Meet Kevin Mercier, the founder of this travel blog. He’s been traveling around the world and documenting it with photos & written words for the past five years while working a 9 to 5 job. His main goal is to inspire you to travel more, make you discover new places, and help you travel better.
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Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Kevin Mercier: It all started back in 2015, with four parkour friends, we spent 3 weeks in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore where we filmed 3 parkour videos, captured tons of breathtaking photos, and slept in hammocks in the streets. This was the starting point of my addiction to travel and photography. At this point, I created an Instagram account to share my photos, and currently have more than 100k followers on Instagram. Later I decided to create a blog to share my travel stories, guides, and tips. My dream is to be a full-time travel blogger! currently do this as a side project; I use my days off from work to travel and work on the blog. I’d love to do this full-time, and be able to travel more around the world.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Kevin Mercier: It sure wasn’t easy, starting from scratch with no experience in the travel industry and hardly having any financial resources to meet my travel expenses. Before getting a full-time job as a project manager, it was difficult to fund my travel expenses. Saving every single penny and borrowing money from friends and family to explore different countries. Although many of my friends and family members thought I was just wasting my time, they still decided to help me out. I believe I might have given up a long time ago if I wasn’t so passionate about doing what I love. I’m glad I didn’t! even after not having enough money, I decided to stick to my passion. In times like these, it’s important to be resilient and believe in yourself. Eventually, you will succeed.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. What’s the worst advice you received?
Kevin Mercier: One of the worst pieces of advice that I received was to become a travel agent, because after all, as a travel blogger I was already doing half the work. Honestly, the idea might not seem that bad, selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, and, tours, but where’s the fun in that. I travel to different countries for the experience, to meet new people, to explore different cultures. I travel because it has always been my dream to become a full-time travel blogger.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Kevin Mercier: Resilience can simply be defined as the ability to bounce back when one encounters difficult situations that are an inevitable part of life. Resilience is crucial for an entrepreneur in these difficult times, it’s important to understand that failures are part of the business, and learning from one’s failures and managing crisis situations will allow you to grow your business in a much more positive way.
When you think of your company, 5 years from now, what do you see?
Kevin Mercier: My dream is to become a full-time travel blogger, this is currently a side project, I use my days off from work to travel and work on the blog. After 6 years of blogging, I have visited 24 and in the coming five years I’m hoping to double that figure, visit more countries, meet new people, and, explore their unique cultures.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Kevin Mercier: The three most important character traits include:
- Passion – What necessity is to the inventor, passion is to a successful business leader. If you’re not passionate about your business, how can you motivate yourself over the long haul? before running a business, you need to be passionate about it.
- Hard work and determination – A successful business leader is always determined and hardworking. Every business goes through problems and difficult times, it’s essential for the leader, to work hard, set an example, and push the business out of those difficult times and guide it towards the path of success.
- Risk-Taking ability – A successful business leader knows exactly when to take risks, and must have the ability to foresee which risks will be beneficial or harmful to the company. This includes setting up a plan b, in case of any mishap.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Kevin Mercier: I believe the most important thing I’ve learned about personal branding was growing your presence online. This is how most people found my business and became aware of my travel guides. With so many social media tools available, focusing only on Instagram and Facebook is not enough, and it’s important that your story should match across all platforms, once you know where your targeted audience is most likely to turn, you can increase your efforts in telling your best story there.
How would you define “leadership”?
Kevin Mercier: I believe that being a leader is not just about ordering people around. being a leader entails setting examples for your employees to follow and setting realistic goals.
It also means to be benevolent and caring of your team and their mental health. A happy workforce is an effective workforce and a good leader ensures that their team is mentally in a good place. By following these guidelines, I believe played a significant role in helping my business survive.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Kevin Mercier: The one and most important thing advice that I would give to today’s youngsters is to always do what you love. There’s no point in starting your own business if you have no passion for what you do. You need to be passionate about your product or service. The most successful startups are founded by people who were passionate about what they did, and believe it or not, most of those startups are now worth billions of dollars. When your ideas are based on something you truly love, I can assure you that you’ll be more focused and motivated. Better yet, you’ll bring in your own knowledge and personal experiences that are the key ingredients to helping you find a unique angle to help you succeed
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Kevin Mercier: “There Are No Mistakes Or Failures, Only Lessons”- Denis Waitley
This is one of my favorite quotes. It helped me see things more positively and from a completely different angle. You will fail, you will make mistakes, but failing and making mistakes is an inevitable part of life. But it’s not about how you fail or how many mistakes you make, what matters are the lessons you learn from your failure and how those lessons help you improve and move forward.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kevin Mercier for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kevin Mercier or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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