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Rest, Relaxation…and Networking?

Entrepreneurs need to be reminded of the importance of rest and relaxation

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 20 Nov 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Much of the culture around entrepreneurship celebrates hustle and the never-ending grind in order to succeed. Every now and then, however, founders and entrepreneurs need to be reminded of the importance of rest and relaxation.

Kenneth Ho experienced this problem first-hand. He is the CEO of BEAM, a global community of entrepreneurs, developers, investors, and journalists.

“Me and a few friends were chatting one day about how stressful it is to be an entrepreneur. I was like, ‘Someone should plan something where entrepreneurs could go and relax while being able to build their business and relationships,’” Ho says.

He and his co-founders sought out to build what they would call Entrepreneurs Retreat. It would target BEAM’s community, which spans across Southeast Asia, Japan, and Australia.

“We’ve always wanted to run an event where we could bring our entire community together but did not want to do another ‘tech conference’ as there are just too many of them today. We also felt that retreats tend to bond people together more intimately, while conferences are a very touch-n-go basis,” Ho says.

It will take place from February 1, 2018 to February 3, 2018 at Thistle Resort in Port Dickson, Malaysia.

The biggest challenge for the first incarnation of Entrepreneurs Retreat will be putting on a program that is valuable for all participants, since the organizers expect their attendees to be diverse.

Wallace Ho, COO of BEAM, says that there will be networking sessions, panel discussions, and business and investor matching. There will also be poolside and black-tie gala dinners.

He says the goal is to bring entrepreneurs together in a fun, insightful, and inspiring environment with many other entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders. “The focus is lots of fun and forging lifelong relationships,” COO Ho says.

Looking past their inaugural Entrepreneurs Retreat, he says they want their second one to be in a different part of Asia, involve more participants and activities, and go on for longer (this initial run is three days, two nights). Despite their plans, COO Ho is the first to admit that a founder doesn’t need to go on a formal retreat to relax.

“You just need to pack your bags and travel somewhere awesome. However, one of the biggest hurdles entrepreneurs face is letting go of the business while going on a holiday, especially if you’re a start-up. We want to allow participants to be able to continue the momentum of their business even while they’re on a retreat,” he says.