Business as Usual while Traveling
I'm happiest in life when I'm either traveling or planning two trips ahead. Traveling is a huge part of my lifestyle and I actively attempt to keep my business moving along while I'm out of the studio. It's not always easy, but I've picked up some tips and tricks along the way.
I recently spent six weeks in Southeast Asia while continuing to keep my brand, CatCoq, running strong. I was traveling light, so I left my laptop at home; my iPhone was my only means of conducting business while backpacking through five countries. Despite the limitations –no hard drive, inconsistent internet, and a 13-hour time difference– business continued. I even gained two new clients during my time abroad.
1) Communication is Key
The key to keeping my business running smoothly while traveling is communication. I was transparent with clients about my upcoming trip and gave them plenty of notice before leaving. I also pushed to wrap up any lingering projects before hopping on the plane. While traveling, I made it a priority to “stay on the grid”. I read and responded to emails, addressed urgent concerns and worked to ensure that their needs were continuing to be met while I was away from my studio.
2) Get Inspired
In addition to the joy of experiencing new cultures, people, and landscapes, I travel to get creatively recharged. I collect inspiration while abroad and incorporate it into my paintings when I return to my studio. After Asia, I painted water buffalos and Vietnamese lanterns. I visited Peru last fall and created a collection of watercolor alpacas. I went crazy with tropical florals and tiki totems after hiking the Napoli Coast in Kauai last winter. Snakes and butterflies after Belize... you get the picture.