One of the more useful lessons I learned early on, is to emulate others. The Virtuoso owners who took this naïve young man under their wing to teach me the “business” of the travel business and later as an industry executive, I modeled those I knew to be good managers with a high level of trust and integrity.
Ray Dalio is someone worth emulating. A self-made man with a net worth in excess of $16.8 billion, his life and work are governed by hundreds of “Principles” developed over the years and documented in the New York Times bestseller by the same name. I chose three to highlight that can help you to find your own role models.
“If you can’t successfully do something, don’t think you can tell others how it should be done.”
This happens A LOT. Several years ago, I was contacted by a new travel agent coach. She was unfamiliar to me, so I questioned her motives. She finally admitted to having been in the business for less than six months and decided she could earn more advising agents than being one. She needed The Wealthy Travel Agent programs to give her coaching business credibility and a de facto endorsement. Of course, I declined. Never assume business coaches and others offering advice have achieved success in selling travel. Do your due diligence and trust your gut.
“Be especially wary of those who comment from the stands without having played on the field...”
I rarely attend the general sessions at most conferences. I prefer not to listen to industry executives, who have never had skin in the game, stand on stage telling advisers what they should be doing to succeed. To be clear, I’m not upset with them, they are just doing their jobs. Many have been promoted from the ranks of finance, legal, and marketing to manage budgets, teams and to represent their respective brands. Rarely have they sold retail travel or owned a business. Yet many advisers treat their every word like it was the gospel. I wouldn’t bet the farm on their advice. Instead, emulate others who have experienced success or work with an experienced business coach.
“Remember that believable opinions are most likely to come from 1) people who have successfully accomplished the thing in question at least three times and 2) who have great explanations of the cause-effect relationships that lead them to their conclusion.”
When interviewing a supplier, consortia, coach, mentor, or peer for opinion, advice, or partnership, do just that – interview. Ask probing questions and don’t stop with the first response. Follow it up with a “Why?” question. Continue asking “why” until you are satisfied that they are believable and have a proven track record that can help advance your own agenda.
Dan Chappelle is a sales performance coach, professional business advisor, and best-selling author. His training and consulting firm help develop sales focused business leaders and entrepreneurs in the travel and tourism industry. His book, Get Your S.H.I.P. Together: The Wealthy Travel Agent Guide to Sales is available on Amazon.com.
For information on the Wealthy Travel Agent Academy’s business building programs, visit: www.DanChappelle.com
©2019 Dan Chappelle, CCI Inc.
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