A while ago, I became sick of my habitual routine. While living in Puerto Rico, I felt like my days had become repetitive and my activities had become monotonous. I would surf every day and then work on my startup—SociallyRich. Seeing the same familiar faces every day, I started to let off some steam by having a drink, which clearly didn’t help much as a solution. It almost felt like deja vu, if you will.
Since my family is from Puerto Rico, this meant I would often be asked for “family favors,” especially during Christmas: Puerto Rico might actually have the longest lasting Christmas period in the world, which sucks big time if you are trying to be productive and not have any distractions. It basically begins on November 1st and doesn’t end until about the festival of Calles San Sebastian, one which is held on the weekend of January 20th.
Being the youngest member in my family, I can’t escape the fact that my family will always see me as the little child and will not value my time at most times. To my belief, “taking” someone else’s time is one of the most selfish and rude things. Those that know me know I don’t pick up calls unless I get a text first. A call from someone asking for a favor is something I’m just not cool with. Don’t get me wrong; I love my family to death, but I had to learn to start saying no for three major reasons:
- A favor here and a favor there on a weekly basis takes up a huge amount of my time.
- I have to respect myself and my own time.
- I need to see and show the value in my own time if I want others to see and show it too.
That’s when I called up my co-founder, Emmanuel Tartak, who lives in Orange County. I told him I needed a change. We decided to go snowboarding for 30 days in the southern region of Lake Tahoe, California. We went on Airbnb, decided on the apartment we would rent, and that was it; instantly booked, no looking back, and without any solid planning. We had never even been to Lake Tahoe before; heck we didn’t know if there would be snow by the time we got there.
Coincidentally, when we arrived, there was no snow, not even an inch of it. Panic set in for a little bit as I thought I had flushed the money away. But I was confident that regardless of what was unfolding, this was the right call. Two days after we arrived, a huge snowstorm came in. It just bombarded the region day in day out, every single day for 30 days.
We decided on a calm and refreshing place where we could let our creative juices flow and not have too many distractions around us. That’s why we made the call to visit Lake Tahoe.
On this trip, we were able to ponder as to where we, as entrepreneurs, were headed and where the business is headed. We also discussed that if we would have a next venture, what it would be and if it was time to start something new.
We reevaluated our marketing strategies: Reduced all costs, which resulted in an increase in efficiency and results to the point that in that one month, we managed to double our revenue. Yes, all while we were snowboarding every day! What happened was that since we were snowboarding every day, whenever we got back home, we had to do all of the work we missed out on during the day. As a result, we became so much more efficient during that window as compared to what we did when we had the whole day to ourselves. When you have the whole day to work, your brain is well-aware of this. So, it’s easier to procrastinate because you know you will eventually get it done at some point of the day.
This resulted from a question which Tim Ferriss, Tony and Peter Theil asked. They said, “How can you achieve your 10 year plan in 6 months?”. Our answer: By analyzing what the 20% of our efforts were that brought in 80% of our revenue and then decide to put 100% of our effort into the practices involved in that 20%. Complicated: Not Really! Doable: Absolutely!
This alone, in only a matter of around 15 days, landed us deals with Hard Rock Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels and Grant Cardone, the real estate mogul and author of Be Obsessed or Be Average.
We apply every process of automation possible to be able to operate on a massive scale. This is the main reason why we created SociallyRich. As we recognized that we alone can’t get to everyone manually, we developed a platform that helps personal brands and companies reach out to and gain the attention of as many people as possible—SociallyRich.
My whole point of stating this is that the world of entrepreneurship is a huge clutter: If one does not have a well-defined vision, chances are that they will be lost, wandering around in the abyss, something that will really make you lose your traction. To avoid this, work hard and work often, but do so in an environment where you feel the most comfortable.
If you think you are getting too comfortable, switch it up again. After my visit to Lake Tahoe, I spent about two weeks in Puerto Rico. Then, we decided to head to Vail Colorado for a further 2 weeks, Atlanta for the next 2 weeks, and Las Vegas for one week. Now that we’re back in Puerto Rico, it feels refreshing, as if we had never been here before. However, that Lake Tahoe trip helped me clear my vision, which now allows me to change environments with confidence. When you feel burnt out, you’re not burnt out. All you need to do is refuel!
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Ramon Berrios is a multi-national entrepreneur based in Puerto Rico, and the cofounder of an on-demand logistics platform. Ramon also co-founded Cenas Empresariales – an initiative that inspires underprivileged youth in a strikingly difficult economy. In addition, Ramon is known for rapidly growing social media targeted followings with his digital agency Socially Rich. Beyond work, Ramon is centered on mindfulness, and is an avid surfer along the beaches of Dorado, PR.