The entrepreneurial journey is like a roller coaster ride. It’s always changing. You are going to experience many ups and downs. And with the internet causing such great change in the way consumers buy travel, there are bound to be travel entrepreneurs feeling like the roller coaster has stalled! Especially for those that have been selling travel for a very long time.
My travel business was stalled from the moment I began. I didn’t pick the greatest time to get in – about six months before the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. And this was just after airlines eliminated paying most commissions. Leisure travel came to a screeching halt back then. Unfortunately, my business stayed stuck for a long time – like 6 years.
There are times I wonder how I had the tenacity to stick with it. But I did. The happy ending is that I did create a thriving successful travel business. One where I had great clients, experienced spectacular travel, paid myself a salary, had 3 or 4 people working for me doing tasks I didn’t enjoy and getting noticed by my favorite suppliers. How did I do it? I finally recognized that my business was stuck and learned how to get it unstuck.
I am a self help junky. But in all honesty, I don’t sit around reading self-help books with every spare moment I have. I am drawn to self-help material only when I am in crisis. In other words, I become an astute student of self-help when I need it the most.
Recently, I was going through a personal crisis and needed the self help more than any other time in my life. There’s one quote I came across that has had the most profound affect on my perspective and reminded me of when I was stuck in my travel business.
“The reason why you are stalled is because you are looking where it isn’t, instead of feeling where it is.” Abraham Hicks
So what does this mean? It means that you are overly focused on your problem, as opposed to the possibilities of what can be. Your attention to the problem is what’s keeping you stuck! Once we have a crisis, it’s very easy for our mind to create a big story around it and then we get stuck in the story.
I have a client who lost her dream job three years ago. She started a travel business in response to her need to support herself and her family – and she has not had much success. She’s been stuck.
When I first started working with her, I noticed immediately that she is identified with her story of losing her job and that “she’ll never work in that industry again.” She has spent the last three years placing all her attention on the problem, instead of the solution. That’s what has kept her stuck. Her power to get unstuck does not lie with another employer who could give her the dream job again. Her power to get unstuck lies within her mind. And it begins with her ability to take her focus OFF what is and place it ON what’s possible.
Believe it or not, there is something good that can come out of the experience of losing her dream job, being out of work, being told she’d never work in that industry again. The immediate gift is the clarity of knowing what she really wants. A crisis always bears gifts and the greatest one is a new vision. Because of that experience, she now knows that she wants a career where she feels valued, appreciated for her talent and skill, one that creates a consistent income and where she feels in control. What’s kept her stuck is her failure to articulate this clarity and put her attention on a new vision.
So how does she or you get unstuck? It’s really quite simple.
1) Become aware of where your attention is.
If you are feeling stuck in any part of your business or life, the ONLY reason is that your attention is on the problem – what is – instead of on the possibility.
2) Articulate your vision of what you want by taking the negative situations caused by your crisis and turn them around.
For my client, her experience of being told she’d never work again in her dream job gave her clarity that she wanted a career where she felt valued and empowered.
3) Feel your vision as if it’s already happened.
Wake up each day with eager anticipation of watching your vision unfold. Don’t let “what is” take your focus off what’s possible. Hold on to your dream with a knowing that it will become reality.
4) Take “inspired” action (not any action.)
Most people make the mistake of taking action without inspiration. That’s the key in this step. You must align yourself with the positive emotions of having realized your vision BEFORE you take action. When you focus on and visualize your dream; when you drum up the emotions you will have when you realize it, as if it’s already happened, you WILL get inspired. You will get ideas. You will get direction from your inner self on what action to take. That’s the action you should take.
The first step in getting unstuck is telling yourself the truth. Identify a place in your life where you are stalled. Be honest with yourself. See how you have been focused more on what is, rather than what you want. Commit to getting unstuck. Follow the 4 steps in this article and watch your vision unfold before your very eyes.