We’ve Become Too Comfortable! I have come to the conclusion that the rubber band signifies the “comfort zone” we all have. Just like our comfort zone and what we do in life, stretching the rubber band – ourselves – to a point we see the grimaces and the contorted faces and then going that extra little millimeter brings out the fear of what will happen. So like that rubber band we go back to our original form.

Stretching the Rubber Band

That rubber band signifies the mental constraints we put on our dreams, our visions, our passions, our life’s purpose, our decisions and what stops us being the best we could never imagine ourselves to be. You see that rubber band is like the “box” we often hear about – “let’s think outside the box.”

The rubber band is just the same kind of constraint. When people say to us let’s think outside the box what are they implying? You got it. THERE IS A BOX!

Let us imagine there never was a box……what would our constraints be?

Creating a Brand

It was 2010 when I first met Mr. Jamaica: the charismatic daddy cool, Chairman & Founder of the Sandals Resorts International Empire, Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart. The brand was celebrating its newest acquisition, a 500-acre property, featuring a championship Greg Norman golf course, magnificent stretch of beach and world-class marina, which was to be called Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas.

It was during my tenure at Sandals Emerald Bay where I further developed my love and skills that would support my company’s transition into the world of hospitality. Certainly, nobody can dispute the major economic impact that Sandals lays claim to in the Caribbean. 

My employment, however, was personally regarded more of a classroom experience rather than a means of livelihood.  I’d always believed that you had to learn before you could earn and that learning was via making mistakes or subscribing to mentorship. The latter in this instance being my chosen path.

Along the way, I became the ultimate student, digesting the written wisdom of many additional mentors. But there were two phrases I heard from Butch that stuck with me, which I quickly internalized if I expected any chance of my personal success in the vacation rental industry:-

  • Y’all got to wake up mon.”
  • You must “give the customer more than he or she expects!”

“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” Click To Tweet

Let’s dive deeper to uncover the hidden treasures in these two powerful sayings.

Wake Up

I can recall quite vividly as a young boy growing up and hearing my mother say to me as I remained in bed on a lazy Saturday morning, ‘son, nothing comes to a sleep but a dream.’  So true! Eventually, you have to step out and do something. If you never decide to reach for your dream, you will remain in the stands.

Wake Up

Life is so busy and challenging especially if you have a full-time job and kids, it’s even harder.  Yet, if you don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve — without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives.

Before you know it, you’ll be old and withered — wondering where the hell all that time went. You must be intentionally-minded. You’ve got to wake up – this is a habit that will change your life!

Please understand that success is waking up determined every day. Sure, I appreciate that many of you may be forced to live the lives you are currently living, maintaining the life you’ve so far created for yourselves while simultaneously creating a newer, better future for yourself.

God hid your future in a place where He knew you couldn’t miss it. He hid it within you. ~ Dr. Myles Munroe Click To Tweet

I know – it is tiring but until the pain of change becomes less than the pain of staying the same then in my own opinion, you’re stuck.  It’s true. Whatever you tolerate you can’t change! So, are you ready to wake up?

  • Wake up – Start your day off on the right foot (prayer / self-introspection) after you’ve restored your body with a healthy amount of sleep.
  • Maximize your day – to quickly get in the zone, you must adopt these 3 guiding principles to orient yourself toward the positive. I’ll explain.  To win in life, you:
    • Must Prioritize your daily tasks. Decide what’s important, what can be delegated or worked on later.
    • Must be Organized. Do you follow a proven system? Do you waste time looking for misplaced items?
    • Must be Disciplined. You can ill-afford to be easily distracted. Broken focus has yielded you poor results.
  • Start your engine – It’s imperative that you take consistent and massive action. I like to call it moving from Motivation to MotivAction. But you’ve got to warm up your body’s engine so that you can handle the day’s grind ahead. And the best way is to engage in regular physical activity or morning exercise.
  • Refresh, Rejuvenate, Revitalize – Take a cold shower. You get in, your heart starts beating crazily. Then, maybe after 20 seconds, you’re o.k. It increases your willpower and boosts your creativity and inspiration. Practice slowing your breathing and calming down then within moments your mind begins to open to the flow of ideas and inspiration to achieve your goals.
  • Fuel Up – It’s ridiculous to expect your car to transport you on a 55 mile journey with only a ¼ tank of fuel. Similarly, it’s stupid not to put the right food in your body which has to carry you throughout the entire dayDonald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, recommends consuming at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast. Similarly, Tim Ferriss, in his book,The 4-Hour Body, also recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after waking up. Eating protein first decreases your white carbohydrate cravings. These are the types of carbs (bagels, toast, and donuts) that get you fat.
  • Get Fired Up! – Listen to/Read Uplifting Content: If you’re not reading you’re not leading. Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. Turn your commute to work into a mobile classroom with an audio book.
  • Unleash the Power of Vision – Live from your written goals, which I regard to be your life’s compass. Taking just a few minutes to read your life vision puts your day into perspective.
    • “I think that the greatest gift God ever gave man is not the gift of sight but the gift of vision,” the late Dr. Myles Munroe says. “Sight is a function of the eyes, but vision is a function of the heart. When a person doesn’t have a vision, they live by their eyes. That means we live by what we see. That’s one of the reasons why people are so depressed, and that’s why the future never becomes a reality. Vision is a source of hope; it’s the source of courage; it’s the source of perseverance in the midst of difficulty.”
    • “The most important thing that I ever discovered was the power of a seed,” Munroe says. “I believe that in every seed there’s a forest. If you have an apple seed, in that apple seed is an apple tree. There are also apples on that apple tree. So in that one seed you really have a forest. How do you get a forest out of a seed is the question you ask. How do I get my vision out of my life?  The first thing you need to do is to deal with the environment. You take the seed, and you put it in the right environment.
    • “No matter how old a person is — they may feel 60, 70, 80 years old. The good news today is if you can get back in the right environment, your dream can still come to pass. It’s not what you’re carrying that’s important. It’s the environment it’s in. I believe that’s why the Bible says, ‘In the presence of the Lord there’s fullness of joy.’
    • “What you believe in creates your environment in your life and in your heart. It also creates how you see things. Vision really is God exposing the true environment of your life to you in the midst of your present environment.  In other words, you see your real self.
    • “You cannot guide a ship that’s parked. So you find in the book of Proverbs, chapter 16, a very interesting statement made by God. It says, ‘The heart of man makes his plans, and the Lord directs the steps of the plan.’ We’re basically saying, ‘I’m waiting on God.’ God would say, ‘I’m really waiting on you. Why don’t you tell Me what you want to do with your life? Show Me what’s in your heart.’ God hid your future in a place where He knew you couldn’t miss it. He hid it within you.
    • “So what do you desire to do? What do you really want to do as a person? You need to stop and document that; write it down; make a plan; and then God says, ‘I’ll direct your steps.’ “If what you saw in your vision is not what you see now, then what you see is always temporary. So you enjoy what you’re doing now with all your heart because it’s preparation for the next phase.
  • Pursue the Top 3: Yeah, you’ve got to daily pursue at least three things to move you forward in achieving your long term goals. In his book, bestselling author Brian Tracy encourages you to “Eat the Frog.”
    • He writes,  ‘Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
    • Your “frog” is doing the hard stuff, your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.  So the strategy is that you cannot move onto goal number two until you’ve completed goal number one. Then repeat the process again tomorrow.

Waking up to my potential, my life’s purpose, making a difference for my family and moving from success to significance has brought new energy into my life. I call it “stretching the rubber band.

I’m daily challenged to evolve, moving my thinking, practice and abilities toward where tomorrow’s opportunities lie.

I must evolve daily, moving my thinking, practice and abilities toward where tomorrow’s opportunities lie. Click To Tweet

Give the Customer More Than He or She Expects

You know it is a bit difficult to get rich on wages, but anybody can get rich on profits. Profits change your whole attitude, even if you start part-time. Whether it’s part-time on your entrepreneurial business, network marketing company or service business.

Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living; profits make you a fortune. ~ Jim Rohn Click To Tweet

The idea of making a profit is tied intrinsically to the importance of helping and serving others.  In the vacation rental industry, “hospitality begins from the moment the guests step off their flight until the moment they depart.” 

For Sandals, it reflects the internal application of the group’s legendary external focus on customer service, as expressed by its Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, namely to “give the guests more than he or she expects.”  It’s magical for both business and client. Never underestimate the value of rendering amazing service to your guests is what I’ve learned.

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Click To Tweet

Eighteen years ago, I had begun investing part time effort into improving myself and playfully developing a framework which would eventually yield structure for my group of companies – THE MCNEW GROUP.  I soon realized how much more exciting it was to get up in the morning and go to work on my fortune, even if I’d only spend a few hours a week doing it.

So much more empowering it was to be able to go to work on my fortune every day rather than going to work to pay the rent/ mortgage.  As such, one of my best observations of Gordon “Butch” Stewart was to Think BIG! Stretching the rubber band of our limits of possibilities. To think outside the box and to instill our belief and faith in others and help them believe bigger too.

Think Big

In thinking BIG, my whole attitude changed; my spirit changed. It was in my voice. It was in my face. It was in my gestures. And now I can say, “I am currently working full-time in my life’s purpose – serving others, giving the guest more than he or she expects and making a difference. Wow!

Yes indeed, along the way I had numerous misses. You won’t necessarily reach all your goals. But one thing is for sure, when you think big and outside of the box by stretching the rubber band and combine that with faith and action, you WILL see results.

In developing the model that would become the Funntripps brand, exceptional client service meant going above and beyond what was realistically expected of us. It would be about surprising, and often delighting, customers, turning them into enthusiastic referral sources and lifelong clients who decide to stick with us not only because we deliver an awesome product at a fair price, but because the value we bring to them goes far beyond just our products.

Our Promise

Before closing this post, I’ll detail a few of the ways that we will endeavor to take our own client service to the next level and deliver a better experience, starting with the most important aspect: the relationships that we establish with the clients who will hire us.

Creating Real Relationships

While we understand fully that relationships yield transactions, if we do not engage with our clients in a real, personal way, then we are just another vendor — and vendors are easily replaceable with better cheaper options. However, clients are much less likely to consider replacing people with whom they have real relationships – know, like and trust!

Asking Real Questions

We ensure that we have much more than a great business to customer relationship, all because we will ask real questions, honestly care about the answers, and created a real, human connection in the process.

Participate In More Than Just Projects 

While not all of our clients will have fundraising events, they might invite us to participate in holiday parties and other gatherings. We will take advantage of these opportunities to interact with our clients outside of a normal business setting. It will go a long way to reinforcing those real relationships that we are trying to create and demonstrate that Funntripps is more than just another business.

Similarly, Funntripps will consider inviting our club members to some of our events to show that we view them as more than just a source of business.

Help Them With Services That We Do Not Provide

We’ll look to our own business and the vendors we use. There may be a service or company that we’ve had success with that we could refer thus positioning us as a valued business resource and a trusted advisor.

Pick Up The Phone

Regularly updating our clients by email is important, but also is picking up the phone every now and then, so that we become more than just that distant entity behind those electronic updates. By hearing our voice, our member-clients will feel more connected to us. It also shows them that we value them enough to take the time to make a personal call, and it will give us a chance to talk about something other than business.

Face The Bad Times Head On

Pssst. Here’s a secret: clients do not expect you to be perfect but honest.  When something goes wrong, we’ll let them know quickly so that they are not blindsided by the issue later on. And we’ll never deliver bad news by email. However long the process, we’ll pick up the phone to discuss the news in an effort to reassure our clients and answer any questions you may have.

Be Thankful And Show Appreciation

Too often, many companies fail to even thank its clients for their business. They’re so keen to finish a project and move on to the next one that they forget to properly show their appreciation. And while a basket of sweets and a generic message is better than nothing, we’ll consider sending a personal, handwritten thank-you note.

Wrapping Up: Stretching the Rubber Band

Life is a series of pulls back and forth…a tension of opposites as in stretching a rubber band. Yet, I encourage you to stretch your own rubber band by developing an open mindedness that has no limits, a courage that changes everything, a faith that overcomes fear and the leader within that hurdles over all obstacles thus becoming unstoppable. I dare you to do something today that your future self will thank you for.

For more inspiration to propel you toward success read our post entitled 7 Seeds for Success.

Now it’s your turn!  Are you stretching the rubber band? If not, how do you now plan to accomplish same?  What are some of your BIG Goals? Please share in the comments section below.

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