Episode 69:

The Impact "Learning & Implementing" can have on your Travel Business with Holly Velardo

You can listen directly here. 

Everyone has a different approach to learning, however there is no denying its importance ― it makes you adhere to new and better work processes and systems. 


Some people like to learn and absorb, whilst others, learn and take action. Risking trying something new or different to move forward. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

Learning and implementing however is about growth. Growth for you as a business owner and taking action to build the travel business you desire.  


For travel business owners, learning new things is something we are ALWAYS doing. 

Whether it is supplier training or what’s working on social media at the moment. 


However learning and taking action on the things you learn I find at 2 different things. 


Learning and Implementing need to come together to become more than just a way forward; it also helps make sure that we can stay competitive in today’s global business marketplace.


In this episode, I asked one of the Travel Agent Achievers members to share her incredible story about her journey and experience in her travel business. 


Holly Velardo has over 20 years of experience in the Travel Industry providing tailor made itineraries with the best possible service and expert advice.


With her passion for the industry and love for her clients, she opened her own Travel Agency almost 5 years ago. 


During the pandemic and when the world closed down, she decided that she finally had more time to work on her travel  business. She joined Travel Agent Achievers to have things in place and to keep building and reaching goals.


One thing that she loves about the Travel Agent Achievers community is the SUPPORT and ACCOUNTABILITY not only just coming from me but from her co-members as she said. 


She also shares that it is so important to put together the systems and processes in business to get things organized. Once she put a few parts and pieces of automation into her travel business, it has taken away some of the administrative tasks, which has allowed her to focus on building her business. 


As she has implemented what she has learnt, she has also seen incredible results in her business from a sales perspective, but also growth in size of her business. Allowing her to do more of what she loves and with those she loves as well. 


Ros & Holly discuss why it’s important to invest in yourself, your learning and business to enrich your skills and knowledge, stay up-to-date, and move forward. 


Learning from your experiences, both successful and unsuccessful ones. Learning from your colleagues who are experts in their own fields. 


Holly is now working on specialised groups and encourages everyone to listen in, learn where you can and from people that ‘get’ you and take action. You won’t regret it. 

Looking to revamp your travel business? Check out: https://www.travelagentachievers.com/

Placeholder Image

Quotes from this Episode



“A setback is a setup for a comeback”- Holly 


“One of the best parts of being in business is the constant learning”- Ros


“If you don't take action on the things that you're learning and put things in place, your business isn't going to go anywhere.” - Ros

Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcast!

Get first access to our latest episodes! Make sure you subscribe to the Travel Agent Achievers podcast. Each episode will help increase your knowledge and expertise as a travel agent.

Find us on socials and share with us your favourite episodes. Make sure to tag us! @travelagentachievers 





The Impact "Learning & Implementing" can have on your Travel Business with Holly Velardo

Announcer: Welcome to Travel Agent Achievers! The place to learn how to grow your travel business and have fun with it. Join Roslyn and her guests as they walk you through proven steps to a fulfilling and profitable business. 


Ros: Hi, everybody. Welcome back to the Travel Agent Achievers podcast. It's Ros here, of course, your host, I am coming off the back of an amazing weekend at the National Travel Industry Awards. So I'm still on a high, I am absolutely delighted to see the amount of people that I did there over 1200 people in the room, it was so much fun that it was so great to come together. 


I think over the last couple of weeks, I've been able to see some incredible humans back in day-to-day life and also at events. It's given me so much joy. 


Today I've got one of those beautiful special people onto the podcast. It is Holly Velardo, from Hollyday travel. I've asked Holly to come on today because not only is she a Travel Agent Achievers member, but she has an incredible story. I think that for all of us as travel advisors, not only are we juggling a travel business, we've come through some crazy times. But we're also human, and we've got families, and a whole lot of other things going on. 


So I really wanted Holly to talk about her journey and experience to date. Because what I have seen in her over the last 12 months is incredible growth. She has one of the biggest hearts out of anybody I know. But she also has the tenacity and the determination and the grit to come through the challenging times. But she also is there for the long haul and loves what she does. So without further a do, welcome Holly of Hollyday Travel to the Travel Agent Achievers podcast. 


Holly: Hi, Ros! Thank you so much for having me. It's an absolute honour to be here.


Ros: I'm so glad that you are here. Now I just said you've been in the industry for 22 years. You've had your own travel business for almost five years. March 2023 will be five years. For me, you know so much already. Can you just tell us a little bit about your travel journey? Like how did you start? What have you been doing? I know we've spoken about this. We spoke about it last week at a conference that we both attended. But just so our audience knows a little bit more about you. Fill me in.


Holly: So I started traveling, that was my first thing I always wanted to travel when I was younger. With our fight family situation or financial situation, this just wasn't possible. So my dream was to travel the world. And from year 10, I knew that and I became a travel agent as soon as I finished high school. Then I have just continued. So my first job was back in the year 2000 after doing Advanced Diploma of tourism in TAFE and from then on I have loved every minute. I just knew that I had to start my own business though after working for other people.


Ros: So yeah. So you worked as an employee for a long time in the industry. 




Ros:What made you decide to go out on your own? Now I've met your past employer. He's a dear friend of yours still. But what made you start Hollyday travel, which I love the name by the way, Hollyday. It took me a while to get it. I'm one of those slow people when it comes to jokes. I was like, oh my god, this is the best name ever. But what made you start out on your own and?


Holly:Starting out on my own was once I had the twins, so we had three children, and then the twins came along. So I have five kids.


Ros: How old are they now?


Holly: So we have 18 year old Isabella is 18.  Joe is 16. Dominic is 13 and Zarya and Amelia are 6. So very big age range of kids in our home.


Ros: Yeah, that's right. Okay, Lucky they all go to school now. Right? But five years, so almost five years now the twins would have been one.


Holly: Yes, correct. So I was on maternity leave with the twins. I just thought I can never go back to work. I just can't do it, the flexibility of being home with the family and having that choice. Also I was still contracted to the large corporate company that I was working for. And 90% of the clients were mine. 


I brought them along with me from my previous job. I was getting such a small cut of the commission that I was doing all of the work and working from home. So with the encouragement of my boss, old boss, David, who you've met recently, he said to me just start it, just do it yourself. So here I am. I did it and I love it.


Ros: Was that a really scary decision to make or for you? You were looking at the numbers going, this is a no brainer. Like, what was the tipping point to go out on your own?

Holly: It was scary. It was really scary. Because even though I've been in the industry for so many years, I've never owned my own business, you know. In travel, the risk is if there's a mistake, or something's made, that's back on the business owner. For me, I was very scared of all of that. But I did a lot of research and I spoke to a lot of people. Everybody just encouraged me to just do it. Have the right insurances in place, have everything in place before you do it. I thought I can only try and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. 

Ros: You bet yourself. Now the twins have been at home for the majority of that before they started school, are they? They're not in kindergarten, now. They are new one. Isn't there a new one? 


Holly:Yeah, one. 


Ros: Okay. So their second year of school now, how were those first few years with them at home as well and running a household still with three older kids? Like you have such a beautiful family? A gorgeous husband. Like, there's so much going on. How did you juggle between work, and home? and twins under five and the family? Like how did you make that'll work? 


Holly: Yeah, well, there were days but it just didn't work.


Ros:We all know that.


Holly: But it didn't. But I guess for me, I'm very good at organizing things. The twins were in a really good routine at being the baby four and five, I guess they had to have things in place. I was also very thankful that my husband, Angelo, worked at the time. So he was able to help out by also just setting some boundaries of these are my working hours. I would work whenever they would sleep, I would work late at night. You know that there were times when I was absolutely exhausted. But I made it work. I had a dream and I wasn't giving up on that dream. I wanted it to happen.


Ros: I love how as I said, the guts and the determination and just coming through with those young kids. Then of course, the world shuts down, everything goes haywire. But even before that, what do you think have been some of the best moments of having your own business? What do you look at now and go? Oh, my gosh, I am so grateful for what I've got.

Holly: For me personally, the biggest thing is that people I've met along this journey. You can smash goals, you can set goals, you can do all of that. I absolutely do that. And that is a huge high for me. But more so it's meeting people like Ros, you have completely changed my life in my business. So it's the networking and there are so many people out there that are willing to help if you just ask. You find it and surrounding yourself in that positive environment and knowing where to get help. 


For me, that's been one of the most positive things is who I've met. But also it's been the flexibility, you know, if the Kids something on at school, then I can just block that out in my calendar. I can just change everything that I'm doing. I can make sure I'm there. So I'm not letting my clients down. They absolutely know, I'm a mom of five kids. 

There's days where I'm out of office says I'm on a school excursion. They get that but they also get my incredible service knowing that for one day, I'm not there, but then I'm available. Yeah. So for me, that's the biggest thing, mixing the family pleasure and also the work and the people.


Ros: The people, the connections, I love the joy and seeing the joy in you, as you have these clients that come back to you time and time again. So you and I have known each other now for just over a year. 


Holly: Wow. 


Ros:I know. But I feel that time has gone so fast. I know so much has been achieved. You know done in that time. When did you find Travel Agent Achievers because for me as a podcast host and a course curator and all those sorts of fancy words. But I don't necessarily get to see you from the other side as a listener or get to know too much about you and your business. So when did you find Travel Agent Achievers like were you searching for something or how did that all come about?


Holly: Yes, I was. So  during the pandemic and when the world closed down. I decided that I finally had time to work on my business. So I had been listening to a lot of business podcasts and I love them. I've learned a lot but I was like nothing relates to travel agents. So one day I just did search for travel agent podcasts and it popped you and then I did a huge binge listen to all your podcasts that you had over a couple of days. 


I messaged you, I think I messaged you. I was like oh my gosh, I really want to get in and then I joined a coffee morning with you guys. I just like those first couple of podcasts. I just clicked and I'm like, “hey Love Ros, I absolutely need to get in contact with her”. I just knew I knew it would be for me. Then when I contacted you when we did one coffee morning in the group, and here I am 12 months later loving it.


Ros:Well, months later, gosh. So you were actively searching for something to help you in your travel business. Now, I love that you were listening to other business podcasts and actively learning. I think that is one of the best parts of being in business is the constant learning. 


But one thing that I've seen from you, Holly, that I think is very important for any business owner is, it's great to listen and learn. But if you don't take action on the things that you're learning, or that resonates with you, because not everything resonates with everyone, but if you don't take action on it and put things in place, then you might be super smart. But business isn't going to go anywhere. 


So you joined the Achievers straightaway.You're like, yeah, absolutely send me the link. I mean, I want I'm all in. And that for me as well was like, here we go. This is somebody that really wants to take action that isn't going to sit on the sidelines, that wants to do something with her future, wants to build the business that she absolutely deserves and dreams of. So you joined the program, what did you do when you jumped in? Was there something that you were like, Oh, my gosh, I can't believe I don't know this? Was there something that you were struggling with that you decided to join?


Holly:  Yeah, like I had worked for a corporate company for a year and a half pre the children, the twins, and they had zero systems in place. So I've gone in thinking, I'm going to be in this big company, everything's going to be amazing. I had to put every system in place. I mean, they didn't even have an invoice like I had to create all of these things. So for me having my own business, I thought there has to be an easier way to do it. There has to be automation systems in place, there has to be something to make this easier. 


For me, it was finding out what was that? And how can I make my job easier and more streamlined. Even though I loved what I did, and pre COVID I knew there were so many ways that I could improve it. My dream was when COVID was over, this was going to go crazy.I was going to be huge. So I needed to have things in place and that is me setting ridiculous goals. But that's who I am. I wanted everything in place. I'm just so glad that I came to because as you know what my business was previously to what it is now is unbelievable. So I cannot thank you enough Ros.


Ros: Just on that with systems. Thank you, Holly. I'm getting a little bit better with accepting things. Thank you. I did get a big serving from somebody over the weekend, like just except that I'm saying thank you. Because I just believe in you guys so much. I'm always there for you. So thank you, I will take that on board. But the aha moments like when you talk about systems, there are so many in travel businesses that we can be using. 


I think every business is different. So I know for me, like in our business, we use project management systems, we have to use particular booking software with, Galileo, Sabre, Amadeus, we all have to use one of those three, generally as Travel Advisors to be booking flights. But there are so many other systems that we can put into place from the technical point of view. But I think for us, when I talk about systems, it's getting organized, and knowing what your process is. You can pick up a different tool. That's the difference here, I think is the pick up a different tool to implement in your business. 


But it's actually being organized and structured in a way that you can get your stuff into a tool. So you use a couple of different tools to me What's been the biggest tool over the last couple of years that you've gone? Oh, my gosh, this has changed my world. 



Holly: Okay, well, most recently,it would definitely have to be one of the project management tools. I use Teamwork. So that has completely changed everything that I do. I guess well, I use it because of you and how you've taught me so just by having all of the templates set up. Everything is set up in there, it's really easy to refer to. That's been a huge thing for me, but also introducing travel fire itineraries. That is a game changer. My clients absolutely love the app. I love the app, it's so easy to load, and it looks so professional. They carry it around with them at anytime. It is seriously amazing. Some of my clients like oh, my gosh, did you create This one? No.


So for me, it's been those two. But also just understanding that there are so many things that can be automated and that was the biggest thing for me is I know that takes time to set up. Absolutely it does. But the minute they set up and they're in place that takes away so much time from me, and then I can work on the business.


Ros:Yeah, that's exactly right. I think that that's the thing that we have to overcome, in putting together our systems and processes is that where the work is done. If you put in those couple of hours, or those few hours to set something up, this is where you see the transformation in your daily workflow, actually speed things up tremendously. So where it may have taken you an hour to be preparing emails, and sending out documents and putting a whole lot of stuff together for a particular client quotes. 


If you have your email templates set up that you can tweak, like, nothing is perfect, nothing is exactly the same. But if you can tweak or change a couple of things around, that will save you 45 minutes. It'll be 15 minutes that you can send things out instead of it taking you an hour to do and in that 45 minutes. That allows you then to be doing other tasks that you're going to be paid better for instead of the admin side of things. So just on that as well. Now, another thing that has changed for you in your business is hiring another beautiful staff member to help you like where did that come from?


Holly: Yes, that has been amazing. And again only with your encouragement, Ros, I was able to do that. You know how scared I was, you know how much of a big step that was for me. So talking to you, and spending that time with you. So I have the most amazing virtual assistant, her name is Ricia, and she works with me remotely from Sri Lanka. Just having her here, she now can log into teamwork. All of our tasks are there every morning every day. Obviously, there's a bit of a time difference. But everything's set up there. Everything's recorded. 


She knows she starts her day with exactly what she needs to do. All the email templates are there and she copies and pastes them. She can do all of that. The next step is having all of those things automated, but we're getting there. It's all work in progress. 


Ros: Absolutely. It's all a work in progress. Yeah, and not going to fix it.


Holly: Absolutely. But just having Ricia working for me and doing those behind the scenes tasks that are so mundane and are so important. Her attention to detail for me, that was the most important thing. That's what I pride myself and my business on is that attention to detail, we check everything before it goes out, it has to be perfect. 


Ros: Absolutely. 


Holly:She is amazing. She has created me to have so much more time to work on the business, and keep building and reaching goals and setting goals that I want to do. So I cannot recommend it enough. Thank you again, wishing me pushing my boundaries.


Ros:Just pushing. But I was nudging you a little, just a little bit at a time. That's one of the things I think is brilliant about what we do with accountability. So within our community, there is that encouragement and support to take that next step. I say this, from a place of love that it's going to be a little bit scary sometimes to actually step into something that we don't know anything about. It goes right back to when you start your very first job, the anxiety builds up the nervous like, Well, how am I going to do this?


Hiring staff or bringing a new tool into our business that costs money. I know for a lot of people it can bring up extra emotions and the nerves and the anxiety and the stress and the pressure. It's like oh my goodness, I now need to pay for somebody else's wages and cover up costs in order to allow my business to grow. I think that's a very big hurdle that a lot of advisors get. They get to that point where they can't physically do any more. 


I have seen the devastation of advisors,locking themselves in the bathroom or crying and saying how am I going to get back in process of these extra 10 bookings, I've got no more hours in the day. But what you did and what I've seen a number of other advisors do, and we have it as well in our business is getting the support at a level that you can afford. That will scare you a little bit and you'll be like, Oh my gosh, I now need to you know, I'm responsible for somebody else's wages here. 


I need to actually step up in myself. But what I've seen in you Holly is that also allowed you to grow as a business owner to say “Hang on a second, yes”. There are as you use it, the mundane tasks, but then essentially, in our travel businesses, there are certain things that we have to do.


But if those tasks can be done for a lesser cost than what it would be for you to go out and be the face of your business, then that's absolutely worth it. You could be speaking to more clients, bringing in more bookings and bigger bookings, or whatever it is that allows you to do what you're really good at, but having somebody else in your business to do really well at what they're good at.


Holly: Right? Yeah. That's where it works perfectly. She doesn't want to be the face, she doesn't want to meet people, she wants to stay behind the scenes. For me, my business is all about meeting people and talking to people. I'm the one that people come to you if they want to see me. So for now, that works perfectly. Having these people behind the scenes doing this for me is everything. Yeah. It's kind of slightly changed. It's freed me up to keep spending more time with you, to keep learning, to keep building what I'm wanting to do and putting more systems in place and knowing that my business is exactly where I want it.


Ros: Yeah. So you've seen tremendous growth. Now, since the borders have opened. You've done the hard work, but you consistently and continuously are taking action, I would say at least on one or two things a month, do you find that it takes up a lot of time to be working on your business as well as in it? Because even after we record this episode, now I know you're straight into zoom calls with brand new clients and bringing on new bookings, like the time. The time factor of working on your business? Do you set aside that time?


Holly:  I do. Now, I try and set aside a Wednesday morning. So I do send out weekly newsletters. For me, that's really important. My clients absolutely love them, I get lots of replies to them, they get really good open rates. So for me, that's really important. Sometimes in those newsletters, I don't really put out a lot of specials and stuff. That's not what my newsletter is about. 


I do put out my group tours and anything that's happening specifically within my business. I also talk a little bit about what's going on in travel this week. So they're very basic. They're not specific to a little bit about my family sometimes, and sometimes I don't, but it's what my clients relate to. It's what they want. 


So I set aside Wednesday mornings, a couple of hours to get that set up. That goes out every Thursday. Then I also try and set up my social media for the week. So I do that on a Monday morning and a Wednesday morning. Obviously, if there's, emergency bookings or anything like that, that happens, it doesn't always work. But setting aside the time and the brain space to just make that happen is so important.

Ros: Do you find this is almost a loaded question, actually, as I think about it, and I want to put it out there. So working on your business. So within Travel Agent Achievers, we have set up it's one hour on the first Thursday of the month for like a masterclass training. Then we have an accountability session like those are the two confirmed every month that we all catch up together and work through the business, any challenges, share your wins, set your goals, and then also some guest expert sessions. 


So we guarantee that there are six of those a year. I think we've had probably every month for the last few months, we've also had a guest that's come in and spoken to the group as well. So in that I say the commitment, there is definitely three hours. So you're saying that's three hours a month that I would say definitely working on your business by learning, but then the implementation time from that as well. 


How much extra time would you then spend implementing some of these things? So for instance, let's talk about this month, it's all around email templates and email sequences and the structure and the language and how to get organized with your emails. So what do you suggest? Or what do you think is then time that you would spend working on the business in say that topic?


Holly: Yeah, so I think it depends on what the topic is. Because some things for everybody, it's different, but this time with the email sequences, I had a lot of setup, but I didn't have them set up how we spoke about it. I have changed my wording and I have implemented it. 


Now everything is saved in a Google Doc, they're set up in Teamwork, they're linked over. So for me, I did then come back and spend another couple of hours implementing that, because this part was really important for me. So sometimes the other guest speakers that are on there only spend half an hour implementing what they say. So it really depends on who it is. 


But I really believe it's so important to implement whatever we listen to, and very quickly after those meetings, so I try not to book anybody in for at least 30 minutes to an hour after we have any sessions with you, Ros, because then that gives me time to instantly work on it and not be distracted.


Ros: whilst it's fresh. 

Holly:Correct whilst it's fresh, because everybody knows distractions come along kids, family, anything, clients. So that is what I prefer to do. Just so I know it's done. Then I can refer back to it if I need to.


Ros:  Yeah. So just on that, so the implementation and working on your business. So the other big thing that I am incredibly proud of within Travel Agent Achievers, and the programs that we offer is our community. I love every single one of the members that are part of that, because everybody wants to work on their business. Everybody wants to grow, everybody is always learning and implementing and that brings me so much joy. But how has the community and other advisors impacted your life or your business?


Holly: I could talk for hours on these roles. This community genuinely warms my heart, I love them all, like everybody is so different and come from such different backgrounds, with so many different levels of expertise. But the thing I love the most is there's zero competition, we all want to help each other. We are all there, no matter what the question is one of us will know the answer, someone will put it into the group chat. Even if we don't know, we go out and find that answer. Somehow, if we've got a connection, we share that. People are having up and down moments, like some days, I'm having a bad day, or I'm on a super high. We're all there for each other and that friendship and the group. 


I mean, I haven't even met half of them, but I have met some, but I feel like I know, every single one of them and that is what you've created rolls your heart and the love and the genuineness you have for all of us and how much you care for every single person in this group is what has created this community. Without you, this would never have happened. You are the world in this group,Ros, and just the calls, you check in on us to check. I know what you do for each and every one of us. I know you watch us on these zoom meetings. If one of us have is having a hard time you are ringing us or texting us or checking in on us and that is above and beyond. You're also there cheering us on more than anybody else. If we've had a win, you make us celebrate, nobody else is doing this thing.


Ros:  Now you've got me crying and the goosebumps are there. Thank you, Holly. But what you've just said is something that I definitely set out to create for Travel Agent Achievers, my heart is all in with you guys. But just talking about the awards there. That's actually really funny. You mentioned that because there's a couple of things that I want to talk about here. One is your awards process. So I know that you went for a very big award this year, like what made you do that? Because a lot of us as travel advisors, we like don't have time to do it, or who even cares? Why should we put ourselves out there. So tell me about your awards journey.


Holly:  Okay, so I was nominated last year and didn't make a finalist. Then I was nominated for a couple of different awards this year. For me to be nominated and we get given a what your client or whoever it can be anonymous what is said. It genuinely brought tears to my eyes to see that someone had gone out of their way and nominated me. So I thought this is a perfect opportunity for me to give thanks back to my clients and also say, Okay, I'm going to try this. 


It was for the SA women Awards, which is a big thing here in Adelaide. Carly is an amazing woman, the founder, I am absolutely astonished by what she's accomplished as well. What she does with women in business. So for me, it was also getting to know that community of people, and they're amazing these women and what Carly's done. So it's a difficult process.


We have to talk about ourselves, and we have to put it out there. We have to do it in a way that you are up talking everything. For me, that's difficult to find out. I mean, I came to you Ros, can you help me? Oh my gosh and I didn't. I wasn't a finalist.


I'm not gonna lie. I was disappointed. But for me, one of my favorite sayings is a Setback is a setup for a comeback. So there's always next year, there's always another time. There's always another award. There's something else that I can achieve. What I learned along the way with that, is that going to that awards night and seeing the women that want it there are so many women who are doing incredible things out there. So it didn't matter that I didn't win didn't matter. I wasn't a finalist, it was what I learned along the way.


Ros: Yeah, absolutely. It is all learning process. One thing that you touched on was also about you having to talk about yourself and put yourself out there. I think as travel advisors, we don't do that, it's quite scary, talking about the value that we provide and who we are and who we take care of, and the travels that we book. It's quite scary to actually be then exposed in a way to everyone else's judgment, because that's what it comes down to. 


But by doing that, one thing that I saw is you sent me your submission, you're like, “Oh, here's what I've got”. It was Saturday or Sunday, I said, “Yeah, I'll be able to have a look at it on a Sunday”. When I was reading through your submission, I was like, You have come so far. But it's so easy for an outsider.I was able to then just help you with that and go, Oh, my God, this is how you got fella. Because there's an outsider and that's the other thing that I love as part of our group is that we get to see each other's journey. 


We get to really highlight when somebody is having a tough day or a tough month to then say, look how far you've actually come. Like we're going to come up against challenges, always in business, and particularly in our travel businesses, whether you're a wholesaler, or a supplier or an advisor, the whole industry. We're all going to come up against challenges. But the fact that we can all be there to support one another. 


I know in my role as well to cheer you guys on is to say, I get to work with you every single month, I get to see how far you've come. You don't get the opportunity right now to say, “oh, no, the whole world's falling apart” because I know the work that you've put in. I can see how far you've come. So I'm so proud of you for stepping out into an unknown and getting out of your comfort zone to actually go for these awards, which is something that we don't normally do. 


But I'm going to encourage everybody to and on that as well. So the national travel industry awards over the weekend that we had here in Australia, I personally was up for two awards. So one is a finalist for mobile home based advisor of the year in my travel business. I was up against one of our other achievers members in Cali that I was thrilled with, I was absolutely honored to be a part of that journey. 


Neither of us won, but one of the another beautiful advisor Ros did and she's incredible, and that was great. But then also for Travel Agent Achievers as most popular support role over the last couple of years. Again, know the camaraderie that you build as part of an awards process. With others, the four finalists, the four of us, we actually stood together as the award was announced. 


We're in a huddle, like we were some sort of football team or something. It was really cool. But we were all there together. Every single one of us genuinely wanted the others to win. I filmed it because I knew that I wasn't the most popular but I was. We all walked up together. Like that says something about putting yourself out there but also supporting one another and having the collective work together. As you said, there is no competition. It is about collaboration. If we can support each other to really achieve our dreams, that is just so cool.


Holly: Absolutely and that is what you've taught all of us roles and just having you there and listening to you saying that right then about the awards. If there is zero competition in anything you do, you are so genuine and it just comes across and that is what I love about it.


Ros:Then the other thing though, I do want to say this is with the awards over the weekend, another one of our achievers members, Christy was up for an award as well. I was filming. We were on different tables and I was filming from my table when they were talking about the finalists. Now I'm on a table with our other travel business owners. Nobody knew who I was in a sense so I was on the table. She was over the other side of the room. I was filming it. When she won I was out of my seat screaming. I was so excited still filming it watching her walk up to the stage and everything getting her award and everybody else in my local vicinity or looked at me like I'd won.


Holly: That's what you do. You cheer on all of us. This is what we love. I love getting that video. Oh my goodness, a minute. We're all sitting at home waiting, waiting, waiting. Then the minute we got out and we're all cheering her on and then 1000 messages come and that's what this is about. It’s a go to place like when something good happens in my business. The first thing I do is put it in the chat because these people genuinely care. Yeah, I really want to cheer everybody on.


Ros:It is now I know we're running out of time here. So a couple of last questions. I know, you're a specialist in what you do with Hollyday travel, you specialize in a particular region. Why did you choose that region? But I know that you still walk everything else. Why did you choose the region that you have?


Holly: Well, the region is SriLanka. For me, I had never been there. I attended an industry event in Sydney in 2018. They had some representatives, they're saying that they'd love to send agents and start promoting SriLanka. So I was lucky enough to be invited. I absolutely fell in love with the country. So why we were there, we actually booked for the whole family to go back. We took the kids back about six weeks after. 


We have been back a few times since. It's just the culture, the people, the relaxed environment, the different experiences you can have there. So for me, it was, I just fell in love with it. I mean, I've traveled a lot of places around the world. For me, it was a feeling and the people and that is so important. In when, I travel, I want to feel amazing, I want to see different things, I want to experience something I haven't before. So that is why I specialize in Sri Lanka and that is why I have a group through out the June next year. I personally scalding it, if anybody would like to jump on, it is a small group too. So you can get in contact with me, and I'd love to have you on board.


Ros:It's going to be fantastic. I just love the passion that you have for it. But also the risk. So even putting together a group, there is so much more to it than just saying here's a group and we're all going there is so much more to it. You and I are working behind the scenes on this as well for how to make sure that you're protected, insurance wise, but also you're protected from a business perspective, how to piece it all together, how to make sure that you're going to be making money, how there's a whole lot of other stuff that goes with it. 


So I absolutely love that you're doing this, you've put yourself out there, which I love even more and you've taken a risk, you've done something a little bit scary is going to pay off for you. I can assure you of that. So absolutely. I am sharing it with my audience because I want everybody to travel with you. I just know that you have the biggest heart in everything that you do. But if somebody was to ask you, and I know you've had this as well over the last week as well. But what would you say to somebody that's potentially listening to the podcast now or that hears about Travel Agent Achievers or hears me speak or any of those sorts of things? What would you say to somebody listening to an episode that's thinking about working on their business? What would you say to them?


Holly: Oh, my gosh, you know the answer to these, I would say join now. Do not even stop. We were at a conference recently on the weekend and Ros was the guest speaker. There were a few people have contacted me post conference going, oh my gosh, what do you think we know you're part of it. I would just say do it now. I just wish I knew all of this before I did. But I'm also so grateful that I joined it during COVID. Because I am so far ahead of where some other people might be or where I would have been if I didn't, because I've had the time and just to have this community around us and positive like minded people, but also Ros' expertise, the things that you know, Ros.


It's like, I'll get stuck and you just go Bam! She's an answer. You make everything thing seems so, so easy. So I cannot recommend enough that you join this group. We've been talking about systems a lot in this podcast, but it's not even just the systems we've learned about. I mean, the marketing side of things and how you've taught me to do that and have calendars and you know, plan everything and have everything just there in place and spending time to do that. It just frees your brain and it gives you time to focus on other things. So all the guest experts like we are so honored to have them in from the sales coaches, to the psychologists to everything that you bring us like I cannot recommend that you join achievers enough. Everybody listening, get in this group. It's amazing.


Ros: Thanks, Holly. I do think that it is a very special program that we have. I am absolutely honored for everybody who joins it and is active in it and is a part of the program. It is very special. The community is wonderful. But also Holly I just want to say that I am so proud of you and how far you have come. Knowing your backstory and when you joined what was going through your mind and what you wanted to get out of it, how you've had.


Already smashed your sales goals for this year. But the work, the thing is that you do take action. You say, This is what I want to achieve.I love how we've done the goals together. You've sat there and said, This is what I want to achieve for 2022. You smashed it a few months ago, you are absolutely Soaring towards your next one. I know that the next 12 months for you are going to be your best ever yet. I'm so proud of you. I just want to say thank you so much for being here today on the podcast, sharing your journey, but also what it's like to be working on your business, because a lot of us are just going to be in taking and not actually putting the work in. 


So by doing the work, taking action, you can absolutely soar and I do hope that as we open up our programs this week that you know you jump in and you take action, you do something for yourself, you do something for your business, Holly, I am so proud of you and everything that you've achieved. She's also a board member of a big industry body and is on fire. So thank you so much Holly for being here today.


Holly:  Thank you so much. It was an absolute honor. I cannot thank you enough for having me.


Ros: Alright, everybody, so we are going to link to the show notes here on the podcast episode. Also, you know, Holly's amazing quote, the setback is a setup for a comeback. Is that right, Holly?


Holly: Yes, that's right.


Ros:I absolutely love that. We are going to link to that. I'll make sure that we talk about it. Everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today here on the Travel Agent Achievers podcast. I look forward to chatting with you all very very soon. Have a wonderful rest of the week. Bye for now.