Tour Guide or Travel Agent?

When you schedule a vacation you call up the travel agent and tell them where you want to go.  The agent takes care of the travel plans, the resort accommodations and then leaves the rest up to you.  They do not accompany you on the trip, that would be weird.  I would say that if your travel agent does that they have done their job well.

Compare that to what a tour guide does.  A tour guide meets you at the beginning of your journey into uncharted territory, accompanies you on your trip and is with you every step of the way until the very end.  Think about going on a safari vacation or even just a bus tour, you need a tour guide because they have been to the destination before and keep you from getting lost.  You hire them for their expertise.  This is a profound distinction between what a travel agent does and what a tour guide does.  Once just sets it up for you and lets you go on your way and the other is with you every step of the way guiding you with their expertise.

I think this distinction is what separates a tennis “pro” from a tennis “coach.”  A tennis pro will set things up for you, meet with you occasionally for a lesson or two, and then sends you on your way. Contrast that with a tennis coach who is with you every step of the way.  This is why I prefer the term “coach” over “pro.”  I am a coach in every sense of the word.  I look at taking my students on a journey I have made many times before, sharing my expertise, and staying with them from beginning to end whether things are going smoothly or not.

There was a study done years ago of the most successful people in the world.  The researchers were looking for common denominators in success at the highest levels in a variety of fields.  They looked at a variety of factors and only found one thing in common.  That one common denominator was that successful people, regardless of their discipline, had a mentor early in their career.  They had a tour guide or a coach early in life to help them along!

If you are interested in learning more I borrowed the travel agent vs. tour guide analogy from a great book Habitudes for the Journey by Dr. Tim Elmore.  I strongly recommend parents and teens check it out.  The information will be invaluable to your life and its only $12!

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