Today I have the honor to share the thoughts and insights of Mary Cecchini , Founder and CEO of Living Big. Living Big Travel is a resource for women that want to travel, but not go at it alone, or put in the work of planning an adventure! She hosts adventures around the world and in the US for small-groups of women, and custom design the vacations women take with their family, kids and friends. "We believe life's too short to not 'live big' and get our kicks by bring adventures to life for women!"
Mary Cecchini- Living Big Travel
Can you tell what you did before you launched Living Big Travel and how important your background is when you are operating your own business?
MC: prior to launching Living Big I worked in the US Senate and then later in various marketing roles. My work in the US Senate taught me to work fast, think on my feet and hustle. And my roles in the marketing world really taught me how to think strategically about brand marketing, advertising, and project management. I really don’t think Living Big would be what it is today without all the valuable lessons my early career gave me.
How was the idea for Living Big Travel born, and do you remember the day or moment where you knew, you wanted step away from the corporate world?
MC: gosh this is a long answer, best shared over a glass of wine, but the quick story is that I knew I wanted to step away from the full-time marketing world when I realized that the work didn’t bring out the best version of me. I have heartspark to thank for that. This, plus nearly losing my Mother (and having that extessential dialog about what if today was my last day?!) helped me decide that I needed to reset my life. I looked to travel for space and guidance to figure out what’s next, and it’s while sitting on a bench in the Scottish Highlands that the early bones of Living Big were set.
Mary Cecchini- Founder & CEO of Living Big Travel
Being a one woman show, when did you got to the point of outsourcing tasks and how can women benefit from outsourcing tasks?
MC: the moment I realized that Living Big will die if I decided to slow down was the moment I knew I had to bring other women into the work. No one-person business can live in perpetuity — it’s not sustainable. And while outsourcing can feel scary, expensive and risky, I know it’s needed to ensure that Living Big adventures can continue to serve women.
What advice can you give women who have the skills and the potential but are hiding behind the fear to launch their own business because of the financial pre investment to grow your business?
MC: start saving, start living simply, start getting by with less and put all these savings towards your business. Do this until you have enough money to start, and then be prepared to hustle to continue to fund your dream!
What are three important ressources and marketing tools you can’t live without for Living Big Travel?
MC: Google Drive, Dropbox and having great content to share!
How often do you travel and how do you think about self care?
MC: right now I’m on the road at least 1x month (sometimes more) on a Hosted Adventure or researching a new destination. Self care on the road can be hard, and I’m by no means an expert. I generally walk a lot while traveling, and I try to balance my diet by prioritizing my indulgences.
Social Media Love or Social Media Hate?
MC: my relationship with social media is love/hate. It’s a valuable tool to share stories and connect with clients, but it’s also a bear to manage on a daily basis!
What are your goals for 2018 and what trips are coming out soon?
MC: in 2018 I’m focusing on launching a local adventure program in the greater PDX area, testing new marketing programs like tradeshows, speaking engagements and events, training new Trip Hosts and planning something really fun for Living Big’s 5th Birthday! And soon I’ll be announcing adventures to Italy, Vietnam and more :)