2018 will definitely go down in the history books for me! It was quite a year of travel. 12 trips in one year is a new record…and I loved every second!! It was also a year of pivoting for me. I moved into business and lifestyle strategy with my focus being on launching adventure retreats and proving the concept that escaping from your day-to-day and combining the physical and mental is the fastest way to real personal transformation.

I threw all caution to the wind, said “Fuck it! YES!” to many amazing opportunities, and walked away with incredible lessons. Lessons I’m sharing with you, so you can learn without having to travel the globe (unless, of course, you want to! If so, get on my VIP retreat list to be the first to know about my next adventure retreat).

My word of the year was INTENTION, so every move I made in 2018 had a purpose. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Cuz, yeah, there was some ugly sprinkled in there to keep me in check! It’s long, but well worth the info!


I attended Life Intended Live in Denver. A two day, intimate conference for entrepreneurs learning strategies on health, mindset, business metrics, sales, and social media. Many of my favorite online friends were there, so it was amazing spending quality time with them in person. Lots of laughs!!

I was also able to meet the amazingly talented violinist, Roddy Chong, who has played with Celine Dion and Trans Siberian Orchestra. He shared his powerful story of how he began to play at that level.

And I was able to meet and learn from the incredible Tim Grover...the trainer behind the legend, Michael Jordan. Tim throws around enough F-bombs to make a Marine blush, but his message is solid. Be relentless.

Tim Grover | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor-min-min-min-min

Lessons learned: Roddy’s story was a great reminder that The Universe is working FOR you. You have to pay attention and put yourself in front of the people who can get you where you want to go. Always be prepared to welcome opportunity.

I had a powerful lesson come from Tim. I discovered I had information HE wanted and could help HIM. A man who can open doors with a phone call because of his reputation…needed me. You have your own unique set of skills, knowledge, and experiences and can offer value to everyone. Once again, pay attention and serve where you can.


I attended Grant Cardone’s big event, 10XGrowthCon, in Las Vegas. 9000 entrepreneurs gathering to learn from and to be sold to incessantly by many speakers…like Russell Brunson, Lewis Howes, Tai Lopez, etc.

Grant is the master of sales and can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo, so it wasn’t a big surprise that there was tons of selling from the stage and the vendors. Being an established entrepreneur, I had little need for the things they were selling, so fortunately, I could easily say no. The real value of the event was the networking with the attendees!

Grant’s audience ranges from the broke 19yo who believes in the opportunities the internet can offer to multi-millionaires who invest in real estate and run multiple businesses. He’s ruthless in selling to anyone and everyone.

Lessons learned: There were very few women speakers at his event. And those that did, weren’t very impressive. It was a reminder I need to step up my speaking game in 2019 because the world needs more powerful women. If you have a message to share, don’t hold back!

Networking with his audience gave me a few lessons. No matter how cool the broke people think you are, they aren’t your customers because they don’t see the value in investing in themselves. If they do, they can’t afford it or be resourceful enough to figure it out. When multi-millionaires are excited about your offer (in my case, adventure retreats) and what you’re doing with personal development, you know you’re onto something and it’s time to switch who you’re talking to.


This month was a biggie! I went to CitySummit in LA at the beginning of the month. It’s a 2 day intimate event of about 100 business people to learn from uber-successful business owners who have a passion for philanthropy as well. The weekend is then topped off with CityGala…a large charity ball with Matthew McConaughey as the keynote. (Think, red carpet at Universal Studios on Oscar weekend!)

After 10XGrowthCon, it was refreshing to hang out with great people in a relaxed environment with no sales pitch! Simply learning and connecting. The highlights were meeting Jack Canfield from The Secret and author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and learning from Ashton Kutcher about his passion for stopping child trafficking. (Being 10 feet away from him, I had to do everything I could to focus on his message…holy hotness!!)

At the end of the month, I headed to La Jolla, CA for the 90 Day Year Live event put on by Todd Herman. I had taken his 90 Day Year course and was incredibly impressed by his delivery and approach. I also liked the idea of going to an event where a common theme like time management would draw in a variety of business owners.

Lessons learned: Business greats like Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline, Brandon Steiner, founder of Steiner Sports Marketing (you may know him from the Yankees), and Noel Lee, founder of Monster Cable all shared a common theme…mindset is everything when it comes to creating success. 

Majority of people will invest in learning tactics and strategies and never get to where they want to be. It’s only when they realize the problem is the way they think and do something about it, will they see massive success. I have had mindset practices for a long time in my personal life, but hadn’t really applied it to my business until this year and it made all the difference!

Set an intention for any event you go to. Who do you want to meet? What answer do you need? For me, my intention was to meet Jack Canfield…the king of personal development. And BOOM! Made it happen.

Jack Canfield | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor-min-min-min-min

Be open to meeting strangers and have them becoming fast friends. At the end of the conference, I was waiting in line next to a woman. We striked up a conversation and she offered me a free house to stay at in fancy schmancy La Jolla, CA since I was traveling there in a couple of weeks for another conference. Saved me $1100 in hotel bills!

The caliber of audience will make a big difference in what you get out of an event. I discovered that I don’t like networking for the sake of networking, but if it’s cool, driven people coming together to learn something, it makes the networking so much more fun and relaxing.

I invested in working with Todd Herman for a year. Being in the online space for a while, I’ve seen other entrepreneurs skyrocket their success and they had one thing in common…Todd was their mentor. I could spend another year dicking around or I could get serious and follow their lead. Instead of only learning from the people you admire, look at who THEY are learning from and take it a level higher!


Awwww yeah! The month of my first adventure retreat! We headed to Belize where we swam with sharks, went tubing through caves, ate like kings with our personal chef, got massages on our private beach, had training by the pool, and helped a sick, single mom by buying groceries and shoes for her and her daughters.

Everything I planned had intention behind it….overcoming fears and the stories in our heads, embrace the unknowns and you’ll figure things out along the way, being pampered and pushing yourself is the perfect balance, and giving makes your heart as full as the receiver. It was an incredibly powerful week!!

Belize Zip Line | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor

Lessons learned: Having the deeper discussions about life and business are much more powerful when you escape from your daily demands and focus. Watching my clients mentally shift during the week and then transform in the months afterward skyrocketed my belief in what I offer. One client can’t talk about the retreat without crying because of how much my training changed her life.

I wanted to do a retreat from the very beginning of my business 4.5 years ago, but I kept talking myself out of it thinking I wasn’t ready. When I realized I’ve been doing it for decades with friends and decided to just go for it, it was easy and super fun! Moral of the story: Just Fucking Do It.


Fairly quiet month, but I did sneak away to Nashville for a long weekend for my goddaughter’s college graduation from Vanderbilt University. Nashville has been on my Must Go To Someday list, so it was a win-win.

Lessons learned: Since I went the military route, I’ve never even taken a college course and have had incredible success in my life. It was fascinating to not only see the whole college pomp-and-circumstance, but to experience it for the first time at the elite university level of Vanderbilt was the ultimate. Did you know it costs $250k to go to school there? Insane! Having a degree from there opens a lot of doors though. It made me grateful to be where I am in life and proves to anyone that education can be found everywhere. You determine what you want and then you go out and work for it. And being a Marine opens a lot of doors too! 😉


This month I headed to a week long intensive in Colorado to work with my mentor and 12 other people from a mastermind I had been in for the previous 3 months. It was so much fun having all of us in person after getting to know each other online.

I also went out to California for my 30th high school reunion (EEK!). I was hesitant going but knew it was a big milestone, so I did. It was great catching up with friends who have known me the longest.

Lessons learned: You truly can become close friends with people online. Social media opens up the world to us all. Reach out more often as you never know who will change your life. I also learned that your intuition will tell you when a chapter has ended and you’ll know when to let go.


Off to NYC for a 2 day intensive with one of my mentors. Man, I love that city! The energy, the food, the sites, and it feels surprisingly safe walking around. That training was immediately followed by a women’s weekend in Colorado where I connected with new and old online friends.

Lessons learned: NYC must be experienced by everyone at least once. Be sure to show your respects at the 9/11 museum as it’s quite moving. Connect with a tribe of incredible people who’s sole purpose is to lift each other up on their way up…especially critical in the online world where you can feel so isolated.


August was low key in preparations for the upcoming traveling in September. I did spontaneously fly to Washington, D.C. for the Women Marines Association Convention at the end of the month. It wasn’t on my radar ahead of time, but it was the 100th anniversary of women in the Marine Corps, so I decided to go for it. I’m so glad I did as I met the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Crazy to think of the days of being a little Lance Corporal at 18 years old and then fast forward to meeting THE man. Felt like a full circle moment. 🙂 Plus, to experience the Drum and Bugle Corps ceremony at 8th and I with all my fellow women was beautiful.

USMC Commandant | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor

Lesson learned: If you can get a chance to be a part of history, say YES.


September was a serious game changer for me! Definitely one for the record books! I spent the first 10 days in Ireland for my 2nd adventure retreat of the year by taking a group of clients biking along the Wild Atlantic Way. There’s something magical about exploring a country by bike. Even if you’re not much of a cyclist, it’s an amazing experience as you get little nuances that you don’t get otherwise.

I made the decision to do this adventure because of the wonderful things I had heard about Ireland and it did not disappoint! I truly believe in the power of pushing yourself physical to have big mental breakthroughs! I’ve done several times in my life and knew the impact it would have on my clients. One woman said that it made her realize how much stronger she really is and that she’s capable of more than she’s been doing. BOOM!

Biking in Ireland | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor

From there, I spent the second 10 days in Greece at a mastermind in Mykonos. It was intimate and incredibly powerful for me mentally. Being able to deep dive into my business with successful business owners while in such a beautiful location was so effective. I have done a lot of retreats, intensives, trainings…but this was hands-down the most impactful.

Lessons learned: One aspect that made this month such a game changer was to go immediately from working IN my business on a big project (the adventure retreat) to an escape working ON my business (the mastermind). If I had gone home in between, I’m not sure it would have had the same effect. To be able to debrief the lessons learned at my retreat while they were fresh with other successful business owners was surprisingly helpful. Taking time to reflect on my life and business overlooking the Aegean Sea helped me clarify my mission and vision tremendously.

If you have a big goal that you’re working toward and accomplish it, make it a priority to escape from your daily environment afterward to reflect before you move onto something new. Even if it’s staying at a local hotel, you’ll get the benefit of not being distracted by your household.

Masterminds are the ultimate accelerator to ANY goal you have. (I’m kicking off my mastermind “Work Hard | Play Harder” starting January 21, 2019. It’s a mastermind followed immediately by a retreat in Tulum, Mexico. If you want in, send me a message for more details.)

Journaling in Greece| Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor


None of these were planned ahead of time, but I ended up zipping to Washington D.C. twice! The first was for an amazing group of ladies coming together to empower and learn from each other, hosted by the amazing Alexia Ferrari. Alexia was part of my mastermind and I wanted to support her in her biggest endeavor to date.

The second trip was for a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery for a Marine I had dated briefly, Dan Sidles. Dan taught me what PTSD really meant. The timing was completely inconvenient as I found out about the service 3 days before it happened, but I knew that I wanted to see that chapter all the way through. To learn more about Dan’s powerful and heartbreaking story, read this article in Outside Magazine that came out the same month. 

Dan Sidles Arlington National Cemetery | Tami McVay - Business & Lifestyle Strategist | Mentor

Lessons learned: Cheer your friends on when they complete big goals. It’s good karma! Dan’s service taught me that when you get the opportunity to see something painful full circle, do it as it can be incredibly healing. I knew I wouldn’t regret going and that I risked regretting not going, so it had to be done.


There’s nothing like a good punch in the face by life to keep you humble! I had an event rock my personal world. I decided to hibernate in my house, bingeing on Netflix, eating ice cream, crying my eyes out, and sitting in my pain. No apologies.

Lessons learned: Take care of yourself. When something bad happens, it’s ok to disconnect and do what you need to do to feel it, process it, and begin the healing process. The world will go on if you disappear for a bit.


With all my travel this year, I decided one more trip needed to happen. I flew to Oregon to spend Christmas with my family. I don’t normally travel out there at that time of year because they have shitty, terrifying ice storms, but the weather looked promising and my family needed me. First Christmas together in 8 years!!! I forgot what it was like and it was great food for my soul!

Lessons learned: Disconnect and be fully present for the family that loves and supports you. Even if it’s not often, being present when it does happen is the true gift.

That’s a Wrap!

I hope you enjoyed these lessons because I sure enjoyed creating them! If you find one that resonates and you’re going to apply to your own life, be sure to let me know!