Melissa Biggs Bradley is the founder and CEO of Indagare, a membership-based luxury travel company. By bringing together curated content, an engaged community and the ability to receive expert advice, Indagare has established a new way to plan and book memorable experiences. Since Indagare’s founding, Melissa has been recognized as a pioneer entrepreneur in the luxury travel space. Indagare was named as one of Inc’s fastest-growing companies in the US and one of Crain’s fastest-growing companies in New York.
How do you go from an idea to being one of the fastest-growing companies in the US?! I sat down with Melissa Biggs Bradley to learn how she made it happen. Listen to the full episode?here.
“The idea is one thing, but the execution relies on teamwork and different kinds of people.” It’s essential to hire good people and those with different strengths and skillsets than your own, complimenting, and challenging one another.
Now that you have your idea and your team, the next step is to spread the word. There are many marketing strategies and software you can use, but Melissa believes it boils down to what you are delivering and how committed you are to your customer. She thinks of every client “as a friend of a friend of a friend,” and believes that “if you focus on your customer and doing the best job for them, then you’re going to grow through word of mouth and it’s the most authentic way.”
As an entrepreneur, you realize that not every day is going to be the same and be willing to adapt. For example, Melissa might show up to work one day, and somebody missed their plane, or there is a storm in Southeast Asia, and she has to try to figure out a new plan while making it a seamless experience for her client. Although you might not start a business in the travel and hospitality industry, you still need to be ready for that kind of unpredictability and on-the-fly problem-solving.
Being an entrepreneur is so much about having a growth mindset and building a network of people you can turn to for advice. You are not alone in the struggles of trying to figure things out. Melissa had some incredible bosses and mentors who helped guide her over the years. They instilled this belief that “if you show up with integrity in every interaction, that is how your reputation is built.” It’s shocking how many people only focus on those that will help move them forward and what others can give them. Those people are called the “takers.” Instead, be a “giver” and assume you can learn something from everybody and do something for everybody.
I challenge you to one: read the book that Melissa recommends on the podcast called?Give and Take by Adam Grant. He is a Wharton professor who quantifies and analyzes the success of “givers” vs. “takers” in different careers. Two: Listen to the entire episode of the Badass CEO podcast with Melissa because she has some really thoughtful and also badass advice. And lastly, three: follow the meaning of Indagare, discover and seek out your entrepreneurial path. Take the plunge.