Prior to traveling the world, Gary was a serial entrepreneur. He created one of the first internet only consulting firms in Minneapolis in 1994 which he sold to the consulting division of British Telcom at the age of 28. He later started an online gaming network and co-founded a web based business intelligence software company.
Since beginning his travels he has created the world’s most popular independent travel blog: Everything-Everywhere.com. He is also one of the most influential online personalities in the travel and tourism industry.
Gary has appeared on MSNBC.com, CNN, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler and he was named as having one of the 25 Best Blogs of 2010 by Time Magazine.
What are you working on right now?
I’ll be writing a book in 2011. I’ve signed with a great agent (who also represents Tim Ferriss) and I’m currently building my email list before the book is released. I also will be releasing and iPhone application and selling travel photography prints next year. I’m also working on developing strategic relationships with a few select companies in the travel and tourism industry.
3 trends that excite you?
1) I think there is an increase in trust and authority in individuals and away from large media brands.
2) The increasing spread of the internet and mobile technologies are making it ever easier for people to work anywhere in the world.
3) Companies are slowly embracing online influencers and realizing there is a much higher ROI in working with them than doing traditional media buys.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Have a strategic vision for where you want to go and be willing to put in the work to get there.
What inspires you?
Visiting new places and meeting new people. Travel is one of the single best ways to get new ideas. Seeing how different people approach and solve problems is one of the best ways to get new ideas.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
After my initial success, I spent far too much time with my next venture trying to raise capital. It was a distraction which kept my focus off of what mattered, which was the operation of the business. I’ve gone back to my original principals have focused on keeping costs low and avoiding the need for outside capital.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Don’t put your faith in gurus or experts. No one knows your business like you do.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
The tool which has done the most for me (and millions of others) has to be WordPress.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
I’d actually like to see one of the top mommy bloggers like Duce or The Pioneer Woman interviewed.
How do you manage to get work done traveling all the time?
Because I don’t have a permanent home base, I tend to carry more technology with me than most people. I carry an SLR, a 15″ MacBook pro, wireless mouse, several USB hard drives, and bunch of wires and other accessories. This is a miniature, portable office which allows me to work from anywhere.
Where are you traveling to next?
I usually don’t know where I’ll be more than a few months in advance. So far in 2011 I have trips planned to Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico and the island of Lanai in Hawaii.
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