As I reflect on the past year of writing the TRO Diary series, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s really not a finish line where myself and business is concerned; it’s not about the destination, but the journey. And what a wonderful and wild journey it’s been!
Writing a regular diary has forced me to take a hard look at where I’ve been, and how I got there. It’s been quite a ride, and I feel I’ve learned a lot in the process. I learned that I can specialize, and not be everything to everyone. I struggled for a few years trying to figure out what my specialties are, never really knowing. I can say without a doubt now that I love selling cruises and escorted vacations. I’ve narrowed down my list of favorite cruise lines and tour operators, so I don’t spread myself too thin. I can now focus on them, and become so familiar with the products that I know them inside out.
I also want to study and earn my ACC and eventually MCC through CLIA. It can only help me become a better seller of cruise travel. I’ve been tweeting and posting on my Facebook page fairly regularly; getting my name and face out there will help people remember me when they’re ready to plan a trip. I’m also really proud of the fact that I’ve consistently doubled my sales every year.
There are a few areas where I feel I’ve fallen short of where I’d like to be. I haven’t delegated work that really should have been pushed to someone else. My website, while fun at first, has now become a chore. I’ve managed to delete a few key components to make it a bit more user-friendly. It’s time someone else took charge of its design, so I can focus on what I do best, selling travel. I’ve also not made as much progress with getting out and meeting potential clients. To be honest, other than networking meetings, I was stumped for finding potential clients. I did attend a marketing boot camp, and the ideas presented were fantastic, and very do-able! I’m in the process of setting up a 52-week planner for 2012 to keep me on track. I’m excited, as I’ve never had a marketing plan before.
I’m excited about what 2012 has to offer, and feel ready for the task at hand! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my journey. I’ve enjoyed sharing my life with you, and hope the New Year is happy and prosperous for you!
Patti Maxwell is the Owner of Galavant Travel in Deerfield New Hampshire. After a 28 year long career as a medical transcriptionist, Maxwell received her Travel & Tourism Certificate from a local Community College, and started Galavant Travel in 2007. Galavant is a home based agency affiliated with Avoya Travel. You can contact Patti by email, on her website, on twitter, facebook, or her blog.