It’s a total cliché, I know, but when we look back on our lives when we’re old and grey and sitting in our rocking chair, it’s the things we didn’t do that will cause us the most pain.

So believe in yourself, take that leap, and be in charge of your own life with TravelManagers.

That’s exactly what Briony Bullard from Adelaide did after 10 years working in a retail travel agency, and she reckons it’s the best decision she’s made in her career.

She’s now able to travel AND earn more (isn’t that what we all want to do?!) and basically live a life that’s fulfilling on the financial, social and professional front.

She’s living the dream folks, and if she has any regrets, it’s not joining TravelManagers earlier in her career.

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Today on KarryOn we sit down with Briony as she tells us about her journey from jaded retail Travel Agent to high-flying legendary travel professional with TravelManagers.

Briony, let’s go girl!

1. What first prompted you to work in a retail travel consulting role?

From 2001, I travelled all around the world for five years working for several cruise lines. Then in 2006, I decided it was time to return home to ‘reduce the travelling’. Thing is, as soon as I got home I booked a three-month ‘last hurrah’ Round the World trip! So much for reducing my travel!

Returning from that wonderful trip, the agent that had booked it for me referred me to a local retail agency. I jumped at the chance, because I wanted to help people get away from it all, and because I love travel and want others to be able to experience it all. After working for a number of different agencies, I decided to make the move to TravelManagers in December last year.

2. What made you take the big leap to leave your comfort zone and build and grow your own travel business in partnership with TravelManagers?

After 10 years in retail consulting I was jaded and I needed something new to reignite my passion for the job and the industry. So after much consideration I resigned (rather than taking long service leave) and took seven weeks off and went around the world again to think about what I wanted to do with my life and what was important.

Deep down, I knew I still wanted to be in travel in some capacity. I still wanted to be a part of people’s travel dreams, but in a way where the service I offer and the scope was more far-reaching than before. I wanted some flexibility to be able to work when I needed or wanted to, or when my clients needed me. I wanted more work/life balance. Being in a retail office was not going to allow me to be that person. After doing some research, I decided to back myself in this venture and took the plunge and applied to TravelManagers. It was a logical choice and if you are thinking that you can’t, think again.

3. How did you find the transition across?

I made the transition really easily with the help of my Business Partnership Manager Alison Banks, the support of other personal travel managers, and all the help of the TravelManagers National Partnership Office.

I also need to give special mention to the Southern Australian personal travel managers who have welcomed me with open arms. With amazing humans like this alongside me, the transition has been one that I won’t ever look back on and question my decision to change. The words “alongside” as opposed to “above me” are most important here.

4. Were there any challenges and how were you supported in overcoming them?

After being with one retail travel group for 10 years as an employee, running my own business was a big learning curve as well as learning some new systems and processes.

But with all the help and support I received, I quickly picked things up and now I’m flying. I am a bit of a control freak, and I like to know how to do things properly before I am meant to. Starting my own business taught me to “let go” a little and trust in the advice and support around me, plus give myself time to adjust. In a very short time I was processing transactions just as quickly as I had on previous systems.

Everyone in TravelManagers has been fundamental in helping me overcome this learning curve (that is now starting to level out). There is always someone who is around to help with a question, or if you just need someone to set your head straight about something.

The initial four to 10 weeks of any new job can be quite overwhelming when you begin, but there is such a great team behind the scenes and alongside you that are always there to help. This had me asking myself “Why didn’t I do this earlier?!”

5. How do you feel now that you’re six months in?

Again, I keep asking myself “Why didn’t I do this earlier?!” It is still one of the best decisions I have made. I love the team I work with within the network. I love the flexibility that working for myself gives me both professionally, socially and of course financially.

I really am looking forward to the future and what it holds with TravelManagers. The cogs in my brain are turning and I have already set up my first tour to escort next year in March to the USA. It is this kind of scope and flexibility that really excites me about this business.

6. Has it been worth the “pain of change”?

Moving over to TravelManagers is one of the best things I have done in any professional career. I have met some fantastic people in my short journey so far, and I am sure more magical humans will cross my path reinforcing the decision I made to change to this model of work.

Systems knowledge will come. You know how to sell travel. The most important thing is to back yourself. As with marathon running (which for some crazy reason I entertain), pain is temporary, success is forever. Success comes in so many different forms. For me, it is being able to build my own business within an industry I love.

Briony Marathon

7. Do you have any advice for other experienced travel consultants when it comes to making that leap of faith?

Back yourself. Don’t be afraid. Getting out of the office environment was the best thing I could have done, but I didn’t realise how good until I tried. Just believe in yourself!

Has Briony inspired you to make your own leap into more freedom, travel and money with TravelManagers? Then click this right now, and stop dreaming and start living!

What do you enjoy the most since joining TravelManagers? Let us know in the comments below.

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