Traditionally, someone with an entrepreneurial mindset can be thought of as someone who has no resistance to starting a new project and moving into the unknown, with the courage to face risks, fears, and failure. It’s someone whose dream is bigger than their fears.
This mindset might already be familiar to you. Perhaps your persistence is what fuels you on your entrepreneurial journey. If not, you might be wondering how you can develop this mindset.
Many successful entrepreneurs have been bitten by the travel bug and live more than just a laptop lifestyle. They live a rich-world-culture-and architectural-exploration lifestyle. At first, it might seem like only successful entrepreneurs become world travelers, but that could be backward.
Perhaps it’s not that successful entrepreneurs are more likely to travel, but travelers are more likely to become successful entrepreneurs. Traveling opens you up to experiences you can’t have by sitting behind your computer or by attending conferences.
If you’re someone who wants to travel, but are waiting to achieve a certain level of success first, don’t wait.
1. Experiencing culture makes you a better communicator
When you travel the world, you’re going to experience cultures vastly different from your own. This is true even when you’re traveling from one state to another in your own country.
Experiencing other cultures involves more than just diverse clothing, food, and ways of living. There are unspoken rules in every culture that go unnoticed by those inside the culture, but are obvious to those from the outside. Sometimes these rules can consist of a slight scratching on the table used to ask waiters for a drink refill, or tiny nuances in how and when to shake someone’s hand.
If you’re the kind of person who expects everyone else to do things your way, or if you refuse to do things someone else’s way, traveling the world is going to force you to let go of your resistance to compromise; you’ll learn quickly how to be someone who is easy to communicate with. More importantly, you’ll develop the ability to meet people where they are, adapting your communication style to theirs.
As much as you might want someone to be able to adapt to your style, that’s often not possible, and the most successful entrepreneurs are ones who can adapt to the rest of the world.
You’ll also have to let go of your fear of the unfamiliar because you may not be able to read signs or speak enough of the language to find your way around. Once you realize you can make your way through a foreign country, your fears about your business will seem like pebbles in a pond.
2. You’ll learn how to shortcut your way to being liked
Part of being an entrepreneur is being likable. There’s no faster way to earn a reputation than through the way you treat people, and if people don’t like you, they’re not going to do business with you. However, just being nice isn’t enough to be revered, and sometimes it takes being exposed to other cultures to see how it’s done.
When inviting a guest over to your house in the U.S., it’s customary to share a meal together, play a game, and spend time talking. After a few hours you might go see a movie or just flop down on the couch and watch T.V.
Compared to the way other cultures treat their guests, that’s pretty boring, but it’s not your fault. If you were born and raised in the U.S., it’s completely normal. However, when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking for ways to strengthen your relationships with your clients, potential investors, or partners, you’re going to need to do more than just slap a few ribs on the barbecue and toss them a beer.
If you think taking your prospects out to fancy restaurants is enough, think again. That may show them your willingness to spend money, and it’s doubtful they’ll turn down a good prime rib dinner, but people crave real connection.
When you immerse yourself in other cultures, like the Polynesian culture, you’ll experience what it’s like to be treated like royalty. Unlike the U.S., their tradition includes a celebratory banquet called the Ali’I Luau to honor guests and commemorate special events. Dance is an integral part of their culture, and it’s common to see over one hundred dancers performing together.
Once you experience what it’s like to be a guest of honor among people you’ve just met, you’ll know why it’s an important feeling to extend to those you meet. When you get home, with a new perspective on how to make people feel honored, you’ll never again fall short of impressing your business prospects.
Use world travel to pick up greater ways of being
Traveling the world exposes you to new ways of being with people that you can incorporate into the way you do business with others. When you do, your relationships are enriched, and more people will want to be around you. When they talk about you, they may not be able to pinpoint what it is but they’ll have high praise for the way you treat them, and that could become your biggest asset.