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Meet Victoria Falk of Passionate Travel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Falk.

Victoria, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The trauma of losing my brother, Irving Falk, who died on my birthday, on Dec. 9, 2007, seemed too much to handle. Three months later my mother, Isabella Falk, died after long suffering and illness. I suffered severe depression and anxiety as a result of my losses. Then I threw myself into my work to numb the emotional pain.

At that time, I was employed as a Social Work Supervisor and the irony of getting paid to help others pull there lives together and not being able to get mine in order also weighed heavily on me. I worked long hours at the office and took work home with me. I worked on days I was supposed to be off work. I worked myself sick. I started getting sharp pains on the side of my neck, muscle spasms in my back and developed an irregular heartbeat. Then one fateful visit to my doctor changed my life.

I went to my doctor to get relief from my pain. She ran all types of tests and couldn’t find anything physically wrong with me. Then she asked me to tell her about my day. As I spoke about my work day, while connected to an EKG machine, she was able to see the problem. The doctor looked me in the eyes and said, “Ms. Falk, I know you love your job. But your job is killing you.”

Instead of wallowing in depression and anxiety, and risking my health; I found a way to reclaim my life. On the anniversary of my brother’s death, Dec. 9, 2008, I honored his memory by starting my travel business – Passionate Travel Inc. I didn’t have any experience in travel or in business at that time. But my brother used to encourage me to start a business and I held on to the knowledge that he believed I could be successful in business.

The first trip I planned was a group cruise to the Bahamas. I was so scared I almost gave up. What if nobody wants to go on the trip? What if people go and they don’t like it? What if I mess everything up because I don’t know what to do? These were all the thoughts in my head. But I moved forward anyway. The participants had a great time and asked me to plan more trips.

I began studying travel and business because I wanted to be really good at what I was doing. Eventually in 2011, I was able to retire from social work to run my travel business full time. I transformed my life through travel and used my travel business to encourage others to live a happy, healthy, more productive life through travel. My excitement about travel led me to teach others how they too can start their own home-based travel business.

Over the years, I’ve been blessed to win numerous awards for business achievement and community leadership in regards to my work with Passionate Travel Inc. I’ve won bonus checks, 5-star vacations, trophies, and other prizes. My role as CEO of Passionate Travel Inc. has opened up other opportunities for me. In addition to running my travel business full-time, I am a Speaker. Travel Writer. Radio Host, Event Coordinator, Author, and Vice President of the African-American International Chamber of Commerce. My goal is to help as many people as I can to live a happier, healthier, more productive life through travel. I want to teach as many people as I can how they too can become travel business owners and be successful entrepreneurs.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to success has been far from smooth. Initially, I struggled with confidence issues. But the more I studied travel and put what I learned into action, my confidence increased. I acquired mentors along the way and joined the African-American International Chamber of Commerce so I could become knowledgeable about business.

When my confidence increased and I started winning contests set by my travel network, I had to deal with the jealousy and envy of some of my peers. I remember one travel convention I attended where I had the honor of being interviewed by the founder of the company. Before it was time for me to go on stage, one of my colleagues approached me in the bathroom to give me the list of why, according to her, people didn’t like me. I’m thinking, “Is she serious?” I had all of these personal struggles I was challenged with on a daily basis but still had people upset because they thought my life was too easy.

I was even physically attacked by a young lady I was mentoring in the travel business following an event. Her admiration for me turned into envy and jealousy. While I was truly trying to help her succeed, she became tired of hearing about my wins and tried to paint a negative view of me amongst my peers until finally the travel network told her to stop. But that was a devastating experience for me and for a long time I didn’t want to mentor anyone else for fear of having similar problems. But in time, I learned how to be more discerning and allow the right people into my personal space.

Then there were some people who simply did not take me seriously as a business owner. I wasted time talking to men who I thought were interested in starting travel businesses, but instead were more interested in having a sexual relationship with me. “If I’m going to work with you, I expect to have sex with you”, one man said. “So I guess we won’t be working together”, I said. On another occasion, I was pouring out all my skills to do a travel presentation, only to have a man look at me and say, “You’re sexy. I want to be with you.” “Where did that come from? Did you hear anything I said. I’m talking to you about business”, I responded.

In addition, my nephew, father, and brother died since I started my business. In addition to that stress, I have one brother who almost died following a severe stroke and another brother who was temporarily hospitalized due to complications due to diabetes. I had to learn how to maintain my business while dealing with crises.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Passionate Travel Inc – what should we know?
Passionate Travel Inc is a full-service travel company. I book all types of travel for individuals and groups. Passionate Travel Inc is also affiliated with Surge365 travel network. I recruit new members and new business partners through the travel network.

I specialize in group travel and travel to the Caribbean.

I’m most known for my participation in vendor events. Any chance I get, I will have an exhibitor table set up at popup shops, networking events, business expos, etc., where I am talking to people about the benefits of taking a vacation are and owning an online home-based travel business.

I’m most proud of the quality of the events I’ve been able to participate in including a trade mission to the Caribbean, the U.S.-Africa Business Expo, and the Multicultural International Business Expo.

What sets me apart is that I’ve been able to utilize what I’ve learned about business through my connection to the African-American International Chamber of Commerce to dispell the negative view many people have about network marketing. I’m teaching people that when you belong to a network marketing company and take the time to study business and marketing – that the overall experiences for the business owners and clients will be much better.

I create one of a kind customized tours for my travel customers. Plus, Passionate Travel Inc is a Community Partner for a health insurance company. I attend Community Health and Wellness Expos, where I teach people the overall benefits of taking a vacation on your physical and mental health. I’ve become a happier, healthier, and more productive person since regular vacations have become a part of my lifestyle. I use Passionate Travel Inc to encourage and teach others how they can do the same.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
A determined spirit has been most important to my success. I dedicated my business to the loving memory of my deceased brother and quitting is not an option for me.

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