As a travel planner, no doubt you are very aware of all the “shoulds”: you should develop a marketing plan, you should email clients on a regular basis, you should have a newsletter… there are a lot of “shoulds.” In fact, coming up with a list of things to do is easy. Accomplishing the list is a bit tougher. As you continue to build your travel practice, one of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to consciously remove the obstacles you can identify that prevent you from acting on and accomplishing your plans.
Firstly, know you are not alone: many travel agents have problems turning their intentions into action. One of the best preliminary exercises for getting underway with an action plan is to identify those things that stop you from accomplishing the tasks at hand. What in your daily routine wastes time, frustrates you, prevents you from implementing your plans? Are there too many distractions? Is your work area not optimal? Are you unsure of how to begin to plan? Are you afraid to write an article or speak in public? Any one of these things, plus many more, can act to inhibit your more energetic, creative side from taking charge.
The prescription is to meet these issues head-on. Make a list of reasons why you are not accomplishing everything you set out to do. Watch out for a natural tendency to misidentify problems – not knowing how to write a press release is not the same as not having enough time to write one. Be tough on yourself and identify your excuses – all of them. Make a list of “Things that Stop Me” and be brutally honest.
For each item you identify as a problem, write a short solution. Workspace clutter? Read a good article on organization and put it into action. Not enough time in the day? Identify distractions and time-wasters and eliminate them. Turn to a community of agents either online or in your own office, to help identify common obstacles to professional growth. You will find you have a lot in common with your peers.
The process of identifying the issues that distract you from accomplishing your goals can be painful, particularly if you are honest. You may even meet a few inner demons that want to run the show. Banish them by giving them a name and finding a solution.
On occasion you may discover what stops you is a dragon bigger than you want to handle on your own. It may be fear of failure or, sometimes even more daunting, fear of success. When you identify what stops you as a psychological issue, remember the possibility of finding a good business coach to assist you in moving from where you are to where you want to be.
Act as though getting on with your career depends on achieving your goals… because it does.