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How Sean Finelli gave Wall Street up for Rome and built his own tour business from scratch. (63)

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How Sean Finelli gave Wall Street up for Rome and built his own tour business from scratch. (63)


Sean Finelli
The Story behind The Tour Guy with Sean Finelli – Episode 63 of the Tourpreneur Podcast


March’s Daily Brief and the Tourpreneur Podcast is kindly sponsored by Checkfront, the booking platform trusted by over 5000 tour and activity operators around the world. You can start your own free 21-day trial over at Checkfront.com.

In this candid and in-depth episode of Tourpreneur, I chat with Sean Finelli, CEO of The Tour Guy.

Sean Finelli walked away from a lucrative analyst job on Wall Street to move to Rome. He worked numerous bar and restaurant jobs to pay his way and then found himself selling tours on the streets of Rome.

This is when his life changed.

Sean worked his way up from selling tours for others outside the Colosseum to building his own successful tour business. Sean reveals he suffers from dyslexia but also shares how he has turned it into an advantage.

Welcome to Tourpreneur, the podcast for tour operators, where travel industry veteran Shane Whaley will take you on a journey with fellow Tourpreneurs sharing their tips, ideas, insights and success stories to inspire you to make your tour business the best it can be.

You Can’t Take the Financial Analyst Out of the Financial Analyst.

Sean Finelli was fed up at the Wall St bank and started crunching the numbers in his head to figure out how much money he could make on his own.

He believed he could achieve financial independence on his own much faster and moved to Europe.

Sean decided on Italy.

His original plan was to live in Rome for a year or two, learn the language, and find niche jobs.

“When people walk into a store, they usually think about how this store smells nice, or are interested in the cool products on the shelf. I look around at the average purchase price of products, how many people walk through the door and start calculating. That’s how my mind works.” Steve is an analyst at heart and started to compute store size, rent and other quantitative factors.

“I just start calculating, thinking how much profit that store can make and how many stores you need to build to make a living or start a company.” He’s been this way for as long as he can remember.

So when Sean decided to land in Rome, his mind went into calculation mode. He looked around and realized a large amount of opportunity. He remembers his first impression of Rome being disorganized and the many complaints about inefficiencies. Steve saw tourism and travel opportunities and the ability to make an income.

“One day I walked up to the Coliseum, and I saw all these people selling tours and the long lines which accompanied tours. So I started selling tours on the street in front of the Colosseum.”

Sean Finelli

Sean’s most profound value is to live an interesting and cool life filled with memories. “The most interesting and most memorable memories are the ones that happen on vacation.”

He remembers standing in front of the Grand Canyon for the first time as a child with his dad. “When you travel to new places, you remember them.”

In this episode of the Tourpreneur Podcast, we’ll talk about his company’s values, his streamline work processes, and how he runs his tour businesses.

Listen in to find out the story about how Sean built his tour business from scratch, he shares the highs and the lows and reveals how he made suffering from dyslexia an advantage rather than a handicap.

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Links and Resources Mentioned on this Episode of Tourpreneur – a weekly podcast for tour operators.

Links Mentioned in this Episode and additional information about Sean Finelli and the Tour Guy

The Tour Guy on the Web

The Tour Guy on Instagram

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Shane Whaley

Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.

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