Why you started
For around three decades, the travel and hospitality industry has been my home. I have loved the industry since I was a child. My father was and still is an active member of the industry and will no doubt to continue to add to his extensive 60 year career. I have been lucky enough to discover rich cultures from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Indian Ocean, North America, and the Middle East. Currently living in the UAE, I have been here for the last 27 years.
Why did I choose to leave the corporate world after 20 years? I needed some time to reflect and focus on what my priorities were, my family and what I truly want out of life.
Covid and the lockdown which followed provided the perfect opportunity to make some changes and so, in 2020 I stated my own travel B2B business. It has been a wonderful experience with a steep learning curve.
By creating a better work-life balance, I can better control my life and be much more flexible. This flexibility in my day to day schedule has afforded me the possibility to interact with other small business owners. I thoroughly enjoy the entrepreneurship’s innate ability to develop synergies with like minded people. We tend to steer away from traditional practices and never limit ourselves. We focus on what truly matters and bring the human element back to forefront of business.
Setting up a business allows you to continuously question every aspect of both your business and personal lives. It was during this process that I began to work on my individual “Finding My Why”. Let me tell you, it is an awe inspiring moment when it finally comes to you. Mine, as I discovered was exploring new horizons, so that connection happens.
In spite of this journey, I still felt I was not living up to my full potential. Having now my own business in my favourite industry and extra time to spend with my loved ones, I had not anticipated the importance of “putting the human element” at the core of my business.
When I left Reed Travel Exhibitions in the summer of 2019, I met up with Connie, Holly and Katie who put the inspiration back into my life. Thanks to that encounter, the excitement of being a travel counsellor was rekindled. The experience drummed up enthusiasm and delight at the prospect of helping travelers create memorable, hassle-free holidays with their loved ones or solo travels. I took the time to listen, understand, know them better and therefore turn their dreams into realities. That’s when I reached for the phone and called Holly to tell her I was ready, ready to join the exciting team as a travel counsellor.
I have been incredibly lucky to follow my dreams and create a truly bespoke company as a travel counsellor. This life changing decision has given me so much including time with my daughter and with my family to discover the world and its riches.
My favourite quotes are and yes I do try to live by them!
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right” by Tony Robbins and Dr. Seuss’s words,” Oh, the places you’ll go.”
How do you feel about having a TC business?
The travel counselors are an amazing and giving community. There is a strong camaraderie, your colleagues are always keen to help by sharing best practices or insights into their valuable experience. Every day is a learning experience.
It can be very daunting to set up your business, but trust your instincts, take help when it is generously offered from your peers and remember the operation team is there to offer support when needed. Armed with the invaluable partnership in a franchise I know I can shape the directing my company takes. Having a business is an ever evolving journey. As the business owner, you should strive for development, improving your product and skills. Diversification is a key factor and allows you to better understand your community.
My top tips
- Always ask your colleagues questions. They are eager to help and will make your road less bumpy.
- If you do not have your perfect pitch when you set up your business, do not worry, it will come to you and you will know it when it does.
- Be kind to yourself
- Success is not measured by $ earned, but by how you have touched someone’s life and made a difference as a human being and travel professional in making their trip memorable.
- Fear is temporary. Regrets last forever…not my quote!
What it means to be celebrating your anniversary
As a reflect on my achievements this year, I realize I had so much fun on my journey, I am thankful to my friends and family and last but certainly not least my customers for having enough faith me to support in the generous way they have.