Meeka Hudson wanted a more fulfilling purpose, a better life for her son and also wanted to prove the stereotypes wrong! So she started her own business as an Independent Travel Professional so she could live the lifestyle she wanted, have ownership in her job, and give her son everything she didn’t have. Read our interview with Meeka below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Honestly, I never thought of owning my own business. I was still trying to find my passion. But when the time is right, God has a funny way of placing the right things, situations and people in your life that help you find your way! I had recently started to work from home with a large Health Insurance company and kept thinking that I could be doing more with my time. I started to see posts on Instagram from my now business mentor about becoming a Home Based Travel Agent. I knew this was it! I love to travel but hadn’t been able to do it as much as I’d like since having my son. I saw this business as a way to supplement my income in order to travel more with my son without breaking the bank or spending time away from him with a second JOB!
Tell us about your business.
I’m an Independent Travel Professional with my own full service home based travel agency, Hudson Travel Getaway. I assist my clients with booking cruises, vacation packages, rail packages, rental cars, villas, condos, concert/theater/sports tickets, etc and earn a commission for doing so! I strive to take the stress out of vacation planning while finding the best prices available and adding value to my clients desired experience. I also share this opportunity as a Network Marketer. I work with those that would like to start their own travel business to either supplement their income to pay down bills, travel at wholesale rates and that would like to benefit from having a home based business because of tax purposes. I also show them how to earn commission on the travel they already book for themselves. I have helped over 60 agents start their own travel business. I act as a resource and coach for them as they launch their businesses.
Where is your business based?
I am located in the Chicagoland area, but I book clients from all parts of the country. I also have business partners all over the world, you can book travel as an agent and partner with me from anywhere there is internet connection.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first step was to become certified in my craft. When you start your business, you gain immediate access to our Travel Agent University where you can start your certification to become a Certified Travel Agent. I completed my certification and aligned all of my free marketing tools via social media and I blasted my certification to let everyone know that I was in business. I purchased a new computer and business cards and got organized… business picked up fast!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media has been my best friend! 95% of my clients come from viewing my posts on Instagram or Facebook. The other 5% came from word of mouth.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Getting over rejection and pushing through when business is slow.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I read the mindset books that my mentor suggested and realized quickly that not everyone is going to support me and that it is okay. There are so many more people that want to do what I do or that want to travel the world. I focus on my goals and practice entrepreneur patience. And at the end of the day I have to remember that I started this to enhance the lifestyle of my son and I and nothing can deter me from that!
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I look at pictures of my son at Disney World for the first time and in Punta Cana getting his first stamp in his passport. And I remember that those moments make it all worth it! At this point there is no turning back, I have other agents that look up to me and my son has a bucket list longer than my own. I also, speak with my mentors and they assure me that whatever it is, they’ve all been through it and I will too! I’ve also realized that my goal is to help as many households as I can by helping them own their own successful home based businesses. This business has done so much for me and I have to continue to share it with others. I want to help people that work 2-3 jobs just to pay for their children’s activities but can’t attend them, people who want to take their family on vacation but just can’t afford to and people who have “good jobs” but it takes all of their time away. This business has helped pay debt, eliminate jobs 2 and 3 and given people their time back to do what’s most important to them. I love seeing children go on their first plane ride or families going to Dubai instead of Florida because of this business. I’m motivated to help them because I live the benefits of this business everyday!
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I am very transparent with my marketing. I am a single mother that did not want to fall into the stereotypes associated with that. So, I show my son enjoying his vacations often. I try to convey that traveling does not have to cost an arm and a leg and it can be done on a single parent income. I influence families to travel with their children because there are so many benefits to exposing your children to different cultures and history. I make sure that my clients know that traveling is an experience and it can be so much more than just great pictures, but lifelong memories that will continue to influence their life even after the vacation is over.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
“If God gives you a goal that is completely and utterly impossible according to man’s consult, ignore man and believe God.”
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Start before you feel ready because you will never feel ready… just do it!
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Social media has been the best business tool for me. Audible is great because there is a mind shift that happens when you become an entrepreneur, and you have to feed your mind or the stress will get the best of you. Listening to books on Audible has been a great resource. Lastly, the leadership on my team has been the greatest resource, I wouldn’t continue to be in business without their support.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #hudsontravelgetaway #braveenoughtochangeyourstory #runwaykid #travel #travelforless #mompreneur
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by Luvvie Ajayi.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Branding. I started out wanting to book a little travel, but now I want to branch out and tie my travel business into other things seamlessly.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I want to streamline my brand and hopefully reach more people that are serious about business and changing their lifestyle.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Please contact me for all running offers on cruise and land packages! We also are offering free tuition for the Travel Agent University for anyone looking to book travel as a business!