How my time in Baltimore and nearby cities helped me understand business better
When I walked in the streets of Baltimore, I immediately noticed something different. There were people walking in traffic shouting something.
At first I didn’t understand what they said, but when I concentrated I heard the words “ice cold!”. It dawned on me that there were people selling ice cold water in the streets of Baltimore in the noon heat.
There were also more people that jaywalk in not so busy streets, and sometimes even busy ones. A friend of mine told me this “Time is more important than breaking a few rules”, and that stuck with me.
What I got: Time is a very finite resource that affects all of us, and it is up to us to utilize that resource or squander it. It reminded me that now is the time to improve my business and processes.
2.) An attitude of gratitude
I live in a place called Edmonton, Alberta which is located in the country Canada. The tap water here is fine tasting and certainly potable. (At least at the place I reside in)
When I drank filtered water at my friend’s place I tasted something like rust in the water even though it was already filtered.
What I got: It turns out that I take something like water for granted. But what of other things like my abilities, skills and talents? I took water for granted and it seems there are also very important things that I take for granted without an attitude of gratitude.
I will try to view my network, my business partner, my family and friends in a more thankful and appreciative manner.
3.) There are opportunities in places you might not see
In Baltimore my friend rents a place for $650 U.S dollars and he has a room mate who pays the same amount. The house is not that new nor is it a very big place, so I estimate the house to be worth around $50-80,000.
The total for rent results at $15,600. Let us take the highest price in my range of $80, 000 and divide the amount obtained from the renters.
80,000/ 15,600 = 5.13
So in 5 years you can pay your house already! I am not in real estate, but paying a house in 5 years of rent seems like an absolutely great deal to me.
There were also some small businesses near the place I stayed at that were still in business, which indicates that they were still making profit.
What I got: Try to contemplate once in a while about your business and what your market is in. There may be opportunities right in front of you that may not be obvious.
I will struggle to find new and current opportunities for my business.
4.) Culture changes quickly
There are some things that are the same in Baltimore as in Edmonton.
Things like language, similar food, and businesses like McDonald’s.
There are plenty of differences too, like how the english is spoken, used and the accent is not precisely the same.
The demographics were also different, but it was a welcome change for me. I did not have the luxury of staying for too long, but I would have liked to understand the culture there at a much deeper level.
All I can say for certain is that the culture and the people have their own quirks, just like in any place.
What I got: If you are expanding, or trying out a different market then be aware of the business nuances in that culture.
I will adjust Vidi Studios to fit more with the clients I want to deal with rather than just anyone I come across.
5.) Adapt with the trends
There were places I visited besides Baltimore.
One of which was Annapolis, which was just a 45 minute drive from Baltimore.
But it was very different. The place had the small town feel, which was to be expected from a place with only around 39,000 people. The people that I saw also seemed to have a more relaxed pace than in Baltimore.
Another place I visited was Washington, DC; also a 45 minute drive from Baltimore.
It was my first time there and I was quite surprised at the sheer amount of activity. There was some kind of festival thing near the white house and there were these people who called themselves Juggalos.
We didn’t even come to look at the white house because something was going on there with many more people.
What I got: You will have clients that are very different from yourself and it is up to you to adjust yourself to them. Just like how people’s attitude change you will also benefit from becoming adaptable and swift in business.
Final thoughts: I really liked Baltimore. There are some things that aren’t as great as I would like, but there are also things that I like.
Keeping your eyes open and thinking about business seems like a never ending quest. I thank my friend that I stayed with because I had a great time overall at your place.