Hi! How’s it going, lady? Fabulously, I hope. I’ve been jonesin’ to introduce you to Theresa Chu-Bermúdez of Get Out! Custom Travels. She’s a travel planner, lover of all things Lord of the Rings, & has a true passion for her small biz. She recently came back from an epic trip to Ireland with her sister where she made homemade scones on a farm, kissed the Blarney Stone, toured the Guinness Brewery, and so much more. Knowing Theresa is an adventure, so I’m totally sure you’ll have fun hearing about how she started Get Out! & what she’s learned along the way. Enjoy her words & stay boss. xx -G
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I am the owner of Get Out! Custom Travel, a boutique travel planning agency based in Tampa, FL which specializes in custom itineraries as well as cruises and tours. I am so fortunate to be able to work with clients to plan their dream travel experiences around the world from honeymoons to family reunions!
I was born and raised in Orlando, and travel has always played a large role in my life ever since I could remember. I currently live in Tampa with my husband Giovanni and my dog Abbey.
How did your business begin?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial household where my grandfather and my dad both owned their own businesses. After graduating with my Masters in environmental health, I moved to Fort Myers and worked as an environmental consultant for a few years. It was during this time that I felt the pull of entrepreneurship and started thinking about what need I could fill. I realized that travel had been a constant theme in my life, and I had become skilled at planning great travel experiences for myself and my family. After I got married and moved to Tampa, I knew that was the right time to launch my business...and I did!
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
One of the biggest challenges I've faced was setting boundaries for myself in my business. As a business owner, it is almost impossible to remove yourself away from work, especially if you work from home and can take your business with you anywhere you go. I really struggled with integrating my work with my personal life. When I succeeded in one, the other suffered. With the support of other boss babes as well as colleagues in the industry, I was able to figure out some best practices to keep me sane. It's a work in progress, but I feel so much better now than I did when I first started.
One of my successes since I've created my business is developing the wisdom to know which clients are the right fit for me and which ones are not. Being able to say no to prospects who were not the right fit has eased up the level of stress in my life and has allowed me to better service my existing clients.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
The best piece of advice I've ever received was from my grandfather: Your health is your most important asset. My grandfather is a self-made man and has always prioritized his health. I admit that I often sacrifice eating and exercising because of work, and this unhealthy habit has led me to the brink of burn out so many times. This is definitely a work in progress!
When are you at your happiest?
I am at my happiest after I've had a few sips of coffee in the morning and am ready to tackle the day. The possibilities are endless for how my day can go, and the fact that I can spend my day planning travel experiences for my clients makes every day that much better.
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
When things get difficult, I remind myself that there's a solution to every problem and that things can always be worse. If one solution isn't working, then think outside the box and figure out another way.
What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the support of my friends and family, especially my husband. Creating and growing your own business requires sacrifices of time and energy, and oftentimes I don't have much of that left for the people around me. Their support and encouragement allows me to continue pursuing what I love to do.
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
One personal goal I have this year is to make my health a priority by incorporating physical activity into my schedule no matter how busy I am as well as making sure I eat properly to nourish my body. I'm guilty of skipping meals all the time.
One of my business goals is to acquire my Certified Travel Associate (CTA) certification by the end of the summer. The certification will help me add an additional level of professionalism and show my clients and prospects that I am invested in them as well as my career growth.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
In front of my computer in my home office.
Where can we find you on a Friday evening?
Also in front of my computer in my home office.
Where can you be found on a Sunday morning?
Eating breakfast/brunch with my husband at a local eatery.
Finish these sentences:
I love: my family.
I’m always looking for: new opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.
My inspiration is: my mom. I want to be just like her when I grow up.
I’ll never: stop learning.