Good Things Happen When You Leave the House

Kate on the busI’m writing this to you from the glorious locale of a Peter Pan bus. I’m headed to New York City for the day simply to network with people I love and respect.

Today, I’ll be on the bus longer than I’ll be in the city. But I am psyched. Why?

Because this is one of my mantras:

Good things happen when you leave the house. (Click to Tweet!)

There is something magical and supremely powerful about getting your butt out of your chair and out in to the world. It inspires you, it gives you a new perspective, it makes you appreciate what you have while also raising your awareness of what else is possible.

Better yet, traveling requires you to invest some time and money on things that you’re not exactly sure how they’re going to pan out—but what we focus on grows. Meaning, focusing on things that are speculative helps you grow your future.

Plus, it’s fun. Even when you have to spend more time on the bus than at your destination. (I could have spent the night, but we’re traveling next week for Thanksgiving and there are some things I’d really like to put to bed before we go, and waking up in my own bed tomorrow is the best way for me to do that.)

How long has it been since you got “out there”? If the answer is “too long,” here are some of the things that might be holding you back:

  • You’re “trying to figure things out.” Maybe you’re searching for the right conference—spending lots of time Googling but never registering. Or you’re researching the right hotel and flight information.Hear this: There are some things Google can’t help with. Any decision you make based on a sincere desire is better than no decision. Which leads me to my next point…
  • You’re trying to stay safe. There are definitely a few hundred Parisians whose families wish they hadn’t left the house last Friday. I get that. But there is no way to plot your life so that you are impervious to danger. Life is precious. We are vulnerable. It could all end at any moment. There is no safe. Better to go out doing something you love than sitting at home.On the flip side, there is no unsafe. Even our toughest situations are here to teach us something we need to know. We are all always getting what we need.
  • You’re waiting. Waiting is a major energy killer. While no one is in control of when things happen, if you’re staying in your house or your little office because you’re waiting for business to pick up or the economy to get stronger, you are taking yourself out of the game.In fact, if business is slow, the best way to grease the wheels is to get out and refresh yourself. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  
  • You’re sucked in to a vortex. I know how tempting it is to think you’ve got to get everything all taken care of before you venture out in to the world and pursue something that’s speculative at this point. The thing is, thinking that getting away from your desk will slow you down is straight up untrue.Getting “out there” has a lot of potential to make you more productive: First, when you give yourself a deadline for when you have to leave the house, you will have to focus on getting things done before you go. Second, and more importantly, getting out and exposing yourself to new ideas will help you see what your true priorities are. So that when you return home, you’ll be motivated to spend more time doing the things that will move the needle.
  • You’re contracting. In other words, you’re thinking you don’t have the money. Here’s the thing: You can’t not spend money. It’s an unavoidable part of life. Even monks and monasteries have to do it. The choice you do have is deciding what to spend your money on. Make sure that you’re spending some it on your growth.There are ways to get creative about how much money you need to spend. Even if you’re in a low-income period, you can still find a way to make it work—maybe you go to the $50 class on how to promote your business on Facebook instead of the $1000 conference. But you still go do something. There is opportunity everywhere. Choose which ones you’ll show up for.

Look, you can’t spend all your time on the go. But you’ve got to get out of your normal routine to stay fresh.

Ask yourself—what’s your ideal number of events/adventures? For me, I know that if I go longer than three months without getting at least 150 miles away from my home, I’m going to get twitchy. Closer to home, I also know that two events a month is a bare minimum for me to feel like I’m “out there,” circulating, meeting people, having new conversations and getting new insights. Those are my minimums. That means four trips and 24 local events a year.

I’ve got a bubble chart—a very fancy Microsoft Word doc with 4 big circles at the top and 24 smaller circles at the bottom—that I use to track my progress and inspire me to keep looking for my next trip.

What about you? How often do you like to get out and about? What types of places do you like to go? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Happy travels. =)

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4 thoughts on “Good Things Happen When You Leave the House

  1. Thanks for this great post, Kate! Even though you’ve said it many times before, I’m going to finally make this my mantra! Good things happen when you leave the house!!!

  2. Interesting timing! I was just considering returning to Montreal for a day trip. I miss the croissants!

    I’m good with big trips since Richard is on top of that. He’s the more wanderlusty one of the two of us.

    Day trips are my challenge. Since I live in the center of town–besides walking on the Aqueduct trails– I have a four block radius.

    Whenever someone asks me when was the last time I went “into the city,” I’m shocked by how many months have gone by even though it’s just under an hour to get to NYC from here. I don’t particularly like NYC but I must remind myself that I haven’t done everything or met everyone there. And once I get my driver’s licence, fuggedabowdit! Look out Bestchester!

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