My name is Marc Fitchett and I am a Travel Counsellor. I live in the South West of England with my lovely wife Laura and my two children, Billy aged 5 and Isla Rae aged 2. I also have a daughter who lives near Reading called Molly, she has just turned 18.
My life changed 8 years ago when I became a Travel Counsellor. Working for myself from home gave me freedom, but also presented many challenges along the way. I always wanted to be my own boss but needed a safety net and back up of an established and ethical company that allowed me to be myself and work my own hours. Previously I had always worked in sales, travelling around the country and working long hours. I never really had the desire for the job and knew there was something missing. I always loved travelling, a bug I caught from a very young age when my dad would take us to the Med on our family holidays. A friend introduced me to the concept of home working and also to Travel Counsellors. I have never looked back.
My biggest challenge came when my youngest children were born because I knew with my wife working full time for a corporate company, I would have to take on some of the responsibilities of child care and 'juggling' during school holidays. I have to be flexible and work around nursery and school hours. As a working father and self-employed home based travel professional I am able to do this.
My average day usually involves myself and Laura getting the children up and ready, then off to do the nursery and schools runs, aiming to be at my desk by 9.15 every day unless I have early meetings. I structure my day so that I am organised and can get stuck into what I really enjoy, researching holiday for my clients and then putting together quotations. I also hand deliver as many of my clients tickets as possible or alternatively make my regular visit to the post office, which I try to coincide with the school run. This flexibility means I can then spend some quality time with the kids (including the obligatory bed time stories!), after which I hop back on my e-mails, prepare my ‘to do’ list and contact any clients for a catch up if needed, before I sit down and relax for a couple of hours.
I love that each day is different, and I do manage to get out of the odd school run. I also get a lot of support from my head office. They have been brilliant over the years and I know I couldn’t have managed without their ongoing support and advice. Obviously my wife is also a great help and continues to support me and the business. I owe her so much and could never have started this career if it wasn’t for her.
I slowly built up my business and with honesty and integrity, I now have a fantastic client base who really appreciate the work I do. They know having someone they can talk to at any time about their travel plans gives them peace of mind and someone they can trust. Most of my customers know I am a working dad and many know my children, and have even spoken to them on the phone or met them in person. They understand that being a dad is my number one priority, but it would never dilute the service they receive.
My clients are fantastic and understand that they will still receive the high level of service they have always had. I just make sure I am more organised and allow time for both work and my family. I can honestly say I have a great work/life balance and wouldn't change it for anything.
My kids see me more than ever before, my clients get the best possible service and I continue to live the life I've always wanted.
Happy Father’s Day