As founder and CEO of marketing and management consulting firm Tim Miles & Company, Tim Miles has helped hundreds of companies and thousands of people communicate more powerfully. For more than 25 years he’s been on a journey to teach people to look at the world a little differently and to separate the merely urgent from the truly important. He’s a bestselling author, blogger, podcaster, and speaker who, to paraphrase screenwriter David Freeman, has taken everything that made him weird as a kid and gotten people to pay him money for it as an adult. Father of two and a husband of one, he and his family live just outside Nashville, TN.
Travel Products & Places mentioned:
- Bear note taking app
- Packing cubes
- Atkins bars
- Tom Bihn bags
- iPad Pro
- Apple Pencil
- Bose in ear buds
- Apple Airpods
- Logitech presenter remote
- Edmonton Alberta
Business Travel Hacks Episode 10 show transcript:
[00:00:00] Oftentimes you know you’ll be in a meeting with someone you know you’ll fly in you’ll fly and maybe have dinner on a Monday night and then on Tuesday you’re with them all day and then you’re scheduled to be with them again maybe Wednesday morning before you fly out at noon. So what I do is ahead of time I say look I’m not going I’m a deep introvert. I’m not going to be available to go out on the Monday night that we are together and everybody respects that and then I ask them. But I would like to see your city to tell me two or three things I should go see and I’ll get a Lyft driver and I will go out and find these things. And then I get into the Lyft car and I tell him like look I’ve had a really long day. I don’t really feel like having conversation. And then it’s a matter of just not having to talk. I can go enjoy museums. I can even go enjoy other people as long as they don’t have to have conversations with them as long as they don’t have to engage with them because I’ve been engaged all day and my batteries on empty and it’s been a really simple way of enjoying cities while not being so taxing and you’re right I’m a deep deep introvert, doesn’t mean I’m shy. It just means I need to recharge my batteries in my own thoughts. And you can do that even when you’re at a bookstore or a library or a restaurant or museum.
[00:01:25] Those are actually great places for introverts because I dont have to have conversations about the we travel for a vacation.
[00:01:57] Well Bryan, my name is Tim Miles. And I say I’m head custodian because I I just clean up a lot of things that a lot of great work other people do in our company but we have a family business that provides marketing, management consulting for family businesses across primarily across the U.S. and Canada. And so we have actual clients that have family businesses ranging in size from half a million dollars to 50 million dollars. And we consult them day in and day out. And then as a result of that I’ve learned a few things over 25 years of doing this so we we do a lot of speaking. We’ve written a couple of books and it’s just a great life. But I know I’m a big fan of your podcast and I travel extensively. I am going to have 12 trips from August to Thanksgiving and there’s no intercontinental. You know I hear some of your guests. I’m going to Stockholm and Costa Rica. I’m going to speak to the penguins and elephant seals in Antarctica. I don’t do any of that. My trips are the almost like the “Up in the Air” style trips from Reitman’s movie. You know I’ll be going to Milwaukee then I’ll be going to Oklahoma City then I’ll be going to Illinois then I’ll be going to Austin Texas.
[00:03:16] It’s glamorous for me and it’s fine because I have opportunities to help family businesses grow all over the country. And in doing so I’m part of a great partnership with someone I think is probably the smartest small business strategist maybe in the world. A guy named Roy H. Williams, least full of crap guy I’ve ever met talk about marketing and he and I have been business partners along with some other folks. Let’s see for me for about 15 years now.
[00:03:44] What do you wish you knew when you first started out that you now know?
[00:03:51] What, that is such a good question. I think you know as a farm boy from from the middle of the Middle West I grew up on a farm in central Illinois Bryan. I didn’t get on a plane until I was 27 years old into the ocean till I was 27 years old. And now I’m on over 100 planes a year. And I think if if I gave one piece of advice to people who travel a lot I would go to a city and people would say hey how was Oklahoma City. And I’d say well the hotel is great. I didn’t get out much. I would do work in the hotel and I would travel. I mean you have an opportunity even if it’s just a half day. Find out ahead of time if only there was a device you could access and learn about studies before we visit them. Find out what’s new in the town. What’s exciting in the town what the locals are proud of in the town and go see it. Just so you can add that to your own cultural memory banks.
[00:04:53] And as someone who writes a lot to be able to dip into those things for these various clients is really important. You know my sister told me that she she and I worked together for many years and she kind of forced me out of my hotel room. And it’s the best thing that ever happened to me because I’ve learned so much about so many different cities.
[00:05:11] What is your favorite travel hack?
[00:05:16] My favorite travel hack. I don’t know I have an almost. I’m I’m a fairly disorganized person in my life and I’m the opposite when it comes to travel. I am the most fastidious anal retentive organized person when it comes to travel and I have the same routine nearly every time. And so my favorite travel hack is just to pack light. I I have I use Bear which is a note taking app for Mac and iOS that I plan out day by day what I’m in where I compare it to the weather. I know what my events are so that I can minimalize the amount of packing I am going to have that I use packing cubes and stick either one piece of luggage or a couple of pieces of luggage that includes my personal item and I pack as light as I can. Now please understand I’m not a wash my underwear in the sink kind of guy. I’m not I’m not crazy minimalist but to travel light is to travel free and easy.
[00:06:14] And it makes it so much better to be a very minimalist person so I guess I would say that my travel hack is multifold but it all stems from the fact that I make a packing list you know two three days before I go and I don’t copy and paste. I always make a fresh one and that really relaxes me gets me oriented and focused towards the trip.
[00:06:38] Since you travel so light I imagine you probably think you know the roller board and you probably have like a backpack or something. If we were to take out that backpack and look for the kind of stuff you have in there to kind of make it easier. What do you have going on in that backpack including snacks possibly?
[00:06:54] Yes I do have snacks now I listen to your podcast and everybody’s absurdly healthy. They talk about their workouts. And I’m you know I’m an outlier I guess I’m I I’ve lost a bunch of weight but I’m not I’m not super healthy I do try to drink a lot more water on the road. And and I do eat. I bring protein bars with me that are Atkins bars which you can buy off the shelf at any at any convenience or that can be in store but any grocery store. And I actually don’t use wheels I have two soft sided Tom Bihn bags and B.I H N. I am as big of a fan boy as the Tom Bihn company inside of Seattle as I am of your podcast and these bags are indestructible. They are so thoughtful and I’ll carry one or two of those. Wherever I go. But if you open my bag the one thing most of the time you won’t see Bryan is a laptop. And I hear everybody say you know I packed my laptop I do this I do that I would.
[00:07:55] We could have an entire breakout session on the things I’m able to do on an iPad Pro, the 10 and a half inch iPad Pro with the Magic keyboard. And the Apple Pencil. And it is extraordinary. Now I do a lot of speaking. I do a lot of content creation and if I’m making a slide deck from scratch I will use my Mac a fifteen inch Macbook Pro but it mostly stays in clamshell mode in my office and I use it almost more like an iMac and I make original keynotes on there because think its faster to work with the trackball or a mouse. But editing editing PowerPoint or keynotes is remarkably simple. There’s no writing I can’t do, there’s no video editing I can’t do, because I’m doing basic basic fairly advanced but you know I’m not producing commercials for clients on on my iPad. But if I’m shooting promotional videos for an upcoming speaking engagement I can do pretty much anything with my iPad it’s my notebook it’s my entertainment device. It’s my work production device over and over and over again. That thing lasts forever. And it’s extraordinary. Got a couple of different headphones but I pair with that I have some Bose in ear buds that are noise cancelling and I’m also got a pair of Apple Airpods just because sometimes it’s really nice especially walking around airports to not have to worry about wires and you know the the bag of dongles I’m pretty sure I saw the band bag of dongles back in college. But you know I’ve got the the one for HDMI for the iPad Pro I’ve got the one for VGA.
[00:09:31] I’ve got one for USB just so I can connect it to things at at keynote at that conference and I’ve actually just started. And you and I talk a little bit about this. It’s one thing to know you can give a keynote presentation using an iPad. It’s another to do it in front of 600 people for the first time. And and so I had my laptop in the bag just in case I needed it. But I gave three presentations actually at one conference I spoke three times and over a couple of days and used my iPad, use the Logitech presenter remote which has Bluetooth capabilities and it worked just fine. And it was extraordinary. So for me that is part of traveling light, is you rarely will find a laptop in my bag when I travel now even to conferences. I think I’m going to continue to bring it to big conferences so that I’ve got a backup but everything is in the cloud. So I could just ask hey nobody got a Mac. Anybody got an iPhone. We can at least try to plug it in to run keynote off of it.
[00:10:39] Though considering that you know everything is about that iPad Pro. Are there any special apps that you use to make your travel life a little easier.
Now if you like for your for purposes Business Travel Hacks dot com I can even take pictures of you know like my work folder and my travel folder. But yes there’s a couple of great ones that are that are critical to me and they include Anyfont which is a font you know with iOS 11 that drastically improved file management and the ability to move things back and forth throughout the cloud to the files app.
[00:11:15] First of all it’s fantastic but there’s a font called or there’s a application called Anyfont that allows me to move fonts over from my MacBook Pro that I’ve used in presentations from the past and use them seamlessly inside inside Keynote.
[00:11:32] I use Goodnotes to take notes with it was created by a couple of graduate students who were frustrated with Penultimate and things that it couldn’t do and so good notes is for me 50 notebooks in one. I have one for each client. I have one for each speaking engagement just where I do research. I have a Bear which is a fantastic note taking app. It’s like Evernote without the cruft and the slowness as they’ve built Evernote up over the years. That is wonderful. I do quite a bit of promotional video shooting for hey I’m going to be here and to be there. Can’t wait to see you guys. I use an app called LumaFusion is better than I movie because it is simpler and a little more robust than a movie and you know those are just some basic ones we use. Basecamp I’d be lost at Basecamp because even when I go off to a luxurious Sacramento California to speak at a conference. We’ve still got you know a couple dozen clients that we’re serving and I’ve got six people who work for me full time and another five or six vendors who subcontractors who work or so Basecamp keep this all connected. And I’m just really blessed. I love this little iPad it is just a great tool. I’d be lost to the Kindle because I I am a voracious reader.
[00:12:50] I use Flipboard, The Times, The Wall Street Journal. I believe that we all should do our part to pay for at least a few new subscription and it’s not all altruistic. I pay for The Athletic too. Which is a sport subscription. Just because if we don’t pay for it I think it was from John Oliver who said if we don’t pay for journalism now we’re really going to pay for it later. So I pay for a lot of news subscriptions some iPad so that I can just keep up with things I love to read. So that’s how I pass the time. I try to keep my TV off in my hotel rooms. Otherwise I find myself up at 4 a.m. having watched 13 hours of Ice Road Truckers a show I would never watch otherwise so I keep the TV off in the room.
[00:13:33] What or who has been impressed you during a travel experience?
[00:13:40] Edmonton Alberta. January of this year. We deplaned by ramp. It was Fahrenheit. I can’t do the conversion for you but it was so cold they started to merge. The temperature was 26 below but the wind was like 25 miles an hour and the ground crew there was dressed like the rebel force on the planet Hoth in Empire and they worked efficiently effectively and I was in awe of them. And also all the guys at O’Hare and all the MSP all the northern airports who work their tails off. So you and I can travel in comfort and convenience.
[00:14:25] I have been to Edmonton in February so I get it. It’s awful. It’s freezing. Wait I was invited by the minister of tourism my friend. I’ve never been back.
[00:14:57] What’s the best lesson you have learned in all of your business travel? Never too high never too low. Man. Don’t get too shook about things you could be outside paving roads in 110 degree heat. If your flight gets canceled that pilot wanted to get there just as badly as you did better it’s canceled on the ground than a problem at 31000 feet.