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Tarzan Kay


August 25, 2023

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retreat planning the barbie way

There’s really just never a good time to bring up this question, so let’s start with a shoutout to Barbie for her impeccable timing.

My answer is yes. 

Especially on ketamine 🙀

Especially especially when a group of 5 people who each paid me $12,000 are getting an international flight to spend four days with me. 

I’m talking about my mastermind retreat, which I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time prepping for (or maybe an ordinate* amount, actually—$60K is nothing to sneeze at). 

This feeling keeps nagging at me: 

What if something happens to me? What if I eat some bad camembert and have to go to the hospital? What if my kid needs an emergency tonsillectomy? What if one of my kidneys explode? WHAT IF SOMEONE MURDERS ME?!?

I once heard a podcast episode where Rachel Rodgers** talked about getting food poisoning right before a retreat and spending the whole thing holed up in her hotel room while her team delivered the event.

I can never unlisten to that podcast. 

One thing I’ve been focused on this year is getting better at delivery, really showing up for my customers and doing what I say I’m going to do, plus a bit extra. This industry is notoriously bad at that.  

…so I did a really grown-up thing: I created a back-up plan. 

I have two “retreat anchors” each covering different parts of the event, based on their skills and availability. They’re both excellent facilitators whose events I’ve attended myself. I know they’ll make it special if I’m unexpectedly the victim of a hit and run while biking home from sprint canoe practice. 

The retreat anchors are paid an “on-call” fee for the days they’ve committed too, plus for the time they both have spent with me going over the plan. Then there’s a rate they’ll be paid in the event that they actually have to show up and facilitate. 

The bonus for *me* is that I’ve had to create an extremely detailed Run of Show for basically every minute of the whole event—something I’d probably have done anyway since I am not a seat-of-my-pants person at all with stuff like this. My courses are all scripted, bruv! Ditto for any speaking events I’ve done. 

But I probably wouldn’t have gotten so granular with everyone’s responsibilities (who is responsible for making sure the coffee is always fresh and there’s toilet paper in all the bathrooms?), or make sure that the wifi password, emergency contact information, and the door code are all in convenient, easy-to-find places with documents set to “anyone can view”—plus 59,000 other things.  

It’s a freaking ton of work. 

I really miss my former EA Vanessa who would’ve SLAYED at least 30% of this whole task for me. 

But I was planning to be the concierge for this program all along. Even though I have a small team, I wanted to do this because it’s meaningful to me, it’s the first time and I need to understand the job, and because micro-managing this particular aspect of delivery makes me feel safe.

I wasn’t planning on giving you that much detail today but there it is. Today’s episode of My Grown-Up Business. 

In short, yes Barbie. Yes I think about dying. I have life insurance policies for myself and my children’s father. Four of them, actually. I’ve chosen a song for my funeral (it’s this one***). Thinking about dying is part of growing up. 

And just in case I’ve worried you, you should know I always ride on the bike path when I go to canoe practice. 

Fingers crossed this is all just a drill 🤞


*Not a real word!

**Not an endorsement!

***Bestie, you getting this? You’re responsible for bringing the 🍬.

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