Hear from Claire Young below as she discusses working with her partner Paul, how he motivated her in the pandemic and has now became her TC assistant.
Those of you who know me, know that my business is all about family. My family, my TC family, and even my clients that have become part of the family too! But I wouldn't be where I am today - a successful business owner in my own right - if it wasn't for one very special person, my partner in crime, Paul McGrath.
In early 2017, after a very messy divorce and suffering a stroke in 2012, I was a single mum to 2 girls and working part-time flexi for a local travel agency store. Disengaged and putting one foot in front of the other to pay the bills. I was on a hamster wheel of the school run, work, shopping, school run, tea-times, bath times, bedtimes, mornings and start again...
Then in 2017 I met a rather handsome chap who swept me off my feet! We moved in together and later that year I started at Travel Counsellors. I came in to see Ashley at Head Office and also met Steve. He left saying, 'Bye Claire, nice to meet you, hopefully we will see you back soon!' That was it – I had worked in retail travel for most of my adult life with managers never knowing my name. It just felt like home from the first visit – and we made our franchise agreement the same week.
Paul has been there for me the whole way. Not only did he take care of our finances, but he also supported me in every way possible. He believed in me and told me I had what it took to achieve my dreams. Paul picked me up when it was hard, pushed me forward when it got difficult and most importantly, he took the time to get to know what I did every day.
The impact of the pandemic
When the pandemic hit, I was worried about the toll it would take on us - he had already supported me to build the business and now all the pipeline monies from 2 years of work were gone too - when would we earn again? I looked at second jobs and he said to stop - that we didn't need to do that, and the business was the most important thing. I was still devastated, we lost our office too and it all felt up-hill.
I now have a TC assistant
In the Spring of 2022 we built our own office in the garden. He wanted to give me somewhere so that I could focus and help with my work life balance. It feels so much more special because we did it together. (And Paul was right, it all worked out in the end!)
I had already ruled out the option of onboarding a new or existing TC. I knew as the business grows I wanted consistency. We looked outside of TC but there was the worry that could we really trust the person, do we know them and do they know what the business is about? Paul said, "I’ll do it. Train me on phenix and I'll get a laptop."-And it just clicked into place.
Paul has now been officially onboarded as my TC assistant and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the next part of our adventure looks like.