Reflections on Starting a Small Business in Miles and Points

Back in July I spoke at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit on a panel about Chris’ new book the $100 Startup.

What I didn’t realize is that the panel was taped and the session is available on Vimeo.

This isn’t a miles and points talk, rather I spoke along with several other folks who were case studies in the book about starting up a business on your own without capital, about the challenges of making it work.

In my own case I was a bit different than the others on the panel, since my startup award booking service is a part-time endeavor, I didn’t quit my job — a great approach for the more conservative types out there, pursue your passions on top of your employment rather than taking the risks of plunging into it without a safety net (I’ve kept my job because I like it but it’s still liberating to have a ‘side business’ that could easily replace the full-time job).

A couple of things I mentioned, though, that some will find useful:

  • On figuring out your niche, how you add value, and what you can do that others will pay you for — It’s the questions people ask you over and over again that tell you what you’re perceived as an expert in.

  • And the single best piece of advice in all of travel, that readers of this blog mostly already know — If you don’t get the answer you want, call back.

Here’s the full 45 minute panel discussion:

It was a great time talking from the stage in front of 1000 people and hope that folks listening got something out of the shared experiences.

I’ll be back speaking at the World Domination Summer in July this coming year, which should be another fantastic event.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ll be honest, I skipped to just the parts you participated in. It was a good watch. Hope to meet you at FTU this week.

  2. I was at WDS and greatly enjoyed your presentation. Like you, I’ll be back at WDS this July — it’s an amazing event, even for those of us pushing 50!

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