It was a standing room only crowd as Casey Wohl, also known as The Getaway Girl®, shared her personal story and tips she’s learned on how to pick yourself up and reinvent yourself when life throws you a curve ball.
Hitting a self-professed low point in life after a divorce in 2005 and then getting fired from her job in 2006, Wohl decided it was time to quick feeling sorry for herself and time to get serious about the next step in her life. Drawing on two of her passions in life, traveling and spending time with her girlfriends, she began to carve out a niche as an expert on women travelers.
It all began with her first book, The Girls Getaway Guide to Orlando…Leave Your Baggage at Home®, followed by her second book, The Girls Getaway Guide to Key West…Leave Your Baggage at Home®.
In addition to sharing her story, Wohl pointed to four women who have continuously reinvented themselves:
- Martha Stewart
- Erin Brockovich
- Paula Deen
She called out common characteristics among these women and others who have successfully reinvented themselves:
- They have all faced adversity of some type
- They follow their passion
- They prepared for their destiny
Wohl’s story began with forming her own publishing company, Gray Dog Publishing, to produce her first “Girl’s Getaway Book.” Shortly after that Barnes and Noble in Orlando picked it up and she began getting calls for media interviews to speak about women and traveling. The rest as they say “is history.”
Falling back on her years working in public relations, Wohl realized it was critical to build, sustain and protect her brand. She started with the iconic Getaway Girl graphic who takes on the personal of whatever community she’s visiting. For example in Orlando, the Getaway Girl is very sophisticated, in Key West she’s sprinting around town on a motor scooter and in Nashville she’s sporting cowboy boots and carrying a guitar.
Her other tactics for creating a brand:
- Holding a 12 Days ‘til Christmas Promotion each year
- Trademark, trademark, trademark!
- Sex and the City Movie Launch Promotion
- Win Free Stuff (from partner businesses)
- Booty Party: Key West Book Launch, Fantasy Fest
- Social Media: Twitter, Blog, Facebook, YouTube
- She’s a Resident Expert for the Gaylord Palms in Orlando
- SMT Talent: Aruba, Orlando, Expedia
- Developed a strong relationship with the Orlando CVB
- Holds Win a Trip w/ The Getaway Girl promotions
- Never stops Networking:
- Winter Haven Junior League which led to working with Daytime TV
- Daytime TV + Media Outlets = Press Trips
- Daytime TV + Press Trips = LA Production Co. approached her
- LA Production Co. has led to cutting a pilot for a potential new TV reality show with a major network.
She also noted one unintended positive consequence of her reinvention as The Getaway Girl, a second career in public relations as her notoriety as The Getaway Girl has led to new public relations clients.
So how can you reinvent yourself? Wohl offers these suggestions:
Step 1: Take inventory. What Are Your Top five desires to do, see or accomplish before you die?
Step 2: Live your life in quarters (childhood, family, yourself, winter years)
Step 3: Identify where you are in your life.
In addition she says:
Remember your dreams from your childhood. What did you want out of life?
Return to a place from a different time in your life. Put “you” at the top of the list and stop waiting and making excuses.
Life is a journey; either lament it or embrace it. And when times get tough, women do want we do BEST – Connect with each other!
Know your network: friends, family and professional colleagues
And ride it out: When you hit a rough spot, it could be worse. Remember you’re better off than 99% of people of the people in the world.
You may lose time, money and patience, but you still WIN when you are doing what matters to you.
Always realize what’s important:
Wohl’s final words of wisdom when it comes to reinventing yourself…
Always remember there are no easy answers.
We will all struggle at some time in life.
The pain is mandatory, but the agony is optional!
And always remember to connect with your inner GetawayGirl® and Leave Your Baggage at Home®.
Drawing on a career in public relations and thrown a curve ball by life’s circumstances, Casey Wohl reinvented herself creating her very own brand in the Girls’ Getaway Guide. Since her first Getaway Girls Guide a few years ago, Wohl has become a sought after travel expert and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and on her website.