Career Tips

From Tech to Travel | UNICORE

What work have been you doing beforehand? 

After working in finance as an funding banker, I pivoted to tech, co-founding Houston’s first start-up accelerator programme.

Then I launched and managed two early markets for UberEATS.

What are you doing now?

I’m the founding father of Bell & Bly Journey, a boutique luxurious journey advising agency.

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I assist busy executives plan distinctive journeys, starting from ultra-high-end safaris in Africa, to off-the-beaten-path excursions in Europe, to fast getaways throughout the US (the place I’m based mostly).

How did you are feeling in your work earlier than you determined to make the change?

The extra time I spent within the govt world, the extra I knew it wasn’t meant for me.

I loved the work, however didn’t benefit from the company tradition. I used to be sucked in by the idea of face time (because it mattered in my first two jobs), and labored excessive hours.

Why did you alter?

I realised that if I used to be going to work a lot, it must be to construct fairness in my very own firm or in myself.

So once I left Uber I put blinders on to different job affords and centered on on the lookout for my ‘personal factor’.

I began planning journey for my associates on the aspect whereas engaged on different concepts. I didn’t suppose I might make a real enterprise out of it, however then as increasingly individuals have been , it turned increasingly enjoyable.

In the long run, the timing labored out as one other venture I used to be engaged on failed spectacularly (a narrative for one more time). So I made a decision to make the leap and launched Bell & Bly Journey.

When was the second you determined to make the change?

After the venture I used to be engaged on failed, I made a decision it was time to go all in on journey planning.

I had seen how profitable my first few journeys for associates have been, and determined to decide to it full-time.

How did you select your new profession?

I’ve had a ardour for journey since spending a summer time in Germany once I was 15.

Since then, I’ve visited greater than 100 international locations and all seven continents; I really feel strongly about how a lot journey can train us concerning the world and humanity.

Are you proud of the change?

Sure, very blissful.

I really like designing journeys for individuals, that includes experiences they didn’t even know existed.

What do you miss and what do not you miss?

From Uber, I miss the superb information analytics and the flexibility to analyse how my enterprise was doing in two clicks.

In a small enterprise you don’t have the sources for fancy software program algorithms (at the very least in the beginning) so need to do it the old fashioned method with spreadsheets!

I don’t miss going into an workplace!

How did you go about making the shift?

I initially began planning journeys for associates, as a aspect hustle.

As extra individuals tried it and I realised how a lot enjoyable I used to be having, I made a decision to make the shift to formally launching Bell & Bly Journey.

How did you develop (or switch) the talents you wanted to your new function?

Lots of the abilities I had developed in my finance and tech roles have been helpful in my new function, like the flexibility to work lengthy hours.

Whenever you begin a profession in finance, you turn out to be used to 80-hour work weeks. This helped once I usually had lengthy days to start with getting the enterprise off the bottom and didn’t but have the group of workers I’ve now.

Additionally, the flexibility to delegate sure duties so I might deal with rising the enterprise. With my expertise managing groups at UberEATS, I used to be comfy delegating sure duties to my group as we grew.

What did not go nicely? What mistaken turns did you are taking?

Simply after our first 12 months in enterprise, the pandemic hit.

Truthfully, I wasn’t certain if the enterprise would survive. We have been cancelling or suspending journeys we had labored extremely arduous to plan. I didn’t take a wage for a very long time to be able to preserve our group on.

Nevertheless, I’m proud to say that none of our shoppers misplaced cash, and we really ended up rising our income in 2020 as individuals started touring once more in the summertime and autumn.

How did you deal with your funds to make your shift doable?

I had financial savings from my earlier roles, in addition to a further income stream from an funding firm I based in 2013.

These gave me the preliminary sources to begin the enterprise.

What was probably the most troublesome factor about altering?

It was arduous for me at first to be comfy with my resolution to utterly shift from a strong profession in finance and diverge from the trail that each one my associates have been taking.

In spite of everything, I had an undergraduate diploma in finance and an MBA from Stanford. However I believe my data of the company and govt world has made me uniquely certified to plan journey for my former colleagues and classmates.

What assist did you get?

Although I’ve traveled extensively, I had by no means been within the journey business earlier than.

On the very starting, I affiliated my enterprise with a bigger company that offered a number of early coaching and assist to assist me rise up to hurry.

What have you ever learnt within the course of?

You don’t want ten years to study an business – you want one 12 months of SUPER-focused work, good mentors, possibly even hiring individuals who have the expertise.

Search for methods to compress that studying curve so you will get on to the business-building half.

And particularly over the previous 12 months, I’ve realized that our leisure time is extra valuable than ever.

What would you advise others to do in the identical state of affairs?

Discover one thing you’re keen about, and begin dipping your toes in it on the aspect.

Begin first with associates and colleagues, and do your best work. Sure, they’re individuals , however they will even be your greatest supply of referrals.

To seek out out extra about Sarah’s enterprise, go to

What classes might you are taking from Sarah’s story to make use of in your personal profession change? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

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