Sue Palenik

Getting Laid Off was the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me

How Sue Palenik turned a Passion for Travel into a Thriving Business

“I didn’t want to work to make others look good anymore,” said Sue Palenik, after being laid off from her job of nearly a decade. “Owning my own business was about me creating my own personal identity.”

And so, in 2010, at the age of 50, with no prior experience in the industry, Sue changed course and purchased a Cruise Planners home-based travel advisor franchise.

“I always had a passion for travel, so why not work in the industry that would bring me joy? Cruise Planners was the perfect fit for me.”

No Experience Necessary

As a Cruise Planners franchise owner and full-service travel advisor, Sue customizes amazing travel experiences ranging from cruises to guided land tours and all-inclusive resort vacations. Sue didn’t have any prior experience as a travel professional, so she relied on Cruise Planners’ comprehensive training and ongoing, personalized business development coaching, which helped her franchise grow to well over $1 million in annual sales.

A Business in a Box

Before investing in her Cruise Planners franchise, Sue did her due diligence. One of the things that stood out about Cruise Planners was their legacy of franchise success.

“I knew I was buying into a successful franchise,” she said. “I was essentially buying a business in a box, so I didn’t have to think about marketing tools, and software, and a website. Cruise Planners had already done that for me.”

Despite the numerous tools already provided to her, Sue appreciates that Cruise Planners continues to innovate and introduce new technology.

“Cruise Planners is so innovative. The new technology and tools make it easier every single year. I can service my clients and work from anywhere in the world.” 

When Sue was laid off from her long time career, she knew she had to take matters into her own hands. She found her passion as a Cruise Planners franchise owner.

Flexibility to Put Family First

Perhaps one of the things Sue appreciates most about owning her travel advisor business is the flexibility that comes with being her own boss. In the weeks before her daughter gave birth, Sue didn’t think twice about traveling to be with her.

“It wasn’t even a thought. I didn’t have to go to a boss or an HR department. I didn’t have to beg, borrow, and steal to continue to make money and be successful. I was able to say to my daughter, I’m yours. You have internet, so I can work but still be there to help you. I don’t think there’s many other options in this world that would give that to you.”

Don’t be Afraid to Pursue Your Dreams

Like Sue, many people dream about being their own boss or pursuing their passions, yet because of the realities of life, fear of failure or a host of other reasons, very few act out these dreams. Sue had her share of reservations, but ultimately decided to take the leap and has never looked back.

Her advice: “Don’t overthink it. Dreams can only come true if you implement the dream.”

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