Travelling is great. Seeing the world as a citizen is awesome. Visiting rain forest locations you know no one has seen is breath taking. Arriving at forbidden cities in China is riveting. The desire to see new cultures is like air to me. I have to breathe. I have to experience life too. Touring the world in a professional capacity is better. Having people host your arrival changes the dynamic.
Having children changes your prospective.
For the first time in the last three months I haven’t racked up United Premium Qualifying Miles (PQM). I was a 1K holder last year. Towards the end of the year my work load lightened. It would be more accurate to stay it stopped. If I don’t start traveling again my status could be in jeopardy. There is something else that isn’t in jeopardy. That’s my prospective on how my presence affects my family.
I took my last foreign trip to Cyprus this January. I was gone for nearly a month. The affect my travel had on my child was quite noticeable. My daughter’s behavior is directly correlated to my travels. When I am gone she acts differently. When I am home the day shines much different. Her mother is a phenomenal woman. She has the patience to deal with situations other do not. Travelling to new markets is the life blood of a professional entrepreneur. The heart that pumps the blood is family. Love is a strong motivator. Conquering the world for you only goes so far. The fight to push internally can be influenced by one’s mind. When one feels they have lapped their competitors four times over…intensity wanes. It’s natural. If there is no emergency why rush?
Positive thinkers with their motivational words inspire continual effort. Great people usually have great cause. Great people typically have fuel to burn their fire. Ego can be fuel. Most of the time motivators are a third party source. My motivator is simple. Parenting, life and love are my motivators.
I’ll elaborate for you. My life is travel but my love to parent is not compromised. There are some things I do that I will share with you. It’s kept my relationship afloat going on 10 years now.
Personally I found parenting and relationship maintenance abroad is helpful doing the following:
1. Frequent Random Calls — Entrepreneurs I cannot stress this enough. Find time even if it’s for a few minutes. Call and speak to someone. Conversations need not be long. Constant contact is better than one thirty minute call at the end of day. Being gone means giving extra effort. Don’t be too busy to call. Say “Hey I was just thinking about you. Everything okay?” IF your partner misses the single phone call it’s a huge emotional blow to your family and spouse. Avoid bad emotions. Speaking to loved ones briefly and frequently.
2. Face Time or Whatsapp Video — This seems obvious. Most people take for granted technology we have today. The thing about Face Time (or another video stream) is it demands your “attention”. You have to look at the person. Most people just want attention. If the people on the video are your spouse and family give them your undivided attention. There will be nothing happier than a child “showing” you her “A” for the day. There will be nothing better than your wife “showing” you her hair. Make some time for some “Face Time” (Literally).
3. Find a Single Item to bring back — Use your imagination. Don’t buy the best bag in France if you go to France. Bring back something unique to the personality of each person. Bring one thoughtful thing back. I once brought a rare flower from overseas because my daughter likes flowers. Not all things cost money. Some things just cost time & effort.
4. Communicate your Appreciation — Make sure you are sincere in your communication. Being apart takes sacrifice. Never over look the fact that travel is hard on couples. Make sure you are consistent in communicating your appreciation. A person who waits to be with you is a person that needs to be thanked. There are billions of other people in this world. Never take for granted that someone loves you. Appreciate your partner and make sure you tell them it frequently. I often ask my life partner and wife “Do you get tired of me telling you I love you so much?” She always answers the same, “No.”
5. Spend at least 2 years continually together — Relationships are built with “quality time”. How can you say you are close when you are always gone? Before I made frequent travel I spent two years everyday with my life partner. It’s important to recognize this. During this time we grew close. Every day I would come home we would spend time together alone. During this time we formed a very strong bond. It is my personal opinion (not saying I am 100% correct) that people who do not spend large amounts of quality time together, in the beginning of their relationship, cannot last apart. Don’t start your relationship absent. You will find you have no one in attendance when you get back.
A Professional Entrepreneur is more than just work. We are human beings. Remember to cultivate all aspects of your life. Cultivate your mind. Cultivate your body. Cultivate your Spirit. Don’t neglect personal components that make you human. You discover great holes in yourself when you do. You cannot fill a void that requires love. You cannot fill a void that requires spirituality. Don’t say you don’t need someone. We all need someone. Weakness is refusing to recognize your vulnerability. Strength is admitting you have vulnerability. Your ability to preserve in spite of your vulnerability is what makes courage. Courage makes willpower. Willpower is basis for integrity. Integrity is what all great people have.
Lack of filling the emotional and spiritual holes is a big part why I’ve seen people turn to substance abuse or depression.
No one talks about the levels of suicides in our profession. I think much can be prevented by having loved ones there for you. You won’t have anyone there for you if you are all business. Family is the building blocks of your humanity. We are social creatures. We have social needs. Don’t neglect the importance of our species. Don’t neglect family in the sake of professional exploits. Almost none of my partners will show up when there is no money to discuss. Don’t every lose sight of that.
Business is personal. But not all personal matters are business.
About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com