Adventures in business planning: Best annual retreat ever!

Adventures in business planning: Best annual retreat ever!

March 1, 2022 By Julie Willson Resources

A few months ago, I held my first-ever annual business retreat. It was a jam-packed week of planning, strategizing, and hundreds of sticky notes. I had been meaning to do it for years, after being prompted by edibuddy Melanie Padgett Powers to do so. And it was AMAZING.

But why I would need an entire week to retreat, especially given that I’m a solopreneur of my editorial business, Edits by Julia? After all, I’ve been operating since 2015 just fine. 

Well … 2021 was my year to PIVOT. My role as managing editor of a small boutique publishing company came to a (sad) end after three years. Health issues in the summer months left me with only enough stamina to work about one or two hours a day, so I had to cut back significantly. And I wanted to scale my little business to a much greater and more profitable one.

In addition to all that, I knew there would be numerous benefits to dedicating this focused time, such as these:

So I went all-in. During this extraordinarily productive week, I created 113 tasks within 14 categories, then distilled these down to the essential action items I wanted to complete during the retreat. Here is a breakdown of some of the tasks I completed that week by category.

Business Stuff

Learning & Development




Here are my other categories:

So now what? How do I keep this momentum going to ensure I take my business to the next level in 2022?

For one thing, I’ve scheduled monthly CEO Days (final Fridays) when I review goals, document income and expenses, and plan for the coming 30 days and beyond. I revisit my ginormous to-do list and determine the next 10 or so key tasks.

Ultimately, I’ve learned it’s all about priorities. You should always be working on the most critical task … striving toward the most compelling goal … reading the book that will have the greatest impact on your life. And surrounding yourself with the dopest and most positive edibuddies, as I’ve found in the ACES community, who will offer support and assistance as your virtual team members.

I’d love to hear about your retreat or business planning session. Feel free to email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn!

Header Photo by Marko Ganzaro on Unsplash.

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