By Dominic Moore, President, Flux LLC
Earlier this year I was gobsmacked by an unexpected chance to visit family on a prolonged travel journey in Patagonia. With a little bit of scheduling creativity – and events serendipitously falling into place – I jumped at the opportunity that I never saw coming.
I realize I’ve been very lucky to travel (and fish) remote and scenic parts of the world. But, as I reflect on this trip, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between travel and launching Flux – two hugely transformative events in my life.
Here are a few takeaways about traveling - anywhere, really - that apply to building a good business of any type:
1. Planning is Never Overrated
Prior to departure, I read everything I could get my hands on and prepared as much as possible for Patagonia. The careful research I invested maximized my travel time and made for a smoother, more enjoyable trek. It’s an obvious correlation, but exhaustive planning also applies to business. You’ve probably heard the phrase - “if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.” It’s true. While my career experience prepared me to successfully launch and run Flux, we needed to build a meticulous blueprint to prepare for our company launch. Fortunately, I had a lot of help from some very smart and talented people. Did we anticipate every issue and success – not even close. But, the process led us to understand what we needed to do to maximize for a successful launch.
2. Be Flexible
Stuff just happens. Even the best-laid plans can unravel and it appears the world has conspired against your itinerary. You can’t get too caught up in “why” something fell apart. The only action that is helpful is “how” you are going to figure out the best course forward. Midway through Patagonia, my companions and I were lost with less than a quarter tank of gas near the border of Chile and Argentina. Remote was an understatement – we hadn’t seen another car on the dirt road in 5 hours. Running out of gas in the middle of the Andes Mountains seemed devastating. We thought through all our choices and determined one thing was certain . . . going back was not an option. We moved forward and resolved to be adaptable to whatever came next. Situations like this surface in business as well; something comes up that was unplanned, the right direction is unclear and a decision must be made. Traveling has taught me to bend, think things through and just move forward. Worrying can end up as wasted time.
3. Travel (and Work) With Great People
Because of two resourceful travel mates my South American adventure was even better. The three of us had never traveled together before, but when I think about what went right, it’s clear there was an absence of friction. We worked together as a unit rather than individuals. The goal was that we each have the best experience possible and to support one another to that end. It seemed to come naturally, but only because we were all equally committed to the same thing. The people you surround yourself with can make or break the journey – in both business and travel. You need commitment to one another as professionals working together as a single unit. Everyone has to be bought into the same vision, know their role on the team, support one another at all times, and move toward the same destination.
Part II – 6 Things Travel Has Taught Me About Business