2023 Insights from Julie Byrd
You are the President of Cabo Villas, how did you end up in your current role?
I left the travel industry to pursue something different. While trying to figure out what that would be, I started selling ads for a local newspaper. Walked into the Cabo Villas building to sell ad space, and the rest is history.
Already having years of travel industry experience, I saw this new opportunity and the potential for growth. I bit the bullet and agreed to start from the bottom. Don Hirschaut hired me, he was the founder of the company who became a great friend and colleague over the years. Don quickly recognized my skills, and I began moving up the ranks. After his untimely death several years ago, my leadership role in the company catapulted me in new directions as I helped usher our company through a big transitionary period and the pandemic.
In some ways, Don’s passing threw me into an unexpected growth period and solidified my commitment to our team and our product.
What were the biggest obstacles for you?
A huge challenge for me earlier in my career was trying to hold employees to my expectations of perfection. I was a tyrant until I grew to learn out that everyone has their own skills and ways to do things. Nobody is perfect.
I used to rule with an iron fist; now, I lead with compassion, an open mind and positivity. This took a lot of personal growth for me…to accept that MY WAY isn’t the only way to do things!
What helped you break through?
Honestly, it was through trying to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results was what finally brought me to realize that I could only change myself and my reactions.
Self-awareness made me realize that I am not perfect and that others have important skills that may differ from mine but contribute just as strongly in different ways! I lost several good employees in the process which really made me take a hard look and analyze the common denominator = me.
What are three, specific things women can do now to move them closer to their goals?
Take time for self-reflection, be honest with yourself and accept your own areas where you can grow. Listen to feedback. Nurture relationships with those who have the skills or roles you want. Lead with kindness but don’t be a doormat. Speak your truth.
Julie Byrd has been with the company for nearly two decades and oversees client service, resort and villa owner relationship management and sales. Having worked in the travel industry for 30 years, Julie knows the ins and outs of providing exceptional vacation services intimately. In fact, she’s been recognized for her skill and professionalism by Condé Nast Traveler repeatedly as one of the leading villa rental specialists in the world. She’s also been listed on the “WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts” by well-known luxury travel advocate, Wendy Perrin. Her creativity, energy and enthusiasm for Los Cabos is readily evident to everyone she meets. Julie also is personally available to address in-travel service requests 24/7 as part of her dedication to providing a perfect vacation for every client.
“I made travel my career because I feel that providing outstanding vacations makes the world a happier place. Generally, people who have great vacations carry that happiness with them for at least a year…or until their next vacation! We like to provide an excellent experience so that they come back to real world relaxed and happy.”
Julie is the definition of “life of the party,” a wine connoisseur and mom to a very rambunctious pup named Rocco. For more information, visit https://www.cabovillas.com.
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