Feel like Branson

Posted on 24 Jul 2017 by Niels Maas

You don’t need to travel the world by air balloon to feel like Richard Branson. Building an international business is a great adventure too: it really enriches your life.

Building an international business will definitely help broaden your world. There is no boost like getting up for an early morning run in downtown Budapest or Copenhagen to get to know the feel of the city. Seven personal reasons to open up shop abroad.

1. Get out of your comfort zone

New country. New game. New people. New rules. New expectations. You may be managing a successful business in one country, but when you move to another, you will have to make a fresh start all over again. New employees, customers, service providers, authorities: you will have to convince them about your ideas and the capabilities of your organization.

2. Find new perspectives on life

People in other cultures have different views on business and on life. When interacting with people and organizations in a new country, you will get more feedback that you will ever experience working in your home country! From this you will learn as a business, but in particular as a person. It will sharpen your view on business, on people and on yourself.

3. Learn to build trust

‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. The opening line of Anna Karenina applies to business as well. Successful businesses have a lot in common, unsuccessful businesses mess up in a variety of ways. Successful businesses have great customer focus and clear brand promises they live-up to. Employees love these brands and so do their customers and investors. Why? They deliver what they promise, making it easy to trust them. When you are good at building businesses in other countries, you are good at building trust.

Successful businesses have great customer focus and clear brand promises they live-up to

4. Learn a language

An obvious advantage and truly an asset. It feels good to be fluent in multiple languages and read books and newspapers in their original language. It may not be necessary to learn a language while starting a business abroad, but it sure is helpful. And fun too! Most people really appreciate it when you try to speak their language.

5. Build your network

Whether building new business relations, making friends or engaging in a romantic relationship: working abroad will enrich your social life. It is an asset for yourself, and will make you an asset for your friends and network. Your ability to help others will grow, knowing people around the world you can ask for information or an introduction.

6. Speed up your career

Doing business abroad will bring you more opportunities then staying at home. Often there is less competition, both in the market and within your organisation. You will get loads of responsibilities and the mother organisation feels far away. No one to look over your shoulder, no one stepping-in. Freedom!

7. Unleash your potential

Life is about experiences. If you want to get the most out of life, be sure to travel or become an international entrepreneur. Running complex negotiations in China or organizing a market entry into Brazil is a once in your life experience. The good thing is: this adventure is not for the happy few. It’s available for all entrepreneurs that dare to cross borders. So don’t limit yourself and become a global citizen.

About the author

Niels Maas is founder and CEO of Forglobal. Niels worked in international retail in Europe and Asia and studied Industrial Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He is a strong advocate for open economies and global citizenship. Niels lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, close to the beautiful Amsterdam Zoo.