Focus your career on what you love to do in your spare time. Whatever it is, that is what you should pursue.
Tami and Latifah began traveling together when Latifah was three months old and they have never stopped. Together, they have explored the world as well as traveled solo. Between them, they have visited over 50 countries. They both love to travel and they have found that traveling renews and invigorates their soul and improves their connection with themselves, each other, and those around them. Their journeys have helped them to realize their inner strengths and have inspired new beginnings. Their hope is that they can introduce you to their favorite places and that you, like them, will feel renewed, refreshed and perhaps see life a little differently after your travels with them.
Where did the idea for Femscape Sojourns come from?
The idea to start our company came from three things:
1. A lifetime of travel.
2. When I tell my friends that my mother and I have traveled all over the world together, they’re always so shocked that we have maintained a strong bond over the years. We thought that offering pre-planned mother-daughter sojourns would be a nice way for mothers and daughters to reconnect.
3. We realized that many women above forty would love to travel to exotic destinations but they have no one to travel with and they do not want to plan an exotic trip.
We wanted to offer something a little different than what we’ve seen on the market. We wanted to offer small group boutique travel experiences that connected women with other women in each of the locations we visited. So, we designed each trip with the opportunity for our group to meet local women who are making a difference in their community. We also designed three types of trips; for women 40 and older, women in their 20s and 30s and mother-daughters. We designated different types of trips because we feel that women at different stages in their lives are looking for different types of experiences.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Tami: “I divide my day into blocks of time. I begin each morning by quietly reading something inspirational and drinking a cappuccino. Once I feel relaxed and focused, I prioritize my day with the most important tasks. If I have any type of writing to do, I do that first while my mind is clear and then I move to more task-oriented goals. I engage in email correspondence with hotels, guides and other individuals who offer services such as tours, cultural activities, etc. I then focus on the marketing analysis to determine how effective our strategies are.”
Latifah: “I start my day checking my emails and finding new outlets that we can advertise on. I then write any posts that I need to before my eyes become too exhausted from staring at a laptop. I usually end my day writing (literally with pen and paper) a list of ideas and adding tasks and content to calendars.”
How do you bring ideas to life?
Everything we do is a compromise due, in part, to the generational differences between us. We are a mother-daughter run business so we often have completely different perspectives about what should be done. So, we compromise. One of us will suggest an idea, the other will mold and change it from their perspective and we keep massaging it until we have a solid idea that we think will work. Sometimes we deadlock on an idea and then we reach out to a group of diverse women for their opinions.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Travel and Instagram! It’s so crazy how much travel has gained in popularity because of Instagram, but we’re here for it! We are all about travel and if we can promote our trips/business on a platform that delivers epic pictures to people all over the world and has great ROI, why not?
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Tami: “I can focus for long hours on a task. I turn off all electronic gadgets and just live in the task until it is completed.”
Latifah: “Probably always having snacks and water by my side, because once I’m in something I probably won’t move.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
Focus your career on what you love to do in your spare time. Ask yourself what you are passionate about? What you find yourself doing in your free time? Whatever it is, that is what you should pursue. Find ways to make those activities that interest you into a business. Do not waste your life on what society says you are supposed to do and do not chase after wealth.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Warmth in personal interactions in business matters. I have been told that I need to be more business-like in my dealings with other people but I have found that people crave connection with others and they welcome someone who is warm and expresses feelings.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Tami: “Focus. Do not get distracted by unimportant things and do not get discouraged by negative events.”
Latifah: “Pick myself back up when I’ve been rejected and keep searching for new ways to make my idea work.”
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Staying persistent and patient! When trying to grow your business it’s so easy to become discouraged and give up because the process is really slow. Just when you think you’re ready to launch, you learn about 10 more things you need to do first. With that being said, don’t think you’re business has to be 100% perfect before you launch, you’ll find flaws everyday! Launch when you feel 80% ready and the rest will fall into place (aka be taken care of over time). You don’t have to be an expert on every topic before launching, or you’ll never launch!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Worry about failure. We have overcome it by staying optimistic and giving it our best shot.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have no idea how, but it would be amazing if there were a program that you could paste an article or blog post in and it edits it for SEO optimization.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Tami: “Buying file containers, folders, index cards and markers. While this may seem old-fashioned in the digital age, I found that I needed to add a tactile element to my work. I purchased beautiful cream-colored linen file containers for each destination that we are planning to visit and folders that are travel inspired to store my ideas and email printouts for each trip. Every time I get an idea, I write it on index cards or cut out pictures for it and put it in the appropriate file container.”
Latifah: “Can you even buy anything for $100 these days?!”
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Squarespace! We literally have designed two websites on it all by ourselves. People are always so shocked when they realize we didn’t hire anyone to design our site. It’s very user friendly and their online customer chat service is amazing!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“How to Start an Online Business: Create a Business Around Your Lifestyle”
by Emilie Pelletier
This is a solid, no nonsense guide to the fundamentals of creating an online business. We used it as a guidebook to begin our work. The most important part of this book for us was Chapter 4 which outlined the importance of truly understanding your audience.
What is your favorite quote?
Tami: “I would rather die of passion than of boredom” Émile Zola
I really believe that life and work is about passion. Passion is what makes you wake up in the morning excited to start the day and if you are passionate, other people will feel that and want to work with you.
Latifah: “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” Confucius
I’ve never been more excited to wake up before my alarm rings than I am now co-running my own company.
- We wanted to offer something a little different than what we’ve seen on the market. We wanted to offer small group boutique travel experiences that connected women with other women in each of the locations we visited.
- We compromise. One of us will suggest an idea, the other will mold and change it from their perspective and we keep massaging it until we have a solid idea that we think will work. Sometimes we deadlock on an idea and then we reach out to a group of diverse women for their opinions.
- Turn off all electronic gadgets and just live in the task until it is completed.
- Focus your career on what you love to do in your spare time. Do what you are passionate about. Do not waste your life on what society says you are supposed to do and do not chase after wealth.
- People crave connection with others and they welcome someone who is warm and expresses feelings.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.