Consultant, Podcaster, Rebel
I Am a Rebel.
Are You One Too?
Even early in my career, I disliked working for others. I felt disempowered. I worked at companies where my ideas and plans had to go through many levels before being implemented. The traditional sit-at-a-desk 9–5 job was not for me.
I yearned for freedom from structure and hierarchy. I wanted to be my own boss and do things my way. Twenty-five years ago, I became an innkeeper after purchasing a 20-room bed & breakfast inn located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
Purchasing the inn was exciting and my late husband, Steve, and I had dreams for our hospitality business. After the first few years, I realized that while the business was doing well, I wasn’t enjoying life as much as I wanted. I was working too hard, even with employees to do the cleaning! I knew I needed to find a way to have more free time.
I had become an innkeeper to have more time to spend with my family and do things I loved.
What had I done?
I exchanged the 9-5 with a 24/7 schedule. I answered phones whenever they rang and was available to my guests at all times. I even checked guests in the wee hours of the night! I was tied to my inn like a ball and chain.
Don’t stop reading!
I loved meeting people, finding ways to care for guests by offering concierge services and delicious, healthy food, in comfortable, welcoming surroundings. I learned about guest relations, human resources, operations, marketing, putting plans into action, and creative solutions.
And then I found a solution.
I understand that like me, you may have become an innkeeper because you are strong-willed, independent, and rebellious. Rules don’t apply to people like us! We don’t like to be told what to do and documentation sounds boring!
Imagine for a moment that someone else could know exactly how you think, run your business, welcome your guests, and manage emergencies, freeing you to step away from your inn when needed or desired.
I began to document everything!
I created a procedure manual with how we did everything at my inn. It allowed me to train staff to do things my way. I could leave and when emergencies cropped up, and you know they did, someone could walk in and handle things just like I would. An inn-sitter could step in and rarely need to call me if I were to go away.
And I did!
I traveled to Paris and twice to Israel! I even took two weeks to go to a conference and to visit with family on the other coast to spend Thanksgiving with them. All because of my procedures!
Does this sound all too familiar?
I solved the problem of my inn being a ball and chain by figuring out how to replicate myself. I created boundaries and standardized tasks. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it took a long time because I fought structure all the way! I fought giving up “control.” I admit it, I am a recovering control enthusiast! However, it worked!
After 25 years as an innkeeper, most of them as a single parent, I successfully sold my bed & breakfast without it even being on the market!
(Did you know that only 4% of all businesses make it past ten years? Of these businesses, only one out of thirteen sells. I am so proud of this accomplishment!)
And now, I have taken my experience in the innkeeping industry and combined it with my years as a social worker/life coach, and formed a new business, INNtrospection.
I work directly with innkeepers to develop their own standard operating procedures manual which can be used to train employees, hire an innkeeper, free them from having to be ‘on’ for their inn 24/7, 365, and eventually sell.
A well-written manual can help your business thrive and compete with the emergence of corporate-owned inns which are well organized and tightly run. Once you have procedures established, you can spend more time providing the personal touch and amazing hospitality innkeepers are known for and which bigger companies don’t do.
There is no need to continue to feel overworked, overwhelmed, or burned out. Click here to start your journey!
Hugs and quiches,