Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Cruise Planners | Brand Spotlight Partner What is this?

Becoming a 'Funtrepreneur'

When one woman's career plans fell apart, she turned her travel hobby into a business – no experience necessary.

Every entrepreneur has one thing in common: a solid plan. But what happens when things don't go according to plan? Melanie Sweet was very comfortable in her career in tech when corporate restructuring, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, shook the world, took her plans, and threw them out the window.

Courtesy of Amelia Saputri/Shutterstock

Suddenly laid off and mentally unprepared to end her career when she was on a growth trajectory, this is Sweet's story of starting a travel agency amid the global pandemic, and how she dealt with the challenges and rewards of the transition.

A life without challenge is boring.

Stuck indoors with no job to report to, Sweet's boredom mounted, and she realized she needed something to challenge her mentally. Without troubles to fix, clients to talk to, and situations to configure, Sweet was getting antsy and craving mental stimulation, so she dove headfirst into nine months of research.

When she came upon the Cruise Planners® franchise opportunity, she was immediately struck. Like many of their franchisees, Sweet had no experience in the travel industry. "I've done so much traveling," she thought to herself. "This is going to be fun!" Turning a hobby into a career was an interesting concept, but friends and family were leery. "This is crazy" was the typical response she received upon announcing she was starting a travel agency during a pandemic. Although she was tempted to listen to the naysayers, eventually Sweet followed her gut instinct that told her travel would make a comeback. It was a risk she was willing to bet on.

Starting a travel agency in the middle of the pandemic, naysayers told her "this is crazy." Sweet followed her gut instinct and knew that travel would make a comeback.
Image credit: Courtesy of Melanie Sweet

Travel passion = performance.

Even though there was not a hint of travel industry to be found on Sweet's resume, she was full of entrepreneurial spirit. Sweet knew that no matter what she was selling, she needed to be passionate about it. "No matter what industry, the customer can sense your passion, and it gets them excited about what you're selling," Sweet says. She could easily get excited about travel and planned to get others on board – pandemic or not.

Because she was new to the game, Sweet decided to observe some of Cruise Planner's top franchise owners. It didn't matter whether they had prior experience in the travel industry – one thing was clear – all of them were focused on working their home-based business. For someone transitioning into a career in travel, one of the most terrifying things can be all the unknown factors. By collaborating with other Cruise Planners franchisees as well as her Business Development coaching team provided by Cruise Planners' corporate Home Office, she knew she was supported.

Fear of the unknown often stops many would-be entrepreneurs from following their dreams. The key for Sweet was in the mental shift she had when she realized she was done working in the corporate world. Seeing Cruise Planners® Travel Advisors reveling in their freedom and financial success was much more rewarding. Her clear vision of the kind of professional life she wanted to lead motivated her toward success.

"I'm done working the corporate career." Melanie Sweet has traded in her career in corporate tech to become an entrepreneur.
Image credit: Courtesy of Melanie Sweet

From boredom to freedom.

Currently living the life she had only dreamed of, Sweet believes the reason she has been so successful is because she took a passion for travel and turned it into a business. And the fact that she didn't have experience was never an issue – with the ongoing training she receives from her business development coach and the limitless online and in-person training opportunities, she is expertly planning a luxury train ride through Switzerland for a big group, an African safari, an Asian cruise, and a tour of Spain and Portugal for a group of clients. "It's amazing to me," she says of the training experience. "I can tell you for a fact, that most franchise businesses that you spend over a quarter of a million dollars with do not provide the level of marketing and support that Cruise Planners does."

With ample training and an expert support system, an entrepreneur only needs to add their passion – and that's how a successful business can thrive – even during a pandemic.

To learn more about how to start your own home-based travel agency franchise and why now is the right time to get in the travel business, fill out the form here.

Cruise Planners

Brand Spotlight Partner

Spotlight is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks