By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE

Since I have been in the travel industry, community is a topic that I have written about often. Why? Because it is so critically important to success.

I don’t think the travel industry is unique in the need for a strong community to support you, but I do think it is more critical in travel than many others.

Community provides an incredible level of support that you not only need to be successful in whatever way you define it, but in large measure, it keeps you sane.

Travel advisors are so often in problem-solving or research modes. Sure, some agents do the same thing over and over again because their specialty is so specific. That is not the case for most who are often getting asked for different things by different clients.

Aside from the need for suggestions and insight into destinations, hotels & resorts, activities, and all the other things you put into a trip for clients, there are also many business topics you can seek advice on.

On a recent fam trip, I was surrounded by advisors who were tapping into each other’s knowledge and wisdom on topics. These topics were ranging from social media strategy to how to hire an assistant. Each person in the group had questions and had answers.

The sharing of information was open and authentic. Since these advisors do not consider one another as competitors, there was no concern about sharing this information.

Each person in this group left the fam trip not only learning about the places we visited and the experiences we had, but also knowing other advisors who are resources when they have needs in the future.

Do you have a community like this? Are you supported by a group of travel advisors – large or small – who regularly exchange information and ideas? Do you have people who can help and support you on a variety of topics?

If you don’t, it’s time to get one! For many people that can be either their host agency or even a group within that host agency. For others, it might be a group of local advisors they have met from various industry events.

It is important to not only take information from your community but give too. I so often hear people say that they don’t think they have any insight or wisdom to share with others, but I can assure you that’s not true. Everyone brings something unique to the conversation. If you have been an advisor for a while, you certainly have lots of experience to share. If you are newer, you probably have experience from your previous “life” that will benefit others.

Be honest about what you are struggling with, so you get the best input and advice. So often people think they must put forward the best version of themselves with no “cracks” in their armor. Opening up to your community will allow them to help you.

One of the best ways to get the most from your community is to have regular get-togethers. You can do this via Zoom if you are far away or in person if that’s practical. It’s important to commit to the time no matter how busy you are. It is so easy to say you don’t have time. Make time. You might learn something that actually saves you time!

Why not reach out right now and schedule a lunch, Zoom call, dinner, or some other get-together with your community. It will recharge and energize you to keep you moving forward.