Lauren Marinigh

15 Business Lessons from Looptail

By Lauren | August 10, 2015 | 0 Comment

Recently I read an amazing book called Looptail by Bruce Poon Tip – the founder of G Adventures. Now I may be bias because this is basically my dream company to work for, and it was my dream company before I even read this book, but the book reconfirmed that this is an amazing company and one that many other company’s should look up too.

G Adventures looks at their industry differently then most, and that’s probably why they’ve wound up being so successful in the tourism industry. Bruce says something in his book about travel that made me want to yell out “yes, he is so right.” He talked about how many companies in the tourism industry made travel seem inclusive and luxury, more of a status symbol then anything else. Here is a quote from the book that explains it so well:

“It seemed to me that the entire tourism industry was just ass-backwards. The resorts back then were getting bigger and more “inclusive.” The resorts were also developing shopping plazas on the grounds, so you didn’t have to even interact with local citizens to do some shopping and contribute something to the local economy.”

Bruce saw a gap in the industry and created a company that believed in something different, and despite the hardship, he stuck to his morals and what he believed in and eventually grew his company into what it is today. Here are some of the business lessons I took from his book…

1. When you’re spending other peoples money, you spend more time on proving yourself

“When you’re spending someone else’s money, you devote endless amounts of time to justifying your decisions and reporting on your findings. To me, that takes away any sense of creativity, freedom or flexibility.”

2. Any company can give to a non-profit of NGO but not every company can make their customers actually feel something

“A lot of our competitors started creating programs with some of the world’s most heavily marketed charities like Amnesty International or World Wildlife Fund, but in effect, our competitors were just giving the charities money as opposed to developing a truly sustainable business model.”

3. Be transparent

[During a PR crisis] “My advice to anyone in that situation is simple: Be transparent. We had nothing to hide.”

4. You can make people talk about the positive

“Execs observed that people were less likely to post something on the site if they had a great experience with their products, yet people were very motivated to write in if they had a bad experience. Personally, I was more interested in the idea that, if you could figure out a way to transcend your product and even your industry, people really would be motivated to talk about their positive experience.”

5. Investing in people with a passion pays off

“I also delivered a similar message to the one I had given the executive team–that the next period was going to be a painful era of change and that if people didn’t want to be part of it, I needed them to leave the company. I said to everyone, “If you don’t have the fifth fear that we need, I totally understand, but you should find another job and move on. I need to have every seat on the bus filled by people who understand our core values and who are motivated to do extraordinary things.”

6. Focusing on hiring people that fit the culture, not people that were just high-performing influencers

“After a candidate had gone through the regular process of interviews by their managers and it was decided they were the best person for the job, they then had to go through a G Factor Interview, no matter how senior or junior the role. If they didn’t pass, they didn’t get the job-no expectations.”

7. Fill your organization with shooting stars, not falling stars

“Shooting Stars prefer to work with other high achievers, and when you give them a taste of what it’s like to have superstars in every seat on the bus, it fuels people’s appetites for working smarter and being more committed.”

8. Companies need to have programs in place to help people grow and develop

“As a human being, you need to feel that you can grow to achieve happiness. We launched 3 extra days off and G Days. One day to better yourself (Me), one day to better your community (We), and one day that represented our core values (G). People can apply for them at any time and use them to grow within themselves, their community and the company.”

9. Live and breathe your culture

“Culture Club is a group whose job is to promote our culture all day, every day. They set up all company functions, run all internal communications, and organize all the very cool things we do.”

10. Make meaningful connections

“Life is about putting together a string of meaningful connections. I believe life revolves around our meaningful connections and how we make people feel. That’s what your brand should be focused on.”

11. Focus on making your employees happy, and your customers will be happy

“When I started reading more about customer service, I read a lot of things about how expectations of customer service are different in various regions and markets. I believe you can transcend all that with employees who are just happy and passionate about what they do. Part of the reason we focus so much on happiness in our people within the company is that I believe that happiness is infectious.”

12. Have a culture that is responsive to change

“Our business model is about change. This is another reason, and it’s only natural, that we focus on happiness, because studies have shown that most unhappy people fear change.”

13. Be passionate about your work

“Why keep working away at something that you hate doing? Lots of people turn their passions into careers. Why can’t you?”

14. Have a brand story

“You need to create a story or narrative about how your company came about, and why it exists, in order to engage anyone who touches your brand. Remember, you don’t own your brand; your brand is what other people think of you.”

15. It’s the journey, not the destination

“When you have a goal for such a long time, it isn’t about the actual achievement, it’s the years of planning and the ride alone the way. As they say, it’s the journey, not the destination. I read in a Shawn Achor’s book that when people looked forward to something, it creates greater sustained happiness.”


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