September 3, 2013

Go “Fore” it!

I was recently honored to be a part of the host committee for The Barclays golf tournament, which is the first stop for the top players hoping to win the coveted Fed Ex Cup. Being at a golf tournament for a week might have seemed like I was on vacation, but as a small business owner like innkeepers, I am always working or thinking about my business. As someone who lives her business (in a good way, I think), I found myself comparing the similarities of running a business to the golf tournament during the week. And I benefited from many inspiring moments that are important aspects of running a business, no matter if you hit the greens or not.

One of the events I attended was the Executive Women’s Day, which is part of the overall Women’s Initiative of the PGA TOUR. While it was a women’s event, the inspiration applied to all business owners; in fact, one of the most inspiring quotes is attributed to a hockey player, Wayne Gretzky. His quote applies to hockey, golf, life, and of course, business. “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In thinking about this quote, are there things you’ve thought about trying for your business, but for whatever reason have put them off? I know I have, and I plan to start keeping a list of ideas to grow my business and be more serious about implementing them. If you don’t take the shot you can’t make it; and while this seems evident, it’s a good reminder for all business owners.

The Barclays Host Committee with Adam Scott

Another topic was the balance between family life, work and community activities. This is an area I have struggled with myself, and I have had to work at setting priorities and boundaries in order to be effective in all three areas. This is easier said than done because we can’t control guest requests. But as obvious as it is, it’s worth the recommitment to try and achieve a balance. In Chapter 16 of Running a Bed and Breakfast For Dummies, I offer some ways you can carve out time for yourself.

Watching the players’ dedication to the game was also inspirational. Too often I think it's easy to be disappointed when we don’t see immediate results. Just like professional golfers who practice endlessly on their swings, making tweaks or changing their equipment, we need to do the same for our own success. Just because a wedding package didn’t work last year, does that mean you shouldn’t tweak it and try again? Chapter 17 of Running a Bed and Breakfast For Dummies is all about looking into the future and coming up with ideas for taking your business to the next level.

We never know what each day will bring. One golfer was far behind the pack, and some worried he might not make the cut (be in the tournament). However, he ended up playing so well on the last day that he was a top 10 finisher and just two behind the winner. We need to be realistic; yet, if we give up and get discouraged we’ll never be our best.

Tournaments are played over days filled with good moments mixed with tough ones; and our businesses run in similar cycles, with good periods and challenging ones. However, just like Adam Scott, who was the eventual winner of The Barclays, it’s important to stay the “course” and keep focus on your goals.

I enjoyed the tournament profusely and hope some of these takeaways are inspirational to you, too.

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