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Speaking of Innsanity

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JBloggs

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I was just thinking about how innkeepers go for weeks and weeks and some for months+ without a day off. What is wrong with us? Why would we do this? Any given job you have a days off or weekend off EVERY week, why don't we? Innsanity?
Are innkeepers so desperate that we cannot even schedule days off, that we have to keep going and going and take guests every day that they request a booking, just in case they book a multiple night stay or we cannot miss out on any bookings?
Just some thoughts today about this and HOW so many burn out. Is it any wonder? Why not block off time off? Why do we take guests any time they call and feel we need to remain open 7 days a week?
When I hear people say "Well you know the burn out rate for innkeeping is less than 7 years...blah blah blah" No kidding.
 

JBloggs

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This is in addition to doing all the work, all the marketing, the labor, the interaction with the guests, the check ins, the breakfasts, the errands, the gardening, the renos, the maintenance, etc etc <insert your own duties here>. So it is not like we just work here and never get time off. We pour our hearts, souls, aspiration, persperation, aches, pains, and dreams into this business. We wear our hearts on our sleeves - we are affected by reviews personally, by unhappy guests personally, it is our HOME, not just a business.
I guess that is why it bothers me when someone comes along and thinks of it as a "Flip" to make money. UGH! Nothing could be further from innkeeping...nothing. It is like saying a baby sitter cares just as much for your child as you do who love them with all your being.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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Its true. Never mind the conditioned Pavlovian response when it comes to the phone. Quite mad we are...quite mad.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I think scheduling time off, as important is it is to each of us, is probably the most difficult thing for any innkeeper.
We know we need time off. We want to go out and enjoy all the things our guests enjoy.
But there's always something to do, always something you need to catch up on.
Of course, we could just not take reservations for next Tuesday. But then all the reservations start coming in and it turns out everyone wants to come on Tuesday so we should have picked Monday. And now there's 1 guest for Monday so that's out.
Deciding to just ignore all that and just close up for the day anyway and take a break is just way more difficult than folks outside the industry could ever imagine. Or appreciate.
Which I suppose is just proof positive that good innkeepers make it seem so easy and so relaxed that no one else really knows the truth.
 

Morticia

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I have a lot of time off, just not in the same sort of way a regular job gives time off. Scheduling time off when I have to be making money is counterintuitive. When I'm wondering how I can face another day, I remember that come Nov, I'll have all the time in the world to put my feet up.
I want to beat the old record of 138 days straight. But I don't see it happening.
 

happyjacks

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I have a lot of time off, just not in the same sort of way a regular job gives time off. Scheduling time off when I have to be making money is counterintuitive. When I'm wondering how I can face another day, I remember that come Nov, I'll have all the time in the world to put my feet up.
I want to beat the old record of 138 days straight. But I don't see it happening..
I'm also in the "make hay while the sun shines" camp. If I had a constant flow of bookings, it would be different, but I don't. I have two busy seasons and two s l o w seasons that have to collectively fund my entire year. So my time off is when it is "given" to me in the slow seasons.
Thus it is for every self-emplyed small business owner I know. It's part of the feast-or-famine, rollercoaster rythm of the lifestyle.
People who are employed at jobs can have regularly scheduled time off because they have regularly scheduled paycheques coming in.
There are exceptions on both sides of the fence, but from what I've seen, this is just the way it is for most. For me, it's worth the tradeoffs!
 

gillumhouse

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Unless you are SeaShanty who seems to pour herself into whatever she does - and that is a compliment SS - I cannot see doing what I do without the vested interest that it is MINE!!
Part of it is for me the stubborn streak of my family - just tell us we cannot do something and we will sho you! When I opened I got "Who is going to come to Podunk" and my response after the Italian salute up to my armpit was just watch! You will see.
The Mayor asked me after the Air Force Concert today if I had any guests from a gathering last night at the club up the street from me. It felt so good to say no but I could not have taken them. I had a call for 2 rooms Friday for Saturday night and one yesterday for Saturday and had to tell them no because I was booked and not from that. The surprised look on his face was wonderful!
Edited to add: I block off when my family comes and that is my down time. Jan/Feb when I have little or no business I am bored out of my gourd. I think I function best when I have a ton of things to do - I get it done, don't ask me how because I do not know, but I do. Sleep is often not in the equation, but I figure I will "sleep" a long time when I croak.
 

nkeeprs

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Oh my god. I am going thru the same things. I am going thru a burnout phase and I am just getting ready to start the busy crazy season. I am a little worried. But I will make it. Thanks for letting me get this off my shoulders .
 

Samster

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You're right. We should do it. Most other small business owners close at least one day a week. Restaurants, shops, hair salons, car repair places...just think of them. We are not super human! We need to spend time with our families and on ourselves. It's not healthy to go gangbusters all the time.
 

Joey Camb

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We are officially closing for a whole week in August for the first time in 5 years!!!! However this is more to do maintenance than anything else as we want to change the carpets in 3 rooms so that means getting all of the furniture out and into the room next door then getting the lads in to do it and then putting it all back. But in Harrogate we have a crap Jan and Feb and August so we have to make hay when the sun shines.Then we get to relax in those months.
 

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I was ALWAYS closed on SUNDAY after guests left and Mondays. I always took time for myself. My back burned out first and then the rest of me said...Let's not do this anymore. :)
 

muirford

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If you are thinking of selling your inn as a business, closing rather than having an innsitter can hurt your revenue numbers. One of the inns we looked at before we bought ours closed for Monday and Tuesday every week - the owners went to a cabin. It did sell eventually but as a private residence. We've had the same problem - closing for two weeks about a month before potential buyers looked at our numbers hurt our revenue picture, even though the overall annual revenue was best ever.
 

JBloggs

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You all are confirming what I am saying, the innsanity of it all, and wonder why people burn out. 100+ days with no days off? That is just plain ludicrous. The toll it takes on YOU is not worth it. Attitude, health and spirit.
I am just saying these things out loud again as innkeepers boast they can do what they want when they want how they want, and I will say for the most part that is rubbish. Like mentioned, any family owned business is 110%. We also live IN the business on top of the entire burden or owning and operating the business, there is no separation from it, ever. I want to cut the glam and be honest, when I do I always get the same old same old. Obv we want bookings, that is the business we are in.
Disclaimer: If you have very low occupancy, and have days off moreso than days on, the above comment DNA.
As originally stated, innsanity to not take days off, everyone needs time off. As American's the stats show we work and take less days off and holidays than any other country and add to that being an innkeeper and it is ridiculous. No paid vacation, no sick days...you pour every cent back into the building.
 

Morticia

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Oh my god. I am going thru the same things. I am going thru a burnout phase and I am just getting ready to start the busy crazy season. I am a little worried. But I will make it. Thanks for letting me get this off my shoulders ..
nkeeprs said:
Oh my god. I am going thru the same things. I am going thru a burnout phase and I am just getting ready to start the busy crazy season. I am a little worried. But I will make it. Thanks for letting me get this off my shoulders .
Can you get a little time off now, before the season gets into full swing? We try to squeeze in a couple of mini-getaways right about now so we're ready when the season hits.
 

Morticia

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If you are thinking of selling your inn as a business, closing rather than having an innsitter can hurt your revenue numbers. One of the inns we looked at before we bought ours closed for Monday and Tuesday every week - the owners went to a cabin. It did sell eventually but as a private residence. We've had the same problem - closing for two weeks about a month before potential buyers looked at our numbers hurt our revenue picture, even though the overall annual revenue was best ever..
A broker should be able to explain those numbers properly to a buyer. We heard that sort of thing in a lot of places, 'Well, the sellers choose to close for such and such, and that's a place you can improve the business.' (Not saying your biz needs improving as you said yourself it was a fantastic season.)
When we bought here, the owners never closed. We found out later, from guests, that they would hire innsitters but they never told us that. What they told us was, 'you can't close and lose money.' Obviously, we don't take that to heart and we close for a variety of reasons.
If a day is handed to me in season, I'll take it. But I don't opt to close in season. We find you lose 'traction' when you that. Weird but true.
 

EmptyNest

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If you are thinking of selling your inn as a business, closing rather than having an innsitter can hurt your revenue numbers. One of the inns we looked at before we bought ours closed for Monday and Tuesday every week - the owners went to a cabin. It did sell eventually but as a private residence. We've had the same problem - closing for two weeks about a month before potential buyers looked at our numbers hurt our revenue picture, even though the overall annual revenue was best ever..
so... does that mean..no more time off for you..work your butt off till you do burn out and then hope to sell???? That does not make sense to me. Taking some time off should not be punishment when selling your B & B :-(
 

gillumhouse

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You all are confirming what I am saying, the innsanity of it all, and wonder why people burn out. 100+ days with no days off? That is just plain ludicrous. The toll it takes on YOU is not worth it. Attitude, health and spirit.
I am just saying these things out loud again as innkeepers boast they can do what they want when they want how they want, and I will say for the most part that is rubbish. Like mentioned, any family owned business is 110%. We also live IN the business on top of the entire burden or owning and operating the business, there is no separation from it, ever. I want to cut the glam and be honest, when I do I always get the same old same old. Obv we want bookings, that is the business we are in.
Disclaimer: If you have very low occupancy, and have days off moreso than days on, the above comment DNA.
As originally stated, innsanity to not take days off, everyone needs time off. As American's the stats show we work and take less days off and holidays than any other country and add to that being an innkeeper and it is ridiculous. No paid vacation, no sick days...you pour every cent back into the building..
You are NOT wrong. We DO need time to ourselves. I also found out this week I prefer 3-night reservations to 5-night. Maybe it was because of what is going on with DH right now, but doing different breakfasts each morning became a stretch (although I do have lots of them I can do, it was just a chore) - saved my best breakfast for Sunday when i had a full-house. Because things were gong so well with the guests (had 2 breakfast times), poor DH called on the intercom (it is on the phone so I pretended it was an outside call) at 11 to ask if he could have some breakfast. He got his oatmeal about 11:30.
 

Morticia

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You all are confirming what I am saying, the innsanity of it all, and wonder why people burn out. 100+ days with no days off? That is just plain ludicrous. The toll it takes on YOU is not worth it. Attitude, health and spirit.
I am just saying these things out loud again as innkeepers boast they can do what they want when they want how they want, and I will say for the most part that is rubbish. Like mentioned, any family owned business is 110%. We also live IN the business on top of the entire burden or owning and operating the business, there is no separation from it, ever. I want to cut the glam and be honest, when I do I always get the same old same old. Obv we want bookings, that is the business we are in.
Disclaimer: If you have very low occupancy, and have days off moreso than days on, the above comment DNA.
As originally stated, innsanity to not take days off, everyone needs time off. As American's the stats show we work and take less days off and holidays than any other country and add to that being an innkeeper and it is ridiculous. No paid vacation, no sick days...you pour every cent back into the building..
Joey Bloggs said:
As originally stated, innsanity to not take days off, everyone needs time off. As American's the stats show we work and take less days off and holidays than any other country and add to that being an innkeeper and it is ridiculous. No paid vacation, no sick days...you pour every cent back into the building.
Ah, as a paid employee I took every day off I was allotted as I hated what I did. Gomez loved what he did and had vacation left over at the end of the year. While we were still employed, we were chastized by a couple from Birmingham (UK) for being such wage slaves and not taking any time off. I'd love to live in Europe if I had to have a job. They totally understand that workers need time off to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
For me it is completely different doing what I do here compared to 'workin for da man.' I look forward in Oct to the time off I know is coming, but I (now) take care of myself in the summer by having a housekeeper and getting out of the house every day. Because I'm happy where I am in life and happy with where I live, it's a lot easier to do what I do in the summer than if I didn't have my friends around or I disliked where I lived or some other burr working at me.
Disclaimer- I don't have kids and Gomez works with me not somewhere else, so it works for us. It's a whole different kettle of fish when there are kids involved and spouses who don't work in the biz with us. (Newbies take note!)
 

gillumhouse

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I was ALWAYS closed on SUNDAY after guests left and Mondays. I always took time for myself. My back burned out first and then the rest of me said...Let's not do this anymore. :).
But you were in a different category than most of us - you did not NEED the revenue to pay the mortgage, etc. You did not NEED the numbers for buyers. Not being snarky, just pointing out the difference.
In our beginning - and the only reason we survived - I did not NEED the revenue to survive because we had no mortgage but I did need it for marketing, insurance, etc. THAT has changed as I now need to cover a honking loan payment and NEED to get numbers up for the next owner in a few years.
 

Samster

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If you are thinking of selling your inn as a business, closing rather than having an innsitter can hurt your revenue numbers. One of the inns we looked at before we bought ours closed for Monday and Tuesday every week - the owners went to a cabin. It did sell eventually but as a private residence. We've had the same problem - closing for two weeks about a month before potential buyers looked at our numbers hurt our revenue picture, even though the overall annual revenue was best ever..
so... does that mean..no more time off for you..work your butt off till you do burn out and then hope to sell???? That does not make sense to me. Taking some time off should not be punishment when selling your B & B :-(
.
I agree.... Like I said before, OTHER small businesses take time off!! Good grief..........
 
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