Today’s message pertains to selling travel, whether you consider yourself an “agent” or a “consultant.” The message should become clear as you read on, but I will give you a hint: Life, business, sales, and golf don’t always unfold as planned.
Golf and business? What’s the connection? They are very similar when it comes to “joy”…and “misery.” Think about it.
For those in the know, golf can be one hard, frustrating, (expensive) way to spend one’s time. Reason being that in order to play golf well, one has to coordinate hundreds of body parts while arriving in perfect synchronization at one specific moment in time … at impact. Without “impact” you have no game. How you get to “impact” is a net sum of your choices. When you get to “impact,” you must be spot-on. A hair off-kilter either way and you have hell to pay.
As if this is not challenging enough, you are expected to replicate your perfectly timed maneuvers 72 times in a row. The result? Sheer frustration, utter disbelief, agonizing effort, and a frequent urge to give the game up for a more docile past time like “Go Fish” or dominoes.
If golfing practitioners were honest (many have been known to fudge their score cards or improve their social positions with a non-discreet foot wedge), they would admit that they have heard themselves say that they actually “hate” the game…until they manage to pull off a successful shot the way it was designed. In an instant, and out of nowhere, their love for the game is rekindled. This happens all the time. Bad shot – I hate this game. Bad bounce – I hate this game. Good shot, “I love this game.”
Enter The Business Entrepreneur
Running a profitable business is a lot like golf. You have to coordinate a number of different disciplines in hope that, when the time is right, everything falls neatly into place. Impact, in this case, is when it is time for a customer to part with his money. It seldom unfolds as planned. I have asked myself on more than one occasion, “Why don’t I just go work for somebody else? I’m killing myself, and nothing seems to be working. Why bother?”
In other words, “I hate this game.” That is until the phone rings with a new order. Until a customer calls to say “thank you.” Until you win that “deck-stacked-against-you” presentation. Until that unsolicited email arrives painting you as the next Ferdinand Magellan. Then like a blast of fresh air, “I love this game.”
Whether lining up your next putt or rehearsing your attention-getting opening remarks, the winners know that they will miss 100% of the shots they don’t take. They realize and understand that it isn’t always going to be fun and games. That sometimes they will actually dislike their choice of a career path.
But they also realize that the next shot could go “in.” That their next coordinated effort could be the turning point. That their practice sessions could actually pay some dividends. They live the lyrics of Miley Cyrus when she reminds us that it is not the destination…but the journey that separates us from the pack.
Now that I have stepped back, selected a strategy, picked the proper tool, and took a deep breath; I realize that I am exactly where I want to be. I’m in business, and I love this game.
P.S. – The best advice I ever received on a golf course came from my former partner who happened to be a PGA Professional. After I hit a shot that was less than adequate, I verbally voiced my chagrin. He promptly responded in kind. “Marchev,” he cracked, “you’re not good enough to get mad.” Those words have served me well for the last 25 years.
I pass this great advice on to 99.9% of my golfing/business comrades today. If you insist on getting mad, don’t do so before you get good.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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