For most people, travel is just an activity for recent college graduates looking for the best place to party, retirees looking for a quiet get-away from the bustle of their city environment or for the elite one percent of the world population looking for some of the best ways to burn some money.
However, for most American business leaders – about 94 percent of them – travel is so much more. It is often the difference between mental health and burnout. Travel actually has some tangible benefits for entrepreneurs; benefits that can help them grow and position their business better.
1. Improved Communication Skills
Most times, how you put across your message is a greater factor in determining how it is received. What you say pales in importance to this fact. However, effective communication is more than just speaking; your body language and your facial expressions all contribute to what people understand from you.
You get to appreciate this more whenever you travel to a foreign locality and have to grapple with language and cultural barriers. For you to be able to initiate any form of communication in this environment, you will have to come up with ingenious ways to put your message across. This is a skill that every entrepreneur should have in his/her kitty.
Knowing how to communicate effectively can significantly improve the rapport you have with your employees, customers, and investors even if they come from different cultures and backgrounds.
2. Greater insight when you travel as a group
If all you seek is some personal time, then you are better off traveling alone. However, most people use travel time as a period to catch up with friends and/or family. You may not sleep in as much, but you’ll definitely find that traveling in a group means you’ll gain more inspiration and insight.
Make it a point to have a good time with your travel companions. It could be events like hiking or sightseeing or familial experiences like teaching your little children how to swim – in a kid-safe pool, of course – or any other experience that strengthens the bond between all of you.
During your travels, the others may see, hear or do something that you couldn’t. Trade stories and enrich your own travel experience and insight in ways that you could never have on your own.
Travelling collectively also means that there will be times that you will have to depend on each other’s strong points and perhaps, even put the group’s benefit ahead of your personal goal or desire. This will foster the inculcation of the concept of teamwork and sacrifice that you can bring to your workplace.
3. Improves Overall Health
According to my friend Sebastien Archambeaud, founder of Handiscover, “Every entrepreneur knows how debilitating stress can be and how it significantly dips their productivity. Making work the sole purpose of our existence is a guaranteed way to allow stress eat away at you, bringing with it depression and some other heart ailments.”
Travel is an effective distressing method for most people swamped with responsibilities in their daily lives. It takes them out of their broader work-related environment while offering them the calm them much needed downtime, thereby improving overall health and boosting productivity.
Your lifestyle, health, and productivity are inextricably linked. Make every effort to remain mentally and physically healthy if your productivity is to remain at an optimal level.
4. Helps you find inspiration
When you only focus on work, inspiration eludes you. You’ll have a better chance at this if you plan and book a desert safari in the UAE or go bungee jumping over the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa.
Traveling to new environments, seeking new experiences, meeting new people and attending culturally diverse events can spark inspiration, helping you gain new insights and perspective. If leveraged properly can help boost your business in ways you never thought possible.
5. You have ample opportunity to sit and reflect
Entrepreneurs almost always have to be all about their business; making on the spot decisions, chasing down investors, scheduling meetings, etc. This mechanical lifestyle schedules every second of your day, giving you no time for reflection or inspiration.
Travel will afford you the opportunity and time to just think, reflect and observe. Engage in activities that will take your mind off work. Going fishing or simply sitting and bathing in the sunlight are simple experiences that can inspire new ideas to develop your personal life and your business responsibilities.
6. You can make useful connections in foreign territory
Almost everyone makes new friends on their travels. For business owners, the reason for this goes beyond having someone in a foreign locality to hang out and have fun with on your travels.
For them, it could mean saving cost on accommodation in subsequent travels. You will also have someone with local knowledge to help you achieve seamless integration into the community if you ever want to establish your business there.