Entrepreneurial Hero: HomeAway

After watching his father live out a career as a successful business owner, Brian Sharples, at the ripe age of 18, caught the entrepreneurial bug. He and his friends bought an old boat in Martha’s Vineyard, refurbished it and turned it into a floating restaurant selling beer and fresh oysters to vacation goers. Fast forward to today, and he’s the head honcho of HomeAway, one of the hottest travel businesses out there that is focused on making it easier and more affordable for families and friends to travel around the world.

Like every entrepreneur, Brian didn’t experience success from the beginning. As Brian moved onto more risky and serious ventures, he experienced failure as he went through a period of learning tough entrepreneurial lessons. Remember, failure is something every entrepreneur goes through before hitting it big! For Brian, he learned the importance of not letting optimism be completely blinding. It was at a marketing event early in his career when an epic storm hit causing absolute chaos and destruction that he realized the importance of planning for every possible outcome. It’s a common characteristic for entrepreneurs to be optimistic, but it’s crucial to always plan for what could go wrong so you aren’t left surprised and empty handed.

Since HomeAway was founded in 2005, Brian has led the company in acquiring more than 15 vacation rental companies making HomeAway today’s leading vacation rental website. Looking ahead, Brian doesn’t plan on keeping HomeAway as focused on acquisition, but more on expanding the vacation rental business into untapped territory such as South Africa and Eastern Europe. In addition, he will lead the company in partnerships with Uber and Instacart in order to ensure vacationers are able to easily retrieve transportation and groceries during their stay at their home away from home. We love seeing entrepreneurs utilize their passions to create businesses that are truly making a positive impact on the world. Check out part one and part two of this seriously awesome campaign the company just launched to learn more.

Do you know any entrepreneurs worthy of the spotlight? Leave us a comment below.

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