A story so good it's worth telling twice...

by Sunni Chapman

Nobody is perfect right?

Last week's newsletter was sent from the wrong email address and therefore it may not have made it through some email filters. So I decided to add this short explanation and resend it today.

I hope you have a wonderful week filled with success and joy.


From the November 2nd, 2017 Newsletter -

The Greatest Story Ever Told…

Maybe this isn’t the greatest story ever, but I am starting this week’s newsletter with a verse from the bible. WAIT! BEFORE YOU CLOSE THIS EMAIL…I realize that the LAST thing anyone wants to hear is a lecture on politics or religion during their hectic business day. Let me assure you, THIS is not about religion. And I believe that my story may help you in your business, otherwise, I wouldn’t bother you with it.

I am starting this with a bible verse because it eloquently describes the story.

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

I think the sentences before and after are worthy of your time too so here they are:

9Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 11But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.…

I believe that anything that is done for the love of money…will ultimately bring them to destruction and sadly could destroy other people and other layers within their lives.

I am the furthest thing from a bible-thumper, but there are times when I wish I had a better working knowledge of it so I could easily “put on the armor” and find solace from life’s troubles as others often do. That is why I have been dwelling on 1 Timothy 6:10

…Let me back up a few weeks if not months or years, so that you can have some background…

If you’ve read just one of my newsletters (by the way, we have just begun our 7th year of publishing this weekly newsletter) then you will know that I do EVERYTHING with passion. I am motivated by love for all people and the passion I have comes from my Italian homeland and the fact that sharing Italy with people has never been about making a sale or earning a commission.


For me, there is a bigger picture and I started See Italy to give our travelers memories that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. They will have experiences that will forever change their routines and their daily lives and create feelings they’ve never felt before. Feelings they can only know when experiencing Italy our way, first-hand. These experiences can only be done with the people that we have cultivated over the years, with people that have our same ideology, beliefs, and passion. None of what we or our suppliers do can be accomplished when motivated by the LOVE OF MONEY. I’ve always said that when money or cost is the first item on a traveler’s list then the client is not for us, specifically because they will never be able to experience the authentic Italy when distracted by dollars.

…When a long-time customer of mine who previously bought customized food and wine tours for individuals through us, told me he was interested in expanding his business into Italy last year I was excited. He is a boutique tour operator who sells another country and decided to hire us to do their Italian tour launch. We were honored to become part of their already successful operation but more than anything we were stoked to hear that this was going to be the first of many scheduled departure tours to Italy.

The dry run tour went great. It wasn’t complimentary as we are not a big company that can afford to give away free tours. We also want to make sure that we are building a partnership and that there is skin in the game from both partners. This caused a little tension between us. I got the feeling that he believed that he was supposed to make money but we were not. And that everything was supposed to be “YES sir, anything you want.” It felt like the kind of deal that wasn’t really about cooperating and building something together that would benefit both companies. I should have trusted my gut instinct…

…Then October came and this group was sold out and the tour operator made lots of money. We kept lowering our price to make sure they were happy. We’ve since come to learn that what they represented as a partnership based on our common values, love, and passion was really a ruse to get close to us. Their “love” for our partnership was ultimately just love for money while their company stole our contacts and reproduced, day-by-day, time for time, stories by stories, wine by wine, meal by meal and finally hotel by hotel the tours that we crafted for them. Like a corporate hostile takeover, they moved in and pushed us aside. Their love of money took over and See Italy was swept away.

But wait…the relationships we have built with our suppliers over the years, those suppliers who are motivated by similar ethics, passion, and love, are so strong that all of the people involved warned us instantly when the owner of the other company began working toward one goal. His goal was to take all of our proprietary information, logistics, and creativity that we have worked hard for years to develop and use it as his own for this trip and the many others going forward, without us. 

One thing I always say when things like this happen…WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND…what you sow you will reap.

A stranger once told me…YOU ARE BLESSED MORE THAN WHAT YOU BELIEVE. Which makes me feel better about the fact that, we cannot control what our clients do and we cannot control everything that goes on around us. We can only be responsible for our own actions.

I am reminded though that WHEN ONE DOOR SHUTS ANOTHER ONE OPENS. I believe this is the case because guess what, all of the doors that I opened for this other company while thinking I was helping build a partnership, are slowly starting to close on them. They may still think that they will make more money by cutting See Italy out, but I believe that THE LOVE OF MONEY is a tree without roots and sooner or later it will wither and die.

The most important thing I am trying to say this week…DO WHAT IT’S RIGHTand act from your heart because it will show. You love people, people will love you, you contribute to good causes and others will bless you. I hope one day my husband will finally write his book on the flow of life…you give, then you’ll receive and so on.

Some may believe that it’s better to make a quick sale to cash in and if they can maximize their bottom line then do “whatever it takes.” We don’t because we believe in the value of building relationships with clients and providers which last a lifetime and transcend the ordinary.

I hope that your week is filled with love and passion and joy. Until next week when I will have a NEW story to tell.


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