Highlights From the MomBizRetreat

Last week, Shelagh Cummins and I hosted the first-ever MomBizRetreat. The purpose of the Retreat was to give mom entrepreneurs a space and dedicated time to work on themselves and on their businesses, without all the distractions we usually have at home. It was amazing on so many levels.

Mompreneur Getaway Mom Entrepreneurs RetreatI went there as a teacher/trainer/coach, but I came away having learned so much. When you put 18 powerful, smart, and ambitious women in a room, big things happen. (One of the MomBizRetreat participants shared her story here.) I have so much to share with you about this amazing experience.

It’s been six days since I drove to the Village of Alton, outside of Toronto, and spent nearly every waking minute for an entire weekend with other mompreneurs who are just as passionate about their families and businesses as I am.MomBizRetreat Mompreneur Getaway Mom Entrepreneur Retreat Millcroft Inn Canada

The thing is, writing it down in an organized blog post really stifles me. I’m really not a blogger. I’m a micro-blogger. I speak and think in tweets. I can readily share my ideas in conversation, pictures, podcasts, and all over social media. But it’s been six days since the Retreat, and I’m still struggling to tell you about it on my blog.

So instead of continuing to struggle with organized thoughts that flow logically from one to the next, I’m going to share snippets of what I’m taking away from the MomBizRetreat.

  • Set your intentions, share them with others who understand your motivation and passion, and you’re gonna get them done!
  • Mompreneurs support each other. The women in the room worked together and found ways to help each other. Collaborate rather than compete.
  • Getting away from it all allows us the freedom to think, create and do at a lightning-fast pace.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out as a mom entrepreneur or whether you’ve run your company for 10 years already. Everyone has valuable knowledge, wisdom and expertise to share.
  • You have to love your work. If you don’t anymore, then it’s time to reflect, refine and re-invent.
  • If everyone else thinks you’re successful, but you don’t feel happy about what you’ve accomplished, it’s definitely time to rethink how you define success for yourself.
  • Every mompreneur needs a Time Map. Period.
  • Getting out of the “should” business is thoroughly liberating. The mom business owners at the Retreat had a ton of skills and strengths. Their businesses are going to thrive now that they are giving their strengths their focus!
  • Having a buddy you can share your thoughts, fears, wins, doubts, plans, challenges and successes with is critical. I’m so grateful for my partner!
  • When you have an “a-ha moment,” you have to do something about it. Updating your website or profile to reflect something you believe in, making a huge business decision when you realize something, asking for help when you see that you need it must all be done the minute you realize you need to do them!
  • Sometimes random strangers can tell us things about our businesses that we can’t see for ourselves.
  • Sometimes random strangers can see straight into our hearts, even when we’re trying hard to hide something.
  • A women’s retreat is a great, safe space to practice being open to change.

I would love to say more here, but it’s easier for me to share it on Twitter (check out the #MomBizRetreat hashtag to follow the conversation there), on our MomBizRetreat Facebook Page, and of course, on my BlogTalkRadio Show.

Lara Galloway mombizcoach.com Shelagh Cummins biztrainher.com leaders of the mombizretreat.comIf you attended the MomBizRetreat and have created a video, blogpost or podcast about your experience there, please share a link here in the comments section.

What would you be looking for in a women’s business retreat or mompreneur getaway? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

*photos courtesy Jennifer Gilbert, Naturally Beautiful Photography


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

You may also like


  1. Lara and Shelagh I had such a great time at the retreat – while the getting there was not easy for me – the “being” there was a breeze. I went away with a stronger intention to be kinder to myself and my health. I also went away with a sense of strength knowing that I had great clarity about the direction of my business. I am not there yet but the work book has given me the tools to get started! I loved the marketing support you provided the ladies too – I learned a bunch of new stuff!

  2. Leigh,

    You’re a brilliant business woman and a fantastic friend. I’m so glad to see you’re focusing on your health while you expand your business. Clearly, you’ve found a fantastic niche given the huge growth you’ve experienced in the last year! Thanks for being a great supporter of the MomBizRetreat and for sharing your marketing consulting with the participants over the weekend.

  3. Lara – you are a powerhouse – knowledgeable, kind but firm, relaxed and yet you managed to exude energy enough for 2, AND you completely understand what it means to be a mom and entrepreneur! Shelagh you are amazing – your ability to keep us all on track, while still ensuring we were able to absorb the abundance of information scheduled for the retreat (while being 9 months pregnant) was what really impressed me. WOW! There are absolutely no excuses with you two.

    Add to what the two of you brought to the room, the group of women at the retreat were phenomenal.  They say that when you get a number of people together, all with the same focus, the energy can be truly significant – we created a shift during our time together. Thank you!

  4. And thank you, Carolynn, for bringing your energy to the room. As I said during the Retreat: It’s clear that you are always willing to share what you know to help others. That’s the magic of collaboration!

  5. I am still impacted by the MomBizRetreat!  I am inspired by all of the activity and connection with the other wonderful women business owners that I met.  My goals are still clear in my mind and I have the tools to move forward with my plan of action that was created at the retreat.  I have known for a long time now that I needed to re-focus my business plan and revisit my objective in business and create new strategies to move my business forward and have never had the time, opportunity and support all in one place to make this happen.  The MomBizRetreat did just that for me!  Lara and Shelagh have an amazing program for any woman business owner to focus on what she needs to create a powerful vision of what they want in their business, family and personal lives.

  6. Barb,

    Thanks for your sweet words! You have a great business that is poised to grow. Add to that your personality and passion for it, and you’re well on your way. I’m glad you were able to make use of the community and the space to re-visit your plans and get in action. And I’m so grateful that you provided us such a soothing spa session upstairs in the Manor House Lounge. Ah, sweet memories!

  7. ‘Like you Lara, I too
    am struggling to write that ‘reflections’ post. How does one capture the magic
    with words? I’ve dedicated some time tomorrow/Sunday morning to do it, at the
    cottage, large coffee in hand!  I’ve been telling everyone I know how
    great both you and Shelagh are at leading a group through a weekend long
    session.  You are both motivating, inspirational, driven, caring,
    supportive and committed to the Mom Biz Retreats, and I wouldn’t hesitate to
    recommend it to other women!’
    Finally got around to it.  Here’s the link to  my post http://mibec.ca/smallbizcafe/reflection/2011/09/mom-biz-retreat/

  8. Judy–You have done a great job with your reflections! It was amazing to me how quickly all of you were willing to support each other. We had our own little focus group!
    I’m so thrilled you were a part of our inaugural group. Thank you for sharin what you learned!

  9. Perfectly put Lara!  As I read through your points, I nodded at each and every one of them.  Thank you so much to you and Shelagh for putting this together.  I feel honoured to have been able to attend!

  10. It’s been over a week since the retreat…and, the honeymoon is still not over. What I’ve learned and been able to process from the two WORTHWHILE and EFFECTIVE days are still very much in my forefront. In fact, I’ve made a VISION BOARD for my existing business and a new business that is about to become a fruition. While that is going on, I have been able to and will keep going with keeping my family a priority. No guilt trips over it. I am excited with the re-alignment of my business and my personal life…I highly recommend the Mom Biz Retreat and look forward to participating in the future ones!

  11. OK, Hanna–Our work here is DONE! You are such a powerhouse, and I’m sure your business(es) will grow and continue to prosper. What thrills me is your commitment to making your definition of success INCLUDE your family. I think this is the key to longterm satisfaction and success for a mompreneur like you. Raising a family while running a business is no easy task, but you’re providing a wonderful example to your children that it can be done, that pursuing your dreams is worth it. I’m so glad Shelagh and I were able to support you along the way!