It wasn’t that long ago that I felt financially stressed in my travel business… on a constant mission to “get” more business. I chased clients. I virtually gave away my services for free because I wanted the clients to book with me. In all honesty, it wasn’t just the commission I wanted. It was validation too. Perhaps this predicament sounds familiar.
You might think the solution is simple – more profitable clients. But it’s not. The greatest antidote to this lies within your mindset. As long as you come from a place of “getting,” i.e., getting more clients, getting more commission, getting validation…you will never succeed or feel fulfilled. You will stay forever on a never-ending hamster wheel chasing your success.
The solution is to shift from a place of “getting” to a place of “giving.” In other words, realize you have value, own it, and then go on a mission to be of service to those people who need you most. And there ARE people who need you. And you don’t have to give it away for free.
One way to change your perspective is to consider the ripple effect of your gifts. Let me share a story with you. A few years ago, while at a workshop (about mindset of all things!), I stood up and shared with all 300 attendees that I would like to get more involved with a charity that inspired me, called Kiva. I had only heard of Kiva, and as life gets in the way, never acted upon my curiosity or interest.
The leader of the workshop asked me “Well Meredith, what’s the first thing you are going to do to take action on your inspiration?” The only response I could think of was “I guess I’ll go make a “donation” to Kiva.” So she gave me 24 hours and told me she would check back with me the next day to see if I had stuck to my word.
Kiva sets up micro finance loans to small businesses in 3rd world countries. It uses the internet as the intermediary and everyday people like you and me as the lenders. You can “donate” as little as $10, choose your borrower and then sit and wait for your money to be paid back. Once it’s paid back (the repayment rate on Kiva loans is 99%), you can continue to lend the exact same $10 to another borrower. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Pretty cool, yes?
So the next day, the leader of the workshop brought me up on stage and asked me if I had taken that first action. And I had. I found a woman in Uganda who was in need of a $125 loan to buy another cow for her small dairy farm. She was a single mother with 9 children. Thanks to my donation, she got the funds she needed. Imagine the ripple effect of my small loan to this woman who supported 9 children.
Now this is where it gets interesting. While I was still on stage, a woman in the audience stood up and said she was inspired and had made a donation to Kiva too. Then another woman stood up and said the same thing. The workshop leader saw a pattern emerging and decided to invite every person who had donated to Kiva the night before on to the stage.
Over 100 people filed onto the stage. I am not exaggerating. But the ripple effect continued. One person said that after she made her donation, she shared it on Facebook, and received comments back from 3 other people that they were inspired to donate too. Another person said the exact same thing happened for her too.
The lesson here is, small actions can generate HUGE ripple effects. And it’s so fulfilling to know that I played a small part in all those people getting their loans.
So how does this relate to your travel business? I am going to assume you have a passion for travel. (If you don’t, do yourself a favor and get out of this business to follow your true passion.) Your passion is your pathway to your true purpose. In other words, you have that passion for a reason other than to serve yourself and travel the world. You have that passion so you can inspire others to:
- step outside their comfort zones
- stretch themselves to do things they never considered
- add a little adventure to their lives
- interact with and understand other cultures
- reconnect with their loved ones and friends
- rejuvenate and discover themselves
- simply relax and take a much needed break from the chaos of the world
Now think about the effect you can have on ONE traveler, if you inspire just ONE thing from the above list. Every time you plan travel for someone, you have the power to make a difference in their lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small difference because the ripple effect can be enormous.
So today, I invite you to think about the ripple affect your travel business has on the lives of your clients. And then everyday from today forward, reconnect with this, so you can shift from a place of getting to a place of giving your value.
If you want to learn more about Kiva, just go to www.kiva.org.