I know that this really sounds too much to ask but I think by the time we get to the end of this article, we will more or less be singing the same song.
I haven’t really travelled much as an upcoming entrepreneur myself for the same reasons you obviously havent travelled. There are so many hurdles that come in the way due to the economies we live in across Africa but this does not at all defeat.
More often than not, our businesses find it hard to grow, not because they are irrelevant but because they lack exposure, innovation and competition. These challenges can be overcome by developing an attitude or habit of travelling.
I used to see tourists in our country and think that they probably didn’t have what we have. To a certain extent it may be true but I realised that they don’t just go anywhere, they go where they get inspiration.
Every time we do something, we calculate the value that particular decision will have in the
bigger picture of our business. We are often presented with a lot of choices but the ultimate choice we make reflects on the main idea we are building upon. Same with those who travel, that decision is calculated and by the time one returns from their vacation, they make it a point to transform something in their business.
Here are some of my three reasons why I think you should travel, not internationally per se but even locally and regionally within your country.
I read once that if you take blind men to an elephant, to one you make them hold the leg, the other you give the trunk and to the other the ear and say to them: “This is an elephant.” When you ask them what an elephant is, each one of them will describe it according to what you told them it is. But obviously that doesn’t present a holistic picture of what an elephant really is. The same applies in business, you are not the only one trading in oil, gas or into forex trading, so to you, your business is defined according to what you know; but what you know is not everything your business is about. Travelling exposes you to other better businesses in your line of work and this is healthy for your business.
2. Identify new markets.
The world is seriously divided such that while you were talking about an ipod in your country, other countries were already talking about ipads and today whilst you talk about 3D flat screens, in other countries they are talking about the next technology after vr glasses. This shows you that there is always a gap your business or innovation can fill if you travel. As such, I think travelling is good and can bear good results, if you cant include it in your budget then at-least make it a hobby you become an addict to.
We are always busy, thinking through strategies, attending meetings or even being in the shop all day long. Its not bad, but guess what; all work and no play … you know the rest of the sentence. Refreshing is an important thing every entrepreneur should try out. It gives you a third person view to your business, seeing it from a distance. Besides that, it makes you a good team player in that it makes you confident in your team and when you show them this, they become more loyal and endeavor to help you meet your goals. So when ever you can, take some time, chill and refresh your mind in a different environment.
I think we have discussed quite a number of things in the above article. I hope you find them valuable, the most important thing is to keep learning and grow everyday. Lets talk more next week.