Taking your business on the road might seem impractical. Not only do you have to deal with the practical realities of tasks and deadlines looming over your head, but your location factors heavily into how much you can accomplish in a given day.
But, would you believe you can improve your business by embracing your travel bug?
I’ve built my business while traveling all seven continents, and I can tell you from experience that not only is it possible, but there are actual benefits to it. Here are five reasons to take your startup on the road.
1. You’ll learn to be more productive.
Travel forces you to focus on the one variable you can control as an entrepreneur, which is your work habit.
Traveling acts as a great motivator to get work done. Not only is there an abundance of activities and places to explore in your new location, but it's a constant reminder of the life you want and the freedom you're trying to create. There is no time for procrastination.
Additionally, since you’re constantly moving from a given time zone to another, your reliance on technology increases. At first, this may appear to be a disadvantage. But, the right tools can hold you accountable to your tasks and meetings. Everything gets done on schedule, because there is no other choice.
2. You will find inspiration.
Many entrepreneurs put their heads down, put their blinders on and go to work on their business venture without looking up. While hard work is part and parcel of building a successful business, not stopping to reflect can hurt your ability to come up with new ideas and find inspiration. Traveling can lead to some amazing insights about how things work.
Alex Miller is the founder and CEO of Upgraded Points. Though he started many online businesses after graduating from University, it was only after catching the travel bug that he uncovered his true passion: “I started a lot of different businesses, but if I hadn’t started traveling, my passion for collecting points never would have surfaced. I’ve earned millions of travel points and miles and have redeemed them to go on many more amazing trips. Now I help others do the same.”
3. Travel can reduce your costs.
When it comes to expenses, most people tend to think staying put is the best way to keep costs down.
But, as Tim Ferriss pointed out in The 4-Hour Workweek, going overseas isn’t as expensive as most people think it is. Plus, once you’ve reached your destination, you may find your living expenses to be much less than they would be in the States.
In How I Built a Startup While Traveling to 20 Countries, Jay Meistrich, Co-Founder and CEO of Moo.do demonstrated how his cost of living was cheapest while staying in a hotel at Bali and his overall expenses while traveling were still significantly less than when he was in San Francisco or Seattle.
Another great resource is Nomad List, which features a detailed list of the best cities to live and work remotely from. Each city has a Nomad Score, Cost, Internet, Fun and Safety rating. They also tell you how much it will cost to live in said cities. For instance, it costs on average $670 per month to live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; $999 per month to live in Kiev, Ukraine, and $770 per month to live in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
4. You can expand your network.
Many entrepreneurs are now traveling across the globe to shake hands with people and make new connections. You can physically meet investors, prospective co-founders, freelancers and many others you may choose to work with with down the line. Since you’re meeting in person, you’ll have a better idea of whether you want to proceed with a business relationship.
Invariably, you'll also meet unexpected people who will have a profound affect on your business.
Alexandra Jimenez is the founder of Travel Fashion Girl. She comments, “Some of the biggest game-changing ideas for my business have been from the people I’ve met traveling. The results have grown my revenue exponentially.”
Related: 11 Habits of Truly Happy People
5. You can have a better standard of living and work-life balance.
Wouldn’t you feel more motivated to work on your business if you could go for a quick morning surf or attend a Yoga class on the beach?
When you travel, you get to do a lot of things you wouldn’t necessarily get to do or experience at home. This keeps your body active and your mind healthy. And, if you aren’t healthy enough to work on your business, what are you building toward?
As a traveler, there is no shortage of options to choose from. There are plenty of great cities for digital nomads. The only thing holding you back is the fear of the unknown.
Today, it’s easier than ever to build your business from anywhere. By leveraging technology, keeping focused on top-level priorities and giving yourself time to rest and reflect, you can significantly increase the success of your business.