Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Mary Cecchini, Founder at Living Big Travel:
What does your company do?
Living Big Travel is a travel resource for women. We support women that want to travel, but not go at it alone, through the small-group adventures we host across the US and all over the world. We also offer custom Travel Design services to support women in planning the vacations they take with their family and friends. We believe life's too short to not 'live big' and get our kicks by bringing adventures to life for women!
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have the privilege of driving the day-to-day mission of Living Big Travel, which includes hosting about 75% of the small-group adventures, researching new destinations, training new Trip Hosts, leading our Travel Design projects as well as the ongoing administration of finance, marketing, etc. I’m beyond passionate about the work, and love that the work I do finds its way into family memories, photo albums and journals, and stories that are shared around the dinner table for years and years.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The biggest challenge today is finding the right path forward for growth and expansion. I want to continue to serve more women, and help them pursue their ambitions to travel, but not at the cost of making Living Big Travel something it isn’t, or turning my role into one that doesn’t bring me joy. This includes considering new service offerings, hiring administrative support, bringing on new Trip Hosts, etc. No one-person business can live in perpetuity — it’s not sustainable. And while evolving a company, and bringing on a team can feel scary, expensive and risky, I know it’s necessary to ensure that Living Big Travel can continue to thrive and serve.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
If I could go back in time I’d tell a younger version of myself to get over the second guessing, the self-doubting, the obsession over having everything perfect before I could launch or insecurity over all that I didn’t know that is required to run a business. I now see that sometimes you just need to pull up your big girl pants, dive straight in, and trust that it will all work out. I now can look back at that younger version of me and see that I’m smart enough, resourceful enough and humble enough to ask for the help I need, and that has served me well in this crazy path of entrepreneurship.