The word “craft” is a wonderful word. Both a noun and a verb, “craft” denotes expertise, intelligence, intuition and skill. A craft is more than a hobby, more than a pastime. When you craft an answer, you work it, paying attention to details, to the magic that is in the turns and twists in the subtleties of language and insight. A craftsman is devoted to a chosen trade and practitioners of a craft are both learned and wise in application of their practice.
Not everyone will be a craftsman. Not everyone has the passion for their trade; and when craftsmanship shades into artistry, when it merges with design, we call it genius. Craftsmanship denotes a learned skill, one that takes time, patience, study and apprenticeship – A knowledge of the rules, and a knowledge of how to skillfully break the rules. If you strive to be a craftsman in your trade, you strive for a goal that should remain just out of your reach.
It’s the striving that counts. I have a tool shed full of wrenches, hammers and other implements with the “Craftsman™” logo branded on each, a cruel joke of the gods reminiscent of a Greek myth. Yet, I try. And try.
The best travel professionals are those who are willing to make a study of their craft, who don’t know everything and who are always willing to learn. Top travel professionals are not content with “good enough” but rather strive to make every aspect of their travel practice the smooth contours of a well-planned business enterprise.
The Pareto Principle indicates only 20% of the individuals who call themselves travel professionals will ever achieve the status of a crafts person – an ability to work with any circumstance, to transcend limitations, to understand the psychological shifts necessary to excel at being a true travel professional. I’m betting if you are reading this article you are one of the 20%.
Dedication to a craft is innate – you cannot teach dedication because it is born of passion. There is no instant mastery, no wave of a wand that will make you a bona fide travel professional. Make your travel practice more than a job, more than a way to make a living. Reach higher. Strive for your craft, because bound up in that distinction is all you need to excel at your chosen trade.
We settle too easily in this industry. We buy the traditional lore of low wages, difficult clients and a hostile marketplace. Not a word of it true by necessity. Not to the crafts person.
Don’t settle easily.
Get started now perfecting your craft, and keep moving. Find coaches for yourself, read everything you can find on sales, marketing and customer service. Align yourself with good partners who will believe in you to the same degree you believe in yourself.
And keep moving forward to perfect your craft.