We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Looney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what principle do you value most?
I’m in control of my destiny. Every action or inaction I take will take me a step in one direction or another and only I am in control of where I land. This principle matters the most to me because it helps me maintain a perspective of self reliance and prevents me from blaming others for my shortcomings.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our Travel Passport is all about helping others create memories. Typically the way we do that is by giving people travel tips so they can use their vacation days in the best way possible with the people they love. But as we’ve built out our business that has also turned into photography courses and photo editing presets as well so people can be better at capturing those memories. The biggest lesson we’ve learned is that it’s imperative to be flexible and pivot at any time. When the pandemic happened, our travel blog lost 90% of its revenue, so we started helping people create memories at home instead and it worked out. If you build a brand that’s based on you and your ability to help people in some way, the pivoting will come naturally.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife, Samantha Looney deserves all the credit for where I am as an entrepreneur. First of all, she’s half of our business and is as entrepreneurial and dedicated as I am, but she’s the one that helped me see that achieving my dreams was possible. In college, I was studying economics and interviewing for jobs in corporate finance. One day I called her on my way home and was venting about how I was absolutely not looking forward to this interview with Intuit. It required me to model some financial projections and I just did not want to do that. I was like, “Why would I interview for a job that is going to have me doing this every single day if I hate it so much?” At this time, we had started our travel blog but it wasn’t monetized yet and she said to me, “We can just go for it. We can try to make a living as travel bloggers and photographers/videographers for a year and if it doesn’t work, you can come back and apply for the same jobs.”
So we did. And it worked.