After going on a group tour alone, I became obsessed with the idea of traveling solo. Four years of excuses (that often arose in the form of worries and cost) later, I finally booked my first real solo trip to Australia.
It was so freeing. I could literally do whatever I wanted every day. Sleep, hike, swim, surf, party. I felt so independent, confident and badass. When I shared my experience and encouraged other girlfriends to go, most girls were like “Uh, no. You’re crazy.” They had all these reasons not to do it. The biggest being fear of loneliness and safety. I was like craaaap, they're missing out on this amazing experience because it's new, scary, and unfamiliar.
That moment this travel coaching idea was born. GirlGoTravel gives girls the guts and confidence to travel solo through 1-on-1 coaching sessions and personalized travel guides (complete with safety and pre-trip tips). I also wrote an ebook that helps girls figure out how budget now, finance the trip and save money during the trip.
Who/What inspires you?
People. I love getting to know people in a real, honest way. I want to know how they grew up, what their beliefs are, what we agree and disagree on. Getting into that deep, vulnerable place with someone revitalizes my soul. I leave the conversation inspired by new perspectives, grateful for the meaningful experience and full of ideas. Hopefully the other person left the conversation with some mind-changing thoughts as well.
Travel tends to amplify this experience, especially if you’re traveling solo. Conversations abroad open your eyes and have the ability to shake your world. This is why I started a coaching business for traveling solo. By doing what makes me feel alive (coaching and traveling), I can inspire and help other girls have their own meaningful experiences.
I don’t leave my house without… turning off all the lights!
People would say that I am… wildly passionate and inspirational
The most important aspect of any business is… knowing your purpose and beliefs (customers will come when you have a firm point of view on something)
My favorite business book of all time is… The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. It kicked my butt into gear and got me to focus on starting my business
How has being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life?
So I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I was always a thinker. Strategizing and perfecting the ideas and never doing anything with it. With GirlGoTravel, I still dwelled on it, but I finally made a website and showed it to friends and family. Getting feedback was more helpful than I realized. Understanding the power of feedback changed my approach to ideas. I can still think it through but I have to produce something. It’s the only way to feel progress, which motivates you, and to improve the first draft.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
We all know we need a community around our business so the first place we go is social media. Social media is free and where people are. However, I think we need to prioritize and think about how much time you invest in social media, especially if you’re a one-band woman like me. After launching I got really into my Instagram page and Facebook page. I got a lot of followers in a short time but it was time consuming. Then I thought, is this really the right way to invest my time and energy? What am I getting out of it? Am I getting clients? The answer was no, not really. I realized my real, potential clients lied in my email subscription list, which I had put in the back burner for two weeks. Social media distracted me from my real fans and potential clients. Although I still have all those pages, I prioritize my time and energy now.
What is failure?
I hate the word failure. Failure is a fear built up by society. It’s a powerful notion used in the wrong way. It reinforces the pressure to be perfect, successful and number 1. People associate failure with themselves being a failure rather than a thing they did failing. Because of how people talk and think about it, it stops them from trying new things and putting themselves out there. Failure should encourage the exact opposite.
I think we need to start talking and thinking about failure differently. There are a couple ways to think it:
Disconnect yourself from failure. Instead of you being a failure, make it about your product or idea. Remove yourself from the issue. It’s about it not you. Doing this makes it easier to get over the hump and find ways to fix it..
Change the idea of failure to failing. Failure feels like it’s the end, but failing doesn’t. Failing is part of the process to greatness. When your product, idea, or attempt fails, it means something was off that you can change. It presents the opportunity to learn something, change your approach and make it better.
The only way to be a failure is to not try. You learn the most when you make a mistake but if you never try then you can’t learn. Give yourself the chance to try, fail and learn.
If you change the way you think about failure, then you open yourself up to so many opportunities. You open yourself up to be kinder to yourself, to doing things you love, to taking chances and seeing where life takes you.
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
I My Mom is a teacher and my Dad did odd jobs growing up so I wasn’t really exposed to entrepreneurism growing up. Starting this side business came with plenty of growing pains. My Mom fully supports me doing it but she gets nervous about legal and financial things, which is legit. Sometimes it made me nervous too but it the end it made me take steps to protect my business and myself. Having entrepreneurial parents would’ve made this journey a lot less scary and tough, but then again I like that I had to figure it out myself. I’ve learned so much through the process and feel better off for it.