Meet Carol Margolis CEO and Founder of Smart Women Travelers, Inc. in Orlando FL
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally.
Carol Margolis is the Founder of www.SmartWomenTravelers.com, a unique community for women who travel frequently, whether for their business or for enjoyment -– women who have unique challenges in balancing dual lives at home and on the road and who want all the latest tips and tricks to travel successfully.
What do you enjoy most about your profession and why did you choose it in the first place?
I created this company after taking stock in my consulting career and knowing that there was more than I wanted to do with my life. I started listing everything I am good at, business or otherwise. I then narrowed down this list to what I was passionate about. Out of two passion items, I choose the one that I felt I could make money with — travel. I knew I did not want to become a travel agent nor work for the airlines.But what I did know was that many women have asked me how to travel successfully with kids, a husband, a house, and a life. If many women I know are challenged with frequent travel combined with their personal and work lives, there must be a huge number of women who face these same challenges. I started writing down ideas: an online community bringing together traveling women; teleseminars on balancing business travel with home life; travel gadget recommendations; a forum to share travel tips; speaking to corporations and the travel industry and women’s groups; and on and on. As an outcome of this process, www.SmartWomenTravelers.com was born. I love sharing travel advice with other women travelers and this is the perfect way to do so.
Tell us about the organizations your company supports and why?
I’ve been a big supporter of Make-A-Wish for the past several years. In my frequent flights home to Orlando, I’ve seen many children on their way to Disney World in fulfillment of their dream wish. I wanted to help the children in Orlando who have life-threatening diseases create their dream wishes. I work directly with children in learning all about them and identifying their dreams. Together with the staff at Make-A-Wish, I help these dreams come true. It’s been very inspirational working with these kids, and also great for helping me set my true priorities and feeling grateful for all that I have.
What is the biggest risk you ever took professionally and/or the biggest obstacle you have overcome?
The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was to leave my ex-employer, one of the largest consulting firms in the U.S., and go out on my own with my own company. I had always been an employee and the tasks needed in being self-employed (payroll taxes, insurance, etc.) has been my biggest obstacle as I’ve never had to consider the whole realm of these items before.
From where do you draw inspiration? Who have been your role models, mentors, etc?
I am part of Jack Canfield’s (co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul series) Platinum Inner Circle, and Jack is my role model and fellow members of this group are my mentors. It has been great having a role model and mentors that are not in my line of business, though they are entrepreneurs, as they can give me very objective advice to help me move my business forward.
How is the current economic situation affecting your company/organization?
Speaking engagements to corporate clients is down, as before they were very interested in retaining their female travelers. Employees are generally not leaving voluntarily these days, so this priority of corporations has been moved down a few notches. Though there is more interest in speaking engagements to the travel industry on topics of how to attract and retain female traveler.
What one thing would you like to learn?
I’d like to learn how to create a non-profit foundation so that I can tithe a percentage of my profits to a foundation to help promote travel experiences for low-income teens.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself surrounded by a very large, global community of women travelers, offering products and services to help women find joy in travel. My employee count will be much greater than the current number of 2.
What do you do for fun/relaxation/entertainment?
Travel! I love cruising and exploring the world with my husband. I also love to read, crochet and float in my pool.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Find your passion, think bigger than you ever thought you could, and you’ll be excited about your life!
Which, if any social networking sites do you belong to?
We’re starting a social networking site on www.smartwomentravelers.com. Until then, you can find me on Twitter (@smartwomentrav) and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Carol-Margolis/591660813#/group.php?gid=38625441190
For more information visit: http://www.smartwomentravelers.com