After spending a week skiing with friends in Snowmass, Colorado, I feel invigorated. I was blessed with parents who put me on skis at the young age of 5 and I’ve skied every year of my life since then. I love everything about the sport – being outside, surrounded by incredible beauty, the adventure, the exercise, the people (since I usually ski with great friends or family), the après ski, the warm fire or relaxing hot tub afterwards, and the list could go on. As I spent 5 days on skis, I found that there are a lot of parallels between skiing and marketing your travel business. In this article, I share with you what I’ve learned from skiing that can be applied to marketing your travel business.
1. The Younger You Start, the Better
It’s true. When we are young children, our fears haven’t developed because we have far fewer frames of references. In essence, we don’t know what we don’t know, so we don’t fear going too fast or falling hard. We have little resistance. With that, we are able to pick up the sport far quicker. This is true with marketing your travel business too. When you don’t know what you don’t know, you plunge forward with little resistance. You do things you might not consider if you knew the potential negative consequences. But don’t fret if you missed the window of opportunity to start your travel business at a young age, you can and will do this anyway. There are lots of people learning how to ski at the age of 40, 50, 60 and even 70. If they can do it, so can you.
2. Point Your Tips Straight Down
This rule really applies to skiing the moguls. But I love this lesson because the journey of entrepreneurship in travel will never be like a nice groomed blue trail. It’s far more likely to be like a black diamond with moguls…lots of bumps. And the bumps are actually my favorite type of terrain. When I learned how to ski them, I was shocked that I was told to point my ski tips straight down the mountain. I wanted to tell my instructor that he was crazy. I’ll kill myself, is what I thought. But once I tried it, I realized that it’s the only way to properly ski moguls and enjoy it. When you point your tips straight down, you will hit the incline of the mogul with your skis and this has 2 effects…it does a lot of the turning work for you and it slows you down. And this concept can easily apply to marketing your travel business. Pick your direction (in skiing, you pick your line down), and point straight down that path. As you move down that path, your clear direction will do a lot of the work for you and make the journey far more enjoyable (not lightning speed fast).
3. Get Out There, Even When It Might Seem Uncomfortable
I have skied in every type of weather you can imagine. Yes, beautiful warm, sunny days is most often pictured for skiing vacations, but the reality is that the weather can be extreme. I’ve skied in temperatures well below zero (Farenheit), I’ve skied in blizzard snowstorms, in freezing rain, high winds, and at the other end, 60 degree days. When I am putting on my gear and looking out at extreme weather conditions, of course it occurs to me to stay inside and sit by the warm fire. But I go anyway – probably because I was trained to at a very young age – “your father paid for your lift ticket, you will ski!” What I have learned is that no matter how uncomfortable it looks like it will be, there is always a huge reward for getting out there. Everyday is my best ski day. So a day missed is a day missing the best ski day ever. And this is a great lesson for marketing your travel business. No matter how uncomfortable it looks to get yourself out there, there is always a huge reward, you have ways to soften the discomfort, and you will miss one great experience.
4. Everybody Can Learn (even those with disabilities)
Skiing is a sport almost anybody can learn. You can start as young as 3 years old and ski until you’re 103. And disabilities don’t stop people from skiing. In my many years of skiing, I’ve seen people out there who are blind, possess one leg, can’t walk at all, missing arms, and the list goes on. The point here is that marketing your travel business is the same. Anybody can learn! Yes, no matter how young or old you are, you can learn how to navigate social media, technology or even something like public speaking. And it doesn’t matter if you have a disability, you can still learn.
5. It’s So Much More Fun When You Do It With Others
Without a doubt, one of the top reasons I love skiing is because of the fun time I have with others skiing with me. It’s a great opportunity to connect with family and friends. Of course, I have skied alone, but it’s far more fun when you enjoy it with others. The most fun is when you can ski with great friends or family who are at a similar skill level. This is another fabulous lesson you can apply to marketing your travel business. Find people to do it with as it will make the experience far more fun. You will learn from them. They will learn from you. And it’s a great way to enjoy the journey as opposed to being overly focused on the destination.
The path to success as an entrepreneur selling travel has changed so much in 20 years. And there are a LOT of people following an outdated path that will lead to struggle. Use these lessons to put yourself on the success path. Start early if you can, but don’t fret if you’ve missed that window of opportunity. Point your tips straight down the mountain by picking a specialty, creating a core compelling message and letting that make your tasks far easier at a comfortable pace. Put yourself out there, no matter how uncomfortable it may look. I promise it’s not as bad you think it is and there will be a huge reward every time you do. Don’t let any limiting beliefs or weaknesses prevent you from “just doing it.” Anybody can learn the new path to success in travel, no matter what your disabilities. Finally, don’t do it alone. Find people to do it with, ideally who are at a similar or higher skill level than you. This is exactly why I created the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs. If you don’t know where to find your tribe, consider checking out membership in GIFTE for just $19.99 per month, www.giftemembership.com.