I’ve gone through seasons of becoming a “seasoned business traveler.”
At first, I was overwhelmed with this newfound freedom. Someone is paying me to fly somewhere, paying me to eat already prepared food, not have to make my bed, and no family responsibilities. Could this get any better, seriously?
I was on a tight travel budget on my first travel job and learned to make the most of each dollar. I had the budget of a small child who hated food. If I stayed at a hotel that offered a decent breakfast then I could save that money for a better dinner!
I figured out what airlines, hotels, car rental companies had the best deals and perks.
Then I upgraded travel jobs. Again. And again.
Better flight options. Nicer hotels. Better rental cars. And oh the food and drink dramatically improved!
I ate the best of the king’s food and drank the best of the king’s wine and lived like I was on vacation on the road.
And my result?
You’ve heard of the Freshman 15, right? Then there’s the Travel 20.
And being the over-achiever I am, of course, I gained the 20 pounds AND added another 20 pounds at no additional charge (at least to me).
I was becoming the guy I always looked at as undisciplined on the road.
Change of Perspective…
Through the years, my Road Perspective has changed.
I realize it’s not a Vacation but a Vocation.
If you’re truly a Road Warrior, you’re on the road a lot and I mean a lot. You MUST learn to view the road differently.
Yet most business travelers don’t.
The only thing they gain through all their years on the road is their weight.
Holy fat man, Batman!
Here was my change of perspective:
Learning to leverage the road to make me better in the ways that I WANT TO IMPROVE.
Here Are Three Specific Areas to Change Your Road Perspective:
1. Your Health
I could go on an on about this one but almost every single Road Warrior is simply out of shape. The road has enabled you instead of empowered you.
Most barely move within their day. They sit most of the time, only walk when they have to, rarely get their heart rate up unless they’re forced to take the stairs, and strength training? Does my one sit-up to get up out of the bed and an arm curl to drink a beer count?
The reality is you have more control than you think. You have more time than you think. You don’t have a room full of family when you wake up in your hotel room. Your spouse doesn’t order your food at the restaurant for you. And you could choose to workout, even for a few minutes, instead of hitting the bar early or binging on Netflix.
Stop making excuses to others and lying to yourself. Channel that competitiveness and drive in you to leverage the road to get back into shape.
2. Your Work
Many of us were killing it on the road when we first started traveling. We were scrappy, hustlers, and willing to put in the effort.
But now? We claim we work smarter not harder, but are we really?
Most Road Warriors I meet are, well, lazy. They just “get by”, always seem to be working because they’re not disciplined and focused. They waste time on the road and complain about how busy they are on the road.
You spend most evenings on the road with your laptop lover just trying to push-through when the quality of your work is suffering when we think it’s improving.
We’ve found ourselves in a rut in how we “do productivity” on the road but if we’re honest, it’s not working or could definitely use a Road Makeover.
What if you were to leverage the road to get back to being efficient and effective? What if you upped your game and became “that guy” or “that girl” again…?
It starts by changing your perspective of Work and how you can leverage the road to improve it to work for you not against you.
3. Your Home Life
Come again? Home life on the road?
SO many business travelers, especially men, have little to no contact with their spouse and / or kids on the road and if they do, it’s a generic check-in that feels more like a commitment than a true connection.
Here’s an obvious reality that we quickly forget on the road: the life of our significant other and/or kids go on WITHOUT us on the road. Weeks, months, then years go by and we wonder how we got to where we are because we don’t truly know our family anymore.
This can and should change if you change your Road Perspective. And isn’t our family what truly matters the most in the end?
My perspective was changed by a hurt wife and kids because I was always too tired and my schedule was always more important. It caused un-needed pain and a ton of rebuilding trust to my family.
In the End…
Let me ask you now: What is your Road Perspective? Think about it.
Are you leveraging the road to make you better with your Health, Work, and Home Life?
You’re not alone and my focus of writing is to help you change your Road Perspective so you can be at your absolute best BECAUSE of the road, not IN SPITE of it.
You can do this when you change your Road Perspective!