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It's Time to Retreat!

The word “retreat” has different meanings. It can mean a time to withdraw and relax or it can mean a time to withdraw to better concentrate on a specific matter or goal. Teresa and I will soon engage in the latter meaning. Each year, right after our conference, we hold our annual planning retreat.

It’s an intense weekend, with plenty of work sessions. We work on the agenda well in advance to make sure we stay focused and get the much-needed work done.

When we first started Earrings Off! we were flying by the seat of our pants. We produce a new podcast and blog each week. Trust me, the schedule can be grueling at times and the pressure is most definitely real. During our first year, a lot of our time was spent learning about podcasts, how to get good guests, how to prepare them (and us!) for the interview and how to edit the audio recording. A lot of time was spent on the actual manual production. We took classes to learn how to use the equipment. We did research to figure out which mics we could afford that would give us the level of quality we desired. We were working hard; however, we were always in reactive mode. What we did was dictated by which fire was flaring at that particular time. There were lots of fires.

Next year marks our 5th year and I often say, if we had a blooper reel of our mishaps, I am sure it would be our top-rated production. However, this last year it seems we have gotten into a bit of a groove with our operational responsibilities. We now know what has to be done and what we need to do to execute effectively. We still feel the pressure at times, but most days the challenges are ones we have already conquered in the past. That’s what makes this retreat even more important than all the ones held previously.

There is a quote by Albert Einstein which states “The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.” May our retreat be filled with new learning and a renewed commitment to be better. We don’t want Earrings Off! to become stagnant or irrelevant. We have to learn, stretch and grow to make sure that does not happen. Got something to add to the conversation? Shoot us an email to We certainly would value your input!

We don’t want to just do business as usual. We don’t want to say “Get a promotion” without providing you with the steps to make that a reality. We don’t want to caution you about your relationships without painting a clear picture of what indicators are present in healthy relationships. The annual retreat is our way of ensuring that Earrings Off! evolves into what it is truly meant to be: A vehicle to facilitate positive change in the community by providing information and useful resources to direct that change. Bring it on!

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