You are responsible for your own journey to the top!

How was your vacation?

I recently returned from a five day, solo backpacking adventure on a seventy-five-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington’s Cascade mountains. You may remember the PCT, the west coast version of the Appalachian Trail, from the bestselling book and movie, Wild.

I am an avid day hiker and have done a number of overnight backpacking trips - I have even climbed Mount Rainier, but I had no idea how physically challenging this endeavor would be.

Towards the end of the second day, I had already hiked fifteen miles with one to go. This last mile included a modest five hundred feet of elevation gain before reaching camp at the top of Cathedral Pass.  At this point, my legs were like jelly and I could go no further. As I sat there on the side of the trail, I quickly realized that I was out in the middle of one of the most remote sections of the entire PCT.  No one was going to come and get me, bring me water, or carry my forty-five-pound pack to the top of the pass. It was just me and the mountain. I had to dig deep and it took me two hours to cover a distance and elevation that I would normally do in less than thirty-five minutes. I literally willed myself up that mountain. When I reached the top of the pass, I felt the exhilaration one experiences only after coming back from seemingly insurmountable odds.

Ironically, shortly after returning home, I received an email with a quote from William Baker that read, “Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life.”  Full responsibility…

As I fell back into my normal work routine, two things struck me. First, how strange it felt not to be hauling around forty-five pounds on my back for 10 hours a day and second, not a day goes by when I don’t read of someone complaining that they don’t have enough leads, their consortia marketing isn’t working, or their host agency is taking too much commission and not doing enough to support them.

We choose to sell travel, whether to supplement our income or as a full-time profession, yet so many expect success to simply be handed to them. When it is not, they start blaming others. If you don’t believe me, just spend a few minutes perusing several of the many travel agent support groups on Facebook. 

Joining an organization which provides leads is no guarantee of success. There is a significant percentage of members who fail when they discover that even this is not the magic bullet they are seeking. 

It’s time they realize this is their business - not their consortia or host, but their own. They are solely  responsible for their situation and actions.

Some of you might be angry at me for being blunt and unapologetic, but I can promise you there are many more folks who are frustrated with those who won’t or can’t take responsibility for their businesses (see same Facebook forums.)

This can easily be avoided with a periodic, thorough, and frank assessment of your Skills, Habits, Inspiration and Performance to help you stay focused on what’s important to your business.

There are times we all have to dig deep and figure out how to get to the top of our own mountains. No one will do it for us, but when we reach the summit, the rewards can be enlightening.


Dan Chappelle is a professional business advisor, sales coach, author, and speaker. His training and consulting firm helps develop sales oriented business leaders and entrepreneurs. His best-selling book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales, is available on

For information on Dan’s Sales Acceleration programs, visit:

©2017 Dan Chappelle, CCI Inc.


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.