Over the last two decades, I've helped build study abroad and travel media companies to multiple seven-figures ARR, teams of 120+ people on two continents, raised capital for my own travel tech startup, and bootstrapped a six-figure solopreneur business (Inside Study Abroad).
And I did a lot of it while traveling the world full-time.
Along the way, I became a 4x founder, TEDx speaker, author, podcaster, global digital nomad, and dog-mom.
Now I help solopreneurs make sense of online tech and create products for digital creators.
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Just a Kansas girl chasing her dreams over the rainbow, around the world, and back again...
You might know me as The New Dorothy
Want even more backstory?
Thanks for stopping by! I’m Brooke Roberts, an entrepreneur, YouTuber/Podcaster, writer, traveler, and business coach hailing from Kansas City.
You might know me as the founder of Inside Study Abroad, Yoga Travel Tree (former), The Study Abroad Journal, host of the Launch and Travel podcast. Or maybe you know me from my global and local adventures I share over on Instagram @TheNewDorothy.
However you found me, I’m so happy you did.
Before I jump into telling you my WHOLE story and how I got to where I am today, it’s important that you understand WHY I do what I do.
I was born and raised in a sleepy farm town in rural Kansas and I dreamed of a life beyond the pastures that surrounded me.
Growing up, I always had big dreams of going to college (no one in my family had ever gone), traveling the world (we couldn’t afford any family vacations), starting a company (my parents worked at the same organizations for over 30 years), and defining family and love on my own terms (still not married and still no kids;)...
I wanted a life that was a little less ordinary...a life that was extraordinary.
And that's exactly what I did.
(Here's a picture of our driveway leading to my family's farm in rural Kansas. Yep, I'm real country.)
Finding My Own Path
I would go on to create full, dynamic, and enriching career, companies, and community...defined by my own desires and dreams.
Now I'm leaning into my brand and story to teach, inspire, and guide people like you - ambitious dreamers, goal getters, game changers, and movement makers. And help you close the education and wealth gap by building a profitable side hustle and solopreneur online businesses from anywhere in the world.
I want you to have the knowledge, the confidence, and the roadmap to create a brand, business, and life beyond your wildest dreams.
So if this sounds like you...
- Frustrated and trapped by your 9-5
- Tired of that early alarm clock and soul-sucking rush hour traffic
- Desperate for time, location, and financial freedom
- Pushed into a version of life that just doesn’t feel good or rewarding
- Isolated from family and friends that you don’t get to see enough
- Unable to travel and see the world the way you’ve always dreamed
- Limited by your current salary that you can’t control
- Overwhelmed that your life is slipping away
- That there has to be more than THIS
...then you are in the right place.
This is where I give you the education, inspiration, and direction you need build a profitable digital brand and business.
Education, travel adventures, and connection with inspiring people are the core things that truly changed my life and helped me go from a single-wide trailer in rural Kansas to a travel industry executive and multiple-six figure entrepreneur.
We've all got a dream life we're a little scared to pursue...
But whatever your dream life looks like to you (hint: It’s likely very different than mine), I want to help you make it a dream come true.
So here’s my story - in bullet points. I hope it brings a little hope and inspires you to build your own extraordinary life.
In the Beginning...
- Rural Kansas farm kid with dreams of exploring the world I had only read about in books
- Life changes forever with a chance to travel to France and Spain for two weeks in high school with my Spanish teacher. Can't afford the trip. Save up about $300 but still need about $900 more.
- My grandpa accidentally runs into my car with the tractor and leaves a giant dent in the door.
- Car still runs great, but looks really ugly.
- Get a $900 insurance check to get the car fixed.
- Instead use the money to send myself to Europe.
- Car door never gets fixed. #sorrynotsorry
As a result...
- I'm inspired and empowered to go to college in Boston (as far away from Kansas as I could get in the continental USA)
- Studying abroad three different semesters during college (Geneva, Switzerland; Orleans, France; and London, England, where I attended the London School of Economics and interned in the British Parliament)
- Head to grad school to learn how universities run (Higher Education Administration) and launch my career in Global Education and Meaningful Travel.
My Roaring Global 20s...
- I spend most of my 20s focused on strategically growing my career in the youth travel industry
- Teaching at a university in China for a year
- Designing international internships in Europe for universities across the US
- Traveling around the world on a ship working for Semester at Sea
- Running study abroad at the University of South Dakota
- And starting what would become my first business - a little blog called Inside Study Abroad.
- Began researching and teaching myself everything I could about content marketing, search engine marketing, social media strategy, UX/UI design, and all sorts of tech and digital strategies to grow my reach and impact
Intern to Executive in 4 Years
- As I grew my career, I started to get noticed in my industry for my tech, marketing, and digital strategy knowledge and expertise
- I'm head hunted by Global Educators, a new consortium of study abroad companies to spearhead the student advising and marketing division. Help grow the company by 35% in less than six months.
- Soon after I'm offered a job to run the largest marketing platform for meaningful travel in the world (GoAbroad.com) becoming their first Senior Vice President overseeing two offices on two continents and a team of over 100.
- In less than three years, I triple the team, the global reach, and the revenue to multiple 7-figures.
- Running someone else's company taught me two very important lessons: #1 - I did not want to keep building someone else's dream and, #2 - I was an entrepreneur to my core.
The Entrepreneurship Years Begin
- Have an idea to launch the "Yelp for Yoga" - a searchable marketing platform for yoga retreats, teacher trainings, and studios around the world.
- Find investors who believe in the idea and me.
- Quit my executive job to work on Yoga Travel Tree full-time and spend the next four years growing, pivoting, and earning my "hard-knocks" MBA ;)
- Yoga Travel Tree becomes a boutique yoga adventure company, successfully creating and launching 12 destination retreats to 7 countries in 18 months.
- Start doing travel marketing consulting for other companies helping them create and launch group travel experiences.
- Getting overwhelmed and burnt out...something has to give...
Leaning In To My Multiple Passions
- Through all of this...I've continued to maintain a small presence with my blog Inside Study Abroad
- People start coming to me for help getting a job in the study abroad industry
- Start doing individual career coaching, but feeling the strain on my time, saying the same things again and again, and not being able to scale...
I decide to try something that would change the course of my businesses and my life...
Joining the Knowledge Economy
- All my one-on-one clients and coaching...leading trips around the world...left me unable to scale my time and my income...
- I decided to record some training videos about marketing travel and selling that to future clients instead of my one-on-one packages...
- I created a group coaching program helping people launch a career in study abroad...
- And in less than a year I was able to go from just scraping by to multiple six-figures in revenue
- I earned back my time, my sanity, and my creativity to launch new projects and ideas.
- Later that year, I launched the Study Abroad Journal with my co-founder which became an Amazon #1 new release.
- Those digital courses and group coaching programs would become Retreat Rockstar, Social Media Marketing Bootcamp, the Global Pro Institute.
My Digital Nomad Experiment
- With my new-found time and income freedom, I now had the space and opportunity to travel more freely on my own terms.
- Decided to sell everything I owned and buy a one-way ticket to Thailand to begin an 18 month sojourn around the world as a digital nomad.
- I lived in 27 different countries on four continents...
- All told I've lived/traveled to 55 countries on 6 continents (with more to come)
And then the panorama happened...
- In 2019, after 18 months of global gallivanting, I returned to the U.S. This began a long battle with clinical depression, a struggle I still have to this day and something I'm passionate about sharing and being very real about in a public way. If you're reading this far, no matter how well your mental health is in this moment, I encourage you...I implore you to start therapy. It's like green juice for the soul - good for you and might help you stay healthy long term.
- And if a year of deep, dark depression wasn't enough, 2020 hit. Like so many people, 2020 turned my world upside down. My company Inside Study Abroad was essentially ground to a halt over night (as the travel industry crumbled) and spent 18 months figuring out my next steps.
- In late 2021, I accepted a Director of International Education position at a local college (no one was more surprised than me) and then eight months later was head hunted by an ed tech startup to head industry marketing.
- Now, I'm a nomad with a nest in Kansas City, a solopreneur with a job I love, and always finding that balance between striving for the next dream and reveling in the present moment.
And the story continues...
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