Two things I’ve learned from the French


French lifeWhen guests ask “what do you like most about living in France?” I tell them two things:

First, the French never ask permission.   Anglo Saxons (like me) are taught always to be polite and ask first if we can borrow a rubber, a chair, sit here, stand there, whatever we need, and yes it is good to ask first, but we can take it to extremes.

Is it OK if I offer my guests something else to buy? Won’t they be offended if I send out a newsletter more than twice a year? Will I upset them if I ask them to refer me or write a review?

Be honest, how often have you felt hesitant about asking for something? You could be an Anglo Saxon 😉

The French on the other hand, have a different philosophy and it goes like this…. “I’m going to do what I want to get what I need, and if it’s a problem for you, you’ll have to tell me” and this shows up all over the place.

The second thing I love about the French, is their work ethic (or apparent lack of it) and I was chuckling at this article I found last week on Twitter – the French are more productive than the Americans!!!

Zute alors! ‘Ow can zis be?

Here’s why….

The Anglo Saxon thinks, I’m gonna work, work, work, get the money, money, money, achieve, achieve, achieve and get the success, the wealth etc., and if there’s any time left, I’ll enjoy my life.

The Frenchman thinks, I’m going to enjoy my life as much as I can, and if there’s any time left, I’ll do some work. My life is far more important than money, success, wealth and achievements. And the paradox is that they achieve more, produce more and live more.

Don't you just love this?

The French take regular breaks from work, and they especially break to enjoy a proper lunch often taking up to 2 hours. Contrast that with the sandwich and coffee from the local deli at your computer, or on the hoof gobbled down as quickly as possible so you can “get back to work”.

Taking time off every day is one of the principles I teach in my basic entry level Online Mentoring Programme, in fact I believe it's so important, I cover it off in Module 1, together with boundaries, mindset and goals.

I believe that guarding your personal time is the biggest gift you can give yourself when running a B&B business. It’s too easy to get sucked into guests’ poor planning or chaos. And if we’re not taking time out to “fill our tanks” then we end up depleted, miserable and worn out, and that’s not the best way to get great reviews and referrals, or even attract new guests. It’s not the best way to make more money either.

What do you do to make sure that you've got great boundaries and you’re filling your tank every day, so you’re always showing up as your best self in your B&B business? I’d love to know, so please do leave a comment below.

To your success!

Yvonne 150 October 2014