It’s time for the second installment of our Being Your Own Boss – The Interview series! This week we’re interviewing the founder behind the website and brand TabiFolk, Josh Grisdale. Josh is a disability activist and adventurer at heart who hates to hear the word ‘impossible’. TabiFolk is a platform where individuals with health conditions or impairments can gain useful information about how to make their travel journeys seamless and stress-free. It hosts forums and member-run groups that enable users to engage in discussion, and also provides useful information through a Q&A format. This is a truly inspiring initiative to make the world a more accessible place for all.
“A community for people with disabilities, their family members, seniors and those interested in accessible travel. It is a hub for members to ask questions, share answers and encourage each other to get out and explore the world in their own unique way. It is a place to change the world for the better since every person with a disability or other accessible travel requirement who journeys out their front door, shows that accessibility is important.”
-Josh Grisdale, Founder
Josh started his business at the beginning of 2020, the irony of which isn’t lost on him. He says that year may have been “the absolute worst time to start a travel-related company.” However, TabiFolk and Josh are a prime example of a success story that persevered despite facing many challenges.
“The pandemic certainly didn’t help the travel industry. However, I remembered the potential of TabiFolk, and used the downturn as an opportunity to improve the platform so it was ready for members when they were.”
So, what were the inspirations behind starting a travel-related business, one so strong that even Covid couldn’t knock it down? Josh has been advocating for more accessibility for individuals who live with chronic health conditions or impairments throughout his career. According to Josh,
“15% of the world’s population has some sort of disability (including me!) and this number is expected to grow as the populations of many countries age. Often people with specific needs travel with multiple companions and stay longer – a multiplying effect for their economic impact on tourism. But it is still an untapped market that is eager for accessible travel opportunities. Lack of information is one of the biggest challenges, so I created a platform for people to learn from and share experiences and information with each other”.
Josh, like all entrepreneurs, has clear goals for his business. He aims to have at least 15% of the world’s population on TabiFolk, where we all can come together to share ideas, suggestions, and recommendations to help shape the world to be more inclusive and accessible for all. As any entrepreneur will tell you, running a business along with the rest of life’s own responsibilities is no easy feat.
“The site integrates well with my life – I love to travel! But it is important to balance all aspects of one’s life, so I ensure I get time away from the screen and enjoy long strolls.”
Travel and tourism are an ever-growing, and ever-changing business, and the pandemic has presented unique challenges. Staying on top of the trends in your industry is a well known tip for all aspiring entrepreneurs. We asked Josh how he keeps up with the top trends in his dynamic industry.
“I use a number of Google alerts, Twitter, Facebook etc,” he says. “It is really important to me because it is often the subject of topics being discussed on the website.”
When we asked Josh for his advice for his fellow entrepreneurs, his response was once again uplifting.
“Remember the future potential of your enterprise. The time, effort, and money you put into it in a period of downturn isn’t wasted, but an investment in that future potential!”
Learn more about TabiFolk on the website https://www.tabifolk.com/, or check out their social media pages @TabiFolk.
If you’d like to learn more about entrepreneurs and small business owners like you making it in this world, be sure to keep an eye out on our blog for more content to follow!