We had the good fortune of connecting with Susan Troy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Susan, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
There is no balance honestly, or maybe it’s balance over weeks and month, not on a daily basis. Some days I spend more time working and less in my life, and other days I spend more in my life with less work. As an entrepreneur it’s easy to let your business run your life. To achieve long term balance I have to use a lot of organization and focus on my most important goals, both personally and professionally. I have to make the choice every day to not let my business take over my life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have two businesses – I’m a Macaroni Kid Publisher and also a Travel Agent.
About Macaroni Kid
Macaroni Kid Thornton, Northglenn, Westminster is THE go-to community resource for families in the area. Through our website, weekly newsletters, social media, and weekly events calendar, local parents and caregivers learn what’s happening and what’s new in our community.
Moms, dads, and caregivers don’t have time to constantly search to find events, birthday party venues, camps, afterschool classes, and other engaging local activities for children – but they’re always looking for this info. That’s why they LOVE Macaroni Kid! We give them what they’re looking for all in one place, and they feel like they’re getting advice from a trusted friend.
About Elite Travel Concierge
I make my client’s lives easier by working with them to find the right vacation for their wish list and budget. I use my expertise to do all the work and they have all the fun without the stress of planning! My services are complimentary for clients who book with me. I specialize in family travel to Disney and Universal, all-inclusive vacations to the ️ Caribbean and Mexico for adults and families, ️Cruises, and travel across the U.S. and Europe, including vacation rentals.
I started my entrepreneurial journey 10 years ago. I worked in the corporate world for 10 years after college, but when I had kids I wanted to contribute financially to my family while also being the primary caretaker for my children. Starting my own business seemed like the right choice! But I didn’t know then what I know after 10 years of being an entrepreneur – it’s hard work to build a business at home with little people. It takes grit, determination, and not a lot of sleep. I learned so many lessons along the way, and those lessons keep me going every single day.
After several ideas that weren’t as profitable as I’d hoped, I heard about the opening for a Macaroni Kid Publisher in my area. As a subscriber I knew it was a valuable community resource and I also knew I could use my marketing background to be successful. The first year was a lot of learning and doing things for the first time, which is hard, but now going into my fifth year I feel confident in my role as publisher.
I’m really proud of the impact my work with Macaroni Kid makes in our community. Moms can become very isolated in our culture, especially if they have very young kids. It’s good for their mental health to connect with others and get out of the house. Our resources at Macaroni Kid provide that opportunity for them. And the best part is that they don’t need to dig around the internet, we have all the local family-friendly events in one place for them!
I started working as a travel agent in January of 2020, which was horrible timing, but I’m thrilled to be able to help my clients who are ready to travel again. My Macaroni Kid and travel businesses have the same client base, so it’s been a perfect fit!
Lessons Learned: Flexibility
I think the biggest factor behind any entrepreneur’s success is the ability to quickly and constantly evolve and grow. Entrepreneurs learn to quickly assess what’s not working and pivot efficiently for greater success. There’s no automatic salary in the work that I do. If what I’m doing isn’t working, I don’t get paid. That pressure keeps me on my toes and forces me to constantly evolve my business on a daily basis. Even when something is working well, I always challenge myself to make it better – more profitable and with less effort.
Lessons Learned: Balance
Being an entrepreneur who’s also a homeschooling mom has been one of the biggest challenges. We talk about balance a lot in our culture, but honestly there is really no way to balance everything on a daily basis. It’s more realistic to look at balance over weeks and month. Some days I spend more time working and less in my life, and other days I spend more in my life with less work. As an entrepreneur it’s easy to let your business run your life. To achieve long term balance I have to use a lot of organization and focus on my most important goals, both personally and professionally. I have to make the choice every day to not let my business take over my life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a local expert and travel agent, I could probably write a book on this topic! I think we have one of the best theater and restaurant scenes in the country, so I’d love for my guests to experience that. But we also have the biggest natural playground in the world at our fingertips, and there are too many places to choose when it comes to that! We camp a lot, and one of our favorite outings is to the Sand Dunes every year, it’s always a great way to kick off the camping season. I also love to hang out in the mountain towns in the summer, maybe even more than in the winter (I know, that might be shocking, but we love to ski too!) There’s something about strolling down the streets of Vail in the summer surrounded by mountains and other people enjoying the crisp mountain air that just calls to me constantly. We’re always exploring and finding new places that we love!
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?
Macaroni Kid Publishers across the country are an incredibly supportive group of entrepreneurs. I get so many ideas and motivation from them!
Kreutzer Photography (Easter Bunny pic)