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NW BB

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Someone may have 10 rooms, but you can't tell me that 1 person can turn over 10 rooms at once! Even if those rooms are small!
We have 4 rooms, but 2 are suites, 1 cottage and 1 is a typical good size guest room. There is no way 1 person can turn over all our rooms by themself in 3 1/2 hours. When we hire an innsitter I make sure that either the rooms are staggered for check outs or I will block 1 room off so they will never have to even try to turn over all the rooms in one day,
Samster, I know how you are feeling. I feel the same way at the end of our busy season (summer). I haven't had a day off for 6 months, my body is so exhausted I can barely stand up when I get out of bed and my brain is fried. My DH and I do everything at our inn except we hire out a little of the yard maintenance. I'm not complaining mind you...well ok, just a little. But it's the best complaint an innkeeper can have! You're so busy, that you're exhausted. That means that you're doing something right. I know that you're relatively new to this, so your mind and body will develop some endurance to it. It's a slow process. Hang in there, you must be doing a great job!
 

Morticia

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Someone may have 10 rooms, but you can't tell me that 1 person can turn over 10 rooms at once! Even if those rooms are small!
We have 4 rooms, but 2 are suites, 1 cottage and 1 is a typical good size guest room. There is no way 1 person can turn over all our rooms by themself in 3 1/2 hours. When we hire an innsitter I make sure that either the rooms are staggered for check outs or I will block 1 room off so they will never have to even try to turn over all the rooms in one day,
Samster, I know how you are feeling. I feel the same way at the end of our busy season (summer). I haven't had a day off for 6 months, my body is so exhausted I can barely stand up when I get out of bed and my brain is fried. My DH and I do everything at our inn except we hire out a little of the yard maintenance. I'm not complaining mind you...well ok, just a little. But it's the best complaint an innkeeper can have! You're so busy, that you're exhausted. That means that you're doing something right. I know that you're relatively new to this, so your mind and body will develop some endurance to it. It's a slow process. Hang in there, you must be doing a great job!.
When the first really busy weekends hit consistently, we fall asleep in the middle of the day! By the next month, we can go all day. By mid-summer we're hitting our stride. Heaven help us, tho, if we get a day or two off, we are so out of it the next busy day!
 

Samster

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
Thanks! Enjoying the guests is what keeps me sane :)
Yep, there is definitely a critical point when the work is too much for one person without help, either from your significant other or hired help. We have 5 rooms but 2 of them can be 2 room suites with actually means 7 rooms of guests. There is a big difference between doing it on your own, having occasional help, and having 2 full-time innkeepers. Huge difference!
I have blocked some time out to re-group before the next onslaught. It was what I needed to do....
 

Samster

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
.
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I am multi-tasking now - eating lunch and checking in here :)
 

Samster

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Someone may have 10 rooms, but you can't tell me that 1 person can turn over 10 rooms at once! Even if those rooms are small!
We have 4 rooms, but 2 are suites, 1 cottage and 1 is a typical good size guest room. There is no way 1 person can turn over all our rooms by themself in 3 1/2 hours. When we hire an innsitter I make sure that either the rooms are staggered for check outs or I will block 1 room off so they will never have to even try to turn over all the rooms in one day,
Samster, I know how you are feeling. I feel the same way at the end of our busy season (summer). I haven't had a day off for 6 months, my body is so exhausted I can barely stand up when I get out of bed and my brain is fried. My DH and I do everything at our inn except we hire out a little of the yard maintenance. I'm not complaining mind you...well ok, just a little. But it's the best complaint an innkeeper can have! You're so busy, that you're exhausted. That means that you're doing something right. I know that you're relatively new to this, so your mind and body will develop some endurance to it. It's a slow process. Hang in there, you must be doing a great job!.
That is the killer...a couple of 2 room suites, another with 2 beds, and then 2 very large suites (they take 45 mins to clean). If all our rooms were a "regular" size and just had tub/shower combos, that would be a BIG difference right there. It takes A LOT of time to clean the bathrooms here with showers & 2 person jetted tubs. That is what takes it out of you. Then, there is staying on top of the kitchen, common areas, porches, grounds, and on and on as you all know.
I'm saying all this on the forum because these are the dirty little secrets that no one tells you before you get into this business! haha!
 

Morticia

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
.
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I am multi-tasking now - eating lunch and checking in here :)
.
Samster said:
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I am multi-tasking now - eating lunch and checking in here :)
This is where you need to decide if you really do need to hire someone, even if 'just' to do the laundry. There comes a time when, in order to expand operations, you have to hire people to do the drudge work so you can be fresh. (Feel free to repeat that back to me in July when I'm a raving lunatic...)
I generally read a book a week, sometimes 2-3, even in the summer. But, that's because there are 2 of us at it each day. Hubs just went ranting around the house earlier that he's going out tomorrow to do something he wants to do (he's painting today, apprently he hates painting, news to me). I think that was brought on by me going out shopping last night with my friend and then going to dinner, too. Me, who never leaves the house practically.
 

YellowSocks

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
.
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I am multi-tasking now - eating lunch and checking in here :)
.
Samster said:
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I watch no TV whatsoever.
The books I want to read have been piling up for the last five years.
But we're in the off season, and I read really fast, so I read this one by staying up late two nights in a row.
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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When I am the busiest reading is the one thing that turns my mind off or I can never sleep. I read more when I am busier than when I am not. Not that i get alot read - but incrementally it adds up.
 

happykeeper

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best.
 

Morticia

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
I am envious. We went away for 2 days in Jan. We'll go for another 2-3 days coming up here to visit daughter #1, then a couple of days to see daughter #2. But 60 days for travel? Wow! We take 30 days to work on the inn!
Are you closed while you're traveling?
 

happykeeper

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
I am envious. We went away for 2 days in Jan. We'll go for another 2-3 days coming up here to visit daughter #1, then a couple of days to see daughter #2. But 60 days for travel? Wow! We take 30 days to work on the inn!
Are you closed while you're traveling?
.
Aloha Bree,
Yes, we close because we are a niche operation focused on Hawaiian Cultural Arts, so it would'nt be easy to do it with innsitters.
I am sure our style wouldn't fit every situation. I was feeling some empathy for Samster's plight and wanted to share how we are dealing with the, "always on" issue.
I was just thinking that I see a lot of innkeepers talking about the need to give themselves time off and this is how we do that. When we did our initial research way back when, we noticed one very big elephant in the living room. Innkeepers who don't take planned vacations in reasonable amounts end up burnt out by year five or six.
 

Penelope

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
knkbnb said:
Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best.
I am going to preface this by saying that I am not an innkeeper.
However, 60 days off seems very reasonable to me. If you were working a "regular" job, you'd have 52 weeks with 2 days off per year. 60 days off is only slightly more than 1/2 that. Whatever works for you is what works for you
 

Samster

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
Excellent idea in theory :) 60 days of travel would be wonderful. Unfortunately, my dh also works a full-time plus job which only just this year is giving him 4 weeks = 20 days of vacation time. This man is turning 65 this year. Why is he working so hard, you ask?? Hmmm...well, 2 layoffs in the high tech industry and a couple of recessions that have hit our retirement plan pretty hard. I'm not asking for sympathy here, you understand, but this is reality for a lot of folks. In this job, he actually does also have a retirement plan which will hopefully pay him when he does retire & he is now fully vested with this company. Will that disappear? Maybe. No telling, really....and then it would be social security and whatever we've managed to still have put aside.
Anywho, the theory was that I would get the business up and running (we are at a year now) and that in a couple of years he could retire and we would work the business another couple of years and then exit. Hopefully, he could retire at 67 or so. What happens?? A big recession...
I suspect that there are plenty of people that are looking at things this way. Yes, it's good to be busy but it comes in spurts which isn't conducive to having help on a regular basis. Then, in the heat of Summer there will be NO business here.
I was just whining and trying to come up with some ideas on how to take better care of myself so that I wouldn't be so exhausted. Blocking out some days, getting to bed earlier, cutting back on my volunteer work, and trying to get more exercise are the first stabs that I'm making at this.
Thanks to everyone for their support & ideas!!
 

happykeeper

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
knkbnb said:
Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best.
I am going to preface this by saying that I am not an innkeeper.
However, 60 days off seems very reasonable to me. If you were working a "regular" job, you'd have 52 weeks with 2 days off per year. 60 days off is only slightly more than 1/2 that. Whatever works for you is what works for you
.
Actually, the goal is 60 days of travel. In our case, that usually means getting on a plane. We do have about a week of travel on our island in a given year.
 

Samster

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
.
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I am multi-tasking now - eating lunch and checking in here :)
.
Samster said:
I haven't read a book in over 2 years! I don't know how you have the time. I also watch very little TV. Sigh....
I watch no TV whatsoever.
The books I want to read have been piling up for the last five years.
But we're in the off season, and I read really fast, so I read this one by staying up late two nights in a row.
=)
Kk.
.
I read pretty quickly too. There is a growing stack on our headboard of books that I've been meaning to read. :) This Summer when it's slow, there is a loooooooooooooong list of projects! Last year, when we went on vacation we both took books to read & never opened them up!
 

Penelope

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I think one of the good things about you is that you are recognizing it and trying to change your reaction to it instead of thinking that it'll just get better by itself.
You say that summer is your slooooow season. Can I ask why?
 

Samster

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I think one of the good things about you is that you are recognizing it and trying to change your reaction to it instead of thinking that it'll just get better by itself.
You say that summer is your slooooow season. Can I ask why?.
haha! If I didn't change my reaction, it wouldn't be pretty...seriously. It is hotter than Hades here in the Summer and no one comes here, there are no major events, or things to do. People escape to the beach or the mountains which is what we plan to do :) At least for a week or so....
 

gillumhouse

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
.
And that is probably why I get myself up to my ears in the volunteer stuff - it is VERY meaningful to me. I can slip it in between guests and it gives me a reason to not take guests or fix breakfast so DH can serve it after I leave. It breaks up what would probably become a grind of laundry, cleaning, greeting, cooking, laundry....
I am out of the winter doldrums of stuff to do but no oomph to even get started. I am now cahnsing tail and loving every minute of it - except Wednesday when I have to miss what is going to be a very important and interesting meeting because I have a committment in Charleston!
 

NW BB

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We have tried a couple of things to give ourselves a break. The first few years we were innkeepers (it's been 8 years), we did little getaways, not major trips. Building the business and not a lot of money to spend on major trips made it tough to get away. Then we had the "brilliant" idea of buying a used truck for the business which we needed anyway, then pay it off and buy a shiny new super duper truck camper. Since we had moved to this new location when we bought the inn, there was a lot of new territory to see. Hey, with a camper we could throw the dog in it and take a few days here and there when we had a lull in the business mid week. Great idea, right?????
Yeah, you've guessed it...now it's 5 years later, the camper is paid for and we've used it exactly 4 times. And never more than 3 or 4 days at a time! What a waste. It does come in handy though when we're full and family comes to visit! It's amazingly comfortable and has everything you need it in.
A few years ago we started taking a big out of the country vacation once a year. I found it was the only way I could disconnect myself from the B&B. Usually our vacations are only 10-14 days, but what a difference it makes both physically and mentally. This year we'll be doing a tropical vacation in May (lay on the beach and do nothing), then in October we've vowed to get in the camper and do a week or so. If this happens, it will be the first time we've actually taken 2 trips in one year. We'll see if that actually happens.
Whatever you do, you MUST give yourselves a break. With the recession going on there are some amazing travel deals out there. Take advantage of a getaway and you will be doing not only yourself a favor, but in the end it will help you be a better innkeeper.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Aloha Samster,
I can't imagine how you do that. We have four suites and a room manager who handles all the rooms. We are responsible for the rest. We did it all for the first year and a half but we knew that we had to have help, and that's with two of us as full time innkeepers.
I know that the bills have to be paid, but here is what we do.
We built a business plan that gives us 60 days of travel each year.At first blush, that seems like a lot, but when you consider the extra hours we put in without realizing it, it is actually a bit conservative. I have already blocked off time in June for the next getaway. This isn't luxury, this is essential!
This is a busy time in Hawaii, but we just returned from a 2 week vacation to Buenos Aires. We were busy until we departed and we are busy upon our return, but once we blocked off time for vacation, we stuck to it. we had a great time and came back refreshed and ready to go.
Whenever a day or two go unbooked during a normally busy time, we block them off. Often, as those days grow near and we have passed up opportunities to book them, we begin to look forward to a gauranteed break. It can even motivate us to work more beforehand.
One other thought about traveling is that we instantly have things in common with many of our guests, who seem happy to hear that we have been to the same places. We just had dinner in Buenos Aires with guests who had stayed with us in Hawaii just three weeks prior. By the way, Buenos Aires is a very inexpensive place to visit these days. Other guests look forward to the idea that their innkeeper hosts would want to look them up when they are passing through their home town. ETC.
I can't say with certainty that we will make our goal of 60 days this year, but we are going to try our best..
I am envious. We went away for 2 days in Jan. We'll go for another 2-3 days coming up here to visit daughter #1, then a couple of days to see daughter #2. But 60 days for travel? Wow! We take 30 days to work on the inn!
Are you closed while you're traveling?
.
Aloha Bree,
Yes, we close because we are a niche operation focused on Hawaiian Cultural Arts, so it would'nt be easy to do it with innsitters.
I am sure our style wouldn't fit every situation. I was feeling some empathy for Samster's plight and wanted to share how we are dealing with the, "always on" issue.
I was just thinking that I see a lot of innkeepers talking about the need to give themselves time off and this is how we do that. When we did our initial research way back when, we noticed one very big elephant in the living room. Innkeepers who don't take planned vacations in reasonable amounts end up burnt out by year five or six.
.
knkbnb said:
Aloha Bree,
Yes, we close because we are a niche operation focused on Hawaiian Cultural Arts, so it would'nt be easy to do it with innsitters.
I am sure our style wouldn't fit every situation. I was feeling some empathy for Samster's plight and wanted to share how we are dealing with the, "always on" issue.
I was just thinking that I see a lot of innkeepers talking about the need to give themselves time off and this is how we do that. When we did our initial research way back when, we noticed one very big elephant in the living room. Innkeepers who don't take planned vacations in reasonable amounts end up burnt out by year five or six.
ABSOLUTELY!
We take a full week in June - no matter what, and a full week in January - no matter what. Jan we don't lose any business going away. June - we need to be able to enjoy our summer and what we have not too far away. But we still schedule days off during super busy streaks - it is a must. The other innkeeper here works 60+ hours a week outside the B&B. Plus we have kids. So between the 2 of us in spring/summer/fall things begin to fall apart.
He feels neglected which in turn makes me mad as I am exhausted. If you can hire someone do it.
 
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