What a weekend!! Just come back from the first Wisdom, Wellness and Wealth Weekend retreat. This inaugral weekend was at the Al Hamra Fort hotel in Ras Al Khaimah and whilst it has been around for a long long time, the hotel offered a great venue for it. The grounds it occupies are absolutely huge! So much so that another hotel has built it’s 7 star offering in the grounds just along the beach!!
I am part of an online community that is looking to really build and build in the region to offer people an insight into the entrepreneurial world and the fact that there is another way of doing things, where you do have to work hard, but you work hard for yourself and you see the results and rewards all going to you! We are fostering a community that ultimately works for each other, for the benefit of the individual and the group. So this weekend, our core team of 7 jump on the road on Thursday morning to head up and get things all in order as well as spend some time together, planning our future and the future of our community. It is quite amazing what can happen when 7 free thinking entrepreneurial minds get together and actually have some time to discuss and plan – from 2pm till about 9pm we threw ideas around, discussed visions, goals, objectives, dynamics and put together specific action plans for what needed to happen for our community to reach it’s full potential. The energy level was incredible and feeding off such positive energy from like minded people can make such a difference in your well being. You forget about any negativity that may be playing on your mind and forget about things that might not be going your way in other areas of your life, because you have a renewed focus and energy on what you actually want to do. However, the energy level of that day was just a tiny pre cursor of what was to come over the rest of the weekend.
Whilst the conference room was actually in the Al Hamra Fort hotel itself we were staying in a different part of the complex, a quick mini bus ride away (passed the 7 star hotel) We were staying at the Al Hamra Village Golf Resort complex, which for those of you that know Dubai, looks like one massive long ‘Springs’ stree, with identical villas on each side. The left side stretching from 1-500 and the right from
500 up to 999. One side gives you great views over the Golf Course the other side of the frankly massive pool and restaurant/bar area. The rooms are looking a little dated now and unfortunately the A/C didn’t work in our room but they were more than adequate as somewhere to lay your head for a couple hours at night – which is about all we got whilst we were there. FUN is a major part of our ‘business’ plan so we work hard and then play in equal measures! After dinner by the pool and a few drinks it was nearly 1am so decided it was time to hit the sack in preparation for the full day ahead. There was a slight breakdown in communication within the hotel and one of those situations arose that could have quite easily been avoided. Despite only 7 of us turning up for dinner and the fact that we had guaranteed 25 people for the FOLLOWING day, the restaurant wanted us to sign for 25 people that night! I know that in this part of the world staff are not given any accountability or decision making abilities, but the exact words from the waiter were ‘It would be really good for me if you could sign this one for 25 people and sort it out tomorrow’. As per usual here, it took a call by Elin, to the lady who had organised our group booking, hand over the phone to the waiter and problem sorted! Yet another clear example of why the way the service industry here needs to change to empower employees. It was in no way the waiters fault as he was just following the INCORRECT information he had been provided by his colleagues. Blaming the customer for the mistake of your organisation is a surefire way to leave a bitter taste in any customers mouth! Other than this slight hiccup, the resort was a fantastic place to host the first of what we hope will be many retreats.
The Al Hamra Village Golf Resort was absolutely packed with a lot of German and Russion tourists, many in their twilight years, enjoying some Spring sunshine. So packed that there actually wasn’t anywhere to sit at breakfast – this was at 8.30am. You would have thought all these holiday makers would be making the most of a lie in! A hearty protien laden breakfast and we were off to the conference room. We had a couple things to run through before around 25 attendees joined us to kick off proceedings. It was a good indication of things to come that although the official kick off was 11am, people were trying to get into the room from just after 10am!! I only mention this, because in this part of the world, it’s quite common for a 9am meeting to actually start closer to 10am!
Friday was an amazing day in terms of learning and most of all – the biggest thing I learnt was how to remain ‘on state’ The energy level in the room remained at a level that sustained us all, from 11am until 12 midnight in terms of actual training room activity and then sustained some of us until about 3am, when it was time to call it quits as we had a 9am start on Saturday. The people in the room and the information shared were of a very high calibre and we look forward to working with and on behalf of many of those that attended with a view to establishing, building and expanding businesses. Our good friend and business partner Dave Crane, came back from 7 hours of entertaining a corporation to deliver his Dream Experience and whilst I have been through it a couple of times, this was the most effective one I had done and I felt truly energised but relaxed when I came out.
The short trip back to our accommodation once we finally decided to call it quits was interesting. In the space of about 10 minutes, the clear night turned into a scene from a horror movie with a thick fog descending on to the resort. We managed to get a golf buggy to drop us back, but I think our buggy had been hard at work all day and was in dire of need of a recharge as it was a slow trip home! There was so much moisture in the air that by the time we reached our destination, we needed a towel to dry off!
So a couple hours sleep and up again to deliver another half day of content, advice and money making ideas! Myself and James Reynolds delivered a very brief overview of what the Web Reactivators do and how the organisations came about and we then did a Hot Seat for one of the attendees on their current website and how things could potentially be improved to turn it into a revenue generating asset to her business. It was a valuable exercise and that she came up after we wrapped up the weekend and said a personal thank you to both James and I was awesome! Web Reactivators is one of the businesses I am heavily involved in, that I know can provide massive value to clients, big and small. We help business owners generate more leads, opportunities, brand awareness and more Profit. We are also providing a way for our community to make money for themselves!
The retreat itself wrapped up just after 1.30pm and after fielding all the questions and feedback from those that attended we headed off to grab some lunch about 3pm. The Al Hamra Fort hotel has a lovely little beach side restaurant where a quick bite to eat before heading home turned into yet another brainstorming session, one that had to be brought to an end, when we realised that it was nearly 6pm at this point and we all needed to get back to Dubai!
All in all, the mini trip to RAK for the Wisdom, Wellness and Wealth weekend was awesome. I met some new like minded people, all of whom are looking for a different way of achieving their dreams and ambitions. I want to thank Elin, Ernesto, Dave, James, Christian and Taner for their time, thoughts and suggestions during my hot seat session on the Thursday and I also wanted to thank all those that attended for making it such a productive, enlightening weekend. Roll on the next one!!!