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 »