The thought of running multiple businesses simultaneously, in the world’s most competitive markets would surely terrify most, but for entrepreneur Tim Kennedy it is just another day in the office. Over the last 13 years Kennedy has been expanding his sales and marketing firm LMS Thinking throughout the UK, Ireland, USA and Australia and now spends much of his time working between these countries. Here, Tim Kennedy provides some insight into his background and how he manages his busy schedule, no matter where in the world he may be.
Whilst originally from Wagga Wagga; a small town in New South Wales, Tim Kennedy began his business journey in London. Working his way up the sales and direct marketing industry and eventually opening his own outsourced firm, LMS Thinking. By 2012 Kennedy had conquering the UK and Irish markets, offering marketing services in almost every city. It was then that Kennedy set his sights on America and opened his first office in New York. After a successful launch LMS Thinking quickly expanded, reaching just short of 20 new locations dotted throughout the East Coast. By early 2013 fuelled by his recent success in America, Tim Kennedy decided to take LMS Thinking to his home country of Australia. The business thrived, and it wasn’t long before Kennedy was able to expand to the country’s 3 largest cities; Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, before heading back to the USA to infiltrate the west coast markets, notably California.
Due to his widespread business commitments, Tim Kennedy often finds himself faced with a jam-packed travel schedule. The past 30 days have seen Kennedy travel from Sydney to LA, San Diego, New York and London before returning to California. Whilst you or I may feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of this action-packed schedule, Tim Kennedy views it pretty differently:
‘My goal is to live and work in London, Sydney, LA, NY, Toronto and Cape Town, so every day I’m getting closer to my dream. ‘
Kennedy admits that travelling so much doesn’t work for everyone and that remaining productive when on the road takes an incredible amount of planning and mental strength, especially when so many people rely on you and you re being pulled in 100 different directions.
‘First and foremost it’s absolutely paramount to build strong working relationships, every business owner needs to be investing their time and energy into creating a dream team’ states Kennedy. When you’re spending time away from your base, you need to have complete trust in the people you are leaving behind, this means that prior to your travels, get involved – communicate with your team, get to know their strengths, weaknesses, values and ambitions. Make an effort to learn all you need to in order to secure trust in their abilities.
So, you have a strong team in place, what else does Kennedy recommend for productive business travel?
You’ve really got to love what you do, otherwise you’ll end up failing before the first hurdle’ Explains Kennedy. ‘The passion I have for my business allows me to organise my time in such a way that I can maintain a positive work life balance. Last year I learned to surf so leaving time during my day to do this is important, even if it means hitting the waves at 7am’
Ultimately what Kennedy is saying is that passion is the glue that holds everything together when faced with a hectic schedule. Loving what you do pushes you to get up earlier, prioritise the day and be present in the moment, which leads to better results.
Lastly, Kennedy is keen to highlight the importance of mental and physical wellness when faced with a demanding travel schedule ‘I make a conscious effort to eat healthily, drink loads of water and work out (surfing and swimming counts) on a regular basis to maintain all round wellness. These positive ‘habits’ help keep my mind sharper, gives me more energy and motivates me to get things done, even after a lengthy flight or little sleep’.
I’m writing this on a 10.5hr flight from LAX to LHR, which is apt for this article, I guess!
I will be in London for 4 days, 3 nights for an annual black tie Sales & Marketing Awards Gala I attend every year, catching up with friends and business partners built up over the 11 years I lived there. Over these 4 days, Ill have close to 30 separate meetings, breakfasts, lunch meetings and dinner with different groups, some business, some personal, some both. It is amazing for me these days to think about how much I can get done face to face, over just 4 days in one country. Fortunately, real face time can’t be beaten.
I started in the sales and marketing industry at 19 years of age, close to 14 years ago now. I landed in London, and started a business development opportunity in the sales and marketing industry where I did 80% of my training in the field. After a year of experience, I was part of the first team of people in the business to enter the Irish market, firstly, Dublin, and then Cork. Glasgow was next (I called ‘The North’ my home for nearly 7 years), before returning to London for a year, then Manchester for a year, before heading back to London to begin planning expanding to the US. Next stop, was the East Coast of the US where Manhattan become my base. In 2013, one of my partners asked if I was up for a completing the circle (around the world) and opening up Australia & NZ.
I had some great Aussie/Irish/Brits I’d worked with in the UK & Ireland who wanted to make a life in my home country, so I agreed. That experience has been a whole other level of time management & self-sufficiency (but I couldn’t complain living and working on Sydney Harbour and being so close to my family, childhood and university friends).
Los Angeles is my latest project and I expect to base myself between LA & Sydney for the next 5 years before deciding where to put down permanent roots.
LA is a great central point for my business as it’s only one direct flight to London (10.5hrs), NYC (5hrs) or Sydney (14.5hrs).
In my experience, I’ve found over the years, that a change truly is as good as a holiday. I find getting out of the four walls, most of us call our ‘office’, whether across town, across counties, countries and eventually continents really does get you thinking ‘out of the box’. You have to think before you walk into a place that is not your home base, meet people, shake hands, have conversations, explain what you’ve been doing with your time and learn what people in front of you do with theirs. I find I always come back with something I can share.
‘I’m always travelling, I love to be free’
TIM’S TOP 5 LONGHAUL TRAVEL TIPS
- Make sure your business is profitable enough to fly you Business Class!!! I’m 6’2, so I get really uncomfortable in the available space in Economy seats. My friends & family think I spend too much money on the flights, I think, I wouldn’t be able to function on the ground without sleeping on the plane.
- Don’t eat and drink everything available or offered to you on the plane or in the business class lounge, your waistline and energy levels will thank you later.
- Time your sleep to you destinations schedule as best you can and push through the first day.
- Don’t be shy saying Hi! Some of the most interesting and successful people I’ve met have been at 40,000ft, they are also likely to be people not from your field so are good to give different perspective / views / opinions than you’re used to.
- Pack smart and light. You don’t need 40% of the things you think you do if you get smart with your packing.