Ten years into May Designs, Mica May’s latest project is a two-day retreat for entrepreneurs.
By Lindsey Logan, Photos courtesy of Mica May
As the founder of May Designs, Mica May has dominated the world of all things notebooks. With a pen and planner in hand, May set out with a new quest to conquer.
May’s passion for planning led to the birth of her latest brainchild, the Trailblazer Retreat, an overnight getaway that enables entrepreneurial women to come together and dive deep into business strategy.
“It’s just so hard to get away and really work on your big strategic plan, and so, the purpose is…to have people step away and work on their business instead of in their business,” May says.
The retreat is structured with curriculum May applies to her own business. She breaks down the content into mini sessions, each focusing on a different topic such as finances, operations or social media.
One of May’s top tips for entrepreneurs is to set aside time to invest in strategy. Although this may seem like a daunting task, May encourages committing at least half a day each quarter to strategic planning. She feels rejuvenated and ready to concentrate on new ideas once she puts the day-to-day operations aside.
“There is magic when you look at a calendar and you see your numbers and you write them down,” May says. “You cannot argue with data. … Part of the magic is actually making a plan, taking time away, carving out space and then executing your plan with accountability of people.”
Although May is 10 years in, she is constantly eager to learn more. She advocates for entrepreneurs to always further their knowledge.
“Whether it’s podcasts, physical books or articles, staying current on trends and business concepts helps,” May says.
While learning about practical business strategies is the purpose of the retreat, attendees should still expect to have fun. Dinners and activities with the group are planned, as well as surprises from May sprinkled throughout the retreat.
May advises entrepreneurs to stay creative. While it is necessary to devote a good portion of time to operations and spreadsheets, it is also essential to be inspired.
“I take a class at a local craft shop or museum a few times a year, take myself on creative dates, even strolling through thrift shops for fun goodies and color inspo, or at wine night, creating something with my girlfriends,” May says.
The Trailblazer Retreat leaves its participants with a refreshed purpose and encouragement from teammates cheering each other on. The connections made continue far beyond the retreat. Retreat alumni keep in touch through Instagram and group messages, and reunion events are also on the horizon for those who have gone through the retreats together.
“You get this group of people that is for you and understands. I think that’s what’s been super powerful…how we continue to invest in each other’s businesses and lives,” May says.
The only prerequisite to apply for the retreat is simple: be a business owner. May says the ideal candidate is someone who wants to grow her business.
Looking to the future, May plans to continue tackling more retreats and hopes to host day sessions through which participants can dive more in-depth into particular topics. The next two Trailblazer Retreats will be in October. If you’re female business owner, apply online.