

Why is this important for you?
Why is this important for your business?
What is the potential ROI for this goal?
Are you sure this is the issue you want to focus on during this retreat?
What if we turn this issue upside-down?
Hey, you have 1 hour left. How are you feeling?
What if you target another industry?
Do you still feel like this is the right issue to focus one?
What if you integrate with another system?
Would you like to change gears? If you want to change, now is a good time to do it.
Ok, we have 20 minutes left – time to start prioritizing your action items for tomorrow.

Intimidating. Even uncomfortable – but not necessarily in a bad way.

You know why?

Because we’re all here for the same reason – to grow.
Because you get a lot of feedback, from supportive people who are experiencing their own growing pains.
And because ultimately you choose the action items that you feel comfortable with excited about.

And because, in the end, we’re all sharing – everyone is vulnerable.

And getting uncomfortable is how growth happens.

Then, the next day we got up early and got to work.

Day Two: Implementation

Day two is the implementation day – we went to work on crossing items off our action lists with our mentors.

That means double the brainpower – and four hands on deck, with a few extra pushes here and there from Greg, or other resources he brought in.

I got lucky – I worked side-by-side with Mike Harris – of GoldFixe Solutions (I also recorded this amazing video with the expert help of Bret Martineau).

And, when I got home, there was an email from Greg to follow-up for extra help with some copy.

On Saturday morning I had a chance to take a surfing lesson (optional). And speaking of crossing things off my list – I got up on my first wave. A pretty huge achievement for a 43 years old woman (don’t you think?).

That “dawn patrol” surf session was the icing on the cake, as one would say…as someone who loves the ocean, I can’t think of a better way to wrap up the retreat.

After the surfing lesson, we had a final gathering to update the others on our progress, and reflect on how we’re feeling, and make plans for tying up any loose ends.

I know I feel more confident about the next steps I want to take longer term.

I was also reminded of the value of taking a couple of days away from working in the business to work on the business.

Could I have done it on my own? Probably, maybe, but there is absolutely no way I would have achieved the same results.

A Monkeypod retreat, with a team of mentors and other business owners is a much better option – give yourself and your business a gift – get on the list for the next one. (Details Here)

Editor’s Note: After spending two days working with Lidiane, I couldn’t help wondering “Er, why aren’t more people using Acuity?” And since the video equipment was already set up (with the greenscreen-like backdrop), I decided to record a video covering some of what I learned about Acuity. Check it out here.