Best friends from childhood, Claire Wright and Olivia Soleto had experienced a huge amount of success in their respective careers. A restaurateur and entrepreneur dedicated to scaling British brands in the hospitality and restaurant industry, Soleto had also set up her own events business. A wellness and music expert, Los Angeles-based Wright had built a consultancy business, assisting independently owned wellness and tech fitness brands raise capital and scale.
But in July 2018, the duo realized that they were suffering from career burnout and stress — a common theme among many entrepreneurs and leaders — and went searching for a solution. “We both longed for a retreat that would allow us to escape, develop and be inspired,” says Wright. “After much research into various retreats, we could not find anything that suited our needs, therefore, we decided to set up our own business.”
In December 2018, Circle Haus was born. The concept: luxury retreats designed for top business executives by top business executives. In addition to focusing on development and thought leadership, Circle Haus offers holistic therapies among like-minded people.
“There has always been pressure with being a leader and often we embrace it, but in work culture today there is even more pressure to be on your absolute A game,” says Wright. “Leaders have a responsibility to their team to uphold the standards and have to be a beacon of peak performance.”
Wright says that with evolving technology, constantly being switched on and — let’s face it — life competing with AI, there is even more of a need for executives to be at their best. “Throw in your personal life and then it can become a strain on mental health,” she says. “In order to be a good leader, you need to work on mindset, personal and professional development, inspiration and industry and cultural education.”
‘To respond to these challenges, Wright and Soleto created a series of retreats where participants can disconnect in an inspiring place with enriching content, surrounded by nature. As well as a holistic approach to health activities — such as sunrise yoga, meditation and sound-healing sessions — Circle Haus hosts workshops with leading wellness practitioners and Fortune 500-company speakers. Each night, dinner is served by Richard H Turner, a British chef, author and restaurateur who devises menus using ingredients that energize the body and mind. In addition, the retreats offer an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals. The name “Circle Haus” was inspired by the fact that life is represented as a circle — a constant. “You get out what you put in,” says Wright.
The company has already run a number of retreats in Mustique, where guests stayed in a gingerbread-style hillside villa with views of the Grenadine islands and attended seminars on disconnecting, how to harness the nervous system to increase productivity, how to reduce work-related stress and more. Upcoming trips include Ibiza (October 5 and 9), Costa Rica (November 8 and 12), Aruba, Dubai, Tulum, Italy, Greece, Bali and Thailand.
Here, Circle Haus founders Wright and Soleto share five tips to avoid professional burnout and career stress that anyone can incorporate into their lives.
Find Inspiration. Finding inspiration is the key to finding motivation. What gets you out of bed in the morning? Prioritize what makes you feel fulfilled vs. what pays the bills and you will find that success and happiness are closer to linked than you may think.
Nourish Yourself. So much focus has been put on deprivation and fasting. Nourishing the body and mind with food is not only healthful, but it recharges your energy and gives your brain the power it needs to perform at an optimal level.
Disconnect to Reconnect. Find a sacred spot to reflect and take time for yourself. Whether it’s a balcony in your house or a nearby walking trail, being in nature recharges the batteries and gives you an opportunity to be mindful of the present moment.
Never Stop Learning. Education is so important to get excited about a topic or career that has become redundant and mundane. Read a book on a career topic that interests you or go to a seminar or training session. Most companies support their staff interested in higher learning to increase peak performance.
Create Community. It is important to connect with like-minded individuals. Reach out to colleagues or online groups who address the challenges in the workplace and be sure to share your struggles. There is comfort and strength in learning that others are experiencing similar circumstances.