If you haven't heard of World Ventures yet, you soon will. These are the guys with the blue signs that read 'You should be here!'. You might have seen a few pics on Facebook or have been invited to a 'Travel Party' by a friend where you will see people frolicking in crystal clear blue waters, grinning from ear to ear. Sure it seems all nice and rosy, but is the experience as awesome as the brochure? What is it really like being on a DreamTrip? Can you really get super awesome travel and make a few dollars? I wanted to find out, so being into marketing I decided to do some primary research. This blog is a frank assessment of my test experience with the whole World Ventures business.
To set some context, I first saw this new travel concept over a year ago while on a training course with a great guy Trav Bell AKA "The Bucketlist Guy'. Trav joined World Ventures during the course and mentioned it briefly, but didn't pitch it to us. I noticed a few things on his social media but didn't think much about it. I was very focused on growing my business, Social Star, so travel wasn't on my radar. I was already working hard at work plus taking care of two kids and didn't need something else to focus on.
Months later I was meeting up with a friend and client of mine Tory Trewhitt 'The Health Bloke' and we started talking about it as we both did Trav's course. Tory is super successful in business and has more kids than me so I asked him why he was in it. His reasons were similar to mine: more time with the kids, take more breaks from work to live your life and earn some extra income on the side. Sound tempting, but what do you have to do to get it?
I joined up for a small upfront fee and started learning about the business. The team was pretty cool and super motivated, but I wanted to experience it for myself before I mentally went all in. I attended a 1 day training session on the business plus personal motivation, which was excellent - a good start. Then I met people who had achieved huge success in this business and were living an amazing life - that pissed me off! You can read about that here.
These people are called the RAT pack; Retired At Twenty. It's funny how people react when you see people who have been successful in something, especially so young. You want to find the problem with the concept to minimise what they have achieved and explain why you don't have that yet . Oh that's a one off, sure because he doesn't have kids he can do it, it's a scam! blah blah blah. These are just excuses. These guys, and others, proved the company is reliable and business model does work. But more importantly would it work for me?
Understanding the Model
People still freak out about any business that involves person to person sales. Like we don't have to sell in our daily lives. Pfft..I help people develop a Powerful Personal Brand which is basically selling yourself for a job, a board position, a client, a partner, a staff member. We are always selling something but we don't think of it that way.
Yet still the multi level marketing (MLM) bashers yell loud. Google World Ventures and there are plenty of bloggers who are negative about it without any credible information. Sure they may not like the business for some reason, just like people bash Telcos - doesn't mean my phone doesn't work. What does matter is evidence of success. Tupperware was one of the original MLMs established 1946, listed on the NYSE for US$49 and 2nd most respected home business in America according to Fortune magazine. Yet people still freak out just by the model. But why?
My experience of working for a family business, large global corporations, Universities and running my own business has taught me one thing. You have a good product, treat people well and work hard and you get successful. The marketing model of a business does not define it as I wrote about here. The industry dynamics, company culture and product quality does. So once I got over that barrier myself I enrolled a few friends and made a little cash. But I had one last test - the product.
Bali Comparison: Andy booking Vs DreamTrip
One thing you should know is I hate booking travel. Having 20 tabs open with all the different search engines trying to compare flights and accommodation isn't my idea of a good night in. I'd rather be jumping out of a plane or playing monopoly with my kids.
I wanted to go on my first DreamTrip and A/B test the product so I put the work in and booked myself a trip to Bali using two different systems. For the first 3 nights I would book as I normally do with a variety of apps. The second 3 nights I would book a DreamTrip.
Agoda was my product of choice and booked 3 nights at the four star Grand Inna Kuta. I had never been to the touristy part so wanted to give it a go. It was A$428.22 including breakfast which was the best deal I could find. Great location right on the beach and food was pretty good but no coffee that was drinkable. Coming from Melbourne this doesn't cut it. Room was small and a bit dated and didn't look like the brochure at all which was disappointing. However, the pools were awesome and so close to the main strip so had a great time. Overall a great trip - Andy's rating 7/10.
Then we made our way to Nusa Dua for the DreamTrip. We arrived and the resort was impressive, 5 stars and beautiful. We were greeted with the World Ventures staff, no lining up at the check in desk. Our room was ready early and they gave us t-shirts, sarongs, wine and maps - very personal. Not a bad start.
Next we arrived at our room and it was double the size of the previous one. Huge shower, separate stone bath and get this FREE mini bar! Who does that? We rest and then go to the welcome dinner especially for DreamTip people. Gourmet buffet with free drinks, lucky I was thirsty! Being the only Aussies there we were last to leave, making sure we got our value haha
Second day we have our free breakfast and good coffee, thank God. Then on the bus for a full day tour of the island. I'm not much for group tours, especially with a tour guide yelling in my ear all day. But being my third trip to Bali, I saw more that day than any other trip I did by myself. Great lunch (with beer) followed by another cracking dinner. Did I mention the police escort to ensure we didn't get caught in traffic?
Third day and optional tour to Ubud, lunch and another dinner. These guys just don't stop! So much eating and drinking I put on almost 2kg even though I ran every day.
Cost for the DreamTrip US$453.60 for two people. So for about the same price we had a VIP experience, 2x lunches, 3x dinners, 2x day trips, airport transfers and mini bar. Not bad. In fact it reminded me of all the overseas corporate travel I did in the old days. Pay nothing and be treated like a king! - Andy's rating 9/10.
Summary: World Ventures Evaluation
Being in an organisation like this isn't for everyone. Some don't like sharing ideas, taking trips or being part of a large group. But for others who can see past the MLM tag to what the company really offers will benefit from the experience. Better travel at affordable prices, make a few dollars if you want to at your own pace and in your own way.
However, the real benefit that seems lost in all the discussion is this. The philosophy of World Ventures (and digital nomad movement) is not to have a part time job and travel on your 2-4 weeks leave a year. It's to make available a business system that will enable you not to work 9-5 at all. If you treat the business with respect and work hard, you are able to leave your job and spent your time as you like. Work when you want. Travel often and earn a high salary. Isn't that worth sharing with people who would appreciate a change?
Of course not everyone will be successful. That's the same with sports, business and life. But those that want to change their lives bad enough will open their minds, learn the facts and get on-board. I think Steve Job's said it best,
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
I just started with World Ventures, it's one part of my five year plan to retire early, have more time with my kids and help others. Join me here and I will keep you updated with how it goes.
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