Written By: Joanie Ogg, CTC, MCC
How important is continuing professional development to your home-based travel business? We spend so much time focused on the day to day running of our businesses that we sometimes forget how vital it is to our businesses growth and good health to continue our learning curve. We have to make the time and the effort to invest in our educational development to continue to be at the top of our game. It can be a challenge to make the time to invest in this invaluable commodity but here are some reasons why it imperative that we take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities for education that are ripe for the taking.
To Make More Money
Whenever I am presenting a workshop to travel professionals I always ask the question “Are any of you making too much money right now?”. Therefore, this question has been asked of literally thousands of sellers of travel and not once has anyone raised their hand to say yes. Now, this is not to say that they are not already successful and doing great in their business, however the question asked are you making TOO much. The point of this question is to open everyone’s mind to the possibilities they all have to earn even more money in their respective businesses. Education is paramount to finding and discovering new ways to build our businesses and making more money!
To Gain a Competitive Edge
One of the things I love most about travel professionals is their willingness to learn and share from one another the successes they have had and the tips and tricks they used to gain that success. So gaining a competitive edge is not about really competing with another agent but instead honing our own skils to almost compete against ourselves, if that makes any sense. Competing against ourselves allows us to step up to the plate and try even harder to improve our skills and successes to beat ourselves and take pride in that achieved personal business goal.
To Show Success
Today’s travel professionals have an overwhelming amount of data to sort through trying to find the perfect travel experience for their customers. The average travel buyer does not really even know where to begin even though many try. Consumers today are expecting more with respect to skills, complexity and specialization and continuing education gives you that sense of success in your knowledge and expertise.
To Be More Confident
The more self-confidence we have, the more we value ourselves and our capabilities. The better you feel about yourself the more valuable you feel and the better you feel about your abilities, this better you are at what you do. Higher self-esteem is seen as a sign of success.
To Create Discipline
Continuing your education and improving your travel selling skill takes time, effort and a strong commitment to the growth and future success of your business. It is much easier to not do it then to do it. Time is valuable and investing time in education is not always a simple task to accomplish. It takes discipline and hard work, which are both needed to be an entrepreneur.
To Develop Your Social Network
One of the major benefits of taking part in many of the educational opportunities that are available to you in the travel industry is the chance to get to mix, mingle and learn from your peers. Be it in a conference setting, on a webinar, in a live online training session, in a chat group or with any number of learning vehicles at your disposal, some of your most valuable education will come from your colleagues sharing their experiences and knowledge. Don’t let it end there. Grow and develop your circle of industry colleagues using all the social media tools at your fingertips.
2018 is upon us and I challenge each of you to invest in your business success by making the time to learn a new skill or technique that you can implement in 2018. I will take that challenge right alongside you.
As Benjamin Franklin so aptly put it “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”