Steve Jobs of Apple Computers once used the phrase “insanely great” as a way of describing his products and it became an anthem for his vision of Apple’s brand. Go to any Apple store and look at the people crowding around, staring at the products, touching them, playing with computers, phones and iPods and listening to music. You won’t find that kind of zealous activity in the computer section at Best Buy…unless they are looking at the Apple computers. iPhone. iPad. iPod. iTunes. Their products are benchmarks, what all competing products compare themselves against and want to be.
Do you want to be an insanely great travel professional? Did you ever? What an amazingly simple, yet powerful, goal to set. Too often our eyes are so focused on the day-to-day detail of the work in front of our face we forget the lofty goals and aspirations that first brought us to travel. None of us begins our career hoping to be “pretty good” or “OK” at what we do. In our earliest days of planning and setting out on our careers, we have a vision of greatness.
You can be insanely great.
Let’s rediscover some passion. Here are four steps headed in the right direction.
- Commit to being the best at what you do. Don’t settle for less. Look at every aspect of your travel practice and make it better. Renew your vows with yourself to be insanely great. Be creative and persistent and energetic. Surround yourself with things that remind you why you love travel and why you do what you do.
- Commit to life-long learning. You get back what you put in. Each and every day, learn something new about travel. Each and every day, learn something new about sales and marketing. Take courses, become a destination specialist. Go on fam trips. Attend webinars. Seek to learn from every experience, both good and bad.
- Follow the leaders, then become one. Learn from the best. Go to trade shows, work in online communities with your peers. Watch what is working for others and borrow their ideas. Learn the characteristics of top travel agents and emulate them. Along the way, contribute to others and you will be surprised how much you receive in return.
- Guard your integrity. Commit to a set of values and principles, and then stick to them. This is more difficult than it sounds. Do what you say you will do, apologize when you don’t, and resolve to be better next time. We all slip up, make mistakes, say the wrong thing, over-promise and under-achieve. We say one thing and do another. We avoid. We burn bridges. We get angry when we should be learning. Many of these are simply bad habits that can be broken. Resolve to break them. Begin to minimize the things that stop you, that make you feel bad, that impede your sense of worth and value. Remove the obstacles that get in your way and don’t look back. Imagine the travel consultant you want to be and become that image.
As a travel agent, you are the product that must be insanely great for your company to flourish. It’s a tall order, very difficult to achieve. Maybe you have to be a little bit crazy to be truly great in this business.
We do, after-all, aspire to be insanely great.