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

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