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108. How to become a business savvy female and create a successful women travel group with Marissa Anwar.

This week I speak with Marissa Anwar who holds a Ph.D. in Genetics and is the Managing Director of Darling Escapes- one of the first women travel groups created on Instagram currently sitting at over 415,000 followers.

Marissa was raised in a multi-ethnic household being a mix of middle eastern and Brazilian, she aims to explore the world and show that you do not have to be from the western world or caucasian to travel.

Aside from travel Marissa is also an expert in biotech, telecommunications, and blockchain where was named one of the top 8 women in blockchain in 2018.

I can keep going on and on, and I’ll probably be here all day listing Marissa’s amazing talents and accolades. I can truly say that she is one of the savviest business woman I know and also the loveliest.

She is truly someone I aspire to be when I grow up and I am so lucky and excited to be able to share this interview with one of the most amazing women I know.

So friends, listen on as we learn how Marissa has been able to tackle multiple industries and do it successfully.

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Show Notes:

Debbie:      

I am here today with Marissa from darling escapes. Hey Marissa. Are you nervous?

Marissa:

A little bit.

Debbie: 

Before we started this, she said, I’m really nervous. How many people are going to listen to this? I’m like, not enough. Marissa and I know each other from Jacob and Esther of Localadventurer.com. They’ve introduced me to alot of incredible people like Marissa. So thank you Jacob and Esther. Marissa, are they your favorite blog?

Marissa:        

So it’s not fair because they’re in the other room, and it’s a very awkward position for me to be in right now for the record. So yes, they definitely are my favorite bloggers who have the words local and adventure in their name for sure. And they’re also my favorite ones who live in Vegas. Also the only bloggers I know who live in Vegas, but we can skip over that party.

Debbie:           

Yes. And also the fact that they’re listening in the other room and their cats are staring right at us. Pressure. So much pressure. So, Marissa, you are really successful. Not just in the blogging community, but you also do so many things that I don’t think many people really know about who are following you. So can you tell us your story and how you created a huge brand from darling escapes and also what else you’ve done that made you this successful?

Marissa:     

Wow. Now I want to be really humble. I’m originally from Toronto called Waterloo. I was raised there pretty much most of my life. I went to school there, I did my postgraduate degrees there and I worked full time during school as well and I started in the blogging world actually in personal finance back in 2010 or maybe 11. When you’re doing your doctorate and you’re broke all the time, you find other like-minded people who are also broke and you tend to write about that. Personal finance, in particular, was such an interesting niche at that point because there was maybe seven of us in Canada at the time. Three girls, four guys. Some of them are still around actually, and they’ve built a really successful brand. I started writing about that and after a while when I graduated and I started working in Pharma and biotech, I wasn’t necessarily broke anymore but my spending habits were a little more frivolous.

I wanted to write a little bit more about lifestyle and we started a site, me and a few other personal finance bloggers started a site called Chic Darling and it kinda took off from there. So darling escape was actually a niche down version of Chic Darling. Chic Darling was fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, pretty much anything and everything that you can think about from a millennial Postgrad female. That’s the type of content that we had created while darling escapes were primarily travel. It started off as an Instagram account. I want to give a shout to an associate from Dame traveler. She was definitely an inspiration when I came out. I think she’s an inspiration for a lot of the female feature accounts as well. She’s the reason why I think a lot of communities are built and a lot of hashtag usage and things like that that you see on Instagram right now, especially with female travel and female travel with pretty dresses in really nice locations. She’s definitely the pioneer in that industry. So definitely credit to her from that end. On the career side of it,

I kind of mentioned I worked in biotech, I worked in Pharma. I’ve pretty much stuck in the tech side of this, but sometimes in marketing, sometimes in innovation. So I’ve worked honestly in anywhere and everywhere that you can think of. I did a stint with UNWTO for a year and a half. They got me around the world. I ran agencies inside of agencies. I’ve led innovation teams and basically, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had fantastic mentors along the way. A lot of them are female and I try to do my very best to give back to the community when it comes to that. Just because, especially in tech, you realize that there’s not a lot of females, female mentors that holds you by the hand and help you get to the next level when you want to.

That career path actually worked alongside darlings escapes as well. Where you’re going to see is a lot of content for the late twenties, early thirties, where you may not necessarily have kids, but you have the money to go and spend and take those vacations and you don’t want to be stupid with your money, but you want to be spending…

women travel group

Debbie:      

Wisely.

Marissa:           

Exactly. And you want to experience affordable luxury where the hotel that you’re sleeping at night is not a hostel and you’re not taking seven layover flights to get to the next destination. Things like that. I think because of myself and my team, we’re all in our early twenties, early thirties. The content that we create is targeted to that and I think that’s why it resonates a little bit more.

Debbie:           

The thing that is really unique about is that you have so many different aspects about you that are really incredible because you are an expert in blockchain and you’re an expert in the travel industry and in artificial intelligence. But you decided to leave all of the tech and start a travel company but then you actually went back to a day job, even though you’re running this successful company because you didn’t want to be outside of that whole industry, you want to be kept informed. So a lot of the times the people that I interview, want to leave their nine to five and you went back because you enjoy it so much.

And I tell people all the time, you don’t necessarily have to leave your nine to five. A lot of people don’t enjoy it. But if you’re lucky enough to have an industry and something that you’re really passionate about, like you have, obviously you don’t have to leave it to travel and do all of these other things. It could be a hobby, but you went back to a day job. I mean, don’t get us wrong, you got paid very well for it, but you also do it because you want to learn more and you want to continue to keep learning. And not a lot of people do that. So that’s really interesting. Now, why do you keep doing that and why do you keep wanting to go back to that industry? Is that something that you’re going to think about later on and maybe leave the travel industry and go to that permanently?

Marissa:  

That’s a very good question. So I want to kind of circle back, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in AI nor would I consider myself an expert in blockchain. I’m lucky enough to be one of the very few females in the industry. So when lists come out in terms of top women and whatever, there’s not a lot of us.

Debbie:          

She’s being humble right now.

Marissa:          

No, I’m being completely genuine. I think when I ended up on a couple of lists, it was because there was maybe a handful of us around. I work in innovation, my bread and butter are connecting people and finding different cool things to kind of connect and see where projects can grow and they can succeed. That’s the thing that I’m really passionate about. But to answer your question more directly, tech, in particular, is an industry where if you’re out of it for too long and there’s a gap on your resume, it’s really hard to come back in. And part of the projects that I take is mostly consulting basis. So I’ll take something that’s six months to eight months long and I’ll take four months or three months to myself. Part of the reason why I do that is one, I want to be, as you said, kept up to date in the industry, but two you’re as valuable as your connections and your network. If I have old bosses are old colleagues who call me up and want me on a project that it looked good enough, it’s worth my time and I’ll learn something out of it that is always worth the time invested in it because that’s going to help me down the road.

And one of the other points that I pay attention to is I’m in my mid 30’s. I’m assuming some of your listeners might be and blogging as wonderful as it is and as enriching as it could be and as fun as it is traveling, I don’t know if this is something I want to do when I’m 40 or 50 and I don’t know where the state of the industry is going to be. I don’t know if I’ll have kids, I’ll have the capacity to do or the time to do it. Nor will I be saving as much for my retirement down the road as I would be if I’m back in the industry and I can aggressively put something aside for that. So it’s not a two or three-year jump. I try to think of stuff between a five to 10 to 15 year plan in terms of where I want to be in what I want to be doing. And then if blogging itself is the thing that I want to focus on, I need to know that there’s longevity in it.

It’s wonderful because we’re small businesses in our own capacity and we can grow and we can shrink as much as we want it. But at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee that Google tomorrow isn’t going to do our job and take blogs away completely or get rid of cookies. So you can’t do affiliate marketing as effectively as we’re able to. There is a lot of variables that are going on in the industry. So keeping one eye on this and bringing a team that can help scale to the rate that I want to scale, but also keeping myself in an industry that I’m genuinely passionate about and I’m curious about that makes the balance worthwhile for me.

Debbie:           

And I really love that you are thinking about the future and what’s ahead because I think a lot of us don’t do that and you definitely think ahead and you have a plan.

Marissa:           

You have to. We went to school for a really long time not to have an end goal in mind or a game plan in mind. Where I’m particularly lucky because Canadian university education doesn’t necessarily cost as much as American university education does, but that’s still 10 years of my life, nine years of my life in postsecondary education that I want to be able to make sure that something came out of it. Now, Pharma, in particular, wasn’t necessarily the place I wanted to be and it’s fine. It may not be for everyone, but the skills and the critical thinking skill that I took away from that can be applied to anything. I think we forget that if you work in a consulting world the way that I do, and you take three or four or five months off, but you make sh*t ton of money doing that and doing something that you’re passionate about. You can have those luxury travel experiences or the luxury lifestyle that you wanted to and you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to only making blogging income for example.

Debbie:           

It’s really true because you can have a balance of that and you don’t need to constantly be nomadic. You can have a career outside of this and also to be location independent and to be a digital nomad. There’s a lot of tech companies that are hiring. You do a lot of traveling for your company right now and you’re not necessarily just stuck in one place. If you find something like that, especially now, there are so many different things that are available to us. One thing that you did mention was you’re a connector. That is very true because on this trip you knew everybody, I’m not even kidding, Marissa knew everyone and she knows how to connect people. Now for somebody, not just in the blogging community, but if you’re also a digital nomad wannabe or a freelancer, how can you become a connector in your industry? Because that could be really intimidating for a lot of people. You know that takes you out of your comfort zone a lot of times.

Marissa:        

Honestly being a connector essentially means being genuinely interested in other people’s growth and being happy for your friends and making sure that they are just as empowered to do the things that they want to do. Because at the end of the day, you are as good as your network. That means that I can connect you to say Jacob, for example, if you didn’t know each other and I may not get anything out of it, but two of my friends and people that I care about are going to grow as a result of it. And that’s worth its weight in gold because sometimes that comes back to you. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes they end up connecting somebody else and that comes full circle. More than anything else. I think it’s being curious about people and figuring out what their needs are. My first job in university, I guess when I was 18, I started at a company called Rogers communications and I was at a sales job and they taught us the four quadrants that you have to know when you’re trying to sell somebody something. And it’s basically knowing who the decision maker is, knowing what the budget is, knowing what their needs are and then knowing what the timeline is. Relationships. As much as I hate to say it, our sales transactions, somebody gets something out of it, whether it’s emotional, whether it’s physical, whether it’s monetary, whatever it may be. It has to be balanced at the end of the day, everybody has to walk away from that interaction, feeling like they didn’t lose anything and they gained something out of that. And if it’s one-sided, it doesn’t always work. I wish I had more tangible tips, what I would recommend though is there’s a book called How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.

women travel group

Debbie:           

That’s one of the best books. I feel like that book you should read in small increments and really exercise it. Because if you just read it through really fast, you’re not going to be able to use it fully. Like it’s power. . It’s really incredible.

Marissa:           

It’s such a great book, between that one and Franklin Covey’s, Seven habits of highly successful people has taught me time management like nothing else. And again, I got that when I was 21 maybe and they had managers training back in my first full-time grown-up job and they taught us how to basically learn how to manage 30 people or 25 people at a time. That and Dale Carnegie’s, both of them fantastic books. Honestly, regardless of what career you’re in, that will help you just learn how to deal with people better.

Debbie: 

And that book is such an easy read too because he gives so many different examples of how it worked and how people have used certain tactics and it’s all genuine relationships. It’s not like fake, you know what I mean? You really have to be interested in someone for them to internalize that and appreciate it and trust you because it’s also all relationships are based on trust. If you don’t have that, then people will know and they won’t do anything, with you, whether it’s business or relationships. New Speaker:   It’s really incredible. All of these things that got you here because of your relationships with people. Do you have an example of the worst thing that somebody could do that maybe you’ve experienced before or a mistake you’ve done throughout this journey?

Marissa:  

I think it’s not the worst thing, but I, I see this quite often and I cringe at it sometimes as well. I’m pretty sure I probably have done it when I was younger as well, which is your first interaction with somebody as going for the ask. That could be something as simple as asking somebody to do your favor or not inquiring about whether their in the right headspace or mental space or physical or emotional, whatever that may be. I think I don’t have a tangible example and honestly, even if I did, I wouldn’t really want to mention them to be, to be quite frank. What I do want to, I guess touch on, on a broader level, is understanding emotional spaces. A lot more than I think we do right now is understanding what headspace somebody in when you’re trying to interact with them. I think that is so undervalued and so discredited sometimes.

If I’m going through something at work or if I’m going through something with my family, I’m not going to react to your ask or to your attempt at building a relationship the same way as I would if I’m on top of the world. So to be able to learn those cues as well and give people space I think is extremely valuable and extremely important. And I think that comes with age. You become a little bit more emotionally intelligent. But I guess some of the cringiest things I’ve seen is not recognizing people’s headspace.

Debbie:  

Now throughout this whole journey that you’ve had, because you pretty much have lived like a hundred different lives at this point and you’re only in your thirties, what has been the biggest setback that you’ve encountered and how do you usually handle these types of setbacks?

Marissa:    

The biggest setback that I encountered I think it was after Grad School, going into the industry, having completely different expectations than what the reality was. I was in the industry for about a year and a half and I checked out and needed to take a sabbatical. I ended up being lucky because I ended up across the pond and Europe for what was supposed to be a six-week trip.

It ended up being about nine months of just wandering around Europe and making connections and meeting people. And then I ended up working for the UNWTO as a result of a connection, actually sitting at the wrong table for dinner one night. But there’s a silver lining there and I think I’m more fulfilled now creatively and intellectually. At that point in time when you’re fresh out of Grad school and you feel like you spent a lot of your time, money, mental capacity thinking you’re going to be in a specific industry. And having it just crash and burn at that point in time was a little heartbreaking. I’m not gonna lie, it really did make me question a lot of the decisions that I had made at that point. But it worked out and honestly, everything works out at the end of the day. You just have to be able to regroup and reevaluate.

Debbie:           

It’s so important to really remember that everything happens for a reason and we learn from everything especially mistakes. And I think sometimes we just look at what’s happening in front of us and we don’t appreciate everything else that comes with it. Even the mistakes we make, the failures that happen to us or that’s happened and you learn so much from, and that’s the biggest thing. That’s the biggest takeaway. And that’s actually the biggest growth we actually go into is after the failures and the mistakes. Now you are one of the leading people in the travel community right now because of the community you built with Darling Escapes. How do you make the decisions whether it’s marketing or collaborations or working with different brands and even other people in the community, how do you know what decisions to make and which paths to go into every time you’re faced with one? I mean, even just growing this community, it’s a huge feat. It’s a huge thing that you were able to do.

women travel group

Marissa:           

The beauty of Darling Escapes, in particular, is that we catered to people just like us. My team is about six, they’re kind of spread all over the road, but we’re all in the same age range. So it makes it really easy when we’re thinking of brand partnerships or we’re thinking of destinations that we want to work with. It really is thinking would my friends want to do this, would we want to do this? Is this something that we would use, to have an insulated focus group or target group that’s basically yourself, makes it a lot easier to make those decisions because you know how you can see how it would impact you directly versus an abstract group of people that may not necessarily may or may not be your target audience. That’s made it relatively easy for us to scale. I

‘m gonna say this and you may get some pushback. I’ve worked in marketing capacities before. Marketing isn’t necessarily rocket science, however, you have to be strategic about it. You have to feel who your client is and understand who you’re targeting to. So once you have that ideal client Avatar, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to make yes or no decisions. Because you know, Sally is not going to be the one who’s going to go on a monster truck rally. That is not her niche. It’s not something that she would do on her bachelorette. So that’s not a partnership that we’d like to pursue. She would, however, would like to go to Myrtle Beach for example, for a Bachelorette. She’d like to go to Panama City beach, things like that. It makes it a little bit easier when you know who your client is.

We started it from day one based on people like us, regardless of your age and sex or whatever it is, North American females because that’s what we know in it. We know what your income levels are. We know where your age ranges. We know what part of the country you possibly could be living in, and we know what your interests and hobbies are. Obviously, if you’re following a site called darling escapes, travel is something that’s important to you and it may be a priority in your spending. So we like to offer suggestions that make that a no brainer if that makes sense.

Debbie: 

How do you actually create this Avatar? How do you know that this is what your audience wants? How do you find these metrics so that you can have an easier way to create products for your audience.

Marissa: 

Well, in an ideal situation you’d have your avatar before you started building your brand. That’s usually marketing one on one is know who you are marketing to. But if you’ve stumbled onto a brand for example, or you’ve created a brand without having a clear distinction, the easiest or one of the easiest things would be serving your audience. Whether it’s Instagram stories or whether it’s doing a pop-up or whether it’s your email list or whatever it may be. There are multiple vessels to gauge interest in terms of where your audience is. A second one would be analytic tools that you have access to. In this case, Instagram may not necessarily have the best analytic tools, but Fohr does.

So you’ll be able to pull some of the data off of that. And the interesting thing with Fohr card, just to go off a quick little tangent is it’ll actually tell you what other products your audience might be interested in as well. So it gives you a better idea of where sponsorship opportunities might be and Google analytics definitely gives you where your readers are coming from, age ranges, things like that. A key thing to pay attention to is what your return users are versus your new. So you know where the overlap is and how many people are continuously come, keep coming back as well. And those are your true fans. The sooner you build an Avatar, the better it is because it helps you shape those decisions down the road and create products that would fit as well. And sometimes when you feel like somebody’s speaking directly to you, you feel a lot more engaged.

Debbie:      

And I think it’s so much easier that way. And I’ve talked to a lot of people who don’t know who their niche is and they don’t really have a niche market and it’s all over the place. You don’t know who you’re selling to. Your audience becomes really confused and it’s harder for you to reach out to brands and do collaborations because of that. Now we talked about your marketing skills and I want to plug Jacob, because he helped us with our negotiation skills.

Marissa:           

Jacob’s a rockstar.

women travel group

Debbie:           

And I have been raving about their e-course and I’m gonna put another link on this episode for that because he has helped me so much and a lot of podcasters in my industry really don’t know how to create income. And one of the biggest reasons that I actually created income from this and knew how to negotiate was because of his help because of the e-course. And he’s done the same thing for you and for someone who’s a huge expert in the industry and you are already a great negotiator for Jacob to come in and for you to make more. I mean, that’s incredible.

Marissa:           

Absolutely. I think I met Jacob in 2015 or 16 and I was blown away by just how professional and how diligent and methodical he is in all of his interactions whether it’s brands or whether it’s colleagues or whatever it may be. And as prideful as one could be thinking, you know, everything, along comes Jacob Fu with his course and you sit there and you realize, you know what, I’m leaving a lot of money on the table and there are better ways to do things. Sometimes you don’t know. I’ve worked on the other side of it from the brand’s perspective where we have a budget that we basically have to allocate out.

When I ran an influencer agency, it was – this is what your budget is. But to see it from Jacob’s perspective and to be able to allocate it, it’s different. It’s fascinating. And our income level, our revenue, our revenue has gone up significantly based on how we’ve structured our packages, with his feedback and his, insight into how it works out for him. So yeah, I’ll second you on that or third or fourth or fifth or whoever else is listening to that. That course is worth its weight in gold. And I think if you’re smart about it, you can probably make your money back with one deal based on what you’re doing.

Debbie:           

For sure. It’s crazy. I’ve talked to other people who have taken his course and made crazy amount from it. After just two weeks of watching the ecourse, I made the most income I’ve ever made and it was incredible. I was like, oh my gosh, this is crazy. This really works. They’re e-courses that you do it and nothing happens. But again, you have to listen to what he says. You can’t just watch it and ask, how come nothing is happening? You really have to take in his feedback. So Marissa, because you are an expert in marketing and funnels, we’re gonna be talking about marketing funnels for any freelancers, bloggers, creatives for our extended interview. So make sure you all listen to that because she’s going to be giving us tips. And I’m really excited for this too, cause I need to learn from you on this. So that’s going to be really exciting. Going back to creating income, what and how are you able to create income when you first started this business and how do you continue to create income today?

Marissa:      

When I first started, back in 2010, 2011, it was a lot of sponsored posts and Adsense. Those two. And we had networks where everybody would share contacts in terms of if a brand rep reached out and they said, we want to sponsor posts on one site, you’d refer them to three or four or five of your friends and take a commission off of that, like a 10% or 15% on the side, so basically be the connector in between that. So that was back in the day and things changed since then. So these days there are so many different ways to basically generate revenue. Ours primarily is brand ambassadorships, ad revenue affiliates and then partnerships. What that would mean is working with a destination or working with a product in order to showcase it, anything and everything on that end. And we are working on doing our own products, but they’re going to be experimental, experiential versus digital.

So whether it takes people out on tours or do retreats or do something online where they’re able to experience things a little bit better. We’re experimenting on that end of it. We didn’t want to do it and just jump into the industry just because everybody else was jumping in the industry. So aside little tangent, an old mentor of mine, made this point and it stuck with me. She said you can work your ass off and build a 20 person company that generates $1 million a year and your take home is 200 k or you can work your ass off and have a three-person company, uh, generates 300 or you can work a little more moderately and have a more balanced life and generate 300,000 and your take home is still 200,000. So it’s knowing what your goals are and knowing what you want to scale too as well.

We can obviously go pedal to the metal and blow it out of the water, but it doesn’t necessarily make sense for us at this point in time. Our team is relatively small. We like it that size and it makes sense for us in order to be agile in order to test different things. And honestly, without testing, there’s a lot of wasted time and wasted money going into products if we didn’t do that. But we’re lucky because we have a solid foundation of where revenue is coming from. And we wanted to make it as positive as we can or a good chunk of it as passive as we can. Just in case somebodies not online or something goes down, something happens or brands run out of money at the end of the year and you have to wait it out until the next cycle. And just being able to make sure that my staff is paid is a priority.

Debbie:       

I love what you just said that just because you’re making more revenue doesn’t mean your take home is going to be even more and it can be a lot more headache. So even if your making a little bit less, is the stress worth it? Are you going to be able to enjoy it? Are you gonna be able to spend time with your loved ones? And that’s really important. And I think that’s what we all underestimate before going into this industry is how much sacrifice you have to make to get to the level you want to be in. And if you keep sacrificing, there are certain things that you’re going to definitely lose that you may not want. So just a heads up on that because even though Marissa’s life looks really beautiful, it’s not always like that in real life. Right? There a lot of hard work that goes into it.

women travel group

Marissa:     

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. There are 60 to 70 hour work weeks. As I said, I have a wonderful team who manages a lot of things behind the scenes. But even just combining freelance blog, travel with my day job, you miss out on so much at home and I don’t think that is talked about enough. I think the fact that you miss friends birthdays and weddings and baby showers and anything and everything that’s important. I was on a project last year in April that I was really excited about in Switzerland and my mom had a heart attack while I was away. And being on the other side of the planet and feeling so helpless is a feeling that you’ll never forget. And those are the tradeoffs that come with it. Those are moments that allow you to look at your priorities and evaluate is being away from home three and a half weeks, a month worth.

Is this the balance that I was looking for? So the quality of life, again, it may be an age thing. Maybe I’m just getting old and our gray hairs are showing. And that’s something that you start paying attention to. I think a lot of my friends are getting married, a lot of them are having kids. My Godson is, I’m going to date myself, but my godson is 14 now. His Dad had them very young. He’s 14 now and there are chunks of time that I missed watching him grow that I’m never going to get that back and I don’t want to do that moving forward.

Debbie:    

And I think that’s why when you’re planning all of these things you do think about the future and you’re right. Maybe it’s because it is our age in our thirties and you and I, and a lot of people who are interested in traveling have traveled a lot and it may seem really great this nomadic lifestyle. And then you actually start doing it and it gets really exhausting. You miss so many things. It’s not as glamorous as it looks and then you look back at everything, but you know, there’s a good and a bad to it.

Marissa:   

Honestly, it’s a balance, we lived in five countries by the time I was 12, so travel is, as my mom likes to say is in our DNA. But there’s a way to do it responsibly and a way to make sure that you keep your life at home if it’s important to you, but it’s not important to you and you don’t, if it’s a bad situation or a toxic situation and need to get away from it, that’s a completely different story. But if the life that you’ve built at home is something that you cherish and your family’s important, sacrifices sometimes have to be made. And unfortunately too many of us chase the shiny object across the globe and you come back and I’m guilty of it.

I came back, I’ve done for six to nine-month backpacking trips that weren’t really backpacking trips and I’ve come back and relationships have been strained and it’s taken me months to years to kind of rebuild those back-ups. I’ve missed so many things, I’ve missed surprise engagements of my best friend, things like that that you don’t necessarily think about. But the opportunity costs are still there and those are moments that you’ll never be able to get back. So you have to know where your priorities are. And if that’s important to you, then be smart about it.

Debbie:   

And just know you need to go into it with your eyes wide open. Because there’s going to be a lot of missed opportunities, even though one thing is going well, another thing may not, it may suffer. So, Marissa, let’s look forward to 30 to 40 years from now and you’re looking back at your life. What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

Marissa:       

Well, as we mentioned today, I like to be on Forbes hundred under a hundred list. We don’t know if that exists yet, but we’re hoping if Forbes is listening and they’re interested in doing something like that. I missed my 30 under 30 and I don’t think they have a 40 under 40. Honestly, I want to be known as somebody who is compassionate. Somebody who was worthy of people’s time and somebody who did the best they can and may not have been perfect all the time, but they did the best they can 40 years down the road. I mean, who knows the way global warming’s going, we may not even be alive. But more than anything else, I want to make an impact on someone’s life, I want it to be emotional more than monetary or physical or anything along those lines. And if interactions with me or something that makes somebody feel good at the end of the day, that’s worth it to me.

Debbie:  It shows when we see you because again, you’re a connector and you really care about people and just helping. So it’s really great that you have that already and you’re starting that. You’ve already done it. So it just keeps going. And so what are you excited about that you’re currently doing?

Marissa:   

What am I excited about? A lot of things I’m excited about life in general. I’m not gonna lie, I’m genuinely excited about as a Canadian, we don’t have a nice summer and we don’t have nice weather mostly. I’m excited about summer at home. I’m excited about a few products we’re about to launch. I think they have potential. We’re going to test it and we’re going to focus group it. I’m excited about some of the cool things I’m doing in my day job. I have some friends who are doing some amazing things and I’m excited for them. One of my really close friends is getting married this summer. I am fortunately or unfortunately for her, the maid of honor and I’m excited about that. Honestly, I’m excited about life. And 2018 was a rough year for a lot of people. It was a lot of heartbreak and career setbacks and anything and everything you can think of for a lot of friends actually. And I think 2019 has been the uptick on that.

Debbie:          

Hopefully, it just keeps going up. So if our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you?

Marissa:      

Darling escapes across the web. My personal Instagram is @Marissa. Anwar, and if you’re really curious you can find me on Linkedin but I don’t recommend that. But honestly if anybody has questions, Instagram or email would probably be the best.

Debbie:  Perfect. Thank you for doing this. You did not sound nervous at all. And also I want to congratulate us and also Esther for surviving all these days and we haven’t killed each other. Good job.

Marissa: 

Yay. I was thinking about that, we did eight days of just three girls who’ve never traveled together and nobody killed each other. So yeah, that was pretty good.

Debbie:    

We snored a little bit.

Marissa: 

Okay. That wasn’t us. That wasn’t us. That was the third person. Thank you, Marissa, for being here and it’s so awesome to be doing this podcast in Jacob and Esther’s home.

Marissa:   

Who are my favorite travel bloggers with localadventurer.com

Jacob:  

Her favorite travel bloggers are Jacob and Esther at localadventurer.com, localadventurer.com, localadventurer.com, go visit the site! Subscribe!

Debbie: 

Okay. I don’t think we’re going to break down your website like your other podcast interview that you were in Jacob, but that was a really good one. Thank you for that.

Marissa:  

That was Jacob Fu from localadventure.com, just in case you didn’t catch that.

Debbie:    

Yeah, I don’t think anyone heard that.

Get the extended interview to find out how to use marketing funnels for freelancers with Marissa Anwar.


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