Welcome to the Wake to Wealth Show, where we bring you valuable insights and actionable tips from experts in various industries.
In this episode, we’ll be discussing one of the most profitable and rewarding ventures in the wellness industry – creating lucrative retreats.
Our guest for today is Natalie Levy, a business coach for online business and personal brand expert, who has successfully helped entrepreneurs and business owners create and market their profitable retreats.
Whether you’re a seasoned wellness entrepreneur or just starting, Natalie will be sharing her top strategies and insider secrets to help you create a successful and profitable retreat business.
So, sit back, relax, and join us as we dive into the world of creating lucrative retreats with Natalie Levy.
Pam: Hello and welcome to The Wake To Wealth Show.
I want Natalie to just quickly do your intro because I feel that you are a badass woman.
So do your intro so that people know exactly who you are, who you serve, and what you do.
Natalie: Thank you so much for having me.
My name is Natalie and I am a coach for women and people who want to create good in the world and do it on their terms by launching businesses.
And so typically the people that I work with fall into the category of healer, teacher, just paradigm shifter, I like to say, people who are here to create something new and really leave a lasting impact on the world. And I do that by helping them get started, but then also working with people in launching and scaling their businesses.
Pam: Before you started doing that, Natalie, what did you do or what inspired you to work with this group of people and help them with their offers?
Natalie: That is a very long story that I will try and keep very succinct.
But I, in summary, discovered early on in my teenage years that I wanted to work with people. But I thought as a clinical psychologist, I was on a path to becoming a clinical psychologist up until, let’s say, 2015.
That’s what I thought I was going to be doing.
And it was really because I had gone through a very difficult time.
I had actually lost my mother, and so that put me on this path of a long time of really rediscovering myself, moving through that grief and those emotions, and then realizing in that period that I enjoyed working with other people and I wanted other people to feel really good.
I know how terrible this feels to be this despondent and this loss. And I want people to love their lives because something in me, even at that point, knew that life was really meant to be lived.
And especially seeing my mom fight so hard, I was like:
‘There’s something about this. Life is meant to be as long as you’re here because you might not be here as long as you think.’
So, yeah, that put me on that path.
And then long story short, I realized when I was in grad school that that probably wasn’t what I wanted to do with my time. But I still really wanted to serve people.
I still really wanted to work with people.
But I had always wanted to be a businesswoman. Even when I picture myself as a psychologist, I thought I’d have my own office.
And so that’s how I got started.
Pam: I want to find out from you, how did you at such a young age pick yourself up to just decide, I’m going to keep going.
What was that journey that made you just go: ‘I’m going to keep going.’
Not only am I going to keep going, but I’m going to help people who are going through a similar thing to me. How do you do it?
Natalie: That is a question I’ve been asked before, and I don’t know that I have an answer.
But I think in part it was one of those, you end up getting into survival. And so it was a non-negotiable, in my household especially.
My father was very much of the mind, and maybe too much, but it was the best he could do at the time of life must go on and you just keep going.
And so I adopted that.
And also, again, seeing my mom be so committed to her healing. She’s just fighting so hard. I realized that it would just honestly be a disservice to my brother even to not really fully live out my purpose and what I was dreaming of doing.
And so I think that that was a real driving motivator honoring my mom and honoring what she would have done and what she would want.
And just put one foot in front of the other.
And I was an emotional wrecking ball.
So my space, something to the effect of I need people and I need people to need me.
And I want to help people who are emotionally wrecking balls just like me.
That was my motivator at the time.
Pam: And you know what? Sometimes when we’re going through stuff, we find whatever it is that motivates us at that time and we run with it.
Whether it’s right or wrong, it doesn’t matter.
As long as it keeps you moving forward, it’s only when we look back and then we can go:
‘Oh, I could have made better decisions.’
But you know what? The decision you did make saved you.
It kept you going and it helped you to become the amazing woman that you are today.
So moving forward into Natalie the Coach.
I remember speaking to you just before we started recording, and one of the things that you talked about is the multi-touch offers that you help your clients to create.
Can you just explain what that means for us?
What is a multi-touch offer?
Natalie: It’s just basically an offer where you work with more than one person at a time and you serve more than one person at a time, like in a group setting.
Pam: What would you say is the importance of that?
So a lot of people who are first starting, truly believe that you should work one on one with people.
Is that what you teach?
Natalie: Honestly, I meet my clients where they’re at and some of my clients are better suited for running with a one-on-one offer.
Some of them are more interested in groups.
So the old coaching paradigm would have you believe that you have to start with one on one, and that’s the only way that’s the holy grail to wealth. And that could be the case for some people, but it’s certainly not the case for all people.
I started with one on one, and then I realized that that was not a scalable business model. And also, I enjoy groups to answer your question about what’s the benefit. There’s so much power that can be had that can be created through group experiences, like mutual motivation and affirmation and validation and all the things that happen in a group setting. Yeah, that’s why I love them so much.
Pam: Now, when it comes to creating a group program, we all do it in different ways and there are different types of group programs.
What are some of the types of group programs that you have either executed in your business that has allowed you to wake up wealthier or that you have helped other clients to create?
Natalie: So one thing that I created that I love and I can’t wait to do again is a group retreat.
It was a bonus of one of the Masterminds that I hosted this year that they come and have a graduation retreat experience.
I also host a group experience for people who are just starting out.
And then this year I started a Mastermind, which didn’t have as much focus on the curriculum but was more like hot tea coaching. You come in as a group, we collectively give you some insight and some support and how to move forward.
Pam: I love the idea of the Mastermind.
We run Mastermind group programs.But retreat is one that we haven’t yet run.
So I want to learn all about retreats.
How do you plan a retreat?
What are perhaps three to five key steps that you can share when it comes to planning a successful retreat for your business?
Natalie: So first of all, you have to have an understanding of what your revenue goals are.
And not only a revenue goal but your profit goal.
Because sometimes I’ve actually supported a couple of clients now in putting together their retreat, and they just think of a number that they think their clients are going to be able to invest.
And it’s like: ‘But what are your expenses?’
You can’t just come up with a number and say:
‘Oh, this retreat is going to be $1,000.’
Without a real understanding at least of the basic, foundational things that you’re going to be expensing.
And so understanding what your goals are, understanding what your revenue goal is, what your profit goal is, how many people will that require based on the number that you’re envisioning in terms of pricing your retreat at. And then you want to go about really making calculations.
So you probably create some spreadsheet that has what’s the cost of your Airbnb, retreat center, whichever route you choose to go. If you’re not doing a retreat center and you’re going to be responsible for the food, you’re going to have to figure that out.
You’re going to have to factor in transportation. You’re going to have to understand if is everything all included. If so, what activities are you including?
What is the cost per person?
All of these things, and it’s going to look different depending on the length of the retreat, where you host your retreat, and what the menu is going to look like.
That would be my recommendation.
And then you have a better understanding of cost versus profit.
What is the benefit of a Retreat?
Pam: May I ask you, Natalie, what is the benefit of a retreat? Why would a business person choose to have this in their business model?
Natalie: Yeah. And actually, one of the things that are also nonnegotiable when you’re hosting a retreat is understanding what solution you’re providing, like what is the purpose of your retreat.
So actually, that’s the first thing you want to consider.
It’s like, why would people invest their money into an experience like this?
What is the solution that you’re providing?
Because I think a lot of times people are looking for an outcome.
And so as a business person, the benefit, I think, is multifold.
I think on one hand, if you thrive in group settings and group experiences, you’ll have a kick-ass time.
And I’m a big firm believer in enjoying what you do.
I think if done right, hosting retreats can be an awesome added revenue stream.
Retreats alone could bring in six figures if you do a quarterly retreat, or depending on how you price it, if you just do a few retreats a year.
I think also they’re a great jump-off point for certain people. People can funnel through your retreat. They come on your retreat and they have this amazing experience and they choose to work with you in the future. Or on the flip side, they’ve worked with you, they love you, they love your time together, and they want something to further solidify that relationship.
Pam: I love that. Absolutely.
I think that one of the biggest questions that people have that holds them back from creating a retreat is a combination of whether will people actually fly out. Will they pay or this? And is it something people want?
How would you overcome that question?
Natalie: It’s a great question. And people ask me that question, too, because I had never hosted a retreat before. It’s not that my audience was particularly primed to go on a retreat either. That wasn’t what they had come to me for in the first place.
Someone did ask me: ‘Well, what if it doesn’t work?’
And I looked at her and I was like: ‘That is not an option.’
And honestly, I had invested probably $4,000 already before ever having seen any money from the retreat. I invested in a sales page. I had a down payment for the retreat center, and that alone was that investment.
And I had to be okay with it if it didn’t work, just figuring it out and not letting the fear of people not coming to stop me from trying because I was never going to know if I could pull it off until I tried it.
So just being okay with it.
Pam: What would you say to somebody who is just starting out? What size of retreat should they be thinking of?
Natalie: Personally, my goal was 10.
That was my safe goal.
My stretch goal was probably around 12.
I think at the end, there were nine of us.
So it was actually smaller than I anticipated, and that was okay.
I also knew for my first one that it was going to be a starting point.
And this is what I want people to get more comfortable with, too.
Understanding first to do the thing and then people get warmed up to the idea of you doing that thing.
And then your second time around is going to be much simpler.
I knew that.
I was like, even if I break even on this retreat, this is something that I anticipate wanting to do many times over. So I’m going to start. I’m going to have amazing marketing material that is going to come from it. I’m going to have the experience. I’m going to learn. And next time it’s going to be easier.
Pam: Now, I know that you do several different types of offers and retreat is just one of them. And these are the offers that have helped you to wake up wealthier. But what was that one moment that you found that:
‘Oh, my goodness, I am waking up to wealth every single day.’
Can you take us on that journey, please?
Natalie: Sure. I think you can be wealthy in so many ways.
And so when I first got to Tulum and I had a nest egg and I was working, I was working with a client, just not as consistently. And I was just living life. I was having a great time. And just by default of my setting and the life I was living, I felt very, very wealthy, very abundant. And then it was Q1 of 2021.
I decided to invest in myself and didn’t implement anything and immediately tripled my income as one tends to do.
And they just step into that new evolution.
I was like:
‘All right, I’m done playing around in my business. I’m ready to make this a thing.’
And yeah, I think it was just a total energy shift. And at the same time, I met my now partner, my current boyfriend, and I was just having a blast, once again, but this time in my business as well.
And so it was the first time that I just felt so supported by my business in a way that I hadn’t been before.
And waking up, I don’t know, there were so many factors, but I loved my apartment. I loved this gorgeous man who was next to me. I loved my client and I felt so sustained.
Pam: So we’ve come to a wild card.
So I have five questions and all you need to do now is choose a number from between one and five. And whatever number you choose, I will ask you the question on that number. So what number would you like?
Pam: Okay, this is a good one.
And this one is in line with what we’re talking about. And it says:
‘I’ve always found the retreat to be such hard work when I think about planning one. What is the best way to simplify it if you are just planning your first retreat?’
Natalie: I have so many things running around in my head.
Again, be clear on who it’s for and what the solution is.
You need to know that because from that everything else will stem, including your copy, including your visuals.
I do a lot of things like soft launching. I do love to launch, but I also like to sell things on the back end. And so if there are people in your network who you think would just jump at that experience, love that experience, or even know other people who would love it, reach out to those people first and continue to do that through your marketing.
And then also, I think it could be helpful to collaborate.
So I didn’t because I tend to like to be a lone wolf when it comes to creating.
And if there are people in your network who you know would bring clientele who you would love to partner with, where you have a good working relationship, as long as you’re super, super, super, super clear with contracts and everything about what expectations are between the two of you, it could be simplified to collaborate with someone who can assist you in the marketing and assist you in the client attraction and things like that.
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