Lifestyle and media professional Harriette Cole, in partnership with Harlem Park to Park, hosted more than 200 entrepreneurs at the very first DREAMLEAPERS retreat, an all-day event designed to help people access and activate their dreams.

The insight and connections made at the Dream Leapers Retreat was priceless and gave attendees including, myself the fuel to continue to go after our dreams. Here’s a recap of the empowering event:

The inaugural event offered attendees the wisdom of more than 20 industry professionals who shared their expertise to help entrepreneurs “leap” into their greatness.

“Many people dream about creating businesses for themselves. It gets tricky when it comes time to put those dreams into action. You need all kinds of resources—from how to fine-tune your idea to how to get financing and everything in between,” explains Cole. “The purpose of the DREAMLEAPERS retreat is to bring professionals to entrepreneurs to make it easy for them to learn from them directly. It is expensive and time-consuming for an entrepreneur to find these experts on their own. We made it easy.”

The retreat kicked off with a 20-minute meditation, led by celebrity yogini Latham Thomas. Then

attendees dove into “The Dream Experience,” an exercise designed to help people recognize and access their entrepreneurial visions. DREAMLEAPERS attendees also had the opportunity to participate in “Speedleaping,” a series of 10-minute mini-consultations with professionals who know the ins and outs of growing a successful business. In this 90-minute session, small groups spoke with experts in sales, time management, branding, marketing, accounting, bookkeeping, law, business plan writing and more. Speedleaping experts included: Nikoa Evans-Hendricks (Harlem Park to Park), Len Burnett (Uptown Magazine), Lauren Maillian (Oxygen’s “Quit Your Day Job”), Pat Ward (Pat Ward Consulting), BJ Coleman (Coleman Entertainment Group) and Robin Wilson (Robin Wilson Home), to name a few.

The afternoon keynote speaker was Lisa Price, founder of beauty empire, Carol’s Daughter. Julee Wilson, Digital Fashion & Beauty Director of Essence Magazine, interviewed Price about how she expanded her business through celebrity partnerships and why she ultimately sold her company to L’Oreal, a multi billion-dollar company.

As the day-long retreat continued, attendees learned how to grow their businesses by listening to real life stories during a panel entitled, “Keeping it Real.” The panelists included Sidra Smith (GatePass Entertainment), ShirleyAnn Robertson (Prudential) and Mike Warner (Egami Consulting Group).

These accomplished experts offered invaluable tools that people can use to manifest their dreams. For the “Financing Your Dream” panel, Harriette picked seven financial professionals to share business-financing tips like acquiring loans and learning how to use other people’s money. Panelists included: Carra Lynette Wallace (Chief Diversity Officer, NYC comptroller’s office), Jeffrey Shick (Co-Founder of Money Miners), John Henry (Chairman of CoFound Harlem), Blondel Pinnock (Carver Bank), Curtis Archer (President of Harlem Community Development Corporation), Gayle Jennings O’Byrne (CEO/The Prometheus Exchange) and Kenneth Knuckles (President/CEO Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone).

The day ended with a conversation entitled, “Growing a Restaurant in Harlem” between Harriette Cole and restaurateur and author Melba Wilson, who shared how she created her legendary restaurant in Harlem.

Participants ended the day equipped to activate their dreams. Next for DREAMLEAPERS will be a series of online webinars and more one-on-one DREAMLEAPERS Talks to elevate entrepreneurs to the next level. The DREAMLEAPERS Retreat is also gearing up for a national tour.

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