It’s a beautiful evening in Quito, Ecuador. The sun is slowly sinking behind the Andes mountain range and the sky is a fabulous blue color – a color which has inspired so many artists, poets and writers from this part of the world.
As I reflect back on 8+ years of living in Ecuador and the challenges, adversities and triumphs of doing business (and living) in the “middle of the world” I came up with this short list of ways to help you enjoy living in Quito. I think there are parts of each item on this list which are applicable to other places where you may be living. Enjoy!
1) Breathe – at 2800 m above sea level you want to take an extra breath now and then; pausing to catch ones breath (literally and metaphorically speaking) is a sign of intelligence whether in business meetings or when taking a walk in Quito’s historic old town.
2) Plant a garden – whether you live in an apartment or have a large garden in the valleys surrounding Quito, plant some flowers and herbs – you will be amazed at what the powerful Quito sun does to your little garden in less than two weeks! In the office, why not buy a dozen Ecuadorian roses that cost $3 at your local supermarket (cheaper if you negotiate with the corner flower seller!)?
3) Talk to your taxi driver – ask them questions and get their point of view on things. Obviously, I stay away from giving them too much personal info but I enjoy hearing what they think about politics, business, traffic, the weather; plus I usually make a friend by the time it comes to pay the fare.
4) Lose your fear – fear stops us from doing things and I firmly believe that fear attracts those things we fear the most; to put it more clearly, and for those who know me well, a dog smells fear. Be cautious but be strong in life and business (more on this in a later post).
5) Say Thank You – it is amazing how many people take for granted the people doing the “little” jobs. Thanking people for the big and small things they help you with makes them happy … and will make you happy. Who doesn’t like to be thanked or recognized? More and more research shows that non-monetary recognition is what is truly valued by most employees.
I would love to hear your tips – wherever you may be living!