Juggling a growing business and a young family can be a difficult task. It usually means long hours, lack of sleep and sacrifices.
But Dale Beaumont makes it look easy.
Not only did he successfully start three $1 million businesses before the age of 30, he also travels the world with his family for up to four months of every year.
Such a travel routine is an incredible feat considering that nearly 57% of small business owners and managers have not taken a holiday for more than a year, while 23% haven’t had a holiday in two years.
But the founder and CEO of Business Blueprint, a business education program, believes travel is not so much about self-indulgence than a vital component of his ongoing business success.
“Regular travel has made my business more robust, my ideas more creative, and my team more self-sufficient,” he said.
Beaumont puts it down to two reasons.
“Firstly, when you decide to go away for several months a year, you start to make very different business decisions. You think about how you can streamline things, batch client acquisition, implement good systems and hire the right staff,” he said.
“Secondly, when you remove yourself from the business environment and take some time to unwind and decompress, you can’t help but think more clearly and creatively about how to solve problems and enhance growth.
“Almost all of my best big ideas have come to me during my times away: one of my most recent ideas came to me while I was meditating inside the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza; the idea before that came in the back of a taxi when I was on the way to Gallipoli.”
After he and his wife had their first child in 2007, Beaumont made the decision that travel would become an important part of their lives.
Following the formula “two months work, one month adventure” over the past 10 years, Beaumont and his family have visited 76 countries, across all seven continents, including Antarctica.
Such extensive travel would cause some to ask what impact it has on his business. According to Beaumont, his company has achieved more than 4,000% growth and risen to the top of its industry over that period.
While it sounds too good to be true, he says there is simple advice others can follow to make their travel goals a reality while keeping a successful business humming.
Firstly, he says to start small.
“When people want to try my lifestyle, I often say, just start with a week away. Usually, they freak out and stress in the lead up to their holiday, but afterwards they almost always say ‘That was easy and the team managed without me’. So then, I say, stretch it to two weeks away for a couple of trips, and then eventually three weeks, and then four.”
When traveling, Beaumont considers technology a necessity, and urges other to “embrace it”.
“There is a plethora of technology out there that will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your business,” he said.
“If you want to enjoy stress-free absences from your business, acquire a good company intranet, some good project management software, and a good numbers dashboard.
“This, along with “a good mobile SIM card and a solid messaging platform, like Slack, Stride or Voxer will mean you are never too far from the office.
“Unreliable internet used to be a real problem in many countries, but that has become a lot better in recent years so it’s much easier to stay connected and productive on your travels.”
Most importantly, however, Beaumont says staff must feel supported.
“It’s important for me that my team know I’m just a message away,” he said.
“I set a small amount of time aside each day to answer messages and check in with the business. When I get back, I make a conscious effort to give the team some extra face time — we do breakfast meetings every fortnight or we find times and ways to hang out socially — and I always share with them the ideas and solutions I thought of while I was travelling.”
Ultimately, through his example, Beaumont hopes more entrepreneurs will realise that it’s entirely possible to travel and run a business.
“It’s a little like the saying from Henry Ford, ‘If you think you can or think you can’t, either way, you are right.’ Meaning if you don’t want to step away from your business, you’ll think of a hundred reasons why you can’t.
“If you really want to let go and start living your dreams, you’ll always find a solution.”
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