I just got back from an incredible three-week vacation with my friend and personal brand photographer Heidi Hapanowicz!

It started off in Barcelona (Spain), followed by Lisbon (Portugal), and finally Istanbul and Cappadocia (Turkey). 

For more photos, follow me on Instagram.

 

I’m so grateful I was able to take this trip. I’m especially thankful to my team who held down the fort, allowing my business to run like clockwork without me. 

Traveling can teach you a lot of lessons. Here are my top three from this trip:

 

1) Less is better

Like many women, I overpack when I travel. I brought two dozen dresses, several pairs of shoes, and whatever else could fit in my suitcase “just in case.” I paid the price for that, literally and figuratively. 

My two big suitcases were overweight, which meant I had to pay extra every time I got on a plane. As I bounced from city to city, this added up to several hundred dollars. 

Having too much stuff also made it hard to find everything — from my cell phone charger and toiletries to a particular dress. Lesson learned: next time I travel, bring less stuff!

How this applies in business:

Do you ever find yourself taking on too many things? Instead of one or two priorities, you convince yourself that you can take on several major projects at once. 

It’s like trying to push several suitcases around at the airport when you only have two hands. Not fun! You move slowly, awkwardly, and less effectively.

What ends up happening is you inevitably pay the price, from feeling stressed and overextended to everything taking longer and costing more.

It’s important to keep your eyes on the most important, needle-moving activities (which requires you to be selective and say no to things). 

 

2) Hire an expert

I knew I wanted to capture some magical images on this trip. In particular, I wanted a photo of myself in Cappadocia with the famous hot air balloons as the sun was rising.

To make this happen, Heidi and I hired a local tour guide to help us scout locations, as well as create a beautiful set with colorful Turkish rugs and pillows. As tourists who do not speak Turkish, it would have been very challenging to figure this out on our own.

I was also blessed to have Heidi, a highly-experienced personal branding photographer, working her artistic genius with me. I learned so much about posing, dressing for the camera, and lighting during my time with her. 

For more photos, follow me on Instagram.

How this applies in business:

Do you ever spend too long figuring things out on your own, when you could simply hire an expert?

When you’re in unfamiliar territory, hiring someone who understands the ins and outs of what you want to accomplish is the ultimate shortcut. 

 

3) Everything I want I already have

I spent months looking forward to traveling to all these exotic locations. 

While each city had its own uniquely special sights that I’ll always treasure, I realized that the things I enjoyed most about my trip are things that are always available to me… 

  • Having deep, meaningful conversations with friends who get me
  • Reading personal development books and listening to podcasts
  • Getting a 90-minute massage to unwind
  • Enjoying a variety of delicious meals
  • Playing with cats

For more photos, follow me on Instagram.

How this applies in business:

We have a tendency to think that new and different is better. But sometimes what’s best is more of the same. 

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t travel the world or explore new ideas in business. But…

It’s valuable to recognize that what already works is a proven formula for success for you.

Seeing what I was drawn to doing when I had all the time in the world also made me realize what’s most important to me. I’m excited to carve out more time for personal growth, which for me looks like reading books, listening to podcasts, and working with coaches. 

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Now I would love to hear from you! 

  • Which of these three lessons resonated most with you? 
  • Is there a lesson you’d like to share from a trip you took recently?

Let me know on my Facebook post here.

All my best,

Selena

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