#5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Need To Start Travelling
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We’ve all heard various clichés about travel. It helps break down cultural barriers and enables us to communicate better. I personally find these phrases a bit vague and theoretical and have never quite been able to connect with them.
As an entrepreneur, travel can be invaluable, provided one is open to the new experiences it offers us. Everyone has different personality traits, and some situations are easier to adapt to, while others can be overcome with time by working on ourselves. For example, I love any activity with an adrenaline rush (skydiving, scuba diving at night). But for the longest time, I was unable to indulge in these activities because none of my friends were interested and traveling alone was way out of my comfort zone. Over time I have learned to love it and relish the freedom that solo travel allows me as I don’t have to depend on anyone else. Ironically, I have actually made loads of new friends with similar interests while traveling alone.
A few tangible recreational activities aside, travel has also impacted my entrepreneurial journey in more ways than one:
1) Expanding my interests: - I have become the kind of person who is always up to try something new and it seems to be holding me in good stead so far. From testing my palette with exotic foods (vegetarians beware!), and chatting with people outside my age bracket (I now have friends who are 70 years young as well), this attitude, especially in the last few years has broadened my horizons to give me a clearer idea about what I want from my business and life in general.
2) Trade events: I love attending trade events overseas, especially in Europe and the US. It has opened my eyes to different ideas, and how business models and industries function in other countries. Often I plan a trip to a conference that is not a part of my core business but is just of passing interest to me. I did this earlier with a travel blogging event and over time, I have created a travel web series that plays on various OTT platforms, and more recently, launched a travel company.
3) Get out of the rut: Entrepreneurship is 24/7. As much as we want, it’s hard to completely switch off. There’s always another client to attend to, another fire to put out and another skill to upgrade. We never know enough! While entrepreneurs by nature are generally self-driven and motivated, it’s important to realize when you need a creative break. You don’t need to wait till you’re completely burnt out. We all tend to hit a bit of a block at times with strategy, or other aspects of our business, so a long weekend or a week in a different environment can help you return rejuvenated and focused, and see your business with a fresh perspective.
4) Efficiency: - Sipping on a cocktail, sitting on a beach and running a business is a myth, even though it makes for a great Instagram photo! While we can allow ourselves that luxury for a couple of days here and there a few years into our entrepreneurial journey, it is just not practical to do it for an extended period of time (it would take A LOT of time and effort to get to the stage where you can live ‘The Four Hour Workweek’ lifestyle) However, I find that travel has made me more efficient with business. With a smartphone and a data SIM card overseas, coupled with free Whatsapp calls, it’s a lot easier to manage the office. I schedule work calls regularly and respond to emails and messages so promptly that most clients don’t even know that I’m traveling (unless they look at my Instagram photos sipping cocktails on a beach!).
5) Define your career: - Perhaps the biggest learning for me has been that I can create my own version of success. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting some very inspiring people during my travels who have left an indelible mark on my thought process and exposed me to ideas and careers that I didn’t even know existed. Like a young man creating a unique college curriculum with professors from top universities traveling with students to close to 200 nations around the globe over a 5 year period or a couple in their twenties working with the biggest clients, shooting just time-lapse videos as they travel the world.
Entrepreneurship need not be a lonely road. Encounters like these don’t just enhance our journey, but also enrich our lives in ways in unfathomable ways.