We got the chance to interview a very successful young entrepreneur from Newport Beach, California named Shane Mitchell. Shane Mitchell is a 22 year old serial entrepreneur and is the founder of several travel lifestyle brands such as TRAVL and Desire. His brands focus around hotel promotion and marketing for traveling. His clients include Marriot International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Cooperation, Four Seasons, and Brookfield Asset Management LLC.
While working full time in the travel industry, Shane is currently enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) seeking a double major in Business and Political Science. He plans on graduating in the Spring of 2020.Throughout his three year career he has traveled to 20 countries that span to 6 continents and has promoted over 100 resorts worldwide. Prior to his startups, Shane interned with Former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in Orange County, California but soon realized that working in the political field is not something he wanted to pursue as a career.
Here is our interview with Shane Mitchell himself:
- How did you get into entrepreneurship?
Shane Mitchell: “It was unplanned. As a student, I did not know that entrepreneurship would be my life’s calling. I just happened to jump on an opportunity to start a company with a good friend of mine. I was not ready, but by taking the first step, I started on a path that over time gave me the skills I needed. Having discussed this topic with countless entrepreneurs, I believe the situation is typical. Entrepreneurs don’t plan to become entrepreneurs. When they start making that difference or create something they love, they end up as entrepreneurs — typically reaching success only after repeated troubles and failures. Throughout all of this, they have an inner stubbornness and drive that keeps them going.”
2. What is your backstory? How did your first venture start?
Shane Mitchell: “Senior year of high school I thought of an idea to create a social media platform that would promote hotels around the world in exchange for free travel. I wanted to travel the world for free! I felt like the perfect dream job was to travel the globe and somehow get paid to do so. After brainstorming, I came up with a plan to grow the likeness of resorts by working out a contract, and then set a date for myself to bring models, photographers, and a videography crew to create viral content that would promote and bring attention to these places. I started with not a single dollar in my name. Nothing but my phone and an idea. I didn’t want to tell my friends or family because I was worried they would laugh at such an “unrealistic” idea. I needed to find a source of income to fund this idea… so I turned to social media. At that point in time, people were not making money off of social media and I had no idea that I would ever make money off an Instagram page. But I continued to run my page all day and night, posting insane travel content and months later it became a full-time source of income by advertising other content that later turned into an online store.”
3. Why do you do what you do?
Shane Mitchell: “Why do I do it? What is there not to love about being an entrepreneur? The hustle, the grind, the struggles, the journey? They are all part of your story. The low points accentuate the highs. Being an entrepreneur means you get out of it what you put in. It is not always going to be glitz and glamour. You won’t always have things work out in your favor. And, even when you do, you may question what you could have done to make things more favorable. But why would you change that for anything? Being an entrepreneur means having a vision, taking risks, and learning from your mistakes along the way!”
4. What motivates you the most?
Shane Mitchell: “Control. The desire for control drives many entrepreneurs who aspire to attain a leadership position. When you’re the boss of your own organization, you’ll get to call all the shots, from who gets hired and at what salary to what new strategic directions your business heads down. You can work your own hours, wherever you feel like working, and set your own goals and responsibilities. Just be aware that entrepreneurship is extremely demanding, especially in the early stages of growth, so working your own hours doesn’t always mean working fewer hours or working under less stress!”
5. What is your personal favorite accomplishment?
Shane Mitchell: “Traveled to 20/196 countries for free (stepped foot on 6/7 continents)”
6. What is next for you?
Shane Mitchell: “My next venture is to reinvent the college experience. My freshman year of college I drafted up an idea for a business that would bring new faces of the music industry and merge them with venues around college campuses to create a new “party scene” that not-only would reinvent a way to have fun in college but to also help artists with a new platform. My two business partners Akon Thiam and Abou Thiam are prominent figures within the industry and we were blessed to have created a such a vision. We all agreed once my time as a student comes to an end in spring 2020, we will launch when everyone is on the same page and is available for a major project such as this.
My dream is to one day be able to help other young and bright entrepreneurs with their ventures. I know firsthand how tough it is to start a business and make it even slightly successful. I would love to eliminate that hardship for other entrepreneurs and help them out with experience and capital.”
7. What does success mean to you?
Shane Mitchell: “Success is the ability to do what you love every day. This may sound transparent but what you love changes over time and having the ability to change what you are doing to match your passion is true success to me. This has absolutely nothing to do with money, wealth or status as each person is different with various passions and loves.”
8. What are some secrets into going viral on Instagram?
Shane Mitchell: “You need to pick a niche and attack it hard. I chose the travel niche because it was personally something that interested me and I knew it inspired many others so I put out the finest content on instagram related to this niche, roughly 5–10 posts a day and always tried to dig up the most viral and engaging content possible. Posts where people can strongly relate to and want to tag/share with their peers are the ones that really take off and get you big follower gains.”
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