Travel can be exhilarating, life-changing and reinvigorating. It can also be daunting. If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more unnerving than the thought of being away from a business you’ve meticulously built from the ground up.
And yet, as this article will demonstrate, travel can be exactly the tonic you need to take your business to the next level. If you’re someone who considers a day away from your business a day wasted, or if you hate the thought of even leaving town (lest your business crumbles) this article is for you.
Set your wanderlust free, allow yourself to uproot for weeks at a time, and disengage from the grind—your business will thank you for it. Here are a few good reasons why:
You’ll be forced to adapt the way you run your business
Your enterprise can’t simply grind to a halt because you’re traveling. With that in mind, the prospect of your imminent departure will push you to investigate technologies that can automate the many processes you handle manually. In effect, you’ll leave home with a more efficient business. You’ll also have to hand the reigns over to your team (if you have one), and trust in their abilities.
You’ll realize that remote work is entirely possible, and perhaps even good for your business
In fact, more and more people are taking remote work seriously as it becomes the norm: In a recent FlexJobs survey, 76 percent of U.S. respondents admitted they work better away from the office. Similarly, in the U.K., 70 percent of respondents in a YouGov survey thought remote working was an important consideration.
Benefit from a wider network
Some of the strongest bonds are forged with people you meet by chance, and thanks to the borderless way the internet operates, connections you make overseas can just as easily become important business contacts down the line.
You’ll spy new business possibilities
You’ll be amazed how many business ideas and fresh concepts you’ll think of while traveling to new territories. Perhaps it’s discovering a product your home country doesn’t have but desperately needs. Maybe it’s the way in which a commodity is flipped on its head and done in a different way. New possibilities will be discovered and can be turned into new business opportunities back home.
You’ll break out of your comfort zone
There’s no getting around it: travel can be stressful. Sometimes it forces you to engage with an unfamiliar culture, or with people who might not speak the same language as you. But, a dose of stress is healthy. The mind and body that never has to deal with adversity never grows. And thus, neither does your business!
You’ll be braver
Overcoming hurdles has a way of making day-to-day struggles seem like child’s play. Suddenly, those pitch presentations you have to deliver aren’t quite so nerve-wracking after being stranded at an airport for 48 hours.
You’ll be in a better position to learn a new language
If your travels take you overseas, you’ll find that nothing boosts proficiency like being in the country where a foreign tongue is spoken natively. Immerse yourself in the sounds of this new dialect and feel your confidence grow. Language is one of the biggest barriers to international expansion. By giving yourself the command of another tongue, you’ll gain an enormous advantage over the competition. You may even find yourself daydreaming about expansion and opening up a secondary business location.
You’ll return feeling re-energized
Do you feel creatively hampered? While there’s never a typical “day in the life” of an entrepreneur, you may have fallen victim to a routine, day in and day out. An adherence to a modicum of routine is healthy, but travel helps you avoid the dispiriting feeling that you’re stagnating. Moreover, there’s some very good science that suggests that travel is good for creativity.
You’ll boost your productivity upon your return
Once you get back, expect to see an uptick in the work you get done. Work is a mental juggling act. By giving your brain a rest, the juggling act will feel all the more palatable – and easier.
You’ll have more to talk about when you get back
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? And yet, being able to regale people with stories of your adventure away is often the perfect ice-breaker at your next networking event or conference. So much of business is about building relationships with people that sometimes the smallest anecdote can make the biggest difference to your relationships with customers, investors and clients.