I once attended a Home Trade Show and was introduced to a number of entrepreneurs in booths manned by good, hard-working individuals trying to make a living.
Some booth sitters came on stronger than others. Some caught my attention as I passed by. Others actually repelled me away from their booth.
“What was the difference?”, I asked myself as I sauntered down each aisle.
I think you have to refer to it as “chemistry,” or could it be “packaging.” I don’t know how else to explain it—except maybe for the obvious. I recognized the fact that the products I had an interest in had a better chance of capturing my attention.
This brings me to a truth I have always tried to share Read the rest of this entry »
“All Indications Point Toward a Banner Year For Travel Professionals According to James T. Bigelow”
How do you feel after reading this good news? How do you feel after reading any favorable forecast depicting a promising future?
You don’t know the writer, and he or she doesn’t know you. Yet, I am quite certain that you are feeling better about your travel business knowing a bright light at the end of the tunnel is being forecasted.
Things are looking up, according to some person known as an “authority.” In this case, his name is James T. Bigelow. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I want you to think about the word “useful.”
I believe that by just thinking about this word, your contribution to your prospects and clients is bound to improve. By following your thoughts and becoming “more” useful your life will immediately change for the good.
Question: Are you useful? Are there opportunities for you to become more useful?
Think about it. I am certain your performance, and the way you approach prospects and clients, will begin to change once you start addressing these two questions.
How you become more useful is something only you can determine. I can’t possibly know what value you are providing now, so I can’t intelligently recommend Read the rest of this entry »
“Who do you trust?”
A handful of seasoned travel agents will recognize these four words as the title of a TV show first introduced in the early fifties and hosted by Johnny Carson.
Fast-forward nearly 70 years and these four words still represent an interesting question.
Exactly who do you trust today?
- Do you trust the salespeople down at your local car dealership?
- Do you trust infomercial TV personalities?
- Do you trust politicians? (Local or national?)
- Do you trust news representatives . . . or weather-personalities?
- Do you trust your children? Your spouse? Your neighbors?
- Do you trust what you read—and what you Google?
- Do you trust me?
Being “my own boss” for over thirty-five years has taught me quite a bit about persistence, resilience, and discipline.
Now that I think about it, words like focus, collaboration, creativity, and boldness also fit. I’ve learned a lot through the years. Although, it seems the more experience I’ve gained the more I don’t understand.
Here are five areas that still leave me scratching my head: Read the rest of this entry »
Just yesterday, my wife read me a story that inferred that over 50 well-known restaurants were in danger of going out of business… within the next 12 months. Many of which surprised me, but perhaps they should not have.
I recalled an article I read a few years back that announced the retail store Dressbarn was to close all 650 stores. This news meant nothing to me, but it was my wife who let out a quiet scream of concern. “I have a few sweaters and tops from Dressbarn that I absolutely love.”
Yesterdays announcement, along with the Dressbarn article, reminded me that yesterday’s accomplishments are, in fact, yesterday’s news Read the rest of this entry »
I remember as if it were yesterday, hearing the following words at the home of two Russian immigrants in Chicago. The husband was an emergency room surgeon, while his wife was a successful travel agent. Their home was modest, yet beautifully furnished. When they first arrived in the states as youngsters, neither one could speak a word of English.
The good doctor’s words at the dinner table will stick with me forever. After passing the rolls, he said, “If you can’t make it in America, you can’t make it.” Those words stuck with me ever since.
That was more than 25 years ago, and I think of that sentence every time I present to a room full of travel professionals. With a little poetic license, I now put a different spin on the same belief.
“If you can’t make it in the travel business, you can’t make it.”
How can I say this with the competition being what it is?
I say the following with all due respect: Whether home-based or not, travel agents grow on trees—a dime a dozen—they are everywhere. And, the internet makes it easy to book trips on one’s own.
Suppliers are contacting travelers directly and doing end-runs. The Big Box Stores are cutting prices. Clients to not want to pay fees and supplier commissions are being sliced and diced. “Mike, and you’re telling me if I can’t make it in this business there is something wrong with “me?” Explain, please! Read the rest of this entry »
I am writing this article at ten minutes to three in the morning. Maybe you too have trouble sleeping as the world continues to spin, while the days, weeks, months and years show no interest in slowing down. At this time of night, I find myself thinking about things I have trouble understanding… like whatever happened to telling the truth.
Somebody recently mentioned in conversation that “lying” today appears to have become an acceptable behavior. I find this belief to be incredible and downright insulting.
“To tell you the truth, I’m …” Don’t you just LOVE this phrase? Or, “As long as we are being honest….” Where along the line did we ever get the notion that it is okay to be dishonest… that it is okay to tell a lie?
Here is an idea: Let’s be honest with each other for a change. Let’s see how it feels to simply tell the naked truth. You go first. (Incredible!) Read the rest of this entry »
The idea for this week’s article came to me while filling out the morning USA Today Crossword Puzzle. In and of itself there is no connection, so I don’t want you to spend any time trying to connect the dots. I suppose my point is that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.
The truth is that your clients and future clients are out there dancing to the beat of their own drum. The chances are very good they are not doing the fox trot to the same rhythms. They are all focused on their own set of circumstances, and worrying about whatever it is they worry about. For you to enter their world thinking, or believing, that you can soon have them focusing on your agenda is nothing short of delusional. But there is a way. Read the rest of this entry »
For years, I gave credit to Voltaire for sharing this sage advice. I later attributed this key reminder to the rightful author, Louis Pasteur. Regardless of who first came up with this “beauty,” it remains one of my favorite quotes.
In our current (soon-to-be post Covid-19) environment, I am hearing many agents say they are experiencing the debilitating phenomenon known as “overwhelm.” My fear is that these very same agents may resort to the age-old strategy known as WHP… which stands for “wishing, hoping and praying.”
Let me be quick to mention that I have nothing against making wishes when blowing out birthday candles, hoping for sunny 4th of July weekends, and praying for guidance from above when confronted with a life-changing decision. All three situations get a “thumbs-up” from me. But, when it comes to building and sustaining a business, I am afraid it takes a little more effort on your part, and not so much enticement from your local soothsayer. Read the rest of this entry »
When I mention this in my live programs, I usually get more than a few giggles in disbelief. I then tell the audience: “I mean it. I don’t like a lot of people. Who said that I have to ‘like’ everybody? The word ‘people’ is too general for me to rubber-stamp my affection toward anybody and everybody who can fog a mirror.”
Like in my live programs, I think it is time to hear my rationale.
The secret is not to like everybody, but to like the people you like. And then, be willing and eager to do everything within your power to service these people. No rules. No exceptions. No excuses. Not when you just feel like it. All the time. Read the rest of this entry »
It was 7:05 am on a Thursday morning when I stumbled across a recent blog post by Seth Godin. It was titled Date Certain. Not being sure what that meant, I clicked on the link and was immediately nodding my head in agreement.
The gist of Seth’s advice that day was to “pick a date”—any date. Flip your calendar, circle a day and month in the not-to-distant future. For lack of a better term, let’s refer to this as your target date. Using this date as your deadline, what are you planning to accomplish? What will you do? Who will you meet? Who will you be? How will you be different? How will you be better? By that date. Read the rest of this entry »
This year’s PGA golf tournament was both entertaining and historic. The winner, by the way, was a 200-1 longshot. Nobody in the history of the game has ever won a “major” golf tournament at his age.
The final day was an up and down seesaw of great shots, followed by less than great shots. As a matter of fact, I personally have hit a few more attractive shots than some viewed on television on that particular Sunday. What appeared to be a runaway at first glance came down to the final hole. In the end, it was Phil Mickelson who took the final bow at age 50 plus eleven months. Read the rest of this entry »
I am often asked where I get ideas for my columns. My answer without hesitation is… everywhere. A day does not pass, or a TV show perused, or an evening news soundbite heard, or a trip to the post office taken where I am not bombarded with “fodder” that has my mind spinning with ideas and some sort of reaction.
Today’s observation and resultant opinion stems from a conversation between my wife’s physical therapist and myself. We were sitting at our breakfast table while he was doing something therapeutic to my wife’s foot (bone spur).
During his last visit, I gifted this gentleman a book I wrote with tips directed toward high school graduates Read the rest of this entry »