Last month I traveled to the Rising Tide Society Leaders Retreat in St. Paul, Minnesota. RTS is an international community of creative small business owners, with chapters in big cities and small towns across the country and the world.
Each month members meet with their local chapter to discuss and share information about a certain business topic. Running a small business can be very lonely and we often find ourselves having to learn how to do the jobs of multiple people to keep everything running. Chapter meetings give us a chance to share our knowledge, lessons learned, resources, and sometimes just a thoughtful ear.
In March 2017 I stepped into the role of the Galveston, Texas chapter leader. Last September we joined forces with the League City, TX chapter whose leader, Christine, I now co-lead with to cover the metro area south/southeast of Houston.
As chapter leaders it is our duty to create a welcoming environment that will foster meaningful relationships, provide support and encouragement, and help recharge the batteries of our fellow entrepreneurs. Though networking naturally happens, that’s not what the Rising Tide Society is about. It’s about cultivating our own “co-workers” and building a community with other business owners to get beyond the lonely island that is competition. RTS recognizes that we can all help each other thrive faster and better by putting our heads and hearts together rather than each of us trying to go it alone.
All of that brings me back around to the retreat, which does for all the chapter leaders what we try to do for our local members. This was my 2nd RTS Leaders Retreat. I was so amped after last year’s retreat in New Orleans that as I was driving home I vowed to make the next one.
The retreat was two full days of community, speakers, and group discussions on topics like inclusivity and diversity, leadership challenges, and growth strategies. It gave us all a chance to share what’s working in our own groups, ask for help where we feel like we could be doing better, and it was just an opportunity to make new friends! Check out what two of my fellow leaders had to say about their own experience at the retreat…
Leader in Albuquerque and owner at Kayla Kitts Photography
“When I think about the Rising Tide Society group I think of community, compassion, commitment, and companionship. I think of encouragement, knowledge, and positivity, and so much more – and I am SO honored to be a part of it all. Being a leader of our local group in New Mexico is such an honor, and attending the retreat this year was such a pleasure. Between the incredible speakers, the roaring laughter and the flowing tears, the memories made, (and so much good food!) – I am refueled, re-energized, and so excited for all that’s to come in our community, both locally and internationally!”
Leader in Vancouver, BC and owner at It Just Flows
“I love the vision of RTS. I believe cultivating a spirit of community over competition is especially needed in our world today. Despite being increasingly plugged in, we can still feel so disconnected, struggling with loneliness, isolation, and comparison in running our businesses. I love that RTS uses social media to cultivate face to face gatherings, where the real magic happens. I love creating a space where my people can find meaningful connections to grow their business through relationships and personal growth too. The leaders’ retreat helped me realize I am not alone in the struggles and hard work of community building. What a highlight to connect with others who care, gathering our synergy and learning from one another and working together to improve our leadership and grow our local groups to be even stronger communities.”
I can’t really top either of those statements, though I’ll add that once again, the retreat left me feeling revived and refueled to come home and keep up the work of pouring into not just my local RTS chapter, but also my clients and business.
A massively huge thank you to Olivia Reed Photo for working tirelessly non-stop for two days capturing the entire event so we could all just sit back and absorb every moment. Her hard work is featured in all the images below.
Venue / Paikka
Event Planner / Jessica Wonder Events
Videography / Kemari Lyn Films
Florals / Aster Wonders
Breakfast / Surdyk’s Catering
Design / Austyn Elizabeth
Printing / Champagne Press
Table Numbers / Masters Pieces
Photo Booth / Time Into Pixels
Cotton Candy / Cotton and Whim
Bartending / With a Twist
If you are a creative business owner (or an entrepreneur that likes to think about business creatively) in the Southeast Texas area and you’d like to join our community, check out our local website and join our Facebook group.
If you’re outside our area but would still like to be part of the RTS community, you can find a local meetup near you here!
Denise (Rochester, NY) and Justine (Vancouver, BC) and Justina and Kate (NYC). Love all these ladies!
Top: Christa (Michigan), Lynsey (Michigan), and Allie (Michigan)
Bottom: Kristen (Oregon), Lauren (our Military community leader), Marissa (North Carolina) and Christine (Rhode Island)
And here is some fun from our afterparty!
And lastly, here are a few snapshots I got with my cellphone!
You’ve probably seen Kait Masters popping in and out of the RTS Facebook group and I’ve talked to her so many times and finally got to meet her in real life!
Our wonderful leader Natalie Franke and…your Texas Rising Tide Society chapter leaders: Galveston/League City, Texarkana, Dallas, Austin and Houston!!!