26 Jan 2017 | Archive

Blue January, Au Revoir

Travel Coach 25 January 2017

(reprised and updated from my article in Travel Bulletin Sept 2007)

Dear Travel Coach

My sales are down and friends say that my January Blues are sure to further jinx my sales potential. How can I calm down and regain control?

S – Portsmouth

Dear S,

Being concerned is ok, it shows you care but worrying eats your energy and saps you. The thing is that time deals with everything and nothing is a problem long-term. If a supplier is overpaid, your sales leads don’t call back or your client is out-booked, it will all ‘come to pass’.blue-january

Take stock. Count your worries and list them. You will see they are finite and once something is finite, the end is in sight. Then counterbalance this exercise by listing the plusses. Your situation will suddenly have a more positive balance.

What’s really happening? Which is your main concern here – your finances? Your state of health or your pride? All are valid, but if you can pinpoint the primary cause of stress the other stuff will fall in line.

The half-full glass is better than it’s infamous other half. Forget that you’ve heard it a thousand times –think about what it really means. Think especially about what you say and consider your words. Talking positively without being ironic is really worthwhile and merits practice. It will also go a long way to steadying the nerves of your friends family & colleagues. If they hear your optimism, they will feel better too.

It doesn’t always hit the fan. If your e-mail shot or presentation has an error, not so many people will notice and even then they won’t care that much. I am not recommending imperfection-but it is important to see everything in proportion. Turn the situation around by phoning recipients to apologise for the silly typo and use it as a chance to do a soft sell on them.

Take a helicopter ride. Pretend you are flying above your office (shop or home, no difference) and appraise the ‘you’ below. Is this person behaving properly? Is she a good leader? Should she ask for support from somebody else? Should she delegate? Because the travel business is so ‘in your face’-it’s good to step outside.

Be an open book. Contact your colleagues and have an open chat about what they think about your working style. Ask them to balance good things with bad things and be ready for surprising honesty. Repay them by offering to listen to their work issues too – a new sense of collaboration will develop.

Be flexible and show it. If somebody comes up with a new idea such as trying a new way of formatting your quotes – show you are open minded by trying it. If you work from home you are probably more isolated than when you worked in a shop and we need to work harder to get new ideas. You will still make the final decision about what and how you do it, but this review process will give you another focus and hopefully optimism.

And remember, we are in fast changing industry. You are still skilful and knowledgeable but will benefit from reviewing yourself.