Phd in Bacardi - sm

Part I: Back Story

I’ve recently written about the dangers of selling someone else’s product.  I know these dangers first hand because I used to be in the travel business.  First a little back story:

I talk about seasons of life.  There was a season of my life that I’ll always think fondly of, it was before my wife and I had kids.  *cue sigh here* I was still very focused on achieving the brass ring, the big win.

I had realized at this point that it wasn’t going to come from climbing the ladder in Corporate America.    So I decided to go into business for myself.   FYI, i’m not jaded on this concept, this very blog is another stab at going into business for myself.  I had considered several options.. slumlord (not kidding), used car dealer, and a few others.   Remember at the time I wasn’t married and I hadn’t had anyone as a role model who can teach me how to be in business for myself successfully.  A huge chunk of being in business for yourself is capitalization and I was absolutely not in any sort of position where I could financially support the thousand, tens of thousand, or hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to get started into business.  I definitely dodged a few life bullets because of that.

I was dating my wife at the time and was looking for an inexpensive vacation where we could get away.  I don’t know why I was looking at cruises  but I had looked online and was enticed by the prospect of traveling on the world’s largest cruise ship (at the time.)  I found an amazing deal online, which turned out to be a total screwup on the part of – It was still early days in online retailing.   I was fortunate enough and computer savy enough to print out some screenshots of the deal.  I think it was something like $150 a person for the week.    Amazon of course didn’t give me the deal when I tried to book it so I brought my case right to Royal Caribbean figuring there was a chance they would honor the deal.  I would think that they would usually just brush me off, but since I emailed in my screenshots the rep knew I was sincere in just trying to get a deal.  After several conversations and negotiations and Michele and I got a week on Voyager of the seas for under $1000.  (We spent over $1500 on board but i’m sure I’ll write more on that later).  I was so impressed with the experience I thought I could sell that product.  Who couldn’t sell a luxury vacation, I was also amazingly impressed with the fact that Royal Caribbean always tried to push me to a travel agent rather than book direct through them.  I felt that this is an industry that really supports their channel.  Enter North Carolina’s newest and best travel agency with a specialty on cruise lines and all inclusive vacations: Piedmont Cruises.  

Fast Forward several years and I exited the travel business older and much wiser.  I still like the industry products and I see the cruise ships to the world’s largest gadgets, something I have a strong affinity for but I have no illusions about getting wealthy as an individual travel agent.  It is this familiarity for the industry that has me keeping a single toe in the water of travel.  An opportunity crossed my desk related to the industry that I decided to take advantage of.. and that’s when I met the person who taught me how to get a $30,000 PhD in Bacardi.


Posted by Mike Peluso

Mike Peluso writes about the collision between between the business / professional world and life. He also writes about the journey involved with the Peluso Presents efforts including the Blog, Books, and Podcast so that others may benefit from his efforts. Read the Blog: Listen to the Podcast: Support the Effort:


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