11 Ways Travelling Will Benefit You as an Entrepreneur
We tend to think of travel as something that we do for leisure. It’s about relaxing and unwinding, not about work, right? Travel for business tends to be focused on completing a particular task and then getting back to our home base, not exploring, learning, and absorbing new ideas and new experiences.
The truth is that travel can be a powerful tool that enables you to become a much more successful entrepreneur. And, you should be doing more than just meeting with remote stakeholders and then jumping on a redeye so you can get back to the grindstone as quickly as possible. How does travel make you a better business owner? How might experiencing new things make you a more successful entrepreneur?
It Gets You Out of Your Comfort Zone
As an entrepreneur, you must break out of your safe space. No one ever achieved success by staying in the shallow end of the pool. However, it can be daunting to get out of that comfort zone. Travel helps you do that by putting you in new situations and exposing you to new people, new ideas, new information and more. Travel, even within the same country, can help give you the confidence you need to strike out for new territory and build something truly incredible.
It Bolsters Your Problem-Solving Abilities
Travel rarely goes without a hitch. You could find that your flight was canceled and you’re forced to sleep at the airport (If that's the case, be sure you're at least prepared and own one of these unique neck pillows). You could find that your hotel reservations were lost and you’re forced to make do with a hostel. You could break down in your rental car, leaving you in the middle of the Italian countryside without an interpreter. You’ll need to adapt and overcome in order to get through these challenges. Travel bolsters your problem-solving abilities and ensures that you are able to think around corners. It can teach you to look at challenges from a new angle and find innovative solutions to those problems.
It Helps Provide Inspiration and Gets Your Creative Juices Going
Entrepreneurs are the idea people. However, humdrum, everyday life can sap your creativity. Getting out and travelling is a great way to jolt your creative side back into action. By experiencing new things, from sweeping mountain vistas to tranquil island lagoons to bustling marketplaces, you can find inspiration and get those creative juices flowing. It was just such experiences that led to the birth of some of today’s most successful companies. Look at Lyft. Look at TOMTOM. Both of those firms were started by entrepreneurs who built their success on inspiration gained from travelling.
It Helps You Learn to Adapt and Become More Resilient
If you never experienced an issue that required you to come up with a solution, then you would never grow, never change. Change requires external influence. No one changes because of internal factors – it is always an external force that fosters growth and evolution. Travelling, particularly travelling abroad, teaches you about resilience and how to adapt to changing situations in which you may have little control. Those are lessons you can apply directly to your life as an entrepreneur and that should influence the mindset you develop.
It Helps You Learn How to Read People Better
Entrepreneurs are nothing on their own. You need others in order to survive and flourish. At its most basic example, this would be the target audience of your product or service. However, there are plenty of other situations in which you’ll need other people in order to survive. You’ll need employees. You must have competitors to foster innovation and lean operation. You’ll require heroes and mentors. All of these people must be read – you need to understand them in ways that go deeper than spoken language. By travelling, you’re able to learn how to read facial expressions and body language, making you more adept at interpreting what other people in your life are communicating to you.
It Builds a Stronger Sense of Gratitude
We’ve touched on gratitude several times in other blog posts, such as in my post on how to achieve success, as well as in my post on how to develop a growth mindset. Travelling as widely as possible is an amazing way to build a stronger sense of gratitude. You learn to be grateful for your experiences. You’re grateful for the people you meet, and the sights you were able to see. You become more grateful for what you have when you see how people live (and thrive) with far, far less. Travelling can really teach you humility, as well, particularly when you get face to face with true poverty and yet are able to observe the resilience of those people.
It Helps You Become More Optimistic
Optimism is one of the most crucial traits for entrepreneurs to nourish and nurture. It helps you stay motivated, see the opportunities before you, and more. Travel is a great way to bolster your optimism and your sense of joy in life. It builds excitement and helps you look forward to the future. That carries over into all other areas of your life. With an optimistic outlook, you’re able to achieve more, enjoy life to the fullest, and push through adversity that would make a pessimist throw in the towel.
It Exposes You to New Cultures and New Ways of Looking at the World
Travel is all about experiencing new things, but those things are not always physical locations. Sure, there’s a lot to be said about enjoying time at the beach, relaxing under swaying palms, or sitting beside a still mountain lake casting your line in after fish. However, the true benefit here is that you’re able to gain exposure to new cultures, and each of those cultures will share with you a new way of looking at the world. Nothing builds compassion, gratitude, and even inspiration quite so well as being able to look at the world through another person’s cultural lens.
It Helps You Become a Better Communicator
Great entrepreneurs are more than just idea generation machines. They’re more than creative types, or people driven by their need to build a business. They’re almost universally good communicators. The great news here is that if you aren’t particularly good at communication, it can be learned. It’s not an inborn trait – it’s a learned skill. Travelling abroad allows you to hone your communication skills, ensuring that you’re able to commune with people who might not share your language, or even your world view. This skill can be put to use in your entrepreneurial life as well, helping you achieve greater success and forging stronger relationships with people who matter most.
It Builds Your Appreciation for Diversity
Diversity – it’s more than just another buzzword. Successful entrepreneurs welcome diversity in their businesses, but it can be challenging to get to the point that you appreciate it in the first place. Adults are leery of the unknown, the different, the outside their experience. They’re naturally fearful. This is the seed out of which grows racism, sexism, even nationalism. Travelling helps build your appreciation for diversity, but will also show you that underneath all those seemingly significant differences, we’re actually all the same.
It Helps Increase Your Sense of Self-Confidence
Finally, you’ll find that travelling allows you to become more self-confident. As an entrepreneur, you must be confident in your ability to lead, and in your ability to make smart, informed decisions. You need to be willing to listen to others, certainly, but you are ultimately the one who must chart the path forward for your business. Travelling helps you become that confident, self-assured individual capable of taking advice from others and then choosing the path that you want to take and that best fits your business goals and needs.
As you can see, travelling can offer some pretty important benefits. As an entrepreneur, you can take those lessons and apply them in many ways to help you build a stronger, more sustainable business. However, never forget that the true benefits of travelling widely are personal – you’re able to become a better human being able to relate to those who might not share your national or ethnic background, able to see the good in others, and able to take joy in the sights and sounds around you.
Of course, travelling is not the only thing that you’ll need in order to become successful as an entrepreneur. It can greatly enhance your chances of building a thriving business, but you also need the right education and training. In that vein, I invite you to sign up for my Six Figure Sunday course (click here). If you’ve ever wanted to join the ranks of the ultra-successful, this is the key to earning a six-figure income with just one day of work per week.