by Guest Author on February 5, 2013
Real connections are vital to all kinds of success in the business world. However, rarely are true relationships formed at networking at events. Real connections are made through shared experiences of all kinds. Think of your best friends or valued acquaintances. Did you initially go up to them and give them a business card, or did you study together, compete in sports with one another, or take grenades in the trenches of the business world? Valued relationships grow from these genuine experiences.
Time for an Adventure
When getting a business off the ground or developing an idea, it makes sense to turn to a good friend. You trust them. You probably faced adversity with them before. In other words, you really know them. You have shared critical life experiences. Likewise, if you want to get to know someone in the business on a deeper level, skip the small talk and go chase adventure together.
Jump off a waterfall in Iceland, get thrashed in the swells surfing in Nicaragua, or zip line through the rain forest in Costa Rica. Not only are these memorable moments for thrill seekers, but they also get you out of your daily routine, to a place where your mind is open to entirely new ideas.
The Value of Extraordinary Experiences
Really. It sounds crazy, but it works. Trips, besides offering the chance to escape and relax for a bit, offer the chance to be exposed to a different world, literally. The learning accomplished will be guided by your agenda. A “relax and retreat” trip can offer the chance to learn more about a peer’s business and how it operates. Catching up over drinks on the beach provides a no-pressure setting to discuss entrepreneurial ideas and feed off one another’s energy and strategies.
More intense types of adventures will help you learn about an entirely different set of skills from your entrepreneurial friends. These types of trips should take you out of your comfort zone and give each of you a shared experience you’ll never forget. Confronting the real danger together will strengthen your connection.
On a recent Founder Excursion to Iceland, we took a group of entrepreneurs super jeeping across volcanoes and glaciers; we went canyoning in frigid Arctic waters. While in Iceland, we also attended the Startup Iceland Conference. We learned about the rise and fall of a nation’s economy in the global financial crisis and used our shared experiences to help build a better startup scene. The combination of adventure with practical business information resulted in an immensely rewarding trip.
Seize the Day
If you want to get out of your comfort zone with your entrepreneurial friends, share an invigorating experience and make a true lasting bond. Then go find some adventure. That experience will strengthen the relationship and open up a world of future possibilities.
Whether you are rafting down the Amazon or on a bareboat charter in Belize, seize those opportunities. Experiencing a different culture filled with new ideas and challenging yourself with like-minded friends can be life changing.
About the Author
Matt Wilson is the Co-founder of Under30Media and is looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet. Extending the Under30CEO brand, their team just launchedUnder30Finance,Under30Careers, andUnder30Experiences. Reach out to Matt on Twitter @MattWilsontv.