Thursday, January 27, 2011

Enjoy Travel!

Who said that just because travel is a big part of life in business today, it has to be so … painful? Why can't we enjoy our business trips, make the most of our time away, and still stay connected to the ones we love? These were some of the questions posed by road warrior and speaker Cindy Novotny of Master Connection Associates, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., during a recent speech on how to balance it all and be happy.

Cindy's thoughts on this:

Not only am I passionate about loving life on the road, I actually have alot of fun laughing about the trials and tribulations on the road. Just yesterday I was scheduled to be on a noon flight from LAX to NYC, and if you watch the news at all you know that the snow never stopped in New York City. We had several trainers from my team hopping on Amtrack to get into the city - 4-5 hours to still make a "gig." That's what I mean when I say we are serious about getting the job done. Two weeks ago I drove 9 hours from Atlanta to Orlando due to a snow storm with Gina from our team to make sure we didn't miss another program. Ironically the theme of that meeting in Orlando was "We Mean It." We proved we meant it when we pulled in at 2:00am.

The real message is that we made the best of our road trip. Stopping with all the truckers (I followed the Target truck) to get snacks at the Cracker Barrel and even bought a rocking chair along the way!

As we ring in 2011, it seems the perfect time to examine life on the road. I'm sure some of my ideas will inspire you, to not panic during these tough travel days, but to think of it as an adventure.

Home is where you plug in your phone at the end of the day. No matter how short your stay, unpack everything, bring some items to make your hotel room cozy, and always check in with the people you love.

Look for the humor in travel delays. Last night at LAX the Red Carpet Club was full with all the New Yorkers waiting to get home. We were like a group of school kids hanging out. People were sleeping on chairs, the floor, sharing their candy and magazines and actually feeling "ok" about the delays.

Check it Out. Always see the sights when you visit a city, even if it's just a short cab ride. Taking the opportunity to check out a different place will keep your excitement about travel alive. My last trip to Vegas, just 3 weeks ago the cabbie said to me what is your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes or Steak and Eggs. I wanted to say granola, but I was honest and said steak and eggs. Just then he pointed out Bills - a joint all the cabbies go to for $5.99 steak and eggs. Although I didn't take him up on his offer to meet him there at 3am, I did go the next day with an associate for breakfast and it was the best! How would I ever get that tip from the five star concierge.

Bring your kids when you can. Traveling offers life lessons richer than any textbook. Many of you that follow me know I raised my daughter on the road, but now at 22 years old she has graduated from college and is back on the road with me working for our firm.

Find a way to unload the household tasks you dislike so that when you are home, you can relax. You don't necessarily need money for that, I once bartered with a neighbor to clean my house, and in return I cooked that neighbor a meal each weekend.

Every once in a while, try to picture your life without your work. Do you really want that? And if you are unhappy, stop complaining and find another job!

What will always resonate with me is that we only have one life, and the time to live it to the utmost is now!

I wish you a truly fulfilling 2011. Things are getting better so don't miss the party by being in a pity pool!

Cindy's book, Living Without Balance and Loving It, can be ordered online at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Bliss

Everyone always thinks that Cindy Novotny never slows down – and in reality, this statement is true. I am a constant road warrior who works very hard and travels for most of the year. Despite popular belief, I actually do take some time to myself throughout the year, but for the first time in a long time, I was able to do that in January. A fresh start – a recharge of my battery, and now I’m ready to roll.

This past weekend, Lefty & I went to our cottage in Northern Michigan. And although we had 15 inches of snow – it was beautiful, relaxing, and gave me a couple days to really recharge and relax. Even my daughter, Jessica said, “Gosh, Mom I haven’t really heard from you guys in days!” (That is very rare!) I was able to semi plan out my year, decide when I’m taking time off, get to some personal and professional to-do’s that I’ve been putting off a long time. And on top of that, I was able to decorate and enjoy our serene, wintery cottage with a roaring fire and glass of wine – ah!

So, even if you feel like you don’t have enough time – deep down, if I can find some time, so can you. Take a step back and look at the year ahead. Start planning, re-focusing and prepare to take 2011 by full force. It is important to re-connect with yourself – do what you need to do, go where you need to go – all of us have families, companies, and jobs but amazingly enough they know when you need that time and they will end up giving you that gift, I promise.