At this very moment there are probably hundreds – maybe thousands – of travel agents out there in the world wondering, “Should I keep doing this or is this my sign to quit?”

There is no doubt that this pandemic has caused a lot of businesses to shut their doors in a wide variety of industries. As the child of entrepreneurs, it breaks my heart to see anyone give up on their dream. Sometimes it is necessary because it is a logical end to the business. But in other cases, it didn’t have to happen.

So, if you are one of those people debating with yourself on whether or not to keep going, let’s have some #realtalk about that.

Over the years I have seen a lot of travel agents call it quits despite having lots of clients and making money. But the amount of time it took to serve those clients to get to the amount of money they were making wasn’t worth the toll on their health and their family life. It simply became unsustainable.

Others call it quits because they jump into travel with great passion pouring themselves into learning about products and destinations, yet don’t have enough clients to make any real money. They decide this business isn’t working and call it quits.

The sad part about both of these situations is that they are problems that can be solved.

The most important conversation you can have about where you are in your business and whether or not to keep going is with yourself. It’s not with your spouse or best friend or a family member. It is with you. You are the one at the helm of this dream and now you have to decide if the passion is still there. Because no matter how much love and support you get from outside sources, if you are no longer passionate about this venture, you won’t succeed.

If you decide that the passion is still there, but the business isn’t working as is, that’s a great starting place. And if you decide the passion isn’t there and it is time to move on, that’s OK too. It just means one chapter is ending and another is beginning.

But if there is a part of you that is still in love with travel and you don’t want to call it quits, you don’t have to.

The first thing to do is to figure out what is wrong. You don’t have to figure out how to fix it yet – just figure out what isn’t working. Be honest with yourself. You can say things like:

“I work too hard for too little money”
“I hate working on weekends”
“I don’t like the type of clients I am getting”

Once you know what isn’t working, it is time you need to figure out how to pivot. For many people it might be a good idea to approach this as if you were starting a new business. Think of it as My Travel Business 2.0. What would you do differently this time? What worked that you would keep? Get creative! Don’t throw anything out – dream wildly about what you want the business to look like!

When you know where you want to go you have to figure out how to get there. Remember what got you here won’t get you there. That means it is time to make changes. They might be massive changes, tweaks, or pivots – but they are changes. If you aren’t willing to do things differently, then you probably do need to move on. I know that sounds harsh, but adaptability and the ability to pivot are at the heart of entrepreneurship. If you can’t – or won’t – change, you are always going to struggle as an entrepreneur.

This is where it is great to talk to other successful travel entrepreneurs and find out what is working for them. Word of caution here: Not everyone who talks about how successful they are is actually successful. On the flip side of that, you can learn a lot from someone who is still building their business.

Lean into your community. Reach out to people you admire and talk to them. Reach out to your host agency and see if they can assist you. Are their resources with your consortia that you can tap into?

What you really need is not someone who can help you know more about products and destinations, but a business coach. Ideally that is someone who is a business coach in the travel industry.

If you want to make changes, now is the perfect time to do it. You can emerge from this downturn with a new business, new opportunities, and a new passion for what you do!