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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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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

More About Working Smart

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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