Vacation teaches me a lot. I come back so much more wise - in life, and in business. If you’re interested in hearing about a couple of previous road trip lessons, you can check them out here: 2012, 2013.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
Tip 1: BE PREPARED
One of my “quirks” is my obsessiveness with preparation. I don’t like chaos. I don’t like things coming at me from a million directions. It’s frustrating, and you can never get a grasp on anything because it’s all flying in at once.
It’s critical to prep. When it comes time for vacation, I start months before we actually leave. I research. I plan. I schedule. Probably a little too much, but I feel it’s important to know where we’re headed and what we are going to be doing.
Whether it’s vacation or starting a business, if you don’t have a plan of action, you’re just burning up money and not getting anywhere. So get out those AAA triptiks, or use Waze, or make a business plan. Get yourself prepared!
Tip 2: UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU’RE HEADED
We were spending the week in Virginia, getting in a good dose of history as well as goofing off, too. We didn’t quite have an idea of the driving style of Virginians, much to our detriment. :)
You see, here in Michigan, we’re a bit more...rushed. We want to get places, and we don’t want to be stuck on the highway. If the speed limit is 70, chances are most people are doing 80, and the rest are passing you by.
In Virginia we noticed everyone driving under the speed limit, almost coming to complete stops sometimes, even though there was no construction, no work traffic, on obstructions. It was odd, and something we weren’t ready to deal with. Had we had a little more knowledge of the driving situation, we would have planned for additional stops along our route so we weren’t feeling the need to rush.
Tip 3: JUST BECAUSE IT’S EASY DOESN’T MEAN IT’S THE RIGHT THING
When we finally got to our hotel on the first day, after about 12 hours in the car, we were ready for dinner. But we decided to just walk to a restaurant close because it was easy. And honestly, we just didn’t want to sit in the car another minute!
We went to a chain restaurant, so we knew what to expect. Or at least, we believed we knew. From the moment we sat down, everything was wrong. And it progressively got worse. The only thing that was correct was our drink order. The rest was a mess.
Sometimes you just can’t settle. You can’t take the easy way just because it’s easy. Because it most likely isn’t going to be the right thing for you.
Tip 4: CELEBRATE THE GOOD THINGS
There are moments on vacation that turn out to be flops. And then there are things you stumble upon that just turn it all around. When good things happen, you have to celebrate them. In business, give yourself a pat on the back. Pop the champagne for signing a new client.
Our last night in Williamsburg, we stumbled across Mellow Mushroom. You know how you have pizza, and it’s good, and then you find a pizza place and you say “where have you been all my life?” That’s Mellow Mushroom. So I’m celebrating them here. (And if they read this, we could really use one up here in Michigan, please! The closest one is 3 hours away in Ohio!)
So - celebrate the good….and try their Kosmic Karma pie!
Tip 5: ASK QUESTIONS
It’s so important to ask questions - a lot of questions - and ask them all the time. You can’t learn if you don’t ask. You can’t grow if you don’t ask. So, here it is. Here’s the biggest question we came out of Virginia asking: Hey Virginia, what is up with all of the vanity license plates?
:) Seriously, I’m pretty sure every fifth car had a vanity plate. We want to know - why?
TIP 6: DO YOU - DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
One amazing part of vacation is the moment we arrive home. We get all the stuff in the house, greet the cats, kick off the shoes, flop on the couch and turn on the TV. It’s home. It’s comfort. It’s what we know best so we’ll feel best here. We’ll be our best here. We’ll do our best here.
No need to pretend you’re anything else, and no need to try to be anywhere else faking it. Do you, and you’ll be great.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.