One year ago, we had thought of hosting a retreat. The retreat would be for business owners, creatives, and freelancers who want to use their business to make an impact. Once the idea came about, the manifesting started happening (if you believe in that – we certainly do)!
We connected with Sahara, of Scarlet Macaw Trips, and briefly talked about potentially hosting a retreat in Cartagena, Colombia. The idea seemed wild and big, but it also didn’t seem impossible! To make it even better, we thought what if we could collaborate with someone who was equally content savvy and social media-friendly like we were…
So we approached Andrea, of It’s a Travel O.D., about co-hosting a retreat – something we’ve both never done before but LOVED the thought of. So in November 2018, we started pre-planning a weeklong retreat, what it would look like, and how we could bring this to life!
READ ANDREA’S GUEST BLOG POST: How to Incorporate Video Content in your Brand Strategy
In October 2019, we hosted 8 womxn in Cartagena, Colombia for the inaugural Hit Publish Retreat, in partnership with Scarlet Macaw Trips. Here’s a recap of the week and the HYPE TEAM ?
WHAT – HIT PUBLISH RETREAT
If you’ve been following us for a while – Andrea and I met while traveling and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago de Chile. During those two months, we CRANKED OUT WORK. And we do not say this lightly. It was the first time I met someone who was equally as passionate about content creation, repurposing, studying digital strategies and loved reggaeton as much as I did.
When we were together, Andrea and I brought to life numerous projects like…
- Her guest blog post on adding video into your brand strategy
- My vlog on being location independent vs. a digital nomad
- A presentation in Buenos Aires called “No Te Quedes Sin Ideas”
- Lots of content for the ‘gram
- A Udemy course on “How to Create Content for Social Media”
- and a plan for our first online mastermind “Hit Publish in 4 Weeks”
WATCH: Hear from KC, founder of Borderless Stories, about her experience in the Hit Publish in 4 Weeks (HP4W) Mastermind!
After traveling, working, and running an online mastermind together, we thought about how we could do the same for another group of content-loving creatives, business owners, and freelancers. The Hit Publish Retreat is all about being surrounded by a supportive ‘hype team’ that you could share ideas with, brainstorm, and hold you accountable.
We wanted to create a space where people could learn from one another, have fun traveling together, and still grow their business at the same time.
WANT TO JOIN THE HYPE TEAM ? for our next #hitpublishretreat? Add your name to the waitlist here! We’ll be in touch!
WHERE – CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
Known as the “Colombian Carribean”, Cartagena is a vibrant city right by the ocean. It is HOT, HOT, HOT, and extremely humid. We didn’t realize just how humid the weather would be until we arrived, left the airport, and immediately started sweating
Cartagena is a vibrant and lively city with a diverse array of cultures, music, and language. We stayed in the heart of the historic downtown area, only a few minutes from the main plaza, and explored the Getsemaní neighborhood in our free time.
The streets were filled with locals and tourists, brightly painted homes, floral adorned terraces and patios, and always a cart on the corner selling fresh fruits or arepas! The city was bustling, buzzing, and busy. The perfect setting for a group of 8 ambitious womxn who wanted to explore, get inspired, and network with each other.
Our favorite part was realizing that walking anywhere in the historic downtown area was only 10-15 minutes maximum! Extremely convenient to explore, get lost for a short while, and find your way back to the hotel.
WHO – MEET THE HIT PUBLISH RETREAT HYPE TEAM ?
For our first retreat, we had an amazing group of 8 womxn join us! Their professions spanned from SEO consultant and Pinterest strategist, copywriters, brand strategists, translators, virtual assistants, and mindset coaching. They came from Canada, the United States, and Pánama, with diverse backgrounds, education, and experiences. IT WAS AMAZING.
We are always surprised by the power of social media and the way you can build a community on it because out of the 8 womxn that came, only one had really met us in real life! The other 7 had only followed us on Instagram, trusted us based on our content, and paid to fly down to a foreign country and spend the week together. WHOA.
Meet the 8 womxn HYPE TEAM ? and our co-host!
We were so grateful to have an amazing group that always included positive energy, support, and excitement. Everyone respected each other, gave one another tips and information, and even shared ideas we wanted people to *steal* and implement in their own business!
Some of what the HYPE TEAM ? brought together during the trip:
- Started matching with one another the first day!
- Nicknames for everyone
- Collaborated projects and services
- Hiring one another for training and workshops
- Inspiring each other to add something to their business
Watching 8 strangers come together to travel, explore, work, and share was inspiring. It really reminded us about the power of events, building trust online, and working from your values to attract the right type of clients.
Want to connect with each of the HYPE TEAM ? members? Give them a follow below:
- Caroline – LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Aliyah – LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Irene – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Alesha – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Rebecca – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Shalie – YOUTUBE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Marisa – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Julia – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- Our co-host, Andrea – WEBSITE | LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
- And our founder, Cassandra – LINKEDIN | INSTAGRAM
WHY – THE POWER OF RETREATS
Before this retreat, we knew how powerful social media was. Come on, y’all – 8 womxn who didn’t know us, booked their flights, paid their deposits, and flew to Cartagena to spend a week together. What we didn’t expect was just how powerful the retreat was!
On a personal and professional level, being surrounded by like-minded individuals who were eager, willing, and so supportive was game-changing. In our conference room, we laughed, cried (happy and vulnerable tears), and brainstormed to make sure each person could take their business forward.
On a personal level, the HYPE TEAM ?:
- Worked through their imposter syndrome and owned their expertise and work
- Realized how powerful connecting with people from different countries, backgrounds, and experiences are to expand our knowledge
- Got vulnerable and shared their stories on the Internet through social media
- Shared their struggles with jealousy, comparison, and how to really embody the phrase “Community over Competition”
On a business level, the HYPE TEAM ?:
- Brainstormed new service offerings, training programs, and products to launch in 2020
- Collaborated on projects with people that weren’t exactly in their industry – forcing them to get creative
- Mapped out their 2019 Q4 goals, 2020 goals, and their big-picture goals, with action steps on how to achieve them
- Practiced their sales pitches in front of the room and had ‘hot seat’ style questions to defend their expertise
The power of this retreat showed us that although online connections can be extremely powerful, once you take those relationships offline… they grow and evolve into deeper conversations, connections, and a stronger network.
We can’t wait to do it again – this time… where?!
A recap of the Hit Publish Retreat
If you missed out on all the goodness of the inaugural Hit Publish Retreat – here’s the dirty rundown of everything that happened!
Who – A group of ambitious and adventurous female business owners, content creators, and freelancers, now considered the HYPE TEAM ?
Where – The beautiful Colombian Carribean… Cartagena, Colombia!
When – the last week of October! (Don’t worry, we’ve got 2020 dates coming up!)
How – All through the help and partnership of Scarlet Macaw Trips, our trusted local travel agency who took care of all the logistics for us!
Why – Because we believe in working hard, but equally playing as hard. We believe in the power of bringing a group of people together to collaborate, brainstorm, keep each other accountable, and the beauty of travel and exploring a new city to spark inspiration and new business ideas.
Have you been on a retreat before? What was your experience! Share with us in the comments below!
Got a bit of FOMO? Sign-up to the Hit Publish Retreat waitlist for updates on our next retreat!
*All photos were taken and provided by @joycetomafotos.
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