How Darley Newman Turned Her Ardour Undertaking right into a Enterprise

At age 14, from the vantage level of a European cruise ship and her entire life forward of her, Darley Newman realized what she needed to do: see the world.

Now at age 44, she is the journey host, creator and producer of Travels with Darley, a Daytime Emmy-nominated TV show that airs on PBS and different networks. Its tenth season was launched earlier this yr. “I’ve taken a ardour and turned it into a business,” she says. “I do really feel that what I’m doing is admittedly serving to individuals to study cultures and historical past all over the world and see the world in a brand new, extra insightful method.”

From ardour challenge to full-time pursuit

Her present is perhaps a hit now, however she labored onerous and began with little to get her dream off the bottom.

“They name it ‘bootstrapping,’” Newman explains. As a substitute of borrowing cash to start out her first present, Equitrekking, she found out methods to finance it. “I used to be an early side hustler,” she says. At one level, she was working three totally different jobs, as a PR individual, a contract producer and a contract author on varied tasks. She saved cash by working a number of roles—which she nonetheless does at present, as a bunch, creator and producer.

“I actually needed to study all points of manufacturing,” Newman says. She has an editor now, however that wasn’t all the time the case. “For a few years, I used to be the editor,” she says. “I didn’t have the cash to pay another person to start with, so I used to be going to edit it as a result of I actually needed the present to occur.”

Equitrekking started in 2006 as a collection of brief movies that Newman printed on her web site, earlier than on-line movies have been fashionable. Based mostly on these clips, Tourism Eire agreed to sponsor a pilot episode, which she was then capable of take to PBS with the idea of recreating it all over the world. PBS picked it up, and the collection went on to win three Daytime Emmy Awards.

Utilizing experiences and suggestions to pivot

Newman loved creating the present till a daunting expertise whereas filming led her to consider her subsequent transfer.

“I used to be in Botswana, Africa, and I bought charged by an elephant after I was horseback driving,” Newman says. At that time, she mentioned the rides had change into “harrowing, like I used to be on a runaway racehorse in Costa Rica, or in Belize, within the jungle at sundown.”

As she mirrored on the present and whether or not she might proceed, she realized that, whereas individuals typically mentioned it was a present about horses, to Newman, it was actually about journey. So, what if it wasn’t about horses in any respect?

Utilizing her bootstrapping strategies, she recut Equitrekking content material, titled it Travels with Darley and posted it on AOL. The views it obtained informed her this was price pursuing. To finance the pilot episode, she entered a contest known as Journey South, and organizations there determined to help the preliminary episodes. She later went again to PBS, who agreed to air the collection. As soon as once more, slightly ingenuity had turned a passion project into a sustainable business.

That intuition for investing in herself has paid off in additional methods than one. One savvy enterprise determination she made was sustaining possession rights, which has allowed her not solely full inventive management but in addition the liberty to repackage and distribute her content material at will and to promote her present to totally different retailers, equivalent to Amazon Prime, Wondrium and Create TV.

Darley Newman on making an impression

However the payoff for Newman goes a lot deeper than that. It goes all the best way again to the primary time she seemed out over the ocean, at age 14—on trip with a buddy, by the best way—and dreamed about her future. To today, one of the best a part of her job is making connections with different individuals all over the world.

“You get to grasp how different individuals stay and the struggles that they face and the fun that they’ve,” she says. It’s helped her broaden her personal horizons, which she says has made her a greater and happier individual: “I’m all the time getting out of my comfort zone, and that naturally occurs on my journey adventures.”

She additionally believes her present has impacted others. “There’s a ricochet impact,” she says. “Different communities might watch and study [someone’s] story and perceive how they will make their very own group higher.” In that method, she hopes, “It’s like group constructing”—on a worldwide scale. 

This text initially appeared within the July/August 2023 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photograph by ©Chad Davis/ Travels with Darley.

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