Upcoming Founders Thriving Retreat gives entrepreneurs the chance to form healthier relationships to work, life, success—and themselves
For an entrepreneur, the American Dream can come at a high price. Long hours, relentless stress and the various headaches inherent to launching a business can pile up on a person, robbing them of their joie de vivre—or worse. Gv Freeman knows all about that. Leaving his hometown in central Nebraska for the bigger city,…
For an entrepreneur, the American Dream can come at a high price. Long hours, relentless stress and the various headaches inherent to launching a business can pile up on a person, robbing them of their joie de vivre—or worse.
Gv Freeman knows all about that.
Leaving his hometown in central Nebraska for the bigger city, the St. Louis-based entrepreneur burned extra hours to find opportunities in the tech industry. Not only was self-care not a priority, it wasn’t even on his radar. And in true startup spirit, he singlemindedly drove himself to build a successful career. But the pressure took its toll.
Urgently needing a break from the grind, Freeman embarked on a long, dark-night-of-the-soul-style journey to figure things out. On mindfulness retreats, he would meditate for up to 14 hours a day sometimes. He went through yoga teacher training, and even became a pupil of the late Ram Dass (née Dr. Richard Alpert), a former Harvard professor whose 1971 book on LSD and mysticism inspired countless spiritual seekers in the West to reevaluate their place in the universe.
It wasn’t easy for Freeman to suspend his logical engineering mind and embrace his spiritual side. But he kept an open mind and eventually came away with a more holistic definition of success—plus a host of transferable insights ripe for sharing.
Now, the self-styled Founder Coach & Growth Strategist is offering an entrepreneur-friendly version of the various meditation retreats and medicine rituals that likely helped save his life.
The Founders Thriving Retreat is a five-day mindfulness experience geared toward founders that will take place Sept. 19-25 at the Costa Dulce Resort in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.
Freeman describes Founders Thriving as an intentional space for entrepreneurs seeking to build a healthier relationship with themselves and their business: one with more purpose, fulfillment and happiness, where self-worth is never confused with net worth.
“We’re given a lot of really early programming about what we have to do to be successful, and a lot of that tells us that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves first,” Freeman said. “And this is an opportunity to put yourself first for a little while—at least for five days.”
Founders Thriving allows business founders to put themselves first, slow down the world around them for a few days, and—hopefully—take home some wisdom that will put them on a healthier path.
“The two goals that I am trying to have people walk away with is: the ability to de-couple net worth and self worth (and be able to say) ‘I am a good person regardless of how successful my company is,’” he said. “And the other idea is to create a healthier relationship with your business.”
The retreat combines yoga, meditation, breathwork, and thought provoking workshops specifically designed for founders. Consciousness-expanding opportunities will be offered as well, including holotropic breathwork, a sweat lodge and the opportunity to participate in a psilocybin ceremony (if desired by the participant).
If all that sounds a bit intense, Freeman said there will be time for play as well.
Attendees will have four hours to experience their surroundings in Nicaragua. That means ziplining through the jungle, hanging out on the beach, riding horses, sitting by the resort pool, and—if necessary—coming back to your room and checking back into the world you left stateside.
Essentially, the retreat is meant to deprogram old thoughts and habit patterns, which Freeman characterizes as “letting go of what we don’t need, and then installing Operating System 2.0.”
While checking out from the stress of a business founder’s everyday life is the goal, Freeman wants the lessons and peace his attendees receive to be portable.
“The trick is not escaping action to find rest, the trick is finding rest in action—and that’s what we’re doing as a part of the retreat,” Freeman said.
Interested in attending the Founders Thriving Retreat, or recommending it to a stressed-out founder? Find more information here.
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