Author Archives: Brenda Llamas Young

There are 10 articles by Brenda Llamas Young published on this site.

Encore Romance Travel — What a year!

I can’t believe the year is ending, where did it go?

I had always heard that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster; and boy it has been the mother of all roller coasters this year for me! I started the year by paying it forward and opening myself to helping other travel agents and answering questions from those interested in joining the travel industry. One of those conversations led me to hiring an independent contractor. She’s a spunky, smart girl with a background in advertising and a passion for travel. I think she’ll be great for the industry. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m very active in social media whether promoting my business or networking with other agents. I share my business marketing strategies, destination expertise, local contacts and business ventures ideas freely. I recently had a speaker use my screen captures from website as a reference in his presentation to a group of travel agents. I found out that an agency in another state took some of my website marketing pieces intended for my clients, and repurposed it with their name! I have also had other agents contact me to ask if it would be OK for them to remove my name and share my content on their websites. I could only shake my head.  Read the rest of this entry »

The past few weeks have been ones filled with mistakes–and lessons learned from those mistakes. I suppose as one navigates the world of entrepreneurship we learn what works, what doesn’t, and what we will never do again in a million years.

I’ve lost money and precious time recently as I saw one of my grandiose plans fail miserably; but I had it coming. I had discussed my plans for a travel show with my business coach, he recommended I start small and slowly and I should’ve listened. I ended up investing money and time with people I didn’t fully trust and I ended up losing in the end. I should’ve listened to my coach and my gut.  Read the rest of this entry »

My last article discussed how social media had taken over my life. I said, “I need a break. It seems like everywhere I turn people are talking about it. I came across a few articles just in the last few days about prioritizing your life into what matters the most. A blogger even suggested a social media break in order to reconnect with those that really matter to us, like family and friends—remember them?” Read the rest of this entry »

My road to entrepreneurship has been a long and bumpy one. I have hung on so long; and now I realize I need a break. Any kind of break in order to stop, breathe and jump back on the bandwagon. I’m at that point. I’m juggling the business, a demanding leadership position with the US Army Reserve, and taking two college courses for good measure. You know, just because I thought I didn’t have enough on my plate.

I feel like the hungry girl at the buffet line, piling stuff on my plate just because it looks good. My mind has not been my own for the last few weeks, I’ve been waking up and going to sleep with business thoughts on my mind not to mention, the other thoughts; the ones that keep nagging me because I’m not getting enough stuff done as fast as I would like.

I need a break. Read the rest of this entry »

Most people outside the travel industry think we live a glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle. Acquaintances are constantly asking where am I headed next and can they come with me. As we all know, it’s not nearly as glamorous as people think. In reality I’m struggling to juggle the many conferences, FAM’s and workshops on my calendar; not to mention, caring for my clients while I’m also traveling. “How do I pick the right FAM or conference?” is a question I hear over and over from colleagues. “I can’t afford to go on all these FAM’s,” is another common complaint, and I can understand why. These events are not free (as some people would like to believe). After my return home and adding up my expenses, all I can think is, “was this worth $1,700?”  What did I learn?  Could I have used this money in a different way? What is my ROI? Read the rest of this entry »

Last month I was pondering my “re-branding”  (it wasn’t a complete rebrand, just a fine tune) and I shared my fears. I was worried about the re-print costs, website traffic and the complete do-over of my SEO. I belong to a few travel agent groups on Facebook, and I know that many agents are going through the same roller-coaster as me. It seems that more and more travel professionals are beginning to re-think, or even chose a “niche” for the first time, in their career and many have the same questions I have. Read the rest of this entry »

Encore Romance Travel — An unexpected change

We all know entrepreneurship is a huge roller coaster, as the newbie of the group I’ve learned that in order to refine my niche, mission statement and marketing mix I have to go with the flow. The first couple of years have been all about watching and listening to prospects and the reaction they have to my business.

I specialize in romance travel, I do many bridal shows to attract new customers and most of them are millennials. Due to their age, millennials are not familiar with the services a travel consultant can provide for them.  During last year’s bridal show season it became obvious to me that I needed to change something in my business plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Encore Romance Travel – Paying it forward

In my last article I shared a bit about me, and what I did before I entered the travel industry. Today I want to tell you more about my experience after entering the industry and where I hope to go.

After I returned from my honeymoon to Fiji we were relocated to a new base as my husband is still on active duty. I brainstormed on what I should do next. Given the fact that we still had a few moves, I decided to write down all the things I was still passionate about. Helping others has always been at the top of my list and travel was right up there besides my interest in fashion design (which I haven’t practiced in a long time). I couldn’t figure out a way to marry fashion design with travel, at least not in the selling travel, but I could marry my love for travel and weddings so I decided to explore a career in romance travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Encore Romance Travel – The newbie

Hey everybody! I’m Brenda Llamas Young of Encore Romance Travel (we just updated the name, more on that later). I’m honored to be sharing my story with you as part of the Travel Agent Diaries. I believe I’m the “newbie” of the group; I’ve been on this crazy journey for the last two years. Besides a travel entrepreneur, I moonlight as a soldier in the US Army where I have been serving for the last 18 years. I have done various jobs in the military, including executive assistant, human resources, training and operations. I also arranged the travel and all of the protocol intricacies that come with having a General on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »