As another retreat draws to a close in Turkey, it’s a somber day. We said “goodbye” to our crew who fed, cared for, and catered to every need on the gulet for the week. Cohabitating together created a sense of family. I found the Turkish people kind-hearted and filled with a deep sense of community for one another. I first observed it on a hike. Even though I don’t speak Turkish I could see folks’ admonitions and reminders to take great care as others climbed to where they had just been.
My 6 thoughts on how I built a business with adventure leadership.
1. Build the audience of ideal clients for it.
This is a year round effort. I host consistent intimate events and conversations in order to observe folks. Who makes sense for an international trip. How do they play in the various “sandboxes” I create. Can they hold their own in conversation? Or do they need a lot to support?
2. When considering who to invite, I consider their risk profile.
Some of my women leaders need “Four Seasons” all the time. Turkey was rustic, raw, pure, far more rural than many of my previous retreats. No American voices running rampant here. So a week sail here could only be for someone who rolls with the punches and is adventurous.
3. I spent six months researching boats.
Searching for the right vessel, right price. I have better luck finding accessibly priced luxury yachts in countries still a little under the radar.
4. I create a landing page and offer transparency into dates, location, activities.
This makes the trip real: I share drone videos from past retreats. It’s the only way to show the enormity of the trips I’m taking folks on. I share testimonials about how each trip expands a woman’s leadership.
5. Have a contract.
I’ve learned this the hard way. If I’m fronting the money, contracts indicating deposits are non refundable and the balance is still due are important: When the money comes due is when the drama starts, even with people I know well. My favorite excuse last year was “I lost my passport and can’t get a replacement.”
6. Get a graphic designer to make marketing materials professional.
Over the year lead up to the event, I share packing lists, highlights of places we are visiting, restaurant profiles. I was pleasantly surprised to see folks carrying my Yuni shower sheets for “showers on the go” and water shoes from Amazon.
7. As it gets closer to retreat time, hire or work with someone for on-the-ground help
Someone who speaks the local language and has intimate knowledge of the locality. One of the youngsters on our charter wasn’t feeling well. I messaged the local rep to meet us in the harbor and shepherd the family to a nearby hospital. As a leader, the safety and well being of my attendees, regardless of age, are very important.
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