Hotel Online  Special Report

 Hallucinating for Profit


by Barry Williams, November 2004

“Open your bloody eyes – it’s right in front of you!”

If you’re similar to 99% of the humans holding a spot on planet earth, that phrase awakens memories of scattered confusion. You quite likely didn’t realize during your reconnaissance mission for the television remote that you were hallucinating but you most certainly were. After all, there it is – on the table, right in front of you.

That’s also why most folks are bewildered when the reality of their situation chomps them on the posterior.  This conundrum is well captured in the oft spoken statement – “I don’t know why I got fired – I was just standing there, I wasn’t doing anything …”

The fact of the matter is that all mere mortals invest a good deal of time drifting through life, totally unaware of what’s actually going on around them. And that’s pretty dang scary when you think of how much IS going on, wouldn’t you agree? 

Fire up your RAS

RAS is an acronym for Reticular Activating System. This silent reality editor works feverishly inside our craniums 24 / 7. Our maker originally included this awesome brain option to ensure we could continue to watch TV or read a magazine while “sort of” listening to the daily challenges of our relationship partners. “uh huh, mmm, hmm.”

But your RAS has bigger fish to fry. 

Think of it as an information traffic director that either limits or allows data to reach your conscious mind based solely on attitudes and expectations in our lives. Scientists who have studied this process in depth agree that the average human being in North America is inundated with more than 6 billion bits of information each day. 

Your RAS acts similar to a radio in that it controls the volume of those bits of info that pelt your noggin’ daily and it directs you to focus on whatever aspects of reality you feel are correct for you. It’s what allows seemingly normal people to say “I Do” one day and invest in a lawyer’s retainer the next. “Uh, huh… mmm, hmm.” (hey, it takes practice)

The awesome aspect of this wondrous function is that you can command your RAS to evolve from stage one of awareness, you don’t know – you don’t know, to stage two - you KNOW you don’t know. I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out that there is a hail of allot going on around you of which you are totally ignorant. 

Be Aware Wolf

Now that brings us to a question: How will your business get better if you can’t imagine it better? Why would your employees work more effectively without you pretending they can? And who cares about all this anyway? ( Oh…sorry, were you talking to me…?)

Your ability to perceive what others can’t is the single most important skill you can possess today. You can enhance your awareness by recognizing how you interact with the people and circumstances that create the often mundane world that envelopes us. Probe the mysterious realities that deep contemplation of a better future can unveil.

Here are some hints on how you can direct your focus to ensure you begin that awe-inspiring journey into the realm of all things possible.

Take a fresh look at your employees – Your people really want to do a good job and they’d like you to notice that fact. See their enthusiasm or lack of it. Notice how they interact with your customers. Is it a joyful experience? Who should be moved to a different department or to your fiercest competitor’s business? 

Thar’s gold in them thar frills - Have coffee breaks in unusual places in your hotel. See that tattered edge on your entrance mat? That’s a sign of something. Look for what is missing. Should there be Flowers? What scents are evident?  Are your people on the lookout so they can greet customers warmly when they approach your front desk or does it seem like patrons are interrupting a good conversation for employees only? 

Taxi! – Look at your business from across the street. Is your parking lot clean? Should the parking lines be purple? Look at your marquee. Is it up to date? What haven’t you changed on your main sign over the past two years? Does it reflect the current desires of your target market? Where’s the parking stall that is reserved for fat people? (hey, there’s one for everyone else…) 

Elvis has left the building – When was the last time you stayed at your establishment under an assumed name? Are your hallways party central at night? How long does it take for room service? Extra pillows? A sleepover with your family could be the best way to engage your imagination for any challenges your room guests might face.

Is your back to the wall? – Plant your rear on a new stump in your office. (Hey, all the other chairs are lower than yours!) Do you have pictures of your family around? Is there evidence that you might be human or does it look like everything is set up for a quick exit? You’re sending signals from command central – find out what they are!

Yeah, what do you want? -  Phone your establishment. Are your employees giving a 20 second spiel while your customer waits patiently to tell their story? Can you hear their smile? Does the communication sound real or canned? Phone your closest competitor and listen to the differences between their employees response and yours. Remember, your customer is hallucinating about the accommodations they will receive at your property based on your representative’s description and demeanor.

The rewards for seeking undiscovered realities are great and will have a significant impact on your business. A wonderful aspect regarding new ideas is that they always breed additional concepts and that’s when all that fantasizing will really pay off.

Imagine it being that easy – because it really is.

Happy Hallucinating!

Barry out.

( Editor's Note: Barry Williams is an independent motel operator. He has witty insight and uses humor in an extraordinary way. Be sure to visit his motel's web site, you will laugh and learn. )

Barney's Motel
Barry Williams
105 Middleton Avenue (on Hwy #1), 
Brandon, Manitoba R7A 0A1

Also See: Rolling in the D'oh! / Barry Williams, Independent Motel Operator / October 2004
Most Hospitality Help Wanted Classified Ads Suck / Barry Williams, Independent Motel Operator / September 2004
Campfire: GOOD - Motel Fire: BAD / Barry Williams, Independent Motel Operator / September 2004
Here Are a Couple of Points I have Learned Regarding Hospitality Management / Barry Williams, Independent Motel Operator / July 2004

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