As a businessmen and entrepreneur life can be really busy. Who has not felt the need for a few extra hours each day to achieve all they set out to do? Sometimes we do not have a choice. In my life I had many occasions which, on paper, look too insane to do, and yet, I survived and thrived on them. I wanted to share with you one of these stories. This is about a week long trip in which saw me sleep 3 nights on a plane and visit 5 countries in 6 days.
One important thing to note is that your audience, your clients, the people you travel to meet, they do not care how tired you are, how you feel. They expect a show and will be satisfied with nothing else. When we look at this from their point of view it is obvious. We all want that. Ultimately, if I want to make a sale, if I want the satisfaction of my clients and customers, they are right: I need to be extraordinary every time.
So here is how I managed to survive for over a decade doing the craziest global travel schedule you can imagine:
- Eat light and drink light, I avoid all alcohol and meats, but that is my choice, always keep have some water to maintain your hydration through the endless cycles in air conditioning.
- Become efficient with the situation: when you need to be giving your maximum use all your energy, when you have a moment to rest, rest deeply. Sometimes you may have issues with your biological clock, don’t be angry or fight it, instead if your body really does not want to sleep, use the time you have productively, the next day you will reach a new level of exhaustion which will override even the most stubborn clocks.
- BREATHE: oxygen is the fuel of your body. Pay attention if your breathing is shallow and quick or deep and slow. From a very generalist perspective, a slower breathing will increase your concentration, help you to manage your emotions and your stress.
- Move your body. Even if you have 5 minutes, move your body a little. Try to give your spinal column and its muscles some attention. Bend your body forwards and backwards, from side to side and twist your back. If you can do this you can manage any residual pressure and stress and maintain yourself awake and active. Even better, do the Techniques of the DeRose Method!
- Remember that you are the visitor and people who are graced with your presence have and expectation, if you are tired it is surely not their fault and therefore, push for a few more moments and the rest is just around the corner.
- Do what you love. If you want to maintain this rhythm and work with something that you are not passionate about, you will surely burn out.
Now many people may be wondering what a crazy global travel schedule looks like. Below i describe a typical trip I used to do while working at my global role and still living in NYC…
At the time of this trip I had recently moved to New York City and part of my team was in London and I had not seen then for 3 months, so we decided that it would be a great opportunity to meet them on this trip. The trip started on Sunday night as I flew down to Colombia to train the South American offices on the methodology i was responsible for. This was an intense 8 hour training session in which I would take a group of 20 to 50 co-workers through he mathematics, the operations, the analysis, the presentation and the due diligence of all the products of my division. I arrived in Bogotá early on Monday and I went straight to the hotel where the conference was held, so I could get a quick bite to eat before my session would start. Promptly at 9am we began and we would not wrap up the day until 6pm.
That was my cue to leave for the airport for I had meeting with clients in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday. So I took the red eye flight to São Paulo and arriving very late at night I was in my hotel by 2am. The next morning I was being picked up at 7am local time to meet up with the local Brazilian team, to review the report and then go into an all day workshop with the client. This part was interesting, for I was going to be in charge of presenting part of the data in the morning and moderating the workshop in the afternoon. After we were all done I was exhausted, but I needed to get ready for a 6am flight out of Brazil and into Istanbul via Frankfurt.
Unfortunately time zones work against people traveling from the Americas and so my very early flight meant I was going to travel all day and reach Istanbul only late Wednesday. At 7pm I was landing and by 9pm local time I was at the hotel getting ready to sleep. Only to my body that was only 2 or 3 pm at my home, the timezone which my biological clock remained stubbornly at.
The next day I had a lecture to give at one of Istanbul’s top business university, Bahcesehir University. It was a congress and attending were some 300 people and my talk was meant to be a key attraction to the audience and opening the day. So promptly at 3am New York City, 9am local time, I was on stage and started my hour long talk. For the rest of the day I had to sit at the high table with other speakers, answering questions and giving insights about the talks I was watching, sometimes in Turkish!
At the end of the day, around 8pm local time, I was back at the airport making my way to London to spend the following day with the team I had let behind. We had an intense and full work day and got a lot of things done. We finished the day around 6pm local time and went to dinner to celebrate being together and my safe return home. The next morning I was at London’s Heathrow to get back to NYC.