March 22

Travel Like A Business Owner, Frugally!

images (6)People who don’t travel much will often think that business travel is exotic. Interesting cities, nice hotels, restaurant meals all seems so much better that the everyday “humdrum” existence they live!

Then there are the people who actually travel for business, whose view might be a little different. Longer hours, no home cooked meals, miss their own bed, hotels are all the same when all you do is use them to sleep and shower, restaurant meals get old and then there is the time away from family. Not often mentioned but equally off putting is the exposure to germs and people you might not otherwise choose to meet! Too often you find yourself in an aircraft where invariably you are sitting next to a large person who overflows into your space, and has a very obvious cold!

Now that I have put business travel into context, it IS a valuable, and needed, activity for any business that has multiple locations or even just clients in multiple locations.

Business owners approach travel with the goal of achieving their business needs as effectively and as “cost effectively” as possible! Here are some business travel tips from a business owner:

“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” Benjamin Franklin

    1. Book ahead! Last minute travel is costly… and does not allow you to plan your days as effectively as you might.

 

    1. Look at travel options… don’t go with the same airline all the time just to collect points! In Canada I might travel on Westjet, Air Canada or Porter based on price, convenience and my travel needs for a given trip.

 

    1. Be frugal with hotel bookings. Generally it’s just a bed and a shower. You don’t need the most expensive hotel. I find a reasonable place, convenient to my meetings. I often use sites like Hotwire to get great rates and have friends who use airbnb.

 

    1. Limit travel in business hours. I get early morning flights when headed west, and late evening flights when headed east. This means I can maximize my time at my destination. For example if I leave Toronto at or before 7am I can arrive in Calgary or Vancouver around 9am local time, giving me a full day in that city.

 

    1. Look after your body. Eat well, get enough sleep and work out. You don’t even need a gym to work out! Pushups, ab exercises, squats, lunges, walking the stairs etc. are all good exercise that you can do anywhere.

 

    1. Travel with hand sanitiser. In the “germ environments” of planes and hotels it makes sense to act like a health professional. Wash your hands often!

 

    1. Travel with supplements. You will likely not get the nutrients you get with your regular diet so bring vitamins, ColdFX even some pain medication. It will help you stay healthier and hence more effective.

 

    1. Limit your alcohol intake. It is easy to let this get away from you when you are visiting colleagues and clients in other cities. Exercise some restraint, your body will thank you.

 

    1. Take materials with you that will make your travel time effective. Catch up on reading, create a reading file with photocopies or cutouts of articles. Put materials on your kindle, iPad or other reader.

 

    1. Travel light. Learn to pack effectively and think through your wardrobe… if you can travel with carry-on luggage only you will save time and aggravation. (Learn to us an iron… there is one in most hotel rooms).

 

  1. Spend like it is your own money. As a business owner it IS your own money! Tip appropriately, but not extravagantly. Choose reasonable but not crazy restaurants. Take the team for a couple of drinks, but don’t make a night of it.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years like most people won’t. So that you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t.” Unknown

These are lessons I have learned over the last 18 years owning and operating my own business.

What tips do you have to share?

 

Category: Business | Comments Off on Travel Like A Business Owner, Frugally!
March 11

EMR Pollution and The Business Traveller

images (5)An article about Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) published in Townsend Letter, The Examiner of Alternative Medicine (November 2014) highlights the new environmental landscape we find ourselves and the insidious impact EMR is wreaking on health. The article serves as a reminder of a real and present danger of our time and the role EMR could play in the health picture of anyone facing illness. The article’s value lies in alerting us to a developing consensus in certain parts of the scientific community and our ability to read between the lines of what is known about this new landscape and where the trend is heading. This article hopes to draw your attention to the fact that there are certain workers in the general populace who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMR than others. In this instance I am referring to business travellers and anyone who has global travel as part of their job description.

In the latter part of the twentieth century we began a large-scale experiment by making use of artificial electromagnetic radiation waves to drive technology and industry which gave us some very nifty advantages. The upside has been the accelerating rate of globalisation of the world and the world economies. The downside is that we have become more out of touch with our innate health supporting environment. As the world has globalised it mobilised; Technology is an enabler of a mobile world and EMR is a necessary feature. The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw our society transform from an agrarian one to an industrial one. Now we have transformed from an industrial society to a technologically driven society with some not so desirable consequences. Artificial EMR waves we use in daily life to power our gadgets and connect globally are disruptive to human health because they severe our link to the natural geomagnetic wave profile that has nourished Man from time immemorial.

The article goes on to describe the author’s health challenge with Lyme’s disease and the role EMR played in it. It is the research material quoted in the article,which is of more interest to us in terms of what it says about the risks of EMR pollution to business travellers. The most detailed research quoted was the BioInitiative Report compiled by scientists and researchers of ten nations. It notes thousands of studies which demonstrate the damaging effects of EMR from cell phone radiation and other sources. It is damning because it shows the depth of the problem across various fields of study.

Digging into the details of some of the other research used we find a quote from the late Dr Professor Neil Cherry a pioneer in environmental health who said, “EMR confuses and damages the cells signalling system, which produces symptoms such as headaches, concentration difficulties, memory loss, dizziness and nausea, and long-term diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia, brain tumours and depression.”

In a quote from an interview published in 2009 with Dr Thomas Rau of the renowned Paracelsus clinic in Switzerland he says ” … cultures of normal human endogenous bacterial cultures grow much less when exposed to EMR”. Rau’s comments are a reflection that our immunity is compromised in the presence of EMR. Herein lies the problem. EMR messes with immunity which has harmful effects on long-term health.

The article also quotes a Lynn Quiring (RPh, CCN, NMD) paper titled “The Cell Phone Poisoning of America.” In it Lynn cites over 66 scientific references proving the relationship between prolonged EMR exposure and a host of health conditions including hormonal imbalances, low sperm count, immune system disorders, memory loss and sleep disorders.

Not only are we changing the environment externally, but its influence on our internal environment is what is most worrying. Our ability to control and determine our internal environment is our ability to maintain health. It is our first line of defence against stress and the challenges we face on a daily basis.

Business travellers have many challenging scenarios to negotiate in pursuit of a successful business trip. They can include anything from the geopolitical nature of the world, the weather, industrial action, personal security while on the road and more. The constant shift in any of these variables is enough to cause stress, especially when you can’t control them. For the most part we brush them off and get on with the business in hand however, being able to do this is reliant on our stress coping mechanism. Yet here we have evidence that one of the tools that enables our functionality in the global economy is the very thing which is eroding our much-needed resilience. If this seems a bit too far-fetched take a look at the following Infographic from PC Housing – Mobile Dependence.

Where is this heading? To zero in on what one kind of future scenario could look like we only have to look at a group of people who are now being diagnosed as Electro-sensitive. Electro-Sensitives cannot be in close proximity of or endure long periods of time in the vicinity of EMR or gadgets using them. Electro-Sensitivity and Electro-Smog have entered the popular lexicon. In the face of EMR ruling our airwaves and environments our immunity is taking a battering. When you put this in perspective with figures from the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) you get a sense of where the trend is headed and how EMR is a factor we should reckon with. See their document “A Briefing Report on Autoimmune Disease and AARDA: Past, Present and Future”. To get an even more specific take on how stress is affecting Business Travel see the industry specific white paper by AirPlus called “Traveller Productivity: How to tailor your travel policy to improve traveller performance.”

How is this affecting the global economy now? It is serious enough to get a mention at the open forum at the World Economic Forum in 2011 in a talk titled Burnout – The Latest Fashion? While the talk didn’t directly mention EMR as a causative factor its role as an enabler of efficiency in the workspace makes it a contributing factor.

The Business Travel industry and business travellers need to lighten the stress of business travel for the sake of all involved. The Carlson Wagonlit metric the Travel Stress Index (TSi) puts the hidden cost of business travel at over $600 per trip. For companies with large mobile workforces making multiple trips a year that is a big financial incentive. Mitigating costs takes a combined approach, which involves acknowledging the environment we find ourselves working and living in and a sense of individual responsibility towards our health that supports health and therefore productivity.

 

Category: Business | Comments Off on EMR Pollution and The Business Traveller
March 2

Have You Ever Seen a Robin Weep

download (28)Normally, it takes me about 30 plus hours to travel from my home in Grass Valley, California to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Because many airlines have canceled all flights to Sierra Leone, I had to fly to Washington, D.C., and layover for three hours. I then flew to Brussels, and had a layover of 14 hours in Brussels. Then off to Casa Blanca, have a drink with the ghost of Bogart (I would have preferred Ingrid) and sit there for five hours in a crowded airport section with returning Sierra Leoneans. Then I flew for four more hours to Sierra Leone with a guy beside me who after coughing up a storm, put on a face mask and rubber gloves. Finally, arriving at the Freetown airport, the airport security had us wash our hands in cold water and then took our temperature.

After filling out a medical questionnaire, I was able to get on the bus that takes you to a 15 person ferry to cross the bay to Freetown. Wouldn’t you know it, another guy sits next to me and puts on a mask and gloves. Now on this ferry, it can be rough water and everyone on the boat wears a life jacket… Everyone except the guy with the mask and gloves! It took me over 46 hours to travel to Freetown

I tell you this because as you might well imagine, a person with Ebola can also travel through a number of countries, contact many people and land who knows where, and with what, if any restrictions. The idea of a travel ban for West Africans makes us feel better and is well intentioned but poorly thought out. Even in Sierra Leone, when the government put some villages under quarantine and have multiple road checks, people still left the villages on the trails and rivers and made their way to Freetown.

To enforce a travel ban would require a hundred thousand troops. Better idea is to send a thousand medical people and the equipment and medicine along with qualified infectious disease control personal. As.a side note, the people of SL are wondering what the value of our troops are in Sierra Leone. They ask me if we are preparing for war. They feel the troops were sincere, but wasted in their mission. I am told by a friend of mine who was there, that despite Ebola, the troops were in hot pursuit of the beautiful women of Sierra Leone.

 

Category: Business | Comments Off on Have You Ever Seen a Robin Weep