The solo travel journey that I’m taking this summer is part of my plan to have a fearless year. In anticipation, I thought it will also help me become a better entrepreneur. Here’s how:
1. I’ll be fully in charge
This one seems easy and desirable. Who doesn’t want to take decisions by themselves, without having to give in to the wishes of a travel companion?! I’ll get to decide my own faith. From the hotel I choose, to the food I’ll taste and the call to not follow a map but go bold into uncharted territory – all will be my choices. And I will need to embrace them, no matter how things turn out.
As an entrepreneur, I’m writing my own story too. I’m taking all the decisions, even when I don’t have all the information available. Pursuing a specific target niche, choosing a client over another or deciding on a set pricing scheme, these are all decisions I’ll have to take and be fully responsible in creating my own “business map”.
2. I’ll embrace uncertainty
Even though I have some basic arrangements set in the places where I’ll go, I want to leave room for open exploration. Let myself discover colorful streets of new towns and valleys shadowed by mountains, and relish in the surprises I’ll get to live on the way. For me that’s the essence of meaningful travel. And of life, really.
And professionally, if anything is uncertain, that is the life of an entrepreneur. I’ll embrace it as a solo traveller so that I can easier live with it daily in my freelance ventures, when the stakes could be higher.
3. Character building
Some may say I don’t need to build more character than I already have. Travelling solo is already a daring adventure, turning one into their stronger self. You’re going to do things you’re slightly (or totally!) uncomfortable with. Like eating roasted grasshoppers in Mexico or camping in a snake-filled Australian rainforest. I don’t plan on such extreme adventures this time, but pushing my fear boundaries and daring to go into new territories, that will surely help me later.
As entrepreneur, I need to nurture that fearless attitude. That boldness to take on new tasks, most of which I may be uncomfortable with. Like speaking in public. Or entering a new market sector. Or pitching a bigger client than I’m used to. I’ll practice it during my travels, so I’ll be comfortable making it a habit when I return to my desk.
4. Flexible attitude
In any type of travels some things are bound to go less than expected. You go on a 6AM boat trip to spot dolphins at sunrise, but none of them show up that morning. You plan for a rainy day inside, but… the sun comes up unexpectedly! When you’re travelling solo it’s that much easier to adapt. Change plans mid-course if the experience is not what you expected. If the city is not big enough to spend there 5 days, stay just 2 and move on to something unplanned.
Flexibility is an indispensable quality for an entrepreneur, especially at the beginning of their project. I have a plan of action and objectives to reach. But if I see that my actions don’t take me closer to my objectives, it’s essential that I change mid-course. Adapt. Rethink. Fine-tune. Just like in my travels.
5. Sense of adventure
Solo travel is by definition an adventure. It starts to be accepted socially more and more, whether you’re single, committed or even married. Even the travel industry starts to welcome it. But it stays daring, taking the world head on, like fearlessly jumping into the cold ocean. The farther you go from home, the more different the culture, the more adventurous your experience is.
Entrepreneurship is like jumping every day, head on, into a new cold ocean. I’ll embrace the new paths to take and the skills to develop in order to succeed and advance. I value my freedom and cherish the professional adventures I can experience as an entrepreneur.
6. Self development
This one includes a bit of the 5 previous ways, bringing them all together under the umbrella that is personal development. In my solo travels I’ll have plenty of time also for introspection and for enjoying the present moment, unaltered by sharing it with someone else. I’ll really, truly taste a delicious fish soup in the south of France, for example, or admire the perfect patterns of the rice fields in Bali’s mainland. I’ll see the world as it happens, slowly, imperfectly, irrationally, making me understand what’s truly important: the experience of the present moment.
In the same way, becoming an entrepreneur means embarking on a self-development journey. You push your own boundaries, you’re driven by the adventure, you decide your own faith, and you accept uncertainty. All while you stay focused on your dreams, your objectives. Just like solo travel.