Last weekend I went away on a yoga retreat. I love yoga and go to at least two classes every week early in the mornings. It sets me up for the day, helps to regulate my nervous system and keeps my body fit and flexible.
I especially like the meditative state you go into with the deep breathing
These things really matter to me
Today’s conversation isn’t about yoga but while I was away, I was struck by how difficult almost all of us found it to do nothing. Literally nothing
We get so hung up on accomplishing things and forget about just being.
I started doing yoga late in 2012, when I was busy running my B&B and sometimes it was difficult to get to the classes because of guests, but after a while, I began to prioritise it. So on the mornings I had a yoga class, I would either ask my husband to do the breakfast, or close off the rooms, so I could go to my classes
This was a heck of a journey for me, because
- I told myself I needed the money too much to close off rooms
- I thought that my guests always needed ME to do breakfast for them
- And I operated from a scarcity, needy energy, that meant I couldn’t prioritise myself
During the summer of 2012 I worked every day in my B&B for 6 weeks straight, and at the end of that exhausting period, I vowed I would never do that again.
Burnout is very real in this industry, so I wanted to offer some of my own experience to help you avoid it, or if you’re experiencing it, what to do about it
One of the first things we do with our clients when they start working with us, is to examine a) their pricing (it’s usually too low) and b) their daily schedule, so they can incorporate some downtime every day, every week, every month, and at least one proper vacation each year
This might sound weird, but the bottom line is that in order to avoid burnout, you must put a limit on the amount of time you spend with your guests.
You might be thinking…. But I love my guests and I love being with them
I get that, and
Too many owners I’ve seen, use their business as a substitute for their social life, and the whole thing becomes their whole life
I know this because I did this myself
It was like an avoidance strategy, so I didn’t have any time to devote to my failing marriage. The business and the guests were way more important!
During my work with owners worldwide, I’ve seen it over and over
Sometimes owners even put things on their websites like, come as guests, leave as friends!
If you do this, you won’t have any real relationships in your life, because your guests are not your friends or your family, they are paying guests and the relationship you have with them is of a commercial nature (because it has to be) and it’s fleeting
Without any other real relationships in your life, you’ll become lost and miserable, and you’ll also burnout and here’s why
If you constantly work hard to please your guests without any thought for yourself and your own well-being, it’s like begging for love
And the more you beg, the less you’ll find.
Love is a mutual thing, between people who want the same thing
Whether that’s romantic love, family love, friendship love
It has no commercial element
Maybe in your pursuit of financial security (ie success in your business) you’ve let some of your more important relationships lapse
Maybe you’ve thought in the past that real relationships are too difficult, and so it feels easier to have fleeting ones with guests
Maybe you’ve had bad experiences with so-called real relationships in the past, and who hasn’t?
Being at the constant beck and call of your guests, not restricting your time with them, or feeling like you have to respond to their every whim will turn you into a kind of “prostitute” which your guests will feel
And all your vain pursuit of love from your guests will result in the exact opposite
In order to avoid burnout, plan your time so ALL elements of what makes life enjoyable for you as a human are included, especially those outside of your business
When was the last time you got away from your business and allowed yourself to let go for a while?
When was the last time you planned something nice for yourself and your significant other (if you have one) that just involved YOU or you TWO?
How could you begin to make a daily, weekly or even monthly schedule for yourself that allows you the time and energy to nurture your important relationships
I invite you now to take a good look at how you manage your day.
Here’s some questions to ponder
- What happens when I wake up in the morning?
- Do I feel rested or immediately stressed around things that need to be done?
- Am I organised enough to enjoy the busy breakfast schedule and dedicate this time to my guests?
- When they’ve checked out, is it one mad dash to turnover the rooms and get ready for the next guests, or can I turn those tasks over to someone else, while I concentrate on marketing work, answering enquiries and giving that block of time to work ON my business
- Do I sit down to eat a healthy lunch or am I just grabbing whatever is in the fridge to eat on the go?
- Is there some time in the afternoons to nap, walk, chat with friends, spouse or do other important things that nurture me?
- When check in time comes around, am I mentally prepared for the new arrivals, ready and refreshed to dedicate the next block of time to them?
- How early are you getting to bed?
- What is the quality of your sleep like?
- Are you on medications or pain killers that you’d rather not be on?
This business is very stressful and busy, and at the same time, needs us to be fully at our best for our guests, so we can deliver the amazing experience they’re expecting, as well as taking good care of ourselves
Make sure you’ve got the balance right, and if you haven’t, then what needs to change for you?
Do you need to slow down a little?
Remember that slow is smooth and smooth is fast
Slow down to speed up
If you’d like to have more conversations like this as well as all the tools and strategies you’ll ever need to start, run and grow your B&B business on your terms, then we have 2 spots in our B&B Money Maker Program right now. Click on the button below to book yourself a free 15 minute call with me, to find out how we might be able to work together
Yvonne Halling is an award-winning consultant, coach and mentor to independent hospitality businesses worldwide. She helps clients to add at least 25% to their income in one season, while working less and enjoying their lives.