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Success Advice

How to Build Connections and Create Boundless Opportunities



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Even if you meet someone 30 times for coffee, it’ll never equate to the connection that forms when you’re trying to change a flat tire together on a remote island without cell service. (Yes, that happened to me.) That’s why I’ve made it a personal mission to create memorable group trips that provide space to share experiences and grow relationships (ideally with no flat tires).

I started hosting curated trips in college for my business society. As I entered the workforce, I began theming trips around learning new skills, bonding over specific topics, or going on unforgettable experiences. My goal is to handpick professional contacts for trips that accelerate bonding and promote collaboration.

If you’re thinking you’d love to go on a trip but don’t have the time, I challenge you to reframe your thought process. These trips aren’t just vacations — they’re opportunities to learn something new, build deeper relationships, reflect, recharge, and invest in your future success. Group trips are a way to access people for longer periods than you otherwise would and bond over topics outside of work. Plus, you can outsource a lot of the planning, which is a huge benefit as a busy professional.

How Group Trips Prompt Self-Reflection, New Opportunities, and Growth

For years, I attended Jeff Bezos’ annual, invite-only MARS retreat. At this event, top leaders in machine learning, automation, robotics, and space gather to listen to thought-provoking lectures about the future of technology, bond over meals, and engage in activities such as hiking and martial arts. In just a few days, people with similar professional interests meet and form long-lasting connections.

These retreats are some of the most productive “workcations” I’ve attended. They gave me time to self-reflect on my own work, learn from thought leaders, and turn professional contacts into friends. After every MARS retreat, new businesses form and people change roles. These retreats are fun and successful, driving new ideas, strong partnerships, and individual growth.

The MARS retreat resembles many of the trips I’ve been doing for 15 years, and it’s the perfect playbook for planning a professional getaway. 

Here are the five key ingredients for success:

  1. Curation. Curate a group based on a common thread: an interest in meditation, experiences as women finance executives, etc. It’s important to handpick the right mix of people to ensure they get something valuable out of the trip.
  2. Purpose. There must be an explicit purpose for the trip. For example, if you want to host a meditation retreat, you should plan to spend three hours each day meditating and bringing in teachers. You can use the rest of the time for general bonding and group activities.
  3. Length. The trip should be at least three and a half days to give people time to build meaningful connections. (This does not include travel time.)
  4. Quality. My recommendation for a three-to-five-day trip is about 20 people. But if you want to maximize your efforts, you could invite up to 100.
  5. Downtime. Each day should have a few hours of downtime for the group to recharge and connect.

“The time to build a network is always before you need one.” – Douglas Conant

Group Trips Aren’t as Difficult to Plan as You Might Think

Remember, group trips are an investment in your future success. To make them more feasible from a planning perspective, try out these three types of trips:

1. Center your trip on learning a new skill for self-development.

Everyone has hobbies and skills they want to learn, so use those as conduits to bring people together and bond with professional contacts. For instance, pre-pandemic, a group of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley went on annual kitesurfing trips around the world (including Richard Branson’s Necker Island). Hire a company that does custom tours to learn something new, such as mountaineering, sailing, or cooking. These companies will set a price and then usually take care of everything once you touch down — all you have to do is book a flight.

I did a four-person girls’ trip to French Polynesia, where we spent a week getting our catamaran skipper certifications. It was one of the most fun trips I’ve ever taken. We all studied together to take tests, practiced our skills on the catamaran, and bonded over a common goal. We also had a blast swimming with sharks, cooking meals together off the boat, and sailing around Bora Bora. We still regularly chat on our WhatsApp group about sailing and have been looking for more ways to put our certification to use.

2. Use pre-planned trips to meet new people.

Many companies offer incredible journeys with set dates, prices, and itineraries. You can travel at a better rate by inviting specific people you’d like to get to know on these trips. A couple of examples of ones I personally like are El Camino Travel (small group travel for women); For the Love of Travel (small group travel for Millennials); Modern Adventure (luxury culinary and wine tours); Abercrombie & Kent (global luxury tours); &Beyond (small group safaris); Nat- Geo Expeditions (history- and culture-themed trips); and Healing Holidays (wellness retreats).

“Your communication skills are your greatest strength as an entrepreneur. You have to know what to say when networking, team building, and talking with investors. Going on a group trip expands your professional circle and allows you to encounter new social situations that can help you grow as a communicator” – says Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting.

3. Book a villa at a destination with many bonding activities.

I recommend the Caribbean for this approach! Look for homes that have a concierge or staff. These individuals can help you with responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, or booking activities to remove those day-to-day stresses so you can focus on bonding with the people you’re traveling with. I curated a five-night trip to the Cayman Islands with 20 handpicked people where we all stayed in the same house. It was basically a summer camp for adults. We did night kayaking in a bioluminescent bay, sailing, and group yoga.

Many people on the trip didn’t know one another, but they were all Millennial tech professionals. This common thread created an opportunity for folks to have hours-long conversations. Have your guests facilitate events or conversations that play to their strengths. While on our trip, one individual hosted a yoga class, another taught everyone about body posture, and a third gave a lecture on trends in the tech industry. By planning daily events and topic-based meals, you force people to open up, reflect, and be vulnerable in front of each other.

Making time for group travel — not to mention handling the logistics — can seem daunting with your busy schedule. But you will be glad you took the leap. The growth you’ll experience will be more than worth it.

Sasha Hoffman is a travel expert, business strategist, investor, and entrepreneur who’s worked for companies such as Uber, Piaggio Group, and Goldman Sachs. Sasha has been to over 100 countries and has married her innate ability to find great deals and design unique experiences with her passion for travel, curating luxury, purpose-driven trips for professional women to learn new skills and see remote parts of the world. Connect with Sasha on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



Igniting your spark
Image Credit: Midjourney

What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



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Image Credit: Midjourney

We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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