Categories
Travel Tips

Common Distractions & How To Overcome Them For Travel Business Owners

You start your day with a to-do list and determined to finish them all within the day. However, as you work on your to-do list, your phone keeps beeping, people wanting your attention and all sorts of many distractions. And when you try to go back to your work, you’ve lost your focus and finished nothing at the end of the day. Sounds familiar?
We all have experienced this…… Distractions and interruptions affect negatively your productivity. In this article, I’ve listed the most common distractions that can keep you from being productive. Along with each distraction is a suggested set of solutions to help you overcome the distractions and help you increase productivity in your travel business. I’ve used these and I’m telling you they do help me a lot in being productive in both my travel business and personal life.

1.  Social Media 

Of course, this is the no. 1 on our list.  While social media is a great way of connecting to your audience, it can easily distract us from having a productive day if we don’t use it right. Solutions:  
  • Use an app like “Rescue Time” to physically limit how much you can be on social media.
  • Turn off all social media notifications.
  • Set a social media schedule and only allow yourself to use social media during the allotted times.
  • Delete social media apps from your phone.

2.  Email 

While Email is a powerful tool in Travel Business, it can be a great source of distraction when you need to focus on finishing your tasks. Solutions:
  • Avoid responding to email first thing in the morning.
  • Only open your inbox at specified times of the day.
  • Turn off all email notifications on your phone and computer.
  • Create an auto-response that tells others you’re only able to respond to email on particular days of the week and then stick to that schedule

  3. Slack, Skype, Messenger 

Solutions: 
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone.
  • Close apps and only respond to messages at pre-specified times.
  • Snooze notifications on desktop versions of the chat app

4. Text

Solutions:  
  • Put your phone in a drawer and only take it out at specified times.
  • Disable text notifications on your phone.
  • Disable text notifications on your smartwatch and laptop.
  • Only respond to text messages during specific times of the day

5. Phone Calls

Solutions:  
  • Put your phone in a drawer and only take it out at specified times.
  • Respond to voicemails at the end of the day after you’ve done your most productive work.
  • Put your phone on silent mode during your focused periods.
  • Disable notifications on your smartwatch and computer

6. People Interrupting You 

Solutions:  
  • Close your office door.
  • Put on headphones.
  • When someone asks for a minute of your time, ask if you can catch them at a later, specified time.

SUMMARY:

Distraction was a challenge to me in the beginning however I’ve learned to overcome them and increase my productivity each day by using some of the solutions listed above. When I’m working and I need to focus, I  put my phone on silent mode, turn off my notifications, close apps and respond to messages at pre-specified times, snooze notifications on my desktop versions of the chat app and close my door to avoid interruptions. Each of us has so much going on in our lives, with full-time jobs, family/friends and let’s not forget every spare moment building and growing our travel businesses.  But if we want to achieve something and create a successful travel business, we need to learn how to avoid these common distractions and learn to manage our time well. Building your travel business empire requires you to master your time. If you need help in managing your time and focusing and prioritizing what’s really important, I have a course called Effectively Mastering Your TimeInside this masterclass, you will learn effective strategies to manage your busy schedule and overall time to increase efficiency and productivity.
I also created a 6-course bundle to help you put the right foundations under your travel business. You will learn to determine your vision, get your business structured, apply marketing tools and increase your productivity.

Affiliated Disclosure
Categories
social media

7 Simple Ways to Make Your Day More Productive For Travel Pros

There are only so many hours in a day. Being more productive means getting more out of the limited time we have available.  As a travel business owner, despite how productive you might already be, odds are you can enhance your productivity even more. Increasing your productivity means managing your time well.  time management is essential for every travel business owners because it can save your travel business as discussed in Why Time Management can Save Your Travel Business . Being more productive can also lead to having more time available for life’s more enjoyable activities.

These simple ideas can lead to higher levels of productivity:

1. Use a Timer

Before starting a task, take a moment to assess how long it should take. Set a timer for that amount of time and get busy. Using a timer has multiple benefits:
  • It provides an obvious stopping point. You don’t need to watch the clock.
  • You’re less likely to allow distractions to become an issue. It’s easier to put all those distractions aside until the timer sounds or the task is complete.
  •   A timer is a wonderful tool for focusing your mind on the task at hand. Try it and you’ll see how much it helps. A timer seems to be especially effective for those with attention and focus challenges.

2. Avoid Perfection

Tasks require different levels of quality. You wouldn’t spend 10 minutes trying to get a postage stamp perfectly aligned in the corner of an envelope. As long as it’s somewhere in the top right corner, the letter will get to the proper destination.
  • It’s likely you’re giving some tasks in your travel business too much time and attention. Ask yourself how good it needs to be and refrain from doing significantly more.

3. Make a to-do list and prioritize

A to-do list forces you to think about what needs to be done. Prioritizing that list will work even better. The 3 most important tasks are usually more important than all the other items on the list combined. Check off each task as you go, and enjoy tracking your progress.

4. Create your to-list the day before

Instead of waking up and trying to figure out how you’re going to spend your day, take a little time at the end of the day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. Your mind will be free to tackle the first task immediately the next morning.

5. Embrace old technology

You’ll probably find it’s faster and easier to use a paper and pen instead of your smartphone for many tasks. You can probably write faster than you can accurately type on that small, virtual keyboard.
  • It’s also easier to keep everything where you can easily see it. Ask yourself if your electronic gadgets make sense for the task-at-hand.

6. Close your e-mail and other distracting apps

Making a quick check of your email or Facebook account can quickly turn into 20 minutes or more of lost time.
  • It can be more effective to schedule short, timed breaks to address these common distractions. I’ve also talked about these common distractions and how to overcome them in a previous article.
Common distractions and how to overcome them For Travel Business Owners

7. Limit yourself to one task at a time.

Research shows that it’s much more effective to focus on one task at a time. Complete one task before moving on to the next. You’ll get more accomplished and stay focused. If you effectively use your time to enhance your performance at work, you could also increase your leisure time. Simple ideas can have significant results. Experiment with different options until you find the strategies that are most effective for you.

WANT MORE?   

Productivity is a result of hard work. No one said it is going to be easy, but it is much harder when you are trying to do it alone. I have created a 6-course bundle to help you put the right foundations under your travel business. You will learn to determine your vision, get your business structured, apply marketing tools and increase your productivity.
Or register to Effectively Mastering Your Time to learn effective strategies to manage your busy schedule and overall time to increase efficiency and productivity. Building your travel business empire requires you to master your time.

Affiliated Disclosure
Categories
Start ups

Change Your Email Habits and See Your Productivity Skyrocket For Travel Pros

Email is essential for staying connected in today’s busy world, but it has a powerful influence on productivity. Most importantly, Email is a powerful communication medium for your travel business. Creating an email newsletter is one of the best ways for travel companies to build and maintain lasting relations with their customers. I’ve discussed this in Tips for Increasing Email Marketing Newsletter Open Rates.
How many times a day do you check your email and get lost among the messages? Before we dive into these tips, I created a Productivity Guide especially for travel professionals like you and you can get it for FREE when you subscribe to my mailing list.
  Changing your email habits will help you raise your productivity in your travel business.

Follow these tips: 

1. Only read an email once

Scanning an email and deciding to return to it later is a common habit. However, reading an email once and responding to it right away can increase your productivity.
  • The OHIO acronym is useful for inbox management. OHIO stands for Only Hold It Once. 

2. Use automatic filtering and folder systems

Emails you receive on a consistent basis can be automatically filtered into their own folder. Then, you can control when you open and read them. This frees up more time to handle more important messages.

3. Schedule specific times to handle email

Instead of checking email throughout the day, scheduling it at specific times enables you to get more done.

4. Keep email closed while working

  • Checking email before work, after work, and during a specific hour at work will reduce wasted time. Also, setting aside a certain amount of time, like 20 minutes, to do this task will help you stay focused.
  • Email is a frequent source of distractions, so keeping the tab closed is one way to increase productivity.
  • Email providers use sounds, colors, bold font and other ways to notify you of new messages. All of these are distractions, so keeping email closed will help you stay on schedule and not waste time.
  • Turning off email notifications on a phone is another way to stay focused on your work. 

5. Keep work and personal emails separate

Combining work with personal messages can create confusion. Separate emails and inboxes are essential for staying in control.
  • Messages about client meetings shouldn’t be mixed up with emails about your child’s piano lessons. Sorting emails wastes time, so it’s easier to have them separated from the beginning.

6. Write Concise emails

Emails need to be concise and easy to read. This reduces follow-up questions, so your inbox stays smaller.
  • Define, explain, and help in as few words as possible.

7. Clean out the inbox regularly

Emails can accumulate quickly, so clean up is essential. Eliminating spam and older emails is the first step.
  • Only keep the emails you need. This will cut down on the time you spend looking through the inbox. Productivity will increase because you aren’t sorting through older messages.
  • Folders also require attention. Automatic filtering of emails can lead to a large group accumulating in each folder, so it’s important to check them frequently.

8. Create standard responses

A standard response to an email reduces the time you spend writing and thinking about the message. Creating a group of general responses to common questions is an easy way to enhance time management.

9. Watch videos and read articles at specific times

Emails that come with attachments like videos or articles require more attention.
  • Unless they’re important, it’s better to watch videos and read articles at the end of the day. These tasks require more time and can be distractions. Focusing on answering actual messages during specific scheduled times is the key to staying productive.

10. Change your email signature

The email signature should have the most important contact information.
  • The email signature needs to be concise and easy to understand. Avoid distracting fonts and multiple colors in this area. The goal is to reduce follow-up emails and questions about contacting you.

SUMMARY: 

Email habits can be changed to boost productivity in your travel business. The inbox is a powerful way to stay connected and focused on boosting sales for your travel business if you manage it effectively. Building your travel business empire requires you to master your time. And one way of doing that is mastering your email habits. If you’ve found this article helpful, or if you have any questions or perhaps need help in focusing and prioritizing what’s really important, don’t hesitate to drop your comment down below! You can also reach out to me directly at The Business Jump Off for Travel Lovers, I always love to hear from you.

And don’t forget to get your FREE Guide on Eliminating Distractions and Increasing Your Productivity!

   

Related Resources:

Effectively Mastering Your Time Inside this masterclass, you will learn effective strategies to manage your busy schedule and overall time to increase efficiency and productivity. Email Marketing Welcome Series Masterclass Learn how to Create and Setup A Compelling Welcome Series for your new customers that join your email list.  
Affiliated Disclosure
Categories
social media

6 Productive Tips to Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder

All our lives, we’ve been told to work harder if we want to achieve if we want to succeed if we want to do more and if we want to maximize our potential. But, consider this: What if you could get just as much done – or more not only in your travel business but in all aspects of your life– if you simply worked smarter instead of harder? Of course, working hard and being industrious in order to get ahead personally and professionally is commendable. But, once again, it’s even more commendable if you find tools and strategies that aid the process. Technology has made many things easier and less time-consuming. There are many devices, gadgets, and mediums that provide speed, accuracy, and real-time directives for us to make informed decisions.  Need recommendations? Here are my TOP 9 Recommended BUSINESS TOOLS for your business.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6H-UaQC_EU
Take Google maps, for example, It’s virtually impossible to get lost where GPS navigation system is provided, and there’s no need for us to waste time asking others (who are just as clueless) about where to find that office or how to get to that appointment on time.
Google Map
  Before we dive into these tips, I created a Productivity Guide especially for travel professionals like you and you can get it for FREE when you subscribe to my mailing list.
Enjoy the benefits of working smarter! Use these tips as a springboard to ideas of your own to help you save time and become more productive in your travel business.

Work smarter with these strategies:

1. Avoid reinventing the wheel

Working smarter also means not trying to reinvent the wheel. If you have a task to complete, ask if it has already been done and if there’s an easier way to do it.

 2. Enhance the task

Always look for ways to refine your job or make your tasks easier or quicker. Efficiency and effectiveness are desired above all.

3. Pace yourself

Allow yourself time to process what needs to be done and determine your best options or alternatives.
  • Analyze the project. See if you can reach the same result with fewer steps. Can you use new software or other technology to reduce the workload?

4. Delegate

Identify people who perform certain tasks better than you. Give them clear instructions on what you want to achieve, and then allow them to use their initiative and creativity.
Delegate
  • Passing off routine and mundane chores will still get the job done well while freeing you up to deal with more important tasks.

5. Keep a diary or notebook

It’s useful to routinely keep track of what you’ve done or are currently working on. This affords accountability, transparency, and a record of your accomplishments.
  • Such a record also comes in handy when it’s time for your annual review or you’re trying to move up in your career.

6. Show Gratitude

You’ll develop loyal coworkers when you show them that you’re thankful for their efforts. It makes them feel good about themselves and you, too. And who doesn’t want to feel good about themselves? Your gratitude encourages them to help you again when you need it. Avoid being overworked and overwhelmed. If you’re committed to getting things done in an effective and efficient manner while reducing your stress, then working smarter is for you! Enjoy peak performance by prioritizing your tasks and employing proven tools, strategies, and technologies to help you achieve success and personal satisfaction on a job well done. Productivity is a result of hard work. No one said it is going to be easy, but it is much harder when you are trying to do it alone. I’ve created a community for travel professionals so we can build each other up, I invite you to join us!:) If you’ve found this post helpful, I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comment section below. And don’t forget to get your FREE Guide on Eliminating Distractions and Increasing Your Productivity 

WANT MORE?

If you need help in need help focusing and prioritizing what’s really important,  you might be interested in Effectively Mastering Your TimeInside this masterclass, you will learn effective strategies to manage your busy schedule and overall time to increase efficiency and productivity.
  Related articles: How To Reduce  Stress For Business Owners Why Time Management Will Save Your Travel Business
Affiliated Disclosure
Categories
social media

Managing Start-Ups: Challenges Unique to Female Entrepreneurs in the Travel Industry

Female CEOs are kind of like shark attacks – extremely rare, but so well-covered by the media we think they’re pretty common. – Emily Peck in the Huffington Post 

And she is right!

Travel and Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world and there are more women working in the travel industry but ironically, there are only a few women in the higher positions on the corporate ladder.

Does the business’ success depend on one person and if so, does the leader’s gender matter? The invisible glass ceiling… Does it exist? Why does nobody want to talk about it?

In recent times, female entrepreneurs have accomplished countless achievements in domains normally dominated by men. However, this should not come as a surprise as research has shown that female entrepreneurs have been more proficient at evaluating risks, being ambitious, and managing their confidence.

Despite these attributes, the majority of female entrepreneurs face considerable challenges in growing in a male-dominated society. Although no entrepreneur has it easy, and everyone has to go through several hurdles to make their business successful, female entrepreneurs have to face more difficulties than male entrepreneurs.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, here’s my Free Gift for you!

I’ve created a Travel Boss Magazine for female Travelpreneurs like you. Inside this magazine, you will get the latest information tips, motivation for launching and operating a successful travel business. You can get it for free when you subscribe to my mailing list So, this month as we have dedicated to us – women – we will try to cover these issues and more in today’s blog! 🙂

Let’s now discuss some of the challenges affecting female entrepreneurs and why there are so few female leaders in the travel and tourism industry.

Gaps in Training and Funding

For entrepreneurs, getting funding and investments is essential to develop a robust business that can compete with existing businesses. However, if a business is not able to receive sufficient funding, this can affect its chances of success.

Sadly, research suggests that businesses led by women receive less funding as compared to businesses led by men. A research study conducted between 1997 and 2000 in the United States discovered that investors offered less than 6% of total venture capital funds to a business run by female entrepreneurs.

There is a lack of access to proper education and training for women in the travel and tourism industry. Investing in a travel business coach who has the experience to help you launch a business not only you are proud of but is set-up for success is your first step.

Related: Why You Need a Travel Business Coach, How To Avoid Paying Too Much As A Travel Agent

According to a study even though the tourism industry creates a lot of job opportunities for women, a lot of unpaid work is being carried out by women in family-owned tourism businesses.

There is a gender gap pay in the tourism industry as women earn less than men for equivalent work. Women entrepreneurs in the travel industry usually run their own family small businesses so most likely, they are underrepresented in higher management positions in the tourism sector. In the 90s, the US government had decided to allocate a mere 5% of the total contract to businesses led by female contractors. Although this motion was passed in 1994, the federal government took nearly 22 years to achieve the seemingly small ratio of contract allocation to women.

Despite this progress, female-owned businesses face significant difficulties in obtaining federal contracts. Even to this day, these businesses have 21% less chances of getting a federal contract compared to businesses of a similar nature led by a man. Although things have improved than where they were before, female entrepreneurs still face explicit and subtle gender discrimination. Many private investors including the travel industry sector don’t take female investors seriously or discriminate based on gender.

An example of this situation was seen after the global financial crisis of 2007, where loans for female-owned small-business dropped by a whopping 70% between 2007 and 2013. A huge contributing factor to this decline was the antiquated belief that females have a gender-defined role as a caregiver at home and, thus, are less likely to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Such worn-out notions about women and underlying discrimination prevent female entrepreneurs from obtaining the same opportunities as men in the travel industry. Female business owners that attend networking events often face situations where they have difficulties in meeting other female business owners. This forces them to interact and discuss business issues mostly with male business owners, which can be a little difficult for some entrepreneurs.

Some female entrepreneurs feel that they need to conform to traits specifically attributed to male business owners. These traits can be actions such as being overly aggressive to subordinates, which can become harsh for such employees.

However, the majority of successful female entrepreneurs have faith in their own approach and avoid aggressive attitude towards business. Although social expectations might force female leaders to conform to male attitudes, they are better off following their own unique approach. Creating a work-life balance is a challenge, regardless of who you are. However, studies have found that female professionals and businesses face more difficulty in this regard. A research study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2013 discovered that female professionals and business owners with children face three times more difficulty in career growth than male professionals and business owners with children. A robust support network is a key component of success for entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, female entrepreneurs have to face a lack of support here, as well. This is attested by a survey conducted by Inc., which found that 48% of female business founders felt the lack of advisors and mentors led to limited chances of professional growth for them.

HOW TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES:

Despite all seemingly impossible hurdles, the future for female entrepreneurs in the travel industry is bright. Women are becoming more ambitious, seeking better opportunities and moving up the socio-economic ladder all around the world.

Gender equality is now being implemented in most if not all big travel companies around the globe. Many women entrepreneurs are now stepping up as role models to empower women in their own communities and in the travel industry.



Everyone’s journey is different but through the power of these women’s stories, it is my hope you can find the inspiration to jump or continue to aspire to higher levels in your purpose.

Furthermore, female-led businesses have started to gain traction and have even managed to surpass billion-dollar valuations with their ideas. Although female entrepreneurs face significantly more challenges than men, any woman can overcome these challenges and succeed as a business owner with persistence, hard work, and dedication.

Can you relate to the challenges listed above? As a female entrepreneur, what are the challenges you face and how did you overcome them? Share your story in the comments sections below!

Related:
Managing Start-Ups: Challenges Unique to Female Entrepreneurs in the Travel Industry

Categories
Start ups

Profiles of African-American Women in the Travel Industry

In the midst of the Covid-19, let’s be careful but not fearful. Let’s look forward with hope for the future. Remember, we’re still celebrating women this month and women throughout history faced difficulties and challenges but come out victorious! As we continue to celebrate dedicated to us – women, I wanted you to see women like you and me, who once dreamt of becoming big. And today, they have made it! They have made themselves a female entrepreneur in the mostly male-dominated travel business. In celebration of Women’s History month and in my hopes of helping fellow female entrepreneurs, I’ve created a Travel Business Guide for those who want to start their own travel business. Inside this guide, you will get easy to follow steps on how to launch your travel business. You can get it for free when you subscribe to my mailing list.
Travel Busines Guide - Kit 1
The number of businesses owned by African American women grew 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. We can sure learn from their stories and hopefully aim to make ourselves a female travelpreneur soon! 
Rodgers Travel, Inc. is the oldest black-owned travel agency in the US, and its current owner Norma Pratt has worked very hard to carry its legacy. It started as a small family-owned business in August 1949. After working as a school teacher, Pratt became a travel agent for Rodgers Travel, Inc., a company that was co-owned by her father. With her father’s passing in 1980, Pratt was named President and CEO of Rodgers Travel. Being the oldest African-American-owned travel agency, it is a part of the ‘History Makers Collection’ of the Library of Congress. Rodgers now runs a combination onsite and virtual travel agency, serving leisure, corporate and government travelers throughout the country. Times have changed for it, but it is still open and thriving thanks to customers that want a customized travel experience.
Our next lady to be showcased here is a Detroit-native with Ugandan roots. Jessica Nabongo is on a journey to be the first black woman to visit every country in the world. She has over 155 countries and 6 continents under her belt. An avid traveler herself, she is the founder of a boutique travel company called Global Jet Black. She says on her website that “JetBlack is a boutique travel firm with an aim of promoting tourism primarily to countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is to help change the narrative and show that many, if not most, countries in the African diaspora should be at the top of your list for beaches, food, nightlife, outdoor activities, spas, culture, history and all of the other things that we love about traveling to new places.” Her Instagram and website have such beautiful and colorful pictures of wherever she has been. So it was only natural for her to start her own travel company. With a plethora of first-hand knowledge after traveling over 155 countries, who will not trust her?!! She writes on her blog regularly, documenting her personal experiences for people to follow. With so much experience, passion and love, we hope Jessica gets that world record very soon! More power to you, Jessica!
“Creating a dream career out of a passion.” Martinique Lewis
Martinique Lewis  a travel consultant and visionary with a background in Fashion Design.  She fused her passion for both design and travel together when creating travel graphics and media. Working with famous brands globally. Lewis had a passion for travel at an early age. In 2018, she created a dream career out of that passion. Working for Black Travel Journey, she realized the issues surrounding black travel and the lack of diversity in many marketing campaigns for major hotels, airlines, and brands. In an interview with Forbes,  Lewis shared “I realized it’s not just black, it’s diversity as a whole…body consciousness, queer travel, It’s not just me feeling this way.” She then started Black Travel Movement- Diversity and Inclusion in the Travel Industry. At first, she was using her own money to pay for expenses when attending conferences and reaching out to travel companies and brands about her advocacy. But later it paid off as more brands reach out to her. She stresses the importance of knowing your value as an entrepreneur and start charging fees for the value you bring on the table. Lewis also said that even while many brands are reaching out to her, there are brands who are just using the Black Travel Movement to gain customers so she makes sure that she only accepts brands that are genuinely interested and passionate about her advocacy. Now that’s something we can all learn from. Her advice to those who want to build their entrepreneurial brand is to share your content on LinkedIn, as it gives your brand credibility. “Brands don’t necessarily care that you have 10,0000 followers from California, but they do want to know that the director of tourism in Albuquerque is commenting” on your posts,” said Lewis. She is now leading the conversation around diversity and inclusive travel worldwide.

Conclusion 

Are you feeling as inspired as I am feeling after reading these stories of women who are really representing us in the travel industry? If so, get your FREE copy of Travel Busines Guide to get you started! 
Something we have seen this month is that there is no standard set of rules to start your business, especially in the travel industry. Some stories have been emotional, some inspiring, and some full of struggle. With such a broad sector like travel and tourism, you can start anywhere – a blog, an Instagram profile, an agency, a website, or even an NGO. And it could be in any part of this amazingly vast sector. Wouldn’t we all love to make a profit out of our travel passion?  The truth is, the future can be daunting at times. It can be intimidating. I know it because I have experienced it myself. But sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. You have to find out what works for you and go after it. Is it eco-tourism? Is it a passion to make a mark on history? Is it changing the rules of the game? Is it being a pioneer? Is it helping other women such as yourself? Whatever it is, it will take you on a long and exciting journey which will be full of adventure. If you want to know more and are passionate about starting your travel business, we have a few slots left for a one-on-one call with me. You can submit your application at http://apply.sundeygardner.com.
Before you go, don’t forget to get your FREE copy of Travel Business Guide!

Happy Women’s Month! Cheers!

Related: Managing Start-Ups: Challenges Unique to Female Entrepreneurs in the Travel Industry
Affiliated Disclosure