Jim Higgins is the owner of Js Travel Consultants LLC in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the past 26 years, he has been learning, innovating and successfully filling the needs and goals of employers, team members and travel partners.
Beginning his travel career with World Connections Travel in Clearwater, Florida, and presently operating Js Travel Consultants in Las Vegas, Higgins says it’s been a great adventure. From the first interaction developing resort programs to generation leisure and meeting segments of all types, And he’s enjoyed his journey, every step of the way.
Higgins spoke to U.S. Veterans Magazine about establishing a business after his military service.
Why did you decide to open your own business?
As I progressed in my career, I had many different challenges and success. I made the decision to open my own business after working for my last two companies, from which I was laid off, followed by a reduction in force. At that point, I said “No more.” I didn’t want to go into work each day looking over my shoulder and wondering about my future there.
I have many friends in the Industry who said I should start my own business, that I would be good at it. It took a while to think about it, but I’m glad I did. Celebrating our fifth anniversary in business this year was one of the greatest achievements in my professional career.
What resources did you use when you were just starting up?
I took the public approach and started with SCORE Las Vegas, the Small Business Development Center and Diversify Nevada. The mentors and advice were awesome, cost was less and it was much easier.
What lessons did you take from the military that helped you in running your own business?
Attention to detail, focus, discipline and structure. Those qualities have allowed me to be more creative and know that I can accomplish my goals with fun and professionalism.
What advice would you give other veterans who want to open their own businesses?
It’s scary and a big commitment; but once you get past your initial fears and get rolling, it’s very satisfying and rewarding. When you get up in the morning and see the boss in the mirror, you smile! Don’t be afraid of the responsibilities that come with running your own business—this is what you were trained for.
Being a certified veteran owned small business can open a lot of doors for you. People recognize your honor, commitment, and integrity. Clients will work more with people they trust more often than those they don’t.
Higgins has 27 years of experience and a lot of common sense. Working in Las Vegas—one of the most competitive markets on the planet—“You need to combine not only who you know; but what you know,” he says. Visit jstravelconsultants.com for more information.