Have you ever sat in a room with a finance guy who tried to explain the magic of compound interest to you? If you had just saved 25 cents a week from the time you had your first paper route, you’d be filthy rich like Austin Powers by the time you turned 89.
How the heck is that possible, you think. 🤔
Sadly, I only got the lecture after I’d, well and truly, entered the world of adulting, so the 25 cents thing never quite worked out… But I started anyway. Because I remembered him saying that while I’d missed out on the golden years of creating wealth…all was not lost. I still had a shot.
And then for years afterwards I invested diligently, taking 10% off the top of every paycheck, sight unseen, and locking it away. Years went by and it felt like I’d been hoodwinked. I was no millionaire. I could barely afford a box of Jackson Trigg’s Cab Sauv in the clearance rack of the
I was so disheartened that I gave up looking at my investment portfolio. Like my bathroom scale, it never seemed to budge. Soul-crushing, is what it was — but I kept on investing. Every paycheck..the same 10% became the acorn. I was the squirrel.
It’s been just over 20 years now and low and behold…turns out, those expensive bottles with hoity-toity labels and corks are not so out of reach anymore. I am beginning to see the top shelf.
The same concept is true for building a successful travel business
The most effective (and affordable) way to build your travel business is to create value for your potential clients little by little….day by day. In the beginning, you’ll think…does the value I put out in the world even matter? But it’s the work you do consistently, over time, that will build a solid foundation for your business and will eventually pay huge dividends.
Top Ways to Deliver Value for your Clients
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Youtube videos
- Facebook lives
- Live events
- Editorial in your local paper
- Speaking engagements at your local library
- Tips and advice
- Making an introduction and connecting two people
- Commenting on and sharing their social media posts
- Touching base to say…” how the heck are you doing?”
These are just some of the traditional channels where you can deliver value to your client. But often, it isn’t even that complicated. You can create value for someone simply by recommending a book to read or a video to watch, making someone laugh. Maybe it’s just doing the right thing…
And the best part, they cost nothing, except for…
And true, time is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sometimes, it can feel like a slog. Kinda like crawling up the sands of Sossusvlei in the Namibian desert. Three steps forward, break for water, lose your balance then roll 10 meters back down the slope.
Investing your time in providing service to your potential client every single day is like putting away that same 25 cents but in your value bank.
Investing in a solid value-creation strategy is very much like the magic of compound investing with your money. As long as you consistently give, through your content and your actions, even when it seems like you are getting zero results for your efforts.
In a world of 7.8 billion people, someone is always listening.
Eventually, the effort you put in today will multiply exponentially. One day, you’ll get a call, seemingly out of nowhere, from a client you don’t know who chooses you as their travel advisor. You might ask them how they heard of you and they’ll say
“hmmm, not sure. We’ve been following you for some time. We can’t remember whether it was on Facebook or Instagram but we feel like we know you. Hope you don’t mind but we forwarded your details to some friends of ours who are also looking to book travel.”
Have zero expectations of a return.
The secret sauce to a solid value strategy is to create benefits for others with absolutely no expectation of anything in return. People can smell a sales pitch from a mile away. And while there is nothing wrong with asking for business, if you consistently deliver value with no strings attached, there will be little need to do a hard sell, ever.
I once heard it described as building a well before you are thirsty.
By the time a client opts to engage in a complimentary consultation with you, they won’t question your booking fees. They’ll have already decided you are worth it. They trust you. The heavy lifting has already been done. The only thing left to do is craft them the perfect holiday – and that’s the fun part.
The norm of reciprocity
In the world of psychology 101, the “Norm of Reciprocity” is a concept describing the behaviour of people who feel they’ve received value. It’s a human nature way of balancing the playing field. Of course, that won’t be your motivation but it’s sort of the yin and yang of how our universe works.
But…It’s not your business where you get the return on your “value” investment.
Sometimes, those to whom you provide value will reciprocate, and sometimes they won’t. And either way that’s fine because that wasn’t your objective.
Many of us get caught up in this. We think that if we do a good turn for someone that they should return the favour. We keep a mental score. BUT, that’s not how this works. The norm of reciprocity is a concept…not an absolute AND it could also mean that the person you provided value for in turn paid it forward to someone else. That’s cool too.
Eventually, like a boomerang, it will come back and sometimes in the most unlikely of places.
Just last week, I received a request for a coaching consult and because I didn’t recognize the woman, I asked her how she found me. She said she’d discovered me through a Facebook group. When I asked which one, it wasn’t even a group I belonged to. I’d never directly communicated with this person before, but the help I gave someone else materialized through her. How cool is that?
Dance like no one is watching
As you begin your value-sharing path, you probably won’t have a huge audience anyway. And that’s okay. If you end up posting something that you think is super juicy and highly valuable but doesn’t land and makes you look like an idiot…no harm, no foul.
Maybe your mom saw it — maybe your bestie, but they won’t judge. And they are already well aware of your true genius.
By the time you’ve built a sizeable following, you will have perfected your highly valuable content.
The law of compounding
The good news is, one day you’ll wake up and look at the breadth of work you’ve created. You’ll have thousands of social media posts, hundreds of blog posts and videos. You’ll have a sizeable audience with whom you connect on a regular basis. You will be prolific within your area of expertise because you put in the work….
Even when no one was watching.
Think of the actors that have been described as overnight successes. It appears they’ve emerged from nowhere, when, in truth, they’ve put in hours and hours fine-tuning their craft.
It may very well be the same for you. It’s that tipping point that Malcolm Gladwell talks about. One day, the butterfly will emerge from the chrysalis. Your phone won’t stop ringing. People will be lining up to work with you.
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day, if…
You invest your efforts into creating your 25 cents worth of value today and every day from this day forward.
If you’d like to work with me or know someone who wants to take their travel business to the next level, let’s talk.
Love your posts. Always filled with humour but also great advice and tid bits. Keep em coming.
That’s so nice of you to say, Don. Thank you!