Erin Sullivan – better known as Erin Outdoors – is a writer, photographer, trip leader, lifestyle coach, speaker, and a total boss on Instagram! In this episode, Erin shares her story that took her from being a trip leader in the northeastern U.S. and abroad, to becoming an influential, adventurous lifestyle blogger and a “gateway drug for personal development.” She gives us some great lessons in taking risks and “living deliberately,” mixed in with some personal tales of travel, growth, and yes, rambunctious evenings involving banana costumes and beer! Speaking of beer, Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, CO is our setting for this episode, where the flight of brews in front of us provided many tasty talking points as well.
Avery Brewing Co. – Boulder, CO
Their relatively new 2-year-old location is – as Erin describes it – a “magical castle of beer,” with a taproom downstairs, restaurant upstairs (with the best damn chicken sandwich in the world served every Thursday!), as well as their brewing operations and HQ. Located about 20 minutes north of Boulder, it’s a great place to go and make a day out of it.
- Erin wears A TON of hats, including blogger, writer, photographer, trip-planner, lifestyle coach, and speaker…and that’s just what she’s up to right now. She even worked right there at Avery for about a year.
- What started as travel blogging evolved into Erin’s self-help writing (and making self-help less-cheesy in the process). Her main focus at the moment is writing about personal development for adventurous people, helping them live intentionally and adventurously accessible for anybody.
- Erin created her own major in college, double majoring in Photography and Graphic Design, and was a trip leader at camps in the northeast during the summers. This led into her first post-college job of leading trips in Spain, Italy, and Greece for the next 3 years…
- Although Erin wasn’t toting a smart phone at that point, her network knew she was abroad full-time, and she started getting questions about how to lead that lifestyle, which led to her starting her blog…
- “Don’t half-ass two things; whole-ass one thing” – Ron Swanson
- …but still do/try all the things!
- Erin’s advice on How To Start A Blog – Quality, Consistency, Passion
- “Erin Outdoors” came about when she needed a catchy domain and something a bit less common than “Erin Sullivan”
- Buy your domain! Chris’ opinion: buy your domain when you’re buzzed. It’s a great post-drinking activity and it’s almost the same price as a beer.
- Regarding blogging: Once people besides your mother start commenting on your posts, you start to “find your lane, and then you refine it.”
- “Living deliberately” means that you are choosing what you are choosing what you want to be doing in life (your challenges, who you spend your time with, etc.); choosing what you are doing the cards that you are dealt.
- Erin’s advice on getting unstuck: 1.) Make lists of what you think you should do, and what you want to do, and compare those. 2.) Do something, do anything.
- On building your network through social media: Truly be in your authentic self, and people are really willing to celebrate vulnerability (as long as it’s not coming from them). “Take the risk, be real, and see what happens.”
- “If people can show up and be real, and I can help facilitate that…that is the dream.” – Erin Outdoors
- On building an Instagram following: Erin initially started posting photos in 2014 from her previous travels as an experiment. After developing 1,000+ followers by “liking” #mountains relentlessly, she now has almost 50,000 Instagram followers, and it’s her primary source of traffic and a form of micro-blogging.
- Over the next few years, Erin is going to be really focused on ramping up in the personal development space, including more workshops, more camera time in terms of video, and maybe even a book.
- Round 2: We start by taking a break for some much-needed Instagramming…
- If you go out drinking with Erin, ask her to bring the banana suit…
- Erin learned a number of lessons working in the restaurant industry at Avery Brewing, including how to not sweat the small stuff and quickly move on, and how everyone on the team at Avery was there to make one another’s life easier on-the-job.
- Shout-outs to places like England and Australia that know how to drink!
- Oprah, Erin would like to grab a drink with you, you badass!
- Erin’s superpower is intuition.
- We drank so much that we started speaking Spanish…Erin is way better at it than I am.
- One of Erin’s biggest freelance gigs was modeling for REI’s holiday line in Argentine Patagonia.
- Know when to say no…unless it’s beer. Always say yes to beer.
- What’s next for Erin? She’s moving to Los Angeles, where she’ll be focusing in on the personal development space, and continuing to lead more trips, including a trip to Greece in June 2017.
Connect/Drink with Erin:
Really you should just go on one of her trips! Spots are still available for her upcoming trip to Greece! However, if that’s not an option, step 1 would be to follow her on Instagram, or connect with her on any social media at “Erin Ourdoors,” including Twitter, Facebook, and her Youtube channel. Finally, visit her blog at erinoutdoors.com, or email her at email@example.com.
Visit Avery Brewing:
Avery Brewing Co. is located at 4910 Nautilus Ct N, Boulder, CO 80301. Taproom hours are 11am-11pm Tuesday through Sunday, and 3-11pm Monday.
“Take A Drink” by Quitedrive. Check them out at quitedrivemusic.com.