MORE: the retreat 2017 Registration is officially open!

Photo Credit: Palmeri Creative Editing: Kai-Saun Photography

Photo Credit: Palmeri Creative Editing: Kai-Saun Photography

Apply for an Invite.

MORE: the retreat registration is now officially open. 

This summer’s retreat will take place June 9-11th at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain near Tucson, Arizona. This year will be an invite-only event. Space is limited so go ahead and take that first step to joining us by requesting an invite below. 

 
 

Apply to be a Speaker/Facilitator. 

We are seeking workshop facilitators, leaders and industry experts for our amazing 2017 lineup.  

If you're interested in joining us as an expert click the button below to learn more about how to apply. 

 
 

Lessons and more from MORE: the retreat 2016

If you attended MORE: the retreat in July, you might still be processing all that you took away from the event. It was a full three days — full of community and sharing, insights and ideas.

Here are just a few highlights from the retreat

  • Business strategy led the day. Amber Anderson, MORE Movement founder and owner of strategy firm Kayson, led participants in a workshop on strategy, helping them focus on their products and start an action plan to improve their businesses.
  • Family photos and headshots. All of our attendees had the opportunity to have family photos and/or professional headshots taken by Kai-San Anderson Photography.
  • Expert-recommended resources. Attendees learned about a wide variety of resources — apps for collaboration, social media tools, blogs and podcasts for additional education, and tons of tools for working smarter, not harder.
  • The kiddos had a blast. From bubbles to water balloons to basketball, attendees’ little ones were well cared for (and just across the hall) while mom and dad participated in their sessions.
  • We talked family, too. Retreat sessions went beyond business. Jay Feitlinger of StringCan Interactive shared how he has applied his lessons in leading a business to his family. In a session on “Scaling Up Family,” Jay shared his methods for setting goals as a family and the results his family has seen.

So much sharing. Oh, the sharing! Attendees and experts allowed themselves to be open and honest and vulnerable all weekend. They shared business problems and parenting struggles and marriage issues. And they helped one another find answers and solutions. We loved every minute.

And that was just the beginning.

So, if you were with us for MORE: the retreat 2016, thank you for being a part of something new and amazing.

And if you weren’t there (but wish you were), stay tuned for information on next year’s retreat. We’re already working on MORE: the retreat 2017.

Enter To Win a Night at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain!

 
 

Invest In Your Biz, Win a Night at the Ritz

While registration for the full MORE: the Retreat is closed, we are pleased to offer a limited number of 1-Day passes to attend the Saturday sessions (the pass also includes breakfast and lunch with MORE Retreat attendees).

But wait, there’s MORE.

Everyone who buys their passes before July 10 at midnight (PST) will be entered to win a FREE NIGHT at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain for that weekend PLUS admission to both Sunday sessions* for them (plus 1 guest)!

Sunday’s sessions are amazing. Lynda Bishop and Jay Feitlinger will each present on building and maintaining strong partnerships within the family and in the context of entrepreneurship (read full session descriptions on the schedule). We are incredibly fortunate that they have agreed to share their expertise with us .

We will draw and notify the winner on July 11, 2016. Get your passes today so you are entered to win!

*Dinner on Saturday and meals on Sunday are not included.

 

Experts Who Get It (and You!)

MEET THREE PROS WHO WILL BE AT MORE: THE RETREAT

MORE: the retreat is about building better businesses and stronger families. As parents and business owners, we’re all trying to make it work. To live the lives we want, earn a reasonable income and be with our kids more. It’s not easy, but if we can support one another, it can get easier.

We’re excited to tell you more about three of the experts who will be at MORE: the retreat this July.



 

Brandy Lawson, 

Technology and Automation

 
 

“This is amazing!”

When Brandy Lawson, founder of TekGrl, learned about MORE and our journey to help support parents, she immediately wanted to be a part of it.

“A business retreat for families … It’s such a perfect fit,” she says.

For Brandy, a technology expert and strategist, business and family have always gone together. She grew up in an entrepreneurial family — her parents opened a restaurant the year she was born, and when she exited the corporate grind, she was launching her business and her family at the same time.

Today, she structures her workweek so that she can spend time with her young son, earn an income for her family, and build a business she’s proud of. At MORE: the retreat, she’ll be talking to business owners about being more efficient and effective through technology, and she’s hopeful her husband can learn more about the crazy ride that is entrepreneurship too — and find support among the MORE family.

Joy Bennett

Digital Marketing and Social Media

This family also includes Joy Bennett, a digital marketing and social media expert. She started her business, Joy Bennett Consulting, five years ago. And while she’s found great success, it hasn’t come without its challenges.

 
 

 

“Over the past two years, I’ve really struggled with the demands of being both a parent and a businesswoman,” she says. “I hit this wall … I couldn’t keep going at the pace I had been. So, I’ve been looking for better ways to do life — in all of its facets.”

And that’s why MORE just made sense.

 

“I thought: This was exactly what we need,” Joy says. “How do I keep doing this in a sustainable way? How do I keep doing what I love without burning out again?”

At the retreat, she’ll be helping other business owners learn how to tell their business stories genuinely and authentically. And she’s looking forward to meeting others and thinking about her own business too.

“One of the things I’ve recognized is that my business is not going to grow or get healthier unless I spend time on the business,” she says. “The retreat is a chance to set aside time for that. I’d like to walk away with a more clearly defined plan.”

Evelyn Gaskin

Strategy and Leadership

 
 

Evelyn Gaskin, our leadership expert, is ready to share and learn at the retreat as well.

“I signed on because the more I learned about the purpose behind MORE: the retreat, the more I understood how I could not only benefit from the retreat, but how my experience had also equipped me to be able to contribute to the vision of MORE as well,” says the owner of the Leadership Excellence Development Academy.

After years of working in a corporate environment and being a single mother of three children, Evelyn made a bold move.

“After 14 years, of getting up every day, being stuck in traffic to go to a job that I hated, I decided to develop a financial exit strategy. The goal was to stockpile enough financial resources to cover my life expenses for at least six to 12 months, so I could for once in my life know what it was like to do what I loved whether I got paid to do it or not,” she says. “In other words, live a purposeful life that included spending quality time with my family as opposed to the maybe one to two hours a day.”

And it worked because today, she does what she loves, and she gets paid it do it.

“MORE speaks to having it all, but not at the expense of yourself and your family,” she says. “I can identify with that.”

Are You Ready for MORE?

Our experts get it: They’re facing the same challenges you are. So, when we all come together July 22-24, we’ll have a chance to share our stories, our ideas, our frustrations and our advice.

With just a month to go before MORE: the retreat, it’s an exciting time. If you’re already registered, start thinking about which of our experts you want to connect with. If you’re not registered, there is one opportunity remaining: You can still purchase a Saturday Day Pass and take advantage of the daytime programming.

We’ll see you and your family July 22-24!

Expect MORE

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

Here’s what you can look forward to at MORE: the retreat

Most business conferences are not designed with you in mind —

  • You, the advanced entrepreneur who is looking for intimate access to experts in various areas of business.
  • You, the progressive business owner who is looking to stay on top of market trends as you grow or redefine your business.
  • You, the entrepreneur who can’t afford to abandon your business during the workweek.
  • You, the business owner who doesn’t want to leave your family at home while you travel.
 

That’s because most business conferences are not MORE.

MORE: the retreat is designed with you in mind. It’s designed to give business owners with families more of what you need to run a better business in a comfortable, low-stress and family-friendly environment.

And we have some exciting details to share about MORE: the retreat, which will be held July 22-24.

Retreat Structure

MORE: the retreat is a boutique event designed to deliver high-quality programming in an environment for the high-caliber business owner looking for MORE support. There will be no marketing, sales or vendors on site. There is no exhibition hall. Just relevant information, delivered by experts on your schedule.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Personal “self-care” sessions. For example, a hike, time on the driving range or a yoga class.
  • Roundtable discussions. Attend with your partner/spouse, and meet other entrepreneurs and experts as you share your experiences and learn from one another.
  • Workshops. Gain updates on industry best practices and actionable steps that will help you improve personally and professionally.
  • 1:1 sessions. Looking for hands-on help in specific areas of your business? Register for the optional 1:1 sessions available. These 20-minute sessions with industry experts — in strategy, marketing, automation, etc. — will give you immediate access to resources who can help you with a particular business question.

And because MORE is a family-friendly retreat, you’ll find a few perks you won’t see at other conferences, including:

  • Onsite childcare and activities for your children
  • A date night with your spouse/partner as part of the agenda
  • Family meals together as a group
  • Family photo or headshot
  • Time allotted to spend with your family

Location

We'll be stationed the entire weekend at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain on July 22-24, 2016. 

 
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Photo credits: Kai-Saun Photography

Walk Away with More

 
 

When you attend MORE: the retreat, you’ll be immersed in a dynamic community of business experts and advanced entrepreneurs and their families. You’ll gather and share information. You’ll network. You’ll get 1:1 advice on ways to solve problems and capitalize on opportunities in your business. And you’ll do it all while kicking it with your family.

So, what’s the bottom line? What will you get from this weekend? Quite simply: MORE. More time, more brainpower, more support and more opportunities to build a better business and a happier family.

Register today! This is an intimate retreat with a limited number of spots available. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this groundbreaking event. Registration closes June 21.

Premier Sponsors and Partners

Exciting stuff, right?  Behind the scenes is a growing group of sponsors and partners who get you, your family, your business.

 
 

Blazing A New Trail

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

The conflict between work and life is here to stay. To get past it, we will have to let go of all notions of balance.

The conflict between work and life is here to stay, as are a myriad of suggestions for resolving that conflict. What these solutions all have in common is the goal of “balance.” That word sounds even-handed, but it rarely works out that way in real life. Unfortunately for most American employees, striving for work-life “balance” still means work wins, at least if you want to thrive in your career.

Current surveys show that the American workforce is increasingly dissatisfied with this state of affairs. Rather than continue to sacrifice their personal and family lives, millennials (both men and women) are choosing not to lean in, but to walk away. They’re going to new companies that offer genuine flexibility along with career advancement, or they’re choosing to become freelance workers or small business owners. In fact, it’s estimated that 40 percent of U.S. workers will be freelance/independent by 2020.

Opting Out of the Career Balancing Act

I am one of those millennials. After I had my son, I had to make a choice. While I was ready to fully embrace my new role as a mother, I didn’t want to fully abandon my career.

Photo Credit: Palmeri Creative, Edited By: Kai-Saun Photography 

I had worked hard (too hard, maybe) to climb the corporate ladder, and while I no longer cared about getting to the next rung, I fully intended to keep using the skills I’d gained.

Plus, I was in the same boat as more than 40 percent of mothers in this country who are the sole or primary source of income for their families. When I started my career, I followed my bliss and all the carrots that were dangled in front of me. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. We relied on my income after I got married, and I was fine with that. But I didn’t realize what it would mean later. After I had my son, I didn’t have the choice to not work.

But I also could no longer work in an industry or for organizations that didn’t understand the commitment that parenthood requires.

For me and so many other parents, entrepreneurship is a natural path for channeling our professional energies into something we care about—while preserving energy for the people we care about.

Still, without proper support, “parentpreneurs” (primarily women) will continue to struggle to take their businesses to the next level. The National Women’s Business Council points out that the growth rate of “women-owned businesses is almost four times the rate of men-owned businesses.” The vast majority of these businesses are sole proprietorships. But despite the explosive growth of female entrepreneurship, something is keeping women from achieving more. That same NWBC report notes that only “1.8 percent of women’s businesses scale successfully past the $1 million dollar revenue mark (versus 6.3 percent for men).”

Is it that women business owners aren’t as educated or smart as their male counterparts? Or could it be that those women who are moms are opting out of high-growth, high-revenue entrepreneurship to tend to their families in the same way that women are opting out of high-echelon positions in corporate America?

I believe that high-growth, high-echelon businesses, and strong connected families no longer need to be mutually exclusive. There is a better (more holistic) way. I refuse to choose between work and family. I choose both, and I’m not the only one.

Having a family and a personal life is an asset to a career, not a liability.

Integration: the Third Option

Parentpreneurs across the country are trying something new. We are choosing to see our family and personal lives as an asset to our careers, not a liability. We are integrating every facet of ourselves into our work life where we can, and we are choosing to work with companies and clients who acknowledge us as whole human beings, not one-dimensional business professionals.

But this can be a lonely path. Few opt to make this choice, and even fewer understand it. Every parentpreneur I talk with reports feeling like a misfit, misunderstood by working parents and stay-at-home parents alike.

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

With some like-minded partners, I’ve launched the MORE Movement to bring these innovative parentpreneurs together so we can share best practices, support one another, and feel more connected. MORE Movement is for anyone who refuses to choose between work and personal life, who insists there’s a third option, and who believes they really can do MORE.

MORE: the retreat is our inaugural family-friendly event. During the retreat we plan on demonstrating how we really can integrate family with business development.

I’d love to see you there!

Why Two-Thirds of All Entrepreneurs Can’t Find the Support They Need to Succeed

 
Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

 

RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS AND RAISING A FAMILY ARE TWO OF THE HARDEST ENDEAVORS ANYONE CAN TAKE ON IN A SINGLE LIFETIME.

Both require an exorbitant amount of time and constant nurture to grow. Both are concepts you can study before you dive in, but in both ventures, you learn most of it in the trenches.

As a small business owner, you can find support everywhere (regardless of the stage of your business – startup, scaling, etc) – city programs, public and private universities, non-profits, incubators, co-working spaces, accelerators, the federal government and even private corporations like Google.

As a parent, you’re responsible to keep another human-being alive, requiring vigilance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s really hard. But again, from the moment you decide to start trying (or stop preventing), you can find flyers, non-profits, blogs, magazines, Facebook pages, meetup groups, and counselors to support you.

As a society, we value each of these endeavors as important to our economy, to our communities, and to future generations and put tremendous effort into supporting those who dare to try either one. But most support programs address only one identity. Either you’re an entrepreneur who needs support running your business, or you’re a parent who needs support raising your child(ren).

“I sought out programs, groups, and companies for support but didn’t find any that met my needs as a new parent. I had a baby, who still needed my attention at home and a business. To grow, they both needed me.” ~ Amber Anderson, CEO Kayson

Today’s Small-Business Programs Miss 2 In 3 Entrepreneurs

Traditional programs tend to be:

Photo credit: Kai-Saun Photography

Photo credit: Kai-Saun Photography

  1. Time intensive. Most programs (i.e. startup week/weekends, accelerator events, university courses, etc.) requiring a significant time commitment, assuming that you a) have time to spare and b) can be 100% focused on your business at all times. Attending these events is impossible for parents who work in their businesses and care for their children.
  2. Require you to be in a physical space.Most programs are in downtown areas or require you to go to a physical space, posing big challenges for parents who reside in the suburbs.
  3. Unaffordable. If they don’t require a sizeable financial commitment, programs usually require time or a stake in your business. This is unrealistic for many and unnecessary for some.
  4. Culturally, socially and/or emotionally a poor fit.  Every entrepreneur’s reality is different. Race, location, and gender all play a part in the way they see things and the obstacles they face. Most programs are either segregated (for women, African-Americans, LGBT, etc), or they are run by white men. This makes finding a program that accommodates multiple affinities nearly impossible.

According to a Kauffman Foundation report on the Anatomy of an Entrepreneur, 59.7% of the entrepreneurs surveyed indicated they had at least one child when they started their business and 43.5 percent of those with children noted they had two or more children. More than half of these entrepreneurs has come to a crossroads where they feel forced to choose between parenthood and their businesses.

“With 92% small business failure rate, it is VITAL that you trust good sound counsel from those who have a proven track record.” ~ Cherie Mathews, CEO, Healincomfort - Mastectomy Clothing

At this crossroads, a breakdown in support for entrepreneurs occurs for:

  1. Women, who despite all of the glass-ceiling-shattering progress of the past generation, continue to report bearing a heavier burden in balancing work and family, still tend to drop out of the race the fastest. As the primary caregiver, when forced to choose between business and their families, the majority of women choose their families.
  2. Minority groups, especially African American women (who are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country right now), who fail at higher rates than their counterparts, usually due to a lack of support in multiple areas (funding, cultural, gender, etc.).
  3. Millennials, both men and women, who are prioritizing time with families over their careers and thus find entrepreneurship and existing support programs unattractive.

Those daring enough to parent and run a business at the same time – nearly 2/3 of all business owners – find traditional business programs to be outdated, exclusive, and inaccessible. And these are the groups who need them the most; parents, women, and minorities.

Filling The Support Gap

 
Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

Photo Credit: Kai-Saun Photography

 

MORE by Kayson is a strategic initiative designed specifically to bring more awareness, support and resources to small business owners who are also parents (also referred to as “parent-preneurs”).

The MORE Initiative says that each of us is a whole person, with a family and personal life, and we need strategies that work with this reality rather than ignoring or against it. Amber Anderson launched the MORE Initiative to give parentpreneurs MORE of what they need to be successful—more time, more support, and more resources.

“I created MORE to give parentpreneurs an opportunity to stay in the race,” said Amber Anderson, founder of Kayson, a strategy company that specializes in helping businesses connect the dots so they can stay in business longer.
“We’re providing (or partnering with other organizations who offer) services, programs, events and resources designed to provide high-caliber entrepreneurs with the support they need to do MORE - more for their families, more for their businesses and more for their communities.” ~ Amber Anderson, CEO Kayson

MORE’s first event is MORE: the retreat, a 3-day, 2-night business retreat where participants can connect, relax, and grow personally and professionally alongside their family.

This event is designed to enable parent-preneurs to step away from the relentless demands of work to better themselves – professionally or personally or both – without sacrificing family time. Guests will leave MORE equipped to do more for their family, more for their business and more for their community.

The event takes place at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain on July 22-24, 2016. Space is limited.