Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World: Why Coming Together Matters

It’s taken me a couple days to truly process our Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World. It usually doesn’t take me a few days to actually sit down and recap everything out, but this one was different. These Permission to Hustle Retreats that we started have really captured my heart. It’s not just coming together for a “business” retreat, it’s more than that. The best way I could describe it to my husband on Saturday afternoon was that I felt like I was leaving sorority sisters or something. I left feeling like I was leaving a piece of me there, right at Disney World with these incredible women.. even though I knew everyone was going home to their families, too.

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Let me start from the very beginning. As many of you know (or maybe don’t know) I met Vera at Disney World’s Social Media Mom Conference back in February 2010. We happened to be sitting next to each other at one of the sessions and just started talking about how we’d love to try and make a full-time living at this whole “mom blogging” thing. I started to tell Vera about an idea that I had called Getting Gorgeous Events and then within 45 minutes she became a business partner and we had a ton of ideas and notes to take with us back home to make these events happen.

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Guess what? That August 2010 we held our very 1st Getting Gorgeous Event in NYC with 500 women. It was incredible to see this come to fruition and we’ve always credited Disney for being a piece of that magic that made it all happen. There’s something to meeting people when you’re supposed to in life and that fateful day in February of 2010 at Epcot during one of the sessions happened to be our fateful day. I’ve been thankful for that day every single day since. Vera is not only my business partner, but my best friend.

Here’s the thing about having a best friend who is also your business partner. You have your person. You have your person that is with you on the great days and the not so great days. You have someone there with you for all of the successes, but also the misses. You have someone there to vent to and cry to and let everything out to. You have someone there to laugh with and be silly with and come up with crazy off-the-wall ideas with. You have that person. You have someone to inspire you and motivate you and push you every single damn day.

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

We know that not every businesswoman out there has a “person” like this. We know this very well. We also know that women are not always your biggest supporters, which has been really tough to see and witness throughout the years in this space and in other business spaces. We wanted to change that as best and as much as we could. Permission to Hustle became our personal passion project to show women that they should all (if they want to) give themselves Permission to Hustle. Define hustle anyway you want to define it. It’s different for everyone.

Everyone has a hustle. My personal thought? If you don’t have one, get one. It doesn’t have to be something you’re doing as a job. Maybe your hustle is training for a marathon. Maybe your hustle is volunteering every single second you can. It’s different and it’s personal for everyone out there. It’s your own unique hustle and not one is the same for anyone.

Permission to Hustle Facebook Group

We started this Facebook Group (come on over and join it!) on January 1st 2017. We wanted it to simply be a space for women to come and find inspiration and motivation and advice for their hustles. That was our goal. We didn’t care if it was just us in the group, we just wanted it to be a safe space to share and be and open up and find wind to fly on the tough days.

It became obvious to us early on that women really seemed to like the group and the positivity. If we see a twinge of negativity we extinguish it immediately. Nobody has time for that and if you do, then you probably don’t align with the reasons why we started Permission to Hustle. We just wanted it to be about uplifting and helping and inspiring. We’ve seen it really grow within the last 2 years and we love that so much.

We started to have an idea about doing Retreats very early on. It’s awesome to see words on a page and images shared, but there’s something really magical about being face to face. We thought that retreats would be the perfect way to really help each other grow our businesses because everyone comes to the table with something and it’s in the sharing of that personal “something” where we’ve seen and witnessed and experienced the greatest growth.

We did out 1st Retreat last year at this time and it was awesome. As soon as it ended, we started pitching out another one immediately.

Disney World was our greatest goal for one. Knowing from the very beginning that this has always been our special place, we knew that this would be the ultimate destination. We drafted a pitch last year and sent it along to the team with wing and a prayer and some (OK – lots of) pixie dust.

When Disney World said YES we were over the moon thrilled! I think there was lots of screaming in both of our houses the day we got the thumbs up!

Permission to Hustle with Disney World

We brought 20 incredible women to Disney World for 2 nights and 3 days. We knew it was going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but nobody seemed to care and we loved that about everyone! Disney World partnered with us on this Permission to Hustle Retreat to also have each of the ladies experience Disney World FALL experiences! There’s so much to do at Disney World during the Fall season and we were so excited to bring this magic to our Permission to Hustle group!

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

From the second we all gathered for our initial 1st meet-up we were OFF and running and everyone had on their Minnie Ears and a smile!

We got to experience:

The Epcot Food & Wine Fest is a culinary mashup of global cultures and gourmet innovation that brings irresistible bites, sips, entertainment & family fun! This year, the celebrated summer-into-fall festival at Walt Disney World Resort will add a dozen extra days, expanding the foodie celebration to a delicious 87 days. Guests can begin with the aromas and flavors of 30 festive global food and wine marketplaces that extend from Future World to encircle the World Showcase promenade. Not to mention we got to Eat to the Beat and see Plain White T’s PLAY! #TasteEpcot

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an amazing Halloween celebration! BOO-k your ticket now for this frightfully festive event that returns starting today (August 16th) and will run through November 1, 2019! Get your favorite costume ready and make your plans to live it up—collecting candies, sweets and delightful treats! #NotSoScary

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an All-New Land, which opens August 29, 2019! Live out your own Star Wars story, fly the Millennium Falcon and explore a remote outpost where adventure awaits. #GalaxysEdge

(Each experience will have its own blog post, so make sure you look for those on my blog, too!)

Disney World treated us like queens and we can’t thank them enough! Even having us stay at their incredible Grand Floridian was a true experience. It’s my favorite Disney property because you really do feel like you’re away at a 5-star resort. We ate at Citricos Friday night and the meal was out of this world amazing. I mean OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing. Everything is just incredible and extraordinary. So a HUGE thanks to the Disney TEAM for the incredible experiences and the delicious bites.

Permission to Hustle Retreat: Secret to the Sauce

There’s always a secret, right? The secret to this Retreat was simple… it was the women. This is the scary part about bringing together 22 women (including me and Vera). We didn’t know everyone. We hadn’t met everyone. Lots of things go through your mind – Will everyone get along? Will people feel comfortable? How will the sessions run? Is everyone excited to be here? Anyone seem like they don’t want to be here? Is everyone having a good time? I mean the questions go on and on for a planner. And since we’re influencers ourselves, the stakes are even higher because we know that spending time away from your loved ones matters.

I can say without hesitation that the secret to the sauce was the coming together. It was letting any walls down. It was sharing what works and what doesn’t, but being really honest about it. It was sharing details about business. It was in the questions asked and the answers given. It was feeling part of something, bigger than you. It was feeling connected to everyone, even though we’re all different. It was looking into each other’s eyes and sharing what makes them so amazing.

The secret was everyone. It’s not a secret that you can guarantee, you just hope and pray and wish for it to happen.

Seeing everyone be so real and raw and exposed was exactly what everyone else needed to see, too. I’m telling you – it’s the connections in our world and in our space that make it worth pursuing. It’s helping hands for each other. It’s pats on the back. It’s talking through things that seem difficult. It’s showing a new way to do something. It’s shining a light on “a-ha” moments. It’s about making friends with new people. It’s about knowing that you’re not alone. It’s about forming new tribes.

Not to mention we had some amazing sessions, too! Thanks to Eric Hochberger, CEO of MediaVine sharing incredible SEO tips. Rachel Pitzel discussing the importance of brand building and what to look out for and how to stay within yours and even how to pivot to a new one. LaShawn Wiltz discussing Instagram Story strategies and giving from A to Z all of her tips and advice on how to succeed and grow. Cecelia Mecca discussing her path on how to become a self published author. Cecelia is a wildly successful romance author and I think everyone sat there inspired to now go and “write that book!” Dawn Lopez shared and discussed all her strategies and tips on how to take creative photos and magical flat lays. She taught us that you can do it, you just need to implement strategies to help you out. Beyond insightful! And Jeannette Kaplun discussed tips and advice for video implementation and how to book those TV segments and knock them out of the park.

Dawn Lopez Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Rachel Pitzel Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World

This Permission to Hustle Retreat with Disney World may have been only 3 days long, but those 3 days were the best days. When you can laugh and cry and learn and share and dance with each other… and leave feeling very bittersweet, then you know something FUN happened.

I hope and I pray the other ladies felt it, too.

Thank you to everyone who came and were part of our Retreat A HUGE thank you to our sponsors: GoGoSqueez, Perdue and HomeGoods! Everyone was super excited with your involvement!

Thank you to each lady and speaker who came and took time away from their lives to be part of this Retreat. We can’t thank you enough.

Love for you to see what else we have brewing and potentially be part of our next Permission to Hustle Retreat! We will be sharing all the information in our newsletter, so make sure you are on our mailing list. See here.

Check out about Mickey’s Not to Scary Halloween Party


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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