This summer, I was really feeling like I needed to take some space and silence for some clarity and to get some creative work done. You see, in my practice, I have to constantly switch from being a very technical, almost mathematician (hello SEO, AdWords, Analytics, keyword research), to being a creative writer on topics I usually have to research as well (I write about anything from psychology to parenting to fashion and more), and then in the midst of all these silent tasks, I have to jet back into a communicative mode and be expressive for meetings, videos, events and speaking engagements.
I often feel like I work at a button factory (aka my keyboard).
So, to counteract these feelings, I do yoga, I run and stretch, I walk, I bike, and I do really extreme s#$@ like deciding to go to Moab for my birthday and do a 14-mile bike ride and some pretty serious hiking. I had wanted to check out Moab ever since I drove near it on my way from Vegas back to Denver one time. (Long story why I was driving, and while I’ll never do that again, it was gorgeous!!!
I didn’t regret taking this trip one bit and I got so much done and a well-needed reset. After I got settled in to my hotel downtown (after the 5-ish hour drive from Denver and seeing a friend in Leadville along the way), I got dinner and had a glass of wine while checking emails and crossing off to-do’s. The hotel had so many awesome areas that were not being used by any guests that were perfect for me. I watched a lot of sunsets (and got free breakfast!).
Mix Pleasure and Business. Travel is Good for the Entrepreneur Soul
Obviously not everyone is able to have the freedom that we as entrepreneurs have in our lives. Yes, we cram in meetings, events and often wake up before sunrise and go to sleep after midnight or much, much later to get all of the work done and cross off all of the things that we endlessly have to do… but if we plan ahead (we’re usually also good with this), we can get away, pay less for travel because of our flexibility on days of travel, and we can work anywhere there is WiFi. For some businesses, you may also require an office manager or assistant, but trust me, you can do this and have this life.
Obviously family commitments, especially young or super active teens, can make your travel plans need an adjust. However, there are so many ways to travel abroad and domestically, even with family, and especially when you are an entrepreneur. I highly recommend taking advantage of as much travel as you can, while you can. Experiences are worth so much more than things (though make sure you have savings for emergencies and for later first of course). And, if you dare… go alone.
I Recommend Going Solo, Scared? This Isn’t for You Then.
Does that freak you out to think about??? Some of my friends were terrified of that idea. Others couldn’t imagine why I would ever want to do that. Still some (and my favorite response), was, “fuck yes, you independent woman you.” And, that is totally what it’s about. For me, I do so much for others that it’s nice to have some time where you decide what you want to do (or not do!) and when. Literally every decision. All. Day. Long. So, for two days, here is how I spent my time. Not pictured: the most amazing facial and massage for my birthday gift to myself.
Variety is the Spice of Life. If You Work Hard, You Can Also Stock Up Your “Life Spice” Cabinet
In no way, shape or form, is what I am describing, easy. NO. You have to set your mind to your goals, set your time for working and get it done. You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. You have to do what you say you do. I’ve met so many “would-be” entrepreneurs who see the freedom that I have and want it, but don’t understand that behind the scenes and leading up do (and during) these trips, I am working my ‘lil tail off.
It helps that I love what I do, but still, know that on these trips, I am waking up early before everyone, getting to know the early morning coffee guy and how to get on the WiFi. I drink less at night and try to work out each day. I juice. I drink water. I pretty much act as if it were any other day… yet with a moving, live, piece of art called the world! Then, I get my work done and go exploring.
Do one thing every day that scares you – Eleanor Roosevelt
Solitude and Meditation: The Joy of a Vision Quest
Okay, back to planet Earth. Is that where we are? Yes. Though sometimes it feels like a dream because it’s all self-created when you’re an entrepreneur. You create your reality. And, while actually everyone creates their reality, entrepreneurs realize there is a certain magic to simply dreaming and seeing it become reality. To us, nothing is impossible. Anything can be created and all you have to do is come up with a good idea, then figure it out. And, if we fail, we try again.
This can be draining. I’ll say it. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the land of being self-employed. Some days, you wake up panicking about money. Some days, you have to own up to a mistake. Other days, you may have to let a team member go. Maybe you forget a meeting. Maybe you didn’t prepare. Maybe you spent too much time on one thing, but you should have spent it on something else and now you’re screwed. Or, the ultimate… the Internet it out!! (Cue apocalypse!)
So, what cures these anxious feelings? Nothing more than water, rest, exercise, vegetables, fruit, yoga, meditation, and…. travel (for me!). On this vision quest to Moab, I was able to combine meditation and healthy eating with spa services, journaling, art and intense physical activity. For me, it was everything I needed to feel awesome again about my work. Not that I wasn’t feeling great before, it’s just that anything, ANYTHING gets old sometimes. Do I think I am doing my life’s work, totally. But, everyone needs a break and if you can take a trip (even nearby, short drive), schedule yourself a massage and just hang out in a hot tub with your favorite book, even just once a year… can do wonders for your mind, body, soul, relationships, career, parenting, anything.
Creativity Outlets. What Can You Do to Channel Your Creativity (25 Ideas!)
Looking for some ideas about getting your creativity sparked? Here are some ideas both near and far:
- Get a deck of oracle cards (can be the 4 Agreements deck or another one, there are tons)
- Do 25 jumping jacks right now
- Fold a basic origami (you tube for ideas)
- Walk to the store, get something with peppermint in it, walk home
- Do a plank right now for 30 seconds
- Journal: prompt is “describe a magical land, who’s there, what does it look like? cue: unicorns”
- One downward dog… now
- Visit mymodernmet.com
- Go to the library, bring a huge tea to sip in a to-go cup and your laptop or a book
- Read a poem, any poem
- Write a poem, any poem
- Draw a self-portrait doodle
- Look up flights and browse trip advisor
- Wikipedia random s$#% for 15 minutes
- Visit stumbleupon.com
- Go to Iceland (such cheap flights!)
- Plan a day trip in your own town, choose city or country, pretend you’re a tourist
- Pack yourself a picnic and bring a marketing book or other book, lay outside and read
- Do Yoga
- Or, just stretch for 15 minutes
- Take an art class
- Get a Chinese massage (affordable, amazing, rejuvenating)
- Organize something
- Write a card to a friend and send in the actual mail
Interested in the Travel Part?
Inspired? I hope so! Okay, now are you wondering how you can incorporate this into your yearly schedule and entrepreneur life? Or, for my employed friends, do you want to figure out how to travel for as little as possible, and find the best stuff (because you seriously do not have time to research?)
I recently launched www.facetedtravel.com which is my affordable, doable, make it happen, best researched travel concierge company. You see, what I found was, I approach travel like I do with a client project. I score the research…. (And, I have top-secret research tools that are freaking genius). Next. I pour through the reviews (construction going on? nope. etc.). And, I look up the “cool” stuff to do off the beaten path as well as figure out the very, very best deals (you’ll go cray) and best quality experience. I’ll advise you of anything to be aware of and when the best days/times are to do various activities. I’ll also set up Air Bnb’s, bike rentals, airport transfers, find places you can get work done while traveling, and advise you on the best credit card to get to get the most points (so you get a discount on your next trip.)
So far I have been to: British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest (Washington coast, Portland, Ashland, Sandpoint), San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma County region, Los Angeles (Venice Beach and Hollywood are my faves), Mayan Riviera, Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita, Cancun, Tulum, Amsterdam, London, Zurich, Bern, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Swaziland, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river), Montego Bay, Negril, the Florida Keys, Miami, the Everglades, Orlando, Disney World and Disney Land, San Diego, New Orleans, Austin, Houston, St. Louis, Santa Fe, Chicago, New York City, Phoenix, Las Vegas (dare I say 3 times?)… and you wouldn’t believe the deals… If you’re interested in planning a trip, visit www.facetedtravel.com for more info.