In November 2019, in a moment of clarity I’d long been heading towards, I had the brilliant idea (I thought so, and it turned out so did a few other people) to set up my own representation company specialising in co-sourcing and offering hotel and apartment groups the ability to tap into the very best talent and expertise from all around the world. Wherever that talent was, I’d bring it together for the benefit of my clients. I was excited and pumped after speaking to a few people so I knew I’d have founding clients to work with.
I started to get my teams together, knowing I was going to refer to them as partners and make them exclusive to the business. So they could help shape the business.
Then, just 2 or 3 months later, in February / March 2020, I felt my dream disappearing. I fell into a state of depression, worrying about what I’d done, how could I have been so careless leaving where I was and not have a steady income. But in more lucid moments I was able to tell myself I had two outcomes. Either embrace my new space or fail. And failure to me wasn’t an option.
During March 2020 I saw a LinkedIn message from Susan Lichtenstein talking about Tams (Travel and Meeting Society) and I jumped on it. At this stage I wanted something to give me purpose, to help me focus. Also through LinkedIn I joined Dunkies with Brad Smith on Mondays at 11am, to help me understand the principles of marketing I slowly started to regain my confidence, and more clients. And I can’t forget my daily chats with friends in the industry which added laughter and even tears at times.
I worked hard with my amazing team Michelle, Andrius, Theresa, Yonga. In June the team grew and we were then joined by Joeann, a vivid light of sunshine and energy. I began to feel we had hope as we continued to work hard listening to webinars, branching out of our comfort zone. Generating for business for our clients enabled all of us to grow. Andrius became a guru in estate management for extended stay, I became the mobility master learning all I could about this world (which is truly fascinating). Joeann established herself as our queen of entertainment, government and mission. Whilst Michelle focused on leisure in Asia, evolving from a corporate butterfly to a leisure expert.
We worked hard (have I mentioned how hard we worked), we retained clients, we won more new clients.
It’s not been easy, but the passion we have to drive business forward and to adapt to the needs of our clients is a testament to my team. Laughter is a key composer of what we do, and I look forward with expectation and eagerness to our weekly team calls discussing what we’re all working on.
I lost my dad in November which was so unexpected. He was my greatest fan and the spark that ignited my love of this industry. That was hard but I put on a brave face and grieved in silence because I had to go on. And with the support of my team and my friends I’m moving forwards.
And lastly, as for me, I was always looking for a purpose which I’ve found. That is simply Diversity Inclusion and Equity thanks to Tams and now GBTA. But you’ll hear more of that in the coming weeks.
So when it comes to where I am today, I’m thankful to the pandemic for giving me time with my family, finding an amazing team and finding a purpose where I can make a difference. Let’s see what the rest of the year brings.