Are You a Sprinter or a Distance Runner? It could also be the way you run your business.

I recently started back to the gym after a six-year hiatus. I wanted to ease back into it. I was nervous about having sore muscles the day after workouts, so I decided to go at my pace. I am a treadmill person, and I love to put my headphones on, watch my marketing YouTube videos and walk at a good pace. What I am noticing is that I am one of the few who pace themselves. I have been next to the teenager who sprints for one minute then walks for a minute, then repeats this for 16 minutes.  I loved the 20 something who ran at eight miles per hour for five minute intervals then jumped to the sides to take a breather. This went on for 25 minutes.  All the while, I am on my treadmill going four miles per hour for about 50 minutes.  It had me thinking, is faster always better, especially when it comes to your business?

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I have been very fortunate to have met many travel agents over the years and the ones that are successful have all said the same thing…it took me a while to get here.  It didn’t happen overnight, but over many years of hard work.  Years of building relationships with clients who in return are loyal to them, to their brand. On the other hand, some travel agents have success right out of the gate, but this seems to be rare. 

What I am finding out from many travel agents is that in order to be a successful travel agent, you have to pace yourself. I am not saying it has to be a slow pace, but it has to be a pace where your business is seeing continual growth each year. According to, most businesses are considered to be doing good if they see two to three percent growth in their business in one year. Seven to eight percent growth is above average, and 20+% growth is outstanding. 

So what do these numbers mean for you as a travel agent? If you have 100 clients that you have booked on various vacations this year then taking on another two to three viable clients in the next year is good. If look at it in terms of sales, if you did $100,000 in sales, then adding on another $2,000 to $3,000 in sales in a year is good.  Remember though, this is on top of all those clients booking again, and making those total sales again for the next year. 

If you have been in the travel industry for many years, this is a good growth path and a good goal to set for your business. For travel agents who are in their first five years, you will see exponential growth each year because when you first start out, you start out with zero clients and zero sales. Growth in your first five years as a travel agent is a very exciting time! 

No matter where you are in your travel agent career, if you keep that steady pace of growth you will continue to grow your business year after year. One day you just may be one of those successful travel agents that says to me…it took me a while to get here.

 Until next time, keep being SUCCESSFUL!


Mary Yohannan, CTA

Founder of the How to Become a SUCCESSFUL Travel Agent Program.