My first blog post in this blog explained a little bit about how and why I travel as often as I do, but it didn’t really get deep into the details so I’ll try to elaborate a bit more in this post.
Judging by my Instagram account it would seem as if I have all the free time in the world, it may even seem as if travel is my profession, quite the contrary. The truth of the matter is hard work and perseverance is how and why I travel as often as I do.
You see, up until a few years ago I subscribed to the popular notion that being busy meant being stressed out, working long hours at the office and having little to no time to stop and smell the roses. In fact I would feel bad and unaccomplished if I hadn’t spent 12 hours or more in the office, and on the rare occasion I left work early I would often regret it and have a nagging sense of being a failure. Taking vacations was an after thought and a luxury I couldn’t afford if I wanted to be successful. A little extreme but I get a sense that many people striving for success feel the same way. The problem was that these feelings weren’t based on actual production, no, they were based solely on how busy I was, how many hours I put in and how much work I did. Not on the results it produced, just simply being busy meant I was getting stuff done. It seems silly looking back but that’s how I operated and that’s how many operate daily.
The funny thing is that I became an entrepreneur at the mere age of 20 years young primarily because I valued my time and freedom and couldn’t fathom working a 9 to 5 all my life. Well, it had been over a decade since I became an entrepreneur and I had less control of my time than I did as an employee, this wasn’t what I had in mind. The problem was that I was living a life that I thought I was supposed to live and doing things that I thought I was supposed to do. Not because they made sense to me but because it was the way that society deemed fit. Besides the stress and long hours of running a business, I wasn’t having any fun in life and worst of all I wasn’t really happy. It seemed like I cared about everything and everybody except for myself until I decided that this plan wasn’t going to work moving forward. I slowly decided that I was going to begin to write my own story instead of reading someone else’s story in an attempt to emulate their success. I would begin to define my own success rather than living up to a form of success that society has made the norm and usually consisted of social status, missing quality time with those that mattered the most, hustle and bustle and the illusion of monetary wealth made public by flashy clothes, expensive cars and big houses.
One of the challenges I faced while trying to accomplish this was going against the lessons taught by many wealthy and successful entrepreneurs that I admired such as Grant Cardone. I had trouble with believing that little Ol me knew a better way than someone that was worth over 300 millions dollars but I began to realize that while Grant most certainly knows how to make money or run a business far better than I do, there was no way that he could know how to make me successful by my own definition better than I could do so myself. Once I realized that I began to trust my own instincts and I started to do things that seemed right to me regardless what the popular opinion would be.
My first course of action was to make sweeping changes to my company. I knew that my plan would only work if I was the 100% owner of the company so I negotiated with my business partner and came up with a fair compensation in which I would purchase the shares of the other 50% of the company he owned. Now that I owned 100% of the company I changed the compensation structure of all my employees that gave all my employees significant pay raises and I set to change the culture in my offices to promote a positive work invironment in which people liked coming to work and also enjoyed a healthy work/life balance. Why was this important? Well I figured that since these things were important to me, I would need to invest into this way of thinking throughout my life and company. It wasn’t simply enough that I wanted to live like this, I also wanted to promote this way of living. I began to travel and travel a lot!!! Traveling to a new country about once per month and spending on average about 2 weeks per month within the physical location of my office. My new office became my iPhone and laptop so wherever I had a wifi signal I could get some work done but I’ll be honest, I didn’t work half the hours I had done so before but it didn’t matter because when I did work, I accomplished a lot more and was much more productive with half the hours worked. My mind became so clear that when I was working I was thinking much clearer and would accomplish each task or solve each problem in half the time as I needed before.
Almost instantly I began to see dividends pay off. Within the first year of these changes the average production of my staff dramatically increased by more than 60% but what was even more dramatic was that even though I was spending less time in the office my company grew by almost 300% in the first 2 years of these changes by both acquisition and organic growth. My staff was much more happier with their job and required much less micro managing. In fact I often joke with my staff that my presence ruins things as sales seem to do much better while I’m out of the office vacationing somewhere.
I’m still driven by monetary success but I realized that doing things my way was the secret to realizing my own monetary success. Sure, success is a relative term even to oneself. 20 year old Doug would have been astonished by the success of the present day Doug and I’m sure that in 10 years I would look back and laugh at what my definition of success was 10 years prior. But happiness can’t be quantified and I believe at the end of the day happiness is what we truly seek and yearn for, so while our definition of success is forever changing, the bliss feeling of happiness and joy is the same feeling as we felt as kids irrespective of how we arrive at the sensation.
Regardless of what any success guru may tell you, there is no silver bullet to success. I believe that what we each must first do is define what success looks like to ourselves and once we know what it looks like we must seek it out while doing the things that give us joy and pleasure. For someone that is a natural workaholic like Grant Cardone that professes that keeping a busy hectic schedule makes him happy, will do exactly that but if that is not what your definition of happiness is I believe that you will struggle mightily trying to achieve success by someon else’s measuring stick or method.
So, I travel as often as I do because I march to the beat of my own drum. I read a lot and try to get wisdom from many places but I ultimately make my own decisions based on what is right for the person that I am. I reject the notion that I should submit to the norms of society and do as others previous to be or around me do. I travel wide and I travel far but no mistake about it, I’m still an ambitious business man with the only difference being that I traded in the 3 peice suit for a pair of flip flops and palm tree printed swimming trunks and found my path to success. I truly hope that you find yours!!!