Last week I was on vacation in Amsterdam & Sicily — and well, let me say that I enjoy doing something a bit different than most people do on vacation…

Instead of just lounging around on the beach sipping drinks…

I decided to do a Dozen Escape Rooms! 🧩

Now let me say that I LOVE Escape Rooms — I actually did my first Escape Room about a decade ago on a trip & fell in love ever since.

Whenever I visit a new city even for a business event I always love to squeeze in an escape room if I have time.

And honestly, I see a lot of parallels between Escape Rooms & Business.

That’s why I’ve never met an Entrepreneur who didn’t at least like doing an Escape Room — sure some only Like them & some Love them (like me) — but I’ve yet to find an Entrepreneur that doesn’t like them at all.

And I think that makes a lot of sense — Escape Rooms mirror so much about the day to day conditions we put ourselves in as an Entrepreneur!

An Escape room is a bit like a “Warm Up” or “Practice Game” for an Entrepreneur!

I’ll come back to my Vacation in a second but let me take a quick detour to talk about how Escape Rooms work & why they compare so well to business.

If you aren’t familiar the rules of an Escape Room are pretty simple:

You have (usually) 60 Minutes to Escape the Room

You Solve Puzzles – Typically a Combination of Logic, Kinestetic & Practical – in order to progress in the room

There is some kind of Theme that transports you to another world & makes it clear the stakes of the game

Sometimes you’ll have a way to ask for & receive hints

And often there is a Leaderboard with the Fastest Times others have Escaped

And that’s pretty much the baseline for most Escape Rooms you’ll do.

Now in a room you’ll need to work together with your teammates in order to solve the puzzles & progress before time runs out.

Your team is solving problems in order to work towards a common goal in the fastest time possible.

Just like in business!

In fact – many of the aspects that make a great Entrepreneur also make a Great Escape Room Player!

– An Aptitude for Solving Challenges & Puzzles

– Ability to work well under Constraints (Time)

– Strong Communication Skills

– Creativity & Curiosity

– Ability to work as a Team (and Lead)

– Desire to Improve & Build upon Skills

– And a Determination to WIN

All of these traits most Entrepreneurs have – also make a great Escape Room player!

That said, this just explains why Entrepreneurs excel at Escape Rooms – not necessarily why they are inclined to enjoy them too!

Now, why on EARTH would I choose to do a Dozen Escape Rooms on my recent vacation?

Honestly, I Find Escape Rooms Relaxing.

Relaxing? What? – Hear me out for a second…

As an Entrepreneur, my mind is always racing & thinking about business –

It is almost impossible to turn it off – one of my mentors Alex Charfen has some good quotes about this in his book “The Entrepreneurial Personality Type” where he likens Entrepreneurs to ‘Evolutionary Hunters’

So the normal things people do to “Relax” don’t always work for me…

Going out on a Boat, going to a Beach, sitting by a pool etc.

My mind keeps thinking about business.

But in an Escape Room, it’s DIFFERENT.

To me, an Escape Room is Literally “An Escape”

Because when I’m in that room I don’t have time to think about my business – my only focus is on Solving the Puzzles, Communicating with my teammates & getting out of the Room!

To me, Escape Rooms are a perfect mix of Stimulating, Fun, Challenging & Recharging!

That’s why this year my brother & I went on a vacation in Amsterdam & Sicily, where we did a Dozen escape rooms in a week!

Here’s a picture of us doing what has become our Favorite Escape Room of All Time — “The Alchemist” in Amsterdam!

Me & My Brother (Tristan) after Beating “The Alchemist” Escape Room in Amsterdam

My Brother, Tristan, is also very talented at Escape Rooms, yet in a way that’s different & complements my skillset.

He’s currently doing his PHD at Stanford in Physical Chemistry – and he has an incredibly strong logical mind, scientific skillset & memory recall.

I’ve found that he excels at written, logic & memory puzzles, while I excel at visual, problem-based, tangible & creative puzzles – making us a great team!

On this trip – I came away feeling incredibly recharged.

While others may go to a beach to “forget about the day to day” as Entrepreneurs it’s not always that easy. Dead time leaves room for business thoughts to come in (and yes I know meditation & other practices help with this)

So over the past few years, I’ve curated trips where I do multiple Escape Rooms back to back – this Energizes me, is Fun, Challenges me in ways similar yet different than business, gives me the dopamine hit of “Winning” and at the same time helps me relax and recharged away from business.

Why am I sharing this?

Well, maybe you’re an Entrepreneur, but you haven’t played an Escape Room yet!

If that’s the case, I highly recommend you give it a try!

And because there are so many parallels between Escape Rooms & Business!

Especially in working together as a TEAM to solve an Escape Room

Showing the importance of strong Communication

Solving Problems & Always looking for Innovative New Solutions

Doing all of this under a Time Constraint (an Hour) – and letting that fuel you without stressing you (excelling under pressure to hit a target)

In fact — Escape Rooms are so relatable to business I even had a friend of mine recently make an Important Hiring Decision after doing an Escape Room with the person who he was going to hire as the Final Interview!

I had introduced him to some Amazing Escape Rooms, so when he told me this – it made my day – and it’s definitely a super smart way to see how you work well with someone & how they problem-solve for a critical role!

Now, before you ask, here’s my biggest tip for winning Escape Rooms:

Find the Perfect Communication & Problem Solving Pattern of Divide, Regroup, Divide, Regroup.

Most Teams make one of two critical mistakes in Escape Rooms:

– Not Communicating Enough & Only Dividing

– Not Dividing & Communicating Everything (solving it all together)

Both of these create challenges, because if you don’t communicate enough & only ‘divide & conquer’ you could miss important clues that someone else found that you need to solve a puzzle you’re working on.

On the other side of the coin, if you try and solve every puzzle as a group & communicate everything, you can find your time running out too quickly.

You need to find the right balance between Dividing Puzzles and Communicating.

I’ve used this strategy to set several “All Time Records” in rooms across the country! 🏆’

As an Entrepreneur, I Love Escape Rooms!

And I love introducing fellow Entrepreneurs to the Fun, Challenge & Energy that comes from Escape Rooms!

I’m curious have you played an Escape Room? And what was your Experience?

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