The Power of Human Connection: How Samantha Patil is Transforming the Travel Industry

S.Amantha Patil, Co-Founder and CEO of Well traveled, is committed to transforming the travel industry by creating a member-only social platform designed for the modern traveler.

Samantha had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. She knew she was destined to build something much bigger than herself, which ultimately manifested itself in her company Well Traveled. With the power of a member-only community, trusted recommendations, and intuitive planning tools, Samantha and Well Traveled are transforming the way people discover, plan, and book travel.

We asked Samantha about the toughest and most rewarding parts of her entrepreneurial journey, how it has grown over the years, and what’s next for Well Traveled.

Q: What makes Well Traveled different from other companies in the industry?

A: Like many entrepreneurs, the idea for Well Traveled came from a personal pain point. It’s no secret that finding relevant, trustworthy travel recommendations can be both frustrating and time consuming. It is important to note that today’s consumers make decisions based on their friends and their social network. The biggest travel companies in the world don’t seem to get this, so I decided to do something about it. Well Traveled is a social platform designed for the modern traveler. That said, we make it easier for you to find recommendations from fellow travelers who share your personal tastes, preferences, and budget, with real reviews from fellow foodies, taste makers, and adventure seekers.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

A: Yes and no. I love building things – always have. So you could say that I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. And while I believe that I didn’t “always know” that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I knew that I was meant to create something. I actually had a number of business ideas before starting Well Traveled. Some were interesting; others were terrible. When I developed the first concept for Well Traveled, it just clicked. It felt different and still does because I’m building something really special.

Q: What was the hardest and most rewarding part of your business journey?

A: I would say the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey is that she can isolate herself at times, especially as a female co-founding team in a male-dominated industry. I realized early on that I had to find a supportive network of female co-founders and I am so grateful for the incredible network of supportive women that I have around me.

The most rewarding part is without a doubt the comments we receive from our members. Hearing how excited they are about what we’ve built is so motivating. It is so satisfying to know that we have created something of value for others and that they are so passionate about it. It affirms and inspires us as a company and team.

Q: As an entrepreneur, do you struggle with self-doubt? How do you navigate that?

Answer: Of course! I think self-doubt is a part of being human, but I think it’s something that women in particular struggle with. If I ever feel anxious or struggle with self-doubt, I take a step back and see what is going on in my head. I reset my thoughts because thoughts turn into beliefs that turn into feelings that turn into actions. I remember who I am, why I do what I do and what I have already achieved. I remember that “everything is predictable”, my favorite line from Marie Forleo. Then I get up and get active, even if it’s something small. Action is the quickest route to clarity. Taking action helps combat indecision and fear. I also learned that the more measures I take, the more confident I am and the more momentum I get.

Samantha Patil on a mountain

Q: We challenge you to brag: What accomplishments are you most proud of? How do you celebrate successes along the way?

A: If I’m being honest, I’m notoriously bad at celebrating victories. It’s something that I’m working on. Today I am celebrating big and small successes. I think a team helped because I want to make sure they do too. On Fridays we have a team meeting where each of us shares an “oh sh * t” moment of the week and a win we’re looking forward to. I hope that this way we can admit our mistakes and celebrate our victories together.

Q: How have you grown as a leader since starting Well Traveled? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

A: I’m still learning a lot, but I’ve always believed that a good leader is to hire and avoid smart people. That can feel uncomfortable. I am learning to sit in this discomfort, knowing that as our business grows, I will no longer be as in the weeds as I used to be. A big part of my job as a leader is to motivate and inspire our team to remove blockages for them and prepare them for great things. We focus on creating a community for our customers. As a manager, it is also important to me to create a sense of community for our team.

Q: What would you say to the younger you if you started your entrepreneurial journey all over again? What’s next for you and Well Traveled?

A: Trust your gut instinct, believe in your strength and remember, everything is predictable. My entrepreneurial journey has been exciting, frustrating, inspiring, humiliating, and sometimes all at the same time. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m so excited about what our team has achieved in such a short amount of time, but I’m even more excited about what’s to come. Our goal is to change the way we discover, plan and book travel by harnessing the power of community and human connection. And we’re just getting started.

Samantha is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a private collective that empowers the entrepreneurial endeavors of exceptional women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connections, and access. Learn more above Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their monthly Digestion for top corporate and career resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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