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Travel Tips for The Always Busy

When I first started Give Me The Globe, I was tired of being stuck at home! I had just started my own business and was very busy working toward growing it into a successful venture. Even though I was afraid to start my own business (without any funding...or experience), I wanted to live life on my OWN terms

But it wasn't that easy for me. I dealt with a lot of criticism as I started my own business and entered into a period of my life where I was stuck at home working for over a year. For someone who loves to travel that is an eternity! I tried to make work travel fun and save up points and miles for an upcoming trip, but it took me almost three years to realize that when it came to my business and my love to travel that I really could have it all. 

Even though some days I felt like a fraud trying to make it all work, I also realized that I wouldn't regret my decision to try and travel more while also owning a business. So off I went! I put on my out of office and took my first big trip since starting my business to South Africa! Since then, I've been to Peru, Galapagos, Zambia, Costa Rica and Mexico. I've focused on taking as many weekend trips as I could possibly handle: Miami, Santa Fe, Montana, Breckenridge, Napa and more! I've also helped friends plan incredible bachelorette parties in Austin, Nashville and Atlantic City

It hasn't always been easy. I've had to work on vacation more times than I can count and I've had last minute travel plans throw a wrench into my perfectly organized week at work. But I've never regretted a single trip. 

I'm passionate now more than ever about helping other entrepreneurs, small business owners, workaholics and regular ol' 9-5ers find more time to travel. Even if you don't have a lot of vacation time or have a small budget, I'm here to help take you from "always busy" to "out of town." 

Interested in turning yourself from a busy business person to a busy business person who loves to travel? Sign up for my email newsletter below and receive my Top Ten Travel Tips for the Always Busy guide absolutely free: 

When To Start Your Own Business

The number one question people ask me when they hear that I own my own business is this:

When is the best time to start your own business? 

People tell me they have ideas for their own business...that they dream of being out on their own and making an impact in the world. But they want to know when the perfect time to start might be. 

I always give the same answer. There is NO perfect time to start your own business. You will never get to a point where you are not afraid to fail. You will never get to a point where you have learned enough to get started. There is no point at which your decision will be feel less risky or less daunting. And delaying for any longer is just an excuse to NOT get started. Delaying makes you feel better about the waiting because you convince yourself that you are waiting for a reason, but you aren't. 

This video below with Seth Godin goes so much more into detail about why "waiting for the right moment" is just an excuse: 

You don't need permission to get started, but in case you feel like you do....today would be a great day to get started!

How To Pack For A Four Day Trip In A Carry On Bag...And Actually Pack Everything You Want To Take!

Packing in a carry on bag for a trip of 5-days or less is really important to me. I absolutely hate checking a bag because:

1. It takes a lot of time- I usually end up waiting in line for 20+ minutes each way to check, plus waiting for my bag to come at my destination. 

2. I'm paranoid of the airlines losing my bags- I want to have all of my belongings when I get to my destination and when I get home. I hate to not have everything I need with me. 

Even though I hate checking a bag, I'm also not willing to sacrifice having what I want to wear and what I need to have a great vacation. I recently returned home from a 4-day trip to Miami and documented exactly how I fit everything in my carry on bag, while still packing everything I wanted for the trip. 

The most important thing you'll need is a great carry on bag! I use the Victorinox Werks Traveler Carry on Bag. It is 20 inch, but you can actually also order a 22inch bag, which is bigger and still have it fit in the overhead bin. I love this bag because I can carry it by myself and lift it into the overhead bin without a problem. This bag goes on sale a few times a year, so keep on the lookout for when it drops in price. 

For a trip like this I needed a handful of items. Here is what I packed: 

Shoes: Tennis shoes, going out wedges and Toms. I was wearing sandals on the plane. If you need to save more room, you can always wear your tennis shoes on the plane. I didn't want to though, so I packed them :)

Toiletries: One toiletry bag, one brush, one makeup bag and my hair straightener. For my toiletry bag, I use the ebags pack flat bag. It fits a bunch of stuff in it, but also packs flat. It has a small hanger where you can hang the bag on in your hotel room. I have 8+ bottles in my toiletry bag on this trip. 

Bags: One going out at night purse, one foldable beach bag and my beach hat 

 Here are all of my extra items I wanted to pack! A beach hat, beach bag, etc. 

Here are all of my extra items I wanted to pack! A beach hat, beach bag, etc. 

Going Out Clothes: One romper, two maxi dresses, one going out top (I wore jeans on the flight). Maxi dresses actually take up a lot of room and if I needed more room, I would have switched them out for shorter dresses. BUT, I really wanted to wear the maxis so I made room. 

Day Time Clothes: One day time dress, one pair of jean shorts, two day time tank tops, one pair of PJ bottoms and PJ tank and one pair of relaxing shorts and tank. Also underwear! 

Bathing Suits: Two bathing suits- One key thing here that saved me space was making sure I could wear my day time outfits over my bathing suits OR on their own. I ended up wearing one day time dress over my bathing suit and wearing the tanks on their own. 

Work Out Clothes: I wanted to work out on vacation so I also packed one pair of workout pants, tank and sports bra. I stuffed my workout socks inside of my tennis shoes. 

The key to fitting all of the clothing items in that I use packing cubes! I have one full-sized cube and one half-sized cube. I roll my items up and put them into the packing cubes. 

Using the cubes and rolling your clothes saves a ton of room and makes it very easy for everything to fit and saves you a ton of room.

Voila- here is my bag fully packed and ready to go to MIami. 

I managed to pack everything I wanted for a 4-day trip, including tennis shoes, workout clothes, bathing suits, beach bag/hat AND 3 going out outfits in just one carry on. With the combination of rolling clothes, using packing cubes and having the right gear, you can easily bring everything you want with you on your next trip! 

Free Template: How To Tell Your Clients You Will Be Out Of The Office

A year after I started my business I started to feel like I really, really needed to take a vacation. I had finally moved my business from zero clients to ten clients and I was working pretty insane hours. At the same time though, I was also anxious about taking an extended vacation and how my clients would feel knowing I would be out of town. I run a social media company for Summer Camps and since it requires daily work on my end, I was also a little worried about how it would go with setting expectations on when work would get done. 

The best advice I got from a fellow business owner is to communicate early and over-communicate to your clients about what will happen when you are out of the office. They can live without you for two weeks, but only if you give them a lot of comfort and support. 

Out of Office Template

Here is the template I used for communicating my out of office dates to my clients. I sent out this email a full month in advance. 

Hi CLIENT NAME- 
This is an advanced communication to let you know that I will be out of the office from August 22nd until September 5th.

What does this mean for you? 

1. Content- All content will be posted as expected. Your social media posts will go live at the dates and times listed in your content calendar. 

2. Ads- All ads will run on schedule. If you would like to run a specific campaign during this time period please send me this request by 8/20.  

What do I do if I have a question or request during this time period?

NAME will be handling all questions and requests during this time period. You can email her (EMAIL) or call her (PHONE NUMBER). NAME is well equipped to run any ad campaign, answer any last minute question or handle any request. Please continue to copy me on emails as I will review them all when I get home. 

I am communicating this to you early so that we can have all of our ducks in a row prior to August 22nd. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I expect no lapse in your social media strategy or execution during this time period. 

The email was really well received by my clients and most either 1) set up time to meet before I left town or 2) at least confirmed they would send over anything I needed before that date. 

One week prior to leaving town I sent a follow up email in the same thread that said the following: This is just a reminder that I will be OOO starting on August 22nd. Please read this thread if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks! 

After this, I received a few last minute requests, but nothing I couldn't handle with a week left before my two-week vacation. 

I also set my out of office with the following information: 

I am out of the office from Aug 22 until Sept 5. NAME will be handling all questions and requests during this time period. You can email her (EMAIL) or call her (PHONE NUMBER). If this is not an urgent request, I will respond to your email upon my return. 

At this point, my clients 100% knew who to reach out to with questions or action items, but I also had taken the time to cross most items off of my to-do list before I left time.

Communicate early and often and I promise your anxieties about being away from your clients will be solved quickly. Now you just need to plan your vacation!

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Applying for the chase sapphire reserve.png

While I don't consider myself a points and miles blogger (just an entrepreneur who loves to travel!), I do spend a decent amount of time collecting miles and points to travel for free. Collecting points has given me the power to visit some of my favorite places for free like Costa Rica and Hawaii

I've written before about how I use the spend from my small business to earn a lot of these points, but I also do a decent amount of personal spending, which is why I am so excited about the new Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

This card has a lot of great benefits for those of us who love to travel, such as: 

  • A $300 annual travel credit
  • 3x points on travel and dining (points still transfer 1:1 to a ton of great hotel and airline partners)
  • 50% more value if you redeem points through Chase 
  • A Global Entry or TSA Pre Check fee credit
  • Trip cancelation and insurance 
  • Roadside assistance 

And a ton more! 

Of course, the card comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, but if you make use of the travel credit and other benefits it is easy to come out on top.

I'm excited to get this card and continue collecting miles and points to travel the world for free. Now if only I had more free time...

Feeling Like a Fraud: Small Business Owner Impostor Syndrome

After celebrating the three year anniversary of my company, I was definitely floating on a cloud of happiness. But being a small business owner and entrepreneur has a way of always giving you the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Moments where you feel like a fraud...like maybe you don't really know anything about what you are actually doing (except you probably do- but who can be sure?). 

I saw this cartoon recently while reading an article on impostor syndrome, which Wikipedia describes as: high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. 

It's a strange feeling for me because at the end of the day I know that I have a lot of advanced skills compared to many other agencies. I gained a lot of skills during my time at Facebook, I've taken hundreds of hours of AdWords courses and I'm deeply dedicated to learning about my industry. So why do I feel like a fraud sometimes? 

The only thing I can come up with is that owning your own business uncovers the deepest insecurities about yourself. Once they are uncovered, running your own business then magnifies these insecurities. Top that off with a business that focuses on client service, where you are constantly being given feedback and where clients come and go as the please...it's a recipe for exposing these feelings. 

I've been working at trying to recognize these feelings and move on quickly by getting back to work. I'm reading this book about feedback and planning a weekend getaway to try and relax a little. 

While I was planning our upcoming weekend trip to Santa Fe, I found this quote by Georgia O'Keefe and I think it fits just right. 

Feel like a fraud sometimes? Me too, but I am quite free. 

Book Review: Rework

As an entrepreneur and generally busy person, I don't always get the chance to attend as many professional development events or conferences as I would like. To compensate for that, I've been trying to read one business book every month this year. Ive also really been trying to take advantage of time on planes and in cars when I don't have wifi or generally can't be working. This month I read Rework. I downloaded this book on audibles and listened to some that way and read some as well. 

This was one of my favorite business books I have read this year! It is especially great for someone interested in starting their own business or trying something new within their current role. The book is written by the people who created Basecamp, which happens to be a great tool for small business owners. The book was very straight forward and didn't include a lot of the BS you see in many business books. 

The most valuable lesson I learned from the book is that failure is not a right of passage. 

Strangely, I've always felt a little bit guilty that I started my business without having a huge failure of a company first. The narrative of needing to fail before you succeed is prevalent in a lot of business books, but it isn't the way it worked out for me (which I'm extremely thankful for of course, but it was due to a lot of hard work too). 

This book encourages you to make bold moves, start small and get going on your entrepreneurial journey. Definitely a must read for anyone thinking about starting their own business. 

Regrets of the dying: Will I really wish I had worked less?

I often see articles in my news feed about the regrets of people dying. Almost all of the articles read the same about wishing they spent more time with their families or traveled more often. One thing that always bugs me and surprises me to see is the number one regret of the dying: I wish I had worked less. 

I think reading this bothers me so much because the reality is I work...a lot. I definitely wonder, will I regret all of this work when I am dying? Will I have wished that I slowed down and wasn't so focused on my impact at work? 

These thoughts have recently been confounded with friends of mine mentioning I work too much and someone even saying that what I do is "just a job" and that I take it too seriously. 

Just a job?? A job is something you do because you have to. Owning your own company and building a business is my life passion. I spend more waking hours at work each day than anywhere else. Is it really JUST a job?

While I was re-reading the regrets of the dying, I came to the conclusion that most people don't actually regret having worked too much. They regret working on the wrong things. They regret not starting their own business, switching to a job they would love, leaving work at a decent hour to spend time with their family...they regret not doing work differently. 

The best part about owning my own business has been the opportunity to work differently. To take a vacation when I want to. To meet a friend who needs me for lunch. But also the opportunity to really love working. To do work that I find interesting and impactful and important...with no regrets. 

 

Celebrating Three Years of Social Summer Camp

It's hard to believe that it's been three years since I left my job at Facebook to start my own company, Social Summer Camp. When I first announced I was leaving Facebook a lot of people thought I was crazy. How could you possibly leave a job at one of the best companies in the world? How could you leave all the perks, the impact, the meaning? 

While it hasn't been all roses since the day I started Social Summer Camp. I can say without a doubt that starting my own company has been the most meaningful mission of my life. 

We are changing the game in marketing for summer camps. Because of our efforts more kids than ever before are finding out about a summer experience that provides meaningful 21st century skills that last beyond college and into adulthood. Children these days are missing out on very meaningful and critical skills that only a summer at camp can provide. Our marketing efforts are putting more children in more camps than ever before. 

There have been unexpected moments of joy on this journey. Like hiring my first two employees and realizing that together we've built a team of super-motivated, smart and passionated people. 

Hitting the 40 client mark and realizing that camps are really starting to understand the fundamental shift that is happening in marketing. Speaking at my first conference and seeing the excitement in the audience around social media for summer camps. 

But the most exciting part has been the opportunity to live life on my own terms. To bring an idea into the world and realize that the only thing holding me back from achieving my dreams is myself. 

There have been tragically hard moments too, but they have been just a small part of the immense joy I feel running a company that matters. 

I'm extremely thankful for my first client who took a huge chance on me and let me experiment with his camp's marketing efforts so I could figure out what worked. Without him, I would have no business. If someone approaches you and asks for you to take a chance on them...do it. I promise they won't let you down. 

And to everyone else who makes this business and my world go round, thank you. Here's to lifelong success and to Social Summer Camp! 

Living Life On Your Own Terms

It's not unusual for me to get a lot of questions about how I live my life. When people see that I own my business, travel a lot and sometimes have many weekends in a row where I'm not home, people tend to get a little curious. 

When I left my stable 9-5 job to start my own company, I did it for a lot of reasons, but the most important one to me was that I wanted to live life on my own terms. I've realized since then how that term has such different meaning for so many people. 

For some people living life on your own terms means that you work a 9-5, can come home and just hang out and be with your family. For some people it means being your own boss, for some people it is the stability of a job with a 100 year old company. It really means something different for everyone and lately I've been thinking a lot about what it means to me. 

For me living life on your own terms means:

1. Being able to have a job that is meaningful to myself and to the world 

2. Being able to travel as much as possible and explore the world we live in 

3. Being a meaningful part of my family (both my family in Austin and around the country)

4. Living a life that I would be happy with if I happened to live forever (I realize I won't live forever, but I find this mantra keeps me focused. If I lived forever, would I be happy doing what I am doing now?) 

I get asked a lot about starting your own business and I often tell people that they should really only do it if they have a strong desire within to accomplish the goal of being your own boss. Because at the end of the day living your life on your own terms is really all about YOU. It isn't about what other people, society or even your mother thinks is best for you.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to find out what living life on your own teams means to you and then live it.