Instructions vs Directions

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My name is Chad, and I’m one of the founders of  You may be wondering why I’m learning so much when I’m what you call an “expert.”  That’s what happens…the more you know about something, the more you know what you don’t know about it.  That’s why I favor directions over instructions when working with business minded agents.  You see, to me, if the people writing instructions are such experts, they should know there’s a lot they don’t know.  Following instructions limits you to what you know – whereas knowing the direction I’m heading leaves the path open to find my own instructions and destinations.  Essentially, employees need instructions and you…you need directions because you’re a business owner trying to make money. Let me explain. 

When you have an employee and you need to get something done that requires 10 steps, you give them all 10 steps in unambiguous language, they follow said steps, the “thing” gets done, and the employee is compensated in a predictable way.  When you’re a businessperson though, and something needs to get done, you most often have 7 of the 10 steps needed in vague language that you try to follow, you improvise the 3 steps you don’t have, the “thing” gets done, and you are rewarded in an unpredictable (think limitless) way. 

When you figure out what they are, the 3 steps you weren’t given and had to improvise are what we like to call profit.  Those steps are the difference between earning money and making money.  Trust me, you want to make money, or you wouldn’t be reading this.  

If you are looking for step-by-step instructions to earn money, you are looking for a job.  If you want to make money, you need to make instructions.  Put another way, to create money, you need to create instructions, or ways to do things.  You do this by following directions from point to point, discovering what you hope are your next steps when you get there, and finding out if you were right when you get there.   It’s like when you’re driving.  Your GPS gives you instructions, which are great, but Columbus wouldn’t have bumped into North America using a GPS.  No great discoveries are found, or fortunes made by following instructions.   

So, as a businessperson, you’ll seldom know if you’re doing “it” right. is the 19th Largest Host in America, so we did some of “it” right, but trust me, we weren’t always sure at the time. Like you, we knew the general direction of where we were going but sometimes had to figure out the exact steps to get “there” as we were going along.  Sometimes, we were just flying on instinct.

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This is why Steve (co-founder, partner, and my cousin) and I knew, instinctively, we needed to mentor our agents individually; to help them find their exact path to their exact destination. Steve and I have been on the phone with our agent partners every day since we signed up our first two agents, Bob and Leslie. We created the most awarded learning management system in the industry to give our agents a foundation to earn money in travel.  More importantly, we provide direct access to senior management and the owners of to help point you in the right direction as you grow and start to make money. 

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For me, instructions are a subset of directions.  Part of being a business owner is being an employee, especially in the beginning.  “Things” need to be done and instructions are helpful. Putting all the instructions together in the right order, though, and filling in the gaps, can only be done by knowing the direction you want to go in and choosing the steps to get there. Is it growth, being more efficient, refining your brand, or something else that you’re heading towards?  Our learning management system, live training and mentoring provide instructions on how to do a lot of this but, only you discover the path, the series of steps, that leads you to where you want to be. 

If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering what motivated me to write this (or if I’ve lost my mind).  Well, our industry has seen a deluge of companies declaring they have the simple, step-by-step instructions you need to succeed in the travel industry.  Like our tools and resources, many of these solutions help solve specific problems but remember, it’s up to you to assemble them as a part of your overall business machine.  Sometimes, you’re heading towards growth.  Other times, it’s being more efficient that’s on the horizon. Still other times, it’s getting efficient and then growing.  Even with over 8,000 agents, we make it a point to have our executive team and senior mentors just a phone call or email away.  We know that pointing you in the right direction is far better than just giving you instructions, so you can continue to grow, learn, and better yourself. Directions help us get from one source of information and understand where to look for the next answer.  This process of using what we know to figure out what we don’t until we arrive at our destination and achieve our goals is the best way for agents – and other like-minded businesspeople – to become more and more self-sufficient. And thus, more successful.  

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So why is this differentiation between instructions and directions so important?   Because eventually, on your journey, you will hit a speed bump. Or a roadblock, or gap in your information – it’s inevitable. You are going to need to be able to figure it out new instructions so you can continue in the direction you want to go If you’ve only been equipped with instructions, you’ll fall behind. But if you’re already well-practiced with directions through education and mentoring, then the next time you hit that annoying roadblock, it’ll be easier to find the step, or instruction, you need. And the time after that? Even easier. 

If you take away anything from this article it’s this: it’s essential to understand the difference between following instructions and knowing the direction you want to go in. While employees need clear instructions, business owners need to make-up instructions occasionally as they follow the direction they think will take them to what they wantRemember, the steps and instructions that we make along the way are called profit, and they are the difference between earning money and making money.

At, we understand that every person has their own path to success, and we want to help you discover it. That’s why we provide our agents with a learning management system and direct access to our senior management and owners. We don’t give them step-by-step instructions, but we help them find their direction and discover their unique path to success. 

In the end, think about the words themselves.  We instruct or direct, we’re a teacher or a director.  Directors are charged with creating a movie that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Music, light, talent, script, acting, and more come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts, movie magic.  We want our agents to make magic for their clients and money for themselves.  We help agents, it’s what we do.

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