We quickly made it further south to better weather – and a trip that we thought would be more personal; that we prepped for years leading up to it was also very meaningful for Xcelerate.
About a week in advance, we reached out to clients to let them know we were either going to visit their church or be in the area. We eventually mapped out all our visits so we could see each of our clients on a map as we drove. A fun surprise on the trip was being able to visit potential clients and brand new clients on the road as well – building instant rapport.
It was in January 2017 that we shifted our focus from accepting a mix of clients to saying “yes” exclusively to churches. We decided to create efficiencies within this particular niche, so going from Zoom calls to being with our church clients in person was incredible. It was also one of the best ways to build trust with each of our fantastic clients and lean in to our “Trustified” value. The whole family got involved, too. The deal was that if we took a client out to eat, our kids could order anything on the menu if they talked to our clients and had follow up questions. This way we could all participate, instead of it being only a time where the parents were working.
We took advantage of our time with clients and asked many of them for a video testimonial. These testimonials were key in building our client base during the trip and we sent them to potential clients. With so many referrals, we were glad we made sure the team could take care of proposals on their own!
Part of the reason we were away so long was because traveling across the United States is a lot of ground to cover, leaving a lot of space for adventures to happen. We drove more than 20,000 miles in 200 days, saw 40 states, visited 27 clients, attended 23 church services, saw 16 museums, 14 skate parks, installed 8 new costly fuel injectors, visited 5 theme parks, lost 5 pairs of glasses, left with 5 scooters but only 3 made it back to Colorado, visited 4 national parks, attended 4 conferences, went to all 4 corners of the United States, did a 3-day sailing trip, broke 2 backup cameras, went on 2 kayaking adventures, made 2 video productions, lost 2 blankets and pillows, made 2 auto-mechanic visits, visited 1 zoo and 1 aquarium, and dealt with a broken window, a tire that fell off and a windshield that remained cracked until we returned … and most importantly had hundreds of conversations!!!
Education was life on the road. The museums, history, science, life in a travel trailer, the ocean, driving in busy places, the mountains, driving in beautiful places, and the people we met took the place of our elementary daughter and middle school boys’ traditional school education.
The West Coast portion of our trip was where we faced Seattle, the city where our parenting journey began. It took five months of being on the road before we got there, so we had some time to prepare. We were not only able to visit clients and the church we planted before moving to Colorado, but also visit some of our favorite spots from our time in Seattle and the street we lived on back in the day. It was beyond a blessing to be in a place where we initially thought we would never have such a full, life-giving family.
California was our last stop. Intuit® filmed our RV trip (it was fun to feel like a movie star!) and we solidified a large client based in Southern California. The trip ended with a bang and definitely on a different note than how we started. We were also different by the end of the trip. It was monumental. We lived so much life in those 7 months that went by in the blink of an eye. While we can’t say we would do it a second time (and maybe that’s why we call it the trip of a lifetime), we certainly have no regrets for experiencing life to its fullest.