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Why Sipping White Russians and Killing Time in Worn Down Airports Will Boost Your Business

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tegel airportI don’t know if you’re anyway like me, but I tend to get too early to the airport. Well actually way too early.

In my mind this is all about risk management. You probably know the risk matrix but if you have the likelihood of an event happening in one dimension and the impact of the event if it happens in another, then I guess that there is a low probability of me being late for the plane. But on the other hand will I missing the plane have quite severe consequences as I might be really delayed and end up 3-4 times the price of the original ticket.

Impact
Significant
Moderate
Minor
Low Medium High
Likelihood

Being five minutes late for a plane is just not the same as being five minutes late for the bus or your dentist’s appointment.

I guess that we can agree at least so far :).

In general if your situation qualifies for a yellow quadrant you should at least think about the risk and if it’s a red quadrant I would recommend that you do some actual planning to avoid the risk.

So I’m the type of person that gets to the airport really early. The reason for doing so is that something could go wrong. My cab could get stuck in traffic, the subway could suddenly stop running due to some technical fault or I could simply have mistaken the flying time with the check in time.

“The dog ate my homework”-routine might work, but you’re still the one who has to pay for a new ticket (and still be half a day delayed)

Actually thousands things could go wrong.

Now I’m not the person to worry about a lot of things, it’s really just a risk management on my part.

You probably also know the other kind of person. The one that always seem to be a few minutes late for everything and somehow always ends up being the one that the airport ground personnel is calling for while she (could be a he, but you know you girls often get delayed in the shopping area of the airport, right ;)) is running for the gate.

So why am I writing this? Well I currently have an hour to kill while I’m waiting in one of the more tedious airports I’ve been to.

The Tegel Airport in Berlin should really have been replaced by this new and awesome airport that apparently are a few years behind schedule meaning that most travelers are stuck with the old one.

But this blog post is not really about risk management while I totally urge you to use the above matrix (take precautions accordingly). No it’s about the reason why I was in Berlin. Why I chose to be away from my girlfriend and kids for an extended weekend (leaving Friday morning and getting back late Monday).

Family and friends

Family (don’t know the pushy pet with the long nose)

When you’re running a lifestyle business most often you’re pretty alone in your ventures. Even though you might outsource parts of your business chances are that you could be running the business wearing only your Speedos from the hammock of an otherwise inhabited island in southeast Asia (don’t worry, you won’t see a picture of me in Speedos next :))

Now this might sound like a nice thing, but if there’s one thing that can really boost your business and help it take it to the next level, it’s the right connections.

And let’s face it running the business is often a lonely job in contrast to if you’re in 9-5 job and talking with a lot of your colleagues each day.

The problem with this “solitude in business” is that because you do most of the activities in your business yourself (or dictate how other should be doing them), we can sometime forget that there are a tons of people out there who can help our business and scale it even faster than we could ever do alone.

Heck you probably fall into the trap that I do sometimes thinking that no one knows your business better than you and things are currently going quite alright… right?

I guess that we could call it something like the “narcissistic black spot syndrome”.

We cannot see the opportunities because we’re too busy looking at ourselves (and our business).

However this is not working directly on your business. You don’t just go to a cocktail party and have your revenue double the next day. Building your network and finding the right people that can help take your business to the next level are most long term strategies.

So the reason why you should go out and socialize even though you cannot see any direct consequences of this in your business, comes down to two different factors. The “SOCIAL” factor and the “NETWORK” factor.

The Social Factor

People are more likely to help people they know directly and have some kind of social experience with.

[box]So business opportunities is correlative to the number of White Russians you down together with other cool cats that has the potential to help your business.[/box]

It’s much easier to ask help of someone whom you have a social relation to; otherwise you might just be another email in the inbox.

The Network Factor

Remember when you get to know someone, you instantly also get access to everybody he or she knows.

When some decides that you’re a nice person they can most often also help you by setting you up with people in their network. You will have them vouching for you and you might meet people this way that can take your business to even higher levels.

Actually most of the times you don’t even need to know who the person you’re sitting in front have in his or her network. You can simply tell the person what you’re currently struggling with and they might know someone who can help.

[box]Remember that most people really want to help. So even if they can’t help directly themselves they are most often happy to set you up with someone they believe can.[/box]

It also doesn’t require a big investment to simply hook you up with someone else making it an easy thing to do for someone who wants to help.

So back to Berlin. The reason why I was there was to hook up with 80 other people who are also having lifestyle businesses a lot of them traveling all over the world while running them.

white-russianWhile there was some speakers on different topics such as how you build a business to sell and growing a language blog to the number one in the industry, it was really a social event where everybody was pretty much talking with everybody over a German beer, or in my case, a couple (ok probably more than a couple) of white Russians.

Having looked most of these guys in the eyes and heard their personal story makes it so much easier to chat with them in our private forum.

[box]So do you have any stories of random social encounters that in the end helped grow your business or further your career? And what are you currently doing in order to get outside your current circle of friends and colleagues for inspiration?
Let me know in the comments.[/box]

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