In addition to being a business owner and a luxury travel advisor, many of my friends and followers on social media have come to know me as a self-motivator who often shares daily messages of encouragement. Typically, these posts are along the lines of not being afraid to go after what you really want, dream big, and of course, do bigger. While at times the messages might sound a bit cliché, they are often the extra little push to get me through a current challenge or to have the strength to both deal with a difficult client and complete a punishing spin class in the same hour. I love when I get a message from someone else telling me they “needed that today”, as it’s clear I’m not the only one who needs constant reminders that I really can do whatever I decide to do.
Case in point: I am just days away from the launch of my first annual “Play for PINK” charity event weekend on Maui to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), and I also just completed a three-week partnership with CharityBuzz and about 100 luxury travel companies to run an online auction to raise money for BCRF in honor of my mom (who lost her battle last year). It was a bit exhausting doing this concurrently with running my busy and growing business, but it was so important to me to generate funds needed for the research to find the cure for breast cancer that I kept going. My goal is to raise a minimum of $250,000 to fund a dedicated researcher for one year in hopes that the researcher I fund is the one who does find the cure. Sounds crazy, I know, but why shouldn’t that be what I am manifesting for my life?
We should all be doing as much as we can for as long as we can to fuel our passion projects. It’s great to run a successful business and a lot of fun to specialize in selling luxury travel, but I’ve found it’s even more fulfilling when I am doing this alongside something truly meaningful and potentially life-changing for those facing a devastating disease like breast cancer. In order to be successful at our day jobs, we need to be happy and fulfilled. The way to get there is to find projects that we enjoy and that fuel our passion; mine is to honor my mom in a way that would make her proud. Standing up and spreading the gospel about the importance of supporting organizations like BCRF (that donates 91 cents of every dollar straight to the research!) and becoming the organization’s unofficial “West Coast ambassador” is what fuels my passion during the hours and minutes of the day I am not playing luxury hotel matchmaker (which I also love to do!).
What I have learned over the past few months (especially during the times I felt like I might give up as nothing seemed to be getting done) is that there often just can’t be a Plan B. When it comes to fulfilling your own goals, whether they are business or personal, always start with Plan A and stick to it. Do everything in your power and then some to achieve your Plan A vision. There are times when you do need to call on a back-up plan, we’ve all been there. But, don’t allow yourself the comfort or the luxury of knowing what the easy exit strategy is before you really exhaust all possible ways of reaching your goals.
My Instagram feed is currently filled with lots of pink-themed photos and messages as today (October 1) actually kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month (#BCA) and is the culmination of the eight-month passion project I have been involved in. This is my way of reminding myself what is most important to me right now. There are plenty of weeks and months during the year when I can load up my social media feeds with beautiful photos and articles about luxury travel, as that’s what I do best and what I have become known for in the social media world. But for now, it is way more important for me to utilize the platforms and reach that I have (over 100,000 people across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) to spread the word about what I am doing “on the side” and why. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the “travel advisor” or “business owner” box to showcase to the world what you are really made of, and what your passions and goals really are.
Stacy Small is the president/founder of Elite Travel International, an LA-based Virtuoso travel firm. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @elitetravelgal.