Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Suzanne Stavert, creator of Adventures of Empty Nesters, located in Kirkland, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a travel writer, podcaster, and photographer, and I travel the world to bring back stories about tours, destinations, and unique travel brands. I collaborate with these global tourism brands to create a multi-media, multi-layered approach to marketing.
Each campaign includes a special podcast episode that helps to tell the extraordinary stories no one else is sharing!
Tell us about yourself
Nine years ago, I started a blog called Adventures of Empty Nesters, where I wrote about life in the Empty Nest. I shared personal anecdotes and tips for empty nesters. This idea morphed into a global business that now includes a podcast, art & photography, and a multi-social media platform.
What I love the most about what I do is that I can dive beneath the surface of travel by discovering the exceptional destinations and small group tours my audience is looking for. As a storyteller, I love to create connections between travel brands and my audience.
Every day I work on something different. Whether it is interviewing an exceptional restaurant owner and chef from a small island north of Seattle or having a conversation with a Master Distiller for a global bourbon brand from Kentucky, I am thrilled to interact and share their exciting stories.
This business has been filled with firsts. No aspect of it was something I knew already! I learned everything I needed to do while "on the job." No one taught me how to write, how to create and market a blog, or how to create a popular podcast. Everything was trial and error, and it has been a learning curve!
When the Pandemic began, there was no travel, no writing about travel, and I had to pivot pretty quickly. The idea for the Travel Connections podcast was born due to necessity and how I wanted to find a way to support an industry that had been so good to me for so many years.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Oh, this is a tough one! Learning to be a podcaster during a pandemic was such a challenge! However, I was able to build it into a business and draw in new clients. In addition, I create the idea of a suite of podcast episodes where I focus on one destination but include interviews with several people within that one location.
For example, Whidbey Island, Washington, is an idyllic small resort town where I talked with an artist, a creative business owner, a chef, and a restauranteur and shared my personal experience visiting there. The success of this unique group of podcast episodes has directly influenced their tourism business. What better way to get to know a city than to hear from the people who love it and live there every day.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a solo entrepreneur is challenging and exciting at the same time! You don't have anyone to bounce ideas and strategize with, but you also don't have to compromise.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Go for it. Don't just think about an idea; act upon it. Who cares if it doesn't work out well or you fail. You will never create something if you don't try!
- Be patient. Sometimes it takes several tries to accomplish your goals. You need to look at the problem from different aspects. Take notes of your thoughts and impressions along the way. You might be able to use these ideas in the future.
- Take a risk. Go out and find adventure! It is never too late to create something new. I have had more success in this second career than I ever have had before. Don't let age or circumstances hold you back. You got this!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Take an idea and run with it! Ask questions! Get a business coach! Do your research! Don't wait. Always ask for what you want.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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