Sahara Rose De Vore: “Use criticism to help you grow”

Mindset will be the toughest part of having a business, especially if you are a “solopreneur”. Starting a business is extremely difficult. There are many high times and low times. Mindset is the most important part of staying on the right track. It is really easy to feel overwhelmed and want to give up or […]

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Mindset will be the toughest part of having a business, especially if you are a “solopreneur”. Starting a business is extremely difficult. There are many high times and low times. Mindset is the most important part of staying on the right track. It is really easy to feel overwhelmed and want to give up or to question yourself and everything that you are doing. I didn’t realize just how hard the mindset part of running a business would be. I have always done everything by myself in life but it is important to be able to express your feelings and frustrations to a friend or someone who will just listen. It’s key to work on your mindset and find what helps you, whether that is meditation, keeping a journal, or doing another hobby. You must make the time to step away from your computer and workload and do something else. Having a healthy mindset is essential to the longevity as an entrepreneur. I struggle on a daily basis with mindset. I have good days and not-so-good days. Negative comments, hearing “no” when you wanted to hear “yes”, or rejection can make running a business really hard but, never give up and find purpose in it all. I can relate to all of this. My mindset is always a work in progress.

As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sahara Rose De Vore. Sahara is a travel coach and expert. She is the CEO of Sahara Rose Travels,LLC and the founder of The Travel Coach Network. She applies her signature Travel Coach Approach framework to help companies enhance their wellness and travel programs by optimizing on the transformative and wellness power of travel so they can remain competitive, attract and keep valuable talent, and increase productivity and profitability. An allied member of the Global Business Travel Association, she has a BA in Hospitality and Tourism, and has spent a decade traveling the globe to over 80 countries. Sahara Rose is a published author and has been seen in various media outlets and podcasts including Thrive Global, Forbes, and Business Insider and will be a guest speaker at theupcoming Global Workplace Wellness Summit.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

I grew up as an only child to a single mom in a middle class household. I spent the majority of my childhood at my grandparent’s house because my mom worked as often as she could to be able to keep food in the pantry and to buy me clothing that was “cool” enough so I could blend in with the other kids in school. I was bullied quite often so I did everything that I could to fit in but, that didn’t always work. My mom did everything that she could to provide me with all that I needed but that didn’t mean that I always got it. I learned at an early age not to ask for much because money was sparse. I remember being at the supermarket one day with my mom and asking for the new peanut butter and jelly mix spread in a jar but we didn’t have enough money for it. My mom did an incredible job being both my mother and my father figure. I made a promise to myself that I would do something really great one day and be successful so I would never worry about affording another jar of peanut butter and jelly.

As a child, I didn’t get to travel very often. We did do family road trips from the north of the U.S to the south every summer to visit my grandmother’s family who moved from Mexico to southern Texas. We often crossed the border and I remember playing in the golden sand of Mexico’s beaches. We also did family road trips north to Canada to visit my grandfather’s family in Montreal, but I was too young to remember much of those.

I always had dreams of traveling to the beautiful places that I saw in movies and in pictures but I never imagined that someone like me would be able to go there. Just like many others, I thought that traveling was a luxury that cost a lot of money and only wealthy people could travel to such exotic destinations.

Ever since I was little, I struggled with anxiety which worsened over time and transformed into depression. As an only child who was always really quiet, I was an introvert. I did everything by myself and never really had many friends. Everything in me was telling me to just stay home, to remain in my comfort zone, and take the easy route so, I put my traveling idea with my dream of becoming successful to the side in hopes to make them come true one day.

What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?

As a junior in college, I moved across the country from Arizona to Chicago to be closer to my mom again. She was in my home state of Wisconsin and she was going through an ugly divorce so I wanted to be there for her. I applied for a hospitality and tourism program at Roosevelt University and I got in. It was in the first day of an international tourism class that lit the fire within me to put my travel dreams into action.

We took turns going around the room introducing ourselves and sharing how many countries we’ve been to. Everyone’s numbers were 10, 15, and even in the 20’s. I embarrassingly replied with “3”. My answer was a bit misleading though because one of those countries was Canada which I hardly remember traveling to as a child and although another was the Dominican Republic. I felt like it didn’t really count because it was at an all-inclusive resort that my mom and her husband at the time spent far too much money on and we were sheltered from having any real authentic or cultural experiences since we weren’t allowed to leave the gated resort.

I felt myself getting jealous of everyone’s answers so it was in that moment that I made a promise to myself that I would figure out a way to travel the world.

And I did. From that day on, I changed the way that I managed my money, I picked up four more jobs to work, I saved every dollar that I could, and I limited my expenses. After graduating from university, the travel industry wasn’t offering my jobs that suited what I wanted out of a career.

I knew that I wanted more out of life. I knew that I was meant to do something great one day and that there was so much out in the world that I just couldn’t wait to explore. I decided to stay true to myself and listen to what felt right to me. I ignored society’s expectations and my family who was telling me to just get a “real job” and to settle down and I set off to see the world and to find my passion and purpose in life.

Fast forward a decade, I traveled to over 80 countries by the time that I turned 30. Not only was I seeing new and incredible places but I was learning so much about myself, who I wanted to be, what I wanted out of life, and what my purpose was. I was meeting so many other travelers and learning the reasons why they were traveling and the impact that traveling had on them. Traveling as a solo female backpacker in the early 2000’s, there weren’t the tools and resources that exist today in regards to travel apps, websites, and technology. I had to face and overcome issues and obstacles on my own.

During my first two trips abroad, I had a flip phone that didn’t even turn on to help me tell the time. Traveling was transforming me as a person and molding my perspective on life, humanity, the world, and the travel industry. Traveling during a prime phase of travel technology growth, I was in the midst of it all. I was learning what myself and other travelers wanted, needed, liked, and didn’t use. I was learning why others were traveling and the power that travel had on a person’s mind, body, and spirit. I was realizing the changes that were happening within the travel industry and even the workforce. People want to travel farther, cheaper, longer, and more often. They wanted jobs that allowed them the freedom to travel and the lifestyle that fulfilled them. With the rise in the online world, it is possible to make money doing pretty much anything that you want so you can work from wherever you want. Digital nomad jobs, remote work, working abroad, and studying abroad opportunities were growing in popularity. The growth in social media was inspiring others to become influencers and other ways to generate income and start an online business.

I met many people who were unhappy in their current workplace and wanting to travel more often and people who even went to the lengths of quitting their jobs to travel the world. Traveling provides people with something far greater and more fulfilling than anything else in life. I also knew from my own experiences. My conversations with others, my engagement in travel-related groups on social media, and my personal experiences all gave me insight on the power that travel has and the voids that exist within the travel industry and the workplace.

At the same time, I kept a blog and shared my travel stories and provided information on everything that I was doing to be able to afford the lifestyle that I was living. I had so many people reach out to me over the years and I absolutely loved sharing everything that I knew and did with them to help them achieve their travel goals. My blog is what inspired me to publish my own travel and mindset book this past year.

One day on a plane, I was sitting beside a businessman traveling for work. I was sharing my worldly adventures with him when his eyes lit up. He shared with me how burned out and miserable he was as a road warrior always traveling for work and never getting to have any real experiences like I was. I remember thinking how odd it was that a man in a business suit who has a wife, a family, a great paying C-level career, and everything else on paper that people strive for, was envious of my life?

At that moment, I knew that there must be a better way for people to have the career they want while still incorporating travel experiences and the benefits that travel provides for people.

I knew that my unique travel experiences, perspective, knowledge, and skills would make me the perfect person to make a change in how people traveled and how traveling was used. I struggled for so long to find what my ideal career was despite all of my experiences. I didn’t want to be another travel agent, influencer, free lancer, or work for a company that let me travel for business. I wanted more of a purpose behind what I did and didn’t want to limit my potential for income. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted all of the freedoms that being your own boss gave you. I wanted time, financial, and spiritual freedom doing what I loved in a way that was authentic and genuine to me. I had no clue what that was yet. I knew I wanted something more and so did other passionate travelers.

It was sitting in a hostel in the North of Spain when I began diving deep into all that I could learn about starting an online business. I stumbled upon the booming online coaching world so I mixed my love of travel with my desire to help others and I started a travel coaching business. I was realizing all of the struggles, decisions, and difficulties that new entrepreneurs face. There was no one else doing what I was doing and in the way that I wanted to do it so I decided to document everything that I did to start and grow my own travel coaching business. I created a travel coach program for other passionate and experienced travelers to help find their niche and become travel coaches. I knew that every traveler has their own unique travel expertise and knowledge that I didn’t have, that others can relate to and want to learn from.

I founded The Travel Coach Network because I knew that if this was my dream career and it would be what others were looking for as well. I wanted to help people start a business as a travel coach with more ease than when I first began all on my own.

I also decided to create my signature travel coach approach framework that helps travel agencies change the way that they connect with and provide transformative experiences for their clients, that optimizes on travel for corporate wellness programs, that updates travel policies to attract and retain valuable talent and minimizes medical costs, and improves the well-being and experiences of business travelers. I aim to put humanity back into the travel industry.

There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?

The key to taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business is action. You must take action otherwise an idea remains just that, an idea. I studied everything and anything that I could about starting a business, becoming an entrepreneur, making valuable connections, and gaining exposure for my idea. You don’t know what you don’t know so I became a sponge to find information and inspiration. I strongly believe in creating a solid foundation for your idea that is backed up by your authentic personal story, your core values, your passion, and your reason for your vision. One of the best things that I ever did for my business was to dive deep into research. The more that you read and learn, the more you can strengthen and clarify your idea.

Another impactful thing that I did was to ask for help. It’s crucial to find one or a few people who do what you want to do or something similar and ask for help. Study what they did and how they did it. Model their model and make adjustments that suit your idea and to make it unique to you. My very first mentor was David Meltzer and although me comes from the sports industry, his energy and messaging resonated tremendously with me and working with him helped me think bigger with my ideas than I ever would have on my own.

You must also take the first step and go for it. If you never take action and you wait for the “perfect” time to put your idea into play, you are doing a huge disservice to yourself. The most important step is taking the first step. Your idea will transform over time the more that you learn and evolve as an entrepreneur. Some of the most successful companies began as one idea and morphed into the idea that brought them the recognition and success that they are today but, if the founders never took that first step or allowed for idea evolution, they’d never be where they are now.

What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?

If you have a hobby or a pastime that you feel passionate about and you know that you are meant to make a difference in this world and in the lives of others with it, go for it. You must think strategically and financially though. A hobby is one thing but to turn it into a business and that generates your desired income is another. Take time to think about your hobby or pastime. What is it about it that you love so much? What makes you passionate about it? Why is it important to have or do? Why do people need it in their life? What impact does it make or benefits that it offers?

Once you think of those answers, take it a step further. Ask yourself; what problems or voids exist about it? What solution can you think of to solve those problems and to fill that void? Why are you the perfect person to provide that solution? What makes you different than others with that same or similar hobby or pastime? You have to do the inner work necessary that brings clarity to your purpose and passion. What is your personal story? What does your brand vision look like? How much of an income to you want to make monthly? Annually? Do you want to do this as a part-time or full-time job? How much time do you want to dedicate to this? How are you going to achieve those financial goals? What transformation, if any, will your hobby provide for someone and how are you going to help them get there? What do your ideal clients look like? What are their pain points, wants, dreams, and obstacles? What products and/or services do you want to sell and how to you want to sell them?

Like I said, having a hobby or a pastime that you love is one thing but there is a lot of self-reflection and in-depth research to do in order to turn an idea into a business that has longevity and overall success.

It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?

I don’t believe in the saying “the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living”. The reason being is because I am more in love with the travel industry now than when I first started my business or when it was all just an idea. I can understand where many people can relate to the saying but that’s because of a lack of passion. Passion doesn’t mean to just enjoy doing something. Passion means you have an internal desire to make whatever it is that you’re truly passionate about into an integral part of your life. You believe so much in what you do and why you are doing it. If you try to turn something into a business without it having any genuine connection to you as a person, your life, or anyone that you know, you will be tempted to give up or simply lose interest when times get difficult or overwhelming. Passion is what will keep you going at the lowest of times as an entrepreneur. Your purpose behind your business will give you the motivation and drive that you need to overcome hurdles, bring clarity when you feel stuck, and will keep you going when you feel like you have nothing left to give. If you believe strong enough for what you’re doing, it will never feel mundane and you’ll never lose interest. Your true passion and authenticity will resonate throughout everything that you do and the people that you attract which will reassure you that you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing in life.

What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?

What I enjoy most about running my own business is getting to make decisions for myself. I make my own schedule, set my own prices, and work from anywhere in the world that I want to, when I want to. I get to decide what I do and how I do it. I don’t have to answer to anyone else or be told where to be, what I can and cannot wear, what days to work, how something should go, or anything else. I love that I create everything that my business entails. My ideas are my ideas. My vision is my vision. No one can tell me otherwise. I get to chose who I want to work with and how I want to work with them. I can’t imagine doing anything else in life than pioneering a new niche within the travel industry based on my personal passion, experiences, and expertise. I get to build a business that is authentic to who I am and what I want to create and no one can take that away from me or tell me that it is wrong. Your truth is your truth. It’s just up to you to take action.

There are numerous downsides to running your own business, especially if you are a solopreneur. There are many decisions to be made and it is your duty to make them. Starting and running a business has a myriad of moving pieces. From content creation, branding, storytelling, revenue streams, product creation, services, graphics, copywriting, social media, marketing, promotions, and all other components of running a business, there are a lot parts. It can be difficult to block out the noise of everyone saying that you must do this and you need to do that. To deal with this, always do what feels right for you. Find someone who you trust and can relate to who has experience in doing what you have questions about and simply reach out and ask for guidance or information.

A big downside of running a business is staying focused on your own path and process. It’s easy to start comparing yourself to others’ success which can be a detriment to your mindset and your productivity. Opening yourself up in business is also opening up yourself to criticism which can be really difficult to handle if you aren’t prepared for it. Negative comments about what you do can detour your mindset and make you question everything which will do nothing but hinder your progress. Criticism is inevitable but it’s up to you on how you choose to let it affect you and your business. Instead of letting it hinder you, turn criticism into an opportunity to grow and learn in some way.

If you are a solopreneur, you are making all of the decisions on your own which can be quite overwhelming and difficult. It’s normal to feel lonely at times when you start a business on your own. You dedicate so much time and energy into it and many others may not understand or support what you do. You want everyone that you love and care for to understand and agree with your vision but they don’t always do. This can lead to many tough times as a business owner. Find outlets that work best for you. Try journaling, joining a like-minded social media group to connect with others, or working with a mentor to help you with your decision-making.

Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

When I began as a travel coach, I thought that I would be just that, a travel coach. Instead, my business has transformed immensely over the past year. When I realized that there was no one who was a travel coach from whom I could learn how to start a traveling coaching business, I decided to take on that role for others and create The Travel Coach Network.

I thought that I would just be helping people travel more often but now, I help travelers become travel coaches while also branching into the corporate world with my mission to help people use the power of travel to travel better and more effectively. I realized that my job was so much more than what I initially pictured it to be. I always knew that I wanted to do something even greater in life and make a bigger impact in even more lives and I’m happy that my job has transitioned into one which allows me to do that.

When I first started, I never would have imagined that I would be on the path to working with big travel and hospitality brands with an idea that I came up with from my own personal experiences and passion that will shake up the travel and wellness industries.

Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so how did you overcome it?

I have never felt like giving up and getting a “real” job. Not wanting a “real” job is what drove me to find what I really wanted to do in life. I never wanted to just settle for a job just because it was easy, convenient, it’s what others wanted me to do, or it was what I was supposed to do. I stayed true to myself and what felt right to me. I continued to follow my own heart and gut and push through any outside opinions. It is your life to live, no one else’s. You have complete control over your destiny but it is up to you to put your ideas into motion and take action to make your vision come true. I never felt like giving up because I am confident in my passion and my purpose for my business. If you ever feel like you just can’t take it anymore, tune into the reason that you are doing this and know that entrepreneurship will have its ups and its downs and it’s how you overcome them that gets you to your desire outcomes.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started, I thought that if I run my free masterclass, I’d get a ton of sign ups. I also thought that if I run my Facebook ads, I’d get hundreds of enrollees. To me, this is quite comical but, at that time, what other types of coaches and entrepreneurs were presenting is that it was just that simple! Truth is, it’s not. The lesson that I learned from this mistake was to take time to build authentic and honest connections and relationships with people. I learned that I needed to take a step back and do the inner work that I need to establish my core values, my brand story, and to create a solid foundation for my business. Once I did that, I was able to create more genuine content that resonated with the right people which drew my ideal clients and potential partners to me. The big lesson that I learned is that nothing is as easy as it seems and if it seems easy, it may just be too good to be true. You must always come from a place of authenticity and lead with your personal values.

Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?

People like Richard Branson and David Meltzer who do things for the greater good of others, especially their employees, inspire me to be a great leader. To be a great leader, I believe that treating your employees and those who work for and with you with the utmost respect and consideration is a priority. I feel like Richard Branson and his Virgin brand and David Meltzer represent everything that I stand for; kindness, generosity, and authenticity.

Incredible leaders like them are what inspire me to be the best leader that I can. I want my brand, and myself as a person, to be known for treating people with kindness, helping people as much as I can, placing mental and overall well-being first, spreading positivity, and inspiring others to do good things in the world, all which they do.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I was initially inspired to start my business because I wanted to help others who felt as I did. I was a directionless traveler who was struggling to find my purpose and wanted a way to use what was true to myself, something that I loved doing, a way to help others, and would make a lasting impact in the world somehow. This is why I began The Travel Coach Network where I mentor and help other passionate travelers find how they can make an impact in the travel industry in their own authentic and unique way.

It’s my mission in my business to help open people’s eyes to the power that travel can have on healing and helping their overall well-being. I believe so much in how beneficial travel can be and I want to empower others to have the confidence to be able to travel the world to their own extent so they too can experience some sort of transformation in their life and to see how incredible the world is.

People often dream of traveling abroad to explore or even to volunteer but they never get around to doing so because of various reasons like money, confidence, fear, and work. Traveling opened my eyes to so many other cultures, ways of life, and amazing people. As a travel coach myself and my growing network of travel coaches, we strive to inspire and empower others to not only enrich their lives through travel and to have their ideal work-life balance but we inspire others to see the greatness that the world entails and the importance of making a difference in the world in their own way.

The more people get to travel and are exposed to other people, places, and cultures, the more understanding of other people they will be. I feel like there is so much ugliness going on in the world right now and traveling can help promote more acceptance and deeper understanding of other cultures, religions, and ways of life.

I strive to make more money so I can help more people, something that I first heard from a mentor of mine, David Meltzer. I see my success as a way to help others achieve their own success and to help make a change in this world.

It is also my dream with my success to help already established non-profits help save the lives of stray dogs and mistreated animals around the globe. This includes animals used for tourism purposes like elephants. Animals are another passion of mine and there are so many angels in this world who need more funding to help save these helpless animals.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Mindset will be the toughest part of having a business, especially if you are a “solopreneur”. Starting a business is extremely difficult. There are many high times and low times. Mindset is the most important part of staying on the right track. It is really easy to feel overwhelmed and want to give up or to question yourself and everything that you are doing. I didn’t realize just how hard the mindset part of running a business would be. I have always done everything by myself in life but it is important to be able to express your feelings and frustrations to a friend or someone who will just listen. It’s key to work on your mindset and find what helps you, whether that is meditation, keeping a journal, or doing another hobby. You must make the time to step away from your computer and workload and do something else. Having a healthy mindset is essential to the longevity as an entrepreneur. I struggle on a daily basis with mindset. I have good days and not-so-good days. Negative comments, hearing “no” when you wanted to hear “yes”, or rejection can make running a business really hard but, never give up and find purpose in it all. I can relate to all of this. My mindset is always a work in progress.
  2. Use criticism to help you grow. No one likes to hear anything negative about their passion or hear when someone “just doesn’t get it” or doesn’t like your ideas. When you start a business, especially an online one, you are opening yourself up to millions of possibilities of criticism. When you love what you’re doing and you are so excited about your business, it’s hard to hear anything negative about it. It’s easy to let criticism get you down, make you angry, make you lose confidence, and make you question everything but, it’s extremely important to be able to filter out those negative comments and to use them to help you grow. It’s your choice to either let criticism hold you back from succeeding or to use it as a learning opportunity and to grow. When I first started my business, I would let any negative comments make me so angry and I questioned everything that I was doing. Over time, I realized that the majority of my critiques were opportunities to grow and improve my business. I remember getting frustrated when others didn’t get my view as a travel coach when one day a girl messaged me as said “ that sounds really interesting but what is a travel coach?”. It made me realize that no one else had my vision and this was a chance for me to create and run with it. I realized that maybe I needed to clarify my messaging better since people were still confused. I realized that I needed to change my approach to marketing since I wasn’t attracting the right people. I have learned a lot from criticism and I wish I did this from the very beginning.
  3. Being an entrepreneur will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. If it’s easy, it’s not worth it or it may be too good to be true. As an entrepreneur, you will go on such a roller-coaster of emotions but, as long as you have passion and stay focused, you’ll know that you’re making the right decision. The internet is filled with so many “get rich quick” schemes, “make $20K in the next month” ads, and “no experience needed to make $100K this year” posts. It makes me so frustrated when I see things like this because money and success doesn’t happen overnight and I don’t like seeing such misleading ads that capture people who don’t want to work hard and just want to be rich. Building and growing a successful business that generates your desired income and has longevity will take a long time. There is a process that needs to happen from the very beginning. There is inner work to be done and a solid foundation to be established first. If it’s too easy and requires minimal work then, you’re not serious about having a long-lasting and truly impactful business.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others. When I first started, I followed many other coaches and entrepreneurs online. I found myself obsessing over their proclaimed success and accolades. I wanted to be where they are. I wanted to make that much money. I wanted as many clients as they had. This was honestly one of the worst things that I did as an entrepreneur. Since then, I have stopped following the majority of these people which enabled me to improve my mindset and stay focused on myself and my own business. You should never compare yourself to others. It is one of the most harmful things that you can do to your business. You have to remember, everyone has their own path and journey to take as an entrepreneur. Everyone’s business is different and requires different things to happen. You don’t know anyone’s truth behind their posts or what they choose to put out for the world to see. Instead of comparing yourself to others, find mentors and leaders who inspire and help you grow.
  5. Investing in mentors will help you tremendously. I am a only child and I traveled the world by myself. It’s normal for me to do everything on my own and by myself. I have always had to find solutions on my own and “I’ll always figure things out”, which has always been my personal mantra. I wish that I realized how important it is to invest in a mentor to help me from the beginning. It took me a while before I took the leap and started working with my first mentor which I wish I did earlier. You don’t know what you don’t know and it’s extremely important to find someone who you resonate with on many levels to help you. It can be scary to spend money on unknown results but that is part of being an entrepreneur. Working with mentors have boosted my progress far more than I would have on my own.

What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

A big piece of my business is to inspire a movement of passionate travelers to become travel coaches who each have their own unique niche within the travel industry and help those who best relate to them. When I was just a traveler, I had so many people reaching out to me asking me how I was living my lifestyle and how I was traveling as much as I was. I loved answering as many of their question as I could but I found myself being stumped when it came to specific questions like mom’s traveling with their children, people traveling with a disability, people over the age of 50 who wanted to travel, couples who traveled, and many others. Those niches weren’t my specialty. I was just a solo female budget backpacker but, I knew that there are so many other experienced travelers out there who did have the answers to those questions.

That is what inspired me to start The Travel Coach Network. I am growing a community of like-minded experienced travelers who specialized in their own niche and help people who want to learn from them in particular because they relate to their story and experiences. I wanted to be the person to start this movement because there was no one doing it when I wanted to become a travel coach. Therefore, I created something that I wish I had from the very beginning and now I use it to help other travelers who never knew this dream career option existed, which is what they tell me!

I’m paving a path in a new travel niche and opening doors for other travelers to build their ideal career based on their own travel storytelling and passions. Once I grow my personal travel coaching opportunities with travel wellness and transformative travel, I plan to open the doors for my travel coaches in The Travel Coach Network to be able to follow my path because the idea will be more well-known.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite “life lesson quote” is “everything happens when it’s meant to happen”.

When I first started traveling right out of university, I was clueless on what my purpose and career path were, despite studying and having a degree in hospitality and tourism management. No industry jobs resonated with what I wanted out of a career and I was bummed, so I started traveling instead. I realized now that I wasn’t suppose to know at that time because I was young and there was so much to be experienced to help me find those answers.

When I was traveling, it was the prime phase of travel trends and technology growth. I realized now that I was meant to travel at that time because it opened my eyes to so much about the travel industry and about travelers themselves which helped inspire my business. It gave me a unique perspective on the industry that not many others have.

I was down on myself for many years about not finding my dream career yet. Although I was traveling and enjoying my life, I was disappointed that I could fulfill all other aspects of my life except for a career choice. When I look back at that time now, I realized that I was supposed to go through every moment of that. During that time, I was learning how important it was not to settle on just any job and to continue searching for what I truly wanted out of the life. That time gave me great perspective on the travel industry and about following your own path in life which helps me be a better coach and mentor to my clients. I reached the age of 30 and decided that it was time to take action and create my dream business.

I started my business at the right timing. As a travel coach who focuses on travel wellness, corporate wellness, business traveler well-being, and adding human connection back to the travel industry, this is the perfect time to do so. I say that because these ideas were toyed with years back, according to articles that I found in my research but, the timing was off back then. Times have changed, company culture is changing, travel brands are shifting their approach, the rise in digital nomads and remote work has skyrocketed, entrepreneurship and online coaching has grown tremendously, and travel culture has changed. The timing now is opening its arms to ideas like mine.

Everything that I have done over the years and the way that it has worked itself out was always for the right reasons at the right time, whether I knew it at that moment or not. I always believe that you should trust in the universe and its timing for everything and to find purpose for why things happen when they happen or don’t when they don’t.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

The very first person who comes to my mind is Richard Branson. It would be a dream to be able to sit with him and share our passion for traveling the world and our love of helping others, especially when it comes to the wellness power of travel. To be able to add my unique value to Virgin Pulse and the Virgin brand would be simply incredible. I promise myself that I will make it happen one day!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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