I run a business from my laptop. I have a virtual team, am constantly on social media and nearly all of my writing and coaching clients are remote. In other words, a good chunk of my life is spent online and my business needs a WiFi connection to keep running.
So it was a bit of a shock to me when I recently traveled and had no access to WiFi. At first, I had a little mini panic attack. While I had data and can tether from my cell phone, I was not about to spend more money. Additionally, how am I supposed to market myself on social media if I don't have WiFi? How are things even supposed to work?
I eventually snapped out of it and enjoyed my time being disconnected. In fact, I think it actually improved my business. In this article, I'm explaining how.
I actually did what I was supposed to do on this trip.
I traveled to a business retreat with the intention of putting together a sales funnel for a signature program where I'll be teaching students how to build their thought leadership platforms online.
You would think that not having WiFi on a business retreat is counterintuitive, but it was actually part of its effectiveness. I actually got the entire funnel completed - from the sales presentation outline to the emails I need to send.
If I'd had a WiFi connection I would have been too busy messing around on Facebook or obsessively checking my email to actually get anything done.
I was forced to connect with other people.
One of the biggest ironies of the social media age is that while we're more connected than ever, we're also desperately craving real human interaction.
Well, nothing will make you interact with other humans in real life like not having WiFi. At that point, you're pretty much forced to connect - and that's a good thing.
I believe that not having WiFi on this trip is one of the reasons the participants connected on such a deep level. We were all there to support each other, and not having WiFi allowed us to really listen to each other and make friends.
I learned to let go.
While I was freaking out a little about not having WiFi, eventually I calmed down. Actually, I noticed how I was generally calm throughout the entire trip.
I noticed how not having access to my emails or project management system forced me to let go. I had to trust my team members to do their jobs. I also had to trust that my inbox wouldn't explode. I basically had to trust that everything would be fine even if I wasn't around.
And you know what? Everything was fine.
I got a much-needed break.
There were a few weeks leading up to this trip where I was burning the candle on both ends. It was a combination of it being a busy season in my business, traveling for a client and trying to get projects done ahead of time so I could enjoy my trip.
Not having WiFi actually helped me do what I was trying to do in the first place: Enjoy my time in the Caribbean. And enjoy myself I did.
When I got back I felt refreshed and renewed. I also had a new perspective not just on my business, but on my life.
Not being constantly connected via WiFi helped me relax, recharge and let go. It also helped me get important things done. That's why I may be occasionally disconnecting on purpose at least one weekend a month from now on. If it was that effective while I was traveling, then it can be just as effective when I'm home.