Inside the Inner Circle Sydney Retreat!

Years ago when I first started looking at mastermind groups and reading about the live ‘retreats’ that were on offer, I honestly thought it all sounded a little too good to be true. Was I seriously meant to believe that a bunch of business owners would all get together on an island destination, form instant bonds, share all their secrets, miraculously come up with annual marketing strategies and emerge with a renewed lease on life and business over the course of a few days? Yeah right!

Boy was I wrong about that.

You may have read about our New York adventures with our US-Based Inner Circle members a few weeks back, but last week wrapped up our 3-day Australia / New Zealand retreat and I am still buzzing from the days we spent together during ‘SHINE – the Sydney edition’. (And just in case you were wondering, We came up with this title as the #1 element I believe it truly takes to own your market in the area is for you to be able STAND OUT from the pack and really SHINE – and that’s exactly what we focused on across the 3 days)



Day 1
Our Inner Circle family had a new home for the weekend at the Vibe Hotel – which was remarkably fitting considering the vibe of the retreat was off the charts! After registering and grabbing a quick coffee in our private conference room, our bright-eyed team of dance studio owners sat down and went through our 12-months goals worksheets before tackling some brand new student attraction marketing strategies. 

Next it was time for our first guest speaker for the event. I knew from speaking with our members on our 1-on-1 calls as well as our group coaching sessions that one of the many common threads that came up was that feeling of overwhelm and overload. Staying up until all hours to ‘get things done’, without actually getting much done at all. That’s exactly why I got the phenomenal Dermot Crowley to come and share his wisdom on productivity.

Dermot is one of Australia’s foremost thought-leaders on productivity. He is the author of Smart Work, and the founder of Adapt Training Solutions so I knew he was the guy we just HAD to have (nothing but the best for our IC family!) Dermot set our tribe up with all of the tools they need to centralize their actions, organize their inputs and realize their outcomes.

“As studio owners, you need to be using technology to get the most from the tools at your fingertips, and get out of those habits that are holding your productivity back”



After wrapping up for the day I was busting to reveal our top secret dinner and entertainment plans to the group and it was SO worth the wait. At the incredible El’Circo dinner and performance, we were treated to an even bigger surprise that even I didn’t know about – the circus show we were watching was headlined by one of our IC members’ previous students! It brought a tear to the eye to see the talent, dedication and huge success from one of our own studios, and so special to see the teacher and student reunite. We’ll all be remembering that night for a long time.


Day 2
Just like we did at our New York retreat, We kicked off Day 2 with each member spending 5 minutes presenting their ‘million dollar supershare’ with the group – this is where everyone in the room prepared and shared the #1 idea they implemented into their business in the first half of 2016 that either: attracted the most amount of new students, added additional revenue to their bottom line, or allowed them to focus more on the business than in the business that resulted in more income for the studio. While I’d loooove to share with you some of the amazing ideas that came up – some of which I had never before seen – what happens in Inner Circle stays in Inner Circle 😉

After working with me closely on their success plans and a bite to eat, it was Hotseat time! If you read about our previous retreat you may recall this is another value-packed session in which each person was given 10 minutes to explain a challenge they are facing in their studio, and then receive feedback from the group and ask questions. Our Sydney group were truly inspiring in this workshop, with the best part being that so many studio owners had faced or were facing similar challenges. When we put 20 heads together there were solutions galore!

Our last session for the day was just me, the IC team, and my most effective and comprehensive strategy for re-enrollment to date! I spent days working on this content and am so proud of the result, and can’t wait to see the soaring retention rates of our members to come! We wrapped with an amazing dinner at Nomad where there was never a lull in the conversation or joking around.



Day 3
Just writing this today takes me back to that moment of waking up on day 3 to realize – WOW, that went fast! With more guests coming in for the day to share their expertise, the morning kicked off to an amazing start as we welcomed Kim Seeling Smith, who joined us to share her infinite wisdom on leadership and teams. Kim knew exactly what our studio owners needed to wrap their heads around: how to hire and manage a team that will add to their bottom line.

“We are challenging conventional wisdom about how to source, select and manage your teachers and staff that will not only lessen the terror around building a team in your studio, but give you some practical strategies and tools to make it so much easier”

Our final guest for the retreat was more like a celebrity to our dance-enthusiasts, and was met with selfie-requests and butterflied tummies all over the room! I’m talking of course about the amazing Lisa Howell, the CEO and creator of Perfect Form Physiotherapy and creator of Lisa delivered a passion-filled presentation about her own personal journey from ‘Kiwi-kid” to global educator.

This session is dedicated to the evolution of your potential from where you currently are to well beyond your comprehension of what is possible. It’s about connecting to a vision great enough to find the strength to face the fears that hold us back.




It was the perfect ending to another unforgettable retreat, and I know from our chats following the time together that our members – just like I am – are counting down the sleeps until our next getaway to an island destination.

And no, this time I’m not kidding 🙂

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