Life and Business Lessons From My Summer in Tel Aviv

Life-and-Business-Lessons1
As my time in Tel Aviv comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned during my stay here.  It seems with every trip I grow and change so much personally and professionally as I explore new places as well as new stages of my still young business. This has led to more than a few personal and business revelations and has me as excited as ever to continue on my journey.

So, what did I learn? Highlights below..

1. Tel Aviv is an Amazing City

Tel Aviv Sunset

Beautiful beaches. Beautiful people. Thriving tech start-up scene. Tel Aviv is a wonderful place to spend a summer as a young entrepreneur.

This city is a paradise. It sits right on the Mediterranean with miles of beaches lining the coast. The people here are absolutely stunning. Everyone is fit and often hardly wearing any clothes because they are going/coming from the beach. There is also a vibrant nightlife with a huge variety of options depending on what you like.

There is also a crazy awesome tech start-up scene. Everyone I meet seems to in some way be involved in ‘high-tech’. For someone interested in that scene such as myself, it’s been an incredible experience to learn about innovative companies/approaches as well as to connect with some really smart people.

Yes, there are downsides such as high cost of living and crazy heat. But, everything considered, there aren’t many other places that offer the combination of cool/innovative business as well as beach/party atmosphere. Tel Aviv is a fantastic place to spend a summer and I am very happy about the time I spent here.

2. Slow Travel is Really Nice

Spending two months in a city has some nice benefits opposed to quicker paced travel. For example, it was really nice to be able to meet and connect with people and see them more than one time during my stay. I feel like I’ve been able to start to form more lasting friendships which simply isn’t as realistic when only meeting someone once. Solo travel can be isolating and get lonely, so it was nice to get to meet a lot of people and build somewhat of my own friend group while here.

Moreover, from a business standpoint, having a few months opposed to a few days in a city was advantageous. It can be difficult to coordinate schedules to meet and network with people in only a week or so. But with two months in the same city, I was able to connect with almost everyone I was hoping to. It also takes some time to get settled in a city and learn what’s going on. So, having a few months allowed me time to dig into what was happening, and then still have time to take advantage of it.

Even though I moved through a handful of different apartments while I was here, it was still nice to be relatively ‘settled’ in one city and to be able to focus on work. Yes, it was a change of scenery with each move, but I found it easier to stay focused when at least staying in the same city.

Although I’ve got a pretty torrid travel schedule coming up the next few months, I’d like to explore more slow travel and look forward to my next opportunity to do so.

3. It’s a Marathon, Not A Sprint

This one applies as much to life as it does to business.. and business as it does to life. For me, the two are almost inextricably mixed.. but that’s for another post.

The more I continue with my life/business, the more I realize that the race is long and there really is no finish line. For so long when I was working to build up my business, I had this mentality where I kept thinking ‘if only I can get to X each month.. that’s what I need to succeed/live my dream/make it etc ‘.  I sort of thought that once I got to that threshold that things would be different. Not sure what exactly I thought by different but I thought that once I hit my target monthly income, my life would somehow change.

Over the past few months, I’ve hit my target monthly income. I’ve also not hit my target monthly income. And you know what? Months that I did or didn’t hit that magic number for the most part felt the same. I was still working to get better. I was still traveling. I was still living. Yah, my bank account fluctuated somewhat accordingly, but there was no ‘I made it’ moment, so to speak, when I hit whatever mark I was shooting for. On the other hand, there was no ‘I’m failing’ moment on months that I didn’t hit that mark.

Life, and (hopefully) my business, is long. It’s not achieved or completed in a year.. or a few years.. or ever. There is always something else to chase and go after. And there are always bumps in the road.

This is ok.

This is good. 

It makes life exciting. 

So, the biggest takeaway from the ‘marathon not a sprint’ realization is just to enjoy the journey wherever it takes you. Because it will be long. So, good or bad, it’ll

serve you well to make the best of it.

Tel Aviv Beach4. Focusing on One Thing is Necessary For Maximum Growth

This I’ve been hearing for years and the longer I’m in business, the more I realize it to be true. In order to achieve maximum business growth, it is necessary to specialize and focus on one thing.

For better and for worse, my personal business is currently a mix of a wide array of different activities and endeavors. Yes, this keeps things interesting and I’m diversified. But, in order to really scale, I’ll have to decide on one of them to pursue wholeheartedly.

At this point in my business however, I still feel that I’m in the ‘throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks’ phase. Yes, I’ve found some things that stick, but not anything that I’m so compelled to pursue with all my energy and effort. I do think that time will come as I continue to learn and try new things and discover what works the best. And sure, I think my business will continue to grow regardless, but never to the level as I expect it to once I really niche down and focus on one thing.

5. Life (and Business) Goes On.

Probably the most valuable lesson that I continue to internalize is simply that life goes on. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve dealt with ups, and downs, and good and bad and you know what? I still wake up me every day living my life.

For a business example, when my business was starting I was so anxious about loosing a client, or a project going awry and thought that my business was perpetually one blow away from not-existing. Well, I’ve lost clients and have had projects not go as planned and yet my business persists. Some days are harder than others, but I am realizing that it will take more than a blown client or project to derail what I’ve worked so hard on.

Same goes for life. I’ve had a wide array of experiences ranging from worst-case to best-case scenario and regardless, things never just stop. No matter what, tomorrow is a new day and life will continue.

So don’t take things too seriously, and try not to be so hard on yourself. I’ve far from mastered this, but realizing that good or bad, life will always continue helps keep things in perspective.

What do you think? Did you find any of this helpful? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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