Today’s guest post is by Karlis of Independent Wolf: a Latvia-based travel writer focused on backpacking and solo travel. He wants to show us how solo travel can teach us how to become better entrepreneurs, and thus, how to be better at growing our blogs as a business…
5 Lessons Solo Travel Taught Me About Entrepreneurship
No, no, no… This will not be another “Solo Travelling Changed My Life” article you see floating around the internet so often.
Today, I want to share 5 lessons that I learned from solo travelling that go hand in hand with business and an entrepreneur lifestyle.
I agree with you.
There are too many articles that cover these topics: “solo travel changed my life”, “benefits of solo travel”, “why everybody should go solo” etc.
Honestly, let’s be real.
Almost everyone who has travelled to India, comes back home to make an important statement that would go something like: This trip changed my outlook on life and human existence in general.
I have no doubt that for many of us out there, this truly is the case. But most of the time, almost all of these types of article are the same. Mainly because almost everyone who travels alone has a similar pattern.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at this solo travel trend research.
And that is why this time, I don’t want to talk about life lessons in general or what makes solo travel so awesome.
I am an entrepreneur and these are my 5 business lessons that I learned from solo travel, that helped me become better at what I do.
We all know that if you want to travel, you need money. And here you have a choice: you can either work for a small paycheck or you can become your own boss and travel more often.
If you fall into the second category, this article is for you!
#1. No one gives a fu*k about you, your feelings or your business.
We are not as special as our Mums made us feel.
Of course, each and every one of us has a unique personality. But our ideas, lifestyles, wishes etc are pretty similar to one another. What is more, when it comes to really taking the steps into being original, people tend to back up just because of what someone else might think!
And this is where I want to say these words again: no one cares! And you should care even less about what anyone thinks of you.
How to change that?
Solo travel in my opinion is one of the best ways to escape from crap.
When you travel alone, you get a one of a kind reality check (especially if travelling in a foreign country). Let me put it this way, you are alone and you don’t know anybody around you. So is it even possible to care what someone might think about you? I think no. And that means it’s easier to do the things that make you who you are, whatever it might be. Simply because there is nothing to lose.
Not looking at what others do is the best way to free your inner self and let it thrive.
And there is no doubt that this relates to business as well.
While working with online advertising and SEO, I’ve understood that most of the projects going on online are ridiculously similar. Just take a look at the majority of websites offering web design or marketing services. They all have the same layout and designs.
And why is that? Because people like to play it safe and take the same road that others are taking because it provides some security.
But playing safe is not fun. It never has been and never will be. Cut out the noise from your life and be who you are.
In business, this can take you to places you have never dreamed about.
And if you fail; remember no one cares about that anyway.
#2. Always stay focused!
Recently, I wrote an article about a few life lessons that I learned from travelling solo on independentwolf.com (yes, that boring type of article).
And one of the things I pointed out was something like this: It is Easy to Make Friends, Difficult to Keep Them.
You see, when you travel it’s easy to meet new people and start conversations with them. But what you need to understand is that every solo traveller has a different agenda and usually YOU ARE NOT ON IT!
I understand. I also like spontaneous ideas. But it’s not always the right thing to follow these ideas. Stay focused and stick to your plan.
Again, this goes well together with the mindset you have to keep in business.
Keep a laser focus on your goal and stay focused along the way. There will be many times when you see new project opportunities and hear new ideas that you want to jump on.
But is your main goal the creation of many different projects, none if which turn into something?
Yes, I know. There is a saying that goes something like this: don’t put all your eggs into one basket and find different ways of pulling in some money.
This is of course something to keep in mind, as there are some businesses you have to learn to let go before putting too much in them and not getting anything back.
You have to be patient and work hard towards your main goals. Exclude anything that gets in the way or takes your focus away.
#3. There will be bad days in travel and business as well.
I got robbed on the second day of my 3 month trip around Asia.
Of course I could have kept my anger towards everything related to the Philippines. But I decided not to! I mean, shit happens.
You must forget about that and start all over again!
The same happens in the world of business. I mean, if you struggle financially or in any other way, keep on going. No one else but you can change the situation you are in. And letting your hands down in surrender is not the way to go if you want to do better.
What is more, take these situations as a lesson so that you are ready to go through fire in order to succeed!
#4. If you are afraid to travel alone, reconsider entrepreneurship.
Some might not agree with this, but here are the truths about this argument.
Being an entrepreneur means going on a long and lonely journey. People from outside tend to see only the positive part of your life, while ignoring what comes along with that.
The travelling that I do might look good to others, but only a few know that I:
- Work 80 – 90 hours per week
- Fu*k up relationships with girls because I focus on my work life
- Have lost about 70% my friends
Trust me. Being your own boss isn’t easy and it definitely gets lonely at times.
My advice for you is: if you consider going the way of building your own business, take the time to think about what’s more important for you. Are you ready to say NO to having a cold one with the boys, taking your girl out to the cinema and relaxing while doing absolutely nothing?
If you are, get ready to work harder than anyone you know, just to enjoy the life you have always wanted when you finally succeed.
#5. Don’t talk, take action!
Without taking the action and actually executing your ideas, they are NOTHING more than just regular ideas.
My first solo trip started after I bought the ticket and reserved a hotel room for the first few days of my planned trip.
Simple as that!
Life starts when you actually start doing something. And the same goes for business.
Stop reading blogs in order to find inspiration. Skip this post NOW and just action!
People look for new opportunities, some magic formula that could help them be more successful.
If there would be such a magic formula and if it would be so easy, everyone, and I mean everyone would be doing exactly that. But it doesn’t work that way.
The best time to take your dream solo trip or start your own business was yesterday. The next best time is now!
There are no shortcuts to success.
Karlis is an entrepreneur who has found his true passion in travelling the world. He’s always up for challenging himself while travelling and is doing the same in the world of online business. Karlis enjoys solo travelling more than anything else in the world. You can read more about his solo adventures over at Independent Wolf.
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