I’m writing this from a cabin in Finland where it is currently -19oC outside, thankfully it is markedly warmer in here.  Each year at some point in January or February I head up to the frozen north and take some time out from the dreary wet weather we are usually treated to in the UK this time of year, for the pristine snowscapes (and lucky for me this time, also a chance to see the northern lights) that northern Finland has to offer.

I love to travel, I get a lot of stick from clients and friends alike for ‘always being on holiday’ for me holiday serves a dual purpose firstly an escape from the British weather and secondly as a chance for some downtime and some thinking time.  Typically we spend all our time working IN our businesses not ON them, which can lead to a lack of direction, focus and missed opportunity; so regular time out to regroup, think and plan is essential.

A couple of things have come to light while I have been away snowboarding….

Take lessons
Last year I broke my arm snowboarding, it was a mess for months and really impacted on my confidence on the slopes – to be honest I was bricking it about getting back out there – what if I did it again?  What if I forgot everything I knew? There are three options here.

  1. Give up
  2. Muddle through and hope for the best
  3. Get some instruction

I went for 3, getting help from someone more experienced is a short cut to success in whatever you are doing.  In this case getting confidence back so that I could enjoy the rest of my trip, but for work that translates as getting help with areas that you are not good at.  Often getting help is seen as weakness, admitting that you are not good at whatever it is, but in reality it’s just common sense – a few euros and an hour and a half instruction probably saved me about 3 days of worry and being rubbish.  Same goes for work problems and business development, getting some expert help will get you to your goals much faster than trying to do it alone.

Freedom to think
The other thing I find when I’m away is that I get the ideas that take my business forward.  Taking myself out of the office and the day to day routine gives me space to think.  In this case I found myself sat on the plane at 6am scoping out the modules for the first academy training course rather than having a nap or watching a film.  The brain craves novelty and that’s why travel leads to new thinking.

So this week will find me back in the office with a ton of new ideas to get to work on, and some leaps forward in getting the first Academy course written, who knows what next week will have to offer?