Jared Sternberg – Founder and President of Gondwana Ecotours

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.

Interested in travel from a young age, Jared attended the University of California, San Diego, to study International Studies and Spanish Literature. During this time, he spent a semester studying culture and language in Barcelona, and later backpacking through Europe. For Jared, this was a benchmark experience that showed him the positive impact travel can have on an individual. Thus, after graduation in 2008, Jared left his native California home to pursue more meaningful travel experiences.

Jared’s search led him to Ghana where he worked with locals to build a vocational school. He was inspired by their positive attitudes despite their many hardships, as well as his ability to make a positive impact. Through this experience, he learned that travel can not only benefit the traveler, but also the destination.

Between 2010 and 2013, Jared attended Tulane University’s Law School in Louisiana to study environmental and human rights law, in hopes of making a bigger impact through legal action. Meanwhile, during his studies and during his breaks he continued his service abroad by working with the people (and their environments) of Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua, Alaska and more.

After years of work and travel, Jared sought ways to share his passion for helping the historically underrepresented peoples and their environments. With an understanding that this passion was born from his meaningful travel experiences, he founded Gondwana Ecotours in 2013.

Where did the idea for Gondwana Ecotours come from?

I was volunteering in the Ecuadorean Amazon Rainforest Basin with the Achuar Indigenous Nation when I truly realized the potential benefits ecotourism could provide local environments, economies in cultures in developing parts of the world. A few years later I decided I wanted to start my own project.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I keep myself as organized as possible with calendars, spreadsheets, folders and the like and I create lists for myself and my goals that I check off daily. A typical day involves emails, phone calls, planning, marketing, researching and once a month or so helping on tour.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I try to follow my instincts. Sometimes I find it is easier to just try something as opposed to debate its merits indefinitely. I feel fortunate I found my passion so it feels natural just to get out there and make it happen.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Increasingly aware consumers

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I never stop thinking about my work. In a lot of ways that can be problematic, but I also think it makes me successful.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Follow your heart. Don’t be scared of what you truly want. Do be scared of reckless behavior.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Even your dream job can be incredibly stressful and difficult.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Influencer marketing. Utilizing social media influencers has been quite worthwhile although at times difficult to manage and navigate.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

A lack of management experience. I am still learning how to manage other people. Being open to criticism, even from friends and employees is incredibly important.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Bamboo share-grows. I wish I had time and money to set it up!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Google Drive is king.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Ishmael“. It’s a life-changer.

What is your favorite quote?

“If the problem can be solved, there is no need to worry about it. If the problem cannot be solved, what is the use in worrying about it.”


Gondwana Ecotours on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ecotours
Gondwana Ecotours on Twitter: @GondwanaTours