Category Archives: Career

Service over status – character over comfort – we over me

If you have ever wondered how to be the best version of yourself, I would suggest the following. Look for opportunities for service over status, choose character over your own comfort and make the word we, more important than the word me.

Service over status – Whatever your job or task is, take the attitude and willingness to serve, not lead. If you take this mental mindset, you will have the respect of the people around you. Lean more into the roll of the job versus your title for the job. When a person is always looking for a better status/ title, it is generally a career killer. People want to promote people who care more about the job than a new and bigger title. Throughout my life I have held many titles, but the two most dear to my heart are, husband and daddy. All the fancy titles in the world pale in comparison.

Years ago, when I was in the restaurant business, we were having some new coffee equipment installed by Standard Coffee. I got to talking with the equipment installer and about life and work. The equipment installer had the same last name as the chairman of Standard Coffee so I asked him about it. He told me he was his son. I asked him why he was installing equipment instead of other executive roles in the company. What he said, left an impression on me to this day. He said, “If I want people within the company to respect me, I need them to know I was willing to start at the bottom.” What a leadership attitude.

Character over comfort – There is a saying that is so very true. Whatever you compromise to keep you will eventually lose. You just cannot compromise integrity and expect it to not have an effect on you. When you do compromise your ethics, it peals a piece of your soul off with it. Its impossible to remain the same person after you compromised yourself for some short-term gain. If you are asked to do something unethical, and you refuse, you may lose the temporary gain but those people around you will respect you and in my humble opinion, you will come out better over time.

We over me – So much in the world today is about me. It turns my stomach to see all the self-centered, posts, blogs, news feeds, articles about people that only care about themselves. The best advice anyone can give is when you are asked “how did you do it?” is to say, “it was team effort, and we did it together.” That answer makes you look real, honest, approachable, and transparent. If you personally take all the credit, it just makes you look small.

So, look for opportunities for service over status, choose character over comfort and make the word we, more important than the word me. KT

Being around the right people

I heard a guy say many years ago that the person you will be in five years will depend on the people you associate with and the books you read. The more I think about this statement the more I believe it is true. If you spend your time only around small minded people who talk about other people, you will become a small minded person that talks about other people. If you are around people with dreams, desires, and goals, you will become a person with dreams, desires, and goals.

In society today many people may not have the opportunity to be around people of influence, so they must find that association another way. Through the books they read. People learn the most by the people they associate with, but the second greatest influence is the books you read.

I get a chuckle when I think about how I learned to sell hotels. It was 1990 and the company I joined probably let me join just to prove the point that not everyone can sell a hotel. Ha. They thought you had to have education, contacts, experience and know the business. Well, that’s wrong.  What you needed was the desire. The company I joined didn’t have some training program that developed the broker. No sir. They had a metal two door file cabinet with seven listings in it. My training program consisted of the managing partner taking me over to that metal file cabinet and opening the doors and saying, “there it is, if you can learn it, great, if not, that’s ok too.” Then he walked away. You might think I am kidding but I am not. That was literally it. The point is, I learned the business by being around other hotel brokers and listening to them talk and watching what they did. That was the greatest teacher I could have had.

We often give our children guidelines that we don’t personally follow. We as parents want our children to be around good kids, wholesome kids, kids with manners, kids that plan on college, kids that have been raised well etc. and the list could go on for pages. We seem to want and even possibly demand these type friends for our children, yet many times we don’t look for these same qualities in our friends.

Trust me when I say, it’s likely you will be in five years much like the people you most associate with. Dreams, visions, and goals are most influenced by the people you are around.

Over my years I have hired many hotel brokers, and some have failed. Possibly it’s because I tried too hard to coddle them and train them when what I should have done was open the metal file cabinet and patted them on the back and walked away. Ha. KT

When “I don’t think I can” really means “I don’t think I am.”

That title may be a little confusing. Many times, when people say, “I don’t think I can,” what they really mean is, “I don’t think I am.” Huge difference. A deeper dive is they don’t see themselves as being talented enough, worthy enough, smart enough or capable enough. They have lost some of their confidence and therefore it is much easier to just say, “I can’t,” instead of what the true reason is.

We all go through periods in life when things are going good and periods when things are not going so well. It is in the not so good periods, that we sometimes lose some self-confidence and forget who we are and how we got here. This is what I want to speak to.

It is amazing how the first step can be so hard and so full of dread yet feel so rewarding once we take it. It could be the first step to an exercise program, completing a project, making a change that is long overdue, taking some new educational course, repairing a relationship etc. etc. and the list could go on for pages. Like any decent salesman, I have a call list for every day but many times I find myself looking for anything else to do other than simply call the list. When I take that first step and call the first name, it is interesting how much easier calling the second and third etc. becomes because I took the first step and called the first name on the list.

When you feel a little slower in your step or a little less self-assured, I find that doing a quick personal inventory is what helps me. I think through all the areas of my life (family, friends, work, financial, socially) and it doesn’t take long (for me at least) to realize how very blessed I already am. I also acknowledge that it was God who got me here and not myself. I began to think through all the turns in life that could have gone the other way and yet by the sheer grace of God, here I am.

Again, for me at least, looking back how I got here seems to help me take on the next challenge so I can say “yes I can” because what I am really saying is “yes I am.” KT

Pine Straw Theory

I have a theory about sales, and I use the pine straw example as the metaphor. People generally hire the person that stays in touch with them. Not always. but most of the time

We have large flower beds in our front yard with shrubs, plants, flowers etc. We use pine straw to cover the ground and make them look good. In the 21 years we have lived where we do, I always hire the pine straw guys that knocks on my door and has the truck in the driveway loaded with the pine straw. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I don’t go hunting for the guy’s card I bought it from two years ago. I go with who is there today. I also suspect that many clients use the person that calls them and stays in touch with them.

Last week, I called two hotel owners I know well but haven’t spoken to in well over a year. They both said the same thing to me on the phone which is the purpose of this blog. They both said, “thank you for calling me and yes I want to discuss selling some hotels with you.” I sat back after those two calls and reminded myself of business 101 and the power of a call to just check in. People tend to respond to the people that are there now. You could have made the best presentation in the history of all presentations three years ago, but if you haven’t called the client recently, you may be missing out.

Even if you are an employee of a company, call your boss or stop by their office and just say, “I was just checking in to see if there is anything I can help you with.” You would be amazed how something that simple impresses people and endears you to them. We often hide behind texts and emails, but the live touch (phone call) is in many situations, the difference maker. KT


Babe Ruth said, “you just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

I have always been drawn to movies that are based on true stories like, Rudy, Invincible, Miracle, Secretariat, etc. There is something about an underdog winning that I have always enjoyed. In every one of those movies, they all have one thing in common. An actor that portrays a real person that just wouldn’t give up.

The apostle Paul was much like that in real life. He was persecuted and beaten for the gospel’s sake, but he never gave up. One such story is the the book of Acts and took place in the town of Lystra. A mob of religious people dragged Paul outside the town walls and stoned him until they were sure he was dead and then left him there. Later Paul got up and brushed off his clothes and went right back to the town center and started preaching again. He just wouldn’t give up.

There are times and relationships that you have no choice than to give up on. We all know situations like that. What I guess I am talking about is the person that gives up quickly. When you make a habit of giving up easy, the problem is it becomes a habit that can affect your life for many years. I supposed the advice is to give your best and don’t leave anything on the table. Try as hard as you can. I believe when you do that, you can rest easy knowing you did everything you could. KT