Whether you’ve been in the luxury travel business for months or years, one of the most important lessons to always keep in mind is that there is always more to learn. This thought crossed my mind today while I was sitting with a few of my newer Independent Contractors at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel listening to the Sabre trainer we hired to do a three-day crash course in air and hotel booking.
I learned early on in my luxury travel career that having GDS skills was key to my efficiency as a travel advisor as it allows me to address client requests at any hour; I am able to track and run reports for clients who travel frequently, and the speed with which I can research and book hotels and air is unmatched. In general, it’s just an invaluable tool to take with me on my global travels so that I am never more than a wifi connection away from a flight change or last-minute hotel booking.
Even though I have been using Sabre for 10+ years, I learned valuable new tips and skills in just a few hours today simply by showing up to the class and listening to the trainer who knows much more than I do about this system. I learned that Google developed a new fare research software a few years ago that works incredibly well alongside the GDS as we are seeking the best possible options for clients as quickly as possible. I also got a refresher on how to most easily access the RD (Rule Display) function. I’ll return for more “tune up” training tomorrow as I am sure there is more for me to learn.
Last week, I spent a week at a retreat held at The Chopra Center at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa. The reason for going to the retreat was to learn directly from spiritual master teacher Deepak Chopra. While I have read many of his books and listened to many of his meditations online, attending a six-day “course” in all things Deepak Chopra was nothing if not insightful, interesting, and enlightening.
I not only learned techniques on how to be a better meditator (who couldn’t use these tips!?) but I also learned that we should not confuse our occupation with our purpose in life. While I love selling luxury travel and running a luxury travel company, I also am passionate about finding ways to help others and inspire them to live their best life. This has become increasingly meaningful to me over the past few years, and as I sat and listened to Deepak and the other “teachers” last week, I gained quite a few takeaways. I had a few great ideas pop into my head about how I can combine what I do as a luxury travel business owner with my interest in helping others. Watch this space as I plan to manifest these ideas into reality; knowing I can do so is the biggest lesson I’ve learned.
The fact is: whether it’s expanding your existing business or coming up with ways to grow it in new directions, any of us can truly can BE whatever we want to be. Keeping your mind open, attending classes and educational retreats and seminars (in person or online) about topics of interest to you will only strengthen your desire to achieve what matters most.
I’ve never been a fan of “New Year’s Resolutions” as to me, these sound like things we plan to do for a little while. Isn’t that what they typically turn into? Rather, I’ve always approached the end of the year with an attitude of “What have I done that’s been really interesting and enjoyable this year?” and “What would I like to do or change in the future?” Set goals, don’t just dream big but focus on what you can set out to learn in the future that you don’t already know (whether it’s a Sabre formula or a new yoga pose!)
Stacy Small is the president/founder of Elite Travel International, an LA-based Virtuoso travel firm. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @elitetravelgal.