It's Worth The Drive To... (where is your business going?)
When I lived out west, it was not unusual for me to drive over 11 hours to visit my girlfriend on a weekend just to have a chance to hang with a good friend, have some laughs, & enjoy each others company. It was worth the drive from Fort St John, BC to Lethbridge, AB. I was not alone! Many people out there drove long ways to get to different places & they did it willingly. Heck, it was 77 km ONE WAY just to get from my home to work. It was a small price to pay (the distance) to get to my fantastic friends, a great job, or to fun activities.
So why is it in Ontario we seem to be afraid to do the same? I can't believe the number of times I hear people say “I can't make it, it's too far away” just to go to the other side of town or the outskirts. I use to drive up to 2 hours (sometimes 3) one way when I was a Fantastia consultant & met some of the best clients you could ever meet plus I was one of the busiest reps. So many people who run their own business won't even drive 20 mins to get to from Guelph to Fergus, Elora, Cambridge, Erin, etc. Networking in these less urban areas opens up the potential for new clients, or even better, lead to fantastic opportunities & collaborations. Not being willing to go outside your town baffles my mind! Especially when these same business owners are complaining that they can't find clients or referrals.
If you are looking for new opportunities and markets – then get in the car, fill it up with gas, & go! I'm not going to recommend you go on the 401 (one thing that was different out west was they were no 16 lanes of hell) BUT I will say back roads work great & not only give you fantastic scenery but the time to think (maybe even lead to additional business epiphanies and ideas).
There was a marketing campaign for years that said it was "worth the drive" for the Olde Hide House in Acton & I still believe today that it truly is worth the drive to get out, network, & associate with people outside our usual region. A little bit of driving can lead to huge opportunities & success! If I've learned one thing in my travels is:
SMALL TOWNS = BIG BUSINESS!
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