What would you do if you had the opportunity to pursue a dream with a trip to some faraway place that you know is full of opportunity? Where would you go? What would you do? I was lucky enough to recently have that kind of opportunity fall from the sky in the form of a contest held on www.startupnation.com in partnership with British Airways.
A simple question was asked. If you could grow your business overseas, what would you do and how? Having recently launched a baby planning/consulting business, I was eager to see how I could expand the company across “the pond”. So I explained in my entry that I would love to head to London to meet with potential franchisees for the company. I’d also try to meet with manufacturers of baby products that we may need to tell our clients, new parents, all about. As luck would have it, these simple goals were enough to help me win my seat on a flight packed with entrepreneurs all headed to London, thanks to British Airways’ Face to Face contest. When I got the call saying I was among the winners I was sure I was being punk’d (I didn’t have high hopes that my goals were lofty enough for the kind of plans StartupNation was hoping to hear about). But once convinced I truly did rate, I was thrilled to be able to be part of this trip.
The contest was created after a study was completed between British Airways and Harvard University. The study found more business deals find success when the people involved meet face to face. Video conferencing and email are handy, but the study showed nothing beats a real one-on-one with the person you’re trying to work a deal with. So British Airways decided to jump on in and help orchestrate these one-on-one meetings. The airline actually flew several hundred entrepreneurs overseas, hosting events to help get them rolling while allowing for priceless networking on the flights. And not only did BA fly the winners over to London, but they then allowed the winners to fly to another country of their choice to continue working the deals.
I decided to spend just a couple days in Britain and then head over to Athens, Greece. This part of the trip is more personal than anything. In many ways, the heritage of all the greatness of Greece could only inspire great success in me, at least that’s the way I see it. And getting a view of the gorgeous waters off the coast will do wonders for rejuvenating this round-the-clock worker’s soul.
My flight leaves in just a few days and the reality of my good fortune is only now starting to sink in with me. I know great things await me and I cannot wait to fill you in on just what becomes of this once-in-a lifetime opportunity!