720.526.2815 [email protected]

Chief Executives Should Travel.

…and not for business.

What makes a good CEO? (Knowledge! Experience! Open-Mindedness! — all of which are established away from “home”.) There are so many great answers to this question. In a previous article I wrote about what traits make a successful entrepreneur. Here, I’ll discuss why traveling is so important to cultivating these traits as a small business owner, Chief Executive, or any form of leader.
Taking time out to travel may seem like an indulgent escape for many of us, but I’ll explain here why it’s important. (I don’t think I’ll have to twist your arm too much). In fact, the independent and risk taking personality that is natural for many entrepreneurs are also the same traits that are essential for a good traveler.

A few traits you’ll learn on the road:

Planning and Research:

Whether you’re planning a 6-month trip around Europe, a year long adventure throughout the world, or a 3 week jaunt in eastern Asia; you’ll want to fit in as much as possible within your chosen timeframe. This means research and planning are key. Traveling frequently will help you sharpen this skill, which will eventually overflow into other aspects of your life. Being able to plan properly and research thoroughly are basic skills needed to run a successful business, hone these traits in other areas of your life and you’re on your way to being able to implement these skills in your quest to building a successful business.

Problem Solving:

Even with all of your planning and research you’re definitely going to run into some unexpected problems when traveling. Being out of your comfort zone, away from your safety net, and sometimes even speaking a different language will mean that you will have to become much more self-reliant and able to effectively and efficiently solve your problems as quickly as possible. Your brain will train itself to react quickly and effectively the more you practice. If you’re constantly in your comfort zone, and never pushing the boundaries, your problem solving skills will go by the wayside. It’ll be very difficult to cultivate a successful business without the sharpest problem solving skills possible.

Learn and Adapt:

You’re going to be in a new land, in a new culture and in order to respect local traditions, people, environments and landmarks, you’re going to have to be able to quickly observe, learn and adapt. As a business owner and CEO, you’re going to have to quickly observe, learn and adapt to what is going to make your business the most successful it can possibly be. What works for Joe Smith isn’t necessarily going to work for you. So instead of reading books and business websites, get out there and be fluid in your quest for success.

Other skills you learn while traveling that carry over to the business world are budgeting and networking. Without the available skills to assist in building a community and balancing a budget, you’ll never be successful — in your personal life, or as a business executive.

Traveling is such an enriching experience and I truly believe every professional should prioritize traveling. The more you travel, the smaller the world becomes. I have had the personal opportunity to travel to many countries, learn three languages and have a network of international colleagues that make up the best international consultants there are. If you’re thinking of starting your own business, travel first! You definitely won’t regret it!