The first year I sold hotels, I met a hotel owner named Mike from South Georgia. Mike was the same age as I was, and he was looking for his second hotel to buy. Mike had owned his first hotel for 8-9 years.
We met at his hotel, and we started on a road trip to see several hotels. In the course of the trip, we began to talk a little about ourselves and our history. We become friends as we drove and talked.
The burning question I had for Mike was “how did you get started and how did you make it”? See, Mike and I were the same age, but yet he was doing great and I was broke and struggling in a new career.
He told me something that day that stopped me in my tracks.
In a hotel, you have people that run the office and front desk 24 hours a day. Then, you have people that clean the rooms, maintenance work, etc. The night shift at the front desk is slow, as you can imagine, but never completely quiet. There are calls from the guests, wrong number calls, and people calling for directions. You get what I am saying. The night shift is not super busy, but you would think a person working that shift would get several calls an hour.
When I asked Mike how he did it, he told me that for the first 7 years he worked the office desk during the day and his wife cleaned the rooms. He also did all maintenance himself. His wife would work the front desk for a few hours in the afternoon while Mike took a nap. Then Mike told me that for 7 years straight he worked most of the day at the front desk, but he also worked every shift through the night. Let me say that again, he worked every night shift for 7 years in addition to what he did during the day.
He said he had a cot behind the wall behind the front desk, and he would nap during calls through the night. Imagine every night getting 10-20 calls and waking up 10-20 times to address the situation.
So he worked during the day and every night for 7 years.
When he told me this, I was amazed and taken back at the commitment he made to be successful. I developed a great respect for Mike that day as a man and as an American father and husband.
When you look in your children’s eyes and see the trust they have in you as a father, it will drive you to do whatever it takes to see that your family and your children are taken care of. KT