Where the heck did the summer go?! Break out the checklist!

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I’ve never been a fan of blog entires that start with a question, though it deemed fitting today as I not only realized that I hadn’t blogged since the end of March, but also that this Monday is indeed Labor Day and I have no idea what I have accomplished over the past few months!

Business is booming in the Twin Cities and especially at my property and brand!  My months have been filled with sellout evenings, crowd control, celebrities (come on, it’s The W) and the clash of upscale clientel meets Priceline week-enders (no thanks to William Shatner and his dirt cheap deals!)  Oh and a whole lot of fishing.  The seasons are changing though, and I find it necessary to force myself into Checklist mode as the month of September is amongst us and I suggest that you do the same.  Let’s face it, before we know it 2012 will be over.  We’ll be making New Years resolutions for 2013 and saying to ourselves “Damn, I didn’t accomplish hardly anything I had set out to do this year”.  Oh and don’t forget that you’ll most likely also be saying “See, I knew the world wasn’t going to end in 2012……what were those Mayans smoking?”

Here are your Meat and Potatoes:

Checklists are best left basic and simple if you ask me.  Everybody has a smart phone these days with all sorts of cool apps and programs that literally take multi-tasking to a new level in that we are so engorged in projects and always a click away that almost everything ends up incomplete.  Usually the result is due to the fact that instead of following your checklist you end up checking your Facebook or Tweeting about some crazy homeless guy that just tried to rob you or something.  See where I’m going with this?  KEEP IT SIMPLE!  Don’t use your fancy smart phone for your personal checklist, in fact make the effort (as hard as it is, I know) to unplug from everything while you’re reviewing your checklist.  Get yourself a little mini notepad and physically write down the tasks at hand.  (the hardest part is to not lose the notepad)  Create weekly and monthly and if your are even so bold, yearly goals and post them somewhere so you stare at that piece of paper at least several times a day. 

This all may seem like Day One stuff people, but we’re all human and we fall into old habits quicker than you think!  Sometimes all it takes a crazy spikey haired hotel guy in Minnesota to remind us how to stay organized in our lives.  The rest is entirely up to you!  You’re going to want to get on your A-Game quick though before someone else does.  Words to live by ay?

Dig my style and want to know more?  Get my book  Hospitality: Minnesota Nice read it……live it……then get back to me on how it helped and if I can be of further assistance to you!  Heck, even if you want to tell me “Brian, you wrote a pile of crap and don’t quit your day job dude”.

As always,

Yours in hospitality!

-B

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Moaning Monday Maniacs in March

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March in Minnesota is always unpredictable!  Just three days ago we were at 75 degrees and sunny, and were actually warmer then the city of Los Angeles!  This morning Minnesotans at least in Minneapolis anyways arose to a blustery 40 degrees with 20 mph winds!!  You can imagine the attitudes people brought with them into the office as they not only had to drag their butts back into work, but had to pull their winter jackets out of storage once again. 

Being the nocturnal manager of my property my day ends around the same time most folks start, so I often find myself holding back my enthusiasim a bit.  At least until everyone has a cup of coffee or two in them.  This morning seemed exceptionally tense with the weather acting the way it is, and I have about 15 minutes in a “pass-along” to try to motivate my staff to deliver exceptional service once again.  I always try to bring some sort of topic or current event to the meeting in which the staff can use with guests, because let’s face it regardless of what business you’re in your going to need some sort of neutral small talk in your back pocket to whip out in that dreaded uncomfortable silence.  

Today’s message was easy: The Weather.  Sounds boring I know, but I actually went online and printed off the last years weather forecast, which included 2 feet of snow as a reminder of how lucky we have been this year so far, and then I pointed out the fact that it is suppose to be back in the 70’s by the end of the week.  This simple reminder seemed to turn their spirits around a bit and shed a light of hope on the upcoming week ahead…..that or the caffeine had just kicked in!  Either way in our business when in doubt, talk about the weather.  Especially with the foreign travelers who automatically assume that Minnesota has mountains of snow all year round, polar bears and penguins walking around and guys like Steve Buscemi (from the 90’s movie Fargo) walking around in those fuzzy hats with the flaps sayin “Oh yah..don’t cha know”.  Ok so perhaps we really do have guys like that walking around saying that but what are you gonna do?

I hope the start of the week treats you well and remember to take charge of your situation before your situation takes charge of you and always think three moves ahead!  That’s all I’ve got

Yours in Hospitality

Brian

 

Creative juices flowing FINALLY….and I’m back at it!

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Ahhh the good ol blog, my it has been far too long!  To start off this entry my humble apologies to those subscribers that haven’t seen any type of action from me in the past 6 months.  I was in a bit of a “funk” so to speak at my last property and wasn’t quite in the right environment to get the creative juices flowing.  I’m sure you can all relate, but it’s funny how mere survival, lack of sleep, being overworked and lack of support can put a damper on our creative abilities.  That, and I had been doing nothing but spending time with my wife, working and lots of  ice fishing (come on, it’s Minnesota you know we sit on the ice and drink beer in the winter for fun!)  On a serious note though it’s far to easy for all of us to slip into this habit of simply existing.  Even if it’s with a job that we love doing.  Routine has it’s faithful way of creeping back into out lives and  to stand out, think creatively and be bold on a regular basis really takes some work, ya know!  I mean the real challenge is how to do all of the above in a way that people have yet to read/see, which no thanks to the massive connection on the interent is a lot easier said then done, let’s face it we’ve seen it all and heard it all on Facebook already! 

I am thrilled to say that my fire has been re-kindled by a man from Switzerland, who found my E-Book Hospitality: Minnesota Nice read it and sent me a message on LinkedIn giving feedback and was sincerely interested in the concept of my message.  Wow, if you could bottle and sell that feeling you get when a stranger notices your work, you’d never have to work again!

On the home front I am pleased to report that I have now left my former corporation and now am ecstatic to be a part of the Starwood family and The W Hotels brand.  If you have yet to experience The W in any major city you’ve really got to check them out.  They literally throw the traditonal methods of hospitality “out the window” and WOW guests with style, new verbage and a fresh approach to all that hospitality has to offer.  Not to mention celebrity appeal in Hollywood!  Personally the transition was brilliant and I highly anticipate my future ventures and networking and will be sure to blog more now then ever.  I hope your spring has sprung into action and be sure to stay tuned into the Minnesota Nice side of Hospitality!

Yours in Hospitality

Brian Nylander

Here’s to new adventures in Business!

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Greetings fellow blog folk!

My slacker behavior has gone on long enough, and I must Blog!  I’m sure you can relate, especially if you’re a fellow blogger yourself when I say that after a few days of not posting anything you start getting “the shakes” a bit.  Alas, my two days off went way too fast!  However yesterday was a very productive day as I ventured into a side business, run by myself, but partnered with a close associate of mine that will make a nice bit of side action.  I’ll spare you the details, and the sales pitch…… as I plan on keeping family and friends, a good distance from this business.  That’s definitely one of the things I have learned the hard way over the years, is that when it comes to non-traditional forms of business, your family will almost always try to talk you out of it.   I’m pretty excited though, my online networking has really started to boom as Twitter followers just hit 3500 tonight and plan to be at 5,000 by the end of the week!!!  All strangers, but all potential clients!  It’s a lot of work and a lot of schmoozing, but the connections are priceless.  Actually, you could put a price on it, and people are even crazy enough to pay for followers on Twitter, when really with a bit of work…..and about 5 seperate outside websites, the sky is the limit!

So CHEERS to New Business Ventures….. no matter how small they start!

Have a great weekend!

Yours in Hospitality,

Brian

Genuine Happiness Comes From Within

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Greetings Virtual Amici!

At last,  my long awaited weekend is upon me!  A glorious two day adventure, that will hopefully satisfy my “itch” to get outside and do something  before we’re all knee deep in that frozen white stuff that just went away a mere several months ago….That being said, my brain has punched out already and is rolling on auto-pilot tonight.  Instead of attempting to jump start the ol’ creative juices and come up with something original, I dug up a stellar article I came across on a very good topic.  Today’s topic will fall under the Self Improvement category and I found the article to be very motivating as I hope you do too!  Enjoy!

“Life isn’t the sweetest candy. Sometimes, when I feel like the world is just too heavy, I look around and find people who continue to live fascinating and wonderful lives. And then thoughts come popping into my mind like bubbles from nowhere – “How did their life become so adorably sweet? How come they still can manage to laugh and play around despite a busy stressful life?” Then I pause and observe for awhile. I figured out that maybe, they start to work on a place called ‘self’.
So, how does one become genuinely happy? Step 1 is to love yourself.

My theology professor once said that “loving means accepting.” To love oneself means to accept that you are not a perfect being, but behind the imperfections must lie a great bit of courage to be able to discover ways of how to improve your ability to recover from your mistakes.

Genuine happiness also pertains to contentment. When you are contented with the job you have, the way you look, with your family, your friends, the place you live in, your car, and all the things you now have – truly, you know the answer to the question “how to be genuinely happy.”

When we discover a small start somewhere from within, that small start will eventually lead to something else, and to something else. But if you keep questioning life like it has never done you any good, you will never be able to find genuine happiness.

I believe that life is about finding out about right and wrong, trying and failing, winning and losing. These are things that happen as often as you inhale and exhale. Failure in a person’s life has become as abundant and necessary as air. But this should not hinder us from becoming happy.

How to be genuinely happy in spite of all these? I tell you- every time you exert effort to improve the quality of life and your being, whether it is cleaning up your room, helping a friend, taking care of your sick dog, failing an exam and trying again, life gives you equivalent points for that.

Imagine life as a big score board like those which are used in sports. Every time you take a step forward, you make points. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at that board at the end of each game and think to yourself “Whew! I got a point today. I’m glad I gave it a shot”, instead of looking at it all blank and realizing “Geez, I didn’t even try today. I wish I had the guts to try out. We could have won!” and then walk away.

Genuine happiness isn’t about driving the hottest Formula 1 car, nor getting the employee of the year award, earning the highest pay, or beating the sales quota. Sometimes, the most sought after prizes in life don’t always go to the fastest, the strongest, the bravest or not even the best. So, how do you become genuinely happy? Every one has his own definition of happiness.

Happiness for a writer may mean launching as many best selling books as possible. Happiness for a basketball rookie may mean getting the rookie of the year award. Happiness for a beggar may mean a lot of money. Happiness for a businessman may mean success.

So, really now, how do we become genuinely happy? Simple. You don’t have to have the best things in this world. It’s about doing and making the best out of every single thing. When you find yourself smiling at your own mistakes and telling yourself “Oh, I’ll do better next time”, you carry with you a flame of strong willpower to persevere that may spread out like a brush fire. You possess a willingness to stand up again and try – that will make you a genuinely happy person.

When you learn to accept yourself and your own faults. You pass step 1 in the project of how to become genuinely happy. For as long as you know how to accept others, you will also be accepted. For as long as you love and know how to love, you will receive love tenfold back.

Again, throw me that same question how to become genuinely happy. I’ll refer you to a friend of mine who strongly stated- “Most of us know that laughter is the best medicine to life’s aches and pain. But most of us don’t know that the best kind of laughter is laughter over yourself. Because then you don’t just become happy, you become free.”

 
There you have it!  Free yourself, and the rest will play itself out!  Have a great rest of the week folks and my door is always open.
 
Yours in Hospitality,
Brian
  • Want to take the “Minnesota Nice” mentality with you everywhere and work in the guest service industry???  Get your very own copy of Hospitality: Minnesota Nice the motivational NEW E-Book catered directly to industry of serving guests, and the Minnesota approach that will give the you the upper hand in any situation!  Click the underlined title to be taken to Amazon.com for safe, secure purchase
 

Ready….Set…….Monday, Oh wait it’s Labor Day!

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Happy Labor Day Folks!

For those of you,  like myself, who are (Laboring) on this fine day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers….I commend you!   Though, I’m sure it wasn’t by choice….but kudos to you regardless for sucking it up and not calling in sick!

Rather than grease your Monday morning with some uplifting, motivational, sehf help topic;  I figured in honor of this Federal Holiday I would dig up some facts, since clearly I couldn’t exactly remember why Labor Day is celebrated and if you can, then well I owe you a cookie, or a virtual high-five or something!   By facts I mean (directly sited off the US Dept. of Labor website, not that Wikipedia crap!)   Enjoy and perhaps you’ve learned something new!

  • Labor Day:  constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
  • The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

  • In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country

  • Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

  • The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day.

  • The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm

There you have it folks, straight from Uncle Sam’s website (not Facebook account either).  Kind of funny, and forgive me for sounding like the ultra liberal that I have become, but since the Labor Day tradition began with the labor movement (I.E. the unions) I say if you are the typical right-winger and against the labor unions you should NOT be able to celebrate the holiday nor take the day off of work.   Yeah, see how well that works right?

Have a great day, regardless of what you’re up to!

Yours in Hospitality, 

Brian

  • Want to take the “Minnesota Nice” mentality with you everywhere and work in the guest service industry???  Get your very own copy of Hospitality: Minnesota Nice the motivational NEW E-Book catered directly to industry of serving guests, and the Minnesota approach that will give the you the upper hand in any situation!  Click the underlined title to be taken to Amazon.com for safe, secure purchase.

Your Attitude Determines Your Success

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Chalk another one up for the weekend, as I find browsing articles to stimulate some creative juices more effecient then staring at a blank screen with a flashing curser and my failed attempt to write the next big thing.  So dug this one up from a few days ago that has a nice feel to it, enjoy!
 
“People who consider themselves victims of their circumstances will always remain victims unless they develop a greater vision for their lives.” ~Stedman Graham~ Many a truths are found in clichés. Clichéd phrases such as “attitude is everything” or “your attitude determines your altitude” contain some profound truths. Not to exaggerate, but attitude could easily be regarded as the single most important factor that separates winners from losers, successes from failures, victors from victims. Attitude is a matter of perspective and is all about how you perceive your circumstances or the world around you; which in turn determines how you respond to such circumstances and challenges. This is the main reason why two individuals may respond in a diametrically opposed fashion when be faced with identical opportunities or challenges. As they interpret the events that surround them differently, their responses to such events will be different and consequently, the outcomes that they experience will also be different. The ironic but dangerous thing about attitude is this – the results we receive in life are a reflection of our general attitude towards it. It is the difference in attitude that allows one person to perceive opportunities in circumstances where others see challenges. It is the difference in attitude that allows one man to attempt dreams that others regard as impossible. It is the difference in attitude that makes one man continue to persevere while others quit at the first sign of a challenge. It is the difference in attitude that allows one man to enjoy a life of extraordinary success while others live a life of quiet desperation and frustration. It is attitude that allows successful people to continue being successful while the mediocre remain mediocre. There really is no two ways about it. Your attitude towards life determines what you get out of it. Think of it as a “karmic quid pro quo”. To get better out of life you WILL have to become better. To become better, you WILL have to make better choices and your attitude WILL have to improve. For your attitude to improve, you WILL have to believe differently. To believe differently, you WILL have to think differently. Your attitudes are driven by your beliefs and the only way you can improve your attitude is by improving your beliefs. Simple example – if you believe that you are a go-getter who always achieves his or her goals, this will drive your behaviour and in turn your attitude towards life and its challenges. As this is your genuine belief about yourself, your attitude will be upbeat, confident and results-driven and as such you will achieve success in your endeavours and command the respect of those around you. How much do you think you can achieve in your lifetime? Do you think the future is bright or dim? Do you think people generally support you or try to bring you down? Do you think you have what it takes to really achieve your dreams? What do you think life offers you more – pleasures or challenges? Do you think people are generally good or bad? Do you think you are generally liked or disliked? Answer the above questions honestly. They might tell you a lot about yourself.”
 
Alright there you have it, a pretty decent read eh?  Make it happen today!
 
Yours in Hospitality,
Brian
 
Article Source: August 28, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Motivations Articles
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