Cynthia Morris has had some weird jobs over the years — from dishwashing at a local restaurant in the south of France to becoming a hot air balloon chef in the French Alps. But today she takes home $3,000-$10,000 in profit for every tour she organizes in her favorite destinations throughout Europe.
I invited Cynthia to be a presenter at our How to Make a Six Figure Income as a Traveler Workshop going on this week in Panama City, Panama because Cynthia’s method for funding a lifetime of lucrative travel is fun, easy to learn, and something anyone can do.
“It’s work,” she says. “But it’s work you’ll love doing, so it doesn’t feel like work.”
The big thing you have to keep in mind when you’re organizing tours, she explained, is that even though this is work you’ll love to do… and even though you’re picking the destination and you’re designing the itinerary… when it comes down to it, your tour isn’t really about you. It’s about your attendee.
That’s why she always arrives a couple days to a week before a trip and she always stays a couple days to a week after. That’s when it’s about her. That’s when she gets to do whatever she wants at the speed she wants to do it. And even after the added expense of extending her trip by a week or two, she still pockets $3,000-$10,000 in profit on every trip.
She’s going to give us the math tomorrow, along with specific instructions on how to create your first tour, manage it, advertise it, and ensure you’re making a healthy profit.
2009 is going to be a great year for freelancers. Tell yourself: It’s now or never. And commit to getting past these first-time blunders and “working” (though you can’t really call it work) at what you love.
MISTAKE #1: Looking Back
QUICK FIX: Start New
I hear so many stories from people who say they have thousands of photos from past trips and thousands of articles just sitting in their diary waiting to be plucked for a travel article.
But the truth is, if you’ve been reading this newsletter for any number of weeks or months and you haven’t yet gone back to see if any of your photos meet stock requirements or if any of your diary entries have enough details to turn them into a travel article… then chances are, you won’t.
Get out this weekend and find something new to write about. Then, once you get a new story under your belt, go back and see what you can farm out of that old diary or journal entry.
Sometimes, when the task looks too big, we put it off and never do it. Start new and start small. Conquer one small article at a time and build your confidence before taking on that big project of going back through old details.
MISTAKE #2: Writing for Free
QUICK FIX: Set Limits
It’s OK to write for free or write for a blog site that pays $40 for an article. But don’t get stuck in the rut of doing it again and again. Get your name out there. Get a link where you can show other editors that you’ve been published. And then move along to higher-paying assignments.
MISTAKE #3: Waiting to Get Started
QUICK FIX: Get Started! Your Timing Will Never Be Perfect.
This one speaks for itself. Too many people think they’re not good enough to get published — yet the truth is: There’s a lot of “bad” writing out there making it into magazines and newspapers. You don’t have to be Hemingway to land a by-line. And it’s never the prettiest pictures that sell. What sells is articles and photos that are unique, interesting, and timely.
MISTAKE #4: Falling in Love
QUICK FIX: Kill Your Darlings
I see this time and time again. An attendee will show one of our instructors a picture she took of her cat or of her grandkid. And when the instructor tells her that it’s not saleable for whatever reason, the attendee launches into a debate about why they love it.
My advice: Try and get past this. You may think it’s a good picture because you love the subject of the photo — your cat or your grandkid. But if it’s not selling, “kill your darlings,” as they say… cut those favorite photos or pieces of writing that aren’t selling, and move on.
MISTAKE #5: Losing Motivation
QUICK FIX: Start a Support Group
Everyone here is exchanging phone numbers and email addresses to keep each other motivated.
You’re not here, but grab your partner or your spouse and form a group at home. Or better yet, join us for our next photography workshop and meet a support group there.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]