In the monthly Female Founder Spotlight series, I interview inspiring female entrepreneurs, business owners, and bloggers, asking them about how they got their businesses to where they are today. In this interview, we meet Christina Vidal.
Christina Vidal is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger, and founder of the swimsuit line Watercolors Swim. She’s been to 61 countries and counting, showcasing the world’s most beautiful and exotic locales on her blog Jetset Christina. If you follow her on Instagram, you know she can almost always be found in a bikini at a dreamy 5-star resort with a glass of wine in her hand. Coming from a background in corporate marketing and branding, Christina has turned her shameless love for travel, swimwear, wine, and all things luxury into a thriving business and one of the most authentic and useful travel blogs on the internet today.
What is the one book that you would recommend to every aspiring female entrepreneur?
Shoe Dog. It’s written by the founder of Nike and is hands down the best and most entertaining business book I’ve ever read.
What behavior or habit have you adopted that has had the biggest impact on your business?
Learning from absolutely everyone, and everything. I love surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs. Whether someone is in a different industry, or if they are in the same industry as I am, there is SO much to learn from other entrepreneurs going through similar journeys as your own. I can say without a doubt I wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if it weren’t for others helping me, and inspiring me, along the way.
What’s one monthly subscription you could not live without?
My Netflix subscription. I put on Friends every time I need to decompress or get my mind off of the business. I watch it on a constant loop.
What advice would you give to your younger self in relation to life and work?
- Don’t settle for anything less than extraordinary.
- Put your time in. You’re working toward your dream, even if you don’t know what that dream looks like yet. One moment, one introduction, one lesson, one decision can completely change the course of your life. Never say no to an opportunity.
- Make new friends. All the time. Some of your best friends 5 years from now you don’t even know right now.
- Go out of your way to help people achieve their dreams. Because one day you’ll need their help in achieving yours.
- Don’t be afraid to change course if your gut is telling you something. Be “micro-ambitious” every day – If you’re too busy focusing too far in front of you, you won’t be able to see the shiny things in the corner of your eye, that can end up leading to the big things that change your life.
What is something that happened to you or your business, that felt disappointing at the time that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?
I’m honestly such an optimist, I really don’t get disappointed often. I mean how can you when you’re getting paid to travel the world and live a life you’ve always dreamed of? I feel like I’m constantly so grateful to be living my dream, so I never get disappointed by JetsetChristina.
That being said, I guess if I had to pick something I’d say that when everyone started growing like CRAZY on Instagram (many due to buying followers and shady tactics) and my following just steadily grew at the same pace it always has, I originally felt like I was doing something wrong, like all these other influencers had it figured out and I was missing something – but in the end I realized the quality of your community is so much more important than the number of followers you have.
I can have 100 followers but if those 100 people are actually booking the hotels I’m recommending, buying the products I’m using, and turning to me for their travel and lifestyle questions, then that’s SO much more valuable than 200K BS followers who aren’t even really paying attention. When I look at the quality of the community I’ve built over time, not taking shortcuts, I know I’m doing something right.
What is a commonly held opinion in your industry that you disagree with?
That influencers, content creators, and bloggers are the same thing. I wrote a LinkedIn article on The Difference Between Influencers, Content Creators, and Bloggers, and I think it’s SO important for every brand to read.
There’s more confusion than ever among brands who are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of ‘influencers’ flooding their inboxes, who each promise, and can deliver, different things, and bring different skillsets to the table when it comes to social media partnerships.
And while ‘influencer’ is a sexy word right now, the over-used and over-generalized word encompasses several different types of “influencers”. I find that brands don’t always realize the difference and therefore aren’t hiring the right type of ‘influencer’ to meet their goals and drive ROI.
If you could only work 2 hours per week on your business, what would you do?
Write blog posts that add value to my Jetsetters community.
Can you share another female entrepreneur who inspires you that you think we should talk to next? Tell us why you love to follow her journey and what lessons you have learned from her.
Lindsay Silberman (@lindsaysilb) is doing amazing things in the luxury lifestyle/beauty world! She quit the corporate world a year ago and I absolutely love following her journey as an influencer and entrepreneur. She sets the standard of staying real and authentic as an influencer, and I love it. She also can always be found with a glass of (Whispering Angel) rose in hand, which is why we get along so well.
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