We had the good fortune of connecting with Sue Rudolph and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sue, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor in my success is my ability to connect with people and listen carefully to what they want and create trips that exceed their expectations.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my business with no experience in travel and no experience in running a business. I was a software engineer prior to starting my business. It was not easy, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I learned as much as I could by taking classes on running a business, sales, and marketing. I became a Certified Travel Consultant. I joined as many networking organizations as I could with other business owners as well as travel agent groups. I connected with successful travel professionals and picked their brains. What I kept hearing was that to be successful, I needed to specialize and find something that I was passionate about and focus on it to become an expert. To be successful, you cannot sell everything to everybody. I was also told that it was important to adapt to change and embrace it. I struggled for several years to figure out what to specialize in. I have been a long-distance runner for many years and a friend suggested I put together a trip to an International Marathon and that was the start of my sub-division Amazing Running Tours. I sell running tours to marathons all over the world. I now put on my own marathons International and donate money to help endangered wildlife as I am extremely passionate about wildlife. The Kenya Wildlife Marathon is in its fifth year and I have launching one in Australia and one in Borneo. I have since expanded in cycling and hiking tours as well. The other side of my business is Experiential Travel where I create custom itineraries to experience a destination not just see it, You will meet the locals, experience the culture and get up close to nature and wildlife.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would talk to my friend first and find out what she was interested and offer suggestions. Below are some ideas on what we might do Visit Laguna Beach and walk around the town Take ferry to Balboa Island and explore Hike in El Moro Canyon at Crystal Cove State Park Hike up to Hollywood Sign Whale watching Excursion in Newport Beach Go to Catalina Island – Explore Avalon, take interior tour or hike, rent a golf car an drive around Go Kayaking in Newport Beach Day trip to San Diego – Visit old town, Balboa Park, La Jolla, San Diego Zoo Disneyland As far as restaurants, I am a Vegan so I prefer Vegan restaurants . I like Vegan Nirvana, Vegilicious, Mothers Market in Huntington Beach ,Nice Guys in Costa Mesa . As far as non-Vegan restaurants, we might go to Market Broiler in Fountain Valley as they have good seafood and Vegan options.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I belong to a group the Travel Agent Marketing Academy https://marketingfortravelagents.com/join-the-academy/ which has been huge help to my success. It offers a step by step program including support on becoming a successful travel agent. I purchased a lifetime membership, and it is by far the most worthwhile investment I have made in my agency.