By Claire Barham Jul 06, 2017
“I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to step away from business once a year with the express intent to refresh and renew by connecting with people who share similar experiences. We grow more effectively when we grow together.”
This quote from Area Director Allison Masquelier is, in a nutshell, the purpose of the annual N2 Girls’ Trip. Every October, 18 ladies gather together for a five-day getaway to foster lifelong friendships and invaluable work connections. While each year is a little different – a change of physical scenery, a handful of new women, new outings planned – some things can be counted on, like the deep, healing conversations, tons of laughter, and some great food.
IT TAKES A PLAN TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
Though this precious time away isn’t pre-planned down to the hour, organizing the event is no easy or quick feat. Lucky for us, this is where Heidi Heigel steps up and steps in. Previously an event planner for N2, Heidi has found a home on our legal team. Still passionate about the event planning process, she takes it upon herself, with the wonderful help of Region Director Bernadette Hayes, to lead the Girls’ Trip festivities.
“We all look forward to this trip every year. I mean, the women come in like a hurricane,” Heidi said. “It’s about a break, relaxation, and emotional renewal. It’s a powerful time.”
And these women, Heidi assures us, know how to have a good time. While a lot of the trip is spent at the rented house – where everyone is able to stay under one roof – outings allow for adventure and some healthy competition. Last year in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the ladies went head-to-head playing Putt-Putt and racing go-karts. And, according to Heidi, competition is “fierce” because, after all, these ladies are in sales!
ALL WORK AND ALL PLAY
With nearly every attendee making their living as an N2 Area Director, conversations inevitably turn to business. This may sound odd or like a bit of a let-down considering the vacation is a break from work life, but it’s actually a main reason the women look forward to the week.
“When I attended my first Girls' Trip, I had just processed my first deadline the month before. I was wet behind the ears and looking forward to picking the brains of the veteran ladies I would meet,” said Allison, who plans to attend her third trip this fall.
“I wanted to meet and learn from ladies who had been doing this longer than I had. I was hoping to even get some feedback on my first issue and recommendations on how to make it better. And of course, I expected to relax and have fun, but I never imagined I'd get out of it what I did.”
The Girls’ Trip aside, N2 does hold three events – our annual kickoff, spring, and fall conferences – as an opportunity for Area Directors to come together to learn new strategies and to make connections with fellow ADs. But, as both Heidi and Allison point out, the same bonds aren’t built like those at the ladies’ retreat.
“This is a very important event, just as crucial for me as Conference. It's where I have the time to connect deeply with ladies who are setting the bar, running successful businesses and who are where I want to be,” Allison said. “N2 is all about relationships and this is, by far, the best opportunity to develop relationships within the company, no matter if you've just gone to print or if you've been doing it for 10 years.”
Though the sole purpose of this trip is to offer a mental break and an opportunity to make new friends within our work family, a wonderful “side effect” has emerged – a deeper sense of value and affection for the N2 brand.
“These trips have just reinforced in my mind that N2 is truly concerned with the ‘whole person,’” said Allison.
“It's not just about numbers and being a producer, but it's about balancing work and life and not walking it alone.”
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