Entrepreneurial Vision

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Archive for the tag “vacation”

Turn Any Obstacle Into an Opportunity

It looks like Callie and I may not be taking a trip to the Florida Keys due to a lack of income. This was something we have both been excited about for a long time. There is no question we are disappointed. I have a couple options here. First, I could complain that I can’t get what I want and curse God for my wretched existence or I can simply do something about it. Good thing I’m always full of ideas.

I am currently looking at closer alternatives for adventure. There is a beautiful park in Kentucky called Red River Gorge and its world famous for its hiking trails and rock climbing. Here would be an excellent opportunity to better my camping skills. With all the money we save we could also afford to splurge on food (hobo dinners are my favorite).

What if we’re still looking for that beach scene? After just a bit of research I came across Myrtle Beach State Park. This beauty lets you sleep on a mile of undeveloped beach for about $20 dollars a night. From the pictures on the site, it looks far away enough to enjoy costal nature but close enough for a night on the town. This alternative is great!

For a relaxing getaway there is a quaint place in central Indiana known as Brown County. This is Indiana’s best kept secret as it is lined with boutique shops, but at the same time adjacent to Indiana’s largest state park. If we wanted to get some adrenaline going, Brown County has the 3rd best mountain bike trails in the nation. When I browsed the website they had many itineraries for all different kinds of people. This place has the best of everything.

            There is an important lesson to be learned here. The happiest of people turn obstacles into opportunities. Also, most of these people happen to be very wealthy. When it feels like you’ve hit a road block stop and think for a moment. What poor assumptions have you made? What other actions can give you reasonable results? What are you actually trying to do? For me I thought for us to have an adventure we have to go to some exotic land. That assumption is wrong. There is a world of opportunity in my back yard! These other destinations offer 90% of the same things as the Florida Keys but at a fraction of the cost. In the end all we are really trying to do is have a good time together.

            A true entrepreneur lives in the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset. They know adversity is not a matter of if but when. This mind set gives them an advantage in the market place because they prepared themselves mentally so they can react quicker. Take these three steps to give yourself the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset.

  1. Know adversity is coming and accept it.
  2. Have a plan b and plan c based off the questions above.
  3. Invest your resources so they can be reallocated to other plans if needed. In other words don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

            What obstacles have you turned into opportunities? Be sure to follow my blog via email. When I’m done with my eBook I’ll send you a free copy if you sign up in the next 6 days. Be sure to share this with your friends.

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Planning to Travel the World Part 1

For the past few years the concept of lifestyle design has been something that has interested me. The idea is that you build a life that you consider fulfilling and sustainable. A popular example is world travelers. Many of them are ex-corporate employees that realized a 9-5 job was not what they wanted. You can find them anywhere in the world. If you just Google “How to travel the world” you will find an astounding number of blogs, products, and websites dedicated to these travel junkies. They create location independent forms of income, sell their junk, and off they go. As crazy as it sounds I’m also planning to travel the world. It takes quite a bit of planning but it’s not impossible. Here is what I am currently doing to travel the world.

Commitment. I know this is not going to be easy so I have to be 100% dedicated to my goal. Fortunately I’ve traveled quite a bit, for an American, so I have already tasted the benefits. I know this is something I want to do so I set a goal. First things first, I need to graduate college. I have less than two semesters left. I would be an idiot not to finish.  When I graduate I’ll have roughly $30,000-$35,000 in school debt. I will pay that off before anything else. I use the Dave Ramsey methodology which is basically live like a hobo and pay off your debt ASAP. When my debt is paid off it is time to start saving. I imagine $15,000 should be plenty.

Own less stuff. This one is fun. People who are moving from place to place generally are living out of a backpack. The closer I get to travel time the more things I give away.  My collections of books are right in front of me and they are my pride and joy but I know one day they will have a new home. One way to practice this is to buy experiences instead of things. Don’t buy a movie rent one. You don’t need a dog, just visit the animal shelter. Collect these experiences with care, they’ll last a lifetime.

Enjoy the simple things. Even though my American currency will have leverage in other countries that money will dry up quick if I’m not wise with it.  Between plane tickets and surfing lessons (just wait Callie, I’ll be a pro yet) find ways to save money. For me I am learning to cook. This will be a skill that I can take with me all over the world. Not matter where I will go eating is something everyone will do. My secret to learning to cook quickly is The 4 Hour Chef. The author Tim Ferriss got me cooking fajitas and other goodies in a week flat. Hopefully my cooking skills will be enough to pick up a little side cash around the world. Find something you enjoy that is not expensive and is location independent.

Create an alternative form of income. This is the big one. There are so many ways to create a location independent business or even to just work in other countries. I am trying my hand at ecommerce and content marketing. I am currently designing a product that will hopefully sell over the internet. I can then outsource the fulfillment and customer service issues, and just check in on things via laptop or cell phone. Realistically I know the idea may not work so other ideas for me to consider are: teaching English, SEO work, and volunteer work. I think this issue is what keeps most people from pursuing extended travel. To be honest I’m a little worried because I have not made much money in a location independent manner before. Luckily I have an enterprising mindset to keep me motivated.

Check in soon to see how my planning is coming along and see how I convince my girlfriend to go along with this! What suggestions or comments do you have regarding travel?

At 22, Andrew Sieg has started 2 businesses and 2 fraternities. He enjoys learning about and creating business models that make more money and more free time to pursue his passion, traveling. Visit his blog https://entrepreneurialvision.wordpress.com/ to get advice for building a better business and life today. 

How I Got Three Free Vacations in a Month (and You Can Too)

I have an absolute passion for adventures. I have a talent for going on them because I know how to recognize opportunity. Many people complain that they don’t travel because it is too expensive. The reality is people never get out because they keep a narrow mind. Our culture’s idea of vacations is working all year and saving thousands of dollars to go somewhere we have been a dozen times for five or six days. For the past several years I have challenged this model. Just thinking that people live their lives like this is depressing. Traveling does not have to be expensive or troublesome. In fact there are people who are begging to pay for others to go on trips. My most recent adventures have been all expense paid trips including flight, hotel, and food. The trip I returned from today was held in Florida and I stayed in a Sheraton Hotel and I ate catered food every single day I was there.

My current secret is competitions are being created that colleges and businesses across the country sponsor students to compete in. The competitions are sales competitions in which students are given a product to learn about, then they sale the product in a role play setting and are judged by sales experts. These competitions are popping up like wildfire because businesses see this as an opportunity to hire the top sales students in the country. I have done three of these in a month and have gone all over the country. I am by no means a sales expert, I am an adventurer that knows how to recognize and capture an opportunity. Below I have listed what I consider vital to spot an opportunity for traveling and just as importantly seize it.

  1. Keep an open mind

    Don’t ever think you need a big bank account to go on a memorable trip. Realize there are affordable ways to travel almost anywhere. One way to sharpen your mind is to think about something you do often then ask yourself, “How does this relate to travel?” Start with your company because there are tradeshows for every industry. Perhaps your boss is tired of going to the national glass door convention in Las Vegas every year and would entertain the idea of sending someone in his place, with a company expense account of course.

  2. Become a lifelong student

    The best part about traveling is the engaging environment it provides to soak up knowledge like a sponge. Keep this mindset even when you are home. Eagerly learn as broadly as you can because your broad knowledge base will be a foundation for recognizing hard to see opportunities that may have been unnoticeable before. I have little interest in doing sales professionally but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the trade and learn from others who do intend to take it up as a profession. Start with something that interests you but have little knowledge on. If you find it fascinating look up classes and clubs related to the subject. Start networking with others who share your enthusiasm, these are your key people who can start you on your adventures.

  3. Enjoy the Simple Things

    Learn to love the simple joys of travel. This is a big one if you intend to travel on a shoestring budget. Splurge on one or two things that are worthwhile and build your trip around low cost or free activities that interest you. Things like nature, museums, and art galleries tend to be free or very cheap. Sometimes just being somewhere new can be exhilarating. Many cities also have amazing historic districts that are unique in their own right. Louisville Kentucky has the largest Victorian style neighborhood in the United States which is both free to tour and breath taking.

  4. It is Not Where You go, but who you go with

    What good is an experience if you can’t share it? Be flexible in your destinations and learn to enjoy great company. This often leads to meeting people who love to travel as much as you. Chances are they have connections for free or very inexpensive adventures. A great way to get free lodging and meet other adventurers is through couchsurfing. This organization links travelers with people that are willing to host them in their house. If you plan to visit an expensive destination this might be a great alternative to a pricey hotel.

These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to traveling affordably. What ideas or experiences have you had? Share this with your friends!

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