When running your own shop gets you down, when the tax man cometh or the bad client barketh, what do you do? You handle business of course, but then what? If you are not unlike a lot of self-employed folk, you just may take a trip. As you may have observed, there are two kinds of people in the world: those with wanderlust and those without. And we small business people tend to fall into the first category.
Even when they run their businesses from their ideal locale, their wanderlust doesn’t disappear.Those who are infected with a burning desire to travel, also have a tendency to become self-employed. Even when they run their businesses from their ideal locale, their wanderlust doesn’t disappear.
Those who love to travel have a tendency to become self-employed
They seem, in fact, quite tuned in to Dr. Alan Gregg’s observation : “The main value of travel lies not in where you go but in leaving where you have been. Go to a new place. Have your former gods challenged. Re-examine your axioms. Find out the evidence for your assumptions, and you will with luck begin to set a true value upon the environment from which you came.
“I never tire of Sir Oliver Lodge’s way of saying this: ‘The last thing in the world that a deep-sea fish could discover is salt water.’”
While all kinds of travel can feed your entrepreneurial spirit, there are some special trips that are particularly appealing to the Joyfully Jobless. Here are a few.
Shop for Ideas. Today Danny Meyer is one of the best known restaurateurs in New York. In his late teens, Meyer spent a year and a half in Italy filling journals with notes on restaurants he visited there.
Besides taking note of the food, he sketched light fixtures he liked, flooring that caught his fancy, and studied the ambiance of various establishments.
Meyer’s not the only one to discover that when we’re away from our daily lives, we tend to be more observant and alert. Consequently, it’s often easier to uncover good ideas in a new place than it is in a familiar setting.
Share a Passion. Special interest tours continue to flourish. In a London restaurant, I met a group of Australian women who shared a fascination for needlepoint and tapestry. They were visiting museums, having classes with British needle workers and connecting with others who shared their passion.
If you’re wild about collecting art, quilting, Cajun food and music, landscape photography, Shakespeare’s world, or any of a thousand other subjects, you know that digging deeper keeps the adventure alive. You could participate in an organized tour, of course, or you could design your own and lead others while sharing your expertise.
Go on a Retreat. A formal change of scenery has long been popular with spiritual seekers and personal growth aficionados. Whether you gather in Sedona or at the seashore, your entrepreneurial spirit can flourish when you spend time away in a lovely place with other innovative folks.
Since such events are usually less than a week in length even a busy businessowners can sneak away for a reviving experience.
Trade Places. Although a number of formal entrepreneurial exchange programs exist, most of them are designed as mentorships for students. Why not create your own program?
While you and an entrepreneur in another part of the world might not want to run each other’s businesses for a spell, you could arrange to spend a week hanging out with each other and sharing ideas, discoveries and favorite resources with one another.
Photo Safari. Photographer Eve Arnold spent 35 years photographing people and gathered her favorites in a book called All in a Day’s Work. She shows us all sorts of usual and unusual occupations including a fumigator in Afghanistan who chases evil spirits from homes, an English veterinarian preparing sheep for a hysterectomy, and Italian seamstresses sewing vestments for the Vatican.
If you enjoy photography, you could create a project to photograph (or video) interesting businessowners in your area—or on a longer road trip. Enterprising people who have brought their ideas to life are often delighted to share their stories.
Give Yourself a Bonus. Linking your travels with your business isn’t just good for your entrepreneurial spirit. Your pocketbook will benefit, too, thanks to the nice tax deduction you’ll get when your trip includes legitimate business activity.
“I’ve always said that travel is the best university;” said Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. “Getting from one place to another means more than physical movement. It also entails change, challenge, new ideas and inspirations.”
Visit Barbara Winter at Joyfully Jobless.com.