How many times have you heard an entrepreneur talk about the exhaustion and overwhelm of being a business owner, or maybe you’re one of them?
You’ve thought more than once about giving it all up and going back to the 9-to-5 where you know the rules of the game; you crave the idea of being able to leave work at work, close your laptop, and leave the office at 5pm on the dot.
You feel like you literally have a never-ending to do list and are constantly trying to stay on top of all your priorities, which seem to be everything on the list.
The office seems to rely on you and solely you, and every time you leave you wonder what fires you’ll have to put out upon your return and just how much it’s going to cost you this time.
Your partner and friends are secretly wondering if you talk about anything besides business, and while you constantly crave time to be present and laugh with the ones you love, in the back of your mind, you’re always making mental notes of something else you forgot to do or a client you still need to call back.
I talk to entrepreneurs every week who consistently struggle with creating and honoring boundaries between work and personal life (and genuinely wonder if having it all is possible for them).
Well, I’m here to tell you it is absolutely possible, and here are 5 reasons why I think travel is an insider’s secret to transforming all your entrepreneurial woes.
On Monday, I returned from an extended weekend trip to Switzerland with my partner, and it struck me that this is the fifth country I’ve visited so far in 2017. I felt so excited to realize that I’ve already had so many incredible and unique experiences this year, but what stuck with me the most was that I’ve managed to do that all while running a successful business, not dropping any balls, and without breaking the bank!
This got me really curious as to you how I had managed to do all of that, and here’s what came to me – your whole life has to work in order to be successful in business. Travel is an ideal way to help you presence yourself to what matters most to you in life and helps put life back into perspective.
What are some of the areas travel has the biggest impact on?
Being a business owner or successful professional, I’m sure you can relate when I say that sometimes living with my partner feels more like I’m living with a roommate than someone with whom I’m deeply in love. Keeping that spark alive requires effort. Just like you need to keep logs on the campfire in order to keep it burning, you need to dedicate time and effort in order to maintain a loving and committed relationship. Travel is an ideal opportunity to get reconnected with your loved ones—romantic partners, family, friends—you name it. Whichever relationships you desire to rekindle or reprioritize in your life, invite them on the next trip with you. It’s not to say that, after neglecting a loved one for a couple weeks, inviting them on a trip will solve everything. However, when you start getting snippy about how long your partner is stopping to snap a picture in the Swiss Alps, it presents a great opportunity for a perspective shift, meaning how you can actually be snippy at all when you’re in the freaking Swiss Alps? So then you can get curious about why you’re really snippy in the first place. You know what I mean?
Who doesn’t desire more adventure in life? As a business owner, I can get wrapped up in my never-ending and exciting list of projects and goals, so remembering to turn it off and enjoy the present moment can be an afterthought at times. But here’s the thing: living an adventure-filled life is what sources me with the inspiration to take risks as a business owner and provides me with creativity to start new and innovative projects. When I was co-leading my inaugural coaching and dance trip to the Dominican Republic in February, we went both zip lining and rope swinging over a water hole in the same afternoon, and I was reminded that this is exactly what it feels like to take risks in business—jump first and then find yourself and trust along the journey.
Last week while on our trip, we had the opportunity to visit Vaduz in Lichtenstein for an afternoon and I was floored to learn that the country has one of the lowest national unemployment rates of 1.5% as well as one of the highest gross domestic products per person in the world! Who knew? As a former economist for the federal statistical agency that publishes the unemployment rate in the United States, I was fascinated to learn this detail. However, as an entrepreneur, we sometimes get so sidetracked by our own priorities, that we lose sight of our own intellectual curiosity, which is simultaneously one of our greatest gifts as entrepreneurs.
- Perspective Shift
Do you remember the last time that something went royally wrong in your business and you literally could not think about anything else besides fixing what was wrong? Traveling helps put things into perspective and reminds us of what’s truly important. I was blessed to visit El Salvador in January and stay with friends at a religious retreat summer home for a week. Immediately after leaving the country, I came upon an article in the Economist informing me of the dire political-economic situation in the country. Had I not read the article, I would never have guessed it as I was completely overwhelmed by the locals’ hospitality and generosity as well as the pristine beaches and incredible sunsets while I was there. Sometimes, we as entrepreneurs get so caught up in our own bubbles and make our present circumstances so significant that we forget the world is actually much bigger than ourselves. How refreshing is that?
When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved to play outside in the woods and get dirty! My best childhood friend and I would have tea parties with mud cakes. During the summertime, I would create rigorous scavenger hunts around our local beaches and in our family pool—play dates that left me with chlorine stomach aches from laughing too hard and smiling with a wide-open mouth while going under water all day long…
What were you like as a child? What were your favorite ways to play? For many of us, there’s a point in our lives when we feel we need to stop playing and be a grownup instead. We oftentimes lose our sense of play and fun as we age, but when we travel, it’s the perfect reminder of just how much we crave play. We stopped in a Medieval Time in Feldkirch, Austria last week just across the border, and I found all these groups of youth sitting out on a Sunday afternoon simply enjoying each other’s conversation for hours over some beer and lots of good humor. Imagine if you practiced bringing more play on purpose to your life and your business? That it became the focus of your whole life and not just when you’re on vacation?
Consider that who you are when you travel is possible for you everyday. If you need a reminder of who you really are and what really matters to you, go plan a trip. Don’t delay! I’d love to hear from you, where are you headed on your next adventure?
To your unbounded potential in life and business,