I’ve always deeply held the belief that the best ideas come from exploration and experience. Eternally curious, my co-founder at Motto, Ashleigh Hansberger and I had long talked about giving up our conventional office, working remotely, and hitting the road for a month-long wild adventure.
So on April 4, 2013, armed with our thirst for adventure and a desire to see our business grow, we packed up our computers and set out on our journey across the U.S. with no idea we wouldn’t be back home until Christmas. That road trip inspired this post and I thought I should share why every entrepreneur should take your business on the road and why it matters.
From road-side diners, a shoot-out in Tombstone, Willie Nelson’s favorite music joint in Luckenbach Texas, to a horseback riding dude ranch, we roamed from town to town getting tips for our next location from the people we met along the way. We drove through deserts, Texas hill country, Louisiana swamps, giant white sandhills, and up the Californina coast. We took our business with us: meeting with clients and brainstorming ideas — we have never experienced a time we were more happy, more productive, more focused, or more creative — more alive.
What are the Benefits?
While we experienced our fair share of adventures during our nine-month stint on the road, we also did some of our best work. We met new business contacts, touched base with our clients, and attended inspiring conferences. After our experience, I’m absolutely convinced that this is something every small business should try. You might not be able to do it for nine months like we did, but even a few weeks can be inspiring! Take your business on the road and see how it changes your life.
1. You Might Get Hired and Grow Your Business
Our first stop was Inc.’s GrowCo in New Orleans. We met many inspiring people, including Johnny Cupcakes, Glenn Burr from Inc. Small Giants (an organization worth checking out) and Call-Em-All founders, Brad Herrmann and Hai Ngyuen. Those meetings would turn into inspiring business relationships, including us working on location in Call-Em-All’s Dallas HQ on a Purpose & Values Workshop, where we focused on brand consulting, culture and leadership building, and new website which can be seen here and a new lecture series website for Johnny Earle of Johnny Cupcakes which can be see here.
2. Use Social Media to Share Your Journey, Gain More Fans
Our customers are spread across the globe, including some we’ve worked with for years but never met. Hitting the road allows you to go to wherever your prospects and clients are gathered. While we were traveling, fans who had been following us on Facebook or Instagram contacted us when we came through their town, often asking us to lunch or hiring us to come work with them on location. This happened in dozens of cities, and we made lots of contacts, that otherwise might’ve only happened at networking events or conferences.
3. Increase Your Business Network and Talent Pool
Traveling expands your pool of potential employees and partners. Some of the best business connections come from relationships where you get to interact outside of work. Without an office, you’re forced to get out and meet people.
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