Grow Your Business: Find Your Place

Jenny Barnett

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Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

You found your calling, but have you found your place? In our last blog post, Want to Grow Your Home Business? Rescue a Pet! we explored how our furry companions spark creativity, increase productivity, and make us healthier overall.

So what do we mean by find your place? In 2016, we almost put off a long-awaited trip to Scotland. A trip wouldn’t have been prudent after a tough year financially. But one of us couldn’t stop looking at Pinterest and pondering our dream vacation.

When the airfare dropped one morning, we took the plunge and have never looked back.

Despite the harrowing driving experience, this turned out to be the best money we ever invested our business. Yes, that’s right. The trip seemed to unlock some hidden potential. Business soared.

You’re probably wondering how spending a few thousand on a trip could lead to business prosperity. Sure we could have used that money to buy more Google ads, hire a social media guru, or have our website redesigned (all worthy ventures), but none of those things would help define us.

We decided to read a wee bit about Scottish history in advance so we didn’t act like typical tourists decked in our finest non-clannish plaids. Most important, we rented a car so we could take in the countryside at our own pace. We hiked, wide-eyed, in majestic forests, among towering Douglas firs with boundless carpets of moss underfoot.

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Brecklet Forest, Ballachulish, Scotland

Clearly we enjoyed ourselves, but inevitably our trip came to an end!

One might argue that we acquired some great memories, used up a portion of our savings, and now it was over, right?

Yes and no.

We took a piece of Scotland home with us (in addition to a few luxurious cashmere scarves). We developed a feeling of contentedness. The locals’ down-to-earth perseverance infected our psyches.

For a few days back at home, we talked of nothing else. We wandered around in a depressed daze as we returned to familiar, grayed-out American shopping centers.

We had to survive in our new reality, and run our small business. How were we ever going to manage that? We had already investigated moving to Scotland, but our business was in the States.

In order to persist, we opened our eyes to our own backyard, so to speak.

As it turns out, we live within a mile of a nature center, two reservoirs, and a mountain—all of which have extensive trail systems.

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Case Mountain

Case Mountain, Manchester, CT

How could we have lived here for ten years, and not taken advantage of these natural wonders? Because we hadn’t been awakened to them. Scotland did that for us.

It became our proverbial place.

If you want to understand how our daily hikes helped business to skyrocket, check out this article from Business Insider, “12 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outside.”

Being outdoors does so much for our bodies, and minds. A 20-minute dose of nature improves short-term memory, sharpens focus, and sparks creativity. It also boosts your immune system, which means we spent less time sniffling and more time networking.

Nature even combats fatigue. Normally most of us guzzle coffee and gulp sugary snacks to slog through the drudgery. Maybe all we need is to surround ourselves with nature and inhale the fresh air.

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River Dee, Mar Lodge Estate

Not only did the trip re-order the mitochondria in our brains, but it also provided us with an array of stories. Tales about Scottish locals bumping into Prince Charles in the Highlands near Balmoral Castle and our own near-death driving experiences captivate an audience at dinner parties.

While many of us realize that successful businesses are built on the ability to tell stories, we may borrow them from others.

But they are much more powerful when they are our stories.

At Barnett Writer, we encourage you to go find your place, and live to tell your own tales. It’ll help define you as a person, and that will define your business.

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