Claudette Covey

Success Stories focus on veteran travel advisors and how they achieved success. Here’s a look at Lindsey Epperly, owner and CEO of Jetset World Travel.

How did you get your start as a travel advisor?

At 19, I walked into a travel agency for a brochure and walked out with a job! I was in college and got my start by attending bridal shows and planning honeymoons, which eventually evolved into building a book of business that supported my full-time income by the time I graduated.

How did you build your business over the years?

As the honeymoon business expanded largely thanks to referrals, I also became interested in mentoring other travel advisors. I developed a teams’ model with the host agency I was part of, which eventually led me to realize the need for a host that provided clarity and consulting to entrepreneurial advisors.

That’s what laid the foundation for what was then known as Epperly Travel in 2014. We’ve since grown into the organization we are today, an “Inc. 5000” company rebranded as Jetset World Travel, which was a fabulous boutique agency that we acquired in 2021. About five years ago, I moved into a CEO role in order to lead the company into what we are today. 

What characteristics make you a successful advisor?

I believe my success as an advisor and entrepreneur has been thanks to meeting people where they are. I try to lead from a place of empathy and authority by understanding what a client is truly asking for, especially when we’re given the honor of planning a really special trip; and bringing in a level of knowledge that enables their trust. I teach the same philosophy to our team of advisors at Jetset –there are no client issues we can’t solve without empathy and authority!

What have your greatest challenges been?

I’ve spent a lot of time battling Imposter Syndrome. From the very beginning of my career, when I would stay at five-star hotels and having never experienced anything like that in my life outside of travel, I was always waiting to be tapped on the shoulder and told, ‘You don’t belong here’ – until I decided to grow the business with the model we now have at Jetset, which hadn’t quite been done before.

We recently launched a podcast in affiliation with Jetset called “Who Made You The Boss?” to address this very subject. I think Imposter Syndrome is actually a sign that we’re doing something right by putting ourselves out there, but it’s not talked about often enough in our industry.

What have your greatest accomplishments been?

Five years ago, I set a goal of doubling our company size and landing on an industry magazine cover within the next 10 years. Thanks to the decisions we made during the pandemic, we managed to achieve that goal in two years – in fact, we quadrupled our size, which landed us a place on the 2023 “Inc. 5000” list. I’m so proud of the integrity we kept throughout the pandemic and the way we stuck true to our vision of being a beacon during the industry’s darkest hour. I believe that’s why we’ve come out so much stronger on the other side.

What tips can you provide advisors new to the industry?

When I first started, I was so intimidated by having to learn the entire world as my product. How can we be expected to be experts in everything? Instead, I focused on becoming an expert in my clients. By focusing on human relationships, we can bring a new level of customer service to our client experience, which is exactly where our value as advisors can shine.

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