Are you ready to take massive action on your business?

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Photo by Ivan Martinez, Lift Off 1 Alumni

Two years ago, Charlie Gilkey and I met at a social gathering at South by Southwest. We connected immediately, and began to talk about our work coaching creative entrepreneurs.

“Coaching is great,” we said to each other, “But can you imagine what would happen if we had a few dedicated days to design or scale a business from beginning to end?”

Then we said, “Can you imagine if we brought a group of diverse, smart, funny, creative and highly collaborative people together to do this work — big enough for a good idea exchange, but small enough to not be overwhelming?”

Then we looked at each other and said, “What if we were to do this together?”

So we did.

The first Lift Off Retreat took place in Phoenix, Arizona in February, 2010.

We honestly had no idea what to expect. Looking at each other with fear but trust in our eyes as the first brave group assembled in front of us, we said “Let’s do this!”

The result was nothing less than stunning. Participants were open, engaged, massively smart and hugely compassionate with each other. It was a blast.

And what happened AFTER the retreat was even better.

Willie Jackson never returned to his job as a technology consultant for Accenture, and instead went full-time into speeding up the web, in particular for Seth Godin and The Domino Project (he is currently Chief Technology Officer).

Lori Jordan quit her job as VP of a large entertainment company and in less than a year launched Red Staple, attracting immediate interest from powerful corporate partners, investors and customers.

Cath Duncan had a tremendously challenging year on the personal front, but took the pain of losing her daughter at 5 months of gestation and channeled it into a massive fundraising project called The Kidney Raffle.

Kyle Durand, already a successful entrepreneur and lawyer, created and launched (with help from other Lift Off members) an online site for “painless legal agreements” called

Crystal Williams implemented the opposite of the plan she created at Lift Off, resulting in a healthy and flourishing business that allowed her to write on her excellent site Big Bright Bulb — which she says she could not have ever figured out if she had not started with a plan to test and try.

I could go on — Desiree, Rachael, Patricia, Marissa, Cheryl, Ivan and Avien all had transformative years in their lives and businesses.

And so Charlie and I kept going — Lift Off 2 took place in Portland, Oregon in August, 2010, and Lift Off 3 in Phoenix, Arizona in February, 2011.

Lift Off 2 in Portland, Oregon

Each group was powerful in its own way. The personal connections formed, and the business growth that has resulted has made Charlie and I very proud.

Lift Off 3 in Phoenix, Arizona

And we are doing it again!

Lift Off 4 will take place in Portland, Oregon from August 11-14.

Details are on the beautifully redesigned site by Lift Off 1 alumni Rachael Acklin. Check it out here:

All I can tell you is that if you have massive ideas but need a plan, if you are ready to reinvent your business but don’t know how, if you want some of the most powerful strategic and personal support you have ever imagined, if you want a great return on your investment and if you want to create a real, profitable and enduring business that serves the world, we would love to talk.

I believe in the power of the Lift Off, and would love you to be a part of it.

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16 Responses to “Are you ready to take massive action on your business?”

  1. […] That is how I feel about the community of people Charlie Gilkey and I have worked with in four Lift Off Retreats. Lift Off started as a casual idea between me and Charlie after we met at South by Southwest Interactive three years ago. Read the full story here. […]

  2. I have to say that looks like a truly amazing experience. I wish I had the kind of demeanor to participate in something like that but I’m not a group person unless I’m leading it, which sounds kind of odd I know but c’est la via! Looks like fun though; thanks for sharing the story.

  3. Two great minds helping other great minds, what could be better!! Awesome work Pam and Charlie!

  4. Hannah says:

    Another wonderful post!
    I think that given the right environment, it is much easier to grow and plan a business. What a great opportunity to give people all of that support and help to get things “lifted off”.
    You might like this article about “easing into” entrepreneurship:

    Thanks again!

  5. Kyle says:

    I’ve been to countless business seminars, workshops, think-tanks, etc, and Lift Off was the only truly transformative experience.

    The care you and Charlie took to provide the right atmosphere, the right people and the right amount of information made all the difference in the world. With those elements in place, it’s only natural that great things would happen.

    By the way, I second Willie’s motion for a Mega-reunion.

  6. […] had the pleasure of hanging out with Andrea at a SXSW party along with Pam Slim, Amy Harrison, Pamela Wilson, Kyle Durand, Rachel Acklin, and a ton of other cool […]

  7. Looks like a great event I wonder if you could get one to work in the UK.

  8. You made me smile! Greetings from Ireland.

  9. fas says:

    This is going to be another successful experience for participants. Sigh only US!

  10. Lori says:

    To echo what Willie said, Lift Off was an incredible experience that is hard to sum up in a few words.

    For me, it was a great place to get everything in my head down on paper while getting great feedback from those around me. With 2.5 days to really focus on me and my business, I was able to get a lot done that helped shape the next year of activity.

    I cannot recommend this experience enough and I can’t wait for a follow-up Lift Off retreat for those of us who are now in a different place who want to come back together to work on the next phase(s).

  11. I wish I could put into words how amazing my LiftOff experience was, and how I am—to this day—reaping the benefits of the experience.

    After LiftOff 4, can we please have a LiftOff Megareunion please? 🙂

  12. Al Pittampalli says:

    This looks like a fun event. You can’t fake smiles like that :).

  13. This is so cool. I’m so psyched about creatives getting together and fueling each other. What an awesome idea.