If you are an entrepreneur, the chances are you are also confident, creative, independent and a risk-taker. So it isn’t a stretch to assume you also like to travel, expand your horizons, meet new people and learn new things.
As an entrepreneur, you are also aware that every experience you have can also include a business focus. What you learn when traveling can transfer to help you build a stronger, more profitable company.
Here are the six key skills you can build best when you include travel in your entrepreneurial business plan.
If you have ever faced the prospect of spending the night in a cheap hotel or the airport lounge, you already know that flexibility is a key asset for frequent travelers. When you travel you are sometimes required to change your plans at the last minute and adjust to the new situation.
Most of the time, situations like these will be an interference, but they will teach you how to handle unexpected challenges as an entrepreneur. Similar to when you travel, dealing with unforeseen circumstances in your business will also require you to be flexible.
The ability to quickly generate new ideas and solutions when facing unpredicted challenges will come useful in both building your business and traveling for work and pleasure.
Strong communication skills are one of the most important qualities a successful entrepreneur should have. By taking yourself out of your comfort zone and traveling to new places, you can discover what you still need to learn about communicating by putting yourself in a place where you do not know the local culture, customs or even the language.
In particular, when you travel you will learn how words and even gestures may have different meanings or connotations from one culture to the next, which will help you think through future marketing, advertising and branding messages from a deeper, richer perspective.
The truth is, no entrepreneur, no matter how talented, can do everything alone. Teamwork is one of the key assets an entrepreneur brings to the business-building table. The ability to work well with people is quite simply critical to bringing your vision to life.
Traveling in a group can help you develop skills which can help you collaborate with others and contribute to a group effort. Traveling with others allows you to express your own ideas while you plan and organize your trip, decide on the places you are going to visit or even take part in team sports and activities. For example, if you engage in sailing while on your trip, you can take part in an activity that can strengthen your collaborative and decision-making skills while bringing you many other benefits as well.
A successful entrepreneur understands that it isn’t enough to have personal innate entrepreneurial skills. It is critical to know how to create a culture of entrepreneurship so each employee takes ownership of what you are working to accomplish.
You will also likely need to bring in a diverse employee group, one which represents many cultural backgrounds. Traveling will give you insight into different cultures and customs you might never otherwise get to experience. This will give you increased sensitivity for how to communicate with and motivate employees of different cultural backgrounds.
Successfully managing all of your business and personal tasks requires proper time management skills. This is a vital skill many successful entrepreneurs are capable of.
Time management is critical not just at work but also in play. So much of travel is about making good use of time so as not to miss important events such as a departing flight. As such, travel can be an excellent real-world opportunity to test your time management skills and make adjustments that can translate productively back to the boardroom as well.
It goes without saying that an entrepreneur must be a leader as well. The best entrepreneurial leaders have confidence but also maintain some doubt to avoid becoming arrogant.
Traveling quite naturally injects elements of both into any scenario. When you travel, you need to confidently execute your travel itinerary yet know when to ask questions and ask for help along the way. These qualities are also essential for leading people.
Traveling is an enjoyable experience, but when you are of an entrepreneurial mindset, your mind is continually working to relate everything back to your mission and vision. Every experience can be used to further your business goals and traveling is packed full of the exact type of experiences that can help you become a better entrepreneur.
Author: Patricia Dimick is a Denver-based stay-at-home-mom and a striving blogger, trying to make it as a freelance writer. She’s keen on keeping up with the latest trends in the business world and sharing her insights with like-minded people. You can reach her @Patricia_Dimick.