Name: Charlie Birch
Headquarters: Colorado, USA
Superpower: Adding a human touch to the digital world
Charlie Birch is the Co-Founder at Rebel + Connect, a company that designs custom retreats for remote teams. Remote workers can suffer from loneliness, burnout and being too sedentary. We discuss how businesses can use retreats as a playful, strategic way to build the team and create a healthy company culture.
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Lisette: Great, so and we’re live. So welcome everybody to this remote interview. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely and I’m very excited on the line today. We have Charlie Birch and Charlie you’re based in Boulder, Colorado, so I was just telling you that I’m homesick just talking to you because I’m from Colorado also and you are the co-founder of acompany called Rebel and Connect and it says custom treats for your remote team. So we’re going totally get into this but let’s start with the first question. What does your virtual office look like? What do you need to get your work done?
Charlie: Well, my office is pretty much my computer and occasionally this wonderful microphone that I have here with me. I work mostly from home if I’m not on the road. If I am on the road, it’s in the car as a passenger, obviously, or in an airport terminal or a hotel room or wherever I end up staying. My co-founders also work remotely so they tend to be able to be abit more nomadic and I tend to be a little bit more of a home-based person just as of late but I like to sit on my porch and sit on my porch laying…kind of keep my body moving even if I’m, you know, logged into the computer. I’m a big advocate of movement and I know that, you know Summer’s in Denver so sometimes she’ll drive up and we’ll work together by the pool or you know have a little working from home togetherness session and take a hike or something in the middle of the day and kind of keep the body active. So that’s a nicecombination of home and nomad and always[on a]computer, pretty much just a computer is the only real tool that we [encore].
Lisette: It’s amazing what you can do with that little box, isn’t it?
Charlie: And my phone needs to be…I need a new phone because I froze it a couple of times on mountains snowboarding. The battery is not lasting so I get, you know, to 12 o clock and my phone is dead even though it was a hundred percent at 8 o clock in the morning.
Charlie: So it’s kind of locked me to my house a little bit more than I would like to have to recharge my phone three times a day so I’m working on that and my boyfriend’s[unintelligible – 02:21]you just wouldn’t use your phone for anything except for phone calls. That’s not reasonable at all, you know, and I actually read a study that said using a cell phone to make a phone call is the tenth most common thing people use a cell phone for.
Charlie: There is nine things before when you pick up your phone, you’re likely to do nine things before you actually make a phone call so it thought that was really telling of where technology is, you know…
Lisette: Totally and when I was saying like it’s amazing what we can do with a small box. It’s actually even more amazing what we can do with an even smaller box.
Lisette: That we have in our pockets. Yeah. It’s amazing to just think that the iPhone came out in 2007 which is not even 10 years ago so look at how far we’ve come with that.
Charlie: Yeah. It’s really…
Lisette: Let’s talk about what your company does because this is very exciting. Custom treats for remote teams. Tell us about Rebel and Connect.
Charlie: Yah. Sure. So Rebel and Connect, we are a start-up. We’re a three-person LLC so myself, Summer Weirich, and Rachel McGehee, and I was telling you a little before we get started, I had a coaching practice for about three years and my background is in psychology, creative arts therapy, is yoga, meditation, and dance performance, and I was wanting to bring the wisdom of embodied mediums to a professional audience and help them reconnect with their body and that kind of…it was kind of like I’d have one idea and then I’d think that was the business and then I’d have another idea and I’d think that was the business and then one day I realised all the ideas were the business if I put them together right but that I had kind of botched it so many times trying to make the one idea the business that I had to just start over and you know do an entirely new thing and so that was kind of the first piece of Rebel and Connect and the second piece of that was that I realised I’m a very extroverted person. I take the Myers-Briggs, I get like a 95% extroverted rating, so very,very extroverted and working from home as a solo entrepreneur was really not working for me and I thought I really want to do this new business idea and I don’t want to do it by myself and I also recognise that you know I have certain skills that are useful when planning retreats and that really lives around experiential education, interactive learning, you know, wilderness therapy, creative arts therapies, and all this kind of fun personal development pieces that get you out of the keynote speaker with the binder and a tables and the conference room kind of box but I didn’t have a lot of information or experience with the events world and I didn’t have a lot of experience in the travel industry and so I started looking around on LinkedIn, like, oh let me find some people who have those things and then I realised I know the people who have those things that I want to work with. So I reached out to Summer and Rachel and I gave them kind of a here’s my PowerPoint onboarding pitch of what I want to do with this idea and they said well if that’s what’s in your head, I want to hang out in your head.
Charlie: So we decided we would work together but basicallywhat we offer is a combination of coaching, consulting, and project management to the leadership of remote teams, helping them to use retreats as a strategic resource to build relationships and culture inside of their organisation with the absence of the office place. Our bigger mission is really, you know, we love working remotely, all of us, but we’ve all had our own human challenges with that and we’re also humanitarians and travel junkies and we’ve found that so much learning about yourself and the world happens in a travel environment and especially with a global team, you know. Being able to get out in the world and have cultural experiences outside of your own cultural comfort zone is a great way to enhance tolerance and understanding inside of the team. So we take our clients through our signature process of…they get three sessions with us, so one with each of us where they get to get super clear on what their soul-level ideal retreat is versus oh we had this idea because we saw this other company do it this way. We want to make sure that they’re really coming from the inside out. What do they want to feel when they’re on their retreat? What do they want to see, you know? What’s the temperature? What does it smell like there? And all those kind of sensory pieces that help you think outside of, you know, maybe the cognitive box. That’s kind of what they talk about with me and then Rachel will take them through, you know l, where are your people coming from? Do they need visas to travel to certain places? Do you want to deal with that, you know? Are you travelling together? Are they travelling independently? All those kind of you know how to get here and how to get home logistics and then Summer would be handling anything that happens in house in terms of the itinerary and the actual event staff and obviously that’s their area of expertise. So I’m not as qualified to even talk on what exactly the details are that they focus on and then from there, we make [better]recommendations based on our provider network and based on the needs of the client. [If they want to, if] they have their own internal events staff, they can take our recommendations and go and pursue those relationships on their own and if they don’t have internal event planning people, then they can hire us as project management for that specific retreat or an ongoing series of retreats and we’ll do all the booking and all. Make sure everyone shows up where they’re supposed to be and handle all the setup and break down of the event itself.
Lisette: So why go remote? Why do these retreats remotely? What’s the big benefit?
Charlie: Yeah. I mean, for me, it’s, you know, I think it’s so wonderful. There are so many benefits of being a remote team and I think one of the biggest challenges and potentially dangers is that we lose touch with our humanity, you know, because we’re so…if our computer has become an extension of us and they connect us to our team members, that’s great, but if we become an extension of our computer, that’s scary to me, on a societal level, you know. So I want to both promote remote work and I also want to promote embodied real-time experience and connection and I think that this model is a really wonderful way to promote that and to help facilitate it and I’ve talked with a lot of remote workers that feel, you know, sedentary and computer-bound and a little bit lonely. I think it offers a nice remedy for that as well as, you know, I’ve always been a culture junkie and I think that’s some of the things I love about remote work is that you can meet people and work with people from all over the world, which I think has the potential to enhance tolerance and understanding but that you have to engage with it consciously or it just creates conflict. So, there’s that. I want to work remotely. I want everyone who wants to work remotely to have that opportunity and I also recognise that there’s unique challenges of organising a cohesive collective experience when you don’t have one just to like walk into every day. So, it seems that this is the way the [unintelligible – 10:22]. I read a study that said by 2020, like 75% to 80% of Fortune500 employees won’t interface with an office at all and what does that mean? What do they interface with? Do they interface with people? Ever? In realtime? Or are they working a [unintelligible – 10:42] hour week from home in their basement in front of their computer, you know, and what gets lost if that happens and there’s no water cooler and there’s no company holiday party and there’s no happy hour, you know, and there’s no office expense. So there’s more money potentially to do things, like, events, like retreats. We’re very excited about it and, you know, for me also, one of the things I really love about this role, being a director of the programme development piece is we’re not promoting one curriculum or one venue or one destination. So I get to reach back out to all the people I’ve met till now and continue to build new relationships with people like yourself to make sure that the content and the vendors and the facilitators that we’re bringing in is really diverse in it of itself so there’s something for everybody and if we don’t have someone in ournetworkthat meets the need of a certain client, then we’ll go find them and that’s fun, exploratory, and it allows me to, you know, serve as a connector and a curator and an affiliate, and not get…it really takes the ego piece which is really a struggle I found as a solo entrepreneur, you know. You don’t want to be coming from an ego-driven place but when it’s just you and your idea, it’s really hard not…you get into that battle with the ego all the time and so this is…it’s not about me. I don’t even really feel like it’s my idea. I feel like it just needs to happenand I got the signal kind of thing.
Lisette: Right. You’re on it. Right. Well, the world thanks you because we need more of that. And you brought up some of the challenges that working remotely brings up, this disconnection, all of this movement that we have and the smell and the being for better and or worse and in some cases, of course, but it’s all being squeezed through these tiny tubes and then shown to us in 2D and there is a loss there of something.
Charlie: [unintelligible – 12:48].
Lisette: I think it’s really important what you’re saying about holding onto our humanity while we become more virtual because there’s so much freedom in being virtual so that’s important but then there we have all these challenges. What are some of the challenges that you’re seeing that working remotely brings up?
Charlie: Yeah, well, there is a, for me, my biggest challenge, I realised, was feelings of isolation, you know. I thought my family lives on the east coast, my mom comes out to Colorado for 6 or 7 weeks in the winter to snowboard and ski so it was nice for me to be able to, you know, go to New Jersey and be at my parents’ house for 3 weeks at the beach and still be working and go to the mountains and ski with my mom in the afternoon and work in the morning from the condo but actually last year I moved to a place out in Western Colorado. My plan was move to this mountain cabin and just hunker down and, you know, get rid of all the distractions and build my coaching practice and I couldn’t get internet in my house at all.
Lisette: Oh no.
Charlie: I signed the lease, I moved in, I paid the movers, they left, and I called the internet company, everyone in Colorado and I couldn’t get internet at all.Zero. So I was like working out of the library 2 hours a week. I was at the coffee shop and then you add up cups of coffee here and parking fees there and it was just, from a start-upperspective, those things add up. So that was really challenging and that’s kind of pulled me back to Boulder and now I like being in my home because I didn’t have that privilege kind of for a whole year I was chasing Wi-Fi and I know that that’s a big issue for Summer because she’s on the road a lot. I mean, as we are a start-up we all also maintain other sources of income. She works for a golf company called Dixon Golf. She’s the regional manager for Colorado so she goes, you know, from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins to Boulder to Denver to Glenwood Springs all the way out to Grand Junction to do these golf events and so she does a lot for work from hot spot using her phone as a hot spot and that’s not as reliable as we’d always like and I know for Rachel her biggest challenge right now is the self-management, you know, setting a schedule and sticking to it, that kind of be your own boss. We have each other to hold each other accountable, obviously a bit, but there’s always that…starts with me, you know, starts with the inside out kind of thing and so as a whole, what we’ve noticed that our biggest challenges are combination of staying connected, felling connected versus just like digital connection, actually feeling connected to what each other are doing in between our meetings, being able to get in touch because of technology, and of course then doing what we say we’re going to do, which it always gets done but we’re trying to not create a last-minute frantic culture. We’re trying to set our goals so we can work backwards and comfortably move forward without a lot of chaos and adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones [unintelligible – 16:18].
Charlie: [unintelligible – 16:20], you know.
Lisette: Yeah. Being in a start-up doesn’t mean burning out like a candle. You can be in a healthy start-up which sounds like you guys [unintelligible – 16:27] focus on. I love the challenges what you’ve raised which are loneliness of course because I hear that a lot from remote workers. Like, I’m in this apartment all day long and so yeah if I didn’t have the video conversations, it might feel very lonely, and then chasing Wi-Fi. I think that’s a huge one, finding a good…and then staying and feeling connected and, oh, the idea of self-management and discipline. So you bring up an interesting issue which is this sedentariness and you called it computer-bound which I love because we’re tied to our computer and then you[had] also [mentioned] that you’re really into the movement and the dance and I think that’s something that remote workers don’t think a lot about is getting enough movement into your life. So I think that’s maybe where the [unintelligible – 17:14] comes in but what are some of your hacks for getting enough movement?
Lisette: I know it’s a little bit off the list I sent you but I mean when you brought up movement, I thought that’s really…I mean, I have a standing desk and[I can identify with that].
Charlie: Well, it’s so interesting, you know, because for the first 26years of my life I thought I’d be a professional dancer and I had a back injury and I had to put that on hold and flailed around for a couple of years trying to figure out do I even have another passion and so I mean in my day, I tend to just be kind of a fidgety person and so I’ll just kind of, you know, dance in the grocery store line or do my shoulder circles in the shower but I have a meditation practice that I do in the morning which is very much about breath work and moving…waking up my diaphragm which also has a lovely effect on the nervous system in terms of not jilting yourself out of bed and running on adrenaline all day. I did that for a long time and you mention burnout. I actually have many experiences with that and so I found that I do my best work if I am…my nervous system is neutralised and [unintelligible – 18:40], if I’m using my whole diaphragm. My breath is supporting my energy throughout the day. I’ll go on…when I have phone calls…right now, I’m on the phone a lot because I’m talking with people about pitting their digital products and services into our membership area which we could talk a little bit about later and just generally, you know, building the relationships we’re going to need in order to make [better] recommendations to our clients about facilitators and so I walk and talk. I, you know, there’s a creek trail [head] down here that’s just a little creek off South Boulder Creek Trail so I’ll go, you know. I have four meetings and they’re each 20 minutes long. That’s about an hour and forty minutes or so between calls and so I’ll just walk a whole loop and I’ll tell people when I’m…I say, alright, I’m outside. If there is any background noise, I apologise but trust me I’ll be way more fun to talk to if I’m not pacing back and forth on my porch but I’m walking next to the creek. I can, you know, dip my feet in the water. I am actually still dancing so that…I had taken two years off but I decided to especially working in front of a computer all day, like…
Charlie: …I needed a creative outlet and I needed a play…a place to play and I just got an email one night from a friend of mine from graduate school and she said, hey, we’re going to be in the Fringe Festival in Boulder. Do you want to come and be our extra body because somebody dropped out and so I basically got invited to participate in a paid dance performance with no audition for a choreographer which I never met which never happens. That’s like [unintelligible – 20:27].
Charlie: But so that’s been really helpful. I bike sometimes in the morning. I’ll either put my music on. If I’m in a bad mood in the morning, I tend to be kind of a grouchy morning person, takes me a while to come back from dreamland. Is this real or was that real or…ground myself but I go on bike rides and listen to music and watch the sun come up. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast but one of the interesting things which I love the idea of listening to a podcast while I ride my bike because that cross-lateral movement that you get from pedalling is really great for integrating the right and left sides of the brain, so [unintelligible – 21:12] auditory. Also, this might interest you because you’re in the podcast space but auditory input tends to have a more implicit learning which is all about kind of getting into your subconscious versus when you read it tends to be more of an explicit learning and so if you’re moving and listening and you’re moving in this cross-lateral way and listening to something, it gets into your base level of your mind much quicker and since then you’ll have experiences like, I thought that was true and then you’ll start seeing, you know, articles and that kind of research [unintelligible – 21:51] so you have to be a little bit careful of that but it’s a great way to, you know…I love biking and hiking. I do yoga and then my dance rehearsals obviously but I do have a couple of things that I do, you know, just get up and do like a shaking…we do shaking at the beginning of our meetings to just bring our energy into connection with each other remotely.
Lisette: I love it. I have a collaboration partner who createdsomething called MuseCubes and you roll them and one of them is an action and one of them is a sound.
Charlie: Oh that’s so [unintelligible – 22:24].
Lisette: You could like do jumping and howling or twirling and whooping, so it’s [unintelligible – 22:29].
Charlie: Oh that’s cool. See, that’s the kind of game we’ve been having fun with. Originally, with the business, we were thinking, you know, well, I’ll help you [create] the curriculum for the retreat, Rachel get them good deals on travel and Summer will show up and plan the retreat. Well, it’s become much bigger than that obviously and so now also one of the things that I’m connecting with leadership facilitators and team-building people and, you know, health and wellness professionals butSummer is connecting with the people like the logistical event vendors and stuff, you know. Soone of those groups of people is product-based businesses that we can call upon to recommend [unintelligible – 23:15] and so something like that would…what you’re saying with the dice, that seems like a really fun…I’d love to [unintelligible – 23:22].
Lisette: I’ll send you the link for sure.
Charlie: Yeah, that would be cool. [unintelligible – 23:25].
Lisette: [unintelligible – 23:25] fun breaks and I can imagine like for a remote team, if they do them, they’re a fun teambuilding exercise because there’s nothing more than whooping and jumping in front of…I mean, if my neighbour saw me, he would think I’m nuts but its really fun with team building.
Lisette: So in terms of these retreats then, so the idea is, you get people out of their space, you get them into a creative place and then strategizing and talking about the business in a way and then how does the remote come in? So it’s custom retreats for remote teams. These are teams that are dispersed and they’re getting together maybe for the first time and talking to each other. Soyour focus then I guess is team-building and getting to know each other and…
Charlie: Yeah, I mean, I guess the part of the logic there is, you know, the idea of [founder match], of course. We are a remote team and so it’s remote teams that will be best able to advise. Also, the idea that, you know, if you’re in a co-located work environment, probably the last thing you want to do on your weekend or your vacation time is go on vacation with your team members that you see every day but then ina remote space or lack of space, that’s a joy potentially to come together. It’s needed and it’s not, oh, this again, you know,and that’s what we really want to kind of say, okay here we had this old model, this co-located company and then they make you go to some training weekend and it’s at the airport hotel in a, you know, neon lit room and you’re so irritated that you don’t have this time off togo on your real vacation or hang out with your family or your dog or whoever but then a lot of people in the remote space are nomadic. A lot of them, you know, are…if they’re not nomadic, are in their house 40+ hours a week and that we felt like, okay, we were drawn to remote work because it would allow us the freedom to travel and meet new people and in our own, you know, potential developmental process, both in our life and in our careers, you realise that that’s part of the fantasya little bit that remote work is very adventurous but that we wanted to create an opportunity for companies to provide something that fed that sense of adventure to their home-based people and then also fed that sense of community to their nomadic people because when you’re a nomad, you meet lots of cool people but you might never meet them again.
Charlie: You can be kind of a wandering lifestyle, you know. I think Summer’s planning on applying for Remote Year. [unintelligible – 26:24] she’s not ground down by the [unintelligible – 26:26] obligation and that’s something I’ve always thought would be cool to do but I’m in a relationship so my partner’s not a remote worker so that would be ayear away from him, you know, so it’s…there’s lots of different lifestyles.It’s not all nomads and it’s not all work-from-home moms and it’s not all anything.
Charlie: And so I think creating an opportunity for people to come together that both…that celebrates both the adventure and cultural immersion that you come to expect from travel and community and team-building that you come to expect from, you know, a work event and doing it in a way that’s really pedestrian and not overly formal is anice way to remind people that there’s always an experience right at your fingertips and that every experience can teach you something. I mean, even if it’s just walking down the road and feeling the breeze on your skin, like, you know, there’s something to that and that we’re not trying to do, you know, big keynote seminars with intensive workshops and lots of paperwork and make sure you don’t lose, you know, page 9 of your 27-page team building manual. Like, I just want great facilitators who know the value of connecting with your humanity and canhelp direct people’s awareness and intention into the present so that they can also reap the benefits of being in a relationship in real time, with yourself, with other people and with nature. I think it’s going to become more and more important to do on purpose when it’s not happening organically and in the virtual remote space it’s not happening organically.
Lisette: Right. People have to be really deliberate about these things andthat’s something that I think surprisespeople because they think…it sounds so easy but it’s actually when you get into the details, it’s not that easy. Yeah, I love the idea of companies coming together and of course remote teams coming together. I mean, there is nothing like the face to face contact. As much as I love the virtual world and I want to think we could do everything, almost everything online, I have to admit in almost every interview I’ve done, people have said there’s nothing like coming together face to face for really accelerating the relationship building and strengthening some of the ties and then going back out to the team and yeah. Loneliness was something that you brought up and that comes up a lot, the isolation of working remote and so it sounds like a retreat like yours could really take that sort of the edge off the loneliness because once you’ve met with people and then you’re working with themremotely again, it’s a lot less lonely than it was before. So what I’ll ask about you mentioned membership. So I want to ask you about this membership. So what is…when you say membership, what do you mean?
Charlie: Yeah. So, you know, because we all come from the start-up space, we’ve had a lot of experience with wanting to do things, wanting to access things, and not having the budget for it. So it kind of started there, wanting to obviously create a business model for ourselves that provided high-end services that will help us stay in business and help us create the lifestyle that we want for ourselves because there’s an integrity piece there, right, obviously, if we’re promoting travel and retreats and we’re broke and we can’t afford to go travel and…
Charlie: …there’s an incongruence there but we also wanted to make sure that there was a way for people in the start-up community specifically to access the curated information that may be a more, you know, established business could afford to access through our services and so that’s where it started and then it’s kind of turned into also wanting to just have a place where you can go to talk to people and shop around for different things. We figure, you know, the leaders of these distributed and remote teams, they’re on a computer all the time doing what they’re good at and the last thing I want to do if I’m that person is get on the computer moreto do things I’m not good at and I’m not an expert in like hunting down the leadership facilitator for my retreat or finding a videographer. So, it’ll be pulling all of…there’s going to bea Facebook groupcomponent so that people can kind of just get in there and make friends and be silly and have fun because, you know, sometimes seeing a picture of acat is like the perfect thing that you need for you day when you’re home alone in your basement but sometimes, you know, it’s not. So we [made] a LinkedIn group for that but it’s really meant to be more of a social forum for remote workers and leaders to connect with each other and then there’ll be this market place, this digital market placewhere every one of our collaborators will be added. They’ll each have their own profile where they can highlight who they are, what they do, how they see that being relevant to remote work, and then all of those will be put into private Pinterest boards that I just Pinterest. I like the visual aesthetic of them because it’s kind of playful and fun. So you…as a member, you’d be able to go in there and say, I just want a leadership facilitator. We’re not really ready to go into the [unintelligible – 32:17] retreat space but I would love to get somebody on board to do some self-leadership, self-management stuff with my people so you could go to the leadership board, you can click around. It will be very visual so you can kind of get a feeling for the person and their style right away from those visual components and then you can know that we took the time to reach out to that person, make sure that they are credible, you know, checked out their material that it’s valid and not some [unintelligible – 32:48] scheme or, you know, there’s so much unknown in the business…online business space that we wanted to offer our community a way to be more comfortable doing business with people they need to do business with as well as have an easier time finding high-quality things and not just feel like they have to hire, you know, Bob Jones because the other CEO, the other distributed company they know hires Bob Jones but they don’t really like Bob Jones but they don’t really have time or energy or expertise to go and figure out, you know, that’s my expertise is what is quality training and coaching and what is fun quality training and coaching, you know. And so I just would love to be able to act as a curator of that space as well as the fact that we’ll be storing all of our podcasts and blogs in there. It’s just really meant to be a [one-stop] shop if you’re looking for professional services that can help you put on an event or if you just need training resources for your remote team and then also the community piece and so we’re going to be launching that in September, which I’m really excited about. So I just sent out the collaboration proposals which are the like the formal invitations for…right now I have 37 content providers that have expressed interest in contributing content.
Charlie: So I just sent out the first wave of emails about that and that will allow me to collect, you know, every little detailed thing I can about what they do, how they do it, and who they are and make…and take it to Summer, Rachel, and get a vote from them and make some formal invitations and get people up and running and start plugging the content in. So I’m really geeking out about this part right now. It’s my major project that I’m in charge of in the current time so…
Lisette: I love it. I have so many questions expect for we’re running out of time so I’m going to keep it down to…we’ll keep it down to the last two questions which is advice for teams who are just starting out. What should they be thinking about before they try one of these retreats?
Charlie: Before they try one of these retreats. So we’re actually working on a free little freebie content marketing video, so that’s going to have the top fifteen things to think about, so 5 from a program perspective, 5 from a travel perspective, and 5 from event planning perspective. So we’re pretty excited about that. I think the most important thing to think about though when you’re planning your retreat is really what the aim is, you know, because a lot…don’t do it because somebody told youyou should do it because then it’s always going to suck.
Charlie: You know? It’s like when you’re…I think Tony Robbins [like] says don’t should yourself to death or one of the big speaking gurus.
Lisette: That’s brilliant.
Charlie: But I did an experiment a couple of years ago where I took should out of my vocabulary for a whole year. I said I either want to, I need to, or I have to. I have to. Not you should, Charlie, which is somebody else’s voice in my head. So if you feel like, oh, I heard through the grapevine that I should really try retreats. Like, I’m not saying just don’t…drop the idea because obviously that wouldn’t be good marketing for me…
Charlie: …but don’t come into it like what should it look like? What should it be? You know? Always looking at what do I want to get out of this? What do I want to feel when I’m in it? What do I want my people to get out of it? Because what you might want to get out of it is I want to jut party with my team for a weekend in Bali and then you make it so complicated because of what you think it should be that no one even has turned [unintelligible – 37:00]cocktail or sit by the pool.
Charlie: You know, but if you think I want to feel spacious and I want to feel warm, I want to hear animals chirping in the woods and I want to see vast landscapes. I want to play. I want to learn more about who you are outside of your role. I want to know do you have kids? Do you have a dog? Do you hate cats? Like, I don’t know you. What is it that you want to get out of it from an internal level, not from what it’s going to look like to anybody else, you know, and then the second thing of course is that we always recommend that you take those ideas and you test them out with your team so that you can get some feedback because, at the end of the day, as a leader, your dream retreat might not be the dream retreat. If you’re a mountain climber and a river rafter and an extrovert, that’s your perfect retreat but you have a bunch of coders who are introverted and like to play video games and, you know, maybe brew craft beer. That’s not going to be their ideal retreat and there is a way to bring those two things together. You want to know what you need to get out of it, what you want to get out of it and who your people are and what they love and how to bring those things together and that’s, you know, what we’re here to help facilitate. So that’s really [exciting].
Lisette: I love it. Take should out of your vocabulary, everybody. Just replace it…experiment and replace it with something else. I really like that, especially when planning these kind of things. So, last question and, man, we’re going to have to do follow-up or something. There are so many questions about this but, last one which is if people want to find out more and get in touch with you, what is the best way to do that?
Lisette: [unintelligible – 38:52] so it’s exciting to see this launch.
Charlie: Yeah. Yeah. So, probably the best way to get in touch with us right now is on our social media. Our website is under construction so that is coming soon but we are on Instagram as Rebel and Connect and we’re on Twitter Rebel and Connect and we’re on Facebook. If you just search Facebook for Rebel and Connect, you’ll see our page and we are on LinkedIn. We have a LinkedIn page as well but I don’t think people really go there. It’s just for presentational purposes. It’s not really an engaging page. It’s just informational and then our email@example.com is our [main point] email if you’re just curious to learn more about the company versus connect with one of us directly.
Lisette: Okay. Great.So, all the social media, the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn for some. I mean, yeah. LinkedIn…yeah that’s a whole topic in it of itself.
Charlie: [unintelligible – 40:00]. Yeah.
Lisette: Yeah. I have the same quandaries over LinkedIn and then firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for…
Charlie: Yeah [unintelligible – 40:12].
Lisette: …taking the time today to tell me about this. Really appreciate it. I think it’s an interesting idea. I think that a lot of remote teams need this. I mean, I read it in books like in the book A Year Without Pants by Scott Berkun, their team would go on retreats in order to work together for certain amounts of times and they are mostly distributed teams that would come together for a short period of time. Seemed like a great idea to me and they got a lot out of those retreats. So I think for companies who are thinking about what do you do for team-building and bringing people together, this is a fabulous idea and why do it yourself when you’ve got pros who can do it for you.
Lisette: And you worry about the other stuff. So, I really wish you guys the best of luck.
Charlie: Thank you.
Lisette: I hope it takes off. So thanks so much.[Yeah, exactly].
Lisette: And until next time, everybody. Be powerful and…Interview