Courtnie Nichols, TravelBash

Today’s guest is a former professional fundraiser who put those skills to work and went from travel being a part time job on the side in 2017 to full time in June 2018. 

Here’s the thing to know though. Even with $2.5M in sales, that’s not the metric our guest watches. This travel advisor has niched down into groups—both destination weddings and celebrations groups—with a minimum of 10 rooms and an average spend of $500-1000 per guest, per day. 

The metric she does watch is the steady income that comes from her group booking fee of $5,000 per group and the 18 clients that are in her VIP club where there is a $6.5k a year annual retainer that has a minimum annual travel spend of $50k, and that doesn’t include air. 

For today’s guest, commission is just icing on the cake. 

Courtnie Nichols is a study in crafting the business of your dreams by thinking about what you want out of life and reverse engineering your business to fit the lifestyle you want. She only books one destination wedding a month. She takes most of Friday off and focuses on self-care. She lays out who she wants to work with and sticks to it. And December? Forget about it! She and the TravelBash team take the entire month of December off.

So come along for an inspirational conversation with a travel advisor who isn’t afraid to do things differently and by doing so, has found a work-life balance others dream of and a steady income stream that no pandemic or natural disaster can wreak havoc on. 


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Show Notes

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  1. HAR's Annual Survey: Join the fun and get a free report worth it's weight in gold. :) Survey starts April 15th each and every year.
  2. TravelBash's site: Check out the content and copy on Courtnie's website.
  3. HARO: Help a Reporter is where Courtnie has been able to get some mentions in publications. It's changing to Connectively in 2024.
  4. TravelBash's Pinterest Page: With over 60k impressions/mo
  5. Newsletters: Cultivate your Ideal Client in 3 StepsHAR Host Week EduSpot on creating newsletter content. 
  6. TravelBash's Inquiry FormAfter vetting call to make sure client is a good fit, TravelBash sends this form.
  7. Enneagram Test, StrenthFinder Test: The tests Courtnie has her potential hires take.
  8. Tatiana O'Hare: Consultant that helps solopreneurs become the delegator, not the doer.
  9. Podcasts + Consultants Courtnie Likes: Marketing Made Simple podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast, Serena Hicks (mindset coach), Jen Diaz (mindset coach), Donald Miller's StoryBrand and Business Made Simple podcast, Michael Hyatt Mind your Mindset book.


Transcription

Howdy y'all. This is Steph Lee, the founder of Host Agency Reviews, coming at you from Texas, where I am in my final weeks of snowboarding before heading back to grand old Minnesota, where it's nice and cold. As always for today, we have a ton of information and tips for you to help you build an agency that works for you specifically for you and your lifestyle.

Steph: And today we have Courtnie Nichols. She's the founder of TravelBash, and you are about to get hit with some really new ways of thinking about your agency, both in what you do and how you do it. Now she took about her first solo trip when [00:03:00] she was 10 years old and has not stopped since.

You're going to hear about how content marketing has been central to the success of her company and whether it's through her blog or through her sales copy on her site, Courtnie has really thought it all through and we'll talk about that.

And she'll also share her hiring process and how her vetting process has led to great fits who really stick with the company And why she doesn't mess around with wedding wire and the knot, even though she specializes in destination weddings and how our booking process sets her and her clients up for success.

And we are also going to find out about her secret as to how she has 17 as of now, podcast interviews. Soon to be 18 and then 13 mentions of her company, including from the Oprah magazine and Southern living. And that my friends is just scratching the surface today.

A quick note before we jump in. So our annual survey that we do at HAR is coming up in just a [00:04:00] few weeks. It opens every year. This is, it opens up on April 15th right after taxes come in and are finished. And we want you to join the fun. So you can head over to HAR, H A R dot news slash survey to sign up for reminders and get for more information. We'll also put that link in the show notes.

Now, some of you may be asking, why should I take a survey? And if you're asking, you're very much like me because I would be a person that's like, why would I take this survey? And here's why it's beneficial for you to take our survey. You get one of the free reports when they are published in the fall.

They are 70 pages chock full of information on industry data that you can use to build a better business, to benchmark your agency, to get different ideas and to get a better feel for the industry as a whole. So about five minutes of your time, and then you get an in depth report worth a couple hundred dollars.

So it's not too shabby.

All right, links and resources [00:05:00] for today's show. Anything we talk about can be found in the show notes, which you can find by going to Host Agency Reviews.com/tac and clicking on episode 29. And here's our map for today's call. We are gonna be covering a variety of topics in each segment, and here's what they are.

We'll talk about Courtnie's beginnings.

We'll then jump into her marketing operations and fees.

Her team.

Some of the wisdom she's learned over the past few years, and then we'll end up with our indispensable segment.

And there is a lot to talk about today. And a lot, so let's get started.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-portugal-smiling-beach

Beginnings

Steph: Courtnie, welcome to Travel Agent Chatter.

Courtnie: Yes. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Steph: Oh, it is such a pleasure to have you on. I really mean, we have a lot to talk about today. This is my 29th. Episode of travel agent chatter. And when I was going through all their notes and I was like, there are so much. I had to cut stuff, Courtnie. I, and I was hard.

It was hard. I was [00:06:00] like, I think this is going to be about an hour and a half, but it's all so good. And I'm like, I don't think I can go longer than that. So let's get started.

You took your first trip. When you were 10 years old and then every summer after that. So how in the world were you traveling by yourself as a 10 year old?

Courtnie: I moved from a small town in Tennessee of 3, 600 people to huge city, St. Louis. That's where I actually sat. I grew up, born in Tennessee, grew up in St. Louis. And so my dad was like, I'm not driving you down to your girlfriend. You gotta get on a flight. So that's how it all started. It was like, if you want to see your family you better find a way to get there.

So I was on that first solo flight at 10, going to grandma's house, even connecting, going from St. Louis, connecting Nashville to then the Tri Cities Airport. So it wasn't even a direct flight. He was like, you can do it. You got it. And from there, yeah.

Steph: I have this really adorable picture of you In my head.

Is there a picture of you? I suppose you're traveling by [00:07:00] yourself, so probably not, but there's there a picture of you like at 10 at the airport,

Courtnie: I didn't have a cell phone. I don't think people use cell phones. Then I'm not that old, but I didn't get a cell phone till almost college. Like I was.

A senior, a junior in high school, and I had that Nokia flip phone. So back then, like you didn't just get footage of people doing things.

Steph: I know. I just think it would be so cute. Like a little back, a little and picture, maybe a little

Courtnie: luggage.

 That height. I was almost the same height at 10. So like you had this tall six foot yeah, skinny little twig, like who is, I probably looked older than 10, so they're like, oh, it's fine.

Steph: Yeah. Let her go off by herself. She'll be just fine. . Yeah. So you've traveled a ton, but there is a difference between liking to travel and planning trip for others, as we all know, so how did you make this switch from your professional fundraiser that loves to travel, and then you became a travel advisor, how'd that come about?

Courtnie: For, Those of you who don't know who I am, I always preface or I always [00:08:00] talk about my husband, not because he's important like me, but because he's the reason how I got into the travel industry. So I'm a college basketball coach's wife. And so for those of you that know the lifestyle, it's like military and like I've moved now eight times in 16 years.

So when we moved to Florida in 2015, at that time, we had moved. Six times by the time floor six or seven. Yeah, because this we've moved now. I live in Virginia now. So we moved from Florida to Virginia and that's the eighth move. And so every year I had moved and contrary to what people believe is just because your husband, the coach, they don't get you a job.

They don't really help you with anything. So every year I was finding a new job. The good news was I was good at fundraising. So when you can fundraise that sales, you can always find a job. But I was like, I need to find something that I can do. If he tells me we're moving to Antarctica, this is my baby.

This is my own. Like I don't have to worry about anything. And so I had gotten to the [00:09:00] point in my career fundraising in order to move up, I was going to have to manage a team or they wanted someone who was going to put roots down or going to stay. You can't build a program or leave. We're at Florida.

That's where I used to work. University of Florida. We're in a 50. 50. Three billion campaign in my department of two was responsible for 50 million. And I was bored and I was like, I can do this in my sleep. And I've got to find something that my husband comes in here tomorrow and says, we're moving here that it doesn't stop the flow of what I was doing.

So at that time I my travel advisor, she had been, she had talked to me before about you should be a travel advisor and I'm a millennial. So I'm like, who uses them? Why do I need it? It doesn't make sense. She was like, no, Courtnie, you'd be great. You have the network. Obviously I moved. So I know a bunch of different people.

I lived overseas also had a destination where she was like, I think you would be great. So I said, okay, I'm going to give it a stab. I gave myself a year. I'm like, if I, in the one year don't make this, I'm back to fundraising. There's no way cause I didn't want to give up a job to go work a job that then I wouldn't get paid to do yeah, it didn't make sense.[00:10:00]

So I leaped in. Yeah, that's all.

Steph: That's amazing. So after a year, it sounds like it worked out for you. Cause now that was 2017, right?

Courtnie: 2017. And I went full time, quit my job, which people say, Courtnie, she quit like three times as you can bet. But June, 2018, I'll never forget a year and a half into my business.

I said, bye sayonara. And yeah,

Steph: that's awesome. So we got into the base. We built the base on how you got into travel. Let's move into our next segment, which is the marketing.

Marketing

Steph: And I want to start with the core of your business, which is your website. And I love your website. It's well, as I told you before, it's fabulous for creepy podcast hosts who want to stop you.

There was a lot of information on there. So let me throw out some stats for those of you that are tuning in. So 86 percent of traffic from Courtnie's site is organic. And for those that don't know, that means like essentially someone that's typing into search. Like Google they [00:11:00] might take destination weddings, like a timeline or something like that, then her site is going to pull up in those search results.

And she does a fantastic job of SEO. That's also we, how we run our business here at heart and the media kit. On Courtnie's site states that there's around a hundred thousand, no, not a hundred thousand, 10, 000 unique visitors a month. And that's a lot of content that you get from marketing on your blog.

So talk to us about your content marketing strategy. Things like how often do you update and write blogs? Do you hire it out? What are some tips for people that want this to be the core of their business?

Courtnie: So when I started my business, when I still had my day job, the first thing Okay. So again, I use my fundraising ties.

I fundraise for a program, the matching Florida opportunity scholars. And so they were first generation college students. I was in California going to meet Google about that stuff for money. But while I was there one of the students that was the [00:12:00] recipient of this scholarship, I went and met because, we're trying to get these fields that are like, what are you doing now?

Now that you got this money, like you're the CEO of this, so I'm talking to her. And her boyfriend at the time. They're actually, I'm going to their wedding in June. Was he was in content marketing and not only content marketing, digital marketing strategy, et cetera, and all of this. And I didn't have, so before 2017, I did not have social media presence.

I didn't have a Facebook. I didn't have an Instagram. The only thing I had was the LinkedIn page. So I had, I was off the grid on purpose and I didn't do any blogging all that. So I met his name is Kevin. He still works with me to this day. He lives out in California. Shout out to Kevin. He was like, we need to focus on creating content.

And I'm like, so what does that even mean? He's Courtnie. So my focus was on destination weddings. I want to do groups, destination wedding. I'm like, Hey, we need to get more bang for your buck. Instead of doing individual trips, I can make this amount of money. So I focused on destination weddings. I was a destination wedding bride.

So we literally looked at what questions [00:13:00] did I have when I was. Planning my destination wedding or decide I want to have a destination wedding. So literally I answered that question. Obviously I put myself in that seat of what is a destination wedding? Like how much does it cost? What are all the places you can go?

What's an all inclusive? So literally all the questions that I actually would search are things that I had coming up. I literally wrote about it. So naturally that's how I started. I wrote all my blogs, probably the first 40 blogs on my website, probably until. 2019 I wrote every blog and the whole thing was just like pretty.

Can we do one a week? And then I was consistent. That's another thing. Consistency. Then from there I'm like, I can just do two a month. So between it started off one a week, then it went to two a week. And then from there I started seeing results of people are going like, literally right now I'm telling you, try it at home.

If you Google right now, what is the destination wedding TravelBash will come up on the second page. So we can do it right now, but you'll see it. So [00:14:00] basically I utilize content to really share information. So like some people are just writing stuff. They're like, Oh, I like this hotel. So I'm going to write on this or I don't like this trip, but no because you want to write about what people will be searching. And the way you write is how people would be actually looking for it.

So even if you're like, what is the all inclusive? And you talk about, Oh, these are beautiful all inclusives here. That's not what somebody, nobody's Googling that or nobody's searching that you want to search.

What is all inclusive or what are the best all inclusive Mexico city? What are the, you have to be very specific and write around those keywords. So that's how, Kevin was like, Hey, this is what we're going to do. I'm from. That day in May of 2017 on up to this day, we've continued and stayed the course.

I do not write blogs anymore. I actually hired that out. I've used several different people. I've even went on Lucia and had someone to write blogs, but also because we're very specific in our process and have a template up, make sure we do X, Y, and [00:15:00] Z. I'm very picky about who writes the box for me because The feel, the sound, all the emphasis that we put in it is very important.

It's not just writing content about, Oh, Courtnie just came from this nice. Hotel in this trip, I'm not looking for that type of content. So I'm very specific. And there's a guide, there's a review process of like how someone needs to write, if that makes sense. So it took me a while to give that up.

Steph: Not only just where it's things like. Having bullet points and making sure that there's a lot of paragraphs within there. Is that correct?

Courtnie: Correct. Yes, your headings. So when I first started writing blogs, I didn't write for the SEO. I just wrote here's the question and then I need to write the answer and then went back through and reviewed.

Okay, these are keywords. This is what I want because also you want to know what do you want to rank for? Are you trying to rank for luxury this? Are you trying to, rank for cruise? Are you trying to, Weddings. Are you trying to do, if you only do Africa, are all the different places in [00:16:00] Africa, do you want your blog or that page to come up?

So that's what you're searching for.

Steph: Yeah. And I think a great way for people to think about it, because again, HR is very similar and the reason we do so well in search is because we know the questions people are asking and not able to get the answers to. So putting, what makes you a good salesperson and, Is because the questions that they're answering, you're providing the answers.

And this is at the point where they're getting ready to start planning their destination wedding. These are the questions they're asking. And so it's perfect.

Courtnie: Yeah. And you all also want to answer that question in that first paragraph. Don't, I know people have you're back in school where your intro and your outro in the middle.

No, you want it because now Google has the thing like with, when you Google something, the part of the page before you start getting all the results. That usually is bolded in black

Steph: because, oh yeah, the snippet,

Courtnie: correct. Those snippets is because it's going to go right to, they're trying to find who has the close to the direct answer that this [00:17:00] person is looking for.

Steph: Yeah, it's, it's really, exactly. I had something to say on that and now I forgot. So we're going to move on to your next question. So you have a lot of mentions, as I said, from various magazines and podcasts on your site for social proof, you've gotten a ton of press. Would you mind sharing with other business owners, how they can get.

Such an impressive press selection on their website. What's the secret behind it?

Courtnie: So I think that you have to have a presence. And when I say presence, people are going to also think social media and this big brand. And I didn't have any of that. Like I'm not big on social media with following. You won't see that 24, 000 followers, but like in the community in this industry, like when, where I'm writing or I'm connecting with journalists or writers, or I'm trying to be visible, I'm going to events, I'm networking, I'm building relations.

That's where my fundraising background came in. So the obvious one that probably most people know is Hero, help a reporter out. When you get that sign up and actually [00:18:00] respond and you'll be shocked how many people are like, Oh, I'm going to use this or here's a clip then from there, reach out to local journalists or national, whoever, the publication of people you want to be in and just connect, maybe share some tips or you have to give them the information.

So don't expect for them to come to you. Like you have to go to them and say, I have a story. You have to make it very easy for them. Hey, this story, this is a great angle on this. I think this was, your readers would love this same with pocket and like that type of thing.

You have to go to the people, not just wait and think Oh I'm killing it. I'm doing all the things like, why isn't anybody coming after me? You're like, why isn't somebody reaching out to me? Cause they don't, they might not even know you exist. Like you have to have the presence. You have to seek it has to be one of your goals.

And so that's something that right away I'm like, Oh, this will be great for me, because remember you're building a business. And when I started off, I'm like, I need to get some credibility. I need to start being known as the thought leader. And I actually went to our local magazine Gainesville, living in the home of Gainesville.

And I said, I don't want any money. They like, [00:19:00] would you guys want to do like a travel column? I'll share tips this, and that. And they're like, we would love to. So basically you're going to write for it. They need the content. They want the copy for there. So then I was a standing like contributor in the local magazine.

And from there, then other people see Oh, she can write or her skills are buried to where now we want to call her to do X, Y, Z. We didn't even know that she did that. So it was putting myself out there. I also say like with the presence of building relationships with people, I'll stay in touch with journalists.

I'll hit them up. LinkedIn is a great place for that. Stay on top of mind responding and not like more of if you do this, I'll do that, or just thinking like transactional, but really get another, like what their audience is looking for and be in a value. That's why I said people like be a value.

Stop asking for stuff like share.

Steph: Yeah, exactly. And I think one of the key things you do too, besides like proactively reaching out, because everyone is busy and they're not keeping up with your life. And but then once you've [00:20:00] actually made those connections, you touch base six months in and say Hey, I just wanted to see like how things are going.

Or that's another key thing. Cause even if I know that person in my mind, you meet a lot. If they're a reporter, they're getting a lot of emails from a lot of people every day. And so making sure that you're staying top of mind, I think is also something you do really well. Courtnie.

Courtnie: Yeah.

Steph: And I'm going to link to in the show notes help a reporter out or HARO, so we'll check that out.

And you're also a really big believer in email marketing over social media. So what makes you feel that way? Because you have a super active Pinterest page. When I looked at it, I think it was like 60, 000 monthly views or something.

Courtnie: So to me, I'm just going to say this, people are going to kill me. I don't even think of.

Pinterest as social media. Pinterest is a search engine. So I use Pinterest just like Google because I've created so much content. All it is another place where people go to find me. And the difference between Pinterest and other platforms [00:21:00] are social media, like Meta and all of that is. People on Pinterest, if you do your research, if shown it, when people are on Pinterest, they're more apt to buy people that are on Pinterest, they're ready to buy.

On top of that, they reward you for clicking off. Pinterest wants you to share and wants you to go to a website. Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram. Facebook wants you to stay on Facebook. So to me, why wouldn't I utilize, a place where. I'm killing it in search engine. So it's like your second Google outside of like YouTube, so I'm killing it in that I have all this content that I can repurpose and share out. It does. And remember the people that are on there, they're looking to buy. People on Instagram are not necessarily looking for buys. So Instagram. Instagram is great to keep your presence up. So then when people go and match, who Courtnie Nichols says she is, they go to the Instagram, they'll go to the website.

Oh, it makes sense. But my clientele don't make buying decisions off of Instagram. Now what they do is get travel inspiration. So they're like, Oh, I [00:22:00] just saw this person. Fly off of a hang leg, through such and such. Ooh, Courtnie, can I do that too? But they're not like, let me go see how they found out how to get on the hang.

Look, no, they're it's inspo. It's Ooh, I really need a vacation. But they're not like, Ooh, where's this hotel? I gotta, who booked this for them? Nobody's utilizing it for that. Like it's the end place of and I believe now it's from everybody's selling stuff. So it's yeah, inundated with just being sold to all the time.

Steph: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Courtnie: The reason why I love email is because I know people, it's old school, but it works. Amy Porter is a big believer when Instagram and Facebook shut down, even when pictures and everything else. And when you, when somebody gives you their email, they want to hear from you. That's how you convert them into like loyal clients.

If I can get you on my list and nurture you and create. Automations through my email, it is proven there's research. They are no [00:23:00] longer cold. They have said, we want to learn more about you. Share with us. And then you keep it going. You nurture them. When you get on a call, they know more about you than you think they even know.

So I'm a firm believer. If you don't have email marketing in your Hopeful funnel of strategy. You're leaving money on the table. Like social media is cooling on. I know people are doing well, but what I've also found is people that do use social media when they do get hits to the website or consults, they spend more time weeding them out than getting paying clients, if that makes sense.

Like the people that come to them on their Instagram or their Facebook aren't really the clients they want.

Steph: Yep. I So I'll echo a couple things with you, because the same thing we see on our site, and we don't even have that I wouldn't say that active of a Pinterest page, but we get a huge amount of referrals from Pinterest.

So I think it's often underrated. And it's not as sexy as Instagram or Tik TOK right now, but I will, [00:24:00] I'm going to link to your Pinterest page and your website so people can check it out. I'll also link to, we did an article or a edges spot during host week where someone did one on email marketing and the newsletter, because it's a challenge to get it out with regularity.

So she has a system for that. We'll link to that for people that are interested in going the email route, which I would recommend. And

Courtnie: really, so I'm going to get off on a tangent cause I know well,

Steph: Go ahead, go ahead.

Courtnie: Email is, it's the same thing that I said with content. It's consistency. No one's expecting like you to send something every day, but also if they know every Monday, I can't wait to get, agent chat, like there has to be some regularity in the emails, the same thing with the content, but literally.

If you are in business, you have four pieces of content. You can say whether it's something that you just put on your blog, that goes out to email a new service offering or a continuous service offering that you want to promote on top of that, share what you're [00:25:00] doing. Like in my newsletter at the end of the month.

Oh, I just recorded a podcast. Share with them who you are. It's March madness. I'm a coach wife. It's been crazy right here. I just did this. I did that. So share with them more about you because people apply from people they know, and trust. So they want to know who you are. They want to know who they're working with.

Share what's going on in the industry, travel industry news. Cause for instance, right now, cool cations is the thing. So I'm putting on, I put on my newsletter last week of Hey, people are going and instead of to the beach. They're like, Oh, we're done with the beach. Want to do Coolcations and how you how I found that was is every Monday I go and Google travel industry trends, Google it and then go to news articles and you'll find what journalists and stuff are writing about, which is another way to get in the publication, because now You're like, Oh, this is something they're talking about.

So let me get on IG live real quick and do a quick thing. Because now, journalists and outlets are like, she's talking about something weird. We want to interview her because she's probably knows. So it's simple things like that to tie together.

Steph: No, those are amazing tips, [00:26:00] Courtnie. And I would one thing I think people need to think about when they're doing the email newsletters is number one, commit to something that you can do on a regular basis and that you'll have something to say, like if you say twice a week, that's really tough to come up with fresh things to say twice a week.

That's why we do a once a month newsletter. Because we know we're going to have good content for people and we're going to be able to push it out. And it's a lot easier that way. So let's see, you and I spoke and you told me that the majority of the clients are people you've never met in your life, which is not a surprise with your content marketing approach.

So you get a lot of referrals, but they're not your huge source of leads. And. Yeah, so a lot of destination wedding specialists that I speak to, they're really active on the Knot or WeddingWire and they have their clients leave their reviews there, but you have your clients leave your reviews on Google.

So what's the thought process behind that? And then how do you ask for reviews?

Courtnie: Yeah, [00:27:00] so I don't like the Knot or WeddingWire because one, WeddingWire makes you pay. For stuff. So like people know that they've gotten in trouble, like paying for reviews, people think it's like TripAdvisor, like people, Oh, I did this and I did that and really, no, you didn't.

And you just pay someone for it. Plus my brides aren't really on wedding. Why are they not? Because they're not having a traditional wedding most of the time. And wire the knot are for people who are in traditional weddings. And again, I guess you could say I'm on there and then I'll get the honeymoons, but I'm not going after the honeymoons.

My bread and butter what I'm going after is the big dollars destination weddings. So it's untraditional. And so that's a traditional way, to find clients. And so I'm thinking out of the box. The reason why I like Google is just like we. Talked about probably since I came on is remember Google is your friend, SEO.

That's what people are searching. You want it, wanted to come up. That's going to come up before I know they say, Oh, when and why I do this and not. And again, I have a free I think on the not something from when I first started, like we signed up for all the online directions [00:28:00] just so it would come up like, Oh, yeah.

I'm an actual business, but to pay there and to have reviews there. No, because my people aren't going to see that. So I'm using Google because that's where they're finding me. They're literally. They're searching for content or they're like, okay, it was TravelBash. That's so that is why utilize Google and how we get reviews is part of our process of once we send emails out, obviously we want to know how everything went, what we can do better in three words.

What would you describe? All of that, we send them a link, but also every client that we get. It's like a little custom size postcard that we send as a thank you. So by the time they get to their house, snail mail style, cause nobody sends mail anymore with handwritten notes or anything, and I'm still like, I love a handwritten note we send to every client and their guests.

So if they've done this, Destination celebration, a wedding, whatever it is. When someone gets home, surprise from TravelBash, we love you guys. Thanks so much. And here's what you can do to help us. Or if you're, we want to create travel magic with you.

If you know someone or [00:29:00] now maybe you were a guest and you're like, I'm having a 50th birthday. We want to come or like, and here, by the way, here's the review, go online and Google and tell us how your experience.

Steph: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense and I'd really encourage a lot of you to take a look at the show notes and check out the copy on Courtnie's site because it's extremely well written.

She's very clear on who is a good client for her and who is not. And in marketing we all know that the message that you want your message to find the clients that you're looking for, like Courtnie spoke about earlier with people on social media, you may be getting a lot of leads, but you're also wasting a lot of time if those aren't your ideal clients.

Budget is an important piece of the puzzle, but personality types are as well. And Courtnie, you're really straightforward on your site from the, everywhere I saw it on the homepage to the frequently asked questions, to the contact us for on who is a good fit for TravelBash and who isn't. So what are the traits that you're looking for in [00:30:00] clients and why?

Courtnie: So it differs between if you're a wedding couple or again, You're planning some type of celebration. But my thing is fit to me is even more important than budget because you're not going to drive me or my team crazy. I call them PITA. Clients, we are getting rid of it. Like we're not, this is, people have made it too hard.

We're not curing cancer. It's not rocket science. We plan trips. We curate unbelievable experiences and we want people who don't take themselves so seriously. I'm already type a, I don't want to work with somebody type A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Like I'm not trying to like, I could go back to corporate and get screamed at, send email, like I didn't sign up for that.

So the good thing about owning your own business is I choose who I will work with. And so I'm very particular and I can be because I don't have to work with you. So I think a person that yes there's some type of standard of Hey, you we operate in such a way because we don't want someone that's just so every plate, like we send them an email, they don't get [00:31:00] back.

We're like, oh my gosh, we've got a random man. Some type of organization, but they're not saying, Oh, we want the flyers from Egypt over across the coast, type it like, Oh, and where is it? And they're lying by line. We don't work with extreme coupons and nickel and dimers and they're trying to save an extra 50 for this.

We're not going to go back and yes, we can process, but I don't work with clients who are asking for price match. Like we're not there. We're not there. Travel costs here. That's not, we're not going to appeal to those types of clients. If that makes sense. They know what they want. They pay for what they want.

They know we're the expert. They're not going to challenge us on it. That's why they hired us. They value their time. You know what I mean? Like those are people that we want to work with.

Steph: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, that's a great segue into the inner workings of TravelBash.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-laughing

Operations + Fees

Steph: So let's move into our next segment, which is going to be about the inner workings, the operations and the fees that are out there.

I want to know about the booking process for your clients. I know that your type A personality is huge on [00:32:00] processes and SLPs or standard operating procedures for those that don't know.

So once a client submits the form on your site, they check the box that say they understand that you don't work with What is it?

Client?

Courtnie: First of all, we do international trips only exception for Hawaii. So you said that, and you'll be shocked how many people that check that and still we want to get married. Oh, we have a lot. Steph, the girl, she will tell you like, Oh, that means absolutely nothing. Yeah. That it's you agree that you're, our trip started at 5, 000.

They agree that, and they still doesn't mean anything. And then With weddings, we 10 room minimal. It doesn't matter if it's a villa, like 10 bedroom, like we, we don't work with small group, like four friends and we want to go off someplace. Like it's actually large scale events is what we prefer. Or that's what destination celebrations that we specialize in.

So check those boxes, they submitted to us, which again, we know that means nothing half the time. They don't even [00:33:00] read. They just check. So then they can hit submit.

Steph: So funny.

Courtnie: Correct. And so then in our CRM system we'll have someone on my team review and if they are fit. They'll be sent my inquiry brochure with a link to schedule a call with me.

If they're not a fit, then she'll, tell them the reason why, whether it's we only take 11 weddings a month. So say they want to get married in December. She's unfortunately, and we'll refer them out. Cause I have some rockstar colleagues out there. And I will tell you, We have a whole Asana board of colleagues that will rock your socks off.

So it's not we're like, Oh you can't work with us. Goodbye. We're like, no, actually you want to do Disney. Here's such and such. Oh, you want to do this? Oh, here's that. Oh, here's only four. You want to do cruise? We know people, we can hook you up. We just can't work with you if that makes sense.

So they get this they schedule a call. Now this is the thing. We do a follow up email cause we're like, okay, we sent this, we have my heart for me. If they haven't scheduled a call, then let's just say they're like, Oh, we're ready. They scheduled a call. They talked to me. [00:34:00] I'm like, I call myself like the sales queen.

So my team passes the baton to me. I'm gonna close it now. Literally. You can ask anybody on my team. If they get on the phone with me, they're probably going to be. So that's usually not our issue. If we had more of an influx of clients clients, that would be the one thing I'm like, Ooh, we need more. But then I'm also like, we don't need that many cause we only need 11.

Remember, but if they get on this call with me, they're probably going to become clients from there. But unless I'm like, Oh no, it's a no, cause on the call, it's not just about yeah, we're going to work through this and that. It's also about they are not a fair. This is going to be crazy.

Some mama's flying through the thing. Plus the deck. No. So I can already see it a mile away.

So now they're like, okay, we are going to be a client. So then we onboard them through our CRM. We give them a welcome email with next steps expectations, office hours, how we'll work.

We give them access to our bridal carry on. It's on the backside of our site where we give them Anything they can think about was playing it [00:35:00] up from food menu. Should they do buffet to play the menu, to food stations, to like how to change your name, to fly reservation. Like it's our, we call it a bridal carry on, like your carry on bag.

And it's literally all the things that are going through their minds or things that we work with clients on when they're planning their destination wedding from the things that the resort will ask them for, if it's all inclusive or for things that when we have non all inclusive guests of how the hotels were different and what the deposits look like.

So it's like a resource library. So basically when they reach out to us, someone on my team is going to like, did you check your carry on? You know what I mean?

Cause a lot of times the information is in there. It's going to do like wedding theme boards, mood boards, and all that. Again. They become a client, we welcome them with the email, they're assigned a client lead, we walk them through our process and what we expect and their homework and then give them access to information.

And then from there, we start the wedding design process. 1 thing I will say, I'm probably different from a lot of my colleagues is. In their inquiry process, they get a [00:36:00] lot of information from the couple or not even, let's just say not just wedding clients, just period clients, their inquiry brochure or their inquiry questions inquiry.

See, I can't say the word. Their inquiry questions are more trip related. I don't know if you've noticed that, but a lot of times when you go to trauma invited sites or when I talk to my colleagues and some of them are my friends, they're already asking for dates, what's their favorite food and all that.

I'm like, not on an increase.

That's what my problem is—

Steph: yeah, yours is really on the website you're talking about. Yours is really general.

Courtnie: Yeah, because this is the thing. I don't care nothing about your dates. You might not be my client. You know what I mean? You're asking for too much information like they're already paying and then what happens is you're getting all the information like, oh yeah, and then you're talking about, I'm thinking about this and you were talking about this resort in Mexico and then you give it to them and you don't hear it from them.

You done gave them everything they need. Yup. Hire me first. Then we'll talk about your trip or your wedding.

Steph: Yeah. And I while you were talking for those that are watching [00:37:00] on YouTube, I pulled up the inquiry form that Courtnie sends out. We'll also link to that in the show notes. If people want to take a look, it just talks about the kind of the pricing, what you do, what's included with that some testimonials and that sort of information.

So we'll look link to that. All right. Your largest group so far has been about a hundred people, I think, but most groups fall between 40 to 85 for your probably destination weddings. And that's a huge problem and challenge to communicate with that many people. So how do you and your team, how have you solved that problem?

So you're not getting inundated.

Courtnie: Going back to those SOPs and systems. So literally I'm an SOP like. Oh my gosh. Okay. I'm recording a little video and on top of that, Courtnie, I'm doing my step by step process that we all house in the Google Drive. So when I tell you there's an SOP from air for everything from how we answer the phone when a credit cards decline, what we say [00:38:00] to someone's in inquiring about rooming rates, even though we've seen it like literally everything you can think of.

We probably have an SOP how we communicate with external partners, all of that. Literally, our systems and process save a lot of time on the front end that we've already loaded into our system. So we have all emails that are scheduled out. Based on their trip date and at different points, whether we have 150 days, 250, like I advise everyone to not only get a CRM, but a project manager.

And so some people use Trello cards, some people use Asana, I use Asana, some people use ClickUp, Monday, whatever, but I would have a project management tool, especially if you have a team that you guys all collaborate on, because there's different stages of your trips and weddings, booking process from the pre planning to, planning, booking.

To the pre travel to the concierge type stuff to then they're in travel. So when they come home, break them down in process and steps. And so that allows us to communicate what needs to be communicated at certain points of the trip. We've also [00:39:00] created, I know I create a lot of stuff. I'm just thinking, Steph's gonna listen to this and be like, I know, and you're driving me nuts.

Steph: No, I love it.

Courtnie: Have an FAQ, a PDF that we send out on initial. Onboarding of the guests. So we don't just onboard our clients, but especially for destination celebrations, there's several moving parts of family and friends. So we give them that FAQ. We also have a link for our website. It's also in our signatures, like frequently asked questions.

We try to make sure, because this is the thing. People need to hear things multiple times. It's just like in your marketing themselves. They used to say seven. I heard now it's like 13 and then I heard I was listening to a podcast over there and they were like 30 something. I was like, what? But meanwhile, it makes sense because they checked that box that they're going to do 5, 000 international and they still say we're going to afford it for 10,000.

So what I'm saying is. We try to make it very easy. We have several different, checkpoints within the trip process that allows us to communicate the information they need before they actually need. We try to be proactive on the front end. [00:40:00]

Steph: So one quick question.

So with your SOPs, do you do it? With video or is it written out?

Courtnie: Oh, girl. Yeah. So I say because I'm the one that's visual, I have to look at stuff, but some people are like, I don't need to look at it. Do you have it somewhere written down? So if you come on my team, you'll have both. And then we link it into our Asana project management tool, and they're all housed on the um, the Google Drive.

And then within the trip process, let's just say I died tomorrow and I need you to pick up my trip. Within our trip process. If it says 150 days, do this. Inside the template, we have the copy. So you wouldn't even have to think of anything on the spot. It's Hey, such and such da. And then it'll even have the steps of the how to that's how detailed I am.

I haven't always been like that. I know I'm cray a little bit. I'm glad that my team appreciates it, but now we're at the. Point of, because I have everything built out, it's like quarterly updates or audits. So right now we're in the auditing process because we noticed some of our emails in Asana weren't matching what was in our CRM and we're like, no, we've updated or [00:41:00] elevated our copy.

So we need to make sure that, so we do that quarterly now, but now. We have everything and we have loom videos created and we do a step out like on how this operates and who needs to be involved. So even on the document that the steps that you were to do, make sure here are the resources that you need for this.

We linked to it. And then here are the people that you might need to have signed off on it. So it's not just the here's how, but here's all the other information you need to know that goes with this as well.

Steph: That's fabulous stuff. So how long do your quarterly audits take you then?

Courtnie: So how about the one we started?

Cause I don't want to say we started right in quarter one of January. It was like halfway and literally right before this podcast, we were like, we're almost finished. And it's literally about to be quarter two because we have so much. So it's just our content. We have so much built out. And so like our system is robust.

It's just like email. I always try to [00:42:00] add, first you just start with one thing. Oh, we're going to do email. We'll do three. We'll do five. Oh, this doesn't really fit us. Let's do this. Let's do that. And so the more automations, the more systems, also the more services, we added curated trips this year.

So the more things, then that's, More that you have to have.

Steph: And I think there's a common misconception with SOPs that it's write it once and done. And the thing is that they are constantly morphing and that's what's challenging about them.

Businesses 20 years ago, the SOPs didn't change that much, but now technology changes so quickly and what you're using might change that the screenshot where you were like, click this button.

It's no longer there anymore. ,

Courtnie: you have to, from when I used to do the job of booking when, because obviously I was the first person to write the SOP to then Chelsea on my team. Then she didn't do different. Then when Ashley came, she's oh, I think we do, we should do this or cut this out. I'm like, make sure you update it.

Like we've switched people doing it and there's certain people that like do it this way. We've streamlined. We're also like. [00:43:00] At one point we didn't have for our groups, our weddings and groups. Like we wanted to display like you're invited to such and such. And we would just do email for it.

They were like, no, we're going to up it. So then we started doing the Canva website, making it nice. And now we have something on that built into our website. You know what I mean? So as things evolved and we start also auditing our client experience, we want to take it up a level, then we have to do something else.

Steph: Exactly. So you started out in the sun and fun space. And then, as you're saying, you're elevating the client experience. So now you're more on the destination wedding celebration groups. And from what I've heard, you've been very strategic through the years when it comes to building your business to make sure it's one that meets your financial goals, as well as keeping your life like a lower stress level and that you have this healthy Work life balance.

So let's talk about your philosophy about only taking one destination wedding a month that you're booking one a [00:44:00] month and 11 total for the year. So what's behind that?

Courtnie: So again, I started in the fun and sun and it was just like, that's why you get in trouble. You're still in the, no shade, but like you're still in the all inclusive package.

Steph: The main market.

Courtnie: Yeah. And then you got to move on your elevator. So I said, look we're a luxury brand, we're TravelBash. Destination wedding. We're not for the brides that are trying to have the 10, 000 free wedding in Mexico. We have brides that are spending 60, 000, 70, 000 in Mexico. Like matter of fact, we only take, the minimum budget just to start working with us is 25, 000 period.

So like we're not, we've elevated what type of weddings that we do. And they're not all, all inclusive. We do all inclusive, but there's some that we don't. The same with group. It is a luxury destination wedding concierge as well as groups. With that said, My whole life balance.

Cause this is the thing. I started my business to create the life I want to live. Meaning I need flexibility. My husband's a college basketball player. We go here, we play here. I'm going to the game. I'm not missing something because I'm tied down. Cause if that's the case, I [00:45:00] could go back to work. So I was very clear about my intention of why I started my business.

It was one, to have the flexibility. Then two, to make money. I always tell people that hobbies cost you money. Businesses Make you money. And so I'm in business and it is to make money. So I had to look at the numbers, which people don't do. And I actually said, this is how much I want to make circling in bold. I went through with public and I have a whole spreadsheet, Excel.

We play with it and change the numbers. I need this amount to get to this amount. So I looked at, okay, what do I offer? Okay. Destination wedding. And then I'll do some group trips. And this is outside of my retainer model. So I'm like, I'm not mass producing. I'm not trying to do a hundred million. I need to do 11, one a month that produces this amount of income.

And I'm good.

Steph: Yeah.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-morocco

Courtnie: Courtnie, what does that look like? One, I have to elevate the service that I'm providing for a specific client [00:46:00] because a specific client that has a destination wedding date. In South Africa, the Belmont is very different from the client that's getting married at the review or carnival cruise at this, there's no, there's no wrong, it's different for different folks, but what they desire looks different, or I should say desire, maybe it might be what they can afford or like what the expectation of working with someone looks a little different. And so then also my price point. So in our industry, it's one of those things that, yeah, now people are charging, but.

Not a lot of people charge fees and the fees they charge when I tell them my fee, they're like, what? They pay that? Yes. Cause I've showed them the value. And so I was like, my fee has to go up because also you got to think with the level of clients that I'm working with, if my price doesn't go up, I lose credibility.

Luxury clients are used to paying, so if I tell them I'm white glove service designated and I help them with X, Y, Z and I only charge 500, they're not going to work with me because they're going to think something is wrong. You got to think, [00:47:00] the person that is willing to spend that type of money, there's a disconnect.

So I knew the market I wanted to, get to, so I had to price accordingly. And so yeah, I said 11 weddings, none in December. People are like, why not in December? One is my birthday and I don't work on my birthday. It's my birthday month. I don't want to deal with no brides and that's it. And they're like, Courtnie, you're spoiled.

Yes, I'm an only child. I know it. I'm traveling every birthday that I have. I'm traveling. I don't want to worry about a bride, even if they're like, but Courtnie, you have a team. It doesn't matter. I don't even want to Oh my gosh, how are things? That doesn't yeah. Yeah. And you got to think with Christmas and all the holiday eggs, there's no traveling December and matter of fact, when I first started, I only did 10 weddings because I didn't do a wedding in March because of March madness and I'm like, I can't get bogged down, but I worked through that.

And yes, we can do a wedding in March now, but December is off limits. No,

Steph: I didn't know the March one. That's hysterical.

Let's see. And you have that, so you have this [00:48:00] fee for the destination wedding couples and that's 5, 000 for their group. And again, it has the minimum 10 rooms minimum wedding spend of 25 K.

And you tell people. Your guests, It should be 500 to 1, 000 a night.

Courtnie: Yeah, they should expect that. So the properties that I'm going to work with are, when we're coming up with a contract, it should be in this price range. So if it's not, then they're probably not a great fit for us.

Steph: And so then, Outside of these destination wedding ones.

You also have the fee for the group clients. That's the same as the destination wedding price, right?

Courtnie: Correct. Okay. If it's a destination celebration, it's the same. Cause it doesn't matter if you're not getting married, you're still, I'm still playing with a group of people somewhere. So the work flow and how everything operates is still the same and at the same level.

Steph: Yeah. And do you, so have you played around with that fee through the years at all?

Courtnie: Yeah. When I first entered the business in 2017, I started off with a [00:49:00] fee and it was 500. 2000. 2018, 1, 500. 2019 it was 2000. When I got to 2020 'cause I had to rebook. I had I got hit with a lot of re 'cause their weddings and so I had a back.

So I ended up having, matter of fact, two weddings in December in 2021 because of that dang covid. I was up to 20. In 2021, I was up to 2,500.

Steph: Okay.

Courtnie: Yeah. And then went to 3000 and then from 3000 to five so every year I've gone up.

Steph: Yeah. So this is one of the things. So you oftentimes reverse engineer things.

You figure out your goal, you reverse engineer it and go from there. . And right now you have another section of your business where you have the retainer clients, your VIPs.

Courtnie: Yes.

Steph: That's a flat annual fee of 6,500. And they need to have a minimal. Minimum annual travel spend of 50 K. So you've also put—

Courtnie: and that's not flight, no flights.

 

Steph: Yeah, [00:50:00] okay.

And not flights. And then you've also put the self imposed limit of 25 people can be on that, which you're getting pretty close to being. So what. This has obviously been pretty successful. What kind of advice do you have for advisors that are looking to do something similar? Because I think for a lot of people mentally, that's a really hard, a retainer is a difficult thing to jump into.

Courtnie: So it's the same thing. When I said I was charging a fee, I didn't charge 5, 000, I charged 500.

But the thing is, if you want to get into a retainer model, you have to start. Meaning it doesn't have to be the 6, 500, but you need to start with something. Look at your top. I always say. Only 20 percent of your clients are giving you 80 percent output anyways.

So start there. Look at those 20 percent of your clientele who keeps coming back to you year after year. Are you booked three or four trips? Look at the three or four trips you booked. How much did you get paid? What was the trip? What was the service? If you're charging a fee, what was the fee for those three or four trips?

If you're not, what could it be? But [00:51:00] say if I have a client that's already went on three trips and I started 500, that's 1500 right there. So I'm going to go to them and say, Hey, John we booked this many trips. Would you like to go ahead? Talk with their people. They're not robots.

They put their pants on just like you, you spent this amount of money, 1500 on this year, let's do a flat 2, 500. You can plan as many trips. You want for the year, and I, you have me, I'm your personal travel concierge. Think of me like your inner circle, like your accountant, your lawyer, you know all of that.

. You think they're gonna say no, they're already giving you 1500. What's another, what's an extra thousand? . Now you've locked them in and the one thing about retainer clients that shows you they're loyal to you. They're already working with you. You already know them and you can start curating even better trips because now you know them more.

It's not a transactional. Or they booked this trip with me one year and then they came back two years later. You know about Maddie. We know about Cedar. We sent gifts to Cedar. It's a dog. We know Cedar. And there's like Cedar's birthday. He has an Instagram page and he tagged us because we gave Cedar, you start knowing intimate.

Things [00:52:00] about your clients, the, the the dance recital. And again, you have the dog and that mom's 70th birthday coming up and she really wants to go on this crew. You know what I mean? Like you can start curing. Oh, my husband only drinks Hendricks gin, not Bombay. Like you start making that even better and throwing them surprise and delight.

So go to your people, those 20 percent and look at how many trips they're booking and start with there. You got to start with that. And so my thing is with my retailer model, I found out it was during COVID. So I just stepped into it to be honest. It wasn't like I was smart or I had this plan of Oh, I'm just going to change and do this.

It was like, no, luxury doesn't see a recession. And I had people that were still traveling and I had to learn about charting yachts and, private planes and all of that. They didn't know I didn't know that, but I was the solution to the problem and I figured it out. And I said, by the way, because these are people that already spend a lot of money.

And they're spending big money. So I'm like, why wouldn't you want me as your go to girl for all your trips? And [00:53:00] literally it's a no brainer. Matter of fact, I shouldn't be charging more than what I charge to be honest. Really. Get access to me. It should be 10, 000 and I should have two ICs under me that are at the level I'm at for the, cause you got to think a person who's going to pay somebody what they pay me now, 65 to 10 thousand is not a big jump.

And if you can afford to pay someone that, and you're doing this type of travel, it's a drop in the bucket. And I'm not saying you're not going to have those clients, but even if you have a family that you do multiple trips for, and maybe they're not spending it. Tons of money. They have still paid you, trusted you to come back multiple times in a year.

They can pay an extra whatever to say, Hey, there's some VIP. This is our go to client. Here's some extras that go along with it. If that makes sense. It's an easy concept to be on it. I don't even understand why more of us have not adopted it because after COVID. If you didn't learn anything, if you didn't charge fees, you should be.

[00:54:00] And if you charge fees, you realize you should be charging more because you're in the hole. So I'm looking at how to create a profitable and sustainable business.

Steph: Yeah. No matter what life throws at you. How did you come to the 25 number?

Courtnie: Because you got to think these people are not, you're like, I'll talk to you every once in 10, 10 years, these people, high level, like they're going to be wanting white glove service.

The type of service I want to provide and as much as people travel because you're going to have some because you got to think for this type of client, it's a drop in the bucket. So they're treating it like a gym membership. Yeah, we hired you and we're only going to go on two. Then you're going to have some that are going to go on 10.

Then you're going to have some that don't abuse it at, for, but they're going to still plan their domestic travel, like insights. They're just going to use you for international. And so I said, 25 has to be the cutoff because I'm not going to be able to manage more than that. Cause you got to think.

Let's just say 25 people [00:55:00] take four trips. Look how many trips and the type of trips they're taking. They're not doing the, they're traveling. Yeah. I do have some that might just go to Cabo for this or then, fly down to here, but they're also going all over the world. So I also know my limits because remember, this isn't the only thing I do.

I'm still the girl in the, I'm not in the day to day but I'm still running. A whole destination where, I'm a wife, I'm a daughter. You know what I mean? And remember I created this business for flexibility. So what I found is I am at the point of, I'm at a crossroads that I keep saying.

I think I've been saying for six months. So I think people are like what are you going to figure it out? I'm working on it, but I'm at the crossroads. If I have one business or machine, but not making the income that I would Then I had one business making a lot of the income I would like, but it takes up a lot of time.

You know what I mean? And remember when I started my business, it was about flexibility.

Team

Steph: Yeah. Let's talk [00:56:00] about your team since anyone that owns a business knows you can have an amazing team, but as a business owner, your brain is never off. There's a constant hard drive still running going out of business.

So tell us about your team because you have the, you have employee ICs mix, but it's not the type of independent contractors most people think of in that it's not like someone with their own travel agency in their brand. So tell us more about your team.

Courtnie: I don't hire anyone to sell travel. And when I say sell travel as their own person or their own brand, or again, the traditional IC role of like you're utilizing TravelBash's numbers to then book your own clientele.

Everybody works for TravelBash either part time or as an IC. And the IC is basically as a specialist, whether it's digital marketing or it's content. Admin outside of my reservation specialist that actually books the travel and the trip and communicate with vendors. I utilize them for areas in my business.

So if you [00:57:00] had a marketing department, you would have a market for, if you have an account, so that's how I utilize them. Like they're all department chairs of TravelBash court, which is very different from people. I don't like the IC model to be honest. It makes me think of MLMs to be on it.

There's nothing wrong, but it. It makes me feel spammy that like you use my number and then I get some of your money and then you keep some, I don't know. It's something about it. I just can't. I'm like, I don't really like that. You should be paid. If I want you to sell travel, then you need to have a salary.

You need to be paid. If I can't do that, then I just don't, yeah, I don't know. It's weird to me. I just think that with the ICs and recruiting people and doing all of this, like that's not the business model I want to have. I also don't want to be a big conglomerate where I have all, I don't want to be a hostage and have all these ICs and run a rap and y'all do your own thing.

I'm very much boutique because also I'm luxury. So I want to control how the brand is presented to the masses, if that makes sense.

Steph: That totally does. And one of the things you talked about too, is you have [00:58:00] these specialists, but you you have the SOPs of course, but you also do cross training. And

Courtnie: I say that now and I just parted ways with someone on my team, actually one of my very first hires, but I crosstrain because this is the thing as a business owner, it's dangerous.

If someone knows something that no one else knows, in your business I think that's the riskiest thing because you're basically sitting in a chair with three legs and because if someone dies tomorrow and someone leaves and someone runs off, there's a part that only they know how to do not even you because it's the thing.

I'm so much out of the day to day. I was literally tagging Ashley this morning. Ashley's on my team and she had a root canal or something. And I was asking her about the automail. I was like, did they not go out or something? And she's oh, they changed the process. I don't know that. You know what I mean?

Because I'm not in the day to day. But again, she's already created SOP and all that. But If I was just so hands off and didn't keep updates or know what's going on and just let her run, she could be doing anything to be out. [00:59:00] I'm glad you're not asking. Thank you. But what I'm saying is that's how much I'm out of the business of like data that I'm not in the CRM.

So I don't know the update. It was just like when I'm practicing okay, I gotta do this. Welcome. I'm up here. Test me because I don't do this on a daily. I have a team that does this. I believe in cross training because everybody needs to know how to do everything. And I only hire people who believe that.

Nothing's bigger than them. If I clean the toilets, you clean the toilets. I know we're virtual, but if I can get on the phone and pick up and talk to a client, you need to be able to, it doesn't matter that you do SEO. And this is now, if a client has a concern, you should be able to jump in.

So my thing is I cross train everybody. That doesn't mean that you're going to be doing that role, but you need to know how you're more valuable. And also I believe that in building your team. So people are your biggest investment in your business. Yeah. Especially when they're not full time employees, you don't have a lot of benefits and you're starting, but that professional development and stretching them and growing them into individuals and like really flexing your [01:00:00] leadership muscle to me is important because I think the reason why I've had people stay on my team as long as I have is because first of all, we work hard, play hard.

I don't take myself serious, but business, I'm on my shit. They know that, but also we're going to have a good time. But I think that I let them flourish. When they have ideas, this is not my business. It is my business, but like I give them a ton of if they come up with this idea, they say, Hey, Courtnie, we started this new email stuff.

So now we do four, four emails a week and we have different strategy points. I'm like, this is great. And I'll just let her run with it. She already like step on my, I have a step two. So the step on my team is already Oh gosh, I'm giving myself more work. When we do our team meeting, she's we should try this and do it.

I'm like, perfect. And she's so that means I'm able to me. I'm like, yes, I know.

Steph: Yeah, it's definitely I we've had our team members do that too, or it's like, what about this idea? Oh, yeah. That means I have to implement it then too, huh? Huh.

Courtnie: Yeah, I'm like, I love it though. Let me know.

Send it over when it's done or stuff like that. That's how I am. I'm [01:01:00] like, big on the type of team. Cultural fit's important. Also The type of people I hire, can roll up their sleeves. Like they're gritty. I like gritty people. Like you don't have to be the most, like obviously we're in the travel industry.

So people like I don't want them to have hospitality and tourism background and they work with travel. I actually don't want you to. Matter of fact, besides that, she's the only person that has any travel industry experience at all. I don't need, this is the thing. My business just happens to be in the travel industry.

I run a business though. So the functions are all the same in any business. If that makes sense, you're selling, you're getting clients, you don't have to be a child agency to do that. You know what I mean? Like the functions of what it is you're doing, if you've done it anywhere from real estate to construction, it doesn't change.

If that makes sense. Yeah, and I do things against the way traditional agencies do it anyway. Matter of fact, if you were to come from a child agency, you probably would be fighting it against me because you're like why don't we do it this way? Or we don't [01:02:00] do that. Or I was used to it because I don't do anything the way that I was taught when I got into the industry.

I moved away.

Steph: Yeah. One of the biggest challenges for business owner is the hiring process. Whether it's an I. C. or an employee and you've, you have a really thorough hiring process that you thought through pretty well. So talk to us about that process.

Courtnie: Yes. So obviously, yeah. I'm slow to hire quick to fire because it's, again, it's an investment and you want somebody that's going to grow with you.

Plus, again, a fit I'm a type a I'm an integram a, I have a strong personality. Like it was so funny. My team told me the other day we were interviewing some girl maybe a year ago and they were like, she can do the job. But I feel like the minute she makes a mistake, she's going to cry because you're going to eat her up.

The fact that they know that about me, I'm like, okay, great. She's not hired, but I'm like, guys, I think she'd been okay. Cause she was the athlete in college. She's used to like. When you're an athlete, I was an athlete, like you've gotten yelled at and you gotta go, they're like, I don't know, Courtnie, she's pretty light green.

I'm like, okay, cool. We're not scratching, but [01:03:00] basically hiring process, like I do more than just resume and cover letter because anybody can write anything. It's chat GPT out there. They'll tell me they're a rock star. It means nothing. References mean nothing because no one was going to send you a reference that would be bad.

I'm not having them answer specific questions. I'm doing a task assessment. I even have them do a strength finders test. Like I have steps and processes, but I also see, I'm going to give y'all another tip. Tatiana O'Hare, if you don't know who she is, look her up or we can link probably to the Tatiana O'Hare.

She does teams operations. She's a mastermind and For solo preneurs and people that are starting to build a team in different ways, she is a great resource to utilize. I was in one of her first beta groups on hiring. And there were several different models. Like she's worked for all, like all these big companies.

And then. Tear tore down, like how they operate in their teams [01:04:00] and, relationally, and she's really taught me a lot. But also I have a friend that works for Microsoft that runs her own talent. You know what I mean? So I'm around them. I always say, if it's not me, it's somebody I know, like I try to be around the people that know what they're doing.

It just makes me look good if that makes sense. So I have streamlined my present and ran that. Through them, if that makes sense. Or like I've gotten the valuable or wise information or the tips and how I've gotten it to the point of where it's at is because of my people. If that makes sense.

Steph: It does. So we're going to link to the enneagram test if people aren't familiar with the enneagram. It's like a Myers Briggs. The stress finder test, Tatiana's, we'll link to her website in the show notes. One of the other things you mentioned, but I want you to go more brief er. More in depth on is you have them do a task.

Courtnie: Yes. So the reason why I have a task, because again, anybody can say they can do anything on a resume. So for instance, depending on the role, let's just say it's an admin. I [01:05:00] might have a test of this is an inbox. What would you do? Or for instance, I w I would say like your travel coordinator. And I need you to do a day in the life.

Like what is your Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, like at 12 o'clock, do the date. And what I'm really trying to find out how detail oriented, because someone could be like on Monday, I started this, I did that Tuesday. I did it. But somebody said, Hey, this 9am, that's the girl or the guy I want, the one that is remember what business we're in the attention detail.

So I want to see how they process things and how detailed they are. Like for the admin inbox or like I've done a script of You had an angry client. Are there some new guests that was looking to book their room? For somehow an email didn't go out and they didn't get confirmation that there was room booked or receipt paid.

You come into your inbox on Monday. What does that look like? I want them, I want to know how would you respond? Oh, I'm looking at the responses of Oh, this is an alignment or, Oh, I wouldn't say that, or what made them think that way. So it gives you a little, it says not necessarily always skill level.

Sometimes [01:06:00] with written communication, it's great because you see how people write. Yeah. Obviously because they could go back and put something. But what I'm saying for the most part, you get a feel for how they do things, if that makes sense. So I always believe in a test assessment, depending on what it is.

If they're a marketing person, why not create a video or send them a Canvas slide dev and tell them this. So I can see what it would look like. It just depends on what the position is, but I always believe that you need to see something because every day, like it's 2024. People go, if they're catfishing people and saying, putting them on dating apps, there are people that are applying to your jobs that are a six year old grandma sitting at home, but they say they're like a 25 year old marketing guru that has sold over 50 million.

Like nowadays you really can't tell from just a resume and a quick 20 minute call with somebody. That's not enough to know when you're really trying to, you got to think people are a big investment, so you need a little more skin in the game. Okay.

Steph: Yeah, no, exactly. Especially with the remote team.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-tarmac

Wisdom

Steph: [01:07:00] So, let's move into our next segment because I this is the wisdom segment, so these last, what, seven years, what you've accumulated. So I know you do a lot of your continuing education outside of the industry and it's very entrepreneur and business focused. So what are a few of your go to resources?

Outside of the industry that really help you run your business better.

Courtnie: So outside the industry, I listened to a lot of podcasts from marketing made simple anything with Donald Miller, the story brand. I like that. Entrepreneurs on fire DLCA yeah, it's a DLCA. Yes. Several different people. I love to Alicia Hall, Mottie Woodard.

Also I have a mindset coach, Serena Hicks. Also my other, she does money mindset, Jen Diaz because a lot of the stuff from outside of the industry, because remember I'm an entrepreneur, I'm a business owner first. I just happened to run a travel agency. And so that's a mindset shift. The fact that I can charge [01:08:00] somebody when I charge them and how I sat on here was like, actually I should be charging 10.

Like people will probably guess when it wasn't like, what, how is she charging 10, 000 to plan a trip? That's a mindset shift because I know my value and that's the confidence. So a lot of that you have to get before you run a business, and then when you run a business, that scarcity starts coming out, our parents and grandparents meant well, they're trying to keep you safe.

But like I always tell people now I'm thriving. I'm not surviving. My, my grandparents survived so I could thrive. So I can get out of some of those things that I was taught. For my survival. If that makes sense. So I always believe that if you're not doing something to stretch that mindset or that abundance mindset or that money mindset, also people automatically think.

Oh, my finances suck. I'm going to get in business and they're going to get good. You automatically, you're going to be a finance guru in your business. If your personal finances are whack, your business finances are going to be whack.

Steph: Exactly.

Courtnie: There's things that you have to get in [01:09:00] order. And if you haven't, you'll get exposed as a business owner.

So if there's anything. Financial literacy or, mindset or just running a business. A lot of times it's sales, it's marketing, but like a lot of times people focus on marketing. They're only talking about your brain and then the logo and a website and messaging. Marketing is more than that. Do you know what a funnel is?

Like how are you getting people to talk about it? How are you bringing them from the awareness phase to like the light phase and then, okay, getting them on the call. And then once you get on the call, can you close them? They'll sell skills. Do you know how to do objective? That has nothing to do with travel.

That's just you running a business. Anything that you would do, you would need to know that. So I try to surround myself with people that are in those spaces and that are experts in their field within operations and marketing and sales and business and just like entrepreneurs. Cause also it can be lonely when you're starting out.

You like, especially if you're not doing things the way it's always been done.

Steph: You, when you're being told that. [01:10:00] Yeah, isn't going to work

Courtnie: exactly. So you're like, you just want to be around people. I like Michael Hyatt cause I was reading his book, mind your mindset. Like you just want to be around people and read things and listen to things that are uplifting and that are going to feed your soul.

Yeah, I don't know. Can I go into the business or you want me to wait?

Steph: Yeah, hold on because I'm gonna Courtnie, as listed a lot because she is like natural network in here. I'm going to link to all of those in there. And the 1 thing I want to point out before we have you go on again is that I think the inspirational portions are super important, especially for new advisors, because Courtnie started in sun and fun. She didn't start charging the 50 or, 6,500 or 5 thousand, like it's incremental. And so I think people come in and are like, Oh, I'm going to start with this retainer.

Businesses evolve as you grow and mature and learn things. So have that as inspiration. And it's okay if [01:11:00] that's not what you're starting off with. That's your goal.

Courtnie: And you have to go back. So this is what I always tell people when they're like, so what is success or what are, is all this I've been on these pockets?

Like my goals might not be the same as your goal. If some people are just like, girl, this is my nail money. I want to get my nails done and I want to be able to take a couple of trips. Some people are like, I got to retire my husband. And some people are like, no, I'm good. I'm going to take this. And it goes back to what it is you want, like what does success look for you?

Like for you, I'm already successful. I already tell people I don't have to have another client. Cause first of all, I did something that a lot of people don't do, which is start a business. Like I'm successful

Steph: business too.

Courtnie: Yeah. So I say to tell people all the time, it's I created the life I want to live.

I said, I want to do this and this is how I want to do it. And so that was also one of those affirmations of I can make money in the way I want to make, like it's not just making money or the business, but like in the way I want to do it.

Steph: So I had to believe it. It's an important, I think cause I did the same thing with [01:12:00] HAR, like we ran, we're just, we were just very different and how we approach things and people weren't quite sure about my approach to it in the beginning, but I think it's when you're first starting out and starting your travel agency, it's really important because as you get busier, it's harder to just totally unplug and be like, what's my vision because your time.

Is an asset that there's not a lot of anymore. So in the beginning, thinking about what your big dreams are and different ways that you can achieve it so that as your business evolves, you have those already in place on what your end goal is.

Courtnie: And I do believe for new agents are like clarity. So here's the one thing that I wish somebody would have.

I don't wish somebody would have told me, because obviously I probably would need to learn. I'm a hard headed, so I probably need to learn it the hard way. If somebody told me, I would be like, you don't know what you're talking about. I'm stubborn. But the one thing I would say is like, [01:13:00] People don't hire until they actually need to hire.

You should hire before you need to hire. And so when I say new agents, maybe not your first year, but what I'm saying is you need to hire more like quicker than what you think. And the same thing is you need to pay for services that you think that you shouldn't pay for. So I believe I'm a big if I want people to buy from me, I have to buy from others.

If I don't know something and someone is an expert and they saying they can help me, then I have to. Pay their feet because I want somebody to pay my feet like, that's the whole universe and like money flows to your money flows from you, like back and forth. I see a lot of times people are trying to like, bootleg and nickel and dime and then they're like, why am I not getting the results?

Because you're taking clients on Instagram and the DM and then saying, like how treat your business like a business. If that's what you want, if you're actually in business and you want to have a business, treat it as such. And I believe that as a new agent. [01:14:00] Boundaries to new agents. I feel like it's not existing because they feel like I just have to do this.

Cause you know, I'm trying to get the clients and I, and to me, that's a deadly, what you're doing is like my husband was saying, you're practicing bad habits and so you think you're going to show up to the game, ready to hit three, but you practice that, like when you don't have good practice, you don't play well, you don't, you can't have a switch where you practice bad habits and then you think when it's game time that you come ready to play.

Cause it's going to show up.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-cabo-swimsuit-hat-beach

Steph: Yeah. So when we're talking about these visions, one of yours was having, like you said, the flexibility in the work life balance. So how did you build that into your company?

Courtnie: So I'm big on boundaries. So you, people know, don't call my phone after this. I'm appointments only.

I'm like probably people in the industry, they probably already know because people that meet me and I'm very, again, I'm direct. I let people, I let clients know. Even with the white glove service, I'm a white glove service, but that don't mean I'm your [01:15:00] personal admin or secretary. Like you can't call me on all types of night.

Like I had a client that was like, my robe wasn't in my room. The concierge, like we nip all of that in the bud. So quickly already, like when I first, even when I was doing fun and son, I had boundaries of I used to talk to my one friend, she's not in the business anymore. She does life coaching now, but she had 300 something clients.

I'm like, what? And she was sending them email. I said, why are you doing that? When this is the thing, when you book a hotel on Marriott, do they see a reminder? This is the net. No. And then if you don't cancel, guess what? You just get charged that first night. The pot, they don't say, remind me if you're going to book, you better do it today.

Cause your money's going to be forfeit. Like I don't understand that small business owners. Why sometimes we don't apply the same things that fortune 500 business. Like when you go to the doctor, you don't get to go I want Friday at 6 PM. They don't operate right. Matter of fact, you can't even tell them Friday at one.

They're like our first available appointment is that the 28th [01:16:00] at three. Okay. Yep. You gotta take it, right? And then, guess what? You don't say while you're on the phone, I need to talk to the doctor. No, you schedule an appointment, then you show up, and then you gotta wait on the doctor. But people continually go to the doctor, right?

They don't just say, I'm gonna stop going. So why in our business we think because someone couldn't take a call in our hours that we set aside for a reason, That we should just bend it and be like I can do it on Saturday at 8pm knowing your little girl has a soccer game.

You know what I mean? Like you're coming from a soccer game. Y'all gonna go eat pizza like y'all do every, like, why would I do that? So I was very big on boundaries and setting up that from the get go. And I also was one that was like, if I have to lose the business, I have to lose the business because I also believe there's 7 billion people in the world.

And so when one leaves, one enters. They weren't the right people for me.

Steph: Yeah. And then one of the things you do too is on Fridays, you have, you do what you [01:17:00] call like your harder tasks and then

Courtnie: yeah, so guys, I do theme days. I don't necessarily do time blocking, but Mondays are team days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, call work Friday, self care Fridays, but I do it backwards.

So I'm not just taking a day off. But I do all my book, I have a bookkeeper and I do all the receipts. So if you're trying, you know how you have to upload the receipts or I'll go through my Excel spreadsheet, looking at accounting or forecast and all that sales and finance, the stuff that I wanted to skip in business school, that they made me take like accounting and econ, I was just there for the marketing, but you gotta take it to get the degree.

So I do that on Fridays and then I end with either a massage or my nails done or calling my friend and being chatty Cathy, or, going to, you Lunch or dinner. But it's really like a free day. Again, I do the financial stuff. I'll set up my week for that. So I'll look at my calendar for following and be like, what?

What calls can I get out of? That's my, that was my whole thing this year. I used to look at my calendar and be like why am I [01:18:00] taking this call? Why am I doing that? I don't need to do this. I don't need to, Oh, Ashley can do this or Sasha can do this, or this can be an email. I don't need to schedule a call for that.

So like I'm prepping for the week and what is important, what are my three main focuses for the week? And then I'm just, Chilling out, relaxing, self care,

Steph: nice.

Courtnie: Listening to podcasts. Enjoying life.

Steph: What do you wish people would have told you that you would have known before you got started in travel that you wish someone would have told you?

Courtnie: If you build it, they will come live straight from the day. You can build it. You can put a bow on it. You can wrap it up, send it to the house, drop it off. You can make it look good. You can say all the things and you still gonna be sitting here. That's what you're gonna hear in a birds. Like it's not as easy as people think.

Yeah. So I think, not that I thought business owner was, you, this is the thing. Things. It's just like now social media, which is why I have a love hate relationship. It's because you'll see people in their traveling world and this and [01:19:00] that, but you don't know they're broke. You don't know they ain't making any money.

You're thinking like, Oh, this is easy. Okay, all I got to do is this and that. And then you start doing it. And then you're like, This is a disconnect because only people only show you highlights. They're not showing you when they're up at night. I've been up at night plenty of times. I don't know how I'm going to pay this.

Or now that I have a team, like I'm not going to get paid, or freaking out, like what if nobody wants this or no one does this curated trip, I got to sell this many spots. Like they don't get on Instagram and talk about that. They just talk about, girl, my trip is sold out and you missed out and we are traveling the world.

And then we start talking about numbers. They like, huh?

Steph: So no one wants to share that.

Courtnie: Yeah. So I wish somebody would tell me like, no, Courtnie, you actually need to stay in fundraising because you're going to get paid doing that. And if you don't know your numbers and like really have a drill down, then you're not going to do it because this is the thing.

Travel is an expensive hobby. So if you're running your business like a hobby, it's going to cost you.

Steph: Yeah, very [01:20:00] much so

Courtnie: not as much freebies and perks. Like people say that it is like, Oh, you go in and stay free and you do this. And again, the stuff that is free is like the stuff I can pay on my own. If that makes sense, like some of y'all I'm like, I can go there on my own. Like, you get caught up in, this is a fun industry. It's nice. It's sexy. It's like my husband's injury sports. Oh, he's a basketball coach. Yeah. Until somebody gets on Twitter and says, fire him. And, you gotta raise,

Steph: you have to move every two years!

Courtnie: You gotta move every year. Yeah. And it's fundraising and you gotta coach and you gotta keep 17 and 18, 19 year olds without getting in trouble and put the ball in the basket. Who would want that job? But no one talks about, it's that's such a cool job. And the same thing with my job.

That's such a good job. You get to travel. Oh, I wish I could do that. And half your job, like more than half your job has nothing to do with travel.

Steph: Yeah it's running a business and there's a reason that there's a really high failure rate for businesses. It's because it's really hard, especially in the beginning.

If you're a 10 year old business. HAR is sitting [01:21:00] much prettier now. We've built and established ourselves, but the beginning is really tough.

Courtnie: Yeah. You don't know what works either. You're literally just I've been trying to just enjoy the process because again, it's, it'll be six years in June full time, but seven years altogether, but like what works yesterday might not work tomorrow.

That's another thing. And no one has the secret roadmap to success the way someone else did it versus someone else can look totally different. So you can't even model someone and get the same results because what worked five years ago might not work or depending on your territory, like that's another thing.

There's not a, no one could tell me like how to get it done. And I'm very like process and goal and Oh, if you tell me the steps, I'm going to do it. Then I'm going to get the same. No, that's not, so it's

Steph: yeah, that's why I love these interviews is because we take them from all sorts of different advisors from different corners of the world and you can pull [01:22:00] like what works for you and what speaks to you because even if say you're in the exact same location, you're doing the exact same steps of a person.

You are not that person. And that is, that's at the heart of the matter is no one else is you. And so don't try to be someone else.

You gotta

be you and you gotta make your business that works for you. And authenticity is what's gonna. Help you be successful, not trying to be someone else.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-greece-pool-with-friend

Indispensible

Steph: Let's see, we're going to move into our last segment, which is our indispensable segment. And that's where we ask you what technology book or person has been indispensable to the growth of your agency. And why I know you gave us a huge list earlier, but is there one that sticks out?

Courtnie: Oh, man, I feel like I, I might've said one before, but then I said now, I feel like there's so many, okay. One person, one, I can't do one!

Steph: You gotta do one Courtnie. Just one!

Courtnie: In my business.

Steph: Yes. [01:23:00]

Courtnie: I'm going to say my grand, my grand has nothing to do in the travel industry because this is what she did was she gave me principles. I know everybody's not religious, but it's like the Bible, it's principled, like you utilizing your life.

And so she was the blueprint. If there was a blueprint, whether it's how you treat people when building relationships and even about saving and spending and like when to invest. All that wise wisdom that, that kind of fuels me every day. My personality, like going after what you want, being confident.

Cause I was tall. A lot of tall girls, they're not confident, especially when they're kids. Cause they they don't want to be tall. And I was always like, stand up straight and I'm smart and this and that. And so even in my business, a lot of skills is your confidence and being able to step out and take risk.

When it's not time. And again, when you have a team, also the empathy card, I know me and my husband were talking to the bed and I was like, I could be hateful. Like I could. And [01:24:00] then he even said, he's your grandma would say, now I know how Courtnie can get some time, like just thinking about things that she shared with me and in our mind and that I've taken.

And so my business were principles of raising a child. Like my mom died when I was eight months old. She was like my mom. So just things that I took with her that I've been able to apply, like when to let something go, when to let someone go, when they no longer serve you. It's like that Maya Angelou saying, like when people show you who they are, the first time, believe them.

My grandma could have wrote, written a book on that. So like I would say that has nothing because I'm giving you tons of like books and people that I've worked with. That are killing it. Brooke Olsen with the systems that she's dubbed Tatiana with teams mindset, Jen, money, Serena, but like just overall is my grand.

Steph: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense because Building that foundation of confidence because it does take confidence to be a business owner. If you're doubting yourself all the time that's not a [01:25:00] great base to build off of. And also like the financial smarts, because you really do have to know finances to be a good business owner, I have seen business owners that are terrible at finance.

I just have to share this. The other day I was on a call with someone and they're like, I can't make ends meet at my agency stuff and I'm chatting with them and I'm like, you should be able to make ends meet. Like the numbers you're telling me and the expenses, like they should go and I was really confused and they were adamant they could not make ends meet and that this was not a sustainable business model.

And I was like, okay. And then I was chatting with someone else that works with them and they were like, she pays herself a half a million dollars for a salary. And I was like she conveniently left that out. I wish I would have known that because that's the issue,

Courtnie: right? Yeah, but it's that type of stuff that people don't are even now that you are making money, what do you do with that money?

You know what I mean? Oh, is that going? I always tell people like my business is just I can sell my business tomorrow. They're like, what? Oh, [01:26:00] it's not my baby. I don't have children. I use my business as an asset. Me and my husband have overall goals. He has his job. This is my business. We have property, there's several different eggs or drops that like in the bucket that make up our complete thing.

So this is just one feed, one string that goes into the bigger picture. I don't look at this as the big picture. I have a whole life, a whole hood, like we have a whole future in bed. This just plays into what are all the goals and the dreams that we have as one, if that makes sense.

Steph: It totally does. And I think that's also wise words for entrepreneurs because it's very easy as an entrepreneur to have Your whole self and being be tied up into your company, which in some ways is very beautiful. But also, it's also just a company. And at some point you're going to have to let the company go, sell it or, some things along those lines. And then, so it's important to nurture outside of your business as well as [01:27:00] yeah, find it, have a self outside your business. That's super important.

Courtnie, thank you so much for all the inspiration and fun today during the episode.

Courtnie: Thank you. I thought you were going to say something else. I'm like, okay. No, I appreciate it. All right. I'm a chatty Cathy, so I can stay on for longer, but I know we've got to let the people take a breather.

Courtnie-nichols-travelbash-hard-rock-hotel-party

Closing

Steph: We do have to let the people take a breather, but, and thank all of you for tuning in today.

Just a reminder, don't forget the survey is coming out, so keep an eye out or you can follow the link in the show notes to get to the reminders.

Again, you can go to Host Agency Reviews.com/t. Click on episode 29. And if you've got time before we close things out, we would love, love, love if you gave, if you're watching on YouTube, give this a life, or if you're listening to this on your favorite podcast platform give it a review or a rating. So we will be back with another advisor story in Q.

I can't believe it'll be [01:28:00] Q3. Q3. So make sure to subscribe so you don't miss out. Thank you everyone. And thank you, Courtnie, and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Outro

 Steph: You can read a transcript, view the show notes and watch a video of today's episode all in one place. Head on over to hostagencyreviews. com slash TAC and click on episode 29. You'll also find some great pictures of Courtnie on her travels and within her life in the transcript, we'll see you there.

About the Author
Steph Lee - Host Agency Reviews

Steph Lee

Steph grew up in the travel industry. She worked with thousands of agents in her role as a former host agency director before leaving in 2012 to start HAR. She's insatiably curious, loves her pups Fennec and Orion, and -- in case you haven't noticed -- is pretty quirky and free-spirited.

If you’re looking for Steph, she leaves a trace where ever she goes! You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest as 'iamstephly'. 🙂 She doesn't do TikTok as no one would ever see her again.