Learn and Earn with Airbnb 

In her popular Airbnb Online ExperienceLauren Gibbs reminds us that it’s never too late to try something new, sharing her story of winning an Olympic bobsleigh medal in 2018 having only taken up the sport aged 30. Here, Lauren explains how her Airbnb Experience is not only providing extra income during an uncertain time, but also giving her great practice for her motivational speaking business. You can set up your own Online Experience with our support – find out more about this exciting opportunity here 

  • US bobsledder Lauren Gibbs won a silver medal at PyeongChang 2018 and is training towards Beijing 2022. 
  • She is also a motivational speaker who has been improving her skills by running an Airbnb Online Experience while quarantined.  
  • Lauren is now able to reach participants from all over the world in the same session – and you can too, with our support.  

MOnline Experience on Airbnb is essentially the story of how I became an Olympian.  

In my mind, an Olympian had always been somebody who found their sport at four years old and had to be exceptional at it – and that their life’s work of sport culminated in the OlympicsBut for me, it was a bit different.  

I’d graduated from college, I’d graduated from an MBA programme and I was working in the corporate worldand then at the age of 30 was posed with the question of: ‘You should try bobsleigh’. From then on, it was an adventure that I never imagined would be possible. So I share my experience of pivoting later in life, and what that’s meant to me. 

Setting up and refining your Experience 

I love sharing my story, and public speaking is a passion of mine and a business of mine. So once the pandemic hit and in-person Experiences weren’t a possibility, I thought I’d try and do something online. 

I didn’t know what would come of it, because you always have that uncertainty about whether people are going to find it interesting. Are they going to enjoy it, and do I have something worth sharing? But it’s been a fun journey, figuring out what people are interested in hearing about, what questions they have and what they enjoy learning.  

The idea of pivoting at any point in your life – and that normal people can do extraordinary things, take advantage of opportunities and mould their lifestyle around it – I think is what people are taking away from our conversations. It’s a mix of laughter, inspiration and a good feeling of connecting with people, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity.   

Making connections 

The best part of it is meeting people you would never have the opportunity to meetshare my journey, show my Olympic medal and some clothing from the Olympics, and then do a Q&A where participants can ask me anything about life, the Olympics, the Olympic mindset and whatever their imagination can think of.   

Usually you’re confined to where you can travel to and how quickly you can travel there, but when it’s online there’s no confinement because anybody can log on to their laptop, their phone or their tablet. So it’s been great to have experiences where one person is in Ireland, one person is in Scotland, someone is in Ohio in the United States, and then I’m here in Los Angeles. Everybody is meeting people that they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet, which I think is what it should be all about.  

So you can do a workout, you can do a motivational talk, you can do a Q&A… there’s really no limit to what you can do with your Experience, because you can reach people all over the world from the comfort of your home 

there’s really no limit to what you can do with your Experience, because you can reach people all over the world from the comfort of your home

How this can help your career 

I think the benefits for an athlete in creating an Online Experience are, first and foremost, that it’s getting information about you and your sport out there to people around the world. The more exposure the Olympics has, the more opportunity you are going to have during the Olympics and once you retire. It also gives us something to do in these very uncertain times, and I think the ability to inspire others is a big piece that I think athletes will really enjoy.  

And how this is helping my career? I think first it’s allowing me to refine my speaking topics, my speaking tone and the way I present my material. It’s also allowing me to get feedback from people from all different walks of life. It’s basically free constructive criticism, which, as athletes, we crave; we’re always trying to be better. And then I’m also meeting people who work for companies who might need a virtual speaker or an in-person speaker once this is over, to inspire their group.  

So if you’re an athlete and you’re thinking about creating an Experience, I would say give it a try. It’s super easy to edit and really make your Experience a personal one, because you are the expert of your sport, your mentality and your experiences. The Olympic Movement is like this secret club that most people don’t get entrance into, and so I find the public really want to know more about it. 

To find out how you can set up an Online Experience like Lauren, and receive support and mentoring from Airbnb and Athlete365, click here