Watch: How to Be Happy & Successful In Your Business

Sue Cooper, owner of Lazy Dog Adventures, shares her secret to success and happiness. (Psst … it starts with you.)
Participants:

Sue Cooper of Lazy Dog Adventures

 

 

 

 

Grow grow grow goes the corporate credo, but grow at any cost? Sue Cooper of Lazy Dog Adventures and the author of Millionaire in Flip Flops have a different message: you can grow a great business and have a balanced lifestyle.

After succeeding in a corporate business environment, Cooper woke up one day and realized she wanted to live on an island, hang with her dog, and own her business. 22 years later, Cooper’s Key West-based kayaking and stand-up paddle company is still thriving. The secret to her story starts—and ends—with people.

Watch this talk, presented at Arival Orlando 2019, and get ready for a healthy dose of inspiration.

Video Transcript

Alright, so thank you, everyone. My slide deck is a little bit different from everybody else’s. I just thought I’d throw in some pictures from last week at work. So I don’t want to make you too jealous up here. So, the first slide here, if you have a look, these are some of the most popular college classes in the last five years. And if you look, they’re all on happiness. In fact, Gail’s class on happiness is the number one attended class in the history of Yale. Also, the most sought after degree is in business.

So can you build this thriving business career and be happy and fulfilled? And so that was my question to myself about 23 years ago when I was working corporate. I was climbing the ladder pretty fast, having a great time learning as much as I can I absolutely loved everything about the business. And I want a big award, went out with my friends that night, celebrated, woke up in the morning. And as well as having a hangover, I also was absolutely miserable. And what I realized was, is this it like, I want more than just business, I want to have this wonderful life and be fulfilled and do the things that I love and travel. And I don’t want to sacrifice all that because of business. But I love business. I’m passionate about it. And so I went into my boss’s office on Monday, and I quit. And I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to live on an island and open my own business. So I moved to Key West is the closest island that still attached to the United States. So I figured I could make my parents a little bit happier with that one. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So like with anything anytime you don’t know what you want to do, you just say yes, if anyone’s seen the movie Yes man with Jim Carrey. He says yes to everything and his whole life changes. And so I thought, well, I’ll give that a try. I said yes to everything. And I ended up somehow owning a kayak company and I’d only ever kayak once before. Sorry. Well, I started a kayak company. I started from scratch.

And so since then, we’ve just celebrated 22 years I’ve been able to build kayak and paddleboard company as well as a lifestyle brand. Thanks to Amazon and Shopify, we’ve been able to grow outside of Key West have been able to host events, participate events, travel the country, and all the success I’ve had personally and professionally boils down to one thing and that’s people and the because this is a little bit more of a business conference. I’m going to really this the next little five minutes here to The three categories of people.

The first is putting yourself first, not the customer, and not your staff. And what I mean by this is every day showing up and setting the stage for the kind of day that you want to have for your staff, and for your customers, for your business and for your life. And to do that, you have to put yourself first. And it’s just like taking the first hour or two upon waking whenever that is and taking the time to work out because you need the energy to go about your day. If you’re going to be successful. You need to take time for yourself, the quiet time so you can focus on what it is that you want to do for the day with your goals. So much more clarity comes when you just have that time for yourself. You know, getting proper sleep, meditating, thinking about the thoughts that you put in your head because a lot of times 80% of our thoughts or repetitive actually sorry, 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% are negative. So it’s just changing your thoughts and changing your life and bringing your A-game every day. Because Can you imagine if you went into work, just grab a cup of coffee roll out of bed, you’re like, Oh, hey, guys.

So let’s get on with the day, let’s have a good day. All right. If you bring your B minus game, then your staff going to bring their maybe c minus game, and your customers aren’t going to have a good time. It’s really that simple. It’s about bringing the energy being responsible and setting the stage for the type of day you want to have personally and professionally. Bringing your A-game Don’t settle for a b minus. And so you guys don’t have to tell me.

But just take a little you know, check with yourself, and what is your score on a scale of one to 10?

  • Where do you stand?
  • Are you in a plus every day?
  • Or are you a b minus? Are you okay?

Bring it up b minus, because if you beat bring your B minus self to work, you’re bringing it to your relationships to your kids to everything that you do. And I don’t think anybody really wants to do that. And it’s the quickest and easiest way to change our lives, and also make a huge impact in our work environment. The second of the three most important people who come to your second is your staff, staff, and your team.

My dad wrote the leadership manual for IBM back in the 80s. And it was all about people back then. And he said, he told me back when I was young, that you can build any solid business off of two pillars, trust, and confidence. And so how do you bring trust and confidence to your staff? Well, first of all, anything you want to get from your staff, you have to deliver First, if you want them to work hard, you have to work hard if you want them to care, you have to care. But with trust and confidence, one of the things that I do is I give my staff full resources to be able to do their job at the best ability that they can do their job because I don’t want them to be great. Sue Cooper’s I want them to be great, Kathy Gilmore’s or Brian ever falls or hollien modos. I want them to be the best version of themselves and did not have to be like, hey, Sue, can we do this? Or hey, the customer says, Can I do that. And if you just give them the trust and confidence, and it’s really hard sometimes to be able to do that. But by doing so, the staff can excel and use their personality and the resources and the trust and the confidence to do their best job. And then, in turn, the customer is going to have that excellent, excellent experience.

Just on a side note, if any of us are doing well in the industry that we’re in, then you’re going to have competition, right? You’re doing something right. So you’re going to have a competition. And the way to set yourself apart is with people and the staff can make the face of your company, they can really make that happen. That’s that connection that you’re going to have with your customers and your customers are next right so your customers and they’re not first they’re right there. How can you make a difference with your customers? And what we do at lazy dog is I noticed on TripAdvisor that people were starting to write not just about our experience, but about everything and the people and from the pickup to how easy it is to book and how great the conversation is, with our emails, I mean everything. And so I thought, these people, they’re really connecting to us, not just the tour.

So on our busiest times of the day, I would actually hire more people to work so that everybody knew that if they are having a great connection with a customer at a time, it’s okay for you to sit on the picnic table right there and talk with them and connect, listen, connect, engage and share. That is the that’s the secret juice of customer satisfaction.

That’s the secret that’s going to bring people back because if they feel good, and doing that listening attention is like the greatest thing that we give each other and if you give the attention to your customers, they’re going to feel good. And really, ultimately, I know this is business, but it does come down to feelings.

Maya Angelou said,

People aren’t going to remember what you said and what you did. But they are gonna remember how you made them feel.

And so you want to make yourself feel good. By giving yourself that time that first couple of hours every day, you want your staff to feel good by giving them trust and confidence. And you want your customers to feel good by giving them attention, and listening, connecting, sharing, and engaging. And in doing so what’s going to happen is you’re going to feel good, your staff is going to feel good. So they’re going to want to continue to work for you. People are going to want to come and work for you. So it’s going to make hiring and retaining employees much easier. And customers are going to want to come back and they want to be part of your success. So it’s really again, up to you it’s bringing the 100% responsibility you into every single day and everything we do and so The conference is almost over. But I love to ask you guys I’m big on action plans. If you guys could just do one thing before you leave this hotel today, if you could just reach out to somebody, whether it be text in person, email, however you want to do it, call them and just let them know to make them feel good.

I could say to my Operations Manager Cassie, right back there, video and me. Thank you, Cassie, Kathy Gilmore. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to build a company the way it was because I trusted you. And you took care of a lot of stuff that I didn’t want to do. And, and so just reach out to somebody, do it today. And then do it every single day and make it a way of life because making people feel good is going to make people want to do business with your company. A second thing, last thing, guys, thank you. The last thing we’re going to bring the energy into this room so I would like everybody to stand up. And for the next 15 seconds. I want you guys to bring the A plus version of yourself into this room. Okay, I want you to be the energy you can scream. You can jump up but I want you guys to high five each other. I want you to feel good, go.

Awesome. You guys are awesome. Thank you so much!

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  4. Fire, burglary, vandalism, flood, or Natural Disaster causes the Ticketholder’s place of work to be unsuitable for normal business practice after the purchase of Tickets and within 48 hours of the Event.
  5. A Ticketholder’s or their Spouse’s job is relocated 100 miles or more from the Ticketholder’s primary residence. Accepting a new job with another employer is not considered relocation and does not qualify for a refund.
  6. A Ticketholder or their Spouse being laid off or terminated through no action or fault of their own, after at least 3 continuous years of permanent employment with the same employer. The termination must occur after the purchase date. Self-employed workers, volunteer workers, or any other unpaid workers do not qualify for a refund.
  7. A Ticketholder being required to serve jury duty or being served with a subpoena or court order requiring attendance in court the day the Event is scheduled, preventing the attendance of the Event.
  8. A minor Ticketholder being unable to attend an Event because the Ticketholder on whom they are dependent to take them to the Event is unable to take them due to one or more of the reasons listed above.

What We Will Not Refund

No refund will be provided as a result whether directly or indirectly of the following:

  1. Alcohol or substance abuse; or conditions or physical complications related thereto of a Ticketholder or a Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Member;
  2. Any general restrictions imposed on traveling or gathering as a result of COVID-19;
  3. Any consequence of war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolutions, insurrection, military or usurped power, riot, civil commotion strikes, lockout, terrorism, malicious intent or vandalism, confiscation or nationalization of or requisition or destruction of or damage to property by or under the order of any government or public or local authority;
  4. Nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination;
  5. Terrorism;
  6. Pollution or threat of pollutant release;
  7. Any unlawful acts committed by a Ticketholder or Ticketholder’s Immediate Family Members
  8. The Event being canceled by the venue or promoter for any reason (including bad weather);
  9. Lost or stolen Tickets;
  10. Dental treatment, except as a result of an Injury to sound natural teeth;
  11. Participation in any military service, maneuver or training exercise not overseas;
  12. Inability to obtain a visa required for travel;
  13. Making a false or fraudulent refund application or support a refund application by false or fraudulent document, device, or statement;
  14. Submitting your refund request more than 45 days after the Event;
  15. Any expected or foreseeable events not listed under the What We Will Refund section

General Conditions

  • You must provide sufficient documentation to verify your refund request falls under one or more of the reasons listed in the What We Will Refund section.
  • You must make all necessary arrangements to arrive at the event on time.
  • You must not be aware of any material fact, matter or circumstance, at the time the refund protection was purchased, which may give rise to a refund request.
  • You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent or reduce any request for a refund

Unless we agree otherwise:

  • The language of this document and all communications relating to it will be English; and
  • All aspects of the contract, including negotiation and performance, are subject to English laws and the decisions of English courts.

Definitions

  • Accident means an unexpected, unintended, unforeseeable event.
  • Active Military Duty means serving in the armed forces.
  • Common Carrier means an entity licensed to carry passengers for hire by air, or on land or water. Common Carrier does not include vehicle rental companies.
  • COVID-19 means Coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Test means any positive test for COVID-19 that can be evidenced and requires a Ticketholder to self-isolate.
  • Event means an experience or a series of experiences, with specified or expiration dates, that a Ticketholder reserves, registers, attends, or participates in such as sports, performing arts, camps, tournaments, conferences, lodging, specialized classes, spa treatments, or other similar experiences.
  • Illness means a sickness, infirmity, or disease that begins after the Ticket is purchased, which prevents the Ticketholder from attending the Event, and is not a Pre-existing Condition.
  • Immediate Family Member means a Ticketholder’s spouse, parent, child, foster child, stepchild or child-in-law.
  • Injury means bodily injury caused by an Accident, directly and independently of all other causes and sustained on or after the purchase date and before the Event Date.
  • Mechanical Breakdown means a mechanical issue that prevents a vehicle from being driven, a flat tire requiring professional roadside assistance, or a vehicle becoming inoperable. Mechanical breakdown does not include running out of fuel, the need for routine maintenance, or inoperability because of lost, unavailable, or stolen keys.
  • Natural Disaster means flood, wildfire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, blizzard, or avalanche that is due to natural causes.
  • Physician means a licensed/qualified medical practitioner who is practicing within the scope of his or her license/qualification and who is licensed to prescribe and administer medication and to perform surgery that is appropriate for the condition and locality. A Physician does not include someone residing in Your home, an Immediate Family Member, or Your in-laws (parent, child, sibling), aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or legal guardian.

Refund means:

  • Money returned to You by the supplier;
  • Any credit or voucher for future events You receive or are entitled to receive from the supplier; or
  • Any credits, recoveries, or reimbursements You receive or are entitled to receive from Your employer, a credit card issuer, or any other institution.
  • Spouse means a Ticketholder’s lawful spouse as defined by law and includes civil unions and domestic partners.
  • Ticket means the registration or reservation required to attend or participate in an Event and paid for in full by You. A ticket is deemed used once the Ticketholder attends any part of the Event.
  • Ticket Cost means the total amount paid for one Ticket, including any prorated taxes, fees, and shipping costs. Ticket Cost does not include costs added after the refund protection has been provided.
  • Ticketholder means the person to whom this ticket is issued and has an incidence of ownership under this ticket. Ticketholder does not include a Ticket Reseller.
  • Ticket Reseller means a person or entity that buys tickets for the purpose of resale and includes any marketplace designed to facilitate such resale. Ticket Reseller includes ticket scalpers and ticket brokers.

THE “GLOBAL REFUND PROGRAM” IS A PROGRAM OF JSV EVENTS LIMITED WITH REIMBURSEMENTS MADE BY VERICLAIMS, INC. POWERED BY FANSHIELD INTERNATIONAL, LLC AS AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF JSV EVENTS LIMITED (REGISTRATION NO 10712264)

Welcome to Arival!

Arival is pleased to welcome all of its international attendees to the USA and would like to make the process as seamless as possible.

If you are traveling to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less, you may be eligible to visit the US without a visa if your country is participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Visitor Visa

Overview

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

Learn more about  Business Travel to the United States  (PDF – 362 KB) on a visitor visa.

  • Tourism
  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Learn more about  Visitor Visas – Business and Pleasure   (PDF – 1020 KB).

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:
  • Study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Permanent residence in the United StatesThese are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:
    • Study
    • Employment
    • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
    • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
    • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
    • Permanent residence in the United States

How to Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

Complete the Online Visa Application

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant.

If you are age:Then an interview is:
13 and youngerGenerally not required
14-79Required (some exceptions for renewals)
80 and olderGenerally not required

You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:

Visa Appointment Wait Times

Advance travel planning and early visa application are important. If you plan to apply for a nonimmigrant visa to come to the United States as a temporary visitor, please click the button below to go to https:/travel.state.gov where you will find a helpful tool that allows you to look up Visa Appointment Wait Times by U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Prepare for Your Interview

  • Fees – Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality.

Click here to see all information about Fees for Visa Services.


  • Review the instructions available on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to learn more about fee payment.

Gather Required Documentation

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
  • Invitation Letter: If you are in need of an invitation letter in support of your visa application, please email [email protected] with your full name (as it appears on your passport), your passport number, and email address. We will respond within 3 business days.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip,
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

Attend Your Visa Interview

A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa, or if another category is more appropriate for your purpose of travel.  You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing.  The consular officer will inform you if this required.

After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you.  Review the visa processing times to learn more.

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided (Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States.

Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

If your plans change while in the United States (for example, you marry a U.S. citizen or receive an offer of employment), you may be able to request a change in your nonimmigrant status to another category through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

While you are in the United States, receiving a change of status from USCIS does not require you to apply for a new visa.  However, once you depart the United States you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the appropriate category for your travel.

Additional Information

An individual on a visitor visa (B1/B2) is not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.

  • There is no guarantee you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Further Questions

  • Case-Specific Questions – Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your visa application for status information. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate for contact information.
  • General Questions – review Contact Us.

What type of Company Are You?

The diverse Arival community includes everyone in tours, activities, attractions and experiences.

Operator company types include: Active/Adventure, Food & Drink, Sightseeing, Cultural, Classes, Recreational and/or Wellness, Tour Guides and Tour Directors, Attractions, Resorts, Experience Hosts and Transportation Companies.

Small Operator

For companies that create, operate, or sell tours/attractions with LESS than $250,000 USD revenue in your last fiscal year.

Med/Large Operator​

For companies that create, operate, or sell tours/attractions with GREATER than $250,000 USD revenue in your last fiscal year.

All Other Companies​

Includes: Distribution / Reseller (OTA, Wholesaler, Local, GDS, Travel Agent, etc.), DMO or CVB’s, DMC’s, Technology, Marketing / Advertising Agency, Training & Education, Consultants, Association / Not for Profits, and all others.

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