Category Archives: Books

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.

Do You Know Your Signature Hospitality Story?

What's Your Story, Five Stars book cover by Carmine Gallo, megaphone

 

In Carmine Gallo’s bestselling book Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, he teaches that you must be able to persuade others to buy into your vision. Also, you must answer the question, “What’s your story?” Innkeepers should answer, “What’s your signature hospitality story?

 

According to Mr. Gallo, your “signature story” has the following components:

  • It is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end (resolution)
  • It’s intriguing, thought-provoking, novel, informative, interesting, entertaining
  • It’s authentic (it must be true, or it could harm your credibility)
  • It includes specific details that enhance its authenticity
  • It reveals a surprise (people love surprises)
  • It introduces empathetic characters (your audience should be able to see themselves in your shoes)
  • It includes conflict and tension as well as overcoming a meaningful hurdle to achieve success
  • This signature story will help you, your product, and your brand story stand out
  • It differentiates you from your competition because no two brands share the same story
  • You must appeal to your audience’s emotion in order to persuade them
  • The story is about your brand or company

Keeping Mr. Gallo’s advice in mind, ask yourself:

  • What is my story of how I became an innkeeper?
  • What is the beginning, middle, and end (present day)?
  • What true facts should I tell others so that my story is worthy of their attention?
  • What specific details can I add to enhance the authenticity of my story?
  • What surprises have happened to me along the way as an innkeeper?
  • How can I connect my past to the present day in a way that others could picture themselves in my shoes?
  • What conflicts and tension did I experience as I overcame obstacles to achieve what I have today?
  • Does this story help me, my inn, and my brand story stand out?
  • Does this story help set me apart from my competition?
  • Does this story appeal to my audience’s emotion so I can persuade them to stay at my inn?
  • Is this story a positive representation of my business?

Great storytellers build trust. Think about the overall message you want to convey to your guests. The world needs to know what makes you different from other innkeepers and accommodations.

If you do not have an “About Us” page on your website, consider having one. Many guests would like to know who they are staying with before they book a room at your bed and breakfast inn. This is an opportunity to share about your signature hospitality story.

Feel free to share your experiences both inside and outside the hospitality industry. This will help you look more well-rounded. You can even include volunteer experience (if it is relevant).

You may want to include the names of some of the countries you have visited, if you have traveled across the world. This encourages guests outside your country to visit your inn. If you speak more than one language fluently, be sure to include that in your story.

If you have a talent (like playing a musical instrument) or skill (teaching cooking lessons) you are welcome to include that in your story. This is part of what sets you apart from other innkeepers and bed and breakfast inns.

When you can show what makes you and your inn special, then guests will be more likely to stay with you. If you (or your inn) has earned awards and distinctions, or earned media attention, be sure to add that to your website as well. The better you are at communicating what makes your inn special, with your signature hospitality story, the more likely you are to receive bookings.

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project with Donna Kozik

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project, contributors include Kristi Dement

Hello, Kristi here. I had a wonderful opportunity to be part of Donna Kozik’s Community Book Project called Everyday Joy. Appropriately titled, we were asked to share a story having to do with anything that brings us every joy.

We are pleased it has already reached #1 best seller status for the category “Time Management in Business.” I can’t thank Donna enough for her words of encouragement to my fellow contributors and me throughout the process.

Everyday Joy is the most recent edition of her A Community Book Project series, where people come together to submit essays on a particular theme. In a weekend.

The everyday joys described include the subjects of children, pets, nature, travel, and in one case, bacon. My own essay centers around the everyday joy I receive from playing word games and solving word puzzles.

The inspirational essays, narratives, and insights hopefully will empower and uplift you, too, to be a more joyful being. Thank you for reading–and celebrating–everyday joy!

Innkeepers can make this book available to your guests to read during their stay with you. Everyone wants to think about joyful things when they are on a vacation. For your business guests, it will be a welcome break for them to read.

The beauty of a community book project like this is that we have many contributing writers, all with their own unique stories and perspectives of joy. We hope you find the book to be a joy to read.

Most innkeepers make a variety of books and magazines available on a variety of topics. This Everyday Joy book is filled with many subjects that will surely touch the hearts and lives of you and your guests.

If you are an innkeeper who has also published a book, I welcome you to comment below with your name, the name of your accommodations, and your book’s title in the comments below. Recently retired, Karen Pullen, the former innkeeper of Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast in Pittsboro, North Carolina, continues to be the talented author of several mystery fiction books including the Stella Lavendar mysteries series.

If you do happen to read the Everyday Joy book, feel free to comment below with your thoughts about it. Also, you can share the everyday joys you experience on a regular basis as an innkeeper.

Note: I receive Amazon Affiliate commissions from purchases made through Amazon links.

Start With Why You Do What You Do

Book Cover: Start With Why by Simon Sinek

 

Start with why you do what you do. Every single business on the planet knows WHAT they do and some know HOW (their unique selling point), but very few can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do, according to Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Us To Take Action.

 

Sinek argues that companies try to sell us WHAT they do, but we buy WHY they do it. WHY looks deeper than external factors. For example, the popular Apple brand capitalizes on the lifestyle, imagination, passion, innovation, empowerment and aspirations of Apple users.

It is not about telling people about what your brand makes or provides, instead, it is about communicating what your organization believes in order to connect with your target ideal audience. Emotionally connect with your guests and start a movement that you believe in.

 

Possible Bed and Breakfast WHY’s:

  • Business-friendly: to accommodate individuals and groups who are there for business (either at the inn or in the local area) by providing the resources and conveniences necessary to make their stay as efficient and enjoyable as possible
  • Eco-friendly: to encourage environmentally friendly practices to protect and sustain a high quality of life for all living creatures
  • Family-friendly: to enable families to comfortably travel and stay in overnight accommodations together as well as experience local family dining and entertainment
  • Romantic: to strengthen the passion, romance, and closeness of couples as they experience activities such as an inn’s spa amenities and room service
  • Urban: to offer guests many activities to do at your inn (like games, movies, reading) and in your local city (such as shopping, art, and theater)
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: to promote a specific diet lifestyle yet also show guests (who may eat differently) the benefits of committing to a particular eating plan
  • Waterfront: to provide relaxing amenities so guests can make full use of your waterfront property and have the ultimate vacation experience

Great organizations keep their WHY clear year after year. Their strategic marketing and training of employees goes a long way into developing a consistently, clear, and strong WHY.

If you start with why you do what you do, make it obvious to guests the deeper reasons WHY your business exists in the first place. This makes it more likely that your guests will return year after year.

Include an “About Us” section on your hospitality website. You can also reveal more about yourself (and your inn) when you write blog posts. Answer any of the following questions:

  • How did you become an owner/innkeeper today?
  • What is your background? (family, education, work experiences, travels, etc.)
  • What is your big WHY? (the deeper reasons you host guests)
  • What do you hope to accomplish as your dream/legacy?

When you reveal more of yourself to others, it helps them know, like, and trust you. We all do business with those we know, like, and trust. Win the hearts of your guests by telling your compelling true story. Start with why you do what you do.

How To Keep The Attention of An Eager Audience

Book Cover: Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks next to a picture of him

Some people are just born natural storytellers. They know how to keep the attention of an eager audience. I can think of two close relatives who not only have great true stories to tell at family gatherings, but they know how to keep us interested throughout their telling of the story. The truth is, you don’t have to have over-the-top stories in order to be a good storyteller.

 

According to author Matthew Dicks (who has won multiple story telling competitions), in his book, Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through The Power of Storytelling, it is being able to identify “storyworthy” moments from your everyday life and to retell those meaningful moments in an effective way, that really matters.

Finding, crafting, and telling stories helps you connect with other people, including your guests. Marks of a good story will have the audience asking:

  • What does the storyteller want or need?
  • What is at peril?
  • What is the storyteller fighting for or against?
  • What will happen next?
  • How is this story going to turn out?

Matthew reveals five ways to keep your stories compelling:

  • The elephant: every story should have the thing that everyone in the room can see, a clear statement of the need/want/problem/peril/mystery; this signifies where the story is headed and keeps the attention of an eager audience; an excellent storyteller will make their audience think they are on one path and when they least expect it, show they have been on a different path all along
  • Backpacks: increase the stakes of the story by increasing the audience’s anticipation about a coming event (to load the audience up with all the storyteller’s hopes and fears in that moment) to make the audience wonder what will happen next AND to make your audience experience the same emotions the storyteller experienced in the moment about to be describe; the most effective stories describe when a plan does not work; while ultimately the audience wants to know their characters ultimately triumph, it is the struggle and strife that make stories great and keep the attention of an eager audience
  • Breadcrumbs: when we hint at  a future event, but only reveal enough to keep the audience guessing; choose the breadcrumbs that will create the most wonder in the minds of an audience without giving them enough to guess correctly; this is particularly effective when the truly unexpected is coming
  • Hourglasses: when the audience is hanging on every word, Matthew advises storytellers to drag out the wait as long as possible, including the unnecessary bit of summary to slow things down and raise the tension even further, it’s the final delay before the sentence that everyone is waiting for (this is when you flip the hourglass and let the sand run)
  • Crystal balls: a false prediction made by the storyteller to cause the audience to wonder if the prediction with prove to be true; during the telling of stories, we want our audience to know what we are thinking as well as what we are saying and doing

Matthew states that a great storyteller “creates a movie in the mind of the audience.” People should be able to see the story in their mind’s eye at all times. Always create the scene by setting every moment in a physical location.

In this book, Matthew uses several examples of telling a story the bland way and then the better way. A key way to tell a story is to add contrasting words that infuse a story with movement, momentum, and action. Instead of saying “and” all the time, use transition words including:

  • as a result
  • because
  • but
  • except
  • instead
  • so
  • therefore

The trick to telling a big story (about things that most people can’t relate to) is to find the small, relatable, understandable moments in our larger stories that people can connect to and comprehend. For example, your audience can always relate to not wanting to be embarrassed.

His strategies for preparing and enhancing a story are as follows:

  • Avoid thesis statements in storytelling (don’t say “this is a story about…”)
  • Heighten the contrast between the surprise and the moment before the surprise
  • Use stakes to increase the surprise
  • Avoid giving away the surprise to your story by hiding the importance of information that will pay off later (use other details and examples, and place those details as far away from the surprise as possible)

If possible, tell at least part of your story in the present tense. This allows others to picture it even easier. When we host or entertain our guests, we may tell stories. Use these tips to make what you tell more “storyworthy” and to keep the attention of an eager audience.

 

How To Make Proven Lasting Changes

Book Cover: "Stick With It" next to "How To Make Proven Lasting Changes"

 

Wonder how to make proven lasting changes? According to Dr. Sean Young, author of the book Stick With It: A Scientifically Proven Process For Changing Your Life–For Good, if we understand the science behind lasting change, we can learn how to create a process that fits who we are.

 

There are seven “forces” (in the acronym SCIENCE) behind lasting change:

  • Stepladders: Success is more likely to come to those of us who break down our dreams into long-term goals, then short-term goals, and then specific steps so we can focus on the day-to-day work rather than be overwhelmed by our dream.
  • Community: People can harness the power of an active and engage community to achieve lasting change. Spend time with those who have already achieved the level of success we seek. We need to trust our community, feel self-worth and their approval as well as feel empowered and be rewarded for our work.
  • Important: People are more likely to make lasting changes if we feel it is important to us. We should focus on what we think is important to keep life exciting and to stay motivated.
  • Easy: The easier we make it, the more likely we will stick to it. We should control the environment (remove temptations and add accountability), limit choices (do not over-complicate things), and use a road map (create an action plan).
  • Neurohacks: First change our actions and then our mind will follow. People form an identity of themselves based on our past behavior. By successfully performing a behavior, we can reset our mind to think of ourselves as a success (and not a failure).
  • Captivating: Make our behaviors rewarding enough to convince ourselves to stick to our goals. People differ in what we find rewarding, so it must be rewarding to the person trying to make the change. People keep doing things if we are rewarded with things that we need.
  • Engrained: Create an efficient process to keep doing what we need to do. Do it repeatedly to make it a routine behavior (we could do at the same day, place, and/or time). Pair similar behaviors together. For example, set our running shoes out so we can get our shoes on and then do the running.

We are more likely to follow through with things if we use as many of these forces as possible and that is how to make proven lasting changes. To truly change behavior, we need to understand WHY they do certain things. There are three types of behaviors:

  • Automatic: something we do unconsciously without being aware of it
  • Burning: irresistible urges ad thoughts we feel are impossible not to act on
  • Common: things we commonly (yet consciously) do

We should make a list of behaviors we want to stop doing and behaviors we want to start doing. If the behaviors are opposite of each other, then replace the behavior we want to stop doing with the behavior we want to start doing. For each behavior we want to stop or start, we should think of as many ways to use the seven forces in our favor to increase our likelihood of success. This is how to make proven lasting changes.

 

Focus and Get More Done in Less Time

Book Cover: Eat That Frog! with quote from author Brian Tracy

Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Consultant Brian Tracy, in his book Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time recommends doing your biggest, most important task (“eating your frog”) first. Resist the temptation to start with the easier task.  Develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first each morning. The people who consistently take action achieve the most success in life.

Tracy explains that the #1 reason why some people get work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and they don’t deviate from them. There is power in deciding exactly what you want, writing it down, setting a deadline on your goal, making a list of everything you can think of to do to achieve that goal, organizing that list into a plan that you take action on immediately, and resolving to do something every single day that moves you closer to that goal!

Plan every day, week, and month in advance and work from a list of actions that you need to take. Lay out all your major goals, projects, and tasks by priority (but what is most important and in order in which the steps need to be taken).

The hardest part of any task is getting started on it in the first place. Productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task before them.

Having a clear idea of what is important to you in the long term makes it much easier for you to make better decisions about your priorities in the short term. Successful people are willing to delay gratification and make sacrifices in the short term so that they can enjoy far greater rewards in the long term.

Write down your three most important goals in life right now. Identify what is holding you back and work to alleviate those constraints. To reach your fullest potential, you must form the habit of putting the pressure on yourself and not waiting for someone else to come along and do it for you.

Develop a positive mental attitude by becoming an optimist. Optimists look for the good in every situation, seek the valuable lesson in every setback or difficulty, look for a solution to every problem, and talk and think continually about their goals.

Schedule blocks of time to work on and complete the most important tasks. Highly productive people take the time to think, plan, and set priorities. Focus on specific steps you can take immediately. Concentrate on the things you can do right now to get the results you want and achieve the goals you desire.

Focus clearly on your most valuable task and concentrate on it single-mindedly until it is 100% complete. Become the master of your own destiny.

 

Practical Advice About The Art of Innkeeping

the-art-of-innkeeping

I highly recommend Owner & Innkeeper Steven Allen’s book,  Sugar Hill Inn the Art of Innkeeping based on his experiences of transforming Sugar Hill Inn to a completely remodeled, smooth running place of hospitality with luxurious amenities.

Author Steven Allen tells readers the best way for a prospective buyer to see an inn is to stay the night and experience it from the guest’s point of view. Allen explains that looking for an inn is very different from finding a new home in that there are only a handful of interesting properties available at any one time.

Every establishment has its own character and personality.  The personality comes from its history, its location, and most importantly, the owner.

After purchasing Sugar Hill Inn, Allen had to prioritize the order of the improvements he made on the property.  Decorating the inn is about pleasing the guests and helping them feel immediately at home.  Some of the projects took longer than planned and all of them cost more than anticipated. The new structure had to be authentic and timeless in its appeal.

According to Steven, the hardest part of being a business owner is knowing when to follow your own instincts and when to listen to others that may know more.  Allen states that the challenge is that if you don’t follow the crowd and you do succeed, you are a genius for thinking outside the box, but if you fail, you are a dope for not following the tried and true.

If they had done the ordinary, they would not have the opportunity to be “lucky.”  Year after year, they selected the two to three rooms in the most need of renovation or where a face-lift would have the most impact. Other projects were done for safety’s sake.  Seeing the transformation was very rewarding. Over the last ten years, their renovations have touched all fourteen rooms.

With so many everyday details to run an inn, Allen states that it is helps to take a step back and see the big picture.  This stimulates creative thinking.  Keeping an inn relevant and fresh is a never-ending responsibility.  Innkeeping is a very demanding lifestyle with long hours.

Sugar Hill Inn strives to share the good life with its guests by creating experiences that will be remembered. Part of that involves surrounding guests with beauty. Allen is a lover of art and has the unique distinction of having several pieces of original art displayed throughout the inn.  When the painting adds to the beauty of the room and the room enhances the painting, you have found the perfect location.

Steven Allen points out that he has intently focused on what people want. He’s analyzed what people order, listened to feedback, studied comment cards and reviews, and stayed at other inns. To him, “hospitality is doing what is best for the guest.”

Being an innkeeper is more a lifestyle than it is a job.  Allen asserts that seeing the inn transform from average to what many of his guests describe as a gem has been very satisfying.  The real challenge is implementation and consistently following through every day.  While there are many factors that determine an inn’s value, of course the underlying real estate is a major factor.

Innkeeping is 24-7.  For the right person, Allen explains that this profession can be exciting, fun, and challenging.  Every lodging property is different.  Look for an opportunity to build upon the best of the past and bring new energy, ideas, and money to assure continued success.  Steven Allen, and his wife Karen, own the Sugar Hill Inn located in the secluded White Mountains of New Hampshire where together they practice the art of innkeeping.

 

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