Episode 32:

Guiding you through the next six weeks

You can listen directly here. 

A knock from a travel client recently made me think deeply about the future of our roles as travel advisors. I still remain optimistic and positive that we will get through this time and know our role is valuable.

There are a few things though that have worked for me in the past that I want to help you within your travel business.

This week I share with you a conversation I had with a now ex-client (after I fired them) and how I was so confident in my conversation with them that has spurred me to make a bigger difference in the industry sharing with you my knowledge. 

If you feel like you want to reach out, please connect with me on socials @travelagentachievers on both IG & FB. 

If you want the insider knowhow and be prepared for when things turnaround, check out our 6 Week Rebuild you travel business program (with some exciting bonuses - as it’s my birthday month and I am showering you with gifts ;-)) 

www.travelagentachievers.com/6weekrebuildrunway

If you want some additional accountability to take action, make sure you check out our Facebook Group specifically for travel agents. Achievers in Travel - Accountability group

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Links Mentioned in the Episode 

6 Weeks to Build or Rebuild your travel business program

5-Day Social Media Challenge

Achievers in Travel - Accountability Group

 

Quotes from this Episode

 

“Work on your business now to make it as strong as possible and ready when doors open again.”

 

“With the fundamentals and actually taking action, you will have a travel business that you absolutely love”

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Show Transcription: 

Announcer: Welcome to Travel Agent Achievers! The place to learn how to grow your travel business and have fun with it. Join Roslyn and her guests as they walk you through proven steps to a fulfilling and profitable business. 

Ros:  Ros: Well, hello there, Travel Agent Achievers. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm Ros and I am your host once again for another episode. I am so glad that you are here. And first of all, I just want to shout out to everybody who undertook the Five-day Social Media Challenge last week. It was awesome.

 I was so humbled by the feedback and the success stories that came out of it was just incredible. So I wanted to say hi to everybody. And those of you that did the challenge, and for believing in me and trusting me to guide you through that process, because it was awesome. And I can't wait to do it again.

For those of you that haven't done it, or missed out on joining us on the Five-day Challenge, just make sure you go to travelagentachievers.com/5DaySocialChallenge and you'll be on the waitlist to join us in the next round. It was so exciting.

But I have to say, after going through the challenge and the huge high, I feel like there was a little bit of burnout and some sinking thoughts. Now. I'm talking about myself here and you may relate to this because over the last six months, and I really feel like it's been six months, we have had so many highs and also so many lows.

There's been challenges and tough times. And they've been light at the end of the tunnel and glimmers of hope and then sinking feelings again. And wherever you are in the world right now, I just want you to know that I am thinking about you, and I am here for you, no matter what, through the tough times, but also through the good time.

And I wanted to talk about some sinking thoughts right now. The burnout for me, I think I've learned to run in sprint's I'm not necessarily a marathon runner, and I will talk about this in another episode, but for right now, I just want you to know how grateful I am for you for listening to the podcast for being part of this journey with Travel Agent Achievers and for believing in yourself that you can also get through this time.

Sinking thoughts, so, a couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a client. Now this is a very well-known client here in Australia. I'm not going to name and shame, but it is somebody who I had looked up to and respected very much.

And the email that I got from this client was basically and in the these words, saying, your business is going to go bust.

Now, for anybody who knows me knows that you should never come at me with something like this. I am hugely optimistic. I am positive the majority of time and if I do get down, I know that I need to sit with the challenging thoughts and the sinking thoughts and really process it. And we've had to do this many times over the last six months.

But then I can come through it. And I know the strategies and the things that I need to do to pull myself through tough times. But to have somebody suggest to me that my business was not going to make it through this period that we're going through with COVID it cut to the core.

Initially, I was shocked. Then I got angry, then I became annoyed. There were so many things going on inside of me then I just got the audacity of somebody who doesn't necessarily know me very well personally, knows me from a professional point of view, and has worked with me only a couple of times and hasn't had any big struggles in their challenge in their travels.

So they haven't seen me actually kick into rescue mode and this person to assume that my business is going to go under and you know a few words. Yes, it pissed me off.

So I wanted to talk about these things today and the strategies and things that I've used over the last six months to actually pull me through these challenging emails, phone calls and tough times because I know that we have all experienced them. For me, I have felt so many times like we've been kicked in the guts.

I use that analogy because every time something cancelled or rescheduled or we need to flip into rescue mode of a booking for future reference, it has felt seriously like a massive kick in the guts. And for me when I get these sinking thoughts, or it's just one negative  thing after another, there are a number of strategies that I have now put into place, and which I'll talk about a little bit, but I wanted to come back to this specific client, and the things that you know why it affected me so much.



Not only was it a prominent business person here in Australia, but the audacity of the conversation like it just absolutely blew my mind. So why was I so confident? Why have I had this positive attitude to think that my business will come through and what makes me so special?

Like why should I have that sort of confidence and why should I be thinking like that, that my business will come through this time when the very possibility is that a lot of travel businesses will not?  So why do I think that my business will be okay.

Well, first of all, I didn't think in all honesty, I didn't think this was going to go on for as long as it has right now. We have never experienced something this big that has affected us globally. And wherever you are in the world right now we are all in different stages of lockdown, or we can't travel or we can only visit certain places.

So why? For me, I honestly didn't think that this would last as long as it has. But I am very grateful for the lessons that I have learned in business over the last 15-20 years. I have always been a big self-learner. I've always been self-motivated. I've always wanted to do better.

And I've continued my learning after I finish school, not through a whole lot of necessarily formal education and master's degrees and things like that. But I have learnt on the job and through life.

So I've always learned from other people, I've always read a whole lot of business books, I have been a self-starter. And when I've seen something new come out, I've always wanted to learn about it.

I am very big on sales and marketing. And that's where my background is. But anything that I haven't understood very well, I've wanted to know more of, I've surrounded myself with people, mentors and coaches for as long as I can remember, because I've always known you need a coach, if you want to succeed.

And yes, we can learn all of these things ourselves. And we can often put things into action but if you don't have the accountability, to for somebody to call you out that you haven't done something or you're not following along a path that somebody else has led before you, which a coach or a mentor is able to do, then you can often get stuck or not know what direction you need to go in.

So for me back in February, I was there for you guys in the community and gave you some small tools along the way because I knew that we may not have been able to think outside the box at that time.

Now, I personally have been mentoring and coaching travel agents for a number of years now. But back in February, I knew what needed to be done. I knew I needed to plan for the worst and hope for the best. I put a budget into place and looked at my cash flows for at least six months. I also have systems and I know systems are not sexy when it comes to looking at business. Social media is way more cool and looking at new strategies and things like yeah, that's way more cool.

But the distance for me was a really big foundation that I could rely on and look at and know that our business was going to be okay because I had all of these things in place. I'm also very fortunate that I've got a small but mighty team, you've heard me talk about Mayette before.

I also have Diana, that helps me on the back end of business. And those guys have their own strengths. So I wanted my team to step up, which they absolutely have. And if I didn't have a team, I will know that I won’t be able to do this myself.

Now the reason why I have a team is because my business got to a point where I couldn't handle everything on my own. And I knew that I needed a support structure around me in the form of stock. So you may be doing this all by yourself right now and that's okay.

I'm still with you. And I've been there and I know what it’s like.

So our cash flow forecasting systems, I planned for the worst.

Now I've lost my business a few times since I started. I initially had a very big mining oil and gas client who travelled all over the world I was looking at or I was responsible for all of their travel guide moving guys around the world to and from Australia and other countries into a destination. And it was really tricky, but I loved it.

They moved their business offshore. And with that, when the travel and I lost a massive client, it took about 90% of my business and I was devastated. But you know what, I hung in there. I looked at the work that I'd already done. I knew how to rebuild, and I did.

I then had a child. I thought I could be Superman. And that wasn't the case. A lot of my business then took a backseat. But I was able to rebuild it. And I also knew that at those tough times, I would have to lean in to my coaches, and my mentors, I knew that I would need to surround myself with people that I could talk to openly and honestly that would understand my situation.

So I've always believed in learning, coaching, mentors, masterminds. And continuous learning, I think, is the biggest thing for me.

I also allowed others to make decisions and step up, not just in my business, but also in my personal life. And my husband saw my whole business crumble around me and he was incredible in that he just took over, you know, the washing up, wasn't getting done. So he just did it, the washing me to doing he just did it. And he allowed me to really focus on what I needed to do at that time as everything came crashing down for all of us around, you know, these ones globally now guys.

With the community. So for you as travel agents, I knew that there were little things that I was doing in my business like being seen and being vocal and reassuring my clients that we would get through this, and I gave them updates almost daily for a while there to really just reiterate what was going on and what was changing and what was happening.

And there were a few times throughout this, you know, we're looking back at March, April now, but I said to you guys, this time, the travel agent community, here’s something that might help you right now, if you can't look outside the box, have a look at a resource that I've created for you so that it will help you take the pressure off.

And so I wanted to do this and I think as a community, having a really supportive, you know, group of people around, you can help you in so many ways, not just in the bad times, but also in the good times.

I do a lot of mentoring now with travel agents, but also small business owners so that I can see the difference and what's working and what's not. And accountability and community are two massive things that I say really help small business owners.

So I've always had coaches, I've always had mentors, I've always learned I've always invested in programmes and books and listening tools, you name it, I invest in it, because I believe so heavily in it, but I also take action.

Now there's been times when I've invested in mentors and coaches that have been 10 times ahead of where I am, and I've struggled to keep up and I've beaten myself up and I've looked at it and I've been overwhelmed and you know, I see the bright shiny objects that they work with. And I should be doing that too. Why can't I get to those stages?

And I've learned the hard way that sometimes, and in most cases, we just need somebody to be leading from their own experience. Be somebody who is three to five years down the track that's put in the work and follow in their footsteps.

Knowing and understanding what other people do, and also how they've done it. But are relatable enough that we can, you know, take action on these little things.

So, recently, I'm invested in a new mastermind, and my beautiful mentor said to me, if you don't do these three things, I'm kicking you out of the programme. And you know what, that was a real kick for me, because, as I said to you guys, I love taking action, but I also love the accountability side of things.

 

And that's why we have our Achievers in Travel Accountability Facebook group, I want you to keep moving forward. We are always going to have hard times in business. And we are always going to struggle with different things.

But if we have the momentum, and the accountability and a supportive structure around us, we can tackle anything. And that's why we've got Travel Agent Achievers. It's why I believed in it. And I have wanted to encourage travel agents for so long now to really build the travel business of their dreams.

Not just focusing on one particular area or saying yes, I need to learn how to use Facebook and that's the be all and end all. No. I think that it's really important that you understand the foundations and the fundamentals. And you learn the cool, you know, let's go out and achieve these things. But also, we look at some of the unsexy stuff and we take action on it.

And that's where systems, finance, learning about your numbers really comes into play so that you can prepare for the future.

It's also why I started doing a lot more mentoring and coaching myself with other small business owners and for small business owners because there's a real want to learn something but there's also a need, you need to understand some of these other things.

So I want travel agents to have the most incredible business that they could possibly ever want. That is my dream and my desire for you because I know that I have built a travel business that I love, and I cherish but I am also confident that it will continue to grow once as time has passed. And the reason why it will continue to grow is because I have the foundations in place.

I know what needs to be done. I know that my clients need to see me as the expert, they need to see me taking action and they need to see me at the forefront to lead the way and show them that I will always take care of them.

So this is another reason why I'm now designed a Six Week Rebuild Your Travel Business Programme. This is an online course that goes for six weeks but you get lifetime access to it. So if you don't feel as though you're keeping up or you're on track with this each week, you can still come back to it at any time.

And I work on a different thing with you each week. So we look at your ideal clients. We look at whether a nation is the right thing for you or whether being a generalist travel consultant is appropriate. We look at whether destinations are going to be suitable for you or group travel or whatever it is.

We look at all of these different things. We look at sales, we look at customer journeys, marketing, both on and offline because I think it's important that we have both, as well as systems and finances, making sure you keep track and you measure all of these really cool things that are happening within your business.

The five day challenge that we ran last week was just the start. It was something fun, exciting. And you were able to learn tools and techniques, not just from a basic level and things that you can be talking about right now on social media, which I think is really important. And I believe that there are still things that we can be doing.

Our clients need to know that we are the expert, and I want you to be that expert for them. So the five day challenge was really just as done. The next part of that is let's get your foundations really working for you.

So if you want to know some more about it, we'll add a link to the show notes as well. But if you go to travelagentachievers.com/6weekrebuildrunway, you'll be able to grab all the details.

It is a six-week programme. But if you need the extra time to dive into things you can, and I am there every step of the way. Now we are going live with this programme. As of next Monday, I will be walking the next group of students through each Monday with a master class, a topic for that week, everyone has voxer access to me, we'll also have you know, a get it done day where we spend an attic an hour together and we actually just take action on the things that we say we're going to do for that week.

But I've also included a couple of extra bonuses. And if you want to join us on this programme, we've got payment plans, and it's not expensive when you look at the return on investment that you guys are going to get from it, plus all these extra bonuses. So if you want to know how to plan out your social media calendar or even your marketing content plan for next year, I will be running another live workshop in November.

This was hugely successful last year, and I'll be doing it again this year with updated more relevant content to what's happening right now and what you can do, so you get free access to that which is awesome.

You'll also get three months access to my brand new Travel Agent Achievers business mastermind programme, where each month we will be working on a specific topic and your business will have a hotseat. We'll do a number of different things. You guys get access to worksheets and checklists and I put together all of this for you to help make the process of building your travel business as easy as possible.

I would love to be your guide, be there to support you on this journey and give you the option right now while you can work on your business to make it as strong as possible, so that when the floodgates open the doors open the borders open. You are able to get out there your clients already know who you are. They know that you've shown up for them, and they'll be there to book with you.

If you want to join us, I would love to have you there. Just check us out on social media, you can find us @travelagentachievers on Facebook, and also Instagram. You can also check out the website travelagentachievers.com

And please have a look because this is going to absolutely reshape where you can take your business to the next level.

I believe in you. I know you can get through this time. And I want to be there to support you when you have clients that are coming at you. And that don't believe in you. Because I believe in you. I believe in myself. And that's why I said to my client.

Hey, dude, I will make it through this time. I firmly believe that. Yes, I'm remaining optimistic. Yes, I'm remaining positive. But I know with these fundamentals and actually taking action and making it all work and putting it together. You will have a travel business that you absolutely love.

So if you'd like to join me, don't forget, log on to travelagentachievers.com/6weekrebuildrunway and sign up. We'll be closing everything up on Sunday night, Australian eastern standard time and launching live on Monday morning with a very first master class.

I look forward to seeing you there. Thank you so much for listening. Hang in there, you have got this. And no matter what, make sure you surround yourself with the right community and the right people that will take you to that next level.

Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast. Make sure you leave me a review. I love reading them and seeing them as they come up and tag me on Facebook and on Instagram. If you are listening to this podcast while you're on the road, take care everybody.

Keep in touch, stay safe and well hang in there. You have got this. 

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