Three words for running your travel business — ready, fire, aim | Travel Research Online


Three words for running your travel business — ready, fire, aim

I’d like to ask you a simple question, business owner to business owner. If you decided to host a surprise birthday party for your best friend, and you knew she was a very popular gal so there were going to be at least 50 people there, would you wait until the day of the party and all 50 people had arrived before you purchased the food, beverages, and other party supplies?

Sounds like a crazy question, right? Of course you wouldn’t wait. You would plan for the party as if at least 50 people were going to be there. You’d cater for 50 people. You’d supply booze and other beverages for 50 people. You’d find a space big enough for 50 people. And the list goes on.

So, my dear friend, why aren’t you planning for business growth like this? It’s the beginning of the year and you set a goal to double your sales and revenues. Now, get planning for that growth. Don’t sit and wait!!!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say to me, “Meredith, I really want to hire an assistant so I can delegate the post-booking tasks I don’t like to do, but I can’t afford one yet.” And my response is always the same: “You can’t afford NOT to if you want your business to grow.”

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in entrepreneurship is to take action BEFORE I feel ready. For example, several years ago when I was running my travel business with my business partner, a key person who provided amazing leads to us as a travel agent asked us to be hired. Our immediate response was “we can’t afford it.” But we sat down, thought long and hard about it, and realized we couldn’t afford not to. And that was a major turning point for our business. Our sales tripled that year. We took action by hiring this person long before we felt ready. We hadn’t even paid ourselves a salary yet!

Whether the action is about hiring someone new, leasing an office space, investing in a coaching program, or dropping thousands of dollars on a trade show sponsorship, you should be making the decision based upon where you are going and NOT where you are. Just like you would do if you were planning a party for 50 people. Think about it: the moment you decide to host the party, you don’t start questioning whether anyone will show up, do you? Most likely you don’t. You don’t get obsessed with fear that the 50 people won’t show up. You have absolute expectation that they will show.

Bring this expectation of where you are going to your business. One of the most critical ways to do this is to operate under the philosophy of “Ready, Fire, Aim.” You actually can’t go wrong with this philosophy. Why? Because no matter what happens after the “fire” step, you can always course correct.

Here’s an interesting fact and fabulous analogy for how one should run their business: Course correction is how our nuclear missiles move from launch point to final destination. The GPS system within the missile is constantly asking for feedback on its path in relation to its final destination. The only kind of feedback it gets is negative. If it’s perfectly on path, it will get no feedback and continue. But when it gets negative feedback, it course corrects until there is no more negative feedback, so it knows it’s back on path.

Can you imagine if the GPS system operated like a fearful business owner? The moment it got negative feedback, it would turn around and go back to where it started. Think about it: How many times as a business owner have you acted this way, allowing negative feedback to stop you in your tracks? Letting fear prevent you from taking action? Don’t be like a deer in headlights. Guess what happens to them?

Your Assignment: Set your financial and personal goals, and then take inspired action. When you set your goals from an inspired place, the next likely thing that will happen is opportunity will show up. It’s happened to me over and over and over again. When you say “yes” to the opportunity, you say “yes” to the universe and your goals. Start looking for those opportunities and don’t let fear get in the way of saying “yes.”

Meredith Hill, ex-President of Hills of Africa Travel, founded the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE) to empower frustrated and struggling travel consultants who weren’t getting the marketing support they needed. As the fastest growing industry organization dedicated to marketing education for travel professionals, GIFTE’s mission is to revolutionize the way travel advisors market and grow their businesses.  GIFTE’s products and programs provide all the tools, resources and support travel professionals need to reach a whole new level of success in travel – one that includes making more money while making a difference in the lives of their clients. Learn more at, or visit and “like” GIFTE’s Facebook Fan Page at

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