This week has been mostly about getting ready for the Joyfully Jobless Jamboree. There have been long Skype conference calls with Alice Barry and Sandy Dempsey and a steady stream of e-mails.

All of us are filled with anticipation and excitement because we’re old hands at taking ourselves away, changing the scenery, surrounding ourselves with a new cast of characters, and focusing on moving ahead without distractions or interruptions.

Retreats are so powerful that I can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t take advantage of such opportunities. After all, in order to do all we can and have all we desire, we must first become all that we are.

For most of us, that requires the assistance of those who are farther along on whatever path we’re treading. There was another example of this last week from one of my Facebook friends.

Andrea Brigitte Klee wrote, “I just returned home from Barbara Sher’s Scanner Retreat in France. What a week! I ate the best southwestern French food ever, and had a major breakthrough concerning the direction of my life. I found the answers to two basic questions, and, surprisingly enough, it was me who answered the questions.”

Yup, retreats have a way of letting us get in touch with our boldest dreams. At their best, they also provide us with tools to keep the momentum going once we’re back in familiar territory.

Author Sondra Ray once pointed out that the most important item in a budget is for personal growth and yet few people include it. Ray says, “When someone says, ‘I don’t have enough money to go to that seminar,” it’s like saying, ‘I’m not a good investment.”


If you’re a one-person operation, you are the biggest asset your business has. Without investing time and money in yourself, it’s difficult for that asset to expand.

Retreats have another bonus in addition to self-discovery. Ever see the movie About a Boy ? It has nothing to do with attending a seminar, but it certainly is a terrific story about personal growth.

Hugh Grant plays a purposeless young man who is supported by royalties from a silly Christmas song his father wrote years earlier. His life begins to change when he unwillingly befriends a socially inept boy.

At the end of the movie, when many lives have changed for the better because of the relationships they’ve made, the boy says, “One is not enough. You’ve got to have backup.”

That astute observation doesn’t just apply to personal relationships, of course. Having backup is critical for anyone who is serious about building business longevity.

So what kind of backup should we be putting in place? According to Scott Stratten’s brilliant new book UnMarketing, it starts with connecting to others. To do that successfully requires making relationship building an on-going activity.

Some of those relationships will begin via social media, of course, but face to face offers another dimension that can’t be achieved via a computer.

So I’m heading to Austin expecting to come home with new ideas, new enthusiasm, and fuel for the next leg of my journey.

Most of all, I’m excited to find some new friends who will provide—and receive—backup, because, quite simply, you can never have too much of that.


We’ve had many questions about recordings from the Jamboree. However, we decided it’s a “you had to have been there” kind of experience so we won’t be Tweeting, posting, recording or taping the event.