Moraway Adventures, Christopher Moriarty
We have achieved a lot over the last year. Sales have far exceeded all projections, we have a reliable system of back-end processes, and we have a solid vision and plan for moving forward. Within the next few months, we’ll have already donated close to $10,000 to various grassroots wildlife conservation and community development projects which will make more of a difference than most people will ever know. We have expanded from offering just 10 countries in Africa to now offering destinations in South America with plans to expand into Asia later this year.
I am the founder and CEO of Moraway Adventures. We are an eco-adventure travel company that creates customized, dream trips to jaw-dropping destinations around the world for our guests without sacrificing comfort or style. And proudly, a portion of each trip is donated to support local nonprofits in those countries.
I first went to Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer over 20 years ago and the people, culture, and wildlife on that continent stirred something in me. I have been drawn back again and again over the ensuing two decades. I know that my life has been profoundly impacted by these experiences and I find it immeasurably rewarding to enable my guests to have those deeply meaningful experiences while also making a positive impact around the world. I wanted to build something of my own, centered around my own values and vision. I reached a point in my career where I had the skills, know-how, opportunity, and courage to start Moraway Adventures.
Each of our guests contributes to wildlife conservation or community development in the places we visit because we believe that travel is a force for good in the world. We only put together custom adventures, meaning that we work cooperatively with our guests to identify destinations, dates, and activities that resonate with them.
I launched Moraway Adventures in 2020, right in the thick of COVID-19. Who starts an international travel company in the midst of a global pandemic?! I was confronted with immense challenges right away, namely that nobody was traveling or considering travel. However, this created the space and time I needed to build out the infrastructure of my company, and amazingly, people did begin to travel again. Hand-building my own website over the course of several months was definitely a series of frustrating low points but the immense pride I felt in seeing the amazing final product was particularly rewarding. The most gratifying part of running Moraway has been hearing the depth of emotion in the voices of our guests when they return home. Knowing that I helped to create those indelible memories and experiences for them while also making a positive impact on the wildlife and local communities they encountered has been satisfying beyond measure.
I requested help and mentoring from SCORE to help me develop our marketing plan and figure out how best to reach our target market. I was looking to maximize the value of every marketing dollar that we spent since our revenue was projected to be limited during the pandemic.
Rick, my mentor, helped facilitate a deep analysis of the questions and considerations that I need to take into account when constructing marketing planning, messaging, and execution. Over a series of meetings, I grew more confident in identifying the key attributes of our customers, the key wants and needs that traveling with us fulfilled, and strategies for consolidating those ideas into concise, marketing messages that brought customers into our sales pipeline. It has worked! Our forward revenue projections have exceeded all of my targets and expectations and it’s been incredible to see our business really take off.
Rick has provided wise and insightful counsel through his thoughtful questioning and dialogue. Our meetings caused me to dig deep and stretch beyond what I already think, know, and believe and to look at my business through fresh eyes. Tapping his experience and wisdom has simultaneously fueled my confidence and curiosity to stretch and grow.
Meeting with Rick over a series of weeks was really helpful as I launched my business. I really appreciated his insightful recommendations and guidance on how to approach developing accurate messaging for my marketing campaigns that resonated with potential guests. I joke that talking with Rick was like visiting an oracle whose advice and wisdom always inspired deep thinking and reflection on my part. I appreciated that he challenged me and helped me to learn and grow. SCORE is such a great resource that any business owner can benefit from no matter what challenges they are facing.
Starting and running a business is not for everyone, so do your homework before doing anything. You must have the passion, motivation, and internal drive to get the work done and an unshakeable belief in yourself that you can make it happen. There is so much to learn so it helps to be a good student. There are wins and setbacks, sometimes a whole bunch on the same day, so it helps to be able to accept both gracefully and with an eye toward constant improvement and forward progress.
It is incredibly difficult to know what you don’t know. Working with SCORE can help you find your blind spots and improve them. It helped me sharpen my focus through clarity of thought, gain certainty in my processes, and provide confidence that results will be as I intend. SCORE can give you a new way of thinking about your business and the challenges that you face. Being able to lean on the cumulative wisdom and experience of a SCORE mentor is invaluable.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have learned that I can rely on my knowledge, skills, and judgment to solve any challenge that comes up and to trust my instincts. I have definitely gained a newfound respect for all business owners given the number of hats that they have to wear and the responsibilities that they must manage on a day-to-day basis. I have also appreciated that nobody does it on their own and that we all have to lean on the expertise and knowledge of those around us in order to succeed.