Travel Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
favorite places

Thoughts About My Favorite Places Take Flight Like Birds

Recently, Beth and I were sitting on our balcony at our Beach Condo in Galveston, Texas talking about where our favorite places are on the planet. Beth pulled out her phone and thought people may like to know where my favorite places are to go in the world. This is a question people do ask us because we travel a lot. On one airline alone, I have flown over 2.3 million miles.

Beth videotaped me answering the question. “Where is my favorite place in the world?”  Below is the video of the conversation I had with Beth.  I think people might find it interesting. Consider this as part of my G.A.I.N.S. exchange as I share my “interests” with you.

The things you enjoy doing and the places you enjoy going can help you connect with others because people are more willing to spend time with those who share their interests. Knowing other people’s interests makes it easier for you to help them in some way. Therefore, let them know your interests as well. If you and your contact share many of the same interests, it will strengthen your relationship. 

Where are my favorite places in the world?

You can watch the video above to learn where my ultimate favorite place in the world is located. You might be surprised by my answer. Here are a few other favorite places on our list:

  • Galveston: Relaxing at our beach condo. Now and then, the local birds take flight, rise up, and soar above our heads.
  • India: We have a lot of members in India and I enjoy visiting with them.
  • Necker Island: We enjoy spending time with Richard Branson on his private island.
  • Paris: We enjoyed the two months we spent in France for our 25th wedding anniversary.
  • South Africa: We did an amazing safari together at Camp Jabulani.
  • Sydney Australia: Beth loves Sydney. It is one of her favorite places, but not her number one place. Can you guess where Beth’s ultimate favorite place is? Listen to the video for her answer.
  • The Great Barrier Reef: We explored it from a small ship.

COVID-19 has changed our travel life. We look forward to the days when we can travel the world again. Visiting these favorite places we mentioned, and also exploring new places we have never been to before. By sharing this video, we know we will receive many invitations to go visit and revisit many places all across the world.

Therefore, I suggest that you add this question about your favorite places when discussing your “interests” as part of your G.A.I.N.S. exchange. Download a copy of the GAINS exchange profile form. People will get to know you better when you share your favorite places in the world during your one-to-one meetings. Please share below in the comments your favorite places in the world too.

Growing Forward Together

Growing Forward Together World Tour

It was very exciting to present the BNI Growing Forward Together World Tour over the past three days. Furthermore, this event was the first live global event in BNI’s 35-year history. On July 14th, 15th, and 16th we streamed live in over 70 countries on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you to all of the BNI members, directors and visitors who joined in this historic event

The broadcast was open to businesses, entrepreneurs and business executives focused on leapfrogging the “lockdown recession” and doing more and better business in 2020 and beyond. The presentations were watched so far this week by nearly 45,000 viewers worldwide in twelve different languages.

During each broadcast, I shared my vision for the future as well as my insights for business growth and personal success. Furthermore, I talked about refusing to participate in the recession and how BNI and its 270,000 members are taking action leading businesses around the world to foster global business recovery with business growth and professional success. Therefore, now is the time to thrive!

I want to thank the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future and much more. Furthermore, I also want to personally thank the BNI marketing team for the planning, the marketing, and the amazing execution of this global event. For example, watch this fantastic video their team created to promote the event on social media.

 

 

Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures…

We all speak the language of referrals, growing forward together.

In case you missed the LIVE event, would like to see it again, or want to share it with others, here is the presentation in 12 different languages:

Chinese Subtitled Version        Thai Voiceover Version         Japanese Voiceover Version

Vietnamese Voiceover Version           Portuguese (Brazilian) Subtitled Version

Spanish Voiceover Version  Portuguese (Portugal) Subtitled Version   German Version (Pending)

Italian Voiceover Version       Spanish (Spain) Voiceover Version       Bulgarian Voiceover Version

English version below from Day Two

BNI brings so many people together across so many boundaries for such a productive purpose.  Therefore, we build meaningful relationships and extend our hand to help others grow, and they in turn help and support us in the essence of Givers Gain®. At BNI, we are Growing Forward Together.

Ruin Reputations

Giving Referrals Can Ruin Reputations

Referral marketing is the most effective form of advertising. However, many approach referral marketing with an “Old Faithful” attitude. All they have to do is just show up weekly to their networking events and referral business to them will simply erupt regularly like this geyser. What they do not realize is that once their trust in you evaporates, so does the water. In referral marketing, your trust and your reputation are on the line all the time.  Therefore, you need to do what you say you are going to do. You need to be professional and do what you can to not ruin reputations with others.

When you give a referral, you give away a little bit of your reputation.

While giving a good referral will enhance your relationship, a bad referral will hurt it. This is extremely important when referring someone to your client or customer. If the person you referred does a poor job, your relationship with your client will suffer. You may even lose that customer due to the lack of trust they now have in you for giving them that bad referral. Now the geyser is dry.

Therefore, the biggest risk in referral marketing is not the person you are referring to someone. The biggest risks are the referral giver’s reputation and the risk to their business relationships with others. Get to know the people you are referring to others. Find out as much as you can about the services they offer. Plus, make sure they have integrity. If you do not take the time for this, your reputation is at risk. Finally, never give good referrals to people who do not want them or cannot handle them with the same integrity and professionalism you use with your clients. Do not be this guy. You do not want to refer someone to your client, and your client is expecting a geyser. However, the only result your client experiences is a dripping faucet in the middle of the night instead.

Everyone can Ruin Reputations

However, I am not saying that you accept 100% of the blame and responsibility for the bad referral. Referral marketing is more than just you. Everyone is involved in a threeway referral relationship. The person being referred to your client can do himself permanent damage by performing poorly or dishonestly. He agreed to a service contract or sales transaction with your client. What expectations has your client had in the past when working with you? You can share these same client expectations you experienced with the person you are referring to your client.

Even your client has some responsibility for the bad referral. Your client needs to clearly explain to you the exact service, product, or assistance they are looking to you to help them to find the right person to refer to them. Therefore, their expectation should be reasonable. If they are looking for a “small fountain” when discussing the possible referral with you, they should not be expecting a “large geyser” later on when working with the referral. However, they should also not be receiving a “little drip” either. Especially if they prepaid for the “fountain”.

Even Old Faithful is not as faithful as it used to be.

Tourists visit Yellowstone National Park in (mostly) Wyoming, USA every year to see the Old Faithful Geyser for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions. Rumors claimed that the eruptions occur hourly. People speak of the average time between eruptions. This is misleading and these rumors could ruin reputations with the tourists expecting to view the geyser based upon an exact schedule of when the geyser will erupt next. The mathematical average between eruptions of Old Faithful is currently 74 minutes, but it doesn’t like to act average! Intervals can range from 60-110 minutes. The world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful in Yellowstone, currently erupts around 20 times a day. These eruptions are predicted with a 90 percent confidence rate, within a 10-minute variation. I do love a good statistical report to end a story.

Poland

Witajcie w Warszawie!

This week most of our BNI directors from around the world are traveling to Warsaw to attend the 2019 BNI Global Convention. Welcome to Poland! To those BNI directors and members attending, I am looking forward to meeting you. Therefore, if you have never been to Warsaw, here are some tips from Ryszard Chmura, the National Director of BNI Polska that will make your trip to Poland more enjoyable!

Welcome to Warsaw! I am honored that Poland, Warsaw, will host BNI Global Convention 2019. This event will be held in Europe for the first time! A lot of BNI Members and Directors from all over the world will visit Poland this month. I can’t wait for this event and I am looking forward to meeting you. If you have never been to Poland, here are my tips, that will help you enjoy your stay here.

Polish language

I speak polish – what’s your superpower? I can’t say Polish is an easy language to learn, but knowing some basic greetings will help you with networking at the conference. But don’t worry, English is the second most common language spoken in Poland. I recommend you to try to learn a few words, which could help you break the ice with the Poles. The most popular greeting “Hello! How are you?” in Polish is “Cześć! Jak się masz?”

Must-see in Poland

Taking part in the 2019 BNI Global Convention is the best opportunity to visit Poland and sightseeing in our beautiful country. Poland’s capital, Warsaw is the heart of the country. The center of Warsaw’s public life is the Old Town. Visit the Old Town to see the most beautiful houses and palaces in the city or check out the museums. My second recommendation is Cracow. Cracow is the most often visited city by tourists in Poland. This city is not only the second-largest city in the country but also one of the oldest ones. Wawel Castle, the Old Town, and the Kazimierz district are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Polish cuisine and must-eats in Warsaw.

The market square in Warsaw offers a wide range of good restaurants with polish cuisine, where you can try polish traditional foods: pierogi, bigos or żurek. After the conference’s lectures, you can spend time at the market square, not only trying polish food but also polish traditional drinks. Have you ever tried “wiśniówka”?

Poland is known as the most hospitable country in Europe and I hope you will enjoy your stay here! Wishing everyone a fantastic 2019 BNI Global Convention.

Ryszard Chmura, National Director – BNI Poland

Business Travel

Business Travel Tips for Busy Entrepreneurs

Today’s entrepreneur will spend time traveling for business meetings, trade shows, or industry conventions.  Business Travel has become a key part of the job description. Here are some tips for a successful business trip.

Things to do before business travel:

  1. Research your destination:  Look up online the general layout of the area plus the local culture, lifestyle, and customs. Read the local news and be informed regarding any events that could cause delays during your trip.
  2. Exchange Currency: You can get better rates by ordering foreign currency from your local bank or credit union a week before leaving. Research the visa requirements as some counties have a minimum currency requirement to enter their country.  It is the “zloty” in Poland.
  3. Passport: Allow plenty of time before your trip to apply for a passport; processing normally takes 4 to 6 weeks (3 weeks for expedited service). All visitors to Poland are required to hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into the country.
  4. Visa: Passport holders from the U.S., Canada, and Australia can enter Poland without a visa and stay for 90 days. Passport holders from EU member countries, including the U.K., do not need a visa. Make sure to carry the minimum currency requirement to enter their country.
  5. Medical Requirements: There are no unusual health concerns for visiting Poland, and visitors are not required to get any special inoculations or show medical documents to enter the country. However, getting your annual flu shot is always a good idea when traveling abroad.
  6. Cellphones: Contact your service provider to sign up for an international travel plan that will allow for international roaming. Polish cellphones operate on a GSM band of 900/1800MHz. This is the same standard in use throughout Europe but different from the one used in the United States. U.S. mobiles will work here, provided they are tri-band phones (not all phones are tri-band) Keep calls to a minimum, however, since roaming charges can be steep.
  7. Weather. The weather forecast (as of 10/27/19) for Warsaw Poland for November 3-10 is for cloudy skies with temperatures ranging from 1°C to 11°C/ 34°F to 52°  F

Remember to pack these for business travel…

Please read my blog article, “My Must-Remember Items When Packing for a Business Trip“, published last year on my website with a list of items to pack that can certainly come in handy on a business trip. There are certainly more items to include, but these can certainly make or break an important business trip. So you definitely do not want to forget them. Here are some additional items to remember.

  1. Laptop Computer: Besides checking your email while abroad, your laptop will allow you to upload photos from your camera. Plus you can share photos and stories from your trip on your social media pages.
  2. Phone battery power bank. It is amazing how much power banks cost at an airport. Bring a power bank that will allow you to recharge your phone remotely when electricity is not available.
  3. Power adapter/converter. Wall outlets in the Republic of Poland are Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type E (CEE 7/5 Schuko) and supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency.
  4. Batteries:  Bring a spare package of AA and AAA batteries for your devices.
  5. Energy Bars: Pack a box of protein meal bars to give you a boost of energy and when feeling hungry. Those attending from the USA will be experiencing a 6-9 hour time zone difference. Therefore, Sleep and mealtime schedules will need to be adjusted. Plus hydrate as much as possible.

I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively for both business and pleasure. Over the years, Bob and I have accumulated numerous tips to help aid overseas business travel. It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play in global networking and how understanding those differences becomes very important as we do business around the world.

 

cultural differences

3 Tips About International Cultural Differences

We now live in a fully global society where it is imperative to have an awareness of cultural differences as they relate to networking.  We often notice differences within our own country. However, what about businesses that are networking with businesses in other parts of the world? We should be aware and prepared for some of these particular cultural differences that can affect the way we network with other cultures.  They are sometimes as simple as the way we hand out a business card, to as complex as the study of personal space, and the use of gesters.

Networking in today’s market takes finesse and knowledge of the culture in which you are networking.  Furthermore, if you attending a global convention or event, you will need to know the customs of networking for the various cultures attending, not just those of the host country. Here are three areas where cultural differences mandate a closer look at networking etiquette:

Business Card Etiquette

Exchanging business cards is an essential part of most cultures.  The business card is much more in the Asian culture than it is to us here in America.  It is truly an extension of the individual and is treated with respect.  Things like, tucking it into a pocket after receiving it, writing on it, bending or folding it in any way, or even looking at it again after you have first accepted it and looked at it are not considered polite and can insult your fellow Asian networker.

Consideration of “Personal Space”

When networking, it’s very important to respect the cultural boundaries relating to personal space. Some cultural dynamics are fine with close personal interaction, while others demand a bigger bubble.  This is not a point to underestimate.

In Saudi Arabia, you might find yourself recoiling while your business associate may get the impression that you are stand-offish.  In the Netherlands, this might be reversed due to the fact that their personal space equates to our social space.  Do your homework and be sensitive to cultural differences in this area.

Use of Slang and Gestures

When using slang in a business environment, you might want to keep in mind that what means one thing to us might have no meaning or have a very different meaning in another culture. I recommend that you consult with someone in that country who is familiar with that culture before interacting with the business people.

It was invaluable to me to be able to have my Israeli Director in BNI, Sam Schwartz, coach me regarding the Orthodox Jewish custom of not shaking hands with someone from the opposite gender.

 Networking basics are universal; with some care for taking into account cultural nuances. It is important to find things that bring us together.  Things that are similar for us all.  For example, we all speak the language of referrals and we all want to do business based on trust.  This transcends many cultural differences. 

Summer Networking

Summer Networking Tips

The temperature is rising and so are your summer networking opportunities!

Every once in a while I hear a BNI member say that their chapter slows down during the summer months. I also know of many chapters that flourish in the summer with new members and referral growth! So why are some up and some down? It is a matter of gearing towards the season by refocusing on referrals during your networking activities? Build your business while traveling on vacation too.

What summertime networking activities are you attending? These may not seem like networking activities, however, you should still always be prepared.

  • BBQ
  • Block Parties
  • Pool parties
  • Picnics
  • Ball games or sporting events
  • Music Festivals
  • Reunions
  • Parades
  • Or just some summertime fun:
    Golf, Boating, Traveling, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping or Gardening?

Barbecue / Block Party Networking!

Whether headed to a holiday block party blowout or a more intimate birthday celebration for a colleague, barbecues are a great chance to meet friends of friends and expand your professional network.

Make the most of your family barbecue. Bring a few sample products to the barbecue to give out to family and friends. Who better to help spread the word for you? If you are so inclined, ask attendees to bring a new friend with them to the event. More than likely, some family members will show up with uninvited guests anyway. The more the merrier, right? Use these opportunities to get to know people and share what you are looking for. You never know who they know! But don’t break out in a sales pitch at a barbecue. Ever. People are there to have fun, relax and enjoy.

Pool Party  / Picnic Networking:

Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately! Listen to what everyone is saying at your summertime activities. What topics are they mentioning?

Are they complaining about their business? 
Invite them to visit your BNI chapter.

Are they excited about a wedding?
Share about those members in your chapter that are good referrals for them.

Do they talk about their home being too hot in the summer and it costs too much to cool?
Talk about your HVAC or solar member.

Do they want to remodel their home or need to move homes?
It’s Referral time!

Ball Game / Sporting Event Networking:

A great networking strategy is to get tickets to a local ball game or sporting event and invite BNI members and potential referral partners you know to introduce to each other. Whether your team wins or loses, great connections can be made!

Music Festival Networking:

The hills are alive with the sound of networking. Music brings people from all different types of professional backgrounds together networking through all of the music and dancing at a music festival will be a challenge, but it can prove to be invaluable. While each attendee might have a different background, many will have the same overall goal– utilizing networking to make meaningful connections and build their businesses. Every personal encounter is a potential opportunity for networking, so don’t overlook anyone.

Networking at Reunions:

Summertime is the time for both family reunions and class reunions. These are essentially a gathering of (potentially) dozens of people who, despite the fact that they took various different professional paths, automatically have a great deal in common and genuinely want to see one another succeed. So if you’re looking for a job, a career change, industry advice or even if you’re just hoping to network within your field, attending your reunion could be just the ticket. The question is not whether you should attend your reunion, but how you will network effectively at the reunion.

The FOUR hour “one to one” Networking Foursome!

If you are a golfer, find a fellow BNI Member who also plays golf. Set up a round of golf and you each bring a favorite golf playing client to introduce to each other as a referral source for the other BNI member. What a great way to solidify a top referral source and score a ‘hole in one” referral yourself with someone else!

If you do not play golf? Is there a summertime activity that you do that you and a fellow member can invite clients to attend? (Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping,  or Gardening)

The GOAL?

Any place you go with family, friends or strangers is a networking opportunity!

  • Bring Your Business Cards! Bring your fellow BNI members’ business cards with you to all your summertime events!
  • Remember Your Fellow Members and make a goal for one referral per event you attend!
  • Who have you met at these summertime events that you can invite to your chapter as a visitor?

Here’s to a GREAT summer in the Northern Hemisphere filled with lots of referrals! Those BNI Members south of the Equator can wait to use these tips in December or try to network on the ski slopes.

Wine O'Clock

Wine O’Clock

Take a little Wine O’Clock time for YOU!

Life for people in this day and age is crazy busy. People will take up every spare moment in your life if you let them, so it is important to create a life that has “margins.” Build free time, family time, and personal time into the margins of your day-to-day existence. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. You’ll be happier when you create margins—we promise. Schedule time to relax.

I have scheduled time to relax. Beth and I are taking a vacation this week with my good friend and co-author, Stewart Emery, with his wife. We have been enjoying this week together in Bordeaux France sipping wine and enjoying the sights.

In this video, we discuss “Margins”. You create “harmony” in your life by creating space in your life. Harmony is the access to the things that really matter to you and being fully present; while avoiding those things that do not.

“Who’s in Your Room?: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life”

This is the premise behind my newest book, co-authored with Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio. We believe this book can change people’s lives. Learn the secret to creating your best life.

https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

Whatever you are in life, be a good one. Experience the best the world has to offer. Opportunities will open up for you when you do.

CHEERS!

Welcome to Thailand

Welcome to Thailand

This week most of our BNI directors from around the world are traveling to Bangkok to attend the BNI Global Convention. Welcome to Thailand. To those BNI directors and members attending, I am looking forward to meeting you. Therefore, if you have never been to Thailand, here are some tips from Kollakit Thalerngnawachart, the National Director of BNI Thailand that will make your trip to Bangkok more enjoyable!

Thailand is honored and proud to welcome all of our BNI Directors and members to the BNI Global Convention in Bangkok. Thailand has everything to offer for a pleasant trip to this land of smiles.

The “Wai”

or pressing your palms together at chest or nose level and bowing your head slightly, is a gesture that you will encounter almost immediately upon arrival in Thailand. It is as common as a handshake. Thai people greet each other with the “Wai”. This salutation is not only used to say “Hello” but can also be used to say “Thank You” or “Apologize” someone.

Temple Manners

Your travels to Thailand would not be complete without visiting a few temples. Most temples require that guests dress conservatively by covering the shoulders and knees and removing shoes before entering sacred places.

Thai Language

The spoken and written Thai language is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. Furthermore, English and some other European languages are spoken in most hotels, shops, and restaurants in the major tourist destinations.

Centara at Central World.

Our Convention venue is of world-class standard. It is right in the heart of Bangkok, with first class facilities. Therefore, the area has everything to offer from local restaurants to world-class shopping experience where you will sure to enjoy.

MORE TIPS:  It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play into global networking 

In conclusion, welcome to Thailand, the land of Smiles and to the 2018 BNI Global Convention!

Kollakit Thalerngnawachart | National Director, BNI Thailand

Business Trip

My Must-Remember Items When Packing for a Business Trip

I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling, especially internationally, I try very hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking to groups of people. . . but I admit it’s hard to remember everything all the time. An international magazine interviewed me recently on this topic. The reporter asked me, “What should business people think about taking with them on a business trip that they might not normally think about?” This list would benefit anyone taking a trip, so I’m sharing it here.

First, a few somewhat obvious things that can certainly come in handy on a business trip:

  1. Plenty of business cards: It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/purse, briefcase, and luggage. I put stacks in many places to ensure I always have extra.
  2. Name badge: If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to do your name badge and do it right.
  3. Extra pens: Make sure you have a pen with you while you are doing meetings. I always find that I need to write some reminders down while I’m talking to people. It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.

Somewhat less obvious things:

  1. The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
  2. Hand sanitizer: I know this may sound a little bit like “Mr. Monk,” the germaphobe title character of a television series. However, I have found that since I’ve started using hand sanitizer after shaking many, many hands, that I have been getting far fewer colds than I used to get. Just be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t desperately and obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand.
  3. Breath mints: As obvious as it may sound, I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea they need them.
  4. Memory stick: Many times I have either needed to get a copy of something or give a copy of a file or presentation to people while out networking. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
  5. Camera: A camera is great if you want to memorialize some occasion or a meeting with someone important to you. A video camera can be important for anyone that blogs. It gives you a chance to interview someone during your travels. I do this almost every time I travel.
  6. Tools for your business: For me, that includes many copies of my bio for introductions whenever I speak. Despite that my team sends the bio in advance, there are many times when I arrive and they don’t have the bio handy. Another tool for me is a PowerPoint remote clicker. This is really important for me. I don’t want to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as I present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? I have copies of my talks on there just in case the group I’m speaking to has misplaced my presentation material.

When I asked some colleagues and other business travelers what they would add to the list, they added some that I hadn’t thought of. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. A phone charger. I agree heartily, especially seeing how much these items cost in an airport, or in another country. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord. Besides being expensive, it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all. Also, you should write a “note to self” to fully charge all of your electronic devices the night before you leave.
  2. Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one. It is best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
  3. The right clothes. Most of you have experienced differences in temperature or weather from one town to another, so you can imagine how different the conditions could be across the country or around the world. It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts for every region of the earth. Of course, there are no guarantees where the weather is concerned.
  4. A good book. Hear, hear! Those airport layovers, delays, and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read.

I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively for both business and pleasure. Over the years, Bob and I have accumulated numerous tips to help aid overseas business travel. It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play into global networking and how understanding those differences becomes very important as we do business around the world. If you are preparing to network in Asia?–Consider These Valuable Tips

There are certainly more items to include, but the above can certainly make or break an important business trip. So you definitely do not want to forget them.

monorail

Technology and My 8-Year-Old Self

It was a crowded day at the Toronto airport as I was walking to my gate recently. On the way, I heard a soft but steady swooshing sound coming up behind me. I looked up to see a red monorail drive on by above me. I immediately had a monumental flashback to my first visit to Disneyland circa 1964. I was roughly 8 years old and was in awe of all the amazing things that I witnessed, most of which was in of the Tomorrowland exhibits.

monorail

The Disney monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the United States. In my flashback to my early visit to the park, I remembered wondering if something like this would ever be commonplace. It was amazing to see it operating in Toronto and going right through the building much like it did in Tomorrowland many years ago.

As I stood there watching the monorail go on by, I realized that during that same visit (or one soon after), I also spent time gawking at the first ‘push button’ telephones and first ‘touch screen’ computer monitor (it had 9 sections and all you could do was play tic tac toe). The push button phones transitioned into daily use in the following decade but the touch screen technology took many more years to become commonplace.

It makes me want to go back to Disneyland to see what the future holds for the next generation. What technology did you first see at a Disney Park or World Fair? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Five Tips for Traveling Abroad on Business

My lovely wife Beth and I immersing ourselves in the local culture while visiting Vietnam last summer.

I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively for both business and pleasure. Over the years, I’ve accumulated numerous tips to help aid overseas business travel.

What many businesspeople fail to realize about business work abroad is that is comes with a unique set of challenges. While business travel in your home country requires a certain level of planning and organization, international travel is a whole other ballpark.

No matter where you are going for business, your itinerary is your best friend. This is even more the case in a foreign country. You will undoubtedly want to spend some time visiting landmarks and taking in the culture of the area. By planning your trip in advance and scheduling in time to complete all of the work you need to do, you can fit in time to relax, see the sights, and enjoy yourself.

What kinds of customs do people in other cultures have that you could easily offend? For example, in many cultures, Japanese and Indian included, it is customary to spend a lot of time reading someone’s business card when they hand it to you – just taking it and slipping it in your pocket immediately is inappropriate.

In the same vein, be very conscious of your body language. Things that you do all the time may have completely different connotations in other cultures. Even handshakes might mean something different in other cultures, as for some it is customary to bow instead.

Learn a few key phrases in the native language of the country if you aren’t already fluent, as well. Business associates will appreciate any honest attempt you make at communicating with them in their native language.

While a little more obvious, check into your paperwork a few months in advance to when you leave. Some countries won’t accept your passport if it is nearing expiration, for example. Do you need a visa for your trip? These are things that you won’t want to leave to the last minute, as they will surely provide unneeded (or wanted) stress.

What are your top tips for traveling abroad for business? Let me know in the comments below!

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