Making The Decision

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I am in the beginning stages of transitioning my brain into accepting that it is time for me to sell.  If I knew where I was going from here, if I had a plan for my next career, then this wouldn't be so difficult.  But I don't.  I just know that it's time to get out, knowing full well that it could easily take years to sell.  This is a really tough decision for me - not just for that reason, but because this has been all I've known for ten years.  I converted an old, neglected house into a beautiful, successful four room inn BY MYSELF.  I've run it by myself, just as many of you do.  I'm very proud of what I've done.  But I'm tired.  I'm tired of not having any time to myself.  Tired of the guilt I feel if I try to relax in my own home for 30 minutes because there are chores waiting.  Tired of someone always being in my house.  Just...tired.

So my question is for those that have sold, or are in the process, or are even contemplating selling.  Did you have something else lined up when you made the decision, or just hope something would come around?  Have any of you stopped using your house as a B&B and started using it as another business? 

 

I guess I'm wondering if it's normal to be so ready to get out that you don't really care what's next? 

Country Girl's picture
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02/20/2009

Wow, from the sounds of things, it seems like a lot of us are experiencing burnout at the same time this year. I feel the collective pain, physically and mentally, of all of you. Maybe we should all meet somewhere and have a drink! Banana, you need to take some time off and pamper yourself. Sometimes great clarity comes while getting away from your every day routine. You may discover what's next for your when you're least expecting it. If it's any consolation, I have no idea what my next phase of life will be either. One thing I do know is that it won't be a job where I work from home. 

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Madeleine's picture
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Country Girl wrote:

Wow, from the sounds of things, it seems like a lot of us are experiencing burnout at the same time this year. I feel the collective pain, physically and mentally, of all of you. Maybe we should all meet somewhere and have a drink! Banana, you need to take some time off and pamper yourself. Sometimes great clarity comes while getting away from your every day routine. You may discover what's next for your when you're least expecting it. If it's any consolation, I have no idea what my next phase of life will be either. One thing I do know is that it won't be a job where I work from home. 

It's the end of a very busy, very long season. Even newbies I know are feeling the pain.

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01/12/2013

I did take my annual two weeks in September and came back despising the business.  I've been able to work that out and am now just plugging along, with better attitude than I had for a while, but I know it will come back.  I also just came back from two days away, and that will help.  It's now our slow season, so that makes it easier also.  I guess I'm just trying to plan, and am not comfortable with putting my house on the market and not knowing what's next for me?  It may very well be that I am meant to be here for awhile yet, until that next thing drops in my lap.  I am a strong believer that things happen just as they are supposed to - it gets me through rough spots. 

That decision to do it though...it's just killing me.  It sounds great - in theory.  Actually doing it - scares the bejezzus outta me!

gillumhouse's picture
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I am a firm believer in there is a Reason for everything and Everything has a reason. I have seen it too many times to NOT believe in it.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I do know what I'll do in the next phase after innkeeping, but DH doesn't know what he'll do. First thing we'll do though is take some time off from everything. Do some traveling and get our heads together. We know where we're going to live so that's a big comfort.

As a solo innkeeper I can't imagine how tough it is on you. I'm sure you have many talents. Hopefully one of those talents will lead you into the next phase and you'll once again be doing what you love.

Hang in there...you never know when the right path will show itself.

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01/12/2013

All of these comments help.  Especially the thought of not really having a plan in place.  When I bought this place, I had no intention of opening a B&B. I lived half the country away, in  a government job with all the benefits, seniority, lots of friends, and a house that was paid off (at the age of 35!).  I was doing amazingly well for myself, and I guess I thought I'd just buy this 4000 square foot 120 year old monster of a neglected house and flip it!  Or something!  No intentions on living in it. 

After I signed the closing papers, life at my old job went downhill.  I started hating it - was not happy.  I was not happy with the area that I was living (beautiful, but too many people - Puget Sound, WA), and I just wanted a change.  A big change it was.  A complete change of careers, climate, house, friends, attitude, health.  Things just came together.  My faith tells me God sent me here, even though I had no freaking clue what I was doing.  And He has led me the entire time.  I'm very happy with the person I've become and what I've done for the house, but mostly for the people that come through the doors.  I know I make a difference in peoples' lives.  I see it in their face, I hear it in their voices, I receive it in the forms of gifts and hugs and tips and dinner invitations and set ups with their single sons (hahah).  But I'm ready for the next step, and I'm just scared Potty Mouth (auto filter)less that I'm not doing the right thing! 

Alot of times in my life, I've done things that I wasn't sure about, didn't feel completely comfortable with...and it has almost always worked out to my advantage.  I have amazing angels that watch over me, I think Smiling 

So I've obviously babbled.  As you all know, it's not just a financial and lifestyle decision.  It's very emotional, and I think I just have to adjust to the fact that I may not be COMPLETELY okay with this decision.  But I need to do it.  I hear myself in my head and feel my facial expressions when dealing with someone different that checks in, or a food allergy, or someone that shuts the door too hard, or speaks too loudly, or comes to breakfast late. It's just....people.  They're all different, and that's what makes the world an interesting place, isn't it?  When I start getting all riled up about these little things, I think it's time.

Wow...ok...now I'm done.  Thanks for hanging in there with me, if you made it this far! 

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07/23/2008

Hey, Puget Sound WA???? I'm from Bremerton!!! Why haven't I picked up on you being from the area before??? 

I agree with Gillum! sometimes you need to 'schedule' breaks... and yes, it does take a while to sell... We've been up for sale now for a year.

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I lived in Tacoma for about 15 years before moving to Galveston, TX.  Don't miss it a bit.  Too many people!

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BananaE29 wrote:

I lived in Tacoma for about 15 years before moving to Galveston, TX.  Don't miss it a bit.  Too many people!

The Tacoma Aroma...I was just there in Sept. I sat on the new nalley valley viaduct with the merging of I-5 and HWY 16 at 5am in the morning - but I had the carpool lane and was buzzing past at the end of Fife giving people the happy hand... Smiling

This after paying $6 to cross the new bridge (which was under construction when I lived there) and...HWY 16 has traffic all day long now on the Peninsula...I couldn't get over it.

and this:

the old constant drizzle, lack of sun, dampness...

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It takes...oh...15 minutes (at the most) after getting in my rental car at the airport to have things flying out of my mouth that I haven't said in months (even under my breath at guests!). I get severe road rage there - people are so rude and actually go out of their way to avoid letting you merge. 

Even on a "mountain" day, when the sun comes out and you can clearly see Mt Rainier...it's not worth the stress.  The only thing I truly miss is my friends and a Starbucks (or other locally owned espresso shop) on every corner Smiling 

Madeleine's picture
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Sometimes you really need to schedule real breaks for yourself. I have always been how you feel now. (That idiot, can't they just do it the right way??? They told me they couldn't eat xyz and look at them!!!)

So I need time off. Really off. Away off not just here answering the phone and the doorbell and doing laundry. Real downtime off.

I am now taking 3 days to myself. No biz phone, no email, no nothing and just enjoying the solitude. It's not easy after being ON for months to shut off. I find myself fidgety. But it's necessary to go away.

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Madeleine wrote:

Sometimes you really need to schedule real breaks for yourself. I have always been how you feel now. (That idiot, can't they just do it the right way??? They told me they couldn't eat xyz and look at them!!!)

So I need time off. Really off. Away off not just here answering the phone and the doorbell and doing laundry. Real downtime off.

I am now taking 3 days to myself. No biz phone, no email, no nothing and just enjoying the solitude. It's not easy after being ON for months to shut off. I find myself fidgety. But it's necessary to go away.

are you referring to my common complaint of wanting to chew my foot off to escape from the trap?

life is too short. If you want to block off a week and spend time with family or travel, JUST DO IT!

In the end, the bottom line means nothing, what you do with today means everything.

For those people who say so and so is a workaholic...they have never known innkeepers. We eat sleep and drink this business. We live in it, and it is a part of us 24/7.

Esp when you own your own business, you make the rules, you are the boss, etc etc. Do what you want to do. If someone you love is getting married...go. Plan out as much as possible, you are not supposed to be bound and chained to your B&B. 

This gets back to the "do you have a home" or whatever that thread was called. Do you hate your home? Which is what happens when you want out bad. Make it YOUR HOME. Slow down. Take time to enjoy where you are, right here, right now. Or else you will regret it later on.

On this same note we had the discussions on the forum for years about the guest areas not being for the family, IRS, deductions etc. Live in your home. Eat at your dining table. Stuff the rest of it, it is your home, you pay the mortgage, the taxes, mow the lawns...enjoy it. smiley

gillumhouse's picture
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life is too short. If you want to block off a week and spend time with family or travel, JUST DO IT!

In the end, the bottom line means nothing, what you do with today means everything.

For those people who say so and so is a workaholic...they have never known innkeepers. We eat sleep and drink this business. We live in it, and it is a part of us 24/7.

Esp when you own your own business, you make the rules, you are the boss, etc etc. Do what you want to do. If someone you love is getting married...go. Plan out as much as possible, you are not supposed to be bound and chained to your B&B.

That is the beauty of online reservations - you just block out the days you do NOT want guests because it is YOUR time. When my kids visit - everything is blocked. I have a Conference or a City obligation? blocked. I want a road trip? BLOCKED!!!

I had a wedding I wanted to go to so I blocked, got a waiting list e-mail for departure day - so I had brekkie in the fridge & DH did it. She even pre-paid with check since DH does not do payments. My mantra re occupancy is - its only money. (Money does not buy happy)

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05/22/2008

Yep it 's all the little things that eat away at you. I am thankful we didn't have to deal with the food phobias etc etc. back then. I couldn't take what all of you put up with these days for sure. But remember, unless you close or sell it right away, things will not change and you will have to continue to deal with them until it sells.

Good luck. We know exactly how you feel.

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yes

I have so many things I want to do...but alas we wait.

Loans are not there for us "lifestyle B&B's" and then the inn consultants will only advising people to purchase B&Bs that are $1.5-2.5 mil range. (as has been my experience of late where people love this B&B and it fits their needs, but the consultant advisor tells them no way and only wants them to get into the bigger properties)

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

purchase B&Bs that are $1.5-2.5 mil range. (as has been my experience of late where people love this B&B and it fits their needs, but the consultant advisor tells them no way and only wants them to get into the bigger properties)

We went thru this, too. Our broker sent us a ton of info about 'your next step up property'. No thanks. We like it here. People (buyers) need to do research on their own and stop being led around by the nose. Our mortgage lender (private home buy) told us we could afford a $300k loan so we shouldn't limit ourselves to small properties. We went with a house that cost less than that and a mortgage of $100k and we were strapped with 3 kids in college and losing jobs. No one knows how you want to live, they only look at the commission.

The buyer has to sort this for themselves.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

purchase B&Bs that are $1.5-2.5 mil range. (as has been my experience of late where people love this B&B and it fits their needs, but the consultant advisor tells them no way and only wants them to get into the bigger properties)

We went thru this, too. Our broker sent us a ton of info about 'your next step up property'. No thanks. We like it here. People (buyers) need to do research on their own and stop being led around by the nose. Our mortgage lender (private home buy) told us we could afford a $300k loan so we shouldn't limit ourselves to small properties. We went with a house that cost less than that and a mortgage of $100k and we were strapped with 3 kids in college and losing jobs. No one knows how you want to live, they only look at the commission.

The buyer has to sort this for themselves.

You're both right about the brokers. That is why I always caution aspiring innkeepers to know WHO is giving the aspiring innkeeping workshop. There are a lot out there that are inexpensive, and that's because they are put on by brokers. It doesn't mean they're bad, but they do have a motive. Know before you go that some information may be stressed more because it's in their interest to find buyers for those large expensive properties.

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05/22/2008

I know EXACTLY how you feel. But it took me just 6 years and I had help from my husband. We knew we could not get our price for the B & B so just closed it and now live here and probably will until they roll one of us out the door. Unless things change drastically and we could sell it. But I don't see that happening any time soon. We love it here and can afford to stay here so not a big deal. I actually hate the thought of trying to pack up everything and move.

I had another passion to move on to...so have kept busy with web design and make more now than the B & B could ever have. And with my retirement income..all is good. Thank the Lord!

Take some time to asses your skills. See what it is you have a passion for. Is there a way you could do something with the B & B and still stay there?  Have you considered something like a house share where you could share it with friends who don't want to live in their homes any longer? There was an article in AARP magazine a few months ago about just that and it was working well for many people.  If this sounds doable, then you wouldn't worry about putting the house up for sale and taking years for it to sell.

Depending on your location, you could wait years or maybe get lucky. I know...lots to consider. Good luck to you. 

Madeleine's picture
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We had a plan to leave after 10 years. We're there now and see how difficult it is to sell at the price we need so we've mentally extended our stay another 5 years. At that time we will be old enough to be retired and collecting all of our retirement money.

As for what to do next? I have never planned the next step. I'm not much of a long range planner. Making a plan and then carrying it out just doesn't seem possible.

For the next stage in life something will come up and I'll decide that looks good and go for it.

Not sure that helps you or not.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

We had a plan to leave after 10 years. We're there now and see how difficult it is to sell at the price we need so we've mentally extended our stay another 5 years. At that time we will be old enough to be retired and collecting all of our retirement money.

As for what to do next? I have never planned the next step. I'm not much of a long range planner. Making a plan and then carrying it out just doesn't seem possible.

For the next stage in life something will come up and I'll decide that looks good and go for it.

Not sure that helps you or not.

We're right there with you Maddie. We originally thought we'd do it for about 10 years. We're now in our 13th year. It's still not the best time to get the most out of the biz, so we'll wait another couple of years before putting it on the market, then see how many years it will take to sell. We're in a unique position because even though we have only 4 rooms, we're not a "lifestyle" property. Someone is going to need a LARGE down payment to make it work. Because of that, the pressure is really on us to keep the revenue up.

gillumhouse's picture
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I came to the decision it was time to sell several years ago - but have had to put that plan on hold until after DH dies (if I outlive him). That is not as cold as it sounds. I want to sell because that is the ONLY way I can ensure it stays a B & B for at least a little longer. However, this house is set up the way DH needs - everything on the first floor is as he needs it to be. He hates change. So I will never move him as long as he is able to live here.

PLUS I need to remove all his STUFF to make the OQ look like something someone else would like to live in. (Artists have LOTS of junk and people who have had as many interests as DH have even MORE.)

And I DO believe it is normal to not be concerned about what is next. I firmly believe what I am supposed to do next will appear when I am supposed to do it. I maintain I was ready for Shin nston when I moved here - and Shi nnston was ready for ME!

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