road warrior

Business Road Warrior Survival. Tips and Tricks.

By Chris Lott | Road Warrior, Sales | 77 Views | Leave a Comment    

I was on a business trip sitting on the plane when I realized, I’m “living the dream”! How fantastic it was to have a road warrior position with freedom to travel, drive new rentals, eat at nice restaurants, flexible schedules, golfing, home office and of course the frequent flyer points!

 

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Prior to this new freedom I had found myself stuck in a cubicle with an information technology communications technical position. Don’t get me wrong, I was able to get out from time to time but nothing like what I was now doing. Finally, I had the desired career I so richly deserved!

Fast forward a year later. I had become overweight, loathed the cramped seating, hated the lonely evenings, lost luggage and packing was a pain, delayed flights, hotels and eating out became a bore (and dangerous), and felt like I was out of my personal life loop in so many ways. My dream had become tainted. What happened?

Eat, drink and be merry. A road warrior creed?

I fell into the trap so many do as a road warrior. I indulged in the newly found lifestyle. A lifestyle mentally and physically that could not be maintained for very long as it turned out. I saw many of my colleagues quit, or get fired, because they simply could not get it under control. I decided that was not for me and I would make some changes. Let me share.

Curfews and staying busy.

While I had no problem with evenings per se a few of my peers did. Drinking, watching porn in the hotel room and who knows what else took a toll on many. They would meet with clients and party until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes at the bequest of their manager that was traveling with them. I found a way early on to keep from being tempted by any of it.

Nothing good happens after 10PM. Trust me on this one. I made it clear I was not a drinker and a loyal family man. I would buy the first drinks but they were on their own after that. I would excuse myself and head to the hotel room no later than 10PM. Many times the next day hearing regrettable stories that happened that evening late.

When I did get to the hotel room I went to work. Shutting the TV off was imperative. Just too tempting to watch the wrong thing. Waking up early watching the news was OK. Exercising by walking/running and exercise bands was imperative. An early morning start was a must which could not be attained by partying all night.

Tricks of eating out. Food poisoning preparedness.

To keep things interesting I would only eat at certain establishments when I was in certain cities. This kept eating interesting. Many times I would not eat out at night at all buying some groceries and storing them in the mini fridge. I did this much more after I had experienced food poisoning.

I was eating lunch with a client when I became terribly ill. I literally don’t remember getting back to my room. Two days later, a missed flight, and a thousand dollar medical bill I was unfortunate enough to have had food poisoning. Nothing worse than being sick away from home. It turns out that it’s not a matter of if you’ll get food poisoning but when. Talking with the doctor he gave me a list of precautionary items to pack if I became ill. I never traveled again without them.

  • Gatorade (or something similar) for electrolytes.
  • Dramamine for dizziness.
  • Pepto (or something similar) for nausea and diarrhea.
  • Saltines for queasiness.

Road warrior packing tips and lost luggage.

Travel with a carry-on only if possible. Lost luggage is a nightmare. Especially if your only going to be out a couple of days. I saw this first hand when a manager of mine was traveling in to meet me for a big presentation the next morning. They lost his luggage. He had dressed in casual clothes for the flight and now had nothing to wear for the meeting. Which leads me to the next tip.

Wear something you could wear to a meeting if you had to on the flight. There are times when they check your carry-on because of lack of overhead room. This is what happened to my manager.

Tip: To keep shirts from wrinkling terribly, especially if you’re packing them in an overnighter, keep them in the dry cleaners wrap. Also if you forgot your collar stays a cut up room card works well.

Connecting to my real life.

Because I was out almost all week, every week, I would make sure I stayed connected to my personal life. Night time skypes to the family was a must. Dealing with personal family issues were not put off. When working from the home office I would make sure there was private time with my wife. Weekends were sacred and I did not start working Sunday evening. I can’t tell you how valuable this was for long-term road warrior success.

Remember, while there are things about being a road warrior that are liberating they also can become time wasters. You have to produce to keep your position. You have to be disciplined to succeed. With a little foresight and planning a road warrior position can be great. I did it for 6 plus years successfully. You can to!

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