How Traveling A Lot Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur
Yuli Azarch | December 12, 2016 | No Comments on How Traveling A Lot Can Make You A Better Entrepreneur
I have developed lots of skills that have helped me not only in the last two years but will help me for the rest of my life.
I’ve been traveling the world for two years, and I’ve been in 26 countries in the last 26 months, so I’ve traveled quite a lot compared to other people. Usually, I’m on an airplane once a month, on average, and I move a lot. I love it. It’s kind of a nomadic lifestyle.
I have noticed a few things that have happened because of this, things that have made me a better entrepreneur.
1) One thing I’ve noticed is when you journey to a lot of places, usually, there’s a level of uncertainty.
You’re not really sure where you would sleep. Sometimes I got to places where I didn’t book any hotel or accommodation. I just went directly to the place, and I needed to find a place to sleep. I needed to choose which hotel to stay. So there’s a level of uncertainty because you don’t really know where you’ll sleep and you don’t really know where you’ll eat.
In a new country or a new city, I don’t just try but I see to it that I maintain the best healthy diet possible, but it’s not the easiest thing when you travel. Sometimes it takes looking into where the best place is to find food. Sometimes I’m not sure where I would eat, and I’m not sure where I would buy certain things. There’s a high level of uncertainty. If you travel a lot, you understand this as well. Traveling just makes you uncertain in many ways.
This uncertainty can be associated with business because business is, in a way, kind of the same. If you’ve been doing business for a long time, you know that it’s like a changing field. It’s not the same all the time. You may high levels of uncertainty because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, you don’t know which of your competitors will come in, or you don’t know if someone will resign or if you will fire someone from your company. Things constantly change, and it causes really high levels of uncertainty.
As a traveler, I kind of train my muscle of uncertainty all the time, and when it gets to business, I already have a trained muscle, so I’m much more prepared for it than I was a few years ago. I’ve really noticed it.
Because I’m trained for these high levels of uncertainty, I’m much calmer in those kinds of situations where all hell breaks loose. I’m much more prepared for them. When crises come, I don’t freak out. I just take a deep breath, and I’m really calm. I’m much calmer than I was two and a half years ago when I wasn’t traveling because I train this muscle all the time.
I’ve trained it so intensely in the last two years, so when a situation like this comes, I’m the calm one among my business partners. It allows me to take rational and effective decisions. It allows me also to end the crisis as soon as possible, as opposed to making irrational decisions when something comes up. I believe it’s a very crucial skill to have.
2) One more thing that I’ve developed in the last two years while traveling and that has allowed me to be a better entrepreneur is I take better risks.
What do I mean by that? In the first six months when I started traveling, I was traveling in South America, and moving around was really hectic. I just started traveling, so it was very new for me, and I was sometimes moving from place to place every week. I didn’t know where I would sleep next. I would just take a place as I went. I was really moving a lot, sometimes after a week, sometimes after two weeks.
But one more thing that I experienced during those six months was I had lots of liquidity problems in my business.
I was earning money from my businesses, but liquidity-wise, I did not have any money and any cash to use. I literally had no money. When you travel, you start budgeting and you see where you spend the money, which was what I was doing, I started accounting every single dollar I got off my pocket.
During this period, I still had to travel and enjoy my life even though I didn’t have any liquidity, but I refused to take out any loans during this period because it was unacceptable for me. So I had to “survive” those six months, and it taught me to handle being uncomfortable for not having access to lots of money. This allowed me to take easier risks. I use the word “risk,” but for me, obviously it’s calculated risk. Every risk I take is obviously a calculated risk. If you’re an entrepreneur, some things are going to require risking some money. You’re going to need to make some investments. You’re going to be putting money in one place or another, and you can lose. It’s very possible.
One of my strengths that I found out by taking a test on kolbe.com, which I really recommend doing to find out your strengths, is I’m a great risk taker. I had started noticing all the things I had done way back, and I realized that it was really one of my strengths. A lot of the businesses and income streams I have right now is only purely because I had the guts to take the risk. Sometimes I lost, but most of the time, I didn’t, and it allowed me to develop this skill inside of me, to be a better risk taker, because I’m very uncomfortable with not having access to the money and uncomfortable with losing the money, since I already was in a situation in the past where I didn’t have any money.
I believe traveling can actually make you a much better entrepreneur. There are many traits that you can develop, and those are traits, including the ones I mentioned, that you can use for a lifetime. So I believe traveling is the best education possible, and I recommend that you travel long-term. I emphasize traveling, not going on a vacation.
The two are completely different, and I believe traveling will make you a better entrepreneur and a better person, and it will give you the kind of education that you just cannot get any other way.
Would love to hear your comments below.