Taking Stock - The Last Few Months
By Susanne Pacher
So every few months I take stock of what's been happening, where I stand now and where I am going. You probably know by now that www.travelandtransitions.com is a project that has grown out of some of my true passions and I work on it part-time, in addition to running a full-time translation and language services business by the name of Textronics Communications Ltd.
This process of taking stock has actually worked very well for my full-time business, where I meet with my strategic consultants every few months to lay out detailed strategies and double-check where we stand now in comparison to the plans we had laid out.
I find sometimes the hardest thing as an independent entrepreneur is to develop strategies and new ideas by yourself, and even more so, to consistently implement them. Particularly when you are a sole entrepreneur and you don't have business partners or a network of other entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of.
So following my pivotal trip to Cuba I have refocussed my efforts on my full-time business since in my fervor to get my new website off the ground during the first 4 months of the year, I had admittedly been neglecting my main business to some degree. The effects of that were beginning to show and I realized that I must dedicate the proper amount of attention to my business, considering it is my sole source of revenue at this stage and I also feel a great sense of responsibility to the people that work with me.
Later on (and a realistic timeframe still needs to be developed) I am planning to make Travel and Transitions a revenue-generating venture, but I realize that will take time, to build traffic, to make it a truly valuable resource on the net, to publicize the website. Considering that we only uploaded the new version of the site at the new URL www.travelandtransitions.com on March 20, 2005, I think we are doing reasonably well. In less than a month we had achieved a Google Page Rank 2/10, without even having submitted the site to the search engines yet!
Building this website is a multi-step, long-term venture, and I am pretty happy with the progress. So far we have over 110 pages of unique content and there are many things in the works. At present I've got 3 or 4 interesting interviews in the pipeline and in the near future I will dedicate more time to researching and writing useful travel advice articles. I am working on creating a newsletter and over the next few months we'll create a travel story contest where you, the readers, will finally have an opportunity to submit your stories while having a chance to win some awesome travel prizes. At the moment, we are approaching other webmasters to exchange links and it's very gratifying to receive positive feedback for all the work that's been done so far.
Last Sunday, on our way back from our trip to New York City, I picked up a book at La Guardia Airport, it is called "The Bitch in The House" - "26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage" and I have finished about three quarters of the book and I really enjoyed the frankness of the articles. A common theme that runs through it is the difficulty and frustrations among today's generation of women of trying to balance the multiple simultaneous demands of work and home life. Some of the women write very candidly about their built-up anger arising from the challenge of trying to have it all, to manage it all, to get everything done without too much guilt that one area or another got short-changed.
It's funny, but this book fits in so well with my insights that I arrived at during and after my trip to Cuba, where I realized balance and appreciation are key things I need to focus on. I myself had been running myself ragged, trying to manage a full-time business with several staff members, while getting a new web-based business off the ground (without any background in web design or e-marketing), all the while trying to remain a decent partner to my husband, a good friend to my buddies, and supposedly looking after my health by eating, sleeping and exercising properly.
Well, I am happy to report that during the last 4 weeks I have managed to make some meaningful changes in my life to restore much-needed balance. I have rededicated appropriate efforts to my full-time business, I continue to take courses, read books, and educate myself on issues such as search engine optimization, and e-marketing, and all areas of business management. I am happy to say I have also been spending more meaningful time with my husband, I have reconnected with friends, and I have been able to get on my bike at least a couple of times a week before work, play some tennis and try to get back into shape.
As far as appreciation is concerned, I indeed feel very blessed. For 20 years of my life I dedicated myself solely to completing 2 business degrees in evening studies and simultaneously building a business for the last 15 years, efforts that often stretched me to the limits of my capabilities.
This web site, I feel, is truly my calling, my opportunity to redevelop and rekindle the sides of me that I had been neglecting for 2 decades: my creative side, my adventurous side, the language learning side, the hobby sociologist/ anthropologist/ photographer in me. And I am grateful for having had some sort of divine flash of insight to start this venture, my true chance to pursue the passions in my life. Indeed, one day this web site will be my full-time endeavour, but all in good time, since balance and a reasonably stress-free life are essential to me.
I now realize patience is an important virtue.......
About The Author
Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions (http://www.travelandtransitions.com). Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys.
Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest (http://www.travelandtransitions.com/contests.htm) and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River.
"Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons".
The story with photos is published at Travel and Transitions - Insights and Reflections