Rumor has it that Steve Jobs himself urged Mark Zuckerberg to explore India during pivoting times in Facebook’s development (source).
While I don’t anticipate to be the next Snapchat brothers, I can personally attest to how travel makes us better entrepreneurs.
Shameless plug for my new app BUENA that helps you find the best places.
Anyways, now that we got that out of the way — I’m both a traveler and an entrepreneur.
I am an entrepretraveler, if you may. I first started my business in an effort to keep traveling the world. I was prepared to commit to the cubicle, but created my own company and working remote was in my nature. Four years after my one-way ticket to Australia, I’m still traveling. I’m still an entrepreneur.
A piece of me dislikes the title “entrepreneur” — it kinda makes me think of that person that’s always trying, but doesn’t actually follow through with doing anything.
But that’s just the thing, a real entrepreneur is always trying. That’s the cardinal rule of entrepreneurship: don’t stop trying and don’t stop believing.
LIVE on television talking the top travel destinations in the world.
As an entrepreneur, you may have “made” it to some people, but you keep going. It’s just as much about the journey as it is the destination…. like a real traveler.
As a traveler, I’ve been to over 250 destinations around the world. Sure, at times, I slow down on travel, but the wanderlust spirit is always within me. An escape will surely come soon again, the same way that an entrepreneur endlessly seeks their next innovative step.
Here are some travel-learned lessons that prepare us for the wild world of startups, making us better, faster, smarter entrepreneurs.
Travel Develops How We Connect with People
The more we travel , the better we communicate. Communication is the foundation to team-building, networking and listening to your market (aka product development). The more types of personalities we meet, the more we become culturally and socially aware. When we travel, we also become more cognitive of our privilege and our vulnerability. Furthermore, by meeting people from around the world, we are forced to consider others’ perspectives — not just those from our own community.
I’ve always said that people, not places make your travel experiences, and three years into owning a business, I can say the same for entrepreneurship:Great people, not great ideas make for spectacular startups. Click To Tweet
Speaking engagement at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, Turkey
Travel Teaches Us Resourcefulness
Navigating through trains in another language, positioning ourselves to be safe, quickly converting various currencies, accessing anything and everything from medication to food within our taste — travel brings out the best in you…
And by “brings the best in you,” I mean making the MOST out of what you can (and can’t) get.
When working with constraints, travel and entrepreneurship shape our ability to adapt. Routines are nice, but the ongoing unexpected shapes us into professional problem-solvers!
An improvised itinerary with a change of weather in Canada.
Travel Disciplines Us in Prioritizing
With the odd exception of someone who has an endless amount of free time + money for their trip, most travel requires time-management. Researching, selecting and planning a trip becomes better with practice. These skills are invaluable to entrepreneurs who need to make the most out of their time and money.
This is a pretty good time to mention my app again, considering BUENA practically plans your weekend for you, helping save time researching things to do. Just saying!
Weekend hike in California thanks to my friend @TiffPenguin who has the best taste in hikes!
Travel Becomes a Classroom
Don’t get me wrong, the confinement of four walls at UCLA did me well, but frequent travel was my MBA.
Becoming politically, culturally and socially immersed into a new world comes with many lessons that can’t be taught by a book. Startups are the same way. We implement procedures, systems and operations — but at the end of the day, just doing it is the best way to learn.
Learning photography with @TheSamGraves in SF
Travel for Passion
There’s a real novelty to running your own business. People see you pursing your dreams. People see your growth, success and the end result — just like they see that IG of you on vacation. They don’t see how hard you worked to save up for that trip, the people that let you down, the obstacles you encountered. Same goes for running a startup. You have to be self-motivated with a passionate energy for what you’re doing. Between the instability, the challenges, the disappointments — you either want it or you don’t.
Just like that dream vacation; to some it will always just be a dream.
Travel isn’t always easy or perfect, but it’s worth it. Running your business is one in the same — a mentality, a journey and a choice.