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Five inspirational places to plan your business as an entrepreneur


Barnaby Lashbrooke

Founder and CEO of Time etc, author of The Hard Work Myth

6 minute read

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The beauty of planning your business is that you don’t have to be confined to your usual four walls. You might have the best state-of-the-art office space in the land or the most comfortable remote-working set-up, but sometimes you need an injection of inspiration you won’t find at home or in the office.

Why successful entrepreneurship can start with your surroundings

Some of the most successful people in history didn’t mine their creativity in their bedrooms, offices, or studios. For J.K. Rowling, a coffee shop with majestic views of Edinburgh Castle is where she wrote most of her early manuscripts for the Harry Potter books. The same goes for Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bob Dylan to name but a few — they all worked on their best creations in coffee shops.

So, why did these creative geniuses choose to work on their craft away from the office or their home? And why do many follow suit? You’d assume the privacy and lack of distractions would allow them to focus on one goal: completing a masterpiece. Or, in your case, planning your next business move.

Unsurprisingly, science has the answer! A 2012 study found that low-moderate levels of ambient noise can boost creative thinking, but high levels of noise can negatively affect creativity. Another study specifically called this ‘The Coffee Shop Effect’. If you’re planning your business, you might think that you can’t (or you shouldn’t) make big decisions in a noisy environment as you will be distracted. However, research has shown that a certain level of noise can enhance the quality of the decisions you make in the appropriate conditions — known as stochastic resonance.

With places like coffee shops in particular, it is likely that you would not be the only one working there. But believe it or not, being surrounded by other people working hard on tasks can make us more inclined to do the same. It’s known as the social facilitation effect, where seeing other people working influences your performance. So in a way, concentrating is contagious!

So, with your surroundings playing such a significant role in your cognitive abilities, we think it’s as good an excuse as any to take some time away from your usual office set-up and enjoy a change of scenery. Now don’t get us wrong, we love coffee shops, but here at Time etc we like to think a little bigger. Here are our top five places to plan your business where you can surround yourself with success and inspiration...

Location #1: Airbnb

With over 7 million listings, the options and opportunities are endless, so you can pick what matters to you the most.

An Airbnb in your town or city could be enough to change your perspective and get those ideas flowing, or an apartment in a completely different country could be just what you need. The different locations, the views, and the diverse people you can meet can be incredibly useful for business inspiration.

Every type of Airbnb accommodation has the potential to offer something special, but if you want something more out of the ordinary, here are some of the most unique listings you can book:

Location #2: Hotel lobby

A nice hotel lobby is another great option you should consider to map out your journey as an entrepreneur and grow your business. Upscale, boutique hotel lobbies can be unlike anything else. Many establishments don’t need a booking for you to spend time in the lobby, so why not bring your laptop and enjoy a coffee while soaking up your surroundings? The low-level background sounds of people checking in and out could help boost your creative ideas and decision-making, as we mentioned earlier.

Mostly, the guests that stay in these hotels are successful professionals and are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Ultimately, if your business is successful, this is the life you could get accustomed to. Plan your business in a luxury hotel lobby and manifest this future into reality — you belong here.

Location #3: Countryside retreat

You’ll find the true beauty in nature and when you sit down to plan your business in a peaceful getaway like a log cabin in the woods, or a cottage in the countryside. If you live or work in a city, the peaceful sounds of nature could help you concentrate.

Settings like these are the perfect opportunities to go back to basics, free your mind from distractions, and unwind from your usual, busy lifestyle.

Location #4: Motorhome/RV

This takes remote working to an entirely new level!

While not strictly ‘one’ place to plan your business, a motorhome can essentially be the hub as you immerse yourself in the digital nomad lifestyle.

If you choose, it can be something new every day. How far you want to travel, where you want to stay, it’s all up to you. If you don’t feel creative enough in one location, you can simply move on to another. The freedom of getting behind the wheel for a road trip could help spark so many new ideas for how you drive your business forward.

Location #5: Beach house

There’s something genuinely calming about a beach house where you can forget about the stresses of everyday life, and relax and work in one place.

The sand and sea are at your fingertips. You still have the comforts of home, but the ambient sounds of waves crashing can help to focus your mind. What more do you need to grow your business?

The location you choose to plan your business can have a significant effect on your output, as you could gain some much-needed insight and mental clarity. But there’s still a lot more you can do to keep your focus on business growth and not get caught up in the day-to-day tasks.

That’s where a virtual assistant comes in.

Virtual assistants: The key to unlocking business growth

With a virtual assistant, you never need to see them in person. So, while you’re sitting in an Airbnb focusing on the big-picture ideas, you can reduce your workload while you’re away and hand off the important yet repetitive tasks to a virtual assistant. They’re the secret to helping you win back time and plan your business’ success.

At Time etc, that’s exactly what we help you achieve.

With a carefully-selected group of talented, experienced professionals, we’re the easiest way to help you work with the best virtual assistants so that you can do more each day. Using our knowledge and expertise, we’ll carefully pair you with the right assistant who’ll take care of the tasks eating up your time.

It’s easy and cost-effective too, as you’ll avoid the time and money spent to recruit a full-time, in-house assistant.

If you want to focus on selecting the most inspirational places to plan your business while ensuring the day-to-day tasks are taken care of, check out Time etc today to start making real transformations within your business.

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About the author

Barnaby Lashbrooke is the founder and CEO of Virtual Assistant service Time etc as well as the author of The Hard Work Myth, recently recommended by Sir Richard Branson. Barnaby is a Forbes Columnist on productivity and is also an accomplished entrepreneur, selling more than $35 million worth of services.

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