Don’t Quit

Jean-Baptiste Belledent
by: Jean-Baptiste Belledent
Don’t Quit

Are you wrestling with too few sign-ups for your retreat? Tempted to call it off? Hold that thought. We frequently hear from retreat planners engulfed in similar struggles. Whether it's the challenging economy, potential attendees hesitating to commit, or concerns about how other retreats are faring – you're not alone in this whirlwind of doubt.

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But before you decide to cancel, let's explore some proven strategies that have helped others turn the tide in their favor. In this article, we’ll unveil practical tips to transform your current challenges into a successful retreat at Xinalani. Keep reading to discover how your retreat can not only survive but thrive in these testing times.

Creating a successful yoga retreat, especially in a serene location like Xinalani, is a dream for many yoga teachers. If you're facing the challenge of low attendance, remember that every great achievement begins with the decision to try. Here are some motivational insights and practical steps to help you attract those crucial ten participants and make your retreat a reality.

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Embrace the Power of Persistence

Believe in Your Vision: Your passion for yoga and the transformative experience of a retreat is contagious. Keep that fire alive in your communication.

Reevaluate Your Marketing: Sometimes, a small tweak in your marketing strategy can make a big difference. Are you reaching the right audience? Are your promotional materials appealing and informative?

Connect and Engage

Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn to share enticing images and stories about the retreat. Highlight the unique aspects of Xinalani.

Engage Your Current Students: They are your most valuable promoters. Offer them a referral discount or a special bonus for bringing a friend.

Bring Your Relatives in: Many retreat planners get their moms and sisters on board, their college friends, neighbors, the more the merrier

Offer an Irresistible Deal

Early Bird Specials: Create urgency and excitement with limited-time offers.

Group Discounts: Encourage group bookings by offering a discount for multiple sign-ups.

Collaborate and Expand Your Network

Partner with Influencers: Connect with local wellness influencers or yoga celebrities. Their endorsement can significantly boost your visibility.

Cross-Promotion with Local Businesses: Collaborate with health food stores, wellness centers, or even local cafes.

Enhance the Retreat's Appeal

Add Unique Elements: Offer special workshops, guest speakers, or unique activities exclusive to your retreat. What’s your added value to that retreat? What sets your retreat apart? What knowledge will your students acquire? What’s their pay-off, their benefit?

Showcase Xinalani's Beauty: Emphasize the location's natural beauty and tranquility in your promotions.

Personal Touch

Reach Out Personally: Sometimes, a personal call or a heartfelt email can persuade someone on the fence.

Feedback from Previous Retreats: Share testimonials and experiences from past retreats to build credibility and trust.

Reflect and Adapt

Learn from the Experience: Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. Use this experience to refine your approach for future events.

Turning Trials into Triumph

Quitting might seem like the only option during tough times, but it's the last thing you should consider. I often draw inspiration from Hargobind Khalsa — an author, podcaster, and retreat leader who faced similar challenges. His ebook "Retreat Wizard Blizzard" is a treasure trove of inspirational anecdotes and practical advice that every retreat leader should read. One of his teachings stands out, emphasizing that our initial setbacks are often just the prelude to a greater journey.

Here's a glimpse into Hargobind's personal journey, I’m quoting page 17 and 18 of his Ebook:

I think we should cancel…” I said, with my voice trailing off. As if the word cancel meant the pain would end. We all knew it wouldn’t but we had worked so hard for just 2 registrations. One of my friends, the only one who noticed, made fun of the poster. I spent a long time on it and I stopped handing them out. It looked to get worse and that we would fail more if we kept going. If we forged ahead, the embarrassment burned the most. I was used to working long hours with little to show. I could bear losing money.

But I was most scared of the shame of pouring my heart into something, throwing a big yoga retreat, for only 2 people to show. Then they would feel awkward too. The few that trusted me, would question “was that a mistake?” I was terrified to arrive at the end, only to look like the fool to my wife, my friends and my clients.

I desperately wanted it over. […]

My friend Markus stepped up. He was wiser. He listened to my words and saw through the fear. He said “Hargobind, if we turn back from Tulum now, you may never return.” Tulum had already stolen his heart. He knew how special it could be. He knew the magic of the retreat was meant for the next group of seekers. He knew what it could do to me if I didn’t quit. He implored me to keep the faith. So we continued on.

We got 7 clients, most who paid a discounted rate…. And we had 6 presenters to fill various roles including chef, musicians, teachers and administration. It was what it was, but more than that. It was the set up for the next step… because we didn’t quit.

Think Long Term

This type of perseverance is a common thread among entrepreneurs, and planning a retreat is an entrepreneurial act in its essence. Success is a test of stamina and resilience. Many retreats begin modestly, but those who persist, who channel their heart and expertise into creating an unforgettable experience, often see their efforts multiply. They start with a small group, and before long, their retreats grow and flourish, sometimes tripling in size. Remember, it's about staying the course and excelling at your craft.

I keep a graph near my desk that reminds me daily: "Failure is the Frame, not the Picture." It's a visual mantra that failure outlines the journey but doesn't encapsulate the destination. Let it inspire you as it has inspired me.

Final Thought

The journey of a thousand miles does indeed begin with a single step, and right now, you're only ten steps away from making your retreat at Xinalani a reality. Maintain your enthusiasm, adapt your strategies, and stay open to the endless possibilities. Your commitment to yoga has the potential to transform lives—this includes your own. Keep your focus sharp, and let the enchantment of Xinalani work through you.

Your retreat promises more than just yoga; it's an opportunity for profound transformation. Push forward with the knowledge that there are people out there eager to be part of the remarkable experience you're creating.

And when in doubt, draw inspiration from the resilience of champions like tennis player Stan Wawrinka, who carries Samuel Beckett's words tattooed on his arm: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." Let these words fuel your determination to see beyond the setbacks, for in the grand tapestry of your efforts, every failure is simply a backdrop to your success.

Welcome to Xinalani, how can I help you?
Our office hours are from 9am to 6pm (GMT-5).
Bienvenido a Xinalani, ¿En qué puedo ayudarle?
Nuestro horario de atención es de 9am a 6pm.