You Have To Earn Your Confidence Badge | Travel Research Online


You Have To Earn Your Confidence Badge

I was a guest on a year-end webinar with my good friend Stuart Cohen earlier this month. We promoted the session as a year-end “conference.” Stuart and I went back and forth sharing business-building nuggets with our audience for sixty minutes.

We managed to complete our agenda in the allotted time before we opened up the lines to questions from those who wanted to stick around for an impromptu Q&A.

A question came in regarding “confidence.” The agent was seeking a recommendation for a book that would help bolster their confidence level. Stuart asked me to address the question first. (Silence.)

My mind began to peruse my personal bookshelf  which contained hundreds of volumes covering sales, marketing and customer service and employee motivation. The telephone line remained silent as I shot from title to title in hopes one author would leap into my mind so I could respond appropriately to the inquiry. No dice!

The truth is that you can’t read yourself into confidence. You must perform your way to confidence based on success. That explains why a second string quarterback can’t just step into a do or die situation and shine when the starting QB goes down with an ankle sprain. #2 is a talented athlete. He is a professional. But he has not “earned” his stripes on the gridiron, so he is lacking in the confidence department.
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You must come off the bench and into the fray. You must take your lumps and learn as you go. You may know the playbook cold and have your footwork down to a science, but until you take a live “snap,” your confidence will continue to be challenged.

Likewise, you can’t read yourself into developing confidence in the travel industry. Until you answer a number of in-coming calls, research multiple destinations, ask for help from preferred suppliers, deal with impolite angry clients and be told by more than one prospect to “stop calling them,” you will have little reason to be confident as a travel professional. Once people return from their vacations and tell you it could not have happened without you, you will begin to fortify your confidence quotient.

In case I lost a few of you with my sports analogy, here is the bottom line: Confidence comes with experience. No book, article or workshop can take the place of an “in-the-trench” learning curve.

My advice: Get into the game and give it your best shot. Learn as you go. Learn as you grow. Your confidence will grow along with you.

Of course I want you to read everything you can get your hands on regarding your specialty. But nothing will substitute for daily activity.

Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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