Welcome to The Traveling Entrepreneur! Each Monday, we'll feature a different entrepreneur who spends at least part of their working hours on the road. Learn their tips for working from anywhere, what they'd do differently if they had to start their business over again, and their favorite place to travel (so far). Enjoy!
Meet Kylie Travers
Q. Can you tell me a bit about your business?
A. I am an international speaker, author, freelance writer, and blogger. I also founded Occasio Enterprises, which specializes in influencer marketing - connecting social media influencers and bloggers to businesses, and provides social media marketing, training, workshops, speaking and strategy planning, particularly in the travel and finance niches.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being self-employed?
A. I can work around my daughters. I created my business this way to give me the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the lifestyle I wanted (travel, financial freedom, and a better work life balance) and to empower others to do the same. It has enabled my daughters to have incredible life experiences, exclusive behind the scenes tours, travel to destinations we didn’t know about, and live a life I didn’t think was possible.
Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your business?
A. The most challenging aspect has been balancing my expanding business and my personal life. Over the past few years, I left an abusive relationship, ended up homeless as a single mom, and had health issues including paralysis and a cancer scare. Juggling business, family, and my health wasn’t easy. I learned quickly about outsourcing because there is no way I could have done everything by myself.
Q. If you had to start your business over from scratch today, what would be your top three priorities?
A. First, I would create and implement a solid business and marketing plan, including the website, social media presence and networking. Too many people skip this step and jump straight into business then flounder longer than they need to. Second, with each increase in income, I would outsource more. I would continuously ask myself “Is this something I have to do, or can I outsource this?” Third, I would develop an ideal team including my accountant, lawyer, insurance broker, VA’s, mentors, advisors, etc. A team who will help me build my business the right way to the level I want. Each member has their own purpose and not all members work with each other, but establishing that network is essential.
Q. Do you travel frequently while maintaining your business?
A. I travel a lot as part of my business, both working and maintaining my business. We do influencer trips for tourism boards, and I speak both internationally and domestically. Travel is part and parcel of my business. My business is predominantly online, which makes it easy to manage everything from anywhere in the world.
Q. Are there any tools or resources that allow you to work from anywhere that you would recommend to other entrepreneurs?
A. There are so many I could recommend! I actually have a resources guide on my site that includes everything I do from business to my personal life. To start with, I’d recommend outsourcing to assistants and using a tool like Asana for team and project management. Google Apps (including docs and forms) are great to keep documentation together, to do market research, to share files, etc. I use Dropbox for storage and sharing files. I also utilize AirBnB, Uber, and many other ‘share economy’ businesses when traveling as they are quick, easy, and accessible from my phone with all the information kept in one place.
Kylie in Indonesia
Q. What has been your favorite destination so far?
I loved the experience of seeing the total solar eclipse in Indonesia this year. It was incredible, the country was beautiful, and it was a totally different experience. It is hard to pinpoint a favorite destination because each place I travel to has a different experience, culture, memories, and meaning in my life. Tasmania is all about family for me. A trip to Melbourne before I moved here included hot air ballooning, a helicopter ride, a horse ride, swimming with dolphins. A private camping trip in the Abercrombie Caves was amazing because there is no reception and we just spent time as a family exploring the caves and rivers and relaxing. In San Francisco I got to mark a bunch of stuff off my bucket list and meet amazing people. I love New Orleans and Las Vegas because both cities are such an experience on their own.
Q. How does traveling enhance your current business?
A. My business is based on connecting travel and finance companies with social media influencers. The ability to travel naturally helps this. Trips increase our income, networks, skills, and life experiences. Traveling and being involved in other cultures gives me a greater understanding of the world. Traveling helps me enhance my problem solving skills and helps allows me to see how people work together under stress. Travel is essential to every aspect of my life and business.
Q. What advice do you have for people who want to travel while they work?
A. Realize it is not all sunshine and roses. There will be times you have no internet or phone. You will need insured because items get damaged. Its a good idea to diversify your income so if you have issues with one area of your business, there is still income from other sources. When you travel, embrace the area you are visiting; don’t try to make your home in an Asian country a version of your office and flat back home. Work with the country you are in and embrace their cultures and customs instead.
Kylie Travers went from being a homeless single mom of two facing domestic violence to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker, and domestic violence advocate. She is passionate about travel, finances, and helping others turn their obstacles into opportunities. Learn more about her on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
If you're a globe trotting entrepreneur, and you'd like to be featured (or if you know someone who might), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.