Are you considering traveling more and you want to keep your business going while you’re traveling? Here are some things I did. They are not perfect. But they’re a start. They’ve also helped me streamline my business since I’ve been back.
This is a picture of the stage of the main concert hall inside the Sidney Opera House. I chose it for this newsletter/blog post because “All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare). You get to say how the play goes. You get to create the life you want.
- I evaluated scheduling apps. I chose Calendly.com so people could book their own appointments at mutually convenient times more easily. I used it for clients, prospects, marketing on LinkedIn. I’ve also continued to use it since I’ve been back in NYC. Some of my appointments are now in person so I have to block out NYC travel time, too. Here’s a link if you want to set up a conversation. https://calendly.com/drivingimprovedresults/60min
- I wanted to keep getting new clients even though I was traveling. So I arranged with a LinkedIn marketer and two virtual assistants to continue contacting prospects on my behalf.
- One of my virtual assistants took the articles I wrote a couple times a week, posted them on my blog site, sent the blog/article out to my mailing list, and then sent out social media posts with the same content to bring traffic to my site. This had its problems getting started, but it’s in process now. Some friends are making suggestions about having even more impact with social media.
- Another virtual assistant was sending things to a specific target market. We’ve identified another app so she can follow-up with phone calls, get return calls, and not reveal her own cell/home phone number. Phone.com.
- I used the pictures from my trip to bring life to the blogs, social media, and email marketing.
- After being drugged and robbed in the Philippines, I’ve turned that into speaking engagements about ‘Trust, Risk, Betrayal and Resilience’. Nothing like turning lemons into lemonade. Hopefully you won’t have a similar incident. But you’ll find some experience or decision you had to make that you can leverage into a topic that others want to know more about.
- Reading/answering my email was a big time waster for me. One of my first steps in planning this shift in my business was to segment my email so that I only saw in my primary box the important emails coming from clients, prospects, referral partners, etc. Everything else was segmented into email categories that I could choose to look at later if I had time.
- Another early choice was to decide how much time I would be traveling. At first it was 3 months and then it scaled back to about 5 weeks per trip. I’m happy with that now. It’s what I can bite off and chew. I might expand it in the future. But it’s fine for now.
- Making changes always involves what you’ll give up. I decided to give up two networking groups that I had gotten mixed results from. Now I can look at what might be a better use of my time.
- When I decided what countries would be included, I thought deeply about what people I knew who lived there and what organizations might have branches there. I wound up with 3 speaking engagements and a couple of meetings with fellow coaches.
- I planned carefully about available times when I was traveling to countries in different time zones. For instance, New Zealand had a 16-hour time difference from NYC. Australia 14-hours, and Manila-12 hours. Also, it was the next day. I arranged open slots in my Calendly app for those few hours when it made sense for my schedule in those countries and still was business time in NYC. It worked out well that I used early morning hours for business and then had the rest of the day free for travel in the countries I was visiting. Creating a chart in google sheets was super so I could refer to it regularly.
- I checked email every day. But I had scheduled calls only a few hours a day a few days a week.
- Partnering: I had a client who wanted me to present at their annual conference. It was right in the middle of my travel time. So I brought in another coach/consultant to partner with me and meet the company’s need.
- Teamwork: I have a contract with the City of New York to provide professional training and development. I had developed a team from the start of even bidding on it, working with the best professionals for this, from a directory of professionals online. The team continued to work and move the contract forward even though I was traveling. I had to make decisions along the way, but that was done through emails and phone calls. I didn’t have to be there.
- Getting coached: Planning this shift in my business model was overwhelming and scary. So many choices and decisions. Very much out of my comfort zone. Traveling by myself had its good points and fearful points. Getting coached helped me see things differently, focus on my strengths, kept me accountable to get things done.
- I kept a gratitude journal. Fear and gratitude can’t co-exist because they are from different parts of the brain and involve different neurochemicals. So focusing on gratitude shifted my mental mood and quieted the fearful part of my brain.
This is only a start of my ‘Traveling While Working’ and ‘Working While Traveling’ insights and evolving lifestyle and business model. It’s all about creating the life you want and not settling for what you fall into. It’s not always easy. Change can generate a lot of fear. But all things are possible if you believe you can create what you want.
If you want to learn more and set up something similar for yourself, please contact me. Use my scheduling app. It makes finding a mutually good time easy. https://calendly.com/drivingimprovedresults/60min