525
8 min 51 sec

Project Manager Helps Cubicle Workers See the World

When a corporate employee is told she can’t take a big trip because of her daughter, she starts a company to make travel more accessible.
Remote Work Research Service Travel

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What It's About

A remote work focused travel planning service that helps people ditch their cubicles in lieu of international views.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Travel Planning & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Remote workers value security and stability more than self-employed nomads, and you really have to take these differences into consideration if you're planning on marketing to either group. While some of their needs may overlap, there's also a lot of distinction between the two groups! And remember, the services that you tailor to the people in each group is important, but it’s also vital to consider how you speak to them and their needs as well. In some ways, that might be even more important!

Fun Fact

Just a few short years ago, working from home may have seemed out of reach across some industries, but today, not so much. In 2015, 23 percent of employees reported doing some of their work remotely, up from 19 percent in 2003, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. A New York Times report also noted that telecommuting is fast on the rise. Who said you can't be more productive in your pajama pants?!

Notes from Chris

Episode 525

For Project Manager Libryia Jones, it was a desire to travel the world that brought her to side hustling. Before Libryia’s daughter started high school, she wanted her to experience a different kind of education: the kind that can only be gained by immersing yourself in the peoples and cultures of distant lands.

To do this, Libryia convinced her boss to allow her to work remotely—then she began looking for opportunities to travel and work at the same time. She’d heard about companies that facilitated travel, providing accommodation and workspaces, giving remote workers the chance to go all over the world. But as she researched these companies she found one common theme—she wasn’t allowed to bring her daughter with her.

Unable to find a package that worked for her, Libryia quit her job and took her daughter traveling with her on a self-planned trip. She felt she couldn’t be the only remote worker who wanted to share the experience with their family. So, in the spirit of so many of our case studies, Libryia came up with a solution to her problem and created an experience that would make this kind of travel more accessible.

She called it Wanderist Life, and it was built around the concept of having a life you don’t need to take a vacation from. The simplest way to describe the Wanderist Life business model is that people trade their at-home living costs—like monthly rent and bills—for one monthly payment to the Wanderist Life service. For this monthly payment, Libryia will find your accommodation, give you access to a co-working space, arrange transport and travel, as well as organizing unique experiences every month for you to take part in.

To test her idea, and get real-time feedback from her target audience, Libryia decided to create a one-off excursion. She set the location as Chiang Mai, Thailand, and aimed to get 50 people to spend time there over Thanksgiving. It was a big goal, but she posted in travel and remote work Facebook groups, and ran some targeted Facebook ads to cities with larger numbers of English speaking expats, and quickly built a list of people to attend.

This allowed her to really get a feel for booking accommodation for people, planning trips for larger numbers and seeing how remote workers enjoy spending their time on the road. It influenced how she planned and approached the future trips, and the overwhelming success of it made her want to stick with the idea.

Although she’d planned to make a profit sooner, she found there were lots of costs she didn’t account for. Extras like VAT (Value Added Tax) or problems with landlords have run up extra bills and eaten into the extra money she would have made for profit. This steep learning curve seems to have been essential to the future success of Wanderist Life, and Libryia feels she’s finally on track to make real money.

Her 2019 trips, which start in September of 2018, are on track to generate just under $200,000. She’s been able to set prices that allow her to cover these unwanted costs and still make a profit, without making the trips unaffordable.

Looking to the future, Libryia is focused on the growth of the company and creating more one-month “experiences” for travelers so she can test new locations. She’s also expanding into speaking and looking to promote the idea that you don’t need to work from a cubicle to be successful! If you like the idea of working remotely without quitting your job, maybe you should check out Wanderist Life.


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Wanderist Life: Ditch the cubicle and stale, shared coffee—learn more about the curated, remote working travel opportunities Libryia has available over on her website!
  • Medium: A blogging platform that Libryia uses to market Wanderist Life and drive more traffic to her site
  SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"I think that people are interested in Wanderist Life because they want to live and work differently than how they've always been told that they should. They want to do it in a way that feeds their passions and makes them feel fulfilled and not like life is passing them by in a cubicle."
—Libryia Jones #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau