How to Incorporate Incredible Travel Into Your Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
The day-to-day can be a grind, but integrate some amazing travel destinations into your work and it's a win-win.
When you have a corporate job, your life is often not your own. Your time in the office, in meetings or traveling is dictated by clients, supervisors or project needs. You don't get to decide where you go and oftentimes, it's not the sexiest of places. Throughout my long advertising career, I've spent loads of time in Battle Creek, MI, Solon, OH, Hershey, PA and other places that are perfectly lovely, but not necessarily where I would choose to visit. Of course, my career took me to some amazing places as well (Venice, Paris, Rome and London are just a few) and those are trips I will always remember. With Covid, travel is much more difficult (especially international) but assuming we are able to carefully manage travel again, just think about where you could go if it was up to you.
What you would do if you could choose to go anywhere? Where would you want to be spending your time?
When you are an entrepreneur, you have considerably more control over your life. You can architect your work to fit your life, not the other way around. Plus, you have the opportunity to incorporate some amazing travel that's directly tied into your company values. After I left my advertising career, I launched two businesses in 2020. Both businesses have a strong sustainability focus and direct connections to where we source our ingredients. And both businesses give back a portion of our proceeds to causes that help replenish what we took from the environment. For one, we created a charitable foundation that helps fund ocean education and research in northeastern Japan, where we get our hero ingredient. For the other, we build more beehives in Dominica, where we get our beeswax, and the island that inspired our signature scent. It's incredibly fulfilling to be able to create products that are not just high performing, but good for you and good for the environment — and be able to tangibly give back.
Needing to travel to Japan and Dominica sure beats Battle Creek — and it gives us the opportunity to do good and support local communities. If you are thinking of launching a business, think through your brand values and your cause-related efforts (which is a critical part of building your brand). Chances are, you'll be able to incorporate a connection to a place you'd love to go to that isn't a force fit. If it's not a key ingredient or part of your supply chain, it could be a partnership or a cause that makes that connection. The key is that it feels authentic and important to the brand — and aligned with your brand values, not an afterthought. One of the additional benefits of these connections is that we have personal relationships now to the businesses and people in Japan and Dominica who are part of our supply chain. Having this direct connection and relationship ensures our products are ethically sourced, which is important for us. We've visited our family-owned seaweed manufacturer in Iwate, Japan and were able to see exactly how they harvest and dry the seaweed that gets powdered down and sent to us. And we've spent time with our beekeeper in Dominica to understand what it takes to procure our beeswax and how to help the bees thrive and multiply (one of our goals is to help boost the bee population there since it was seriously crippled by Hurricane Maria in 2017). Having these direct connections also enables us to own our supply chain and not be beholden to other forces outside of our control (although things like shipping continue to be a challenge).
It's incredibly satisfying to be able to blend my work and personal lives — and spend my time in places I love. I still spend the bulk of time in The Berkshires, NYC and Palm Springs, but now, I look forward to most of my business trips vs. looking at them as a chore. A bonus is if you can travel with friends or family, which as an entrepreneur is also something in your control. I consider all of the people I work with very good friends (some of them are like family) and I'm lucky that my husband and kids are involved in the businesses as well. If you just spend a little time to orchestrate the type of life you want to have and where you want to be spending your time, you'll find that it's more in your control than you realize. With a little effort, you can make lifelong, meaningful connections that will fuel your business and feed your soul.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor