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Meet Trailblazer Michele Friedmann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michele Friedmann.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ever since I was young, I had an innate passion for travel and adventure. My worldly parents took me on international trips at least once a year. While studying abroad in undergrad with Semester at Sea I had an “aha” moment in which I realized I could take my passion for travel and turn it into a career. We visited 17 countries while circumnavigating the world on a ship in just one semester. I instantly fell in love with the Study Abroad field and realized how much one can learn from being abroad. After attending graduate school, I worked in the field of study abroad for a few years where I helped college students study, intern and play sports overseas. I led a trip around Europe one summer. My passion for motivating others to see the world and itinerary planning led me to consider being a travel agent. I’ve personally visited 58 countries and post about my experiences on social media, which naturally led others to reach out and ask questions as well as ask for trip planning help. I love that I get to incorporate my own personal travel experience and suggestions! Recently, I’ve been booking a lot of multi-city Europe trips, Belize, Peru, Mexico, group trips, honeymoons, and destination weddings. I genuinely enjoy helping others do what I absolutely love!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting out is tough but it does get slightly easier. The learning curve is always steep! I think you assume success will come much quicker than it actually does, especially when you’re very passionate about what you’re doing. And you don’t realize just how much time it takes to get everything accomplished. I’ve learned the importance of taking it day by day, setting goals that are attainable, and not beating myself up too much. Take it all in stride and realize it’s a learning process- the toughest lessons are typically the ones that ultimately help your business be more successful in the future. Momentum is everything if you can continue keeping your business moving forward in the right direction (even slowly) then you’re doing great!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about MicheleTravels – what should we know?
I’m a full-service travel agency. I specialize in leisure/luxury travel to all parts of the world. Being a member of Virtuoso allows me to VIP my clients who are booking 5 star+ resorts and high-end cruises. I can get amazing free perks such as an upgrade, spa credit, dining credit, early check-in and late check-out (based on availability). I book a lot of honeymoons, Europe trips, and cruises. Lately, I’ve been getting more requests for group trips and destination weddings. I have a group trip to Antarctica this January that I’m helping lead! We have room for a few more if anyone is interested. It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime!

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well-positioned for?
I think men and women each bring their own unique strengths to the table. Fortune favors the bold regardless of your sex. There are lots of successful female entrepreneurs paving the way today and inspiring others. I believe in general, female entrepreneurs are very good at empowering other females since there’s this “been there, done that” mentality and we genuinely want to help others succeed. I’m surrounded by loads of support here and rockstar women that inspire and empower me and I’m very grateful for that. Denver is a great place to be and have your own business!

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