What My Night Alone in a Mountain Hotel Taught Me About Business (and Life)

A guest post by Stacie Whitney

A dear friend of mine went to Paris last week, alone.

She’s a fulltime mother, she has her own biz,, and she made it happen – she knew it was important.

You should go away sometime,” my love said to me, on hearing about this. “It would be good for you.”

God, thank you for this man.

Ok, how bout this weekend?” the response just blurted itself out of me.

So I very quickly booked (before any minds were changed – mine especially) a hotel about an hour away, in the mountains.  It was non-refundable.

Granted, it’s not 5 days in Paris, but it’s a start.  Let’s call it a trial, (or that’s what I’m building up in my mind, anyway).

So this busy self-employed, full-time mama, left her wee one waving at the door (too sweet), and boogied (literally, you would’ve loved to see me dancing with the steering wheel – only while stopped at a red light, I swear) herself into the mountains for a last-minute work retreat.   A bit of space and time by myself, to both breathe and focus on my business.

Sounds like heaven to most parents who are entrepreneurs, right?  Cuz we LOVE our businesses – it’s just that most of the time all the other stuff in life can make it feel a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, I discovered a few things about myself when I was holed up in my cozy mountain hotel..


Lesson number 1

I love walking alone in the woods – the first thing I wanted to do – even before I checked in – was go for a walk in the woods.  Not sit in a café and read, or lay in bed starting at the ceiling (things many of us busy mamas often dream of), but just walk, quietly alone in the forest.

It’s not like I didn’t know this about myself already – it’s just that it’s been so long, I forgot how truly nourishing it is for me.

And I have a confession.  For part of the time, I talked to myself.  And for part of the time I sang.  Out loud.  Really loud.  God it felt good.


Business take home: While I was walking (and talking and singing), I had some amazing clarity and ideas about my business.  When there’s space to be me, it’s amazing what can come.


Lesson Number 2

I wasn’t very hungry.  I had imagined whisking myself out to a nice restaurant for a special (and quiet!) meal, taking my time, lingering over my appetizer, before considering what I fancied next.

When it came down to it, I was so creatively inspired, that when hunger came, it felt like a distraction, so I packed my computer up, headed down to the bar, and ordered a (pretty fantastic) green salad with hot smoked salmon.  I was really into my work, and I actually craved some food that would nourish me.  I felt amazing afterwards.

(Oh, and the bar staff were super friendly and attentive.  And they served everything, and took my plates.  And someone else did the dishes so I could carry on working, undisturbed <heavenly sigh>.)

Business take home:  If left to my own devices, I’ll choose what’s best for me (most of the time!).  Hard work and healthy eating go hand-in-hand.  If we are well-nourished on all levels, this can only seep through us into our work.


Lesson number 3

I didn’t mind the rain.  When I woke the next morning to rain dancing on my roof, it didn’t phase me one bit.  I’d planned on a morning walk, but I found that with all this gorgeous space and time to myself, it didn’t really matter WHAT I did.  I was going to enjoy it, and therefore it would feel nurturing to me.

Me by myself.  Hotel room.  Hot shower.  Computer.  Music.  Time.  Writing.

The simple things can set us free.

Business/life take home:  It’s not the rain that usually gets me down, it’s my lack of attention to myself and my needs.

In the same way, it’s not doing work that often feels stressful, it’s trying to do it when I’m also doing 86 other things, none of them with proper attention and focus.

A bit of space and time away is the perfect cure for both.

So I’d say my night away in a hotel was a grand success.   It helped me to breathe, feel nourished, AND enjoy getting a load of work done.

Trial, success.  Next time, Paris, here I come 😉

Now it’s your turn!  Share with us in the comments below:

Have you had some time and space lately to re-discover who YOU really are?  If not, how can you make some space to infuse some of your true magic back into your life, and your biz?


Stacie Whitney is a mother, wife, writer and entrepreneur.  She inspires and empowers soulful mothers to get nourished, get clear and get on their purpose-filled path.  You can find more of her musings and get inspired, empowered and on your path at www.staciewhitney.com.

14 thoughts on “What My Night Alone in a Mountain Hotel Taught Me About Business (and Life)

  1. Such an inspiration! I often find myself so busy ‘doing’ that it takes real effort to stop and just ‘be’. What a perfect reminder of how important it is. Thankyou!

  2. Nice piece. Thank you. ‘doing something without proper attention and focus is stressful’ (or similar) is a bit of a gem of wisdom. I’ll try and remember that.

  3. Wow thank you Stacie – what a great guest post. You write brilliantly and so inspiringly (well, I know that about you, which is why I was MORE than happy for you to write for my readers!)
    If you’ve forgotten about how precious ‘me time’ is, how creative it can be, then take a leaf out of Stacie’s book and do whatever it takes to arrange it – now!

    • You’re so welcome, Jane. And thanks again – I really enjoyed it.
      Now I’m off to have some more of that precious ‘me time’, which your readers have very kindly mirrored right back to me!
      A fantastically important practice, which some of us need continual reminders to do.. 😉

  4. Stacie this is a beautiful story and I’m so glad you brought up the need for time alone.

    Last year I did my own little pilgramige for time alone.

    I holed myself up and my grannies empty farmhouse about an hr away from home and sat on the lawn in the rose graden on a blanket for five days reading, listening to WISH summit, dreaming and finally listening to the small whispers my soul had been straining to say for months.

    It was so healing and inspiring.

    Do you have any more tips for us Stacie on how to find small amounts of time to be alone and rejuvenate?

    • Your pilgrimage sounds like a slice of heaven, Rebecca.

      Great question – I’ll be writing my next article on this very topic (next week). It seems it’s really coming up for a lot of people at the moment. You are definitely not alone!

      Thanks so much for sharing about your time in the rose garden – just the image of that scene makes me feel relaxed 🙂

  5. Hi Stacie,
    What a great post! I really felt as though I was there with you… you have a talent for this 🙂 Your story also reminded me of a time in my life when I used to do this regularly – sometimes even staying in a hotel just 10 minutes outside of the town where I lived in Australia, at a time when it felt important to create a regular, clear, empty space just to be Kate. I’ve never forgotten these times because something amazing happened to me. On one of my early trips closer to home, I found a pearl earring in the hotel room and when I tried to hand it in to reception, nobody was interested in tracking down the owner. So I kept the earring for some reason…. and months later, on another sojourn to a different hotel 5 hours drive away, I found a matching earring in the room!!! This might sound unbelievable, but it really happened. Maybe the pearls were a visible manifestation of the pearls (gems?) of wisdom I received when I created space to listen to myself. I still have this “pair” of earrings. And I’ve enjoyed remembering this amazing time in my life prompted by your post. Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Kate. What an amazing story! Indeed the pearls of wisdom are plentiful when we create space to listen to ourselves.

      Beautiful synchronicity, thanks for sharing with us.

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