Monthly Archives

August 2021

Blog

While The Cat’s Away, The Mice Will Play…

With our founders and leaders away – enjoying a very well-deserved break somewhere sunny. We thought we’d take a moment to reflect on Hilary and Peter and Next Chapter Retreats over the last 18 months.

When we asked Hilary and Peter why they started Next Chapter Retreats they said…

Two things:

“Someone once said to us, ‘Many people die with their best music unplayed’ and we think that’s a tragedy.  We’ve been running retreats for CEOs of SMEs in peer learning groups for some years and were struck by the extent to which they were valued. New people joining the groups were told ‘Listen up, you mustn’t miss this. This is the highlight of the year’. One person even changed the dates of his wife’s surgery because it clashed with the dates of the next retreat.”

“We thought to ourselves, ‘We’ve got something really important here and it’s too valuable to be restricted only to people who have signed up to a peer learning group.’ We wanted to take them to a wider audience.”

Both Hilary and Peter have suffered their fair share of crossroad moments in their lives, including cancer diagnosis, divorce and redundancy. They didn’t want their best music to go unplayed so they embarked on Next Chapter Retreats in 2019.

How have the last 18 months been?
Next Chapter Retreats are designed as residential breaks, so when the pandemic hit in our 2nd year of trading, it railroaded our growth plans. We had to switch to virtual delivery almost overnight and it took its toll on us. We’re people people and not being in front of our audiences was very difficult. But we were not defeated. We focused on business planning, growing and engaging with our audience, business development, and personal brand growth.  We signed up for and participated in many webinars, speaking about the importance of self-development and looking after yourself mentally and physically during the pandemic.

In August 2020 we saw a glimmer of hope and the possibility of retreats returning in Q3 but that was quickly dampened by lockdown #2!

In the Autumn of 2020, we designed and implemented our first App. The ‘being your best’ sense checker – have a go if you haven’t already: Click Here

We developed our brand and vision video. Watch Here

We spent a long time testing our concept, reiterating, preparing new content, stress testing it and refining what we do.

We didn’t embrace virtual because that’s not the nature of our retreats, we were strong enough to know our product and our audience and survived the pandemic by being true to ourselves and using it as time on the business to get everything business ready.

We formed long-lasting partnerships with like-minded businesses, and we wrote and wrote and wrote, posted and posted on social and added value to people through our wealth of life experience when they needed us most.

We embarked on an entrepreneurial programme to become key people of influence.

We implemented our brand pillars Uncover / Create / Change.

Returning to our first live event in July 2021, we ran a very successful retreat for a small group, in the wonderful setting of Cowley Manor. The feedback we received from participants was excellent and their response demonstrated that we had succeeded in pioneering a different approach to personal development. No one else is running retreats like these. They are not wellness retreats as such, we don’t offer yoga and detox, but they can make a significant contribution to mental health and wellness. What may take a life coach a year to achieve, we do in 3 months.

Our next 5-day retreat starts on 31st October 2021 – click here to join.  By booking a place you will start to feel better, have something to look forward to and a sense of taking control of your next chapter.

Blog

Who We Are – Next Chapter Retreats

We work with successful people who may have lost a sense of purpose and direction, have run out of steam, gone off the boil and those who want to get back to their best. Our clients know the power of investing in their own personal growth and development, they are emotionally intelligent and self-aware. We help nurture that awareness into action, leading to a more fulfilled life. Bringing focus, renewed energy and impact. 

Our Founders Peter Hyson & Hilary Rowland

What led us to start Next Chapter Retreats? Two things:

  • Someone once said, ‘Many people die with their best music unplayed’ and we think that’s a tragedy.
  • We’ve been running retreats for CEOs of SMEs in peer learning groups for some years and we were struck about the extent to which they were valued. New people joining the groups were told, ‘Listen up, you mustn’t miss this. This is the highlight of the year’. One person even changed the dates of his wife’s surgery because it clashed with the dates of the next retreat.

We thought to ourselves, ‘We’ve got something really important here and it’s too valuable to be restricted only to people who have signed up to a peer learning group.’ We wanted to take them to a wider audience.

One of the things we believe about retreats is that they should provide lots of time for thinking and planning, so we give people lots of free time, strongly encouraging them not to do emails or phone calls, but to go for a walk, swim, have a sauna. When we first did this, we thought there would be major objections from busy CEOs, but no, people really valued being given permission to step back from the business and think.

What we’ve learned is that retreats work in all kinds of situations: planning for the business, thinking about the family and a relationship with a partner, working out how to be a better leader, confronting a dysfunctional lifestyle, contemplating a career change, or just the next stage of a career.

Our next 5-day retreat starts on 31st October 2021 – click here to join. Only a few places remaining. By booking a place you will start to feel better, have something to look forward to, and have a sense of taking control of the situation.

Blog

What Are Retreats?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘retreat’? I found this piece by Madisyn Taylor, author of DailyOM which sums it up beautifully.

‘Occasionally we need to pause – and step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One way to do this is to go on retreat. Far more than a holiday, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, heal, reflect and renew our spirit. It is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge renewed refreshed and ready to return to everyday life with a new perspective. A retreat gives us time for uninterrupted meditation so that we may go deep within and spend time with ourselves.

A retreat may offer quiet solitude and sometimes even silence. Our senses may be reawakened to the beauty, sights and sounds of nature. When we spend days in contemplation, we can more easily hear our heart when it speaks to us. We are also able to really listen when a bird sings, breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, and earth. When we go on retreat we have time to take a long reflective walk through the woods where we give each step our full attention.

Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go deep into our own solitude where we can fully reflect on our joys, sorrows and fears, owning them and releasing them as needed. We may even come to know and understand our life path more deeply. Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time alone back with us. We also may come back to our life more renewed and ready to take on the world.  

The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you are away you will always meet yourself when you get there.’

Our retreats offer all of this. We provide guided reflective activities that stimulate your thinking in very carefully chosen, completely confidential small groups which enable you to explore the stories of your life more deeply to discover what you are like at your best and what holds you back. We help you retell those stories so that you can craft the next chapter of your life, whatever that needs to be for you. Our retreats will make a big difference to your mental health but are not primarily wellness retreats in that we don’t offer yoga or detox, though we stay in a lovely hotel where there’s a very good spa if you want a massage!

We work with successful people who may have lost a sense of purpose and direction, have run out of steam, gone off the boil and those who want to get back to their best. Our clients know the power of investing in their own personal growth and development, they are intelligent and self-aware. We help nurture that awareness into action, leading to a more fulfilled life. Bringing focus, renewed energy and impact. Contact us for a conversation

Blog

Invest in your family

What are you most proud of?

When we ask our clients that they nearly always mention that they’re most proud of their children. I know I am. This is a time when we have more time to spend with our families and yet, we may feel we are at the end of our tether ourselves and don’t have much to give them. Sometimes we think that money will fill the gap, but it’s us they really value.

How do you want to invest in your family?

At this time of the year, we have more time to spend with them and that may highlight how little time we normally have with them with all the feelings of guilt that go with that. It often feels like an either/or. Either we put a lot into our work and career, or we take our foot off the pedal to be with the family.

What if there was a both?

We know that people who come on our retreats leave with more to give back to their partners and their families. Watch Belinda Collins who came on one of our retreats reflect on the difference it made to her and her relationship with her family, link below

Invest in yourself, invest in the business, invest in the family, come on a retreat. We still have one or two places on our next retreat in September.

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