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Himalayan trekker takes side hustles to new heights 
By Elaine Simon

Few women go to the lengths Lina Patel scales to engage in a side hustle—Patel, Red Roof’s director of strategic franchise initiatives, also is a guide with Himalayan Glacier Trekking. Since 2010, she’s taken more than 1,000 people on guided trips on Mount Everest, both in Nepal and Tibet.


In addition to the two-week trips one to two times a year, Patel is responsible for helping to promote the business and attract hikers (most of them find out about the company by word of mouth), as well as preparing them for the trip in terms of physical training, mental preparation, gear purchasing and packing during the six months leading up to a trek.


“I always tell them not to get this confused with a vacation because it really is not a vacation,” Patel said. “It's a self-journey where you are really going to push yourself beyond your limits physically and more importantly, mentally. We go as high as 20,000 feet in elevation. The oxygen level after 14,000 feet is less than 50 percent and it gets less and less as we go higher and higher. We have to be very focused and disciplined in order to be able to complete this journey.”

Patel is bringing her franchising and ownership expertise to Red Roof’s SHE Leads Forum on Sept. 28-29 in Dallas, where she will be discussing Red Roof’s new RIDE (Road to Inclusivity and Diversity in Entrepreneurship) initiative and how it will expand and further diversify hotel ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities for underrepresented groups.


In this interview, she shares how she combines her role at Red Roof with her side hustle and her advice for others who are interested in getting involved in their own side hustles.


How does this side hustle fit into your hotel ownership and your position at Red Roof?

“I have found a side hustle that brings me genuine joy and enthusiasm. When something feels more like a hobby than work, it often leads to a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience. Balancing it with dedicated time off demonstrates a healthy approach to maintaining that passion. This perspective can make the effort feel more rewarding and sustainable in the long run.”


What do you have to say to someone who wants to get involved with a side hustle but isn’t sure what to do or how to start?

“Open communication and brainstorming with friends and family can be incredibly valuable. It creates a supportive environment for generating ideas and assessing their feasibility. It's true that many women have untapped potential and ideas, and starting this conversation can be the catalyst for discovering a fulfilling side hustle. Taking those initial steps together with loved ones can provide the necessary encouragement and practical support to turn a concept into reality.”


What’s your advice for other women who might be interested in starting a side hustle?

“Remember, starting a side hustle is about exploring one’s passions and potential. Approach it with curiosity and determination, and don't be afraid to take that first step!

  • First, identify your passion. Choose something you genuinely enjoy and are passionate about. This will make the process more enjoyable and fulfilling.

  • Secondly, set clear goals. Define what you want to achieve with your side hustle. Having specific, measurable goals will help you stay focused.

  • My favorites, network and seek support. Connect with like-minded individuals, join communities and seek advice. Supportive networks can be invaluable.

  • Manage your time wisely. Balance your side hustle with your other commitments. Set aside dedicated time for it to ensure consistent progress.

  • Lastly, take care of yourself. Ensure you're maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Self-care is crucial for long-term success.”


You are participating in this year’s SHE Leads Forum. Tell us about your session – what will it consist of and what can attendees expect.

“Attendees can expect a deep dive into Red Roof's RIDE initiative, gaining insights into its inception and progress. It's an opportunity to learn from industry leaders and explore critical aspects of inclusivity, diversity, and entrepreneurship. Overall, it's a session filled with practical insights and inspiring discussions.”


What are you hoping that attendees get out of your session and from the event as a whole?

“The SHE Leads Forum covers a wide range of crucial pillars for women in leadership and entrepreneurship. From ownership to wellness, side hustles and personal branding, it offers a comprehensive platform for learning and growth. The diversity of topics ensures that attendees will leave with a wealth of knowledge and actionable insights that can positively impact their professional and personal journeys.”

Visit for more information about Red Roof’s SHE Leads Forum and for tools to help you manage your business, rise in the ranks and find the confidence to become a successful business leader.

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