Category Archives: Success

What If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

if you knew you could not fail

What if you knew you could not fail, what would you try to do?  I think most people, by nature, do not like taking risks. Most people like a safety net.

The people who achieve success in life make their dreams so much bigger than their fears.  Successful people do not focus on what could go wrong, but on how they can do something better next time. Successful people do not let any of their perceived failures stop them from trying again.

 

Where does that confidence come from?

Sources of Confidence:

  • Real life examples: observe people who are successful and imitate them
  • Relationships: find family and friends who believe in you and tell you they know you can do it
  • Reading: actively pursue reading positive and motivating material (and avoid the negative)
  • Remembering: reflect upon previous successes and remind themselves yourself that can do it again
  • Realizing: realize the potential YOU have for greatness and do something great

But what if you lack confidence in yourself?

Steps to Add Confidence:

  • Spend time with encouraging people (rather than downers or critics)
  • Read biographies of successful people (to discover some of their secrets)
  • Put together a dream board/Pinterest board (of pictures of places you want to go, motivating quotes, etc.)
  • Seek out a mentor (a person you think is successful in life and who is willing to give you advice)
  • Reward your small successes along the way (to motivate you to achieve even more)

Over time, it will become more natural for you to set and achieve your goals.  Do not let any setbacks get in the way of your vision for a better future for you and your loved ones. What if you knew you could not fail, what would you do? Keep dreaming, keep going, no matter what! Never give up!

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The Power of Making Lists

the power of making lists

 

In her book, How Much Joy Can You Stand?: A Creative Guide to Facing Your Fears and Making Your Dreams Come True, Suzanne Falter-Barns, focuses on the power of making lists.  She suggest making the following lists:

 

  • 10 Things You are Passionate About
  • 10 Things You Love About Your Life
  • 10 Things That Are Uniquely You
  • 10 Things You Would Like to Share
  • 10 Things You Could Fix or Change About the World
  • 10 Things You’d Like To Do Before You Die

The power of making lists comes from reflecting and writing down the answers to these lists.  You will know more about yourself. You will recognize what you are passionate about and what you love about your life.  You will know what makes you, well–you!

You will think of specific things you can share (time, talents, or money).  You will think about what you could help fix or what you would like to change about the world.

Lastly, you will have the opportunity to think of things you would like to do before you die (your personal bucket list). Many people have testified to putting down the most unlikely events and they came true! 

“Shark Tank” Investor and successful entrepreneur Barbara Cocoran, who uses lists to overcome her time constraints, organizes her lists into the following three sections:

  • Calls to make
  • Things to review
  • Projects to do

As you write the answers to these lists down, you will know more about yourself and your goals and dreams. I challenge you to experience the power of making lists! Lists also let you evaluate how you are spending your time. It is easy to be busy, but harder to be effective. The power of making lists may be that it changes your life!

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

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Start With Why You Do What You Do

start with why you do what you do

 

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.

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

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How To Make Proven Lasting Changes

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.

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

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What The Most Successful Inns Have In Common

the-most-successful-inns

Ever wonder what the most successful inns have in common?:

A strong focus on guest satisfaction. What are your guests saying about you? Since guests are our #1 priority, place great importance on pleasing them. Be available to give local recommendations (for a variety of interests) as well as directions. Offer concierge services and extras like evening wine and dessert for two. During their stay, ask them if there is anything you can do to make their stay with you more pleasant. For example, if you find out that someone is celebrating something special, consider offering something complimentary. They will remember that you went the extra mile and will be likely to return again as well as recommend your inn to others.

A great website with awesome pictures. When was the last time you touched up your website and your photos? Make it easy for them to do business with you. Your website should be easy for others to find online. Feature current professional photography of each place (inside and outside) guests may spend time in. Give them the option to check availability online and book a room. Your website should clearly specify your address (ideally your webmaster can insert a Google map), list phone numbers, and always include all your social media icons. This allows guests to connect with you on social media if they haven’t already.

A distinct niche or focus. What are you known for? The most successful inns set their inns apart to specific audiences so they attract more guests. The audience could be specific groups of people: adults only, family friendly, LGBT friendly, pet-friendly, special diet friendly, etc. It could be specific interests: photography, culinary-minded, adventurous (such as skiing and zip-lining), and history buffs. It could be for different types of retreats: corporate, yoga, writers, quilters, etc. It could be for your packages: restaurant, performing arts, sports, local attractions like amusement parks and museums, etc. 

A delicious breakfast. Are guests happy with your menu? With breakfast representing the second letter B (in B&B), the most successful inns offer something special. This could be your commitment to catering to special diets, a complimentary wine & cheese hour, or 24/7 access to goodies and treats. Perhaps your inn has a restaurant or tea room. Maybe you offer in-room breakfast delivery for an extra fee. Be sure to have a page on your website devoted to discussing your inn’s culinary offerings. Share pictures of your food in social media. Mouths will water!

A connection to local businesses. Do you promote your local area? Could you arrange for your guests to receive a discount from local restaurants, attractions, and other venues? This would give guests a reason to visit those businesses (that would be why the businesses offer the discount) as well as make you look good for having arranged for them to receive the better rate.

A consistent presence. How often are you blogging and posting on social media? By regularly blogging and posting on social media, this builds awareness for your place of hospitality and what you offer. Blog posts provide fresh new content which attracts visitors to your page. For example, consider writing blog posts about: local attractions, your amenities, your packages, a behind-the-scenes blog post, and so on.

A variety of incentives. Do you offer specials? This could be discounts for multiple night stays, weekday stays, etc. Do you offer packages? You could plan all the details for your guests so it is less work for them. Do you offer referral discounts? Do you reward your guests who refer other guests who stay at your inn in some way? This could be a free upgrade in room, a free massage, a discount in their room rate, etc.

A superb selection of amenities. What amenities do guests love using at your inn? Most guests (especially the millennial generation) expect access to free wireless internet. Be sure to feature the extra luxuries you offer in photos on your website and in pictures you share on social media. This includes fireplaces, spas, libraries, and more.

A follow up. Do you send a follow-up email to thank them for staying and a survey to get their feedback? Is there a way for people to opt into receiving regular e-mail newsletters? By sending regular emails, you remind previous guests of their experience as well as attract new potential guests to stay at your inn. The most successful inns follow up with guests.

A solid reputation. What is your reputation? Favorable online guest reviews offer proof to future guests that they can expect to also have a positive experience.  Strong testimonials (always ask for permission and include only their first name and the first letter of their last name as well as their location) can be included on your website and shared in social media. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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What Do You Think People Long For?

what-do-you-think-people-long-for

You have the opportunity to answer the important question “What Do You Think People Long For?”  This short (on average, it takes people only two minutes to complete) online survey allows you to respond anonymously if you desire. By understanding what people long for in life, we may better understand how to treat our bed and breakfast guests. 

 

Take Online Survey

 

Your Opinion Needed: What Do People Really Want Out of Life?

We hope you enjoy answering these questions. You can remain completely anonymous.

  1. What do you think are the top 3 things people really want out of life?
  2. What is it that YOU really want out of life?
  3. What has helped you get some of the things you really wanted out of life?
  4. What do you think is holding you back from getting other things you really want out of life?
  5. If you would like to know the results of this survey, please enter in your email address.

________________________________________________________________________

To keep the survey objective, I will not suggest anything in this post. This survey allows each person taking it to guess what top 3 things people really want out of life and state what it is that you want in life. Then to explain what you think helped you get some things you really wanted as well as to reflect on what you think is holding you back from getting other things you want in life.

Please feel free to contact Kristi if you want to express any other thoughts about this fascinating topic. Our motivations and longings can certainly depend upon who we ask, but there may be an overall agreement about the longings of people. It is by understanding these longings that we can get better insight into life. 

I appreciate each person who takes the time to answer this brief survey. You may request that the results of the survey be emailed to you. Thank you.

Take Online Survey

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Focus and Get More Done in Less Time

get-more-done-in-less-time

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. 

I highly recommend “Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy. 

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

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Share Your Valuable Interests as an Innkeeper

share-your-valuable-interests

Share your valuable interests as an innkeeper. In an effort to better serve you (just as you seek to better serve your B&B guests), I designed this short (it takes around 2.5 minutes of time to do) innkeeping survey through Survey Monkey.

What is of primary importance to me is knowing which bed and breakfast subjects interest you the most. Also, I give you an opportunity to list any additional subjects of interest to you. 

After putting your name and the name of your inn, you have the option to list your email address. I do this to share practical and useful B&B industry marketing advice. If you sign up, you will also learn the results of this survey listed below.

___________________________________________________________________
1. Which B&B Subjects interest you?

  • Identifying and becoming known for a specific B&B niche (ex: pet-friendly, eco-friendly, and vegetarian)
  • Learning strategic and profitable online marketing tips (ex: blogging, email marketing, and social media)
  • Hosting more private B&B events (ex: parties, weddings, and dinners)
  • Offering B&B specials & packages (ex: adventure, romance, and girls getaway)
  • Earning free press coverage (ex: for a notable achievement or distinction)
  • Giving frequent guest rewards & referral incentives to returning guests (ex: complimentary room upgrade, massage, or bottle of wine)
  • Maximizing outreach to local businesses and the community (ex: hosting charity fundraiser or sponsoring event)
  • Learning additional ways of earning money as an innkeeper (ex: offering additional products and services)
  • Improving your success mindset and productivity (ex: attititude, optimism, goal-setting and achieving)

2. Did I leave out any B&B Subjects that matter to you? I appreciate your feedback.

3. What’s your name?

4. What’s your inn’s name? 

5. If you would like to receive helpful B&B marketing e-newsletters with practical tips, as well as the results of this innkeeping survey, please enter you email address.

___________________________________________________________________

I invite you to contact me (Kristi Dement) for a free twenty-minute (no obligation) consultation.  It is an honor to help bed and breakfast inns and associations grow their businesses. 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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Unexpected Expert Advice Can Actually Make You Think

can actually make you think

Fellow puzzle lovers can appreciate unexpected expert advice that can actually make you think. Sometimes when you solve a puzzle, a fortune-cookie-type response can appear.

While some people dismiss the advice (and “predictions”) of fortune cookies, the messages inside these treats often gets us to consider things from a different perspective. I believe wisdom may be found from some of these puzzle messages, too.

“Wake up and tell yourself it’s going to be a good day.”

How you start the day can determine how your day goes.  Not all of us are morning people (I’m sure there are plenty of mornings when even innkeepers do not feel like getting up), but beginning the day with the belief it is going to be a good day can help us have a good day.  

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

Whether your inn regularly hosts international guests or not, you can still appreciate that universally warm smiles are understood to represent kindness.

“Just when you think you’ve graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course.”

This is certainly true for innkeepers who must learn new things, especially as technology changes. There will always be new things to learn, so we should be thankful that we are able to understand new things.  Each day is a gift and we should make the most of our time.

“If you want things to change in your life, start with your thinking.”

While it is human nature to see what could go wrong, it is always in our best interest to think positively.  This does not mean we don’t take precautions, but optimistic thinking assumes that good things will inevitably happen as the result of our productive efforts.

“The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless you open it.”

Before anyone jumps out of a plane, they must learn how to safely pull their parachute cord. Before we make any important decisions in our life, we need to make sure that our mind is open to other ways of doing things.  

“Habits and beliefs become the blueprint through which we build our reality.”

Our habits and beliefs do work to create our reality.  Of course there are unexpected things that happen in life (both good and bad), but we are ultimately responsible for the lives we lead.  While we cannot change circumstances and situations outside of our control, we can certainly work on our patterns of thinking.

“The more you dream, the farther you get.”

When you dream you are on your way to becoming more inspired to take action. Only taking action will you get any farther. Those who do not dream will never be inspired to act.

“The door of opportunity will not open unless you do some pushing.”

Excluding those born into wealth, most people in life must work for their rewards. Opportunity does not show up unless effort we put the effort in.  The work we do can be very rewarding once we start reaching more of our goals.  The people who are most likely to succeed in life write down their goals.  Consider having daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goals.  The more specific you are, the more real the goals become.  

“Admitting our failings is one way of acquiring fresh insights.”

Since we are all human, not everything we do will turn out how we planned. When we see what we could have done different and admit our failings, we are on our way to acquiring fresh insights.

“Lighting a lamp for someone else will also brighten your path.”

This can be taken literally since often innkeepers live the lights on for guests to make their way back to the B&B safely. By lighting their way, you are likely increasing their trust of your hospitality.

“The best part of any journey is the people you meet along the way.”

We have all met people that we are so thankful to have met. Our lives would not be the same without them.  Some of you have repeat guests that you have grown to love.  We can’t imagine not ever having met them.  

“Appreciation is like an insurance policy. It has to be renewed now and then.”

When guests feel appreciation, they are more likely to come again.  Make note of birthdays and anniversaries. Consider rewarding your returning guests with a free upgrade in their room or by treating them to something extra like a massage for two.  

“You haven’t used all your options until you’ve asked for help.”

We are not all gifted in the same areas nor do we like to do the same tasks. That is a good thing! We can have others who are more skilled in certain areas and who enjoy using those skills, help us. It has been said to focus on what you do best, and hire out the rest. If marketing is one of those areas you do not understand (as well as you would like) and/or you do not care to spend your time doing, contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free consultation.

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How to Find Your Inspiration as an Innkeeper (Part 2)

inspiration-as-an-innkeeper-part-2

To find you inspiration as an innkeeper, there needs to be a match with your motivation for working, your individual talents, and your hospitality niche/ideal guests.  In Part One of this blog post I gave three hypothetical situations.  I will give some suggestions for each scenario.  

Innkeeper Irene loves cooking for others and entertaining guests, but she dislikes anything involving paperwork–especially finances.  I suggest that she finds a skilled accountant or bookkeeper to manage her finances.  She should seek referrals from other innkeepers or other people in her local community. 

Since Irene’s restaurant is becoming more known in the community, having an active online marketing presence is very important.  She can also hire someone to actively manage her online marketing which should include consistent and strategic blogging and social media.  By focusing on what she loves (cooking and entertaining), she Irene will likely grow her business and be able to afford to hire two experts who are skilled at those tasks and able to ease her burden.  

Bob the B&B owner is very successful with marketing his inn. His grown children manage the day-to-day operations of their thriving business.  If you remember his situation from the last blog post, his occupancy rate is very good, but he is wondering how to earn more income outside of bookings.  Even if Bob does not have a restaurant or a spa in addition to his inn, he can still increase his income in a variety of different ways: 

  • Hosting private events (such as private parties, murder mysteries, book signings, wedding or baby showers, holiday or seasonal gatherings, etc.)
  • Offering customized guest packages (such as a Girls Getaway package, Romance package, or Local Attractions package)
  • Providing items for sale at his B&B (such as coffee mugs with his B&B logo, T-shirts/sweatshirts, signature goodies for guests to take home, etc.)
  • Teaching classes (such as cooking, writing, painting, etc.) to guests

In the third example, Shirley & Dale are a husband and wife innkeeping couple. Shirley’s favorite thing to do is to plant and grow flowers and produce in their gorgeous garden as well as to decorate their inn. Dale loves construction and renovation projects (both inside and outside). I think the long-term goal is for Shirley & Dale should keep doing what they love.  However, since they have a real need for adding housekeeping and kitchen staff, they will need to continue to handle those responsibilities until part-time employees are found. 

Shirley & Dale should advertise for part-time employees in a variety of places including any professional hospitality associations to which they belong.  Their ad should provide information (or a link to more specific information) detailing specifically what they are looking for so that they are more likely to find someone with the exact skills they need. Once housekeeping and kitchen staff are found, then they should focus on achieving a consistent marketing presence. 

Some professional innkeeping organizations have Vendor Members.  For example, Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging is a Vendor Member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.  I am happy to set up a free (no obligation), 20-minute phone conversation to answer any questions innkeepers have as well as provide practical ideas for bringing in more business. 

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