Tracy Komlos is the CEO of Pangea Dreams, the industry leader in entrepreneurial and creative women’s educational retreats. They bring women together from across the globe to explore bucket-list destinations while developing new skills and collaborating with like-minded creatives. As a startup consultant, photographer and branding expert, Tracy brings her experience and knowledge to women who are ready to live the life of their dreams and connect to other women with fierce, entrepreneurial ambition. Her mission is to create a global community of thought leaders who are lifting each other up through education, empowerment, and collaboration.
Tracy joins the podcast to talk about how she built Pangea Dreams, actionable advice for those who want to host retreats for their own audiences, how to identify when it’s time to pivot in your business, the power of bringing women together in a community and so much more.
Before starting Pangea Dreams retreats, you started as an influencer – what is your story behind that?
“It started when I was in university, every opportunity I had to travel I would, and I always had my camera with me.” Tracy reminisces, “I was accumulating these amazing photos from my travels, and then one day a friend of mine was like “you’re posting so many FB photo albums and nobody looks at them. There’s this new app called Instagram, you should check it out.”
“At that time, nobody knew the powerhouse of what Instagram would become!” Tracy used to share her travel photos on Instagram as an easy way to share stories with friends and family. After that, she noticed she started growing a following and at 5-8K followers found brands were starting to reach out to her for contra content creation.
“Nobody around me was doing that so I had no one to refer to and was learning as I was going. After a year, I realized I was doing a lot of (unpaid) work for those companies. That was my turning point of realization, that brands were desperate for user-generated, authentic content and promotion.” So, Pangea Dreams was born. Tracy first built the brand as a production company to work with small brands who couldn’t afford their own location photographic production. “That’s how I got paid to travel the world and also had the opportunity to work with some incredible companies very early on.”
The Power of Building a Community of Women
Tracy was visiting amazing places when the terms ‘influencer’ and ‘content creator’ were just beginning. “Every time I posted a photo, people, specifically women, were asking ‘What are you doing? How are you doing this?’ What is this lifestyle that you have created and how is this possible?” Meanwhile, Tracy was also getting questions like “When are you going to get a real job and contribute to the world?”
“After feelings of loneliness, defending myself and people not understanding I started to think ‘there have to be other women out there, that are interested in the things I am and want to do what I’m doing or maybe already are, but I don’t know where they are.” So in 2016, Tracy asked her online community if they wanted to connect. “I posted ‘Hey guys, I’m hosting a blogger retreat if anyone wants to come.’ I’d never been on any retreats before and the concept of what we were creating didn’t really exist. In two weeks I sold out 3 back-to-back retreats in Bali. I had 16 women flying from across the world to come and join me there, that’s basically how it started!”
How did you know that making that shift from influencer to retreats was right?
I started Pangea Dreams 5 years ago, but I think the shift for me really changed 2 years ago. I’m very much a heart focused person, if something doesn’t feel right I don’t do it. I reached a point where I was no longer feeling inspired by Instagram and the word ‘Influencer’ gave me a bad feeling.” So Tracy decided to go headfirst into entrepreneurship and shares the steps she took in the podcast.
Do you have any pointers for people who want to sell retreats to their audiences?
“I think it’s really important to talk to your community because people tell you what they want and that will help you create something even more amazing.” In the episode, Tracy shares her thoughts on the importance of feedback and sharing with your community, without a scarcity mindset.
“I’d also suggest, for the first one, to choose a location you’re comfortable with and you’ve been to before.” She adds because this helps you to plan logistics easier. “The more you do, the more you’ll understand how to plan.”
How do you know what revenue streams are right for each individual woman attending your retreats?
Tracy explains, in the episode, how encouraging others to recognize their skills, strengths, and passions enables them to talk about creating a business around them, in both passive and active income forms.
“Once we have a clear idea of everyone’s goals and interests, passions, and skills, then we can work on what suits them. It’s super individual.” Tracy highlights, “What I find is, often, people take for granted what they’re good at, because we just think that everyone is really good at it. It’s really about empowering these women to take ownership of what they’re amazing at. Then, how to manage the business.”
What is your perspective on how Influencers can improve this industry and leave a valuable footprint?
“First and foremost, always ask yourself if what you’re doing is adding value.” Tracy starts, “and truly being authentic to yourself.” In the podcast, Tracy shares how the influencer world can develop a copy cat mentality, which leads to losing uniqueness and triggers of imposters syndrome (none of us enjoy that).
“Don’t do things for likes or to get followers. Instead, do things to engage your audience that is there right now. It doesn’t matter whether you have 500 or 100,000 followers because we’re also seeing a big shift in the industry now where micro-influencers have a lot of power.”
“Your value as a human and your talent as a creator has nothing to do with your following! So don’t discredit what you have to offer. It’s about value and authenticity, and what you can do to serve others. So put your best foot forward, and don’t be afraid to share what you want to talk about.” (We love that!)
In this inspiring episode of Her Life, By Design, Tracy shares more actionable advice for those who want to host retreats for their own audiences. As well as, types of passive and active income streams, Pangea Dream’s exciting plans for the future and so many more encouraging pep talks! Tune in to get your inspiration flowing.
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Pangea Dreams’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pangeadreams
Tracy’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracykomlos/
Pangea Dreams: https://pangeadreams.com/
FREE Guide to 100 Platforms that Pay Influencers: shorturl.at/GPU67