The wholistic travel professional
As we are working through our 2015 resolutions – lose weight, get organized, increase our business – I’d like to suggest a broader category that would cover all of your business goals and personal resolutions. What if we were to “Get a Life?” I do not mean that in the literal sense of being a person that is breathing and has brain activity, but a person who is well rounded and maintains a high degree of health, happiness and productivity.
It is all too often that I see colleagues glued to their electronic devices, taking calls at all hours, and experiencing challenges from clients. This leads to less time with family, less time to pursue other interests, and less time for maintaining overall health. This cycle is difficult to break, but it must be done! In fact, developing yourself as a “whole” person is imperative to wellness in all areas, including your work. Devoting too much time to work leads to family issues, stress, and depression – none of which benefit you as a travel professional.
A positive correlation certainly exists between outside interests and improved work productivity. This is no secret because people want to do business with happy people who make them feel good; clients are drawn to positivity. If you are constantly tired, irritated, impatient or unhappy, people sense that and may not enjoy interacting with you. In addition, a couple of hours a week spent in the gym or doing a hobby can actually lead to new clients! It’s a win-win as you are taking care of yourself, participating in a rewarding activity, and having personal interaction with others (who may be interested in travel).
A funny thing happens when you actually work less, more business comes your way! For me personally, it took a minor health issue to reconfirm that my health, happiness, and family are the priorities in my life. I love my work and give 100% to my clients during work time and of course for all travel emergencies; however my commitment to overall life satisfaction has greatly improved my focus, enthusiasm, and energy in my work life. Clients are quick to notice that and even respect those boundaries. As an example, one of my favorite suppliers works strictly 8:30am – 5pm. Since I know those are the hours she maintains, I plan accordingly. Clients will do the same and believe me you will be thrilled with how quickly they can make decisions, call you with deposits, and adhere to your deadlines!
It is easy to say you do not have time for recreational pursuits due to demanding work hours, but making time for interests outside of work is life changing. Focusing on the development of your entire being to incorporate family, friends, hobbies, and health with the balance of work is a worthy business goal and personal resolution for 2015. By “Getting a Life” and getting out of the office, there is tremendous potential to meet new clients and with newfound energy and optimism as a travel professional you’ll be enjoying your work and all the rewards that come with it!
Marti Litwin is an independent Virtuoso travel advisor with En Route Travel in Southern California. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Marti shares her value of sharing unforgettable family experiences with her clients. In addition to travel, she enjoys yoga, health and wellness, her 2 children and an adorable rescued Golden Retriever, Cookie.