How to be More Assertive

Dear Travel Agents/ Advisors,

People seem to be admired and respected when they are assertive. We all know there is a big difference between being assertive and being rude. I am sure we’ve all experienced both, and also that many of us have admired assertive people.

How can we be assertive, while not being rude, especially with our clients and prospective ones?

My advice, and also something I mentor travel agents/advisors about, is how to set boundaries. Imagine if you will, that everyone is in their terrible twos. People (like two-year-olds) will want to take from you as much as possible; not because they are bad people, but because they want to “see” if you will allow them to. So, like you would with a little 2-year-old, you will have to set boundaries without being rude (or spanking, LOL!)

For example, a client called while doing errands. For sure, she is distracted and I can hear all the noises in the background. I told her to please call me when it was a better time. She told me that it was a good time for her. I told her how much I valued OUR time (not mine, nor hers) and would appreciate her calling me back when she could be fully there for the call. Always – with a smile in my voice.

Another example: a client called asking if my price was better than she could get with another company. I asked her who referred her to my company, and she told me. I asked her if she trusted that person and she said she did. I asked her that if she needed someone to build a house for her whether she would line up people by price or by recommendation. I told her a good and reliable vacation was the same – it is not who is cheaper, but the best you can afford, especially through a good recommendation.

The most important thing is to speak assertively with a smile in your voice. Don’t be rude, don’t be demeaning, don’t be arrogant, don’t get into arguments. If the other person becomes defensive and raises their voice, lower yours. Speak with care and passion. Just be your true self. 

People will be attracted to you by your caring assertiveness, which definitely gives you more power than all the knowledge in any subject.

Assertiveness is not a gene all people are born with. Most need practice. I love to roleplay certain scenarios and practice with travel agents as a mentor. Feel free to ask me.


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Love Your Life

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

People are always asking us when the perfect time to travel is. There’s really no such thing as the perfect time to take a vacation, so the best answer is always ASAP!

Should we list the reasons why? Let’s do that! Listed below, and not in any order of priority:

Life happens
Celebrating an event
Rewarding yourself
Being kind to yourself when something sad happens
To learn about other cultures
Meeting new people
Seeing the world
Appreciating what we have
To learn more about ourselves
Giving thanks
Love, live and laugh
Treating family and friends to a nice vacation
Or, just because…

You could probably add even more reasons why people should travel now and not wait. Planning ahead for new trips keeps us young at heart and hopeful for better days ahead. It is a healthy and very positive mindset to bet on good health, happiness and to expect only reasons for celebration.

Travel can work better than a good anti-depressant medication without any side effects! It is a great stimulant without addiction (actually, traveling can be addicting, but it is a good addiction!) and gives us plenty of topics for fun and interesting conversations.

Having a Bucket List is very empowering and gives the traveler great reasons to make their lives more beautiful by creating fun expectations ahead.

Share this post or rewrite it in your own words, but make sure you spread the word that there is no such thing as the perfect time to take a vacation, so the best time is always ASAP!

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Have you Heard About Procrastination?

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

We all seem to know the meaning of the word “procrastination.” Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline. It could be further stated as: a habitual or intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences.

Raise your hand if you ever done this. A diet that will start after a holiday, exercise that will start after a vacation, a list of new behaviors as a New Year’s resolution, or even deciding to start charging service fees in the New Year.  

Something many people don’t know about me – I do have flaws, but procrastination is not one of them. Actually, I take pride in fighting the urge to procrastinate, and that is why I enjoy guiding people to be their best. I was a size 16 until 2004 (I was a big girl), and then I decided to cut out bread, pasta, basically all gluten and dairy from my diet.  I did it cold turkey! I lost weight and kept it off, and I am currently a size 4.  I lost over 80lbs.

I did the same 33 years ago with cigarettes. I started smoking at age 14 in Brazil, where it was cool to smoke. One January 1st, I gave it up. Honestly, now just the smell of a person who smoked hours before makes me nauseous. 

I exercise daily, even on an airplane, in an airport, on vacation and anytime. I need the endorphins, and I need to burn my stress through exercise (not strenuous exercise – I walk fast and do Pilates).

I believe in setting goals and having accomplishments, and the best way to do that is to fight procrastination. For those of you who still procrastinate, can you try it? Feel free to reach out to me. I am not a guru, but I love helping you!

Wishing you all success in all your endeavors!

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