OVENS International founder Sam Ovens delights in telling the story of how he so thoroughly disrupted the marketing industry when he first implemented his innovative marketing approach through his still-new digital marketing consulting firm. After transforming a number of clients in New Zealand and Australia into immediately recognizable and wildly profitable brands, Mr. Ovens decided to focus on sharing with others his newly developed and highly effective approach to consulting through the creation of e-learning programs detailing the strategies he used to earn more than $10 million over a four-year period.
As Mr. Ovens transitioned the focus of OVENS International from marketing consulting to e-learning programs, he also began an entirely new venture called SnapInspect. This new concept developed by Mr. Ovens revolved around a digital application capable of streamlining the process of property inspection to such a degree that the time needed to complete the inspection was reduced by 75 percent. The application quickly became popular and expanded its reach into 16 countries with a total user base exceeding 2,000 individual customers, allowing Mr. Ovens to sell the company for quite a tidy sum and for substantially more than he invested in it.
Mr. Ovens, who was born in New Zealand and grew up in Auckland, now resides in New York City, which is also the location of OVENS International’s primary offices. As a result of being so far from the country in which he was raised — not to mention the overwhelming success of his entrepreneurial ventures — Mr. Ovens has traveled extensively and visited some of the most remarkable destinations throughout both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Traveling for both business and pleasure, Mr. Ovens often points out his great fortune in being able to work from any location that happens to strike his fancy, citing one of the many benefits of building a business from the ground up and relying on nothing more than a sharp instinct for entrepreneurship.
1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?
It all depends on the purpose of the trip. Sometimes traveling allows me to visit family and friends, and other times it allows me to explore incomparable coral reefs while scuba diving.
2. Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?
I’d say it is definitely a lifestyle for me. I got started after I began securing clients in countries outside of New Zealand, and I began to travel with greater frequency once the business really took off and became so exceptionally profitable.
3. What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?
Aitutaki — located in the Cook Islands — is the most beautiful place I have ever been to.
4. Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?
I try to fly back to New Zealand a few times per year, and I’m due for a return trip fairly soon. It’s always exciting to head home for a visit.
5. What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?
It is not always necessary to spend more than you can afford to have an enjoyable vacation. Even though I have the means to spend as much as I’d like, I can recall plenty of wonderful travel experiences in which I hardly spent a dime.
6. Where would you like to go?
I’d like to go to Egypt to see the pyramids, but it may be quite some time before I plan a trip to that region.
7. Where would you like to revisit?
I love to go swimming, fishing and diving in the Cook Islands, and I would like to visit there again.
8. Do you travel alone? Why?
I only travel alone when it is for business, and even then I sometimes bring a few friends along.
9. If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?
The two places I’ve called home — Auckland and New York City — are definitely must-see destinations. As for a third, I believe everyone should see the Amazon Rainforest or the Andean Mountain Range at least once in their life.
10. Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?
I travel very light simply to avoid the inconvenience of lugging so much stuff around. I’d rather just pick up whatever I need once I get to my destination.