Remembering the Glamorous Life of a Sleep-Deprived Entrepreneur on the Road

I wrote this blog post several years ago, in the time pre-COVID, when we could travel freely by plane and stay in hotels. I am re-posting it here as a reminder of those days -- I and look forward to that time when we can travel again, albeit without the sleep deprivation!

A few days after flying back from speaking at the NSA Convention in Phoenix, where it was 115 degrees, I flew to Buffalo, NY to do a 2-day training program for a client.

The first night at the hotel, the people in the room next door were very loud until very late, so I didn't get much sleep.

The second night at the hotel, the fire alarm went off at 1 AM thanks to a cigarette butt thrown into the mulch outside an air conditioning unit. So we evacuated the building and stood outside for 1 hour while the fire department made sure the smoke had dissipated and the building was safe. So I got even less sleep.

The final night in Buffalo, I was scheduled leave on a 6:25 PM plane to JFK. Rushed to the airport in the pouring rain only to find out at the gate that New York was having massive thunderstorms and JFK had closed runways. I remember sitting in the one airport restaurant that remained open after 9 pm, asking the people at the next table, "What city am I in?"

By the time we boarded the plane at 10:30 PM, I was beyond tired. Once we landed in JFK after midnight, there was a further delay because the airline put our bags on the wrong carousel… I finally got home at 2 am and had to reschedule a meeting with a potential client in Manhattan that was scheduled for first thing the next morning because I was too tired to speak coherently.

Moral of the story: Be prepared - what can go wrong, will, and usually in rapid succession. And never schedule a client meeting for the morning after a flight, even if it's "only" a 1-hour flight!