Traveling, seeing the world, and seeking new challenges are some of the most important ways you can evolve as a person and as a business leader, because these actions force you to see the world through the eyes of new and often drastically different views, cultures, and innovations.
You must have a global view if you are going to thrive as an individual and business professional. Opportunities to improve yourself and your business exist in every journey you take. When we are open to exploring and learning new things from our travels, our perspectives change and the businesses we run benefit from that.
Many family businesses begin in a place that can be identified as “home;” however, the more we seek out opportunities to expand those boundaries, the more successful we’ll be. Take the Rothschild family for example. Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a banker, founded the House of Rothschild in the 1760s when he built a financial house spread across the five main European financial centers of the world: London, Paris, Vienna, Naples, and Frankfurt. To each of these centers he assigned one of his five sons and created a system whereby each son reported what he learned regarding his particular city, sharing that financial and cultural knowledge with all the other sons so that they could learn from it.
If Mayer Rothschild hadn’t realized this as an interruption in his business and diversified in the way he had—if he had kept his business solely in his home city of Frankfurt—then it is likely that his business would never have survived World War II. Instead, he scattered his sons—his human assets—across the modern world so that they could not only have the benefit of geographic diversification should one or more of the businesses fail, but also the benefit of learning from that culture and region, expanding on their combined intellectual asset. Today, the family possesses the largest private fortune in the world, and their interests span from real estate to farming to wine and charities.
As you travel, having a global view both with your business and your own mindset allows you to evolve your own view. In some cases, it may solidify your point of view from a different cultural perspective, but ultimately, it gives you an all-too-important diversified mindset, which in-and-of-itself is an asset.
This global perspective also gives you further confidence in yourself. If you’re able to see a problem not just from your own culturally-inherent angles, but from a point of view informed by the cultural dispositions of nations around the world, it gives you an invaluable belief in yourself and the confidence to implement ideas rather than just dream them.
The next time you find yourself traveling for business or pleasure, make it a point to open yourself up to learning opportunities and how those experiences may benefit life, personally and professionally.