REVEAL Q2 2017 - Page 9

Aly Merritt is a former copy editor with a residual addiction to journalism. She is currently a product manager at SalesLoft, hosts ATL Startup Village at Atlanta Tech Village, and sporadically blogs at www. WORKING IT! The Entrepreneurs, Executives and Businesswomen of ASC An Interview with Lindsey Epperly Owner, Epperly Travel By Aly Merritt If you’d asked Lindsey Epperly a year ago how she managed to run a successful travel business and prioritize her family and friends, she’d tell you … she wasn’t. “In 2016, I was reaching a very extreme state of burnout from being overworked and exhausted,” she says. “It’s one thing to be on call 24/7 — it’s another thing to work 24/7, which is what I used to do.” Lindsey realized something had to give, so for the past year she’s been focusing on working smarter, not harder. She now sets aside time for family and new friends (like those in Atlanta Social Club), and has managed to reduce her weekly hours to the lowest in her career. For those of you saying, “Sure, but then you lose money,” it turns out that the “smarter” part is what’s so important: She did all of this while increasing her company’s profit 40 percent! “I’m passionate about this because it gave me my life back,” Lindsey says. “I set healthy boundaries and expectations, which clients respect and appreciate because it allows me to be a better agent to them, since I’m a more fulfilled individual now that I have the margin to be with family.” And in many ways, having a great team helps lay the groundwork for this strategy. In just over two years, Epperly Travel has grown to a team of eight: five independent contractors around the Southeast, two in-house assistants in Atlanta, and Lindsey herself. While Lindsey originally started with outside agents and a focus on strong leadership, her personal book of business was exploding and she needed in-house support. Her first hire, Kelsey, and newest hire, Payton, are also both members of Atlanta Social Club! REVEAL | Q2 2017 9