Entrepreneurs: The Outdoors Might Be Your Best Teacher

By Camille Johnson of Bereaver.com

There are few things more relaxing than spending time in the open air. Being outside, whether you are hiking, biking, camping, or gardening, is great for your health and can improve your mental well-being. Surprisingly, your time in nature can also teach you a lot about yourself and the world so that you can be a better entrepreneur, whether you’ve been in business for many years or are just getting started. Today, StaceyNaito.com covers a few of these lessons and offers insight on how to get the most out of your outside excursions.

Planning Ahead

Before you set out for an adventure, get your business prepared to run without you. Tips here include:

  • Hire the right staff. If you’re just planning a night or two over the weekend, you can probably skip this step. However, to get the most out of your time, you’ll want to be immersed in a natural environment for at least a week. Find the right staff to keep your business running even when you are unavailable. This begins by determining what functions need to be filled and thoroughly reviewing applicants. While most experts will recommend choosing only the most qualified applicant, don’t count out those eager to learn your industry.
  • Streamline your invoicing processes. Don’t leave town without making sure that you can send invoices and get paid on time. If you have not already, invest in a cloud-based invoicing tool that lets you send bills from anywhere. This is helpful if you do not yet trust your employees with sensitive information, such as customer credit card numbers. If you have recurrent invoices, look for software that will let you schedule your billing ahead of time and will also ping you when payments are made. Utilizing cloud technology also allows you to stay involved as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Make sure you’re available at least some of the time. Speaking of staying involved, set aside a couple of hours each day to field questions or handle tasks that your employees cannot. For this, you want to make sure to pack your laptop (Quantum Technologies recommends traveling with a locked case), a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an additional battery backup as you may not be able to charge your phone or devices.

You’ll also need to prioritize safety, especially if you’ve never been much of an outdoorsman before. Things you can do to keep yourself and your travel party safe are:

  • Let someone else know where you are going. Even if you’re planning to travel with a group, let somebody know where you are and when you are expected back.
  • Pack appropriately. While you do need to pack some of your professional essentials, make sure that you have room for all of the equipment you’ll need to stay safe and healthy while you travel. If you’re camping, for example, REI suggests making sure that you have a tent, pillows, sleeping pads, and a camp table if no picnic facilities are available. Further, pay close attention to the weather and dress in layers if significant temperature spikes are expected.
  • Know your destination. Even if you already know where you are going, spend some time really getting to know the area before you go. While this isn’t so important if you plan to stay close to home, when you’re traveling outside of your comfort zone, you’ll want to know everything from the location of the local police station to exit routes on your hiking excursion if you need to turn back.

What The Outdoors Can Do For You

Now that you are prepared to go, it’s time to take a look at the benefits of being outdoors. Obviously, it’s great exercise and a fun way to vacation. But, spending time in nature can also equip you to be a better business owner by teaching:

  • Patience. If you’ve ever talked to a child that went to summer camp, you know that a nature-centric experience can teach patience as these kids have to learn how to wait for the bathroom or to help with younger peers. As an adult, you will learn patience by having to wait out the weather, wildlife, or slower members of your party.
  • Team-building. There are plenty of outdoor team-building activities that can help you be a better boss and team player. Activities like swimming relays, target practice, and sailing are great ways to get your team to learn how to work together more effectively. Two other significant benefits of team building outdoors are learning to identify stronger potential leaders and establishing trust between your employees.
  • Preparedness. Anytime you’re outdoors, you have to be prepared for everything from rain to wild animals. As such, your adventures can also teach you how to prepare for all situations and to adapt if you’re not prepared. Things, like knowing which medical supplies to pack or having an additional set of oars available if you’re kayaking, might seem like insignificant touches, but if you need them, they can be lifesavers. You can apply the same set of principles at the office by having a plan in place in case an employee leaves, a vendor is late, or a high-value customer pulls their business.
  • Conservation. When you first step out into the big wide world, it’s easy to believe that the resources you see are infinite. They are not, and it is up to us to preserve the world around us for future generations. Air, soil, and water pollution, all of which are the direct result of human activity, take a toll on the natural world. As you get deeper into your adventures, you may notice things that you did not before, such as plastic bottles along the lake shore or animals looking for a home as deforestation drives them out of their natural environment. This can help you be a more responsible business owner by reminding you to preserve what you have and to be less wasteful every day.
  • Your own backyard. You don’t have to travel to take in the outdoors – just look out the window of your home. Consider creating an outdoor getaway in your own backyard. Remove tired landscaping and dead trees, install a deck or patio if you don’t already have one, and make a paradise of your very own. Some projects are best left to the pros, however, so bring them on to get the job done right. For instance, removal of a tree stump is no easy task, so go online and search service directories to find local contractors. The typical cost for such work ranges from $170 to $522, a worthy investment for hiring a company with the right equipment and experience.

There are many benefits of being outside, whether you’re planting a garden, spending a month-long sabbatical hiking the Appalachian Trail, or enjoying a week-long camping vacation. But, don’t forget to pay attention to the lessons that you learn that can help you as a business owner. You also want to make sure that you plan ahead by hiring the right staff and making sure that you can continue to get paid so that you can enjoy and make the most of your time outdoors.

Image via Unsplash


Dr. Stacey Naito of StaceyNaito.com offers customized meal plans, exercise regimens, and natural hormone balance to people who don’t want to compete but just want to lose weight, gain weight, or get toned. Contact Stacey today for more info!

Simple Yet Effective Self-Care Tips for Entrepreneurs — And Why It’s So Important You Make Time for Them

Check out this very informative article by Jason Lewis, targeted towards entrepreneurs to help them learn how to practice self-care.

Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

Most entrepreneurs are of the notion that they have to clock an inhuman number of hours each week to obtain some semblance of success. This is the only explanation for the fact that 33% of small business owners put in an average of 50 hours per week and another 25% clock 60 or more. Yet, while many of the world’s most successful business owners agree that a nine-to-five workweek just won’t cut it, most also concede that self-care is an integral component of long-term success. If you have plans to make it big in your industry, take time out of your busy schedule to treat yourself.

The Case for Self-Care

According to Psychology Today, self-care is a key driver of leadership and workplace success. Below are a few benefits of self-care that back this assertion:

  • The most effective self-care activities, which include eating healthy, working out, getting enough sleep, and spending quality time with the people you love, are all known workplace performance enhancers.
  • Self-care keeps you from working more, which actually helps your productivity. Research shows that working more than 50 hours a week produces zero productivity gain.
  • Self-care activities boost your creativity and confidence and decrease your stress and anxiety.
  • Self-care prevents career-crippling crises from occurring.

Now that you understand the importance of self-care, explore ways you can incorporate it into your schedule for the most impact.

Get Plenty of ZZs

Successful people may burn the midnight oil or wake up at the crack of dawn, but rest assured, they sleep. According to a CNBC report, some of the most successful people — including Jeff Bezos, Tobias Lutke, Bill Gates, and Lebron James — get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So, wake up or go to bed at whatever time you want, but be sure you clock your eight hours.

Hit the Gym

Exercise is important regardless of how you choose to make a living. However, if you won’t rest until you find success as an entrepreneur, then get moving. Per one survey, 76% of some of the most incredibly successful business leaders workout for at least 30 minutes each day. Research shows that exercise releases brain chemicals that improve memory, boost concentration and increase mental awareness.

Exercise does not have to be your typical weightlifting and running routine. Richard Branson plays tennis and kitesurfs. Jessica Alba does yoga and Krav Maga. Oprah averages at least 10,000 steps per day.

Remember to Breathe

Though relaxation seems like the opposite of productivity, you need to take a breather if you want to have more energy to put toward your business. Relaxation techniques will vary for everyone, but a few of the more effective ones include listening to music, writing, walking, and simply breathing. It also doesn’t hurt to say no to tasks that add a lot of stress and little benefit to your life.

Another way to relieve stress is by choosing to structure your business as an LLC. An LLC comes with numerous tax advantages, limited personal liability, minimal amounts of paperwork, and ample flexibility. They are easy to form on your own or via an online formation service — call the Zen Business phone number for assistance.

Find Ways to Save Time

As an entrepreneur, you may feel like you have to do it all, but know that you really don’t. In fact, by outsourcing menial but still important tasks, you can save time, money, and energy — all of which you can put toward the growth of your startup.

Self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Start showing yourself some compassion today by doing any of the above. Reach out to Stacey for the fitness and nutrition guidance you need to be your best self

Image via Unsplash

The Men Who Built America – Financial Titans

When I was a child, American history was taught in a very static manner.  We were expected to memorize important dates and factoids, to the point where epic points in history like the Industrial Revolution, though pivotal and vital to the development of America, seemed dull and uninteresting.  It took imaginative historical books which I have read over recent years, and shows such as “The Men Who Built America”, for a keen interest in American history to ignite within me.

Most recently, I stumbled upon “The Men Who Built America” right around Halloween when I was searching on Amazon Prime Video for an entertaining show to watch. What caught my eye was the fact that the television series was described on IMDB as a miniseries which “shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world had ever seen. The Men Who Built America is the story of a nation at the crossroads and of the people who catapulted it to prosperity.”  Those words were enough to draw me in.

The focus of this series centers around the lives of Cornelius VanderbiltJohn D. RockefellerAndrew CarnegieJ. P. Morgan, and Henry Ford.

Check out these descriptions of the episodes:

1 “A New War Begins” Ruán Magan David C. White, Keith Palmer October 16, 2012
Cornelius Vanderbilt grows from a steamboat entrepreneur to the head of a railroad empire, and gets into a heated rivalry with James Fisk and Jay Gould; the up and coming John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil. Many business owners lay their own rail lines which leads to the Panic of 1873. Later, Rockefeller starts to expand his wealth by diverting his business from the railroads to a new innovation, oil pipelines.
2 “Bloody Battles” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer October 23, 2012
Andrew Carnegie builds an empire around steel, but finds himself struggling to save face after the ruthless tactics of his business partner, Henry Clay Frick, result in both the Johnstown Flood as well as the bloody 1892 strike at the Homestead Steel Works.
3 “Changing the Game” Patrick Reams David C. White, Patrick Reams, Keith Palmer October 30, 2012
J. P. Morgan proceeds to banish the dark with the direct current electric light of Thomas Edison, but the two soon face serious competition from the alternating current of George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. As the 19th century comes to a close, the titans of industry must try to work together to stop a new threat in budding politician William Jennings Bryan, who threatens to dissolve monopolies in America.
4 “When One Ends, Another Begins” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer November 11, 2012
Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan team up to help elect William McKinley to the U.S. presidency by paying for his 1896 campaign, to avoid a possible attack on monopolies. However, fate intervenes when McKinley is suddenly assassinated, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency and promptly begins dissolving monopolies and trusts in America. Meanwhile, Morgan buys out Carnegie Steel to make Carnegie the richest man in the world, and Henry Ford designs an affordable automobile with his Model T and starts his own business, Ford Motor Company, which sets a new business model for companies to follow.

It was mostly my interest in finance which locked me into this series, but I also truly enjoyed learning about the historical impact which these great men had on a sophomore nation.  If you’re looking for a great series which is relatively short (you could binge watch this over a weekend), then this is for you.