Business Lessons from a Cross-Country Road Trip

business lessons from a cross-country road trip

One of the things I love are road trips, to the point people have asked me if I’m afraid of flying because I’ll take driving over flying any day. I tell them that there’s a whole side to our country that we don’t get to experience when we’re just seeing the bird’s eye view. Last fall, I went on a solo journey that took me from my home in Seattle, WA to New York, NY and back to Seattle – with a few stops in between. The entire journey took me exactly a month, and although I planned every detail, I learned a few great lessons along the way that I apply to my professional journey as well.

  • Don’t forget the fundamentals. I planned out my route before hitting the road with the GPS on my phone, but I had also written down the key stops on my journey in a notebook – which paid off when my phone decided to die in Montana, leaving me without technology until I reached Chicago. Technology, SEO and websites will constantly evolve but at the root of it, the key to small business success is understanding the principles of great customer service.
  • Have a great support system. Although I was driving solo, my trip would not have been possible without a great support system. From friends offering me a place to stay to sending me a back-up phone, I felt the encouragement every step of the way. Running a business is time-consuming, challenging and although the responsibility is on your shoulders, a great support system is crucial.
  • Be flexible. There are literal and figurative roadblocks when driving cross-country, which require flexibility and patience. While you will need to have a solid business plan, the key to running a business is having enough flexibility to adjust the any complications – or even successes from unexpected places.

Lessons about running a business can come from unconventional places and experiences. What are some lessons you’ve learned in your personal life that you’ve applied to your business journey?


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