Know yourself, never give up and other lessons from a young entrepreneur

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Angely Dub poses near the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Angely Dub poses near the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

I’ve always been asked how I became an entrepreneur at such a young age. When most of my contemporaries were seeking employment in companies, I was busy setting up Access Travel, now a 12-year-old travel company. What started as a one-woman operation has evolved into a full-service company with a young dynamic team offering authentic travel experiences to thousands of adventurous souls worldwide.

Today, I’m in my early 30s, yet I’m still as excited as ever to embark on new adventures. When young people ask me for entrepreneurship advice or inquire about what inspires me, I try to be honest as much as possible with my opinions. Let me list down five of them:

1. Life is about perfect timing, seizing opportunities and having the support of loved ones.

I know everybody wants to travel, but it doesn’t mean that everybody should start a travel company. Like food, we all love to eat, but it doesn’t mean everyone should open a restaurant. I cannot speak for everyone, but I believe life is about finding the perfect timing, opportunities, and, of course, having a very supportive family; in my case, my mom. She made sure that we were given all the opportunities, so I grabbed all the opportunities that were given to me. There should also be passion, but I don’t really consider passion the main secret of my business and success. I believe more in timing, opportunities and hard work.

2. Innovate, innovate, innovate.

One of the major challenges I faced when I entered the travel industry is that people were doing the traditional things like group tours, 15-day itineraries, eight-country tours, etc. I’ve always wanted to do things differently. I want to innovate these traditional setups.

So, that’s what I did—innovate. People may not like you at first because you are challenging the status quo, but that’s how things are done in the new generation. That’s what we did. For example, we have been active on TikTok and Instagram, using these social media platforms as our marketing tools.

My personal recommendation for everyone, especially those who want to try being an entrepreneur in this industry, is that you can do the same thing as other people, but innovate something, solve something because that’s what people are looking for. In every industry, there is still something unsolved. Find that, then you will be able to make it.

3. Know what you are selling.

There is no better brand ambassador for Access Travel than me since I’m the one personally traveling all over the world. That is the strongest marketing tool of Access Travel and my personal branding. I know what I want, I know who I am, I’ve always been authentic. What you see on my social media is the same person you will meet in real life. I don’t pretend. I think creating a persona online, one that is completely different from who you are, is the worst thing that you can do to yourself.

Amid the colorful buildings in Toulouse, France

Amid the colorful buildings in Toulouse, France

I also think I’ve stayed relevant because there’s been just one vision that I want people to know about me: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not an influencer, a content creator, a blogger or vlogger. I want people to know me as a credible businesswoman who has traveled the world for her business.

I think what also makes me unique is, I don’t follow trends. This is who I am. I am that classic person. Yes, I innovate but I don’t just follow trends because everyone else is doing it. The backbone of Access Travel is my personal experience, and I think that’s way more valuable than a trend. So, if you want to make it in any business, make sure you know what you are truly selling.

4. Be consistent and work hard.

I personally think passion is overrated. What’s underrated is consistency, learning to develop our skills, discipline and never stopping, never giving up. In my experience, I don’t give up no matter how hard life is. I always get things done. Consistency beats everything—even passion. As I mature, I have seen the importance of consistency and also the value of hard work. I’m the same person whether I am doing good or whether I’m not doing good. For example, whether it was during the pandemic or today, I work out like the same crazy me. I show up every single day. You have to show up more when things are hard because that’s when you are most needed. That’s when your patience, discipline and resiliency are tested.

Witnessing the Aurora Borealis at the border of Finland and Sweden -contributed photos
Witnessing the Aurora Borealis at the border of Finland and Sweden -Contributed photos

5. Life is about compromising for the people we love.

To be an effective entrepreneur, you must also have a strong emotional foundation. Know that what’s right for you is not necessarily right for other people, and vice versa. We should stop forcing one idea onto everyone because every person has a different foundation, opportunity and life.

I think our family teaches us how to compromise. We accept their bad sides. I think this is one lesson I’ve learned that if I’m going to fall in love with someone, I need to fall in love with his bad sides as well and learn how to compromise. Once we get to love all the bad sides and we accept all those and we compromise from there, I think all relationships become more valuable. With this in mind, you become more stable and travel in this life with a better outlook. —CONTRIBUTED INQ

The author is the founder of Access Travel. She has recently launched Explora Ahora, a travel company focused on implementing genuine adventures in the Philippines, with an emphasis on sustainable community tourism.

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