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Fear and greed kill travel startups.

Fear and greed start up entrepreneurs archenemiesFear and greed are a travel startup entrepreneurs two archenemies.

The key to managing your fear and greed is to recognize it, acknowledge it and then find a balance with each one.

Make decisions that are not based in fear and know when enough is really enough.

It’s easy to say this but difficult as hell to manage.

As entrepreneurs we want it all.

Greed was the killer archenemy in my 20’s. Now in my early 40’s fear is the dominant enemy that I must balance as I move forward.

As we get older we become aware of more things that can go wrong.

There is a psychological war going on inside our heads.

Don’t worry young grasshoppers’. You might be scratching your head thinking I don’t think like that, well wait till you’ve built a few companies and been through the trenches, you’ll understand.


Younger is about the money, which harbors archenemy #1 greed.

In my mid 20’s I wrote a financial book, was on CNBC TV and provided business commentary to the major business media. The outcome was a 2-year guaranteed deal that I negotiated for my partner and I for our startup from $2,000 a month in income to $20,000 a month in income + 30% of ad sales. I got stupid real fast and complained to the company that we were going to partner with that there was no way for us to verify we were getting 30% of the ad sales.

The dot.com world was in a furry and young gunners were minting millions quick.

I wanted my millions.

I wanted on the cover of Red Herring Magazine.

We had a great unique-one-of-a-kind product that one of the newly minted publicly traded companies really wanted. I started talking to a 2nd company at the same time and we were thinking they would buy us for $2,000,000.

I kept complaining about the 30% of ad sales revenue to the business development guy in charge of the deal and then one day he said,

“Matt we are out.”

Just like that my $20,000 a month was gone. He snapped his finger and poof it was over. The 2nd company never came through. Four months later the dot.com world imploded.

Greed killed my deal.

Greed killed $20,000 a month automatically being deposited into my bank account.

If I was balanced I would have recognized the guaranteed monthly cash and then said you know what we will take a chance on the ad revenue. If the 2nd company interested comes a knocking I’ll answer the door. I had limited balance in my 20’s.

The key to balance is to recognize your greed and acknowledge it.

Your gut instinct will help you know when enough is enough.

My gut told me we had a hell of a deal. I was just greedy and didn’t listen to my gut instinct. I never acknowledged it either. Until you acknowledge that you are being greedy you won’t be able to bring it into balance.

Recognize, Acknowledge then Balance the Greed.


Maturity and experience harbor archenemy #2 fear.

When I was younger I had no fear.

My wife would say, “ Matt will, “just do it,” he has no fear, this was before Nike even came up with their slogan.

I would execute super fast, take big risks and get things done quickly.

As I’ve gotten older the fear thought creeps into my head once in awhile. Fear doesn’t stop me from trying new things or risking but it has slowed me down.

Some might say that this is actually smarter and wiser and I would tend to agree but the question is, are you moving slower to act due to a little fear?

I find myself thinking about things a little longer and sometimes my decision-making process is not as quick as I want.

6-months ago before launching TravelStartups.co I was working on a product idea for an Orlando mobile booking app for the tour and activities market.

I spent 4-months researching the market, talking to suppliers, mapping out the mockups for the app and looking for a co-founder developer.

The further I researched and looked into the business opportunity the more I found fear creep crawling into the picture. There were just too many unknowns.

Are the margins going to be big enough?

How are we going to handle the check-in?

Can we make the mobile phone a scanable ticket without having to show a printed voucher?

I finally came to the conclusion after 4-months that it was just too risky.

The funny thing, is that if I was 25 like the guy I was back when I was younger, after 4-months I probably would have had the mobile app up and running and would have been beta testing it with 5 or more clients.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, who knows. I think the biggest thing that stopped me from building the mobile app was fear. I really wish though that I would have built the mobile app and tried to make it a go.

The great news is that TravelStartups.co is the project I chose instead to develop and build. I am very happy so far with the results. I love writing and helping people through my startup consultancy, especially travel entrepreneurs. I made the right decision.

How do you manage the fear?

I believe the best way is to take risks. I know this might sound a little crazy.

Risk taking manages fear creep and for me helps me accomplish.  

You don’t need to take big risks to manage fear you just need to take little steps and execute on your decisions.

Time is also another factor. There is infinite time to research, analyze and ponder things.

Try finding a shorter time frame than usual to make a decision and take a risk.

Example: If you normally take 3-4 months to research a new business or product, next time take 1-2 months. Shorten the amount of time that you normally take to make a decision. This is risky because it’s out of your norm.

Risk taking reduces fear creep.

You can try this exercise on a daily or weekly basis as well. Next time shorten your decision-making process and take a chance or risk and move forward with it. By doing this you’ll reduce the fear component and move quicker. Whether you’re successful or not will come about sooner than later and this is a good thing.

Recognize your fears, acknowledge them, speed-up your time frame to make a decision, take a risk.

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Can you help me connect or make an introduction? I am looking for the following for my clients. 

1. An e-commerce travel company that wants to increase sales to business travelers.

My client Apruve has a payment button that increases business traveler retention rates and helps small businesses easily manage their employees travel purchases. I am looking for two travel companies to work with.

2. A Meta Search Engine that displays airfare (like Kayak) that has a CPA advertising model not CPC.

My client Canadian360 is looking for new advertising opportunities to sell Canadian airfare. We love CPA deals.

3. Music bands that have a Facebook Fan Page and sell seats through SeatGeek.

My client Fantrotter has an amazing new app that will increase fan ticket purchases and travel to a bands shows and performances.

4. Travel Publishers with travel search engines and or comparison engines.

My client ClickTripz can increase your gross revenue up to 30%. We just layer onto of your existing search box and can be up in running in less than 24-hours.

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