My precocious 18-year-old granddaughter made a comment several months ago that I can't stop thinking about: 'Nana always wants more!' She's right. No matter how much time we spend together, I always want more. No matter how I'm swooning over a delicious meal or savoring every vacation day, I always want more. It's not greed; it's desire. Time is the ultimate gift, especially as we age. I do want more!
I use my time well, especially as I'm about to 'hang another year on the line,' as Paul Simon says. Incessantly, I identify reasons to stick around: to witness (without judgment) my grandchildren's adult choices, to witness the glory of Arizona sunsets, and the kindness of others, friends and strangers, that hold a door open or are extra patient while I stumble through technological everyday changes. I do yearn for more simplicity and less complications.
Brene Brown is one of my teachers:
How do you change a time scarcity mindset?
Here are several ideas to ponder:
You already know how thrilled I am when you email your responses to me...yes, I want more!
My business coaching continues as well as my coaching to support you in creating a new way of aging. My wisdom grows deeper everyday...it only matters when I share it with you! Let me support your efforts and challenges in living your best life!
Here's hoping life is better than good where you are!
Talk to me. Susan@SusanLBrooks.com.
Featured Modern Elders*
Karen and Jeff
ORIGINS Bed and Breakfast
928 224 2922
If you are a teacher, a therapist, or a coach, like me, there is nothing finer or more fulfilling than to witness your client using your wisdom to demonstrate their learned lessons in their success. This was the privilege I experienced when I stayed in the Copper Room at ORIGINS in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Back in 2014, Karen and Jeff started to seriously consider what retirement could look like for them. Peace Corp? Retire fully? Partial retirement? Jeff, age 61, was an industrial engineer as well as a Council board member in his community, and Karen, age 62, was the COO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. Moving their mindset and lifestyle from the corporate world to an entrepreneurial venture was an evolution over time. Instead of delivering someone else's defined company vision and culture, now life was all about their own brand, vision and values that needed to be integrated and defined for what was right for them. Not an easy transition...and there was no paycheck!
Fortunately, their business processes and management skills made them both great problem solvers. Their integrity and authenticity was on the line with every decision and action. Their intention was clear!
Karen and I started working together to help identify opportunities for their future. Through those sessions it became clear that a Bed and Breakfast was the right choice for them. They knew that building a firm entrepreneurial foundation was their next step to move forward. As Karen and I continued working together we discussed: what is your company name that best defines what you are really selling? Who is your customer? Know your numbers for ongoing sustainability...
One of their first assignments was to attend an industry conference in New Orleans to talk with more B&B hosts, meet vendors, and clarify their individual roles and the efficient digital processes that needed to be developed. Many of the attending hosts did their best to talk them out of this project! "It's hard work. Too much competition. Not easy to be profitable."
But, Jeff and Karen stayed brave and continued onward to find the property that fit their vision, and boy! Did they ever hit the jackpot: located on a bluff above the Verde River, with views of Sedona and Jerome and the gorgeous Mingus Mountains. All the windows are built on this property with generous views and inspirational southwestern art work sitting front and center.
When I asked what it was like to work together in this new partnership capacity, Jeff responded first: "We like each other. We like working with each other. We're both introverts, so instead of hiding in the kitchen, which would be easy to do, we support each other in working out of our comfort zone to serve our customers and contribute to our new community."
Filling in the brand differentiators, the most efficient processes and service experiences for their customers was the focus for our ongoing coaching agenda:
Origins opened their doors November, 2020...in the height of Covid! Immediately, creative solutions and hard work were in demand: Karen says, "no breaks, no getting sick, needing every reservation...we didn't think about ourselves! You just can't put your business on hold. We wrote our Operations and Process manuals. We got creative, offering people a stay for $25 to give us input and a review. We went through every step of scheduling, welcoming and saying goodbye, observing every possible clue to know how to improve every customer experience. We leveraged our skills, and used them differently." At one point, they had a guest in the house every day for 12 weeks and that is when they realized they had to schedule breaks into their reservation system.
As Dustin Hoffman says: It's true what they say about failure. You don't learn from success.
So, now what? I ask (as any coach would). You did it! You envisioned and built Origins from the ground up. You are profitable, AND sustainable. You are loving and living to serve your customers AND your community. All in 3 years!!!
I was shocked by their answer: "We don't need to grow."
Instead of wanting more, better or different, Karen and Jeff choose controlled growth, an unheard-of concept amongst most entrepreneurs. My respect deepened for them. Their marriage, partnership, and lifestyle centered on serving their customers, their community, and each other. Congratulations!
Then, I asked them both: what advice would you give to other would-be entrepreneurs?
These are their nuggets (you just might recognize the words):
Karen and Jeff worked their plan, coveted their values and figured out how to demonstrate these in every action and decision in running their business.
See for yourself: Origins www.originsbedandbreakfast.com.
I strongly suggest you make reservations now!
If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now! Susan@SusanLBrooks.com.
*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder*marries wisdom and curiosity."
Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders*. Please send in your Modern Elder* nomination. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT