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5 Traits That Differentiate Iowa Entrepreneurs

I’ve traveled around the country, and regardless of your definition of success, or the level of success you’ve achieved there are 5 distinct characteristics that differentiate Iowa’s people from the rest of the globe.  Now this article might be a bit biased, so I want to challenge you to create your own list of characteristics that set your states or countries entrepreneurs apart.  I’m writing this though because when people think of Iowa they think of three things corn, farming, and rednecks.

Iowa does have corn don’t get me wrong, it does have farms which are slowly being demolished and turned into highways and commercial property, and it defiantly has rednecks aka entrepreneurs.  In fact there is no other state with more people who call themselves entrepreneurs then the state of Iowa.  University of Northern Iowa’s JPEC program, University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie School of Business, and Iowa State University’s Pappa John Center for Entrepreneurship Program emphasize the importance of building your own company.  But building a company takes time, talent, and an unwavering commitment to succeed but that’s what drives Iowa’s economy and sets Iowa’s entrepreneurs apart.

11 Perfect Entrepreneurial Vacation Spots

Describe your idea of the perfect entrepreneurial vacation.

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Surfing in the Middle of Nowhere

Part of being an entrepreneur is exploring new industires or shaking up current ones. I like to take a trip to a off the beaten getaway where I can surf or just relax where there aren’t that many tourists and there is an opportunity for me to focus, meditate and enjoy the simple life. This type of vacation gets me to recharge my batteries and look at my life and business in a different way.
– Derek CapoNext Step China

2. Gathering With Geniuses

Being an entrepreneur is about the love for learning and the love for sharing. My dream vacation is spending a few nights in a new city drinking and partying with a bunch of geniuses. Business talk is allowed, but far from serious. South by Southwest Music and Media Conference is a perfect example, and Geeks on a Plane is a dream vacation.
– Brian CurlissDeckPresenter

3. Touring Artisan Lands

In fashion, everyone talks about using artisans from South Asia in their lines, but young designers have no way of accessing those artisans. I would love to be able to go to villages in the North-West Frontier Province or to the Rajasthan desert to develop personal relationships that can lead to a wider, more fair distribution of these dying professions.
– Benish ShahVicaire NY

4. Engaging With New Communities

Vacations are not merely about relaxing. They’re about exploration, engaging with new communities and cultures and challenging and inspiring yourself. My perfect vacation would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, soaking in the beauty of the continent and its people and touring local entrepreneurial ecosystems. I’d also like to go to AfrikaBurn or Burning Man and participate in the giving economy.
– Christopher PruijsenStartupBus Africa

5. Traveling Without Interruptions

I’d love to vacation with the smartphone turned off and a qualified individual left in charge at the business. I would take no business phone calls — just a few quick and simple check-ins. I’d spend time at a favorite destination with enough money saved on airfare, food and lodging so that the vacation can be enjoyable and interesting each and every day.
– Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

6. Finding Inspiration While Relaxing

I go on what I call innovation vacations. The purpose is to pull myself out of the day-to-day routine and think big. I pick a place of relaxation, unplug and get inspired by a wide range of books. I then plan, think and write.
– Brent

7. Golfing With My Inspirations

Golf is a distant memory at best, but my entrepreneurial dream vacation would be hitting a post-Master’s round with Pete Carroll, Jim Collins and Warren Buffett. Nothing beats passion chatter with your biggest inspirations on a beautiful green.
– Matt EhrlichmanPorch

8. Pushing Your Limits

Some of my favorite vacations are on dirt bike trails at campgrounds. It’s not always relaxing and fun, but it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something big after coming back from a tough trail ride. Going on a vacation that pushes your limits and lets you accomplish something outside of business is a great ego boost.
– Jennifer DonoghOvaleye, LLC

9. Making Time for Luxury Activities

The key to a great vacation is doing luxurious activities — things that make you happy but you don’t create time for weekly. I enjoy staying in shape and sleeping, and both suffer during the work week! I also love my job and my team. The vacation part is about not opening a laptop and not creating new work, but I always want to be responsive to help my teammates and our partners.
– Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

10. Reading and Enjoying the Quiet

I always feel like I don’t have enough time to read all the books and other materials that are recommended to me as an entrepreneur. I’d love the opportunity to go away for a while and just consume some of those important ideas without an obligation to try to squeeze the effort in between my work.
– Thursday BramHyper Modern Consulting

11. Keeping in Touch No Matter Where

I always have my phone, iPad and computer with me, so I never really take a vacation from work. Why? Because I love what I do, get bored easily and always feel that I must reply to someone within 48 hours (otherwise, it’s rude).
– Trace

About the Author: theYEC

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

School of Hard Knocks: Getting a Real-World Business Degree

A forewarning: I’m an entrepreneur running a successful business without any sort of business schooling. I majored in Industrial Design and Italian so you won’t find any fnacy MBA lingo here, just a straightforward real-world perspective.

Hold Your Horses

I was fortunate to have the time to let my business idea mature and evolve while I was still a student in college. I was able to explore various opportunities, research and survey the market, interview experts, and flesh out a pretty strong business plan before we were ever under pressure to turn a profit. In hindsight, this incubation period was crucial for the success we’ve had in the last three years. As soon as you launch your concept into a full-fledged business, you’ve got overhead to worry about and expenses pile up out of now where. The extra time gives you the chance to think through more scenarios, experiment with different models, and get everything in line to take your competition by surprise. Getting a startup off the ground is hard enough, and near impossible if you’re trying to figure out your model while providing and marketing your products and services. Spend as much time as possible in the nest to make sure your wings can carry you after you lunge into the wonderful abyss of entrepreneurship.

Pocket Guide to Nomadic Entrepreneurship

At the beginning of March this year I returned from a family vacation in Italy, Greece, and Turkey; packed up my apartment in D.C.; and flew on a one-way ticket to Mexico. A few weeks later I launched my new website and began actively building my business as a nomadic entrepreneur – and it was the best decision that I have ever made.

I’ve been in the entrepreneurship world for awhile now working at startups, VC firms, and non-profits and even running an entrepreneurship center at a university. I had clients of my own but I wasn’t fully committed to my own journey through entrepreneurship until I took the leap and figured out a way to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my passion for travel. Now, I help first-time entrepreneurs plan, launch, and grow businesses that will fit with their overall lifestyle goals and I do it while living in a different country every month or so and exploring entrepreneurial ecosystems around the globe.

Was it scary to quit my day job and run off to a foreign country? Of course, but I couldn’t sleepwalk through my life anymore and this was the best way I knew to wake up.

If you’re in the same boat, here are some tips that can serve as your pocket guide to taking the leap and becoming a nomadic entrepreneur:

1. Make sure being a nomad makes sense for you.

Hopping from country to country every few weeks may sound glamorous, but it can be lonely and a colossal pain in the a— to actually do. If you’ve never been outside of your home state, I wouldn’t recommend running off to Bali on a one-way ticket as your first adventure. Get your feet wet by participating in things like Under30Experiences to learn your travel style and see if living out of a suitcase is something you really want to commit yourself to.