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3 Ways Traveling Makes You a Better Entrepreneur

3 Ways Traveling Makes You a Better Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest journeys one can embark on, as the majority of startups and new businesses fail. There are plenty of tips to give you a better chance at succeeding, but I want to talk about one that isn’t mentioned nearly enough: travel more.

There are several benefits to traveling, which can have a positive impact on your business. Here are three reasons why traveling will help make you a more successful entrepreneur.

1. You learn to fully leverage technology

Many entrepreneurs simply haven’t fully embraced technology yet, and still rely on communication methods and procedures that keep them locked inside an office all day. When you travel, you are forced to leverage technology to run your business.

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I love to travel, but I also love my business. Because of technology, I am able to run my marketing agency from a laptop and smartphone from any corner of the world. Most VoIP phone systems have apps that you can install, turning your smartphone into your office phone, allowing you to stay connected to your office regardless of your location.

Team collaboration tools like Slack and various applications such as video conferencing software and cloud file management and storage can help you stay connected to your entire company, while allowing you to perform your work from anywhere that has an internet connection.

When you fully leverage technology, you see just how much freedom you can have. Many founders convert to a remote structure once they experience first hand how the entire business operation can be handled without office walls.

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2. It helps to spark your creativity

Sitting at your desk and staring at the same scenery day-after-day will not positively impact your creativity. If anything, it will lead to a burnout and have a negative impact on your performance and business.

Successful entrepreneurs are good at handling unexpected obstacles and solving difficult problems. Traveling keeps your mind sharp, and you will find that your creative juices flow constantly while traveling.

Personally, some of my best ideas have come while traveling, and I don’t necessarily mean while sitting on a beach somewhere. Just recently, I got the idea for a new startup while at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, waiting out a layover.

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3. Traveling exposes you to different cultures

Experiencing different cultures allows you to study how people interact, go about their day-to-day lives and it also lets you see first hand how businesses in different areas operate. So, whether you are embarking on a tour of Nicaragua, or spending a few days in Hawaii like I just did, embrace as much of the culture as you can.

Also, traveling helps you to build a strong network. Because of travel, I have business contacts from all over the world. As an entrepreneur, a strong network of like-minded people is crucial. Having a diverse network will play a major role in your success down the road.

Take time to introduce yourself to people and be friendly. You never know who you will meet in your travels. I’ve made a lot of contacts over the years just by starting a conversation while waiting for planes, having dinner at hotel bars and out exploring different areas.

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Tip: if you really want to fully network while traveling, keep an eye on local Facebook groups and search for local entrepreneurial groups. Local meet-ups are held frequently all over the world.

Conclusion

Try to break away from the typical office setting as much as possible, even if you can’t travel the world — working remotely from a Starbucks or a co-working space can help spark creativity and being in the same environment as other entrepreneurs from different industries and backgrounds can benefit you greatly.

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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