Sometimes Travel Agents Need a Time Out

One thing most travel agents have in common is stress over the pace of their job By: Kenneth Shapiro
Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West
Shapiro // © 2017 TravelAge West

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Read about this year’s WAVE Trendsetter Award winners.

The other day, I made the mistake of looking at the calendar, and I realized that summer vacation is halfway over. I haven’t broken the news to my kids, but I’m bracing myself for the school-year grind. Where did the time go?

In this issue, we profile this year’s Trendsetter Award-winning advisors (page 14). As you can read in the story, these top agents share many traits. They are creative, energetic, committed, smart and strategic. They are proactive and are not content to just go with the flow. 

And they are starved for time.

In fact, when we invited these agents to our WAVE Awards dinner, we knew that we were asking them for a precious commodity: time. Several of the agents were working on clients’ trips both before and after they took the stage to accept their awards. 

This dearth of time is common for many advisors I meet these days. Whether at a conference or on a fam trip, agents are always on their phones. Driven by the importance of offering personalized service — and faced with the challenges of ever-changing travel conditions across different time zones — travel advisors often find themselves constantly on call.

The entrepreneurial spirit shared by the best agents can sometimes lead to a “go it alone” attitude that contributes to this time crunch. Plus, many agents think of each trip they plan as their “baby” — something they feel they can’t delegate to others. And in shaky economic times, many agents are reluctant to hire more help. 

For all these reasons and more, even the best advisors feel stressed out. But an effective businessperson needs to build in time to recharge. Time away from daily chores is invaluable for developing new ideas and getting fresh insight on long-term problems. There’s a reason why people often have their best ideas in the shower, when they are generally free of interruptions and can allow their minds to drift. 

In order to take your business to the next level, do the unthinkable: Unplug and spend time away from work each day. And while you’re at it, find time for a vacation — otherwise, before you know it, another summer will have flown right by.

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