For those of us who spend days, weeks, months on the road – standing in security lines, squeezing into too tiny airline seats, eating bad road food, trying to remember what color car we rented, what tonight’s hotel room number is and wondering how long the meeting will go on – I have some suggestions to make it just a little bit better:
- Do a little research ahead of time and give yourself the right to explore or visit a landmark. I’ve walked the deck of the USS Lexington, driven the world’s most crooked street (and alley), visited the largest mall in the US, and posed in front of the American Gothic House, just to name a few. Make it a part of your plan and see something. Allow yourself to have a bit of fun.
- Mingle with the participants, not just business networking. Learn who they are, what they do, where they are from, what they like. Your next big client or best friend could be in that crowd. You never know. By the way, I highly suggest staying away from alcohol and having a soft drink or juice for this.
- Talk to the locals, like the waitress or the person at the front desk. Ask about the area, what they like about it, what it is like to live there. I gained a whole new appreciation for the farmers in America’s Heartland, Iowa, just talking to the employees in the restaurant the night before a speech.
- Make a plan ahead of time to exercise each day even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Walk outside, walk the stairs in the hotel or office building, find a fitness center, just get it moving. I promise you’ll feel better for doing it later in the day. And you’ll have more energy.
- Eat and drink right. Stay away from the rich foods and alcohol. Moderation is okay, but again, you’ll feel better and have more energy to do what it is you came to do making you look like the pro and expert you are.
- Read a book, rent a movie, watch a TV show – something not work related. Give your brain a chance to rest and reload. I have recently become a ‘Gleek” – a huge fan of Glee. My last trip, I downloaded all the episodes I had missed and watched them on the plane. The flight went faster, I barely noticed the seat size and bad food, and I had a smile on my face when I got off the plane.
- Close your eyes. Breathe. Unhunch your shoulders. Just for a moment.
Now go get’em Road Warrior!