WHY EVERY ENTREPRENEUR NEEDS TO TAKE AN ALONEMOON
“Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.”
Spin the Globe.
One of my dearest and fellow wanderlust friends, Lynne, has an expression.
Whenever shit hits the fan, life becomes too much or (on the flipside) an opportunity arises or inspiration strikes, she says: “Spin the globe!” And then she jumps on an airplane.
(I clearly share the same philosophy.)
Nothing breaks the monotony of life, delivers perspective and brings you back to your light than exploring the uncharted territories of this great big, beautiful planet, and as a result, your heart.
A few months ago, I felt a calling.
A strong, very clear, very certain inner-voice, nudging me to venture somewhere new and somewhere far.
It had been a while (ahem, college!) since I had traveled solo. Heck, it had been a few months since I’d traveled at all. So the idea of grabbing my passport, hopping a plane and crossing an ocean all by myself was an exhilarating and liberating idea.
Also, the truth: I was seriously, utterly, totally and completely burnt out.
The year of 2017 has been one of the most exciting, profitable and fast-paced years of my life. (Hence the reason I am writing my first travel blog since 2016.) I have gone full force on building my personal branding company, The SimplyBe Agency, and have been living like a tried-and-true entrepreneur. All work. No play. All grind. No space to, well, simply be.
(We teach what we are here to learn, right?)
Right before my trip to Costa Rica, I had become so fried, I didn’t even recognize myself. I had become that woman snapping at cab drivers, crying in the middle of the day for no reason, reacting vs. responding to emails and whose deep-seeded anxiety was so real, could not get a good night’s sleep for the life of her.
Here’s a dirty little secret about me: I am an introvert. I only play on extrovert on TV (and on social media). I require lots and LOTS of time alone. It is the one and only thing that truly restores me. It had been nearly six straight months of no down time, but rather, working around the clock, seven days a week with the constant stimulation of emails, scheduling, meetings, clients, checklists, networking, speaking, events, writing strategies and other people’s energy.
As entrepreneurs in the hustle-hustle-hustle, we give so much away of ourselves. After a certain point, the lives, the businesses and the goals we are building toward become blurred.
And then we start to ask:
Is this really what I want?
Is this really who I am?
Does all this abundance, creation, opportunity and notoriety really make me happy? Like…TRULY happy?
This feels vulnerable to admit, but these were the thoughts I was having. And the only pathway to get clarity was to find a new pathway. One where I could get lost.
I had been to Costa Rica once before, in my mid-twenties, at a time when I was going through a horrible breakup. To be honest, I was in such a pain-filled fog at that time, I cannot even remember exactly where I went, but what I do remember was its healing power. And since I have spent the last few years traveling frequently to Europe and Asia, Central America was calling.
So was yoga.
So was solitude.
So was the Pura Vida vibe.
And so I spun the globe and landed in the most magical, unexpected and obscure of places.
I hopped aboard a plane from ORD to LIR (that’s Liberia, Costa Rica) and drove three hours (the final hour consisting entirely of gravel road), to find myself in a mysterious and quiet beach village set in the jungle on the Northwest coast. It’s truly difficult to describe Nosara, but try to picture a community of 5000 people devoted to yoga and surfing, with unpaved roads sprinkled with surf shops, yoga studios, one-of-a-kind boutiques, organic juice bars, fresh coconut stands, open air restaurants and bars, and small luxury hotels. Everyone rides a bike, a scooter or an ATV. There are very little cars on the road, let alone telephone wires. As for the energy, it’s impossible to describe but these words are close: Blissful. Peaceful. Sweet. Still. Sleepy. Unusual. Rare. Calming. Sparse. Glorious.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny space you occupy in this world.”
The Moral of The Glory.
When I told people I was taking a solo-adventure to Central America, most people looked at me like I had three heads. But I am here to tell you that being alone in a far away place is anything but scary, weird or awkward. It’s down right glorious. Not only did I step outside the stress (and monotony) of my own life to gain perspective and balance, all that solitude left me with a profound sense of gratitude. For all that I am, indeed, creating. A business. A team. Clients. Revenue. Relationships. But I now have a deeper sense of purpose, connection and what I can only describe as a vastness. A feeling of ease, that is not so hyper vigilant about working 16 hours a day to get it all done. (The emails can wait until tomorrow.) A feeling of peace, that is not so consumed with the social media ‘likes.’ (It simply doesn’t matter.) A feeling of confidence, that I can get all dressed up, put on makeup, take myself out to a dinner and ask for a table for one. (What an exhilarating experience that is.) An understanding that while, yes, I am an entrepreneur, it is just what I do. (Not really who I am.)
To all my over-acheiving, over-worked, burnt out, stressed out, hyper vigilant entrepreneurs, solo-preneurs, creatives and professionals, do yourself this one favor: spin the globe.
And spin it alone.