Holidaysplease director, Richard Dixon, takes a trip down memory lane

Holidaysplease director, Richard Dixon, was featured on Travelmole’s Time Traveller and tells us allĀ about his journey within the travel industry.

What was your first job in travel?

It’s the winter of 1984. Thomson are advertising temporary positions for sales consultants in their Martineau Square call centre in Birmingham. I dismiss the opportunity as I don’t fit the age or experience requirements. My Mum decides on another course of action and applies on my behalf! Embarrassed but determined, I attend an interview and get the job. By the end of the 80’s I was running my own high street travel business.

What was the high point of your career?

Can I have three please! December 2002, the first month of sales for www.holidaysplease.co.uk We make GBP2,000 in commission after spending GBP500 on marketing and overheads….our idea works! June 2003, taking on Ruth our first Homeworker (who us still on our team!)….it feels like Holidaysplease has really arrived. April 2010, Holidaysplease is named Online Agent of the Year at the Agent Achievement Awards.

What was the low point?

There are obvious ones like 9/11 and the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which really tested the resources of a young Holidaysplease. However I guess the lowest and most painful point for me personally was being ripped off for a few grand early in my business career. It was a tough way to learn that if something appears too good to be true it probably is!

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

Easy! Barbara Collins in her time as training director for Worldchoice. In 2002, I was lucky enough to be one of three agents chosen as guinea pigs for her Partnership in Profit Training Programme. The whole experience was just a massive light bulb moment for me and totally changed my approach to running a business. Barbara deserved every one of the awards she won over the next few years for the training programme.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I’d really like to be doing what Barbara did for me by passing on the experience I have gained being involved in growing a highly successful, modern travel business to the next generation of budding travel entrepreneurs.

What would you be doing now if you weren’t in travel?

I’d be a pro-runner on the veteran endurance circuit! Over the last 5 years I’ve really got into running and now run for a local club in the Birmingham and District League. Running gives me my release and buys me time to think. I’m currently training for the London Marathon in April and aim to run under 3 hours.

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