Denise Wakeman works with authors and online entrepreneurs, teaching them how to build and market their online presence and business. Now, in her newest venture as a travel advisor, Denise's passion for adventure helps inspire entrepreneurs to explore the world so they can think bigger and transform both their business and life.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 246
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:13] Tom's introduction to Denise Wakeman [08:20] Turning travel into part of her business [13:04] Learning things you never dreamed you had to know [18:09] Splitting time, taking exotic trips and gastronomy
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How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Denise's website – https://denisewakeman.com/
Globe Trotting Adventure Travel – https://globetrottingadventuretravel.com/
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Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Is College Really Worth It – https://screwthecommute.com/245/
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Episode 246 – Denise Wakeman
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode two hundred and forty six. Can you believe it? Two hundred forty six episodes. And we got a wonderful friend of mine. Denise Wakeman is here. She is quite a globetrotter. Talk about lifestyle business. The last time she was on, we said, Oh, yeah, you got a lifestyle business. Now it's lifestyle. Business times, too. What till you hear what she's been doing. Bring her on in a minute. Episode 245, if you miss that. It's a special edition called Is College Worth It or Is college really worth it? And I'm you know, I'm calm about this, but it kind of makes me mad. A lot of the things that colleges and universities are doing to young people. So that's all about rip offs that are happening in colleges. It was a recording of a webinar I did exposing a lot of the things that colleges do. That was episode 245. If it doesn't apply to you. Pass it on to some youth or family that you know is considering college. Now, you should grab a copy of our automation e-book. We sell it for twenty seven bucks, but you get it free for listening to the Screw the commute podcast you go to screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And it's all kinds of tips and tricks, including cell phone tips and things that have allowed me to handle up to one hundred and fifty thousand subscribers and forty thousand customers without pulling my hair out. You will love this book, so screwthecommute.com/automatefree and while you're at it, go to screwthecommute.com/app and you can grab a copy of our podcast app. And very soon we're going to have video training on how to use all the cool features. But right this moment we have screen captures to show you how to use all the fancy features so you can get that at screwthecommute.com/app. Now our sponsor is the Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia. It's a distance learning school. And also we are starting in house classes this year and we're applying right this moment. And I do need some help out there if anybody knows an accountant that would be willing to do a discounted audit to help out veterans. Please let me know right away. We're trying to get the G.I. Bill going for the school and really help out a lot of veterans. So get in touch with me on that. So that's IMTCVA.org and all the stuff that we talk about, including Denise's all her cool stuff will be in the show notes this is episode 246 and of course you get to episode 246 by going to screwthecommute.com slash and then the episode number 246.
[00:03:16] All right. Let's bring on the main event. Denise Wakeman works with authors and online entrepreneurs, teaching them how to build and market their online presence and business. Now, in her newest venture as a travel advisor, Denise's passion for adventure and seriously, she's an adventuresome lady, helps inspire entrepreneurs to explore the world so they can think bigger and transform both their business and life. Denise, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:50] Have you been there, kiddo? You've made it back off the mountain top, huh?
[00:03:55] Yeah, yeah, I've been great. Lots has been going on since the last time we talked.
[00:04:01] Yeah, it's been about a year. Yeah. You've made some trips and sooner.
[00:04:08] Yes, I've been to I went to Peru for the fourth time and I also went to Morocco.
[00:04:16] Wow. But weren't you getting ready to climb with some kind of mountain lion? Oh, that's right.
[00:04:21] Oh, you just forgot about that. The thin air. Get you something later. Did you make it as tall as you as high as you wanted to go?
[00:04:33] I did not.
[00:04:35] Okay, well, it's not a matter of fact. What percentage of people actually make make it? This is Mount Everest is as we know.
[00:04:42] Well, we were we were hiking the Annapurna range and our goal was an a base camp. And I did not make it to base camp. My travel friend did. But I was having a hard time on that on that track. The trails are mostly stairs, like stairs made out of rocks in the road. And so cardio was much harder than just walking on a trail, even though.
[00:05:11] Oh, and it I fell a couple times and it just I was having a hard time just to be on oxygen.
[00:05:21] No, no, no. I'm on oxygen.
[00:05:24] But let me ask you this one. Would you do it again? Yes, absolutely. That's cause you didn't make it so what? The point of the trip was a surge, just exhilarating.
[00:05:36] Oh, well, being in the Himalayas was amazing. It's such it's it's gorgeous country. And, you know, we were trekking for about 10 days, 10 out of 13 days that we were in in Nepal.
[00:05:50] And I mean, it's just absolutely gorgeous. It was just, you know, one of those things that I that, you know, that's just not perfect for me. And that's that's OK. Because, you know, it upset me for about an hour. I know that I I stayed back while my friend continued. And, you know, I had to wait for her for two days at a guesthouse.
[00:06:11] You didn't have to wait for that girl left, thumbed your nose to the left.
[00:06:20] You know, after it's all a mindset thing, you know, after about an hour of being disappointed that I wasn't going to be making it up to base camp, I was like, OK, well, what kind of adventure can I have while I'm here now where I am? And I ended up meeting some really cool people who were passing through. And, you know, I just hung out and really enjoyed being in the Himalayas.
[00:06:43] Compare that. Compare that to sitting in a cubicle somewhere, listening to this podcast, wishing you could go anywhere in that cubicle. So so you were far ahead of the game. So so here's a good naive question for a non mountain climber. Did you have a good Internet connection?
[00:07:04] That's not bad. Not really. So you're up really high.
[00:07:08] So, yeah, there were cell towers, every railway. I was shocked, to be honest. I was not expecting that.
[00:07:17] A lot of places and a lot of countries don't even put in phone lines anymore. They just get cell phones, right?
[00:07:25] Exactly. And at every guesthouse where we stayed overnight, you know, there was Wi-Fi. It wasn't the best.
[00:07:33] But it goes back on. And, you know, I could you it anyway.
[00:07:39] It was a fight for everybody to have power to recharge their phones. Yabi is like hovering over the outlet to build a recharge their phone.
[00:07:50] But yeah, I think I would wear like a solar hat when I was walking. Well, three people were using.
[00:07:57] Yeah. People were using solar.
[00:07:59] Yeah. You're crazy now. Were you blogging and reporting back every day or you just took off a couple weeks?
[00:08:07] I was posting pictures and short, short things every few days. You know, I'm mostly on Instagram and Facebook. So, yeah, I was I was sharing the journey.
[00:08:18] All right. People love that. People love it. I have to follow along.
[00:08:22] They're living vicariously through. You said so. So tell everybody how you turned this into a part of your business, because you've been in business a long time. Very successful. But you took us to another level, though.
[00:08:37] Well, you know, approached I think it was right after I got back from Nepal, I went after I travel. It's always so exhilarating. And then, you know, I come back home and that's wonderful to to see my cat, my family and all that. But it's like, OK.
[00:08:53] Your happiness. Have your family. I know most people listening. That's it's the cat lives with me.
[00:09:05] You know, and every time I travel, I think, you know, how can I do this more? How can I get more of this? And I was talking with a colleague who is a business consultant, you know, probably almost as long as I have been. But she's also been a travel agent for the last three years. Like what? How do you do that? What are you doing? How did you learn what you know? And we had a long conversation. And at the end of that conversation, I was like, you know what? I can do this. And so I decided to start a company to be a travel advisor. Travel. That's the word for travel agent now is travel advisor.
[00:09:43] Now, is this regulated because there's been a lot of stuff saying, oh, you can get a credential and now you're an agent. You get all these fam tours, you know, familiarisation tours for free. Is it OK?
[00:09:55] It tells you that the way this the way it works for me, there's different ways you can do it. I signed up under what's called a host agency. So working under a host agency, that means my insurance is covered.
[00:10:11] I have access to all their vendor relationships and they trained me to. And for being a total newbie at how you plan other people's trips. I know how to do it for myself. It's. Whole different thing to do it for other people. You know, I want to adopt a support network because to, you know, I work under their licenses and all of that.
[00:10:37] It's like a high, high class affiliate. I mean, why would they put all this effort into you? Well, they take 20 percent. Yes. There we go.
[00:10:47] They train. They train their host agencies. There's hundreds of them out there. And I get a lot of research and found one that I felt really good about. And they consistently get rated as the top host to agency. And they had better commission structure than a lot of the other ones. A lot of them take more than that. And they have a really good education system that they're constantly educating their agents. And they and they have lots of really good communication. It's a family company. And so I joined with them and just jumped right in.
[00:11:28] All I know is this is this a situation they'll take anybody or you have to apply? Yeah. I mean, like even Amazon now.
[00:11:35] Yes. You apply. Yeah.
[00:11:37] Right. But I mean, even Amazon now is an affiliate. They get a little bit picky if you don't sell enough and stuff. You get kicked out and things like that. So can anybody who do they keep an eye on it?
[00:11:49] Yeah, they keep an eye on it. They're very. They have a mentoring program.
[00:11:54] I mean, all these things are available to the new agents. So mentoring program, they have all kinds of trainings that are required to take. You cannot take advantage of some things like farm tours. You know, unless you've had X number of sales at for X number of commission.
[00:12:13] Yeah. So for everybody out there, it's a fam tour is like a free trip, basically familiarisation.
[00:12:20] Right. They're not free anymore.
[00:12:22] Well yeah, that's what it used to be in the old days. But now so many people doing this now that, you know, they don't want to the hotels and the airlines aren't giving away stuff like they used to.
[00:12:32] Exactly. Exactly. And they they also do a lot of in-person training. So like I just was this past January, they're based out of Jacksonville, Florida. And I spent five days there doing a boot camp.
[00:12:48] I'm going back in May for a five day training on luxury products.
[00:12:57] You mean like having a great Internet marketing retreat center, you mean. Right.
[00:13:02] Yeah, I like that. Yeah.
[00:13:05] So what kind of things do you give us an example of something you learned that you wouldn't have ever dreamed of before you got into this?
[00:13:14] Well, I learned that you don't get anything free.
[00:13:20] But it's also it's a lot more complex than I imagined. You know, I've been looking my own trips forever. Yeah, but I learned it's a lot more complex and. And for one thing, that most agents will not book airfare for their clients anymore because there is no commission. Right. Airfare. Right. So most will not even do it unless they're doing it as a courtesy. Which I. I booked a lot of airfare because I just want to learn how to do it. And because I was and I was doing it as a courtesy for some friends and family in the early days. And because I just what I needed to learn how to do this stuff. So that surprised me because I didn't know that.
[00:14:06] I had never been somebody who would ever think about taking a cruise.
[00:14:13] But after hearing several vendor presentations about the kinds of packages that they do and the kind of places that they go, I'm like, OK, I'll do one of those. So, you know, there's it's.
[00:14:31] The company I'm I'm affiliated with does a lot of cruising, and that's not really my interest. I'm more interested in land tours and adventure travel, the kind of travel I like climbing anywhere.
[00:14:46] There you go. Yeah, that's true. That's true.
[00:14:51] And so you're getting free free lodging during quarantine times.
[00:14:56] Yeah. Two weeks on. Right. Yeah. All right. Cool. So it's the thing.
[00:15:05] It is like any business you want to find your niche and then really specialize in your niche. And that's what I'm gonna be doing. There's there's thousands of tour companies out there. So to try and know what all of them are about and do an offer and who they're for and what their demographics are. Could just forget it. You know, that's just not like selling Disney packages. It's not something I'm going to specialize in.
[00:15:38] Well, I mean, I specialize in luxury. Is, though, would you pick.
[00:15:42] Well, luxury. Off the beaten path kind of travel. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:15:49] So luxury would be small yacht cruising. It would be hiking in Argentina. Those kind of things are lodged. A large hiking in Argentina possibly or, you know, things like that that are smaller group more inclusive in terms of what's offered, you know, to hire.
[00:16:14] And I know is it is not a Carnival cruise, for example, which is a more mass market.
[00:16:20] But is it a situation where if you booked like 10 people for a hike in Argentina, you could go for free or you just get a discount or sometimes.
[00:16:30] Yeah, sometimes. Yeah, it every tour company has different incentives.
[00:16:36] But yes, it's the more people you put into a group run, you get credit for that or you can go along for free or you know, they'll give you other incentives too.
[00:16:48] There's incentives coming out all the budget imparted by e-mail.
[00:16:53] You get paid for it too. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. And then the company takes 20 percent. Get the commissions.
[00:17:00] Yeah. So they take 20. The host company takes 20 percent of my commissions, which is very low.
[00:17:07] Yeah, that's right. Eye level for all that trade.
[00:17:10] And I'm used. Exactly. And I'm you they I have a Web site with them. I have access to a very good CRM system.
[00:17:20] I can call the owner of the company on a cell phone if I want to. I have a problem. So, you know, and they have over 6000 agents under them.
[00:17:30] So how are you marketing this?
[00:17:33] But, Carol, I haven't been marketing it very much in the first year.
[00:17:39] I really didn't market it very much.
[00:17:40] I was mostly responding to people who saw me talking about it. And so far, the people who I have booked trips for have all been marketing clients.
[00:17:55] This make sense? It makes perfect sense.
[00:17:58] Yeah. Yeah. And they trust me already. They know me. They've been following me. I mean, mostly the first thing in the e-mail says, I've been looking at all your pictures that you post from all your travels and I want to do what you're doing.
[00:18:10] Uh, huh..
[00:18:12] So what percentage of your time are you putting into this as opposed to the your original business, which is help no teaching entrepreneurs and so.
[00:18:19] Yeah, it's right now it's about 20 percent.
[00:18:23] Ok. And. What's the next big trip you got coming up?
[00:18:30] For sure. I'm going to Buenos Aries for a month in November.
[00:18:35] And that's where I'm going to be live in the laptop lifestyle. They put for a month in when authorities and work from there and get to know that city. And I may. I'm also putting together a trip to another trip to Peru. Food and wine tours of Peru, because Peru's guest gastronomy is just exploding off the charts right now.
[00:19:02] My gastronomy. That sounds like the wine and stuff. Nature. Gasm.
[00:19:07] Now, now, now. Some of the world.
[00:19:15] Peru for the last several years has been voted the number one food foodie destination. Oh. Yeah.
[00:19:22] And so that's that's been a big, big deal. And people are really interested in exploring that. So like some of the top chefs in the world are in Lima, the capital of Peru, and some of the best restaurants are their restaurants are being voted among the best in the world. So there's a big demand for that. And I have a friend who, you know, has a boutique tour company in Peru. So we're putting together a a custom trip that I'll be selling to. So that's a little bit outfight of, you know, what I'm doing with on one hand. But on the other hand, people are saying, I want to travel with you, Denise. Like, OK, well, that's not what I had in mind, but that's OK.
[00:20:08] Know, I was going to say on the Argentina trip, you're going to go down there, you're going to try to get people to jump on board.
[00:20:15] Yes. Yeah. OK. Now, I was actually contemplating that today is like, OK. What? What's the offer I can make for that? Yeah.
[00:20:22] You know, this this Peru trip, though. So these tour companies, like you said on the Lima trip, you were making a deal with another little boutique company. Do they all trade commissions and work together on stuff?
[00:20:36] Well, this is this. This? Yes, sometimes. So I'm an agent. I'm not a tour company. And I'm partnering with the tour company. So we will be working together to develop it. Do the pricing. And then I will be selling it. And so we're going to be splitting that profit.
[00:20:59] But that's outside of your other hosting company. Yes. Yeah. Okay. Yes. You're allowed to do that kind of stuff. Right? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty interesting, though, because I'm an independent contractor with the hosting company. Right. Okay. You know it with my own business. I said that I have.
[00:21:16] Yeah. So do you get any incentive to bring in other agents.
[00:21:22] I can have sub agents. Yes.
[00:21:24] Oh, so they're on underuse. Is it like multilevel marketing stuff?
[00:21:29] Well, it's it's. No, not really. You to be my. That's where I have employees. But I would have a little bit of their commission.
[00:21:37] I see. I see. So. So so this is pretty cool. So if somebody wants to get into this watch, what should they do?
[00:21:45] Worth their while drinking in in Lima. And they want to go take their laptop to Buenos Aires.
[00:21:53] In that case, contact me, go anyway. Yeah, they should.
[00:21:59] Yes. So email@example.com.
[00:22:14] And somebody wanted it and I'd be happy to talk to them about how to get started. I mean, I'm not a super pro yet, but I'm definitely farther in through the head than all of us says for sure.
[00:22:26] Exactly. If they want to go to Lima Call or Brannagh Cyrus, one of those come out, put them on the travel list.
[00:22:34] A virus when authorities is November 2020 and Lima doesn't have a date yet.
[00:22:41] Okay. Do you expect it to be last year or next year?
[00:22:45] I'm going. I'm shooting for October of this year so that I make one trip to South America soon.
[00:22:55] So but we'll see. Yes, sir.
[00:22:57] This is a boy total like you had a lifestyle business. Now, this is, like I said, lifestyle, time, times to you. Cause you really. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I always remember hearing how excited you were about the upcoming trip and and all that stuff.
[00:23:14] So this is a way to make money with us. His view.
[00:23:17] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I still write. I can still run my other business because everything I do is via internet anyway.
[00:23:24] Exactly. There's times like the answer. Give one up.
[00:23:27] Yes. So. So even though you're gone for a month, you're still gonna keep taking care of your clients. You're in the other. Absolutely. Yeah. So. So you're still asserting them for sure? Yeah.
[00:23:38] So they know and I know I have a private community that I run and I've no problem. You know, and then we have tools like Zoom that work.
[00:23:49] Yeah. That's Haugesund right now. So what exactly? So for instance, for instance. Roughly, very roughly. So if you were you said you're going to Buenos Aires for a month. All right. But. Right. Somebody else might say, well, I could go for a week, but I can't go for a month. Is that all doable? Right. Oh, yeah, of course. And so roughly, what would it cost for a trip like that?
[00:24:16] Oh, very, very roughly, because there's probably levels, the hotels and the villa, there's everything from hostels to, you know, 5-Star.
[00:24:28] And you know what you what you choose to do when you're traveling.
[00:24:31] But I have a luxury hostel. Yeah, that's that's about my speed luxury horse. That's a lie. It's you don't see them too. Yeah. Well and and those are often the more interesting in my view.
[00:24:49] Yeah. You could probably do like a ten day trip to Argentina or to when authorities for a couple thousand dollar plus airfare. Okay. Yeah. Yes. Airfare or depending on where you live. You know for me going from the West Coast to point authorities, it's gonna be around a thousand dollars.
[00:25:08] But from the east coast of the US, you know, it'll probably be seven hundred.
[00:25:13] Now, what are some of the countries that are the most cost effective? Like some countries are like super expensive, everything super expensive. And some countries are really cheap compared to being in the U.S..
[00:25:26] Right. Well, a lot of a lot of South America is very reasonable. I mean, Peru is definitely not an expensive country to in that. I was in Morocco in October for 12 days. And that's a very reasonable country, too, for traveling. It's very popular right now. And you can get really nice places stay for like, you know, less than $100 dollars a night. I mean, we I did that trip with a partner also and we took four people with us. So that was a A and escorted tour, if you will. And, you know, we had a private driver and for the whole time. And anyway, I think you saw the picture of me on the camera.
[00:26:15] Yeah. Exactly. On that.
[00:26:19] But, you know, that was, you know, to be on an escorted tour like that. That's not independent travel. That was about thirty five hundred dollars.
[00:26:31] So how much do you worry about security and and assure, you know, people get shot, not shot with a gun, shots, you know, inoculations and stuff like that. So how much is part of your job?
[00:26:47] Is that if. Well, I can't make people get shot, but I can advise that. Right. And I usually do what you've got to. Yeah. Oh, absolutely.
[00:26:57] That and travel insurance, I think is incredibly important when you're especially when you're traveling outside of the United States because you don't know what can happen. And in fact, on two trips I took, two people did have to cancel last minute for because of family emergencies and because they had listened to me and bought travel insurance. They were able to get full refunds on non-refundable travel.
[00:27:21] Oh, OK. What about medical evacuation stuff? So you're insured?
[00:27:28] Absolutely. And if you're going to be trekking anywhere, you have to. They won't even take you a trekking company won't take you without having that.
[00:27:36] And most of it reputable, the insurance companies, because, you know, you see so look at some of these companies here, like with home warranties and then they don't cover anything. When when the time.
[00:27:45] No. These are the. The travel insurance companies are that I work with and have you know, even when I was on my own, you know, or like through AIG and stuff like that. So but they have arms that are travel insurance only because it's very specific kind of insurance because it's, you know, temporary insurance.
[00:28:04] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:28:05] So it's not like, you know, you know, it's just for that trip.
[00:28:10] So awesome. Well, this is this has been though we never had anybody talking about this.
[00:28:15] And that's just a perfect, perfect example of you create. I mean, you had skills, lots of skills already, but yeah, you channeled them into a direction to make your life even more interesting to you rather than making somebody else rich.
[00:28:32] You know, that's. Yeah.
[00:28:34] Okay. Appeals to market and all that stuff, too. Yeah.
[00:28:38] I mean, you know, I'm not jumping in like that. I mean, I'm jumping in.
[00:28:44] Obviously, I talk about it to people and I have people, you know, contacting me for quotes and stuff. And I've got people who are traveling right now that I've put their trips together. So, you know, it's happening. I'm just not going full force. I'm just taking it as it comes because I. I have a lot to learn and I hope another business tomorrow.
[00:29:04] Yeah. Yeah. Your experience will grow. But I predict that one of these days, you know, it'll be too expensive for you to do the other business because. Yeah, because this is exciting. Fun. Yeah. People have more spendable income. Very cool.
[00:29:21] That's kind of the idea to eventually transition over and out of the marketing and to to the travel.
[00:29:27] Yeah. That's why I want to get you on now because I'll never be able to find you.
[00:29:33] Hey, there's a big worldwide web. All right. All right.
[00:29:38] Well, thanks so much for coming on. And so give them their Web site again so they can go check you out and give me your other Web sites, too, so they want to see all the stuff you do.
[00:29:49] Ok. So my primary Web site is DeniseWakeman.com. And that's where you can find me on all social issues at Denise Wakeman. And then the travel Web site is globetrottingadventuretravel.com.
[00:30:02] That seems very, very awesome. So so thanks a lot. It's good catching up with you. And that's you brought a little perspective and some something that somebody grabs on to this can change their whole life, that's for sure.
[00:30:15] Oh, absolutely.
[00:30:17] And then you got to work out a little whatever you want. You've got to work out. I want to hear you pooped out on the next Himalayan trip.
[00:30:25] No. That was hard.
[00:30:29] All right. Thanks, so watch today. Good talking to you. Okay. Thank you, Tom.
[00:30:33] All right, everybody, we'll catch you on the next episode.
[00:30:36] Check out those Web sites and look into that very, very cool lifestyle business than the nation's chinchilla.