As we’re sure you’ve noticed, Israel-Travel-Secrets.com (aka ITS) is a family travel guide to Israel, our spiritual and (sometimes) physical home. In addition to the ‘must-see’ travel advice you’ll find in most guides, we go off the beaten track to show you the REAL Israel – the place we’ve grown to love and make our home, even though we grew up very far away.
But before we tell you more about us, you should know this page is about a different kind of secret –
the key to creating our online business success. And just like ITS is a bit different, the solution we
found is not your run-of-the-mill online business. Now, just in case you’re a tad impatient, we’ll let
that secret out right here and now – but you have to promise to keep it to yourself :) Ready?
You’ve just stumbled onto the key to our financial freedom.
Our secret is… drum roll please… SBI!
It all started with our passion for travel of course, but if you’re as curious as we are, you’ll want to know more. And true to our nature, we leave no rock unturned!
The People Behind ITS
We are a small team of online entrepreneurs living in Israel and the US, with a simple desire to share our passion for Israel with fellow world travelers. The stories on this site all come from our personal experiences and even feature some of our family photos. You might have noticed we actually include a signature on every page. If you want to know who’s behind any specific page, just scroll down to the end to see who signed off :)
ITS is our collaborative brainchild, and here’s how we made it happen.
Lisa and her family
Lisa Erez – Freelance Graphic Designer turned Online Entrepreneur
So, as you’ve probably surmised, my name is Lisa :). I’ve built and designed many websites, but this one has a special place in my heart. This is my story.
I live in a beautiful town called Zichron Yaacov (meaning 'In Jacob's Memory' in Hebrew) together with my husband and three beautiful daughters in northern Israel.
But I was born and raised a world away – in Manchester, England. Even as a child, I knew that one day I would come to live in Israel. Some places just feel like home and grab you deep down. I made the move immediately after graduating from Salford College of Technology, where I trained as a graphic designer.
My first home in Israel was a very young kibbutz in the Galil called Tuval. This is where I would later meet my husband Ran, who was a soldier at the time and living on the kibbutz. As soon as he completed his mandatory military service, we both set off on a two year adventure of world travel, which is at the core of Israeli culture.
We finally made our home in Zichron Yaacov after living in Haifa for a year and then in Jerusalem for two.
For the past ten years I have been working as a freelance graphic and web designer. The Internet has been a natural addition to my graphic design training, and I’ve embraced it in my business. Israelis are big on technology, so over the past years, creating websites has gradually grown to generate over 85% of my business.
Still, I face the all-too-common challenge of trading time for money. And while I’m happy with my career, I would still like more time for my family, and certainly more financial freedom to travel, whether it be close to home or far and away. Very quickly, I realized my solution was virtually staring me in the face – I needed to go one step beyond merely building and designing websites. I needed to build an online business. And to do that I would need help…
Sometimes, things have a way of working themselves out, and one conversation with Bruce showed me how simple it was. But I’ll let him take it from here :)
Bruce with his daughter
Bruce Altchouler – Seasoned business owner in Ohio turned Online Entrepreneur in Israel and beyond
Hello, Bruce here! In 2007, I felt it was time for a big change of scenery. After selling the family business in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio, I decided to make the move to Israel with my wife and kids. We made ‘Aliyah’ (in Hebrew this literally means to ascend, basically to relocate and make a home in the country). I embarked on a new career as a technical and marketing writer in the local technology industry. This was a perfect fit as it allowed me to combine my passion for new technology with my marketing experience as a business owner.
As my new career developed, I immersed myself in marketing products both online and off. When I needed a talented graphic & web designer, I found Lisa, who quickly became a good friend and excellent local guide to my new home country.
But life is all about balance, and I kept searching for a way to fulfill my entrepreneurial aspirations. And that’s when ‘IT’ happened. On one of our family outings, Lisa shared her challenge of building an online business. She knew about designing and building, but writing content was not her forte.
I couldn’t help myself. I immediately blurted out
‘Lisa, that’s what I do for a living!’
After several conversations and diligent research, one solution kept surfacing as a front runner.
It was called SBI!
As the solution became clear, we embarked on the journey of building a business that is successful by design.
So just to make sure all our bases were covered on this new entrepreneurial journey, I suggested we bring in my friend and career coach to guide us in the process.
Ohad – the screen is yours, do your thing :)
Ohad and his wife Tahly
Ohad Flinker - Copywriter and Internet Marketing Expert turned Online Entrepreneur
My copywriting career took off in the local Israeli market at the turn of the new millennium. I gradually learned how to establish myself as a local expert, so when the dot.com bubble burst in 2000 and the financial markets crashed in 2008, my career never suffered.
With the Israeli export economy booming, I discovered a Sabra with native English and business sense can carve out a good niche as a copywriter and Internet Marketing expert.
Thankfully, I’ve always kept a lookout for new opportunities in my career and personal development.
My ideal career would:
So, I began looking at alternative ways to make a living, beyond the standard full time JOB or
freelancing (trading time for money in both cases). One particularly appealing strategy was to
create a content-rich website.
Of all the ways to create a money-making content website, a system called SBI! offered the best approach I could find.
My Hovercrafting Adventure Proves that SBI! Works
As a test project, I put up a website about a niche market I knew very little. Hovercrafterz.com was born. To my surprise, my niche site kept attracting traffic and generating income – on autopilot!
So when it was time to dive in and create a more ambitious project, Bruce’s call fit right in. As a local Tel Avivian for over a decade, you’ll find I’m also signed off on the section devoted to my home town and favorite city on the planet :)
We launched Israel-Travel-Secrets.com in 2011.
Read on to find out how we did it.