The "Why" I am in Travel (inspired by Simon Sinek's "Start with Why")

Simple truth:  I love to help families build memories.

It’s why I work in travel.

I listened to a speech by Simon Sinek at the “Power of Vision 2000” conference in Montreal yesterday. Simon talked about how people do not buy “what” individuals/ companies do so much as buying “why” you do it.  It made me think about how clearly I’ve been articulating “why” I do what I do, and what I find the most rewarding about working in travel.

Sure, most people know “what” I do in terms of me being a travel advisor. Many people might even know “how” I do it. But few would know “why.”  I have to change that.

As Simon Sinek says, if you tell people what you believe, you attract those that believe what you believe. My goal is, indeed, to do business with people who believe what I believe. I have found that the clients I’ve enjoyed working with the most just “get it.” They “get” that family times matter. They “get” that they can’t tell me exactly how much their last vacation cost, but they can tell me exactly what memories they took away. They “get” that they only have a finite number of trips they can ever take with their loved ones, and it’s important to build memories.

The rewards from working in travel have nothing to do with money. “Why” I work in travel is summed up in the excited email I just received from a client this afternoon. I’d helped him arrange a surprise birthday gift for his wife – he wanted to take her to Disney to celebrate her retirement, cross off a “bucket list” trip, fete her at the best restaurants, have her meet “Winnie the Pooh,” and generally act like a kid again.

This is an older couple. They are well traveled. I’d organized trips for them previously that went well, and they had enjoyed the experiences. So, the timing of me receiving the email from them this afternoon, just as I was re-watching Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” speech (as it is recorded on Ted… see below) seemed like synchronicity. I clicked the “stop” button on the you tube video, and read the following note from the husband about his surprise gift:

“You have no idea how surprised, happy and all the emotions that you can imagine she demonstrated when she realized what was happening, and this was the start… We have to say that it was a marvelous and a magical week that we will always remember.  I understand why you return there so many times.  We will certainly go back as well….In short, there is no other words to explain our satisfaction/pleasure other than say this week was one of the most marvelous and magical weeks that [we]… have spent together…The dining plan, with the reservations, was great. We really appreciated what you have done. Thank you. All restaurants were great, the food, the service, the ambiance and also the fact that they all had the notes about the allergy, and the birthday. I want to say again that [we] had a marvelous and a magical time at Disney World all week long, and we will always remember this outstanding journey.  I want to thank you very much for the work and effort you put in planning this trip for us. You made it so easy for us to enjoy and have a wonderful time. Until next time, thank you.”


I went back to Simon Sinek’s video.  simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

I had my “why.” To paraphrase Simon’s words about Apple:

Everything I do, I believe that caring for family is the most important job in the world. I believe that we all have a finite amount of time to do all the right things. I believe in building memories that families will cherish.

The way I value my family is to be present in their lives, maximize quality time, and experience wonder. I believe that we can enhance wonder by carving out magical time together on vacation.

It just so happens that I “sell” vacations that will help your family have “wow” moments, and build memories.

Wanna buy one?