Stuart Lyall – Airline industry professional

Understand that there is always something new to be learned and that failing to seek new information will lead to a slow but steady decline.

Stuart Lyall is an airline industry professional who deeply values every opportunity to travel, especially when the destination is a new one that offers the possibility of adventure and exploration. A native of Australia, Mr. Lyall’s perspective on travel was shaped by his family’s frequent insistence on seeking unique experiences by visiting far-off places that were anything but tourist destinations. As a professional, Mr. Lyall continues to understand the importance of this philosophy and has been driven by his desire to experience the most interesting aspects of cultures all over the world.

While his professional endeavors focus on the airline industry, in particular, Mr. Lyall is involved in many different aspects of travel as well. In order to share his love of exploration with others interested in seeing the places others might consider “off the beaten path,” Mr. Lyall often uses his vast knowledge for the purpose of travel planning. Not only does this pursuit enable him to share his passion for exploration with others, but it also provides ample opportunity for Mr. Lyall to discover new destinations as well. Though he works exceptionally hard in his role as a professional, Mr. Lyall has often expressed deep gratitude over the fact that his responsibilities actually encourage his love for frequent travel.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Since I travel so frequently and am rarely working from the same place, I have to use technology to stay connected. I make use of video conferencing whenever necessary though I still send the occasional postcard for nostalgia’s sake.

How do you bring ideas to life?

There is something meditative about walking through a new space, so I take hikes and explore trails or simply stroll through a town or market so the ideas are able to work their way to the front of my mind. Wherever I am, a walk or a hike is my best strategy for stimulating ideas.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

We are so connected now that it seems like there is less distance between people and places. Locations that once seemed so far away and distant can be seen in just a moment’s time, and I think that has made people more willing to take a trip to someplace completely new and unique.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I love to explore everything, and whether that is a mountain trail or a new concept I am exploring is completely irrelevant. I won’t dismiss anything until I have experienced it firsthand.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

My neighbors had a horse farm and it was my job to care for them whenever they were away. There were parts of the job I loved — especially anything that involved interacting with the horses — but keeping the stables clean was quite a humbling experience.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have been a bit more hands-off. I have good people around me and I should have allowed them to take the reins with greater frequency when we first began.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Understand that there is always something new to be learned and that failing to seek new information will lead to a slow but steady decline.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I have actually tried to keep the business from growing too quickly. One of my goals was to be able to travel often, and business expansion would cut into my freedom to do that.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I was far too involved in every aspect of the business at first, and you might even say I was guilty of micromanagement. I was fortunate that my team was comfortable enough to let me know what I was doing and showed me how much more efficient things could be without me being overly involved.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

As someone who is frequently passing through airport terminals, I think any system that allows travelers to give instant feedback would be an excellent idea. This would help airports make changes in a more timely fashion and better understand what travelers are experiencing at any given moment.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I picked up a few items to make airplane travel a bit more comfortable, and they have proved to be an excellent purchase.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I love the video conferencing software that I use to communicate while traveling. There is just something about being able to look a person in the eye while speaking.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

In Patagonia,” by Bruce Chatwin. Entrepreneurship and exploration are very similar in my mind, and this is a great book for demonstrating the many similarities that exist.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Paul Theroux wrote a book that really inspired me to explore different forms of travel and how our perception might be shaped by a variety of forces we do not immediately recognize.