There are those that would have you believe that travel is something for the young, footloose and fancy free and something to ‘get out of your system’ before you ‘grow up’ and get real about your life and work.
Well I have news for you: they’re WRONG!
Travel is such an expansive experience that propels you headlong into joyful, sovereign and radiant life and work. Sure, travel is not for everyone. But if it’s for you, you know it in your bones and you can design the experience around you, not mould yourself into another square hole.
In fact, that’s why it helps you become a better entrepreneur. It teases out the real you: your passion, purpose and vision crystallise; your life, impact and legacy feel more visceral.
This may sound a little ethereal so far so let me be more clear. Travel refines how you show up as an entrepreneur because it can empower you to:
- Boost your creativity and imagination
- Define your personal brand
- Take inspired action
- Develop an experimentatal approach to business
- Think of business as a force for social good
Still unclear? Let’s get into it!
#1: Boosts creativity and inspiration
When you hit the road you do things you wouldn’t normally do at home.
You speak to people you wouldn’t normally encounter in your day to day. Which means you’re having conversations you don’t have access to at home.
You accept invitations you’d normally say no to. Which means you’re doing things you wouldn’t normally do at home.
And so you’re gradually revealing the layers of yourself that you usually keep hidden.
When we’re abroad we give ourself more freedom and permission to try new things. Anonymity gives us the courage to be more daring in our behaviours and choices and eventually this sinks into the fabric of our being.
Being out of our comfort zone — in a GOOD way — our brain begins to make new neural connections; we get more ideas; we connect the dots differently; our mental pattern changes to:
“How do I… “
“How could I… “
“What if I could…”
Take the 2-hr hike at altitude in Michoacan, Mexico to see the annual butterfly migration. You sit in the vortex of thousands of Monarchs; you will meditate in awe on the fragility, intelligence and beauty of life; you climb down forever altered.
You feel invincible, exhilarated and ready to live larger, dive deeper, and experiment freely.
Daring, yes, but likely more creatively disruptive with your thinking and ideas.
You explore more, experiment more, and experience more, the 3 critical ingredients of entrepreneurship where trying things out and iteration are the stepping stones to success over the short, mid and long term.
#2: Discover your personal brand
When you leave home & all your creature comforts (and social addictions) you side step some of the things that would usually define you: Your job, your title, your roles, your commute, your ‘uniform’, and a million other labels you accept without even realising it.
When you shrug off the shackles of your day to day life you show up more raw: more you. You can re-connect to yourself without the judgement, opinions and approval of others. You can start fresh, recreate your community based on where you’re at now, and let go of who you think you should be to make way for you are actually are, right now!
This is key to discovering your personal brand.
You become acutely aware of what draws people to you, what they instinctively ask you for help and advice about, and what you bring to the conversation.
You notice what you talk about with passion, you notice what doesn’t interest you (like for me stuff like reality TV shows or politics), and you notice people’s instant & evolving response to you.
As you become more self aware you discover what makes you unique and how you naturally help others
This is your personal brand: it’s how people ‘feel’ when they come in contact with you.
You can consciously infuse your products and services with your personal brand at every touchpoint to virtually eliminate the competition. This is unrepeatable, unmistakable, irreverently you!
#3: Learn to take inspired action
Free from established routines you’re free to plug into a new rhythm.
Your day to day routines adapt to your new surroundings. You’re exposed to new cultural rituals, alternative systems, different processes – you break with the patterns keeping you stuck, which dislodges hibernating passions, ideas and thinking.
You wear different clothes, you buy different food, you have dinner at different times, you relate to new friends differently. The entire infrastructure functions differently. The whole experience feels, smells and tastes different! And you’re forced onto a new rhythm.
You are shocked into becoming unstuck in your thinking and way of being. You’re forced to think about everything different. And if you accept this invitation you literally ‘come to your senses’ and dive in.
You’re faced with different problems – day to day, or life & work – but unencumbered by what you should do, you’re free to explore solutions, and your new travel mindset reveals that there are in fact unlimited solutions to be explored.
Now you have less holding you back, you’re no longer stuck in a rut, you can pursue a new direction more easily, and bring your ideas to fruition more quickly. This is called inspired action, and it’s critical for thriving entrepreneurship.
#4: Fosters experimentation
Everything works different from village to village, town to town, city to city, country to country, continent to continent.
You’re in the hot seat, observing different customs, rituals and day to day hustle as both objective observer and super sponge, noticing what flows and what doesn’t, comparing it to home, connecting or disconnecting the dots, and formulating and ideas and visions for new projects and businesses.
You develop a keen eye for detail and your awareness of the world around you shoots through the roof. You have more questions, you follow your curiosities, and you have your switch flicked to ‘always amazed and intrigued’ as you take in every nanosecond and conceivable inch of our planet.
Your brain chemistry changes and can formulate new ideas more easily, adapt in the face of problems and come up with new solutions.
And this gets baked into the way you approach your work, too. Entrepreneurship is an invitation to experiment, explore, ask questions and see what works. It’s about connecting the dots, then connecting them again, and changing trajectory in an instant.
#5: Think of business as a force for social good
As you move from place to place you notice the problems in the world around you and begin to formulate solutions. We bring solutions home with is, too.
David Batstone founded #NotForSale to solve the problem of the child sex trade after he was offered a young child for sex when he arrived in Thailand on holiday.
Liz Forkin Bohannon founded Sseko designs to enable women in Uganda to save for college when on a PR internship she noticed they couldn’t get jobs after school.
One is charity, the other is a for-profit business with social DNA. The business model for social change is up to you, but more and more business is demonstrating that it can be a force for social good.
Entrepreneurship is twofold:
- It’s an invitation to thrive on all levels
- It’s an invitation to leave the world a little better than we found it.
We can solve every day problems that make people more happy, healthy or wealthy.
Or we can solve global, Universal problems that secure the long term health or people and the planet.
Changing the life of one person is just as valuable a contribution as changing the lives of many, primarily because the one leads to the other.
On my travels I met dozens of 20–40 somethings searching for more meaning and purpose in their life and work, and my solution has evolved into The Freedom Philosophy Classes. It’s a for-profit online course that aims to empower fledgling entrepreneurs to launch their ideas with more ease, vision and likelihood of success.
Travel is ecstasy for the awakened and conscious entrepreneur. It makes heart-centred humans of all of us.
So why not #workfromwherever?
It’s no wonder a growing body of entrepreneurs and small business owners are embracing a #workfromwhereever and #locationindependent lifestyle that fuels their creativity and entrepreneurial capacity, while they build their business and freedom life from abroad or on the road.
Location-freedom carves out more space for them to create.
But it’s not a blueprint experience – the travel experience unique to you.
For me travel is my lifestyle, my passion, my oxygen, my stillness and fuels my creative inspiration.
As far as I’m concerned it’s a strategic imperative for growing a freedom business.
Image: Annie Spratt via Unplash.com
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See you there, and see you next week on the freedomphilosophy.com