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4 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Make Traveling a Priority

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When I decided to leave my full-time job and start my own business in 2015, I knew that it would be a decision that would stretch, challenge, and test me to see how mercilessly I really wanted this. There are certain things that are expected when taking that leap. I knew that I was going to have to work hard.

I knew that I was going to have to network 24/7. It wasn’t a rude awakening when I discovered the huge learning curve that I would experience as I transitioned from employer to entrepreneur, but nobody ever told me the importance of traveling if I wanted to make tremendous strides as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs need to explore. My thinking had to expand if I wanted to be a relevant business leader and connect with others that I didn’t see on a daily basis. You can’t be stuck in a cubicle mindset and expect to soar like an eagle; you have to think beyond what you already know in order to make meaningful progress.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye

I decided to pack my bags and travel around the world on a 6-month performance and service tour with an international non-profit organization called Up with People, where I had the chance of networking with influential leaders from all over the world and deliver over 100 hours of service by volunteering at schools and community organizations. Every experience that I took on that was beyond my comfort zone was preparing me to be a socially-conscious entrepreneur.

Travel instills important lessons and strengthens skills that directly translate to effectiveness as an entrepreneur. In order to maximize your travel experience, you need to be able to integrate the experiences you have had into your business goals and activities. Traveling is a strategic business investment that will take you further than any class will; nothing compares to real life experiential learning.

Ready to step up your game as an entrepreneur? Here are four reasons that traveling should be on every entrepreneur’s to-do list:

1. It will teach you how to be flexible and take risks

I can’t count the number of times my plans changed or I had to adapt to new environments when traveling the world. It’s easy to get frustrated when things don’t go as planned, but when this becomes the norm, you learn how to make the most of what you have at your disposal.

Entrepreneurship is one big experiment that is filled with uncertainties. This is definitely a skill to cultivate if you want to be a successful business person. The entrepreneur who is able to quickly adapt to changes and take advantage of opportunities that don’t have a guaranteed outcome will win.

 

2. You open your mind to more possibilities

Going to places you have never experienced before seems to open your mind to new possibilities; you can have great “aha” moments if you get out of your routine environment. You only know what you have exposed yourself to. Just imagine what would happen if you expose yourself to new ways of doing business, new people, new cultural traditions, new food, and new ways of living.

You get outside of your business box and receive creative inspiration that can help you create innovative solutions. And the world needs more ways of thinking that don’t adhere to traditional standards in order to continue to evolve.

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” –Brian Tracy

3. Build connections with people who are not like you

Diversity of thoughts and ideas is what helps businesses continue to be successful. Your interactions will lead to valuable insights. First, you understand what it takes to build a diverse consumer market. You also gain opportunities to work with foreign clients, to sell to foreign markets, and to outsource work to foreign employees in other countries.

Entrepreneurs who take the extra step to learn a new language strengthen their ability to connect with others and are better prepared for the way in which business is developing worldwide.

 

4. You will increase your awareness of global challenges

Exploring the problems that people face on a daily basis may lead to valuable opportunities for your business.  Business is all about adding value; if you are always adding value, you will always be in demand.

These new experiences can provide you with new ways of adding value to different markets around the world. You don’t just want to think locally⎯go deeper. How can your products services help the world?

Being an entrepreneur takes work. People who decide to pursue this path give up 40 hours of structured work responsibilities to put in 80+ hours of non-stop work. But when you see people in other countries working non-stop to make a living as an entrepreneur, you question your own work ethic. Once you start traveling, the ideas will keep unfolding and your impact as an entrepreneur will be amplified.

What skills have you gained from traveling around the world? What skills do you hope to develop? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

After 7 years of working in Corporate America as a Certified Public Accountant, Charlene left her job in April 2015 and decided to travel around the world with a non-profit international education organization called Up with People. She has traveled around the world with 100 individuals from 20 different countries. You can visit her www.careergoddessacademy.com or connect with her through Twitter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Brickwork India

    Aug 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Hi Charlene,
    A great read!, as mentioned in your 4th point, Travel helps in understanding how people manage problems and how you can add value to it. To complement this view, Travel also teaches you to handle uncertainties and gives the exposure on how others manage uncertainties in their lives.

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 11, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Hi Brickwork,
      Thanks for your feedback! Great point. Traveling shows you how others manage uncertainties in their lives. This is valuable information to have at your disposal when you are learning to interact with different kinds of people.

  2. Tim Denning

    Aug 8, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Charlene this is another great article by you on travel. I love your passion for travel and the benefits you can get from it. I am about to have a holiday in the USA and it gives me the motivation I need to work though long days.

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for reading, Tim! I can only imagine the number of ideas that will unfold as you take advantage of new experiences in the U.S. Enjoy every moment! I look forward to reading more of your articles.

  3. Kenyatta

    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Great Article! Reminds me of my Costa Rica trip, that I had the pleasure to travel to in High School. At first I was nervous because I am not fluent in Spanish and didn’t know much about the culture. But I learned alot during my time there. I agree with all four points in this article and I must say many employers are impressed and want to learn more about the person’s experience. Very impressive Charlene , continue to encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone.

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 7, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Hi Kenyatta, Thanks for sharing! That’s amazing that you had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica in High School. Traveling broadens your perspectives and instantly opens you up to more possibilities. I think more individuals should travel while they are in high school because there is more to the world beyond the U.S.A. People who only stay in their country only see a tiny piece of the puzzle that has so many beautiful pieces. I’m glad to hear that you did not let your lack of Spanish communication skills hinder you from this travel opportunity. Keep traveling and stretching the limits of your comfort zone, Kenyatta!

  4. Toño

    Aug 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    An excellent article as you continue to guide us through the ultimate importance of travelling, Charlene! I really like to read about such topic and enjoyed this one as well. I can safely confirm all the cool and crazy things happened to me while being away from home, even not so far, which led to making huge decisions in my life.

    Please continue to share your experience and advice, thank you very much, much appreciation and love!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 7, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for sharing, Toño! I agree. Life is an exhilarating journey. Traveling allows us to tap into more of that excitement and I am so glad that you have had the opportunity to experience that. Traveling comes with one unexpected result for most people: your life as you know it will change.

      Thanks for your support and encouragement! Much appreciated!

  5. Mercedes

    Aug 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

    I am all for taking risk and I think I might take that leap and start traveling after college. I love being around a diverse group of people because I feel as though I learn so much. #4 is something I am very interested in the most , when meeting people from a different race. Thanks for sharing your up with people experience, I know it had to be fun. I love reading your articles, keep up the good work!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 7, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Thanks Mercedes! Traveling is such a rewarding opportunity that exposes you to more of the world and gives you opportunities to discover who you are and what you really want. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of a short term travel opportunity while in college, I highly recommend it. There are many scholarships available to individuals who want to travel in college. Thanks for reading and for sharing! Wishing you the best on your last year of college!

  6. Jasminé

    Aug 4, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Feeling motivated to be an entrepreneur and explore my talents after reading your article. Thanks for the advice, I think that it is a good idea to travel to different countries and states. Being able to see a different site and meet new people is a great experience. Continue to write inspiring articles with awesome advice!

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 7, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for sharing, Jasmine! Traveling comes with so many unexpected benefits. Entrepreneurs can really use their travel experiences to supercharge their impact and performance in their business. You can also learn a new language and increase the amount of people that you can communicate with from all over the world. Wishing you the best on your travel and entrepreneurial journey!

  7. Bryan Oliver

    Aug 4, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Great article, Charlene. Really like #3. Building connections with those that are not like you is so important. The synergies that can be create can take you to a level you’d never reach on your own. Enjoyed it. Thank you.

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 5, 2016 at 2:12 am

      Thanks Bryan! A diverse network produces an expanded mindset that will take your life to levels that you could never reach on your own. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Alex Reyes

    Aug 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I think one of the biggest benefits is the number 2. Opening yourself to new possibilities also helps you become more creative than what you could ever experience before.

    Even a short trip to another part of the country can show you how different people can be.

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 5, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Very true! Any experience that takes you outside of your comfort zone can expose you to new possibilities and ways of living. Thanks for sharing, Alex!

  9. Glenn Mace

    Aug 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Great read very important for everyone to go outside the box. Experience brings wealth. #MLux

    • Charlene Rhinehart

      Aug 5, 2016 at 2:15 am

      Great point, Glenn! Experience brings a wealth of information, resources, and connections that can create profitable results in your business. Thanks for sharing!

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Entrepreneurs

What if Elon Musk Ran Your Business? 4 Lessons From the Real Life Iron Man

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The story of Iron man and Elon Musk starts when Robert Downey Jr. visited SpaceX headquarters miles away from the setting of the first Iron Man movie back in 2007. The actor was inspired to base his character on Elon Musk’s personality. Ashlee Vance writes in Elon’s biographyboth Musk and Stark were the type of men, according to Downey, who ‘had seized an idea to live by and something to dedicate themselves to’ and were not going to waste a moment.” (more…)

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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Entrepreneurial Journey

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There are many ways to get ready for entrepreneurship regardless of whether you’re ready or not. The migration to the unknown will take you through many places, emotions, and people. Your journey will be both easy and difficult, but hopefully in between, you prepare yourself with an expectation of helping people by solving problems. The quest that you are about to enter will be one to remember if you are willing to adapt quickly and not give up.

Arranging for this huge change in your life should be one of the most memorable expeditions that you will ever experience. Looking into the future and being able to lay out a road map for your entrepreneurial journey will definitely be beneficial. Though there will be challenges every step of the way, being prepared will help you achieve your goals more efficiently.

To help you get started, here are 5 ways to plan an entrepreneurial expedition:

1. Form Ideas By Visualizing And Writing Them Down

Before beginning your entrepreneurial quest, brainstorm to come up with many amazing ideas even if you never act upon each of them. It’s always a good thing to write them down on paper, computer or via a mobile device app such as Google Docs. An abundance of suggestions about your processes is better than none or even a few objectives that can possibly help in some way.

The key is to breakdown those ideas to come up with better solutions to move forward in your voyage. See what’s more in line with your mission and values to be effective for your core audience, products or services that you may want to create. Whether you categorize those ideas or check them off one by one, coming up with different concepts will be a great start to your journey.

“Creativity is contagious – pass it on.” – Albert Einstein

2. Begin A Pattern Of Consistency By Quitting Bad Habits

Repetitive actions can present their challenges but if there’s a way to make progress and eliminate bad habits that aren’t hindering your itinerary then keep doing them. Have you ever noticed that negative thoughts, lack of confidence, and no exercise regimen could negate persistence of not only your entrepreneurial journey but other goals as well?

Get your mojo or swagger back by committing to a life of constant and everlasting consistency by stopping eating bad foods, wasting your time with hours of playing video games, watching television and other things that will stall your progress. When you get rid of actions that are slowing down aspects of your life, you’ll begin to pursuing things to help you lay the groundwork for success.

3. Be Disciplined While Listening More

Another way to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey is by being in control of yourself while paying more attention to everything else. It’s quite common to focus on things outside of your realm and instantly become something other than what you see fit. Difficulties can arise if your focal point isn’t there and somehow an opportunity pass right by you.

Mentorship even from a distance from someone that you don’t know can be a key element as you learn the importance of your mission. Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos of someone that has validated your idea is a great starting point as well. Mimicking them on some level can help you understand different phases that are ahead and how to deal with them.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

4. Work Effortlessly And Prioritize Your Time

You will have to work extremely hard with an emphasis on actual time value before pursuing your pilgrimage. We often hear about the results of hard work and it sounds cliche but when many other things are happening outside of your control, finding a way to manage your time can become difficult.

Most people will start off alone with zero help in terms of having a partner and putting in 100% effort. You will likely wear multiple hats as the visionary, programmer, marketer, content creator and so on. You may have to function with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep or even none at times while being respectful and cognitive of the time of others as well.

5. Persist Like There’s No Tomorrow While Planning For The Future

What’s in you? Nobody knows the answer to that question but you and the determination for reaching your destination as an entrepreneur. Whatever the answer is, you should be driven with an undaunted passion to pursue your expedition. Go after your dreams with a tenacity that you didn’t know was within your soul and keep pushing no matter what.

Be mindful that your strong pursuit can be done all while determining the proper destination of where you want to eventually end up. Never lose your focus admist numerous distractions that will happen. The emphasis comes from experience along with talking to other entrepreneurs who had similar occurrences at multiple stages of the process.

Put in the work early with the mindset of expecting obstacles and pushing forward pass them.  It will be tedious and preparing for a grind will make your entrepreneurial journey more understandable through tough times. You will be a lot wiser and better after all of the hard work whether it’s considered a failure or success.

Which one of the above 5 ways to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!

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7 Things You Need to Do to Grow as an Entrepreneur

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Startups are on the rise and youngsters are keen to launch their own business instead of a nine-to-five job. As simple as it sounds, opening a business needs patience and the right planning. Moreover, the profits gained can help you meet your financial obligations and realize other dreams.

Young entrepreneurs must learn the skills of investing money within the right channels as most startups fail because of a shortage of funds. Every entrepreneur has a chance to innovate, create new jobs and have an influence on society. It’s our responsibility to continually grow and push forward, usually beyond our comfort zones.

Here are the seven must-learn tips to grow as an entrepreneur:

1. Read Books and Articles

For many new entrepreneurs, your first mentors are usually found in the pages of books and blogs. Much often learned from the writings of others, and fortunately these days, people are sharing their experiences. A survey found that 88% of the world’s wealthiest people read for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. By comparison, only 2% of the overall population reads this much daily.

Read chapters in books, and articles to get new ideas and skills. Some ideas might not be directly relevant to what you’re doing these days however, it could come helpful a year or so down the road.

My advice is to search out those leaders and writers who resonate with you. You’ll understand when you’ve hit on something when you find yourself returning to a book for answers and inspiration time and time again.

“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

2. Perform SWOT Analysis

Business students and old-school marketers should be very aware of mapping out SWOT Analysis charts (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). If you’ve never made a SWOT chart, write out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in four quadrants on a piece of paper.

In reality, you’ll jot down a couple of notes on the back of a cocktail napkin, however despite the simplicity, if done right, a SWOT will shed light on crucial areas that require improvement. Most significantly, don’t shy away from the truth. Dissecting your weaknesses isn’t fun however, no good comes from avoiding the fact.

3. Be Willing to Take Risks

It’s impossible to become an entrepreneur if you don’t take risks. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fallen. See how many times you stand-up. Being an Entrepreneur isn’t that easy; it’s an up-and-down game like a business. Be willing to come up with new plans even when old strategies are working. It’s through such risks that your business will grow. You’ll learn and meet new partners or investors. Even so, the risks must be calculated. Doing the analysis and making consultations is vital in this case.

4. Open Your Eyes Wide

Many opportunities are arising in the business world every day. For instance, many companies are willing to come up with a mobile solution for a startup without charging immoderate prices. This info can only be discovered if you’re keen.

Before dismissing adverts from websites and mainstream media, conclude if they’re relevant to your business. Also, follow the events happening in the stock market and international business summits. You’ll find the opportunities which will take your business to a new level.

Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is possible if you learn, take risks, evolve, innovate, and stay motivated. You must be realistic regarding your abilities and watch the events that unfold in your world.

5. Lead the Way for Your Team

Young entrepreneurs need to encourage employees and provide help at every juncture. For any young entrepreneur who aspires to be a leader it’s necessary to be:

  • Honest
  • Ambitious
  • Courage and Risk Taking
  • Dedicated
  • A Team-player
  • An effective listener
  • An effective communicator
  • Able to inspire confidence
  • Positive

An entrepreneur who has all the attributes of a leader leads the employees to productivity. It’s essential that the team respects a leader. The hunger and aspirations of the leader to strive for success inspire the employees to put in that extra effort to be successful.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

6. Learn How to Keep Initial Success at Bay

Do not enjoy the shrubs of initial success for too long. Return to the drawing board and draw the future course of action. To move on to the next phase:

  • Utilize local and online channels to make hype for the services
  • Start expanding by hiring employees to enhance productivity
  • Cater to a good segment of the audience by providing various services
  • Re-invest the profitable revenue into new business efforts

Never let the initial success get to your head. The online platform is an ever-changing arena. Analyze what’s working and what new tactics can be utilized to strengthen the market base.

7. Find and Keep Business Partners

You will always go far if you have people to carry your hand during hardship in business. They’ll share ideas that have made them successful and provides you funds whenever necessary. Demonstrating that you are organized, capable, and serious is vital when nurturing such relationships. Keeping records, creating financial contributions to society, and attending forums are some of the choices worth trying.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll face many up-and-downs, risks, financial crisis, and many more. Be ready to face these problems if you want to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship isn’t about making money, it’s about innovating new things and represent new concepts and ideas to the world.

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Transitioning From Employee to Entrepreneur? Try Intrapreneurship First

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Studies show that 15 million Americans are self-employed full-time and that an estimated 27 million Americans will transition from the traditional workforce to full-time entrepreneurship by 2020. Additionally, it is asserted that entrepreneurs are 125% more successful if they have previously been employed in the industry in which they presently do business. This is all great news on many levels.

Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are considering transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, or perhaps you have already made the shift. I get it. I am one of the millions who has made the switch – trading stability and comfort for passion and freedom. However, if you are a potential full-time entrepreneur, there are many things to consider before making the leap.

How will I support myself and my family in the initial stages of development? What do I do if I fail? How do I maintain the drive needed to make a business successful? How will my business harness the creativity and innovation required to thrive in the marketplace? These are all valid questions and should be considered deeply.

If only there were a training ground to test your management capabilities, gain knowledge, think innovatively and be solution-focused. But, wait, there is. Your current employment can offer these opportunities and more – through intrapreneurship.

By definition, an intrapreneur is an employee of a company who has adopted an entrepreneurial mindset. Intrapreneurs are highly motivated self-starters and innovative, solution-driven thought leaders, who work within an organization. Because of this definition, acting in an intrapreneurial capacity in your current place of employment makes a great deal of sense when considering the move to self-employment. You can use your current employment status as a testing ground for where you want to be.

Here are four reasons why intrapreneurship can work for you:

1. See a problem. Solve a problem

All businesses should be designed to fulfill a need. Just as your own business should be able to justify its existence in the marketplace, initiatives within an organization should do the same. Closely examine processes and products in your place of employment. Determine what could be executed more productively. Alternatively, design a new initiative to creatively meet and exceed customer expectations. Acting in this manner will prepare you for building the structure and mission of your own business.

2. Creatively capitalize on skills and talents gained outside your employer

In many instances, we separate business from personal, and there are many good reasons for this approach. However, there are notable skills and talents used in your personal life that are transferable to the workplace. For example, if you engage in team sports, use your team building skills and charisma to involve your colleagues in projects.

If you love to read fiction books, integrate the creativity of the stories to bend the thinking of traditional methods of operation. The possibilities are many. Business owners rely on all life experiences, directly or tangentially related, for the benefit of their enterprises.

3. Intrapreneurship is for all employment levels

If you think intrapreneurship is only for c-suite executives, think again. Intrapreneurship is for the mailroom to the boardroom. As noted in the definition, intrapreneurship is about being a self-starter. You do not need permission from anyone to be highly motivated. Just as all parts of our bodies have a function, so do all positions in an organization. Even if you feel your position has no purpose in your organization, make one. We all have to start somewhere in our entrepreneurial journeys, so start right now, where you are.

4. Experiencing failure is inevitable. Move forward anyway.

All of us will experience failure at some point and multiple times as well. Failure will happen regardless if you remain employed or set out on our own. Be bold enough to move forward with establishing your voice and your place anyway. Business and life are about forward movement. Decide now what next step you will take if you fail. There is always a path forward. Get used to the possibility of your ideas being rejected and your designs being flawed now, so when you are a full-time entrepreneur, you will know how to advance.

Whether you are at the infancy stages of developing your own business, currently self-employed or even wish to remain an employee, establishing yourself as an initiator and innovator can reap many benefits for you and your company. That is the beauty of it.

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