They’re all over our social media feeds – the bikini clad girls – claiming to be entrepreneurs, while posing on a yacht with a coconut cocktail in the hand.
“How do they do it?” you ask yourself. “Is it even possible to travel and run a full-time business, unless you are a digital nomad or an Instagram influencer?”
Yes, it is.
However, rid yourself from the idea that entrepreneurship and exotic destinations are all about the glamour.
Here’s what that girl in the picture probably did not tell you on her feed:
- She is tired and jet-lagged out of her mind;
- As soon as she’s done taking the picture, she needs to rush to a venue with wi-fi to respond to a client’s yet another urgent email;
- Her relationships back home are on the rocks as she’s never home anymore;
- She constantly deals with haters (envy) and is perceived as someone who travels excessively, or being accused as travelling at the cost of other people;
- While her friends are watching Netflix or drinking coffee in coffee shops, she is in the office, burning the midnight candle, working on her business, budgeting and planning her next trip.
These are the harsh realities of travelling while running a full-time business.
Yet, through my personal experiences as a business woman and someone who is passionate about travel (okay, I lied… I am addicted to travel) I have learned the following and hopefully this will be helpful to you as well:
1. Start with why:
The digital age has seriously disrupted our motivations behind why we need to travel for business. These days it’s easier and cheaper to attend an international event or meeting online through live-streaming, video calls and webinars. However, there are times when your job requires of you to physically be at a certain destination, especially when working in the events, incentives and travel industry.
Never sell something you are not familiar with on a personal level or haven’t experienced for yourself. No digital experience can ever surpass or replace human contact when building relationships and connecting with people.
The timing of your trip is everything. This does not only apply to your work, but also to your personal life regarding family and responsibilities. There is nothing worse than having to deal with a crisis back home or at work while travelling. Always make the necessary arrangements to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page and at ease with you being away for a couple of days. By doing this, you can focus on your actual reasons for travelling.
3. Schedule your trip’s priorities prior to departure:
Now that you know why you want to travel, and everyone is fine with you leaving the mainland for a while, you need to schedule your trip’s priorities. Book your flights and accommodation well in advance as this will save you money. Schedule your meetings and plan your transfers – from arrival at the airport, to meetings to site visits. Research your destination country’s mobile networks to understand what the best options are to have permanent connectivity on your trip, at the right cost.
Research transport options in the destination countries – is Uber/Taxify or similar services available, or just a regular taxi network. Also understand the public transport network as this may provide a much cheaper and effective option in some cases.
4. Make use of airport lounges:
To me, this is the best part of travelling and completely worth the investment. Lounges are perfect for freshening up and getting work done online – all in the comfort of a vibrant environment. On the other hand, having a decent meal at the lounge prior to your departure will allow for you to catch up on some much-needed sleep during your flight– uninterrupted.
5. Back-up team:
This is a no-brainer. If you want your business to grow while travelling, you need to set yourself up with the right person or team to take over the reins while you are away. You will not always have access to the internet or specific documents while on the road or in the air. I am blessed to have a dedicated team of experts behind me. Whether I’m at the office or abroad – no matter the distance, we’re always in sync and business can continue as per usual – thank goodness to technology. Speaking of technology, I highly advise you to travel with a light laptop, notebook or tablet, as a mobile phone can only do so much when it comes to working on documents and spreadsheets.
6. Explore, explore, explore:
What is the use of travelling without exploring new adventures? Ladies, to be able to travel is a gift, whether it is for business or just plain leisure. Please, make time to go out and explore your new surroundings by yourself. There is so much beauty out there waiting to be discovered – street food stalls, art, people, culture and many wonderful sights. Stretch your comfort zone and take in as much as you can – that way, you’ll discover new things about yourself.
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Keep Walking! 👍🏻 Had some fun in Tallinn, capital and cultural hub of Estonia on the Baltic Sea. 🌊 Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 🏚️ Information Technology (IT) is huge in Tallinn as it has the highest number of startups per person in Europe. 🔌 It is the birthplace of Skype – no wonder this city is often dubbed the Sillicon Valley of Europe. 📲 💻#KeepWalking
Not everyone wants to be that girl on a yacht with the coconut in her hand, and if you’re that girl, “Girl, good for you!” We are all different, and we all have our own reasons for doing what we’re doing. So, do your thing and don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else.
“To travel for the sake of travel is just as important as it is to travel for the sake of business. Make it count.”
-Gerhardt van Wyngaardt
ABOUT THE OBVIOUS CHOICE:
The Obvious Choice is your one-stop solution for conferences, events, incentives and experiential travel. Offering corporates, leisure and FIT travellers the support to enjoy authentic travel, conferences and events in a variety of vibrant local and international destinations; our extensive experience and 360-degree approach to integrated communication and management services, ensures unparalleled service with flair.