You always hear how one thing leads to another. Sadly, though, too few people who say they want to be their own boss pay attention to serendipitous connections which means they miss the opportunities right in front of them.
Barbara Perman of Moving Mentor, in Amherst, Massachusetts met her current business partner after being introduced at her hair salon.
My brother bought a small seasonal business that generates up to $3,000 every weekend because he overheard a conversation while at one of my niece’s basketball games.
In my own life, there have been countless times when a single connection or occurrence has taken me into an entirely new and wonderful direction I would have never gone otherwise.
For example, it was only by chance that in 1995 I saw an ad for a series of cassette tapes on how to start a newsletter. The only reason I saw that was because a friend left a magazine in my car.
I wrote a check $150 – a lot of money to me then – and popped it into the mail and 16 years later, the Changing Course Newsletter is still going strong.
Then, a year and a half ago, I spent three days in New York City as a guest of Carrie Wilkerson, AKA the Barefoot Executive. In another serendipitous turn of events, Carrie learned about me from hearing me make comments on a recording she purchased of one of Ali Brown’s seminars.
That’s when I met Suzanne Evans (whom you’ll meet in today’s Featured Workshop). Suffice it to say Suzanne is brilliant at showing people — primarily in the coaching, helping, and healing fields — how to quantum leap their businesses and help more people at the same time.
And once again, thanks to Carrie, on that same NYC trip, I had the chance to interview social media legend Gary Vaynerchuk.
If you don’t know Gary – check him out online. Better yet, grab a copy of his book Crush It: Now Why Is the Best Time to Cash In on Your Passion which is all about how you can attract advertisers through blogging.
Because of that initial connect, I put myself in a position to spend an hour picking Gary’s brilliant mind over coffee. Considering the guy routinely gets $50k a day to consult to major corporations, I felt pretty lucky.
But was it just “luck?” Or was it knowing how to follow serendipity to see where it takes you?
Too Many Messages to Ignore
So imagine if everyone you know who went somewhere came back and not only positively raved about the place — but either moved there or kept going back again and again?
Would you want to go to that place? The reason I’m asking is because that’s exactly what happened to me. In the course of four years I’ve crossed paths with five individuals who ALL told me the same thing…
Ecuador is the most beautiful place they’ve ever been.
The first time I heard it was from a couple named Gary and Mary Scott.
The three of us were guest speakers at a 3-day seminar in San Antonio put on by American Writers and Artists Institute on how to make 6-figures combining travel writing, travel photography, and import-export.
The Scott’s were there specifically to talk about the about opportunities to import and sell products from Ecuador — everything from leather, silver, fine woven products, even long-stemmed roses.
The San Antonio seminar is also where I met Bonnie Keough who, as it turns out, was at the time living not more than 10 miles from me in Massachusetts!
There’s more to Bonnie’s Ecuador story… but the short version is that following that workshop she, too, went to Ecuador. Bonnie fell so in love with its beauty that she began bringing other American’s there on tours.
Bonnie’s own love affair with Ecuador began when she went there for a follow up import-export workshop led by the Scott’s. More than just a classroom experience, participants were brought to different villages where they received help negotiating contracts with local vendors.
The reason the Scott’s are so knowledgeable is that Ecuador is their retirement home for 6 months of the year.
Most ex-pats who are living in Ecuador — of which there are many — purchase a house, hire a housekeeper and a gardener and spend their days writing or painting or visiting neighbors. Amazingly, you can buy a gorgeous condo or house from $45k-$90k.
The Scott’s fell so madly in love with the country and its people that they bought a charming, renovated 180-year-old colonial hotel in Cotacachi. Land of the Sun Inn as it’s called is now officially a non-profit enterprise.
The hotel is part of a two-person campaign the Scott’s went on to help match craftspeople in Ecuador with aspiring entrepreneurs from the US, Canada, and Europe who are interested in essentially getting paid to shop.
Any guesses what Bonnie’s doing now?
Because she attended the AWAI seminar… and because she met the Scott’s there… and because she pursued her passion for South America and for import-export… Bonnie and her husband sold their house in Massachusetts and she’s now running all of the Scott’s import-export workshops in Ecuador!
| Alison Talbert (right), posing in the courtyard
of Land of the Sun Inn in Cotacachi
That’s where Alison Talbert comes in. Shorty after I spoke at the AWAI seminar I had a private brainstorming session with Alison. During our session, this former travel agent turned full-time mom spoke about her love of travel and long-time interest in exploring import-export.
At my urging, Alison signed up to attend that same import-export workshop as Bonnie — and a few weeks later she boarded a plane by herself for Quito and then on to Cotacachi.
Did Alison like Ecuador?
No. She LOVED it! So much so that since that first trip, she’s been back a grand total of 10 times! By herself… with her husband and 2 kids (“Best family vacation we ever had!”)… with a friend.
Okay so fast forward to last summer. Alison “happened” to see a blurb for one of the weekend retreats here in Massachusetts. With just three days notice, Alison once again hopped on a plane.
Mind you I hadn’t heard from Alison since our initial consultation. Then here she is sitting in my living room — person #4 to sing the praises of Ecuador.
“Work at What You Love” is also where Alison hatched an idea for how she could profit from her passion… I’ll let her tell you herself.
Personally Alison had me at $25 massages. 🙂
I knew from hosting the hugely successful “Making Dreams Happen” seminar in the Colorado Rockies with Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter that there really IS something about getting to a higher elevation that enables you to see your dreams more clearly…
That’s when I decided someone was trying to tell me something!
So with Alison’s and Bonnie’s help, I’m running my first international “Work at What You Love” retreat in the Andes. The workshop itself runs from April 26– May 1st. It’s going to be one-part workshop and one-part exploration.
Of course you always want to check with a tax advisor, but because this seminar is designed to help you hone in on and then grow a small business, the trip should count as a fully tax deductable business expense.
In terms of my own business, when you see the price you’ll see this not a big profit center for me. But I decided since I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever do another retreat there or anywhere… that it was more important to heed this calling to go to the Andes than anything.
Once you have a business idea, planning is important. But don’t dismiss the powerful role serendipity plays in realizing a dream.
Whether you can join us in Ecuador or not, I encourage you to pay attention to the small occurrences and connections happening in your life right now. More often than not, they are leading you on a path to the life you always wanted.
P.S. The upcoming “Work at What You Love” Ecuador adventure workshop is a unique opportunity for you to step out of your life and benefit from having a bigger view — and like Mary and Gary, Bonnie, and Alison to finally re-invent your life!
For more photos of Ecuador, a full itinerary, and to learn about the Bring a Friend offer go to RelaxRenewReinvent.com. FYI, the Early Bird $1,000 Savings ends March 9th.
As you can imagine, since announcing the Ecuador retreat trip a few weeks ago I’ve been flooded with questions.
Click here for a list of travel tips.
Then tomorrow night — Tuesday, February 22nd at 8:00pm Eastern — Alison Talbert will host a call to answer all of your travel and other questions about Ecuador.
To register for the Q & A call with Alison here: http://www.RelaxRenewReinvent.com/got-questions