5 Insights From My Mastermind Retreat
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 106
I recently had the honor of hosting my Mastermind Retreat in New York City with my clients.
With my mastermind, you get a full year of group relationships, as well as individual connection and help from me. It is a very valuable offer, and this year I finally got to host a retreat at the end of it.
This mastermind retreat was one of the most inspiring, fulfilling, and motivating retreats I’ve done, and I want to share what I took away from it.
If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be a part of my mastermind, then this is for you! In this episode, I’ll be sharing:
- The 5 most important takeaways from this mastermind retreat, including advice from my clients
- New goals that I will be setting for myself moving forward
- Stories form my clients, and how they have transformed their businesses and their lives
If joining my mastermind and getting to join a Mastermind Retreat is interesting to you, then head over to my website and join my waitlist for my 2024 Mastermind!
If you want more inside business secrets, then head over to my Seven-Figure Secrets Podcast! There, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes of running a seven figure business, and I give you the scoop on how to make it happen for you.
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: Hello visionaries. Welcome back to the show, Leah here. Hopefully you guys, hopefully my sound quality is better. Thank you guys for bearing with me. I know the last few times I have been recording from my AirPods and that’s because we are in the middle of a move and my microphone, whatever, you don’t care. The point is I hope that you can hear me better now and I’m very excited to be here today because I am excited to share the insights of my mastermind retreat.
So if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently hosted my annual mastermind retreat here in New York City. Actually, it was annual for a while, but then we took some time off. Um, the point is I recently hosted this year’s round of this year’s mastermind retreat in New York and it was amazing. I mean, I have been lucky enough to host several retreats in my career, several VIP days, several in-person day events.
And this had to be one of just the most magical and successful and effective and almost selfishly fulfilling things that I’ve ever had the privilege of doing. So I’m very excited to share the takeaways from it, both what I learned from my own clients and what I learned from planning and executing on the mastermind retreat.
So lemme just go ahead and set the stage for you a little bit in case you’re new to me or my mastermind retreat or you’re kind of wondering what this is all about. In short, my mastermind is a year long group coaching cohort that I do typically every year. I’ve done it yearly for the past, I think three or four years before that I had my mastermind, but it was, uh, six months at a time. So it’s certainly something that’s evolved and at this point it is, it is a year.
Um, retreats are also something that I’ve always tried to do with it. Of course with the pandemic, it didn’t always go as planned, but it is something I think is a very valuable part of it. And this was the first mastermind retreat I hosted since becoming a mom. That was another thing that was a little bit hard to navigate, uh, as well as with all the restrictions.
I mean, it was definitely stressful trying to navigate hosting a mastermind retreat in New York City during the pandemic when they were very strict about capacity and whether or not you were complying with their regulations and all of that. So with all of that behind us, I hosted the first one I had in almost two years. My mastermind is a year long group experience, but it’s a very intimate group experience. There’s typically around between six and 10 people in it.
And then I’m also very involved in it. I’m almost like a member, but I lead it, but I become very close with everyone in it and it is also very individualized. So though you’re in a group, there’s also individual support with me and there is a group kind of Voxer channel that we have going throughout the whole year.
So it’s a really beautiful space to just have people in your corner that can understand what you’re going through. And that was a big theme in our, in our mastermind retreat, was people sort of explaining how they didn’t realize how much they needed people who also were entrepreneurs to be able to talk to what they were going through too.
Because even if they had supportive partners, not every partner is supportive and it’s typically not because they don’t want us to see you succeed, but it’s because they don’t wanna see you fail or they don’t wanna see you afraid. So they kind of get protective as particularly men, if your partner’s a, a man often does.
So having that dynamic kind of constantly in your ear and almost trying to have to prove to your partner that you’re not scared and that things are okay, when in reality you very well may be scared, but that doesn’t mean you should give up, can create some tension and it also can create some loneliness.
Uh, the same kind of dynamic can happen with your friendships, even if you have people that want you to succeed, if they’re not quite understanding what you’re doing and they have their own mindset gunk or kind of like past projections that are coming onto you about how they think you should be spending your money or what your risk tolerance is or how effective they think your product or service actually will be, even if they’re not even close to your ideal client, the point is it can get isolating lonely and you probably don’t even realize how much it’s unfortunately stunting the growth and the potential that you have.
And I think that became very evident on this mastermind retreat. So even before this mastermind retreat, this group of women particularly and what my mastermind is for is a space where you’re negating a lot of that. You do have an outlet, you do have a place where people are in your corner, sympathizing, empathizing, you know, there to cheer you on and can really relate to what you’re going through.
And we have been building that community for the past eight months and then seeing them come together and meet together in person and connect together was truly such a gift. It was, uh, I felt almost maternal about it, which is weird because I’m the same age as many of these people, but it was just so touching to see these, these relationships that have formed, uh, really get even closer and become solidified. Now, what did we do on this mastermind retreat?
Well, I made it what I think to be, and I think they would agree, perfect mix of work and coaching as well as adventure and simply fun exploring New York City and all it has to offer and also alone time and introspective time and just truly retreating. And I think that all three of those are very important.
And I know in the past when I used to play in a mastermind retreat, sometimes I feel like I would overemphasize the curriculum because I felt like that’s what people wanted more because they couldn’t get, they could in theory visit New York anytime, so they wouldn’t wanna be there with or with a coach doing tourist type things.
And I realized that that was actually counterproductive because if you just have too much information in there, too much content, it’s very hard to absorb any of it. And it’s also not relaxing and you end up just going home feeling more stressed and more overwhelmed than you were.
Additionally, I very purposely have these retreats in New York. It’s the same reason why I choose to live in New York because I think it’s incredibly inspiring. I think there’s a very nourishing element to the energy here if you can translate it correctly. And I did that with a lot of intention. So having our activities not just be like, let’s go to the top of the Empire State Building for no reason other than to do it, that having them kind of intentionally tie into what we were doing and have them compliment what we were doing worked, worked very, very well.
So over the three days that they were here, they stayed in a gorgeous hotel, one of my favorite hotels in New York. I have actually hosted so many events at this hotel. I even had my own bridal shower there. My sister threw my bridal shower for me there, but I chose the venue because it is so, so beautiful and I love the location.
You know, it’s not in, if you’re familiar with New York Midtown is where a lot of the quintessential tourist uh, destinations are. That’s where Times Square is. That’s where all the skyscrapers are. That Empire State building, the Chrysler Building, um, that’s where, uh, grand Central Station is. That’s where all the Broadway shows are. So a lot of times people make what I believe to be the mistake of coming to New York and staying in Midtown the whole time. And it’s because it’s conveniently located to all those tour attractions, Fifth Avenue in Midtown.
All those things are there. And I understand that convenience. But it’s a very chaotic and very charmless and soulless, almost part of Manhattan. And it doesn’t really represent the heart New York has and the history and the character and the diversity. It actually kind of represents diversity. ’cause there’s so many different people here, but a lot of them are tourists.
Not many New Yorkers live in Midtown. So I definitely wanted my Masterminds to stay out of the city. We had them at this hotel. And what transpired over the three days was a beautiful journey of exploring what New York had to offer in its height, going to my favorite restaurants and favorite rooftop bars and soaking in the beauty of that city.
And, you know, I really believe New York is so inspiring because so many things about it, whether it’s a business or a particular building or a type of food or a concept, so many of them were once thought to be impossible, foolish, unnecessary, doomed to fail. And so many of them have proved those stereotypes wrong or have been the first of their kind to prove them wrong. So I kept that in mind with all the places that I made reservations at. We did a few work specific sessions.
We did one at, uh, a meeting room at my office. We did one in Central Park, which was really special. Uh, we did one at a membership club that I’m part of downtown. And so that was all, we kind of mixed it up, which I thought was really helpful to not just stay in the same place. It was all very inspiring. And then we enjoyed New York throughout it.
So Central Park was a really fun hit. Um, we, I went to Wicked, I took them to Wicked, which is one of my favorite Broadway shows. I’m a huge Broadway fan and I intentionally chose Wicked because one, it’s gorgeous. And two, it is the story of women and particularly the main character, uh, finding success in the midst of everything she thought was wrong about her for so long, or the things that made her different or the things that other people didn’t understand or didn’t like about her.
And her, instead of resisting those and disliking them about herself, finally harnessing them and leveraging them is what brought her to her fullest potential, which I thought was very thematic with what entrepreneurship is or, or is supposed to be. So anyway, that is a little paint, uh, picture of what the mastermind retreat looks like. And now I wanna share with you some of the biggest insights I’ve had stepping away from it.
And it’s been amazing hearing my clients’ insights because some of them are, well, most of them are very tailored to them, but I wanted to give the perspective of what I really saw as thematic throughout our conversations as well as in my clients as well as what I really brought out in it, uh, and how I think that that could be helpful to you. And particularly this chapter of entrepreneurship.
Given how long I’ve done this and how many of these I’ve posted, these were very unique to this. Okay, the first takeaway from my mastermind retreat is that money is the tool. It is not the goal. This mastermind retreat more so than any other, not just mastermind retreat, but more so than any. I think this has been kind of a theme for me with my clients this year.
And it really was reminded to me during this mastermind retreat that I think the shift from my goal is 10 K months to, my goal is to travel full-time, or my goal is to get enough money to put a down payment on a home, or my goal is to hire a team member like a va or my goal is to, um, be able to take a maternity leave. Those are all starting to become more important than the dollar amount itself, which it always should have.
But I have felt this shift and I really felt that energy with my clients. Yes, we talked about their financial goals and yes, their finances are amazing. Some of them are, uh, among the most successful clients I’ve ever had when it comes to just finances, honestly, many of them. Um, and if they’re not right now, they are on their way to beat. I have clients there that have had $37,000 sale months this year. Um, I have had clients there, one of my clients made more this August than she did all of last year. I forget the exact number, but it’s definitely in the multiple five figures.
So the financial wins are there, but what is the point of the financial goal? Or what is the point of the financial win if you’re not doing something with that financial win? And I think that because this group is so grounded in why they want that money, what they want out of this business, what they want out of a freedom-based business or a successful business, the money is honestly easier for them to obtain because they have such a grounded reason for it.
And it also just becomes a little bit less dramatic on their way there. So, you know, I’ve seen people in the past, both my clients and just in general become so obsessed with a particular monetary goal or monetary amount that they feel like they have to reach. But when, oops, when they look at why they want that in particular, even if they can list off reasons, right? Like, well with that I could travel or with that I could pay off debt or whatever.
Of course, there’s always things all of us could do with more money, but the truth is a lot of them are choosing those because they’ve seen other people do it and they feel like they ought to or should or are able to. So they wanna prove something to themselves. And this isn’t an inherently negative way to approach money, but it’s not very sustainable because it really has nothing to do with your business and it really has nothing to do with your life.
And if you’re building a business on your own, it needs to be grounded in both of those things, frankly. So seeing these conversations, and honestly, I bet part of why I noticed this shift so much in my clients this mastermind retreat is because I’ve seen it a lot in myself. I spent many years having my income goals be the main goal of my business. Not, I don’t wanna say like the main goal of that, it was the only focus, but it was almost like my metric for growth.
And this year very much has become so much less about getting to a higher income goal. I don’t even notice what my income is most months anymore or what my sales numbers are most months anymore because I’m far more concerned with whether or not the income my business is making is running my business the way I want, which to me means a lot of mobility, a lot of delegation, a lot of automation, uh, and me being able to invest in all of those things comfortably as well as the lifestyle I want, which at this, in this season of my life is actually not about travel as much as it has been in the past, but far more so about, uh, presence and, uh, motherhood.
So I think that I saw that shift within me, and I’ve seen that shift within them, and I’ve talked about this for years, but I think it’s something worth repeating. Your financial goals are a tool to get you to the real goal. The financial goal itself should never be the bottom line because that is not grounded in your life or your business. And it will be very hard to move forward in a sustainable way without that groundedness.
Okay, takeaway number two from the mastermind retreat is that relationships are, this is like the oldest business rule in the book, yet it is the most overlooked and the most slept on. And I think it’s because the digital marketing world has become so numbers focused and metric focused, which is great, but you can’t always quantify things like relationships. And I think that makes people that are very numbers driven and analytical, a little bit antsy, and it makes them feel like they’re out of control.
Especially in a world where we’re obsessed with not only numbers but automation. And it feels like, well, how can I be consistent about how many clients I’m getting or consistent about how many sales I’m getting if my sales strategy is relationships? But if you stay in that thinking, you will rob yourself of so many opportunities, both directly with sales and indirectly with sales, by which I mean through networking or through exposure, through visibility, or through connections that you would not get if you don’t focus on relationships.
And with my masterminds this week on the mastermind retreat, I saw it in two ways. One, I saw it amongst them, having the relationships amongst them tightened so much. I visibly could see their lightness near the end of it. Uh, as compared to the beginning when it came to them feeling like they needed to carry the load of entrepreneurship on their shoulders by themselves because maybe they’re, they were, you know, at a place where their partner doesn’t wanna hear about it all day and night anymore.
I know my husband and I put up those boundaries. It’s not that we don’t wanna support each other, but we’re husband and wife. We’re not also business partners, therapists, or business coaches. You know, everything we’re husband and wife and we’ve had to be very clear about that because we’re both entrepreneurs and if we’re not careful, we just end up using each other for every single thing.
And I, I don’t think that that is not what works best for us. So being able to see my masterminds recognize that maybe they had taken some of that emphasis out of their relationship or out of their friendships or out of their relationships with family members, because those people don’t quote, get it the same way that they need to be understood. But now seeing that they could really lean on each other to do it was so beautiful.
I honestly could cry talking about it. And it’s not that they didn’t have each other throughout the whole year beforehand, but I think them coming together in person and particularly some of the ways in which I coach them together and that we worked together really brought them to a whole new level of connection and relationship that I think very much feels supportive for them in a way that they don’t have in their day-to-day or at home life.
Uh, so relationships within business are essential. And I mean the same thing, all of those same lessons apply when I just mean relationships with potential clients or networking or getting visible or talking to people about what you do. And I’ve just seen a lot of them really harness that in their businesses and it’s very, very much paid off. Um, I have one member in particular who has really, really impressed me lately with how much she has put in-person networking at the top of her priority list.
And she’s such a personable person, like she just has such a warm energy about her. So she’s just doing a great job at this. And you can just see how not only is it helping her business grow, that’s obviously the goal, but it’s helping her business grow on her terms. And that’s the most important thing because I think we all sometimes believe that we have to be Instagram famous or spending a fortune on ads.
And look, I’m a huge fan of ads, but because they work for me and them seeing that relationship building can allow you to make it work the way it works for you is what true freedom really is about. So relationships, are it happy clients, happy colleagues, deep connection, critical. Third, big takeaway. Okay, these women are such powerhouses. Honestly, the next two lessons are going to just sort of compliment how driven and ambitious they all are.
I heard little to no excuses from them, this whole mastermind retreat when it came to why things were or weren’t happening or the advice I did or didn’t have for them. And to their credit that isn’t unique to the mastermind retreat. I have heard very few excuses from most of them this entire year. They are just not into excuses. And what I actually wrote down for this point is that they remind me of an old saying that we all know to be true. That the more responsibility you have and the busier you get, paradoxically, the more you can handle.
So I’m looking at many of my masterminds who are, who are, who have more on their plate than many other entrepreneurs. I know many of them are moms. Two of my masterminds have three kids, mom of three, okay, that blows me away.
I’m a mom of one and it is a hugely consuming part of my life by choice. I love it. But the mom of three super impresses me. One of my clients who’s a mom of three, has three under five and no childcare. My other client with three still is a mom of three. And it sounds like her teenagers are no less demanding, if not more demanding. Um, but still, you know, it’s a little bit of a different dynamic with very young kids because the one with the three under five doesn’t have any childcare.
So that’s just incredible. And from either of them, I have never heard an excuse about, I don’t have time, I can’t do this, I have too much going on, I’m unable to do any of that. And the one of them, not only is she a mom of three, but she has had every reason in the book this year to feel pitiful for herself.
She went through, uh, an, an illness with someone in her immediate family. She got quite sick herself for a little while, but none, you know, none of it, none of it was enough to stop her. Where has every day been perfect? Of course not. They’re human, but the excuses aren’t there. If anything, it’s more just like an acknowledgement of, okay, this isn’t working right now or this is hard right now, but these are all things I’ve chosen to do other than get sick, but like choosing to be a mom.
I’ve chosen to be a business owner and these are the ups and downs that come with it and I’m gonna keep going. And the way that they can absorb more because they’re just good at time management and used to not having excuses blows my mind. But it’s not just the moms in the group that I got this impression from.
They really, really do not have excuses in general. I, they are all action takers, which brings me to the fourth takeaway I wanna brag about on their behalf. All of them, and we didn’t talk about this this much, but I noticed it. They all have a strong self-care practice. I was talking to, uh, one of them who, and and she has had some mental health rollercoasters this year, but she still set. She’s like, yeah, I work out five to six times every single week. Every week.
Okay, that is really impressive. That is something that is such a good example of someone who just feels like I have an excuse for why I can’t do that. Two of them are health-focused coaches. So I they regularly exercise. They, you know, care about what they eat, they care about how much sleep they’re getting. Um, one of them talks about how she goes on runs, uh, multiple times a week.
It’s a non-negotiable for her. They all really take care of themselves and I really believe that that is why they’re so action oriented. Why they don’t, they’re, they’re used to not having excuses for getting things done because they’ve already, they’re doing it in one area of their life and they’re used to putting themselves first in a way. I do think that a lot of them learn to put themselves first more on this mastermind retreat.
But when you have that foundation of self-care that is critical for how you need to show up as a business owner, you need to show up in a way that that prioritizes your business, that has you in a clear state of mind that keeps you allergic to excuses and that puts you in a highly, I don’t wanna say productive, but um, an efficient and a high performance type way. And they’re all already doing that in that phase of their life.
So whether it’s through exercise or how they eat, not, you know, I don’t, I actually enjoyed that none of them were like health obsessed. And I, I don’t wanna get too, I don’t wanna have too much commentary on this ’cause I know this can be triggering for some people, but they all had a great balance of enjoying their life, not being too hard on themselves by doing so. You know, we stayed out a few nights a little later than usual. I took them to Magnolia Bakery.
We had a lot of decadent dinners and I don’t wanna speak for anyone, but I felt like a lot of them, whether effort with effort or effortlessly had a very, uh, just genuine good foundation for enjoying their life, taking care of themselves, understanding the balance between the two that works for them and just having that foundation set so that they could think about their business and they could think about what they really want and they could think about their desires.
And they’re not just starting at zero in a place of like, well I wanna have a six figure or seven figure business, but um, I’m tired all the time, right? Or I, uh, just don’t have that much. I’m not that clear headed. Like none of that is an issue for them because they all take care of themselves, which I think is huge.
Finally, my final takeaway just from the mastermind retreat in general, this is somewhat selfish, but also I read one of them say this in an email newsletter to her community about the retreats from the Takeaway. So I hope she doesn’t mind that I use this, but I just thought it was so perfect, she just said, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Life is too dang short to be miserable. And it is so true. We make things so hard on ourselves and especially I think between the ages of like 30 and 50.
You are in so many ways in the prime of your life where you have the utmost health. The combination of health and earning potential is like at the perfect crossroad. You might not have as much energy or be as healthy as you were in your twenties, but you probably have a lot more, more or potential to earn money than you did in your twenties.
And then if you look past your fifties, maybe you have the potential to earn a bit more money, but your health and your energy probably isn’t quite where it currently is. You know, maybe, maybe 50 is a little young. I think, I mean, my parents were certainly still, you know, kicking their heels up and skiing and hiking and all that until, I mean, my mom still is and she’s 61. But my point is there is this beautiful season that I feel like I’m in and I think all them that they are in, uh, with where their businesses are at and where their health is at that is leaves so much to be celebrated and enjoyed and indulged in.
And that’s just a choice. And I think a lot of people are choosing, they might not know they’re choosing, they might be subconsciously choosing or unconsciously choosing, but they’re allowing the choice to be stress, worry about the future, concern about things out of their control, regret for things that actually could be serving them, regret for spending money on something, regret for starting their business and it not going as fast as they could, as it could concern about where it might or might not go, concern about what might or might not happen financially with their family, with their friends, with their partner, with their careers, all of these things.
And it completely takes away from a very powerful present moment that we’re in. And I wanna toot my own horn by saying I think I very much fostered a space for that to be celebrated this week, but I mostly wanna commend all of them for choosing to do so.
No one made them join this mastermind retreat. No one made them show up this way. No one made them come to New York. They chose to do all these things because I think of course they’re human and they have their stressful moments, but on a deeper level and hopefully in a way that they can feel more strongly about. Now I’m actually certain that they do. They know they’re not here to be miserable and they don’t want to be, and they are willing to choose differently even if it brings discomfort. And I really commend them for that and that inspired me. That is something I wanna remember for myself as well.
So that is some insight into my mastermind retreat. If you are interested in my 2024 Mastermind, we start doing some applications and interviews and fast action pricing, uh, here in about in a few weeks unbelievably so you can get on the waitlist where you’ll also get a $5,000 discount should you end up applying and being invited, uh, by going to my Instagram account.
And in the link in my bio there is a mastermind wait list, uh, link. This is also in all of my emails and I’ll go ahead and put it up on my website as well. But it’s a wait list for the 2024 Mastermind, no strings attached by applying. You can just enter your name and info, uh, and we’ll get in touch with you as things become, get closer and we’ll answer any questions that you have.
So, looking forward to seeing you there if this is something you’re interested in, it is a very, very powerful experience and very special, and I believe that the mastermind retreat alone has been monumental and altering for these women.
So if you’re interested in something like that, then go ahead and get on the waitlist. Otherwise, I hope you found this helpful and inspirational for my extraordinarily successful mastermind clients and I hope you have a great rest of your day. Bye everyone.
Your Biggest Vision’s Daily Checklist for Visionaries;