Did you know that the only opportunity that many pet businesses have to connect with others in the industry are less than a handful of events? There isn’t much for people to actually connect unless they go outside of the industry.
- Every year NAPPS and PSI host a conference. Participants typically stay in a hotel and the information is typically given indoors, inside a conference room. (I actually helped plan the NAPPS 2008 conference in Houston and know a lot about what goes into them.)
- Then there was another smaller conference that has been held in Las Vegas a few years in a row, but again… the same environment as NAPPS and PSI. (Again I helped with the first two years of starting this “summit”)
As my ability to travel around the country and world expand, I realized just how many opportunities there are for business owners to connect. I see people creating even stronger bonds on and offline and these relationships are making a difference in their personal lives. I am one of them.
As a result of these offline relationships, people are actually feeling less alone. They understand the person behind the postings in groups online. They are even more empathetic and understand the personal context of the challenges that people post about.
It is honestly magical. I believe it is all because of these moments where people were able to connect on a personal level.
Sometimes not even about business.
Just as one human to another human. They got to turn likes into real-time hugs.
The ability to connect offline is great for the soul, and I would argue necessary for our mental health. Connecting face to face allows the relationships to grow deeper than online and you can easily create a trusted group of advisors from all of it.
In the pet business, it is safe to say that there is an overwhelming amount of folks who wear their heart on their sleeve. Many of us have a caretaker heart. We would break our own heart to use the piece to fix someone else’s. Am I right?
But who is there for them? Is it really just a shot of dopamine when someone likes or comments on their latest post? It is so important for this to go further than just a surface post. It part of the reason why we have accountability partners in the Mastermind and those that take them seriously are exploding in their business. They have a witness to their struggles and success and struggles. They aren’t alone.
And this is one of the reasons why I started the Jump Into Paradise Retreat in 2018, and had it again in 2019.
“What a refreshing break from the isolation and daily grind of running a pet care business! The rewards are endless from spending a weekend with likeminded boss ladies! It was refreshing to have others who understand how all consuming the pet industry can be but still remain strong and steadfast about making a positive impact in our industry. I left on my trip feeling run down and returned with a new spring in my step ready to take my business to the next level!”
– Randa Clark, Barrington Pet Resort
The Jump Into Paradise Retreat
This is not a conference. It is where we let our hair down (in some cases take our bra off) and just curl up on the couch with cozy slippers (which I provided) a soft blanket and listen to inspiring speakers. There is something special that happens when we aren’t trapped in a conference room under fluorescent lights with the only thing to eat or drink is water, coffee, or some sugar pastry.
That isn’t what the pet lifestyle is about. That isn’t what our days are like.
Speaking for myself, unless the speaker is incredibly insightful or dynamic I find it hard to sit in the same room all day long. Don’t you?
When I created this retreat I specifically wanted to allow the space to eat, drink, relax… all on a flexible schedule. I wanted to facilitate a completely organic experience where our minds and souls would be fed. I was less concerned about a structure and schedule and more concerned with changes of heart and comfort of mind, body, and spirit.
The purpose was simple.
- To have extended time together in close quarters where opportunities could happen for connection.
- An ability to take a vacation to a luxurious place where participants could feel like royalty for the weekend with all the comfortable amenities they needed. I understand that some business owners don’t ever get to take a vacation and this was their opportunity for that.
- To create special opportunities where those connections can happen.
While conferences can be nice, this retreat was made for intimacy amongst strangers who would leave with strong bonds together.
“I never knew I was so much like other brave, lady bosses. I was relieved to learn – we are so much alike that we will be bonded forever. What a wonderful experience being able to let the guards down and just be real. You never know what to expect when attending retreats but this one blew my mind. These are my sisters. I cannot wait until next year. Bought my ticket the day I got home. Bella Vasta is always Extra and makes every experience memorable.” – Jenni Coes, Peaceful Paws Pet Care
Let me let you in on a secret: There is no conference or retreat that will give you information that you can’t already find online.
While living in the information age, with content pumping out on record levels every day in forms of graphics, videos, and articles… there is practically nothing that a speaker can do that you couldn’t find somewhere online.
But there ARE experiences like the “Lego Treatment” that one of our speakers Aaron Peirson, CMO for My Home Group did with us that we could never do online. He separated the group into three smaller groups where everyone constructed lego models for each challenge he gave us. It allowed us to access different parts of the brain that we wouldn’t otherwise if he was just lecturing us.
“Spending a weekend with the strongest and smartest women around. This has been the most inspiring weekend of the year. And yes I have got my ticket to 2020.”
– Laura Wright PAWright Pet Services
The retreat is about the moments that you can’t plan. I can facilitate the environment but there is so much that organically happens that the only way to describe it is magic.
This retreat allows you to cry with others. It allows you to hug them tight and say “I understand, I have been there” or simply “I see you. I am here for you” Which is something that did happen a few times this weekend because people trusted the process and allowed the vulnerability to let it happen. There is something that physically happens when you are able to “squish” someone else.
Learning New Things
This retreat allows you to learn new things… and not necessarily in the way that you would online. It is such an intimate setting that you can talk back and forth with the speaker, reflect on what they say, sometimes even hang out with them after their talk as one of our speakers even came back for pool time that night.
It is in those special moments in the pool we learn things about one another… like who was a beauty queen, someone’s husband was homeless and living under a bridge in a van, someone delt drugs in a past life, someone camped at Mt Everest base camp… it is wild the things you are able to learn about others. You see them in different lights and it really opens up conversations.
- Organizing pool time at night, black SUVs to take us to dinner like we were the Kardashians (lol),
- Eating at a restaurant that would be sensitive to all the different dietary restrictions we had (vegan, vegetarian, celiac disease)
- Meditative yoga. Thinking self-defense class next year?
- Headshots and pictures around the house.
- Private chef for two breakfasts and one dinner.
I took careful time and prep to make sure it was an experience unlike anything else we (as an industry) have been offered. The results were everyone feeling so connected and less lonley in our industry.
“A weekend to remember and an experience I’ll never forget! I loved Jump into Paradise so much I already bought my ticket for next years retreat!
Bella curated a weekend and experience like no other. Spending time with other pet care professionals was just what I needed to take my business to the next level. We learned from the incredible speakers, Bella, each other, and ourselves.
Bonding with other like-minded business owners who understand what I go through running my type of business was reassuring that I’m not alone. I highly recommend this retreat for any pet care business owner!”
– Tiffany Lewis, Pet and Home Care
The location lends us the name of the retreat. It is always in Paradise Valley, Az which is basically the 90210 of Arizona. Combine that with Jump Consulting and you have JUMP into Paradise.
Clever, huh? 🙂
I also always try to make sure that it is less than a 20 min Uber drive to the airport. The airport is a major international airport that is typically easy to get direct flight in and out of.
We have thought about other locations, but in all honesty, it makes it a lot easier for me to plan because I know what is in the area and have the local insight.
Every Wonder What Goes Into Creating It?
I am willing to lay all the cards on the table. It takes about 6 months of prep after I have the people locked in. For 2019 we sold out two weeks after 2018. This year, we have 100% committed to coming back who were there on the last day. I am so honored to be able to say that. It means a LOT.
Here are some of the elements that I am planning for 2020:
- Build out the schedule with a theme
- Preference Sheets (food, drink, restrictions, etc)
- Gift Boxes
- Speaker Gifts
- FB Group a month out and a month after
- Find the venue and walk it
- Gather speakers and their topics, descriptions, and takeaways.
- Menu for catering
- Grocery list to stock the house (Note: no one ever goes hungry, lol)
and I am sure there is a lot more I am forgetting!
Jump Into Paradise 2020
We are already more than half way committed to what will be capacity. This is super exciting considering that the event only concluded 10 days ago. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome back some incredible business owners.
If you feel like you would like to create a support system around you that extends beyond a Facebook post, want to have an excuse to get away in luxury accommodations, have a trip that is practically all-inclusive after you land in Phoenix, and just want to be inspired in a relaxed environment, this is for you.
If you want to be one of those business owners, you can grab your ticket here. This retreat is exclusivly for dog walking, pet sitting, and boarding/kennel business owners only and is an all female event. Feel free to ask me any questions by shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and yes, we are offering payment plans if needed.