You can have your cake and eat it too: Tales of a luxury entrepreneur
What is a “Lifestyle Entrepreneur”? Well, I have picked a certain way I like to live and then figured out a way to pay for it. I was fortunate to have had a rather privileged background growing up and yes, that spoiled me but it also pushed me to seek the same for myself when I went out on my own. This was accomplished by starting my first business at the age of just 19, which afforded me both the lifestyle I aspired to as well as placing me in the environment I chose to live in.
I choose to live in beautiful resort locales. My first business – moped rentals – allowed me to live in such fabulous places as Nantucket, Sanibel Island and many other vacation islands over the years. Today, following that same path, I make my home in both New England in the Hamptons for part of the year and Southern California for the rest. The “bonus” of my current endeavor, luxury vacation villas, is that I now get to visit literally dozens of exquisite multi-million dollar villas as a key component of my work.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I celebrated a milestone birthday – my 60th – and as a birthday present to myself, I have an October trip scheduled to a stunning private island in Greece to visit a recent addition to our inventory. A special treat will be being whisked there by private jet, from one of our villa business’s marketing partners in the private aviation charter field.
There is much to be said about being able to make one’s living doing what you love to do. Having created a unique vertical in the luxury villa space allows me the chance to travel the world “on business,” vetting each new property for inclusion into our vacation rental inventory. Each spectacular villa features every imaginable amenity and each being “full service” (in-house staff of concierge, private chef, etc.) one’s every need while on vacation is met.
In a stint a couple of years ago, consulting with a renowned Destination Club prior to starting the villa business, I came up with a new “product” for that Club’s consideration. I actually envisioned the new offering to be called the “World Citizen” membership as a product I fancied for myself but reckoned that a rare few might have taken to it also. In effect, I proposed a membership that allowed one to be “stylishly homeless” by traveling to different Club properties around the world, a couple or three months at a time…continuously. One could, conceivably, pack a couple of suitcases, close up one’s primary home and simply become a “World Citizen.”
Since then, Destination Club has possessed 120 “assets” around the world, that is…120 multi-million dollar, exceptionally well-appointed villas in the finest resorts on the planet, the “World Citizen” could simply choose from the “menu” of properties, selecting the best times of year to take residence for 2-3 months in each and sample new areas on a rotating basis….one year or many. Since one’s every need is taken care of by the house staff, the member may actually establish “roots” of a sort in each area due to the length of each stay…it is likely that the individual would make many more friends in multiple ports of call over their extended travels.
Anyway, the Destination Club in which I consulted never quite saw the unique benefit of offering such a membership niche and now, I’m actually in a position to someday making this happen for myself. After all, we have many more exceptional properties in even more locations around the world than the Destination Club did and part of my “job description” is to travel to each to approve of its place in our inventory.
By actually becoming a “World Citizen,” myself I really can “have my cake and eat it too.”
Serial luxury travel entrepreneur, Peter Burns III, specialises in the establishment and operation of niche market multi-location businesses.
In the past 40 years of business formation and ownership, Peter has started, run, sold, and/or expanded over 100 individual businesses in dozens of fields. He is currently focusing on luxury holiday rentals at Asset Exchange Collection.