A virtual travel agent from Stone has reached the magical £1million sales mark despite undergoing surgery for a crippling back condition.

Lisa Russell took on a – Not Just Travel – franchise just under three years ago when a spinal fusion forced her into a career change. Since launching her on-line travel agents Lisa helped thousands of customers with mini-breaks, family, dream holidays and Disney holidays, which she specialises in.

The 44-year-old mum of two has also just scooped an industry prize for selling the most Disney dining breaks for Florida, out of the entire travel group, which will see her and husband David jet off for an all expensive paid trip to Orlando.

Ex-teacher and engineer Lisa has undergone crippling back surgery twice, once in 2017 just before she launched the franchise and again last year which saw her out of action for three months while she recuperated. Despite that she still hit the £700,000 sales mark, culminating in a £1 million total sales in just over two years – something she is incredibly proud of.

“My back problems were so severe I had to give up my previous career and had a total change in direction into the holiday industr,” says Lisa. “Any career change is hard especially when your hand is forced but I am lucky to have found a new career that I absolutely love – you don’t get to make people’s dreams come true in many jobs, especially Disney dreams!

“Personally, last year was incredibly challenging. I was in agony with my back and having further, more complicated surgery was difficult but although I was physically out of action for months I was able to carry on to a degree with the holiday bookings so much so that I was able to hit and beat my targets. It was family and work that kept me going, with the help of very strong painkillers.”

Lisa added: “I can help with any kind of holiday or break across the world and love planning trips to Disney. We have a property over there, so my knowledge of the area and the parks really helps also 60% of my customers are repeat business which I think is because I always go the extra mile and give a personal service and that’s because I love what I do.”

Lisa, who has just taken on her first employee, is now aiming to have her own Not Just Travel, travel lounge this year where holiday makers can go and see her face to face. Not Just Travel has around 550 franchises across the country and is part of the Hayes Travel Group.

To find out more please contact 01785 303345.

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