For those that don’t know, 17Hats (17Hats.com) is the software I use to organize my business. I talked all about how it works for me in this article, and they just keep making improvements all the time. When I give a fellow small business owner my referral code, I do it because a) I get to use it free for a month longer when they sign up with my link, and b) I genuinely want them to try it for themselves. There is so much debate about which programs to use, and with competitors like Dubsado, Honeybook and Tave, it’s a tough decision to make. But luckily 17hats is the only program I need to explore because it just works for me. That’s how I got started in referrals–but today I’m a 17Hats Winner, and I can’t believe I won a trip to Hawaii and I was able to take some beautiful family travel photos!
Winning the Prize
I remember winning one of the first referral contests and getting a GoPro for the prize, and thinking holy cow, I really just out-referred everyone else? I didn’t even have to try! And that’s when it hit me that I could manage to win more. So I set my heart on winning the quarterly grand prize trip. I blogged about my experience, I fearlessly told my friends and peers about it, and I told my family I was GOING to Hawaii. But determination aside, I can’t tell you how shocked and ecstatic I was getting that email from Gigi at 17Hats that I won. Because it was like winning the lottery.
I had never been to Hawaii before, but my fiancé, Craig, has lived there in the past. We have talked so much about how amazing it was to live in Oahu, the culture, the weather, the view, the food, and the vibes. And the moment I stepped off the plane in Honolulu I felt a wall of warm humid air take years of stress away. Maybe it’s my crazy mom hormones (moms you know what I mean), but I won’t lie. I cried.
The entire first day in Hawaii I kept my camera in its bag. I soaked in the experience, unburdened by my self-imposed task of documenting it. I absolutely don’t regret doing that by the way! On the first day, we picked up our rental car (17hats made our reservation and took care of that cost as well). We drove past Craig’s old stomping grounds in Aiea, and rolled through the dense Honolulu traffic with our windows and our jaws open–well mine was anyway. The green was intensely green, the blues were intensely blue, and the sun was vividly bright. It was other worldly. Even the trees were different.
17Hats hooked us up with an incredible yurt to stay in, and it was truly amazing. I’d never seen a yurt before. It was something you’d see in a movie or read about in a magazine. It was a small hexagonal structure with screen walls and tarp to keep the rain out, with a skylight dome window. There was a loft with a bed and a place to hang out, and a 17Hats sign on the front door. You could feel the breeze inside, hear the ocean waves, and some of the creatures in the foliage outside. But Kai put his foot down and refused to sleep in the yurt, somehow he was just terrified being there. So we had to pack up and find a hotel. We headed for Waikiki late that night and found an open hotel on the strip.
The next few days were filled with sun, sand, Oahu traffic, and adventure. We visited the neighborhood that Craig grew up in, ate spam musubis while looking out over Pearl Harbor, and did all of the tourist things. Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself with our family travel photos below!
Thank you for reliving Hawaii with me!
I’ll forever be yearning to go back, and it’s a serious goal of ours to live there. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am to have had this opportunity and to capture our family travel in photos. How grateful I am that my son got to see the ocean before his second birthday. That we got to escape snowy Colorado and piles of work for a while. And sometimes truly great things happen to us in surprising ways. 17hats, you have changed my life in more ways than one. I already love your software for my photography business, but when you appreciate me too… Well. It’s an amazing feeling.
Help your business out, do yourself a HUGE favor, and help me win the next amazing prize: use my promo code: Carrie or just click here to get started with 17Hats with 10% OFF the unlimited plan!
Have questions? Head over to my contact page and send me a message. I’d love to help!