I first met Bianca on Instagram, where I found out about a workshop she was hosting in Italy. I was fascinated by her photos and the story of how she met her husband, so naturally I perused her website and signed up for a tour. I was also comforted and encouraged by her question + answer tea party that was held via Skype and felt even more reassured that this was a great opportunity. I highly recommend travel with Bianca if you ever get the chance...
you have the chance right now--as she has just released the new 2016 tour dates! Don't miss out on your next "pinch me is this my life" adventure!
Bianca Gignac is the founder of Travel Beautifully Media Inc. Her travel company, Italian Fix, hosts tours and creative workshops in Italy for women, as well as published online guidebooks. Check out what it’s like to ditch your life for a week and travel with Bianca here (http://www.italianfix.com/travel/). Drop by here (http://www.italianfix.com/) and say hi.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Bianca so I could share a bit of her story with you.
•How did you find the courage to put your work into the world? Where did you first begin?
I'm paradoxically courageous and scared, usually at the same time. Sometimes I have a wild amount of confidence and certainty in my capacity or a specific outcome. Other times I’m totally unsure of which way to turn. I try to acknowledge that they are both required in business and life. I believe that training myself to accept the fact that creating is always going to deliver a certain amount of discomfort, has been very valuable. It helps you stop waiting for things like courage. Which is a pretty fast way to quit before you even start. Sure, I had a lot of moxie as a child, but I don’t think it’s a prerequisite to success as an adult.
•What is the most difficult and rewarding parts about doing what you do?
There are countless rewarding things. I would say the people-factor is huge, however. I love my clients, collaborators and team. For me, the best thing about owning your company is having the ability to control the cosmos of people you spend time with. Another is having a very high ceiling of potential and achievement. I feel like so many things are possible for me, and that I have a say in the outcome. I find that very motivating. Difficulties rotate. It depends on the week and the task at hand. Though, I would say I struggle with patience. I want a thousand things, like, yesterday. I know I’m not alone with this one; it’s fairly rampant with creatives and entrepreneurs.
•I was really moved by your discussion on the topic of sacrifice during our Italy workshop. Please share why you feel this might be an important topic for artists, creatives, or entrepreneurs to think about.
I think sacrifice gets a bad rap. It’s important to talk about sacrifice because sacrifice and achievement sleep in the same bed. Humans like to fixate on how easy some things look for others (because we’re conditioned to think that outside forces like the economy, luck, social stature, connections, etc., have a big role to play). I think it’s crippling to think that people have achieved things easily because it diminishes the perceived effort it will take to achieve similar things. The last thing we want to do is go out and try our thing and come up against rejection or pushback (or it takes longer than anticipated), and or get discouraged because it’s so hard. That’s not very real. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and if you’re making enough waves for people to notice, you’re sacrificing something for that. Now, I don’t think going without is a bad thing. I think it can be incredibly useful to define what you do and don’t do. Saying no to things you don’t value in the first place, helps you say yes to things that you actually do want. For me, it's been pretty organic that I’ve come to consider sacrifice as part of the equation. I want to build a great company, provide for my family, and feel like I’m making a difference. That’s a pull far greater than small things that I could fill my time up with if I were not focused on my mission.
• What are three adjectives that describe your style?
Fun, free, colorful.
•What are your tools of the trade? (Things you can't work/live without).
I run my small company like the bigger company I'm growing into. I invest in software that makes life better for my customers (I’m obsessed with them having a good experience). Things we use every day are Ontraport (a CRM), an email based help desk (ours is called Help Scout), and a Google Apps for business account. I also love Helloify–which is an easy way for customers to connect via email. Those four tools can turn any me, myself and I’business into a massively scalable, six or seven-figure thing. Just add people and product!
• What are some words of advice or encouragement you would give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps or step out and make bold moves?
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not capable. Surround yourself with people with dreams like you. Read as many books as you can get your paws on.
• Are there any big projects on the horizon for you that you are excited about?
Yeah! We’re building an online guidebook to help travelers have an awesome trip to Italy. It’ll be available in 2016.
• Just for fun, name any artist, designer, or maker you would love to collaborate with and why?
I would love Elizabeth Gilbert to co-host a trip to Italy with me. That would be tons of fun.
Bianca, you are such an inspiration and the ultimate wanderlust enabler.