Monday, 12 November 2018
Who says you can’t have it all? Family-man, traveller, larrikin and Gold Travel Counsellor, Matt Schmitz, sat down with us and explained how taking a leap from retail to home-based changed his world for the better…
When Matt began his search for a new career path, flexibility, freedom and a greater earning potential than what he had working in a traditional agency were at the forefront of his mind. He loved what he did – and he was very good at it – but he wanted greater job satisfaction and the challenge of running his own business.
We managed to steal some time from Matt to share some insights into his journey to becoming a Travel Counsellor and why he could never go back to working for someone else…
How did you discover Travel Counsellors and what made you want to join?
I lived in the Netherlands and recall seeing Travel Counsellors there. When I returned to Australia, I worked as a Senior Agent for five years. A friend, who was a wholesaler, referred me to Travel Counsellors – she’d worked there previously and loved the company. I took the leap because I was tired of working for someone else and I knew I could do better.
The reason why Travel Counsellors was more attractive to me than other “home-based” agencies was that I knew they had the backing of a huge international company and that the systems were second to none. Also, knowing that I would have 24/7 support, especially early on, was a real comfort. Being with Travel Counsellors means I get to focus purely on what I am good at – which is selling travel – and Head Office look after things like paying my wholesalers.
Ultimately, I joined Travel Counsellors because I wanted to be my own boss.
How have Travel Counsellors changed your world for the better?
Travel Counsellors gave me the independence of owning my own business. It would be false for me to say that it’s given me balance because I’m a workaholic.
But through real discipline, I’ve created a work life that gives me flexibility where I want it. It has been the most financially rewarding career move I’ve made and the travel opportunities for me and my young family are great; I knock back famils now, whereas I was only ever offered one in the entire time I worked in an agency.
What advice do you have for agents who are considering becoming a Travel Counsellor?
I think there is a bit of a stigma around home-based agents, particularly when it comes to stay-at-home-mums. To be a successful home-based agent, it requires real dedication, the ability to not get distracted when working from home, and discipline. And with discipline, the rewards will certainly come.
What I love about Travel Counsellors is that I don’t feel like I work for them; they work for me and I have my own back office team. I treat my business seriously; I start work at the same time every day. I wear a uniform and have my car branded so that people in my town know who I am and what I do.
I joined a BNI chapter, I created a network of like-minded business owners and I talk with my BD at head office, constantly finding different approaches to running a business. It’s important to surround yourself with business savvy individuals because selling travel is what you’re great at, but learning to run a business is the key to success and you need to remind yourself every day that you are the business owner and everything boils down to me – I am the one who is going to make this succeed.
Does this all feel familiar? Do you see a little bit of Matt in yourself? Get in touch with us here to become your own boss today.