How I Sold Out My Retreat In Bali

Steph Bali

I had a major shift recently while promoting my latest yoga retreat to Ubud, Bali. Long story short, I overestimated the ease of people signing up for this yoga adventure and with only 3 months to go, I had a mere 3 people signed up. Which is grand, except for the fact that I was paying for 10 people, whether 10 people showed up or not. Which meant at the time, I would be about $6,000 in debt from running the retreat. It was time to have a serious conversation with myself. 

I will confess, I let my ego guide me too often and for a long time I was running retreats with the wrong intention. With selfish intentions. It was a way for me to potentially make more money and a way to travel and adventure with my expenses being paid for. I also think there’s some false belief that if a teacher is running a retreat and people are signing up for it, they must be a good teacher and I wanted to join that club. 

So when I realized that what my ego wanted was going to cost me a lot of money I had to sit down and get really clear on what the hell I was doing this for. Underneath my selfish desires, there was something bigger being created, I just wasn’t fully connected to what that was yet. I sat down with my journal and wrote at the top something along the lines of “what the fuck am I running retreats for?”. Then I reconnected with what really lit me up about past retreats and I was overwhelmed with excitement at creating that again. It was all about the intimate connection that gets created when a group of like-minded people spend a week together somewhere gorgeous and do my favorite thing, yoga. It was about arranging a trip where people who might not otherwise feel comfortable, can join a group of people and have the logistics taken care of to experience Bali. I zoomed back to what I loved so much about Bali and honestly, felt so passionate about it that I truly wanted others to experience it. 

I looked at my branding and description of the retreat, all that I had put out into the world and realized none of it was connected at all to what I held most dear to my heart. All my communication about the retreat came from a really egoic place of sell, sell, sell, and "you should do this because…” honestly, it was fear driven. It might as well have said, "come on my retreat so I can live a crazy dream without having any deep connection as to why I'm doing it at all!" Not cool Steph. So with only a few months out, I completely removed old posts and descriptions and started fresh with a deeper connection in mind. 

2 things happened; first, my fear about losing money on this trip dissipated. I felt that even if those 3 people who signed up were the only ones to come, for me to experience that with them would be worth the loss. I saw it as a small trade-off for what we would experience together. But that wasn’t what happened because the second thing that happened was that a big flux of interest came my way about the retreat. People weren’t connecting to it before because there wasn’t much to connect to, but once I put out on social media the value of the experience and what my intention was, well it would be hard not to connect to that. I sold about 1 spot per week up until a couple weeks before I took off and wound up with a group of 10 incredible women to share a week in the Balinese rice fields with. 

This was a huge lesson for me that when you put things out into the world that are soulless, driven by fear and good only for your ego you’ll get a little nudge that you’re not moving in the right direction. If you are like me and want to live a life of passion, creativity, heart, and soul then don’t think for a second you can get away with trying to do anything less than that. What you do with the little nudge is up to you, you can blame the lack of flow on everyone and everything but yourself.

Or, you can hear the call and transform who you are and the work that you do to elevate yourself, your students and your community. 


Interested in joining me for a retreat in Bali? 

We are going back again March 3rd - 10th 2019! Click here for more details!