A lot has been said about the value travelling add to your life. Some say that it's therapeutic, changes your world view,makes you a better person, and that the money spent on travel is better than money in the bank.
Having travelled about a tenth of the planet thus far, and intending to cover most of it while I’m still kicking, I agree with most of what is said about travel. Travel, like any other experience in life, is sublime.But, it's what you take from your travels that matters more than what your travels have thrown at you. You could come back and complain about the back-breaking flight-hopping you put yourself through to save eight grand on your airfare, or you could return and still marvel at the sunrise you caught after trekking 14 hours to the top of Kilimanjaro.
As to what an entrepreneur can take away from travel, I would say,one heck of a lot. Travelling, like entrepreneurship, is challenging;its all about moving out of all things familiar, your comfort zone, and exploring newer horizons, facing previously insurmountable challenges and navigating one’s way through uncertainty.
Hardships, unexpected surprises, delays, financial challenges, communication issues, the whole nine yards ofproblemsare interchangeable between travelling and entrepreneurship.Therefore, lessons learnt on one realm can be applied to the other.
I could ramble on about various ways travel helps you as an entrepreneur but what I’d really like to focus on is a rather untouched-upon facet of travel’s contribution to one’s entrepreneurial journey:making an entrepreneur a better presenter.
Entrepreneurs today need to constantly put on face-paint, flash the most disarming smile from their repertoire and make presentations. Presentation to boards, VCs, media, employees, government departments and virtually anyone who has the remotest of interest in their business. Top-notch presentation skills are not optional anymore; one slip-up can cost you the next round of funding, a contract, media image, or result in a misunderstanding with the regulator.
I’m sure nobody travels to make better presentations, like nobody took aspirin to prevent a stroke, but both help in their respective unintended positive consequence. I haven't studied enough bio-chemistry to illustrate the secret of aspirin as an effective anti-coagulant, but have made enough presentations and travelled fairly well to decode the contribution of travel to your presentation skills, so here you go:
One could argue that a person could be a great presenter without travelling far and wide. You do not have to run out of passport pages or accumulate air miles to be an effective presenter; but one also doesn't just accumulate air miles when one travels. Try it, it won’t hurt.
About the Author
Upkar Sharma is the founder of Crea, a brand merchandising company. An avid reader, traveller and a autodidact, Upkar devotes two months a year to the endeavor learning newer disciplines. He uses his time on travel to absorb new locales, cuisines, cultures while unlearning and purging the "know all attitude" that we all are besieged by.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)