Why I hate planes and my return to the grind

Is there anything more fun than coming back to your inbox after a week off?

As a quick aside and an example of something that is even less fun, our flight home from a trip to Banff (highly recommended travel destination!) last week actually got cancelled.

We were supposed to fly back to Toronto from Calgary on Saturday at 4pm. We picked the flight so we could still enjoy some of the last day, but not get home too late.

Boy was I surprised when I got a text from Air Canada (the airline) at 10am on the day of the flight that it was cancelled.

A few minutes later, I got another update: they put us on a connecting flight to Vancouver at 4:15, then back to Toronto. And for those of you who don’t know Canadian geography (aka all you Americans :P), that would be like flying from Arizona – in the South Western USA – further west to California, only to then fly back east to Florida.

Suffice to say, I was not happy.

Sam (my girlfriend) checked the Air Canada website – there were actually 3 other direct flights from Calgary to Toronto. But since everything is automated these days, their system probably just picked the next best route to get us to Toronto.

We tried calling Air Canada to see if we could switch to one of the direct flights, and were greeted by a 2-hour wait time. So we said “screw it” and drove right to the airport.

Thankfully the lady at the Air Canada desk was super helpful and got us on the next direct flight to Toronto at 1pm.

We were both squished into the middle 2 seats of a 4-seat row, and I quite literally couldn’t move my legs (I’m 6’3, so planes are always uncomfortable to begin with…), but we got home about 7 hours earlier than if we waited and took the connecting flights.

What’s my takeaway from all of this?

First, maybe automation isn’t the best solution for everything just yet (or at least it isn’t perfect yet).

Second, being stubborn and impatient can be helpful sometimes – I hate waiting in general, so we took things into our own hands to get to that Air Canada airport desk asap and snuck on the flight at the last minute.

Third, I strongly dislike airports and airplanes… I don’t know what it is exactly, beyond how uncomfortable they are for tall people, but I didn’t miss them at all (it was my first time flying since pre-Covid).

And now that I’m back to the grind, I’ve decided to start setting up more in-person meetings. It’s been far more rare in recent years due to Covid, but I’m noticing a shift back.

People – at least in Canada – have been holed up for so long, that we’re starting to actively seek out in-person meetings, events, etc.

I’m definitely one of those people. Despite being an introvert and homebody, 2+ years of Zoom calls really take their toll. So I’m trying to book more calls, meetings and attend more events, in-person.

I also find that the conversation and connection is that much stronger, for obvious reasons, when you do it in-person, and since I’m really focused on sales for Visto these days, it can go a long way.

This holds true for any business entity.  If you want to connect with people, talk to them in-person. It’s so much more effective than any other form of communication.

My strategy on this front for the next few months, especially with good weather, is to:

  • try to do more business meetings/calls in-person when the people are in Toronto
  • attend more in-person networking events on a weekly basis (I’m attending Collision, arguably the biggest tech conference in the world, in a few weeks – let me know if you’ll be there!)
  • be more active in communities for entrepreneurs and other like-minded people. I’m also thinking of starting one myself, for all of us awesome people, to share business ideas, network, keep us accountable, etc.

Even a short in-person coffee to start the day felt so refreshing, and I’ll keep you posted on how the above goes.

The current economy trajectory for successful business

Lastly, we’re having some interesting conversations about the current economy and its outlook for the next 6-12 months.

I’m not sure where you all live, but in North America, things aren’t looking great and it’s going to take a lot of innovation to keep a successful business in its prime:

  • inflation is up (too high)
  • markets are down
  • interest rates on the rise
  • talks of a recession

We’re starting to see it in the form of companies doing layoffs, or hiring freezes.

Unfortunately – or fortunately – no one can predict how bad things might get, but we’re not sure we want to wait around to find out.

As many of you know, my main business(es) are in the immigration space. Largely related to helping companies bring skilled workers into Canada. And our fear is that with less hiring, and also more talent being laid off, more Canadian companies won’t have to look outside Canada and use immigration to fill their needs.

And so we’ve started discussing what to do about it.

There are obviously a few ways to approach this, with one of them being to do nothing, but I don’t think complacency will get you too far heading into the economy we might be facing – unless you’re in a completely recession-proof line of business.

Now we’re not freaking out and claiming the sky is falling, but we are being very considerate of the external forces at play here. We’re thinking about different things – lines of business, services, etc. – we might want to test or expand into.

Brainstorming and reworking a business model or devising a new, solid business plan could help our chances to weather the storm.

Safe to say, my brain hasn’t been as relaxed as it is over most weekends.

No concrete plans in place yet, but I’ll keep you posted on how this all progresses.

Are you seeing signs too? Are your small businesses or industry safe if things get as bad (or worse) as some are predicting? How are you currently feeling in regards to a new business or being small business owners? Let me know in the comments below!

Food for thought… and sorry for spoiling your Monday with this downer of an update!

Thanks for reading as always, and if you want my updates right to your inbox, make sure to sign up to my email list here.

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