Always listen to your gut and follow your heart, no matter what anyone thinks or says.
Sahara Rose De Vore is a travel coach and expert and the founder of The Travel Coach Network. She applies her signature Travel Coach Approach framework to help companies enhance their corporate wellness and business travel programs through enhanced travel experiences and intuitive travel. An allied member of the Global Business Travel Association, she has a BA in Hospitality and Tourism, and has spent a decade traveling the globe to over 80 countries. Sahara Rose is a published author and has been seen in various media outlets and podcasts including Thrive Global, Hospitality Net, Forbes, Skift, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider. She was a speaker at the Global Workplace Wellness Summit and for the Global Business Travel Association.
Where did the idea for The Travel Coach Network come from?
I studied hospitality and tourism management in university and upon graduating, I realized that the industry wasn’t offering any jobs that really suited my travel desires and lifestyle goals. I decided to pack a bag and book a ticket to Europe. I turned to travel to help me find my answers in life, figure out who I was as a person, what I wanted out of life, and help me find my passion and purpose, and ultimately my ideal career path. I wound up falling in love with travel and spent over a decade traveling to more than 80 countries by the age of 30. Although I was enjoying my adventures, I was struggling to figure out what my dream career was. I was lucky though. I traveled during a prime phase in the travel industry. I had hands on experience and insight on the rise in travel technology and trends which opened my eyes to the problems and voids that existed in the industry. That time was also when the surge in social media and the desire for more freedom-based work-life came about.
From the thousands of conversations that I had with other travelers, I gained a deeper understanding on why people truly traveled, what people looked for when choosing and staying with a job, the importance of travel in a person’s work and personal life, and the wellness benefits of travel on the mind, body, and soul. I backed all of this up by diving deep into research on the travel and hospitality industry, problems in business travel, corporate wellness programs, travel agent struggles, and the wellness industry.
Because I struggled for so long to find a career that aligned my authentic travel stories, experiences, knowledge, and expertise with my desired lifestyle and career structure, I decided create it myself and start my own business. I turned everything that I personally experienced and researched and found solutions to the voids and problems that exist in the industry. I knew that my travel journey was more than just a vacation but rather the experience and research that I needed to inspired and direct my path to entrepreneurship.
I began learning how to start a business in general and how to focus my ideas. I realize the boom in the online coaching industry and that’s when it dawned on me, I was going to be a travel coach. When I began my business just over a year ago, there was no one that I could turn to help me start my own travel coaching business. This is why I founded The Travel Coach Network. I created a place where other passionate travelers who are in the same exact position that I was for so long find their unique niche and build their own authentic travel-related business. I created The Travel Coach Program which is exactly what I wish I had for myself from the very beginning. I focus a lot on helping women make big and lasting impacts on the travel industry because it tends to be a male-dominated industry. I knew that everyone has unique travel expertise and stories that can help and inspire so many in a special way.
As a travel coach, I took all of my findings and personal beliefs and formulated my signature travel coach approach framework which I apply to helping companies enhance their corporate wellness programs, business travel programs, and travel agent trainings.
It is my mission to grow the largest community of travel coaches and experts who specialize in their own niche while emphasizing the wellness power of travel in and out of the workplace. I want to disrupt the travel industry and help change the way that travel is viewed and used for overall well-being in the corporate world and in travel experiences.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My days are filled with juggling a million tasks and projects. One of the very first things that I do when I am ready to start my work day is take a look at my to-do list. I am a very visual and organized person so having everything down on an immediate to-do list and also a do-at-a-later-time list helps focus the busyness in my mind. It helps a lot to get all of my ideas and thoughts out of my head and in front of me. Productivity has never been an issue for me since I work fast and efficiently but, I am at the place where I am ready to outsource some of my tasks. There is always a time in business when you know that it is time to delegate and for you to hone in on specific projects while someone can do tasks that they enjoy and are better at than you such as social media management, promotions, and more. It’s important to know your strengths, weaknesses, and how to delegate.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I have an idea, I strengthen it by doing research and coming up with a strategy plan. Researching data and statistics brings even more clarity to your solution and a strategy plan helps to put that idea into motion. By creating a framework out of my idea, which can contain 5-10 solid points of the idea, it allows me to have something tangible that I can now create into a revenue stream. This is exactly what I did for my signature Travel Coach Approach. I ask myself what my vision for my idea is and I work my way backwards. I think of the steps that I need to get to that vision. How do I want to deliver my idea and to whom? Turning my idea into a framework and then into a package service or product, I can bring my ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Transformative travel is a trending word in the travel industry but I don’t consider it a trend. Reason being is because travel is transformative and that isn’t going to change. Travel brands use transformative travel in their marketing and provide consumers with transformative experiences. But they haven’t nailed the depth quite yet. The reason that transformative travel excites me so much is because it is proof that travel is wellness. People turn to travel to help heal the mind, body, and soul for reasons specific to the individual. There is plenty of room for growth in the transformative travel area. As companies realize the importance of travel experiences, there is a growing need for creative ways to incorporate more travel in and out of the workplace. Travel has the ability to transform a person mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, professionally, and personally and it is time that travel is viewed as a tool to improve overall well-being.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The fact that I am determined to reach my ideal level of success makes me more productive as an entrepreneur. I wake up every day ready to get one step closer to my goals. I have always been a determined person. I love to challenge myself and to create my own path in life. I knew that I always wanted to make a lasting impact in the world and the lives of others somehow. I knew that I wanted to start my own business and create something that was new and felt authentic to myself. Being determined means that I am ready and willing to do what it takes to make my ideas and my vision into a reality. Determination helps me at times of difficult decisions and making the necessary investments. I believe deeply in my vision and I am determined to succeed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Although I have always followed my heart and paved my own path in life, I would tell my younger self to not stress. Right out of university I decided to follow my own path and not listen to what society or family expected or said. I began traveling to find my own answers and direction in life but I worried about not finding my ideal career soon enough. Despite listening to my gut and continuing to let things happen as they did, I would tell my younger self that everything will work out in the long run and to enjoy the journey. Because I was always so determined, I wanted to take action and have answers immediately which sparked stressed and concern from within. If I could, I would go back and tell myself not to feel bad about having all of the answers right now and that everything will fall into place soon enough.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The corporate world is extremely hard to break into in terms of making changes. Travel is a key element to people’s overall well-being and is something that everyone wants to some degree. Travel plays a huge part in people choosing and sticking with a job. Travel is also essential to any business success. It’s crucial that people travel for business. Since travel is a key piece to people’s personal and work-life, companies need to consider travel as a tool for well-being rather than just a perk. It’s not that no one agrees with me on this but it is difficult for companies to go from a place of numbers and AI to incorporating travel as a pertinent piece for overall success. Providing adequate and attractive travel policies, tools, resources, and guidance from a travel expert will also add the human element back into the corporate world and take personalization to a whole new level.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always tell my clients to dive deep into research. It’s easy to think that your initial idea is everything that you need but you don’t know what you don’t know. By taking time to do research you can greatly strengthen your idea and your plan of action. It’s important to do research on the topic and niche that you focus on. Learn the industry inside and out and identify your audience’s pain points, wants, needs, trends, and behaviors. Learn about your competition and what they are doing. Find trends, problems, and existing voids. The more that you consume, the more ideas and clarity you will gain which will lead you to breakthroughs, “ah-ha” moments, and will help you create a better solution. You can conduct research by reading articles, watching videos, attending free webinars and summits, doing market research of your own, engaging in related social media forums, surveying your current audience, and simply asking your target audience or companies what they struggle with and what they want. One of the best things that you can do for your business is to take time to research.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One of the best things that I did for my business was invest in mentors. I have worked with fantastic mentors and coaches ranging from business, publicity, and branding. Doing this has enabled me to create a solid foundation for my business. Establishing a solid foundation is crucial for any business. You need to clarify your messaging, know your values, identify your vision, mission, and ideal audience, and have a clear action plan. By working with people who did something similar to what I want to do or whose messaging aligns with my values, I was able to get my business to a place that resonates with my ideal clients and a place where I could easily package and deliver my ideas. Being able to ask for help and guidance is really important for growing as a leader and business owner.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first launched my Travel Coach Program, I spent a lot of time creating, what I thought was, an information filled webinar. I did a free trial on a popular webinar software, created slides, and spent hours customizing my voice over to have perfect timing. I spent hours on this. My launch didn’t quite go as planned. I thought that I would have a ton of people watch and then join my program. I quickly changed my approach to a more organic one. I decided to do get more personal with my audience and do a live masterclass. I worked on building genuine relationships with my audience and to show up in a more effective way. Instead of just mundane slides and a voice, I incorporated the human element and related to my audience. My approach continues to work and not only have spots been filled in Travel Coach Program but showing up for my audience builds that likeability factor that enables them to relate to, learn from, and trust me.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As a new entrepreneur, I have realized the difficulty that comes with it. Although starting a business is exciting and fulfilling, it can also take a massive toll on your mental health. I read an article the other day in a major publication which talked about the psychological price of entrepreneurship and it secured my thoughts. Entrepreneurship is a struggle. Many people start businesses alone and some don’t have a support system. This can take a big toll on your overall well-being. Anxiety and depression in entrepreneurship is real. I thought of a great career idea that would help. If only there were a cross between a therapist and a life and business coach for entrepreneurs. Not everyone understands or can relate to an entrepreneur emotionally, mentally, and spiritually so a general therapist wouldn’t be enough. A life or business coach wouldn’t give the mental health advice and internal security that a therapist would. Therefore, if there were people who help entrepreneurs specifically based on their personal experience and their medical certifications then, entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, would have someone who can relate to, understand, support, and guide them in a way that friends, family, coaches, or regular therapists could.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Last August I took a big leap and invested a good chunk of money in attending the Global Business Travel Association convention in Chicago. Although I didn’t feel 100% ready, I knew that this was a huge opportunity for me to get my ideas out there and to network with big names in the travel and hospitality industry. Although it was terrifying, it was one of the best decisions that I made for my business. I made unique connections with companies that I have been following and researching for a while and built relationships with them which is a great step to potential partnerships. Investing in yourself and your business is scary but it is completely worth it. You need to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone if you are serious about what you do and the goals that you set for yourself.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love using Zoom! Zoom is a great tool to use for coaching sessions both private and group, as well as for podcast interviews, virtual summits, and personal calls. There are free and paid options for Zoom which is great. It makes communication really easy and helps me serve more people at one time. You can also record your calls which is helpful for trainings, content for a course, and so much more.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A book that I absolutely love and recommend is David Meltzer’s “Connected to Goodness: Manifest Everything that You Desire in Business and Life”. David was my very first mentor in business. His book is just what you need to help with your mindset when it comes to your personal and professional life. He has such a remarkable story that he shares and to see how far he has come, who wouldn’t want to learn how he did it. One of the things that attracted me to him are his values. David’s messaging can resonate with so many people and this book brings ease and a sense of security to achieving what you want in life and business.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote in life and business is “what’s meant to be will always find its way”. I have truly believed in this quote from an early age. I always felt that whatever is mean to happen will come when it is suppose to. This quote helps me assign purpose to everything good and bad in life and business. Believing that what is meant to be will find a way reassures every yes, no, maybe, failure, rejection, and success that I encounter. Trusting in my journey in life and the process as an entrepreneur helps with my mindset. Everything happens as it should.
• Always listen to your gut and follow your heart, no matter what anyone thinks or says.
• Trust your journey in life and in business, everything will happen when it should.
• Research is key to solidifying your ideas and strengthening your solution
• Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your business. It can be scary but taking risks and growing as a person and a professional is essential to reaching success.
• Create a solid foundation for your business and a framework for your ideas to easily package.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.