Becoming self-employed

How we help Travel Counsellor Tim Fitzgerald balance work with a young family

Tim Fitzgerald

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    Brighton-based Tim Fitzgerald has always been a keen traveller, so it was only logical that he ended up in the travel industry.

    After a stint at a student travel company and a few years in American Express’ Centurion department (with a few breaks for sabbaticals in Portugal and Australia, naturally) he decided the life of a 9-to-5 employee just wasn’t for him.

    So, as soon as the purchase of his new house was finalised (mortgages for freelancers can be tricky at the best of times) – the very same day, in fact – Tim quit his full-time position and set himself up as a Travel Counsellor. Not unlike an Uber for travel agents, Travel Counsellors acts as an umbrella organisation with self-employed specialists all over the country. If someone in Brighton is looking for a travel expert, Tim is the go-to guy.

    With a young family and an active lifestyle flexibility is all-important for Tim. Now self-employed, he can set his own hours, spend more time with his kids, and run down to Brighton beach for a quick game of volleyball if he feels like it. Tim and other local Travel Counsellors around Sussex support one another, meaning he doesn’t have to worry about missing an all-important client call if fatherly duties call.

    Having control over his time is so important to Tim he opted for a Premium subscription, and now enjoys totally stress-free accounts as Charlie takes care of his bookkeeping, while his Client Manager Cara is available at the end of the phone to answer any questions.

    Tim has a huge range of individuals and businesses who use his services. On any given day he can be organising some routine business travel from London to New York, or helping arrange a round-the-world trip to celebrate a 50th Birthday. As a small business owner he lives and dies by his reputation – so goes the extra mile (sometimes literally) to make sure his clients always receive the best travel experience.

    Although money was front of his mind when he first entered self-employment, Tim needn’t have worried. After four years of growing his Travel Counsellors franchise, he’s now earning seven times his old annual salary at American Express – meaning he’s able to scratch his travel itch whenever he likes.