Profitable Passion Building; The Behind the Scenes Life of Business in Travel

Liz Galloway
by Liz Galloway

Lessons I’ve learned feeding my passions as a travel entrepreneur

At a little past 4:30 a.m. on a small expedition boat off the island of Espiritu Santo, Baja Sur, I access my online office from my smartphone. The boat’s still quiet as I sip my first cup of coffee before I kick off our 6:30 yoga class and guests and crew begin milling about in anticipation of another day of adventure. I get out the day’s emails, marketing, content and pitches, grab a banana, some granola, find my spot on the mat and hit play on my Spotify yoga playlist.

I’m here as a wellness host for several dozen active adventurers. We’ll spend our day immersed in emerald waters kayaking, snorkeling and hiking remote islands in the Sea of Cortez, then close the evening with nutrition workshops, good food, and meditation. As a wellness coach and founder, this is what a lot of my days look like. On location, connecting with people through unique travel.

Working in travel, I get a lot of questions about how to get paid to travel, and where to start. Some of this comes from the digital nomad movement, and Instagram photos telling us we are a failure if we can’t travel full time. Regardless of what sparks a desire to travel or create entrepreneurial pursuits in any subject, there’s a lot of work behind the velvet curtain. And as you may well know there is a physical and psychological commitment to chasing our dreams. I have to be prepared for variables and long days that are balanced with physical outdoor activity, coaching, and hours behind a laptop. There are a few things I’ve learned on the way, so I pull back the velvet curtain on my top three.

Niche Passions Create Niche Business 

Travel is a highly visual and emotional business with people connecting through hands on experiences. It’s also highly competitive so I don’t copy what others are doing and ask what I can provide that is authentic and provides a niche solution. But it took leaping over hurdles, working through challenges, pivoting consistently and seeking my own epiphanies. I listened to guest feedback and analyzed what was working online to reach those interested in my message. The tools I use for monitoring websites, posts, and ads are Google Console, Google Analytics, Google Alerts, SEM Rush & Moz.

Speak Up (About Yourself) 

With a background in hospitality that gained me contracts in Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico & the Antarctic, I had no problem gaining press, articles, TV, and radio coverage for others, but I put off doing it for myself. My introverted- extrovert personality wanted to keep me safe. That meant not ”bragging” about my passions, my skills, or my brand. Until I could no longer accept that as an option to running a successful business. Reach is about relationship building, travel is about storytelling, and I certainly had stories to tell. Not raising our voice and media reach is one of the biggest mistakes we can make. To start, zero in on a couple of targets you want to hit, magazine, TV, podcasts etc. and have several fitting pitches ready to go. Top tools I use to increase reach and automation are HARO, Cision, EIN News, Prezley, Babbler, Muck Rack, Press Farm, and good old fashion google searches on key words with the Keywords Everywhere tool. Some have worked better than others, and there’s always room to improve.

Add to Your Skill Set 

I did a lot of self-imposed training outside of my official university education that allowed me to speak the lingo of modern marketers, designers, creatives, coders and DIY my growth. I also opened more doors by adding certifications to the mix so I could offer great experiences. I stopped trying to fit into a box I didn’t fit in because that’s what others were doing. I love the power of outdoor connections and that helped create my niche, so I increased my expertise with several outdoor and internationally respected safety certifications. If you’re taking the next step to gain training across anything from video production, to digital marketing, here are my favorites to learning online from your boss cave: Shopify Academy, Linkedin Learning, Foundr Courses.

Scale at A Pace That Works 

"When in doubt, bootstrap. Using your own personal resources is the easiest way to start a business. You don’t have to convince investors about the merits of your idea. You just have to convince yourself." -Ryan Holmes, Co-founder of Hootsuite. I love this quote because it gives power to an entrepreneurial bottom line. One that justifies our testing, and trials. I’ve seen people burn through a couple million dollars with no profit because they were focused on the wrong things, and not monitoring results (or lack of). I’ve also learned to DIY key things that saved me thousands while I scaled up. Embracing virtual assistants and automation software helps me keep my sanity and organization. Here’s a couple I recommend: Kartra and Wayin.

Simply put, entrepreneurship is a series of sequences that end up telling your story. A story of profitable passion building with like-minded people, because it’s a lonely road when you think you’re on your own. If you’re looking to work in travel, I encourage anyone first and foremost to create their foundation with tools that answer questions your target audience would ask. Nomadic travel lifestyles are beautiful. They’re even better with great income.

Find out more steps to passion building and travel by connecting with me in socials.

About the Author: Liz Galloway is adventure and travel writer, who has also covered wellness for 20 years. She contributes to several online and magazine outlets, is a creative content developer and has authored a book on travel and fitness. She runs the Wild Adventure Wellness Retreat site, a place to find transformative retreats, travel inspiration and connect with others. When not writing you can find her on expedition boats in Alaska, Baja, or Hawaii or covering angles for Antarctic expeditions.


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