Category Archives: Books

Why Your Enthusiasm Makes All the Difference

Book Cover "Enthusiasm Makes The Difference" and sun shining behind clouds, hot air balloon, yellow tulips

Your enthusiasm makes all the difference in life. It makes the difference between success and failure, according to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book Enthusiasm Makes The Difference. Enthusiasm is the priceless ingredient of personality that helps to achieve happiness and self-fulfillment. Enthusiasm is the dynamic motivator that keeps us persistently working toward our goals. Most outstanding achievements are accomplished over great odds.

The committed person is the one who finds real excitement in living. You can make yourself an optimist. You can develop your level of enthusiasm.

One method Dr. Peale advises is to determine which characteristic you desire to possess, hold that image firmly in your consciousness and develop it by acting as if you actually possessed that characteristic. Then believe and repeatedly affirm you are in the process of creating the quality you seek to develop.

Noted psychologist Williams James called it the “As If” Principle: “if you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” In other words, act on the assumption that you are what you see yourself as being, and you will in time strongly become that as long as you persevere in the process.

A vital element in developing enthusiasm is the way in which you start your day. The more good news you tell yourself, the more such is likely to be. That which the mind receives upon waking tends to influence (and to a considerable degree determine) what your day will be. Choose enthusiasm daily and you are likely to have it permanently. Have the kind of enthusiasm that believes there is always something new and better ahead.

Find a need and fill it. When you have something you really believe in, then you can put the amazing power of conviction behind your efforts. When you communicate and develop rapport with people, they will like you and buy what you have to offer.

When it comes to being an innkeeper, find a way to fill a need that is not currently being met. What can you do that is better or different than what other accommodations provide? Determine how you can stand out from the crowd.

Focus on what is right about life. Life is too short not to do that. To be a success requires that you give of your whole self, your whole mind. Peale stated the greatest selling job you will ever have to do is selling yourself on yourself. Believing in your own abilities requires the most enthusiastic persuasion. Make yourself believe that you can be better than you think you are.

Enthusiasm can cancel out fear, worry, doubt, depression, and anger. When you keep enthusiastic, the negative emotions do not have a chance. Worry and enthusiasm cannot occupy the same mind at the same time.

According to Dr. Peale, deeply built into human beings is the desire to excel. Competing with oneself (to be the best you can be) is the highest form of competition. Enthusiasm changes the quality of a job because it changes people. Enthusiasm is the powerful drive that makes things happen.

The author tells about his experience interacting with a hotel dishwasher. Being at the bottom of the totem pole at the hotel did not matter to this man because he dreamed of one day becoming the director or manager of this European hotel. By giving the best possible service in his current role, this man continued to assume new responsibilities.

Several years later, when Dr. Peale returned, this man was the Head Waiter, even closer to achieving his dreams. When a person applies enthusiasm to their job, the job becomes alive with exciting possibilities. Peale points out that there is always something new and imaginative you can bring to a familiar job.

Any person who develops enthusiasm for something (and the fortitude to carry it out) can make the most amazing things occur. No one has to be a victim of their circumstances. Enthusiasm builds power under all circumstances (no matter how difficult). Difficulties are part of the maturing process. You are being shaped for the real purpose of your life.

The attitude of a person toward their own self is very important in determining how well they perform and the outcome of their whole life. According to Dr. Peale, often our low status in life is not because our abilities are inferior, it is because our opinions of ourselves are inferior.

Let enthusiasm grip your mind and it will make all the difference. You can have what you want from life provided your enthusiasm is strong enough to push barriers aside.

 

Proven Activities For Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Success

Book Cover Napoleon Hill's Action Activities
Who does not want health, wealth, happiness, and success in life? The book Napoleon Hill’s Action Activities: for Health, Wealth, and Happiness is an official publication of the Napoleon Hill Foundation to continue his legacy of leadership. It includes excerpts from his books as well as ideas for ways to apply his teachings in today’s world.

Attributes of Personal Initiative include:

  • Adoption of a definite major purpose
  • Motivation to inspire continuous action toward that purpose
  • Self-discipline and persistence to keep moving forward
  • Habit of going the extra mile
  • Capacity to concentrate your full attention on one task at a time
  • A positive mental attitude at all times
  • Habit of following through with any task once begun

Anything worth having is worth pursuing. According to Hill, the desires would not be placed in us unless we had the potential to achieve them.

Have a world vision that is larger than yourself. Give yourself away for a cause that is greater than you. This must be something you willingly give to others because you find it rewarding.

Many innkeepers decide to become B&B owners and hosts because of their desire to help their guests feel welcome. Proprietors also have the opportunity to promote their local area.

Magnificent Outcome (M.O.):

  • What you desire: Who am I? What is my special calling? Innkeepers may ask, “How can my inn reflect the talents and gifts that are uniquely my own?”
  • How you will achieve it: What positive dream engages my mind, monopolizes my thoughts, and pushes me forward? What is it I would do for the sole enjoyment of doing?
  • The positive outcome you can expect to achieve for staying the course: How, when, and where do I envision my magnificent outcome?

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from using your unique talents and gifts. Your gifts could include teaching a cooking class, guiding guests on local trails, giving yoga instruction, hosting private parties, demonstrating art techniques in your retreat, coordinating weddings, leading conferences, and so much more. The key is to choose the things that you love doing and that will help your inn to stand out from your competition.

Habits Are the Stairway to a Richer Life

You can see many outcomes in your life (and the lives of others) based upon examining personal habits. When habits are entrenched, people operate on autopilot. Little brain power is involved in recalling these habits once learned.

Little actions taken over time create profound lifetime habits that determine our destiny. Through our simple daily actions we create the patterns that become automatic through repetition in our lives. Habits of action will create the life you choose to live one step at a time.

“A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” (Napoleon Hill)

Habits begin with thought. Look for the positive (rather than the negative). Look for something to praise (rather than something to complain about). Our thoughts shape our world and, in turn, shape our earthly destiny.

The 12 Riches of Life:

  • A positive mental attitude
  • Sound physical health
  • Harmony in human relationships
  • Freedom from fear
  • The capacity for faith
  • Willingness to share one’s blessings
  • A labor of love
  • An open mind on all subjects
  • Self-discipline
  • The capacity to understand people
  • Financial security

When we discipline ourselves, our life goes better. Our lives are the results of the choices we make. When we delay gratification, we can reach higher, more ideal levels of performance. Self-discipline begins with the mastery of our thoughts. Self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.

Develop the Habit of Going the Extra Mile:

  • Do more than you are paid for
  • When you sow the seeds of excellent service, you reap the harvest
  • Listen to those around you to see if you can uplift them in some way
  • Do something special for someone else

Going the extra mile is related to the hospitality that innkeepers extend to their guests. Innkeepers seem to be blessed with the seemingly effortless ability to anticipate the needs of their guests. I admire their dedication to go above and beyond guest expectations.

Live Life to the Fullest:

  • Celebrate the beauty of life and cherish the time given to you
  • Choose life each moment and live it to your fullest potential
  • Think good thoughts and keep focused on advancing your life
  • Memorize and recite positive affirmations and quotes
  • Express heartfelt gratitude for what you already have
  • Make time for relaxation and fun
  • Read biographies of successful people
  • Identify positive attributes that you want to develop
  • Move beyond your comfort zone to expand your horizons
  • Share your blessings and be a giver
  • Be true to your calling by defining your purpose and acting upon it
  • Focus on completion and not perfection
  • Bloom when you are ready
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” (Napoleon Hill)

I believe it is important to continue to read and learn throughout your life. I read more books now than I did in college and graduate school! I love that this book encourages readers to continue to develop your mind and your habits because that influences your destiny. Napoleon Hill lived an inspirational life and his legacy continues through his foundation.

 

Find Your Why to Boost Your Success

Book Cover Find Your Why and question marks

To boost your success, you must find your why. Previously I wrote a blog post about Simon Sinek’s bestselling book Start With Why. This post will discuss his companion book, co-written with David Mead and Peter Docker, called Find Your Why. Simon explains that this book provides the steps to show people exactly how to find their why.

 

Sinek explains it is not what you do that keep you fulfilled, but why you do what you do. Everyone has a why, their deep-seated purpose, a cause or belief, that is the source of your passion and inspiration. Fulfillment comes when what we do connects directly to our why.

Once you understand your why, you will be able to clearly express what makes you fulfilled. Knowing the why helps us set a vision to inspire others and guides us to act with purpose, on purpose.

WHY statements are always:

  • simple
  • clear
  • actionable
  • focused on the effect you will have on others

 

TO ___________ SO THAT ____________.

 

  • The first blank is the contribution you make to the lives of others.
  • The second blank is the impact of your contribution.
  • Your why must be relevant in both your personal and professional life.
  • Your why is a statement of value. It’s who you truly are.

The book advises that you choose a partner (someone who knows you, but not so much that they can finish your stories). Tell them at least five or six meaningful stories from your past. Each story must be a specific time, place, or moment and share it in detail.

Find Your Why suggests two different methods. The first method, “Peaks and Valleys” is where you think of both happy memories and memories you would not want to relive but have shaped who you are today. The second method, “Memory Prompt” is where you answer questions like:

  • Who has helped make you who you are today?
  • What was a pivotal moment in your life?
  • What happened that changed the way you think about your world and your role in it?
  • What have you accomplished in your life that you are really proud of?

Have the person you are telling your stories make notes of the facts in one column and the meaning or feelings in the column next to it. The stories you tell can be those that shed light on who you are at your best as well as specific experiences and people that have shaped who you are today.

Later both of you will look for recurring themes, words, phrases, and ideas. Once you tell stories and identify themes, you are ready to draft your WHY statement. As mentioned, your why statement should read, to _______ so that _________. It should be expressed in affirmative language that resonates with you.

Perhaps, as an innkeeper, your why has to do with serving your guests. It may be about providing them with friendly hospitality and luxurious accommodations that allow them to relax and strengthen their relationships.

Your WHY statement should be something that you agree with completely. It should not be written for your guests, but written for you as a guide to help you make decisions in life. Knowing your WHY statement will provide you with direction and boost your success.

 

How to Keep Guest Conversations Interesting

neon ASK sign, banquet tables and chairs

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Changes by Frank Sesno has a chapter on entertaining questions called “The Inspired Host.”

For innkeepers who host events such as dinners and private parties, knowing entertaining questions to ask allows you to engage your audience and keep guest conversations interesting.

The objective always revolves around creating an experience that all your guests will enjoy and remember. You can steer the conversation to draw in guests and energize the room. Create a mood that connects people in stimulating and surprising ways.

First, the author advises, you must know your audience by asking:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What do they know?
  • What don’t they know?
  • What do they care about?
  • What will they find interesting and funny and why?

Starting with an exchange that is spontaneous and a little unexpected often breaks the ice and sets the tone for a more relaxed and more genuine experience.

Then begin with a few topics that interest everyone. Mix it up with a few lighter, open-ended questions. Listen closely. Ask for different levels of experience and awareness. Ask for examples and encourage stories.

Pick questions that intrigue and interest everyone and are relevant to the event or occasion. Draw from a menu of topics and questions to create flow and engage different people on different levels.

Set the mood through signals, prompts, words, and timing. Trigger emotions through the subjects you pick and the questions you ask.

Try the one-word association game to open the conversation more and perhaps get a few laughs. Figure out what you want to talk about and map out questions and anticipated responses. You can excite the imagination, or you can prompt reflection.

Your questions should invite participation at whatever level your guests feel comfortable. Frame your questions in a way that is approachable and real. Be willing to change directions when someone observes an altogether different slice of life.

Good hosts are always on, always listening, and always interested in their guests and the conversation around them. The role of hosts is to draw out other people and make them interesting, funny, or noteworthy. Ask guests to contribute new ideas or share interesting experiences.

Make your questions open-ended (they cannot be answered with a yes or no response) as well as friendly. Avoid controversial topics like politics, money, and religion.

To make sure everyone responds, try throwing out a question with the challenge that everyone must respond in just one sentence.

  • “What’s the one thing you want everyone to know about you?”
  • “If you could transport yourself anywhere in the world right now, go to any country just to eat dinner, where would you go and what would you eat?”

By applying a little “conversation leadership” to get guests interacting with each other, you can create an environment that is inclusive, interesting, and dynamic.

According to Author Frank Sesno, good hosts use questions to have fun, make people laugh, or dive into the ridiculous. He encourages hosts to produce an experience their guests will enjoy and remember.

The more hosts understand the people in the room, the better you can steer the discussion. Hosts should ask questions, but don’t answer them. Be principally interested in drawing out others.

The objective of hosting is to direct the conversation, not dominate it. Direct questions so that everyone gets a chance to talk, but also recognize that some people prefer to listen. Alternate topics and moods to keep the conversation moving, varies, and interesting.

Hosting dinner parties and other private events are excellent opportunities for asking and answering entertaining questions, to getting to know one another, and to having a good time while examining life along the way. I hope this inspires more innkeepers to host events which involve guests in conversation with each other.

Why Time Should Be Important To You

time management book next to different colored clocks

 

Time should be important to you. According to the 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse, successful people think about their values, priorities, and consistent habits. We all have 1,440 minutes in each day. How effectively are we using them?

 

Highly successful people rank time was the most important item they have. It’s the one true equalizer. You can never lose time and get it back again. Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource. Innkeepers have a lot of demands on their time as well as guests to please.

You must know what to focus on and how you are going to get it done. Understand what is most important to you and what activities will provide you with the greatest leverage to getting there. What do your guests appreciate the most?

Identify your most important tasks (MIT) and do those before you do anything else. If you truly want to get it done, you must schedule time for it. Work from your calendar, not your to-do list. Master the practice of letting go of other things. Accept the fact that there will always be more to do and more that can be done. A dilemma not unique to innkeepers. Your guests also have pressures in their lives. They may be coming to you for much needed rest and relaxation!

Always carry a notebook to write down your ideas. When billionaire Richard Branson did not have his notebook with him, he wrote his idea down in his passport. Think of how many times you had a great idea, but since you didn’t write it down when you thought of it, you later forgot what it was! The notebook can be little in size, so it is convenient to put in your pocket and have with you at all times.

Email is a great way for other people to put their priorities in your life. If you send less email, you will receive less email. Use the subject line to indicate the action required. Keep emails short to respect other people’s time (as well as your own). Innkeepers can provide links to information that is on their website so emails to guests are shorter. Consider having a “frequently asked questions” section for guests to read on your website.

Billionaire Warren Buffet said that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything. Every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ to something else. Say no to everything that does not support your goals. We should always be accommodating to guests, but that does not necessarily mean we offer ten different packages. Choose the ones that are the most popular and profitable.

80% of your results come from just 20% of your actions. This is known as the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule. Look for time saving methods. Do the most important things exceptionally well. For all other tasks, “good enough” will do or hire them out to another person. This is NOT to say we cut corners in providing hospitality, but we should be as efficient as possible. Perfection is impossible.

  • How valuable is this task?
  • Am I the only one who can do this?
  • How can the same outcome be achieved with a faster process?

Focus your time only on the things that use your unique strengths and passions. Invest the first sixty minutes of each day to rituals that strengthen your mind, body, and spirit. If a task can be completed in less than five minutes, do it immediately. Of course, we cannot anticipate all the issues (including guest complaints and maintenance problems) that we inevitably will face each day, but we can be strategic in how we handle them.

Productivity is about energy and focus, not time. We must be mindful and live with intention. Focus on the things that bring you further to your goals each and every day. Remember we all have 1,440 minutes in a day. That is why time should be important to you.

There Has to Be a Better Way

Moonshot! multiple doors gray doors with one red door

 

There has to be a better way. According to John Sculley, former CEO of Pepsi and Apple, in his book Moonshot!: Game-Changing Strategies to Build a Billion-Dollar Business, adaptive innovators deliver an incredible customer experience on a quality level never experienced before.

 

The power of customer ratings, customer recommendations, and customer complaints cannot be overstated. In addition, consumers also have continuous contact with their friends on various social media sites like Facebook.

Sculley recommends that business owners have a passionate commitment because present day opportunities are boundless. Napoleon Hill said, “Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” We are all capable of so much more.

Sculley advocates for people to be flexible and be willing to look at alternative ways of doing things. For example, those receiving Green Leader awards in the hospitality industry are those who find ways to conserve more and waste less in order to be more environmentally friendly for the greater good of the earth.

Asking the right questions is much more valuable than having knowledge (knowing the right answers). Really listening to the suggestions of your guests is also key. If you hear or read the same guest comments over and over, there may be some truth to what they are stating.

Every “moonshot” begins with a noble cause, a higher calling, a mission that can make a real difference in people’s lives. It is important to know why you do what you do. According to author Simon Sinek, communicating what your organization believes in allows you to connect with your ideal audience.

“There has to be a better way” is the philosophy that Mr. John Sculley lives by. There is always a more effective or efficient solution to the way things are currently being done.

The opportunity to innovate always starts with customer experience. Exceptional customer service with the idea that “there has to be a better way” leads to adaptive innovation at it best.

Getting customers (your guests) to buy the products and services is only the beginning of the relationship. The transaction, Sculley states, is not the destination, but the launching point of a long journey. Personal service is pivotal to the success of many businesses.

Sculley argues, “If you want customers to remember you with profound regard, then you must go out and study their needs and desires with intensity.” Do you have your guests fill out any surveys to give you feedback? What other things could you do to learn more about delivering high guest satisfaction?

Success often hinges on asking the right questions and nowhere is that truer than in creating an exceptional customer experience. Sculley quotes famous Chef and Restauranteur Wolfgang Puck, “We’re not in the food service business, we’re in the hospitality business. It’s all about giving the customer an unforgettable experience.” Deliver a positive, memorable, and matchless customer experience.

The future belongs to those who see possibilities BEFORE they become obvious. Sculley said that before Uber existed, people wondered how to get better taxi service. Entrepreneur Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Business owners need to have an intense curiosity and ask questions. Am I actually open-minded to what my competition may be doing? Is the market ready for what I’m trying to do?

Sculley says that you don’t really understand something until you understand it more than one way. Having multiple ways to think about a problem and process information is also important. Look at other industries and imagine a similar scenario playing out in your competitive world.

The hospitality industry was disrupted by AirBnB. They thought outside of the box to come up with their idea. I am certainly not in favor of the corners cut by AirBnB, but what could you do to help positively change the hospitality industry as we know it?

Monitor negative comments and suggestions with intense attention. There is no substitute for talking with guests one-on-one. Companies and business owners that can adapt will be the big winners.

John Sculley encourages people to be curious, be optimistic, be inspired by what’s possible, but also focused on what’s probable. Develop a context for good ideas so they may actually become valuable. Learn in layers, keep a notebook with you for ideas, and never be afraid to borrow a good idea as long as you attribute the source.

Be committed to finding a better way and never give up in finding it. Prepare, like athletes with hours of practice, and question why things are done in a certain way. Put the customer at the center of your business.

Mr. John Sculley ends his book telling his readers that survival is driven by adaptation and that change is happening faster than ever. Zero in on your most challenging customer problems. Be obsessed with continually creating exceptional customer experiences. Be perpetually governed by the principle that “there has to be a better way.”

 

How to Stand Out In a Crowded, Distracted World

"Brand Now" Book by Author Nick Westergaard

 

Standing out in a crowded, distracted world is the topic of author Nick Westergaard’s book Brand Now. He argues that a brand that stands for something stands out. By standing out, you appeal to our hearts and minds of your customers. Westergaard asserts that your brand should be inspiring to others.

 

The author asks a series of questions throughout the book, to get readers to really understand their brand and how to communicate it to their audience.

  • What do you do and for whom (your brand promise)?
  • What is your audience struggling with?
  • What do your ideal customers care about?
  • What matters to them?
  • How do you make their lives better?
  • What’s your reason for doing what you do?
  • Do you have a distinct brand voice?
  • What aspects most show your brand’s personality?
  • What actor or actress would play your brand?
  • If your brand were a movie, what would be the genre and the plot?
  • What do you want your customers to do?
  • How can you create a better brand experience?
  • What kind of content can your brand create that no one else can?
  • What is your compelling story?

Mr. Westergaard shares the following brand tips with his readers:

  • People are looking for meaning now more than ever so understand who your brand is and what you must do.
  • Understand your brand and spark (why you’re here) and your promise (what you do and for whom).
  • Stories are patterns your brand can use for communicating who you are and what you stand for.
  • Create content that conveys meaning and tells your story as boldly as possible.
  • Reach out to your community and encourage user-generated content.
  • Make sure your brand is coherent (that every message is saying the same thing and amplifying your meaning).

Wondering how to apply this to your business? Take the time to thoughtfully answer those questions as they apply to you and your inn. If you have a compelling story, add that in the “About Us” section of your website. Share guest testimonials (that affirm that your brand provides what it says it does) on your website and in social media.

You’re welcome to read some of our related blog posts:

Are you looking for more clarity about your hospitality business? Are you wanting to know more about how you can be standing out to your guests? Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers an initial free consultation. Contact her today!

 

 

6 High Performance Habits Every Innkeeper Should Have

High Performance Habits book next to author Brendon Burchard

Bestselling author, speaker, and performance coach, Brendon Burchard, wrote about six high performance habits. High performance happens because of what you deliberately think and do on a routine basis in order to excel and serve at higher levels. Burchard also asks questions to get us to think more deeply about implementing each performance habit.

 

Seek clarity on who you want to be, how you want to interact with others, and what will bring you the greatest meaning. Get very clear on what you want and how to go get it. Develop a habit of asking questions, looking within, and observing your behaviors to assess whether you are on track. Consistently think about who you want to be and how to become that. List future projects that will lead you to a bigger dream. Have a vision for yourself for the future.

  • 3 words that describe my best self are…
  • 3 words that could define how I want to treat people are…
  • 5 skills I’m trying to develop most in my life are…
  • 3 simple ways I can add value to those around me this week are…
  • Something that I can do or create that will bring more meaning in life is…

Generate energy so that you can maintain focus, effort, and well-being. Be better rested, eat healthier, and exercise more to have enough energy to do what you need to do. The goal of meditation is to release both physical and mental tension. You’re in charge of how you feel. Consciously direct your thoughts and behaviors to generating positive emotion. Start doing what you already know you should be doing to optimize your health.

  • A way I could remind myself to release that tension throughout the day is…
  • If I felt more energy each day, I would be more likely to…
  • 3 questions I could ask myself every morning to prompt positive emotions for the rest of the day could be…
  • A new routine I could begin for replaying the positive emotions of my days is…
  • A weekly schedule that I could use to get healthier and actually stick to would be…

Raise the necessity for exceptional performance. Necessity demands you take action. High performers care more about excellence and thus put more effort into their activities than others do. High performers sense of duty to a higher vision, mission, or calling propels them through the hardships of achievement. High performance only happens when there are real deadlines. Affirming the why gives you added motivation. High performers spend more time with positive people than with negative people.

  • The values that are important for me to live include…
  • The people who need me to be on my A game at this point in my life are…
  • 3 things I’d like to become extraordinary at doing are…
  • Some ways I can remind myself about these important goals and whys are…
  • To add to the number of high performers in my network, I should…

Increase productivity in your primary field of interest. Focus and create the outputs that matter most. Find your best allocation of time and stick to it the best you can. To become a high performer requires thinking more before acting. For every major goal you have, figure out the main five moves. There’s nothing in your life that you can’t improve through practicing progressive mastery.

  • The outputs that matter most to my career are…
  • The biggest goal or dream that I need to plan out right now is…
  • 5 moves that would help me progress swiftly toward accomplishing that dream are…
  • The timeline for each of my five moves will be…
  • 3 skills I could develop that would help me feel more confident or capable are…

Develop influence with those around you. Have the people skills it takes to get others to believe in you or support you. People only like to work with leaders who make them think bigger and grow more. If you believe that your peers view you as a successful, high performing person, naturally you believe yourself to be more influential. Great leaders ask lots of questions. To gain influence with others, teach them how to think about themselves, others, and the world; challenge them to develop their character, connections, and contributions; and role model the values you wish to see them embody.

  • Someone in my life I’d like to influence more is…
  • The way I would like to influence them is…
  • What would inspire this person to treat people better is…
  • If I were going to become an even better role model, the first things I would start doing are…
  • 10 years from now, if the 5 people closest to me were to describe me as a role model, I hope they would say…

Demonstrate courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat, or changing conditions. Take risks and speak up for yourself and others. Define what being more courageous means to you, and start living that way. You are capable of remarkable things that you will never discover without taking action. Struggle must be seen as part of the process and a vitally important part of any worthwhile endeavor.

  • The way I choose to greet life’s inevitable hardships from today forward is…
  • If I were going to be more “me” in my everyday life, I would start to…
  • A courageous action I will take this week because someone I love needs me to take it is…
  • What could I do in my work that would require stepping out on a limb but would also truly change things for the better and help people?
  • What good thing could I walk away from to advance my life?

This is a very motivational book. The 6 habits are to seek clarity, generate energy, raise the necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and develop courage. How could you apply these 6 high performance habits to your life as an innkeeper? You’re welcome to comment below.

 

How To Magnetically Market To Attract The Right Guests

Wooden desk and chair in front of window with view of mountains

 

Magnetically market to attract the right B&B guests? That terminology comes from Dan S. Kennedy’s book Magnetic Marketing: How to Attract a Flood of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer. Kennedy has some actionable advice that can be applied to hospitality.

 

According to Dan, priority number one is that you must know WHO you want to attract (to be your guest). What specifically will you do that’s different than your competition (other accommodations)? Kennedy recommends that you craft a compelling, emotional message that reaches their hopes and dreams.

Write it in THEIR language. Use words and phrases that resonate with them. How does your ideal guest think and talk? What do they hope and dream? You must establish credibility, authority, and trust to attract them to stay as guests.

Do you know where your WHO goes online? Kennedy advises for you to be where they are and not where they are not. Makes sense, right? Well, I think to many people commit to marketing without having a strategy for why they market where they market.

When you sell exactly what they want to buy, it draws in those who fit those wants. Dan urges us to know their needs inside and out and to meet them where they live with what they have been looking for.

You must get the right MESSAGE (a truly compelling reason why they should stay with you) via the right MEDIA (the best places to reach your audience) to the right MARKET (to those most likely to respond) and it all starts with knowing your WHO. Your offer must match precisely with the right people.

Kennedy encourages you to ask yourself WHO you want to host as guests over and again. The deeper needs you may be meeting are their need for: peace, connection with others, relaxation, making memories, feeling important, and so on. Be able to answer the question of WHY guests should want to stay with you despite numerous other options?

Kennedy briefly mentions the hospitality industry (along with advice for other major industries) when he suggests that hoteliers (innkeepers) can bundle a package of goods, services, and experiences together and call it a clever (and memorable) name to promote it as a one-of-a-kind buying opportunity that is both compelling and irresistible.

“Your Ultimate Weekend of Food & Fun for Only $XXX!”

  • 10% savings on a regular 2-night room rate (not applicable to other discounts)
  • Free gourmet dinner for 2 on both nights (can be gift certificates to local restaurants)
  • Complimentary bottle of champagne when you arrive (or sparkling cider)
  • Complimentary limo service from and to the airport (or a limo ride for an event)
  • 18 holes of golf for 2 plus cart (include something that applies to your area)
  • Movie tickets for 2 plus popcorn to boot (or something else instead)
  • Limited availability, reserve your spot before… (time frame depends on offer)

Kennedy also talks about the important of having a lead generation offer (information you offer for free in exchange for their name and email address). This allows you to regularly email them unless they unsubscribe from your list. The offer lets people identify themselves as having an interest. Examples of lead generation offers that potential guests would enjoy:

  • Free guide to your local attractions
  • Free guide to your local restaurants
  • Free travel tips

Once they “opt into” your email list, Kennedy directs us to send a monthly e-newsletter out. The content can include:

  • Briefly reaffirm the uniqueness of your hospitality and accommodations
  • Include puzzles, brainteasers, local trivia, recipes, cartoons, etc.
  • Talk about what has been happening at your inn and in your local area
  • Always include a call to action! Tell them what you would like them to do and urge them to book now before it’s too late… (for whatever the reason or event).

According to Kennedy, front end marketing is to reach out to attract new guests and back end marketing is encouraging guests to return and refer you to other people. “We really depend upon guests like you for referrals…”

In your email campaign, Kennedy states that you must have repetition if you want impact and response. A series of emails (appropriately spaced out) each with legitimately valuable content (about you, your area, your packages, testimonials from your guests, etc.), and a call to action every time.

If you note guest birthdays or anniversaries, you can even send an email or a postcard in advance of the dates reminding them to return. Perhaps throw in an incentive like a free bottle of wine or a free upgrade to a more expensive room. The bottom line is to stay on guests’ radar as the place where they want to stay and return again and again.

 

How To Make Your Hospitality Better With Marketing By Seth Godin

"This is Marketing" book next to picture of author Seth Godin

This is Marketing by Seth Godin is a must-read for anyone in business. Though this resource is useful for professionals from a variety of industries, this book is especially helpful for those who own and operate hospitality businesses. Seth Godin is a bestselling author many times over, the founder of many successful businesses, a former VP at Yahoo, and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame. Thus, he has proven his expertise.

Godin advises that we must focus our work on the dreams and desires of those we serve. Obviously, innkeepers serve their guests. Effective marketing comes from understanding our target audience’s desires and connecting with them.

Godin recommends that we begin with an audience worth serving. Start with the needs, wants, and dreams of your ideal guests. Build your hospitality around what that audience desires. Tell a story that matches their hopes and greatest expectations.

  • What is the true story they want to hear?
  • Does your story match their worldview?
  • Is your story worded in a way that your audience will understand?
  • Does your story resonate with your audience?
  • Is your story memorable?
  • Is this a story your audience will want to share with others?
  • Have you positioned yourself to be the clear and obvious choice for accommodations in your local area?

Godin goes on to explain that what YOU (innkeepers) say about you is not nearly as important as what OTHERS (guests) say about you. This explains why quoting positive guest reviews on your website, in blog posts, and sharing on social media is so effective. Potential guests look at the words of your previous guests to let them know what they can expect. Your best guests become your new sales people when the words from their reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations spread.

How do we determine your audience (your ideal guests)? This means you decide who you can best serve. This is based upon the factors such as:

  • Your accommodations
  • Your amenities
  • Your events
  • Your food
  • Your guests
  • Your interests
  • Your local area
  • Your packages
  • Your weather

Examples of ideal hospitality guests (this varies depending on your inn):

  • Adventure seekers
  • Business travelers
  • Couples (romantic)
  • Culinary interests (“Foodies”)
  • Entertainment lovers
  • Families
  • Friends (Girls Getaway or Mancation)
  • History buffs
  • Pet owners
  • Sports fans

Based on Seth Godin’s advice to craft compelling true stories to attract your ideal customers, if you do not currently have it in writing, document the ideal guests you want to attract and write specifically to them. The more specific and personalized you make your content (including your blog, social media, and website), the more focused your content becomes on bringing in your ideal audience. Thus, you can make your hospitality (within your own specific niche) better.

« Older Entries