Celebrate Your Independence!
By Mark Murphy
July 04, 2012 11:45 PM
As we all celebrated a beautiful July 4th holiday yesterday, I couldn’t help think about what independence means. When it comes to me personally, it means the ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness -- however I define it. My ability to do just that is what makes America great, and what will continue to drive this country for decades to come.
The current political climate may be raising questions as to what our future might actually be -- one of dependence or one of independence. I’m betting on the American spirit for achievement and innovation keeping us a nation of independent thinkers that believe in themselves.
That leads me to travel agents, and especially home-based travel agents. Independence is a way of life for these agents as they build their business one customer at a time. And it is up to them whether they succeed or fail.
There isn’t any safety net for these agents should they not be able to acquire customers, sell travel and earn commissions. They are on their own to succeed and fail. If they succeed, they can travel the world, gather experiences, share them with clients -- and sell even more. Fail, and there is nobody there to pick up the pieces or get them back on their feet. As independent business people who survive on commission-based income, they can’t turn around and go on unemployment.
That makes the independent nature of selling travel either the greatest, best paying job, or the easiest, lowest paying job. You could say the same thing about any sales-related job. There is no “in between.” You either succeed or fail on your own.
It doesn’t matter if they have the world’s greatest host travel agency or consortium. It doesn’t matter if they are tied to a particular travel association or club. These things certainly help, but they can’t guarantee success. Success depends on what they do individually day in and day out, period!
This new breed of travel seller, the truly independent travel agent, wouldn’t have it any other way. These agents realize that they have a world of opportunity in front of them and are determined to succeed. It’s the kind of attitude that built our nation and the kind of attitude that is changing the very nature of the business of travel distribution.
There is no going back in this ever-changing world. Things will evolve, and change is always in the air. But one thing will never change: the ability for each of us to individually chart our own course and succeed beyond our wildest dreams. For that reason, I’m happy to celebrate the independence of home-based travel agents!
Mark Murphy is president and CEO of Travalliancemedia, parent of TravelPulse.com, Agent@Home magazine, Vacation Agent magazine, Travel Agent Academy, Virtual Travel Events and Agent Studio.