1. Motivation to Finish the Year Strong!

    November 3, 2016 by Beth Standlee

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    Motivation is a tricky thing.

    If you are a parent of more than one child, you know that each of your children requires a different method of motivation. The same is true for your staff.

    The real key to motivation is to pay attention to how motivated you are. Your team pays more attention to what you do than what you say and are motivated to perform accordingly. They watch your attitude, the pep in your step, (or not) and they follow. Management is about treating everyone the same even though people are not the same. Leading others and inspiring them to do the work is far more motivating than making sure all the boxes from your SOP (standard operating procedures) checklists get checked. Many times, “management” is not very motivating.

    Leadership IS about motivating others to get the job done “willingly.”

    Motivation shows up in a lot of forms. I like to read or listen to what other great leaders have to say. We don’t have to make it up for ourselves every day. There are a lot of great tools easily available to help us get motivated. Here are my three best ideas to help you get more motivated today:

    1. I love Success Magazine. http://www.successmagazine.com/ It’s a great motivational resource. The articles are short. I think that’s important in our busy world and they include a free audio CD with amazing interviews in each issue. If you have even a little commute, I promise this CD will be something that will absolutely inspire and motivate you.
    1. Find other owners, sales team members, and assistant managers and create your own “mastermind ” group, so that you have a network to utilize as a resource when you need that extra motivation.
    1. Finally, tap into the TrainerTainment website, blog,  or Facebook. We are full of great ideas that are sure to motivate you, help you train, and make you more money (which can always be motivating…).

  2. A Chance to Give Back

    October 27, 2016 by Rosie Salas

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    Last week we shared a bunch of ideas for holiday marketing. One of the things on my mind this week is that we have a great opportunity to give back to our community.

    For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to give back to my community. I raised funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for 15 years. This year, my dad was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, so I have been raising money for chemo bags to give out to patients going through chemo. Recently, I started volunteering and helping with the fundraising and social media of a school here in Jakarta that is providing education to asylum seekers and refugees.

    It was when I was the party and front of house manager at iT’Z that I realized we, as a huge organization, had the power to make a big change in others and in our community. So, we started “iT’Z For a Good Cause” and worked with various organizations in order to give back. One year we donated over $11,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital.

    The Incredible Birthday Party Project

    One of the organizations in our industry that has done an amazing job is The Incredible Birthday Party Project. The Incredible Birthday Party Project was started by Incredible Mo’s and gives birthday parties to families in need. We know that kids only have one fifth birthday and to be able to make that an amazing and memorable experience is huge.

    The reality is that there are children who never get to celebrate their birthday with a party. Watch this amazing video about Jessica, who was able to have her first birthday party at the age of 18 because of The Incredible Birthday Party Project. It’s amazing how the company has spread the word and invited other centers to join in on the project.

    The holidays are one of the biggest donation times of the year. Organizations plan huge holiday donation drives and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, the biggest giving day of the year.

    Be apart of something!

    People always want to be a part of something. Being able to give back to organizations is a great way to be part of a community. How awesome would it be for your center to partner with an organization in your community? You don’t have to start an entire campaign, but you can be involved. Here are some ideas of how you can partner and encourage others to give back.

    • Plan a fundraising night – It’s fun and easy! Plan a night and encourage people to come in your center and give a portion of the day’s sales back to the organization.
    • Create a special package – You can run this for a night or run it for an entire month. Create a special package that includes food, drinks, and fun and give a portion of each package sold to the organization
    • Match Grant – The organization will do a lot of fundraising. Why not match it? Set the amount you will match and if they fundraise that on their own, you will match that amount.
    • #GivingTuesday – Show your support for a local organization. Have your team members bring in donations for the organization, let guests know you are collecting donations, and use social media to let your fans know you are supporting the organization and collecting donations. Encourage them to donate to them, too
    • Go Big! Host a bowling tournament or big event at your center.

    There are so many things you can do to be part of your community. I hope this will inspire you to do something this holiday season or even throughout the year. If you do, we would love to hear about it and see your pictures, too!


  3. Holiday Marketing Tips

    October 20, 2016 by Rosie Salas

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    Over the next three months we have some big holidays on the horizon: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. This week I really wanted to share with you a few holiday marketing ideas that are fun, easy to implement, and don’t require a ton of work.

    Halloween is ten days away and there is still time to plan. Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, I think it’s best to focus your efforts for after school activities. Not all parents are keen on staying out late trick-or-treating. (Some neighborhoods are even doing it the Saturday or Sunday before).

    Here are our ideas and tips to bring Halloween fun to your center.

    • Let your team dress up! It’s so fun when you walk into places and the team is involved in the fun, too. Remind them they do need to be appropriate for work, though.
    • Make it a family night. It’s a great time for moms, dads, and kids to come in to have a safe Halloween with food, fun, and games. Set up a small space or party room with decorations and a few fun games like pin the spider on the web or bobbing for apples.
    • Host contests! Costume, pumpkin carving, cupcake/cookie/donut decorating, scary masks, best mummy, etc. Make it easy and fun for the kids.
    • Have someone on your staff ready ghost stories or a kids Halloween book. Have readings every thirty minutes and at the end, hand out a few treats.
    • Halloween is a great time to have a contest on social media. Ask people to share a picture of their little one dressed up in their costume and have people vote by liking their favorite picture.
    • Have fun small activities. Guests can color their own scary mask or a Halloween coloring sheet, do a Halloween word search, or you could even teach them how to make Halloween slime! There are tons of ideas and you can get free printouts and recipes on our Halloween Pinterest Board.
    • Don’t forget for treats and giveaways you have an awesome redemption center that probably has what you need already!

    Let’s move on to Thanksgiving.

    Of course, your center’s open hours will determine when and what you do.

    • Get in the spirit of giving back. Plan a canned food drive for your local food bank. It’s easy to give a free ride credit or even buy one, get one game for everyone who donates.
    • I love the idea of a thankful tree! Have a big tree in your center with cutout hands and have people write what they are thankful for and post up on the tree. It’s amazing to see what people in your community are thankful for.
    • Throughout the month of November, plan fun weekly activities. Kids can come in the center and make plate turkeys, pilgrim hats, and other fun holiday crafts.
    • Set up a fun photo booth! Have props and a fun background where people can take pictures to share on social media. Have them use a special hashtag you can track.
    • A great social media campaign is to do 12 days of gratitude. Show your fans how thankful you are for them. The 12 days leading up to Thanksgiving give away prizes and daily offers. Remember, they don’t have to be huge but your fans will love it and feel the appreciation.

    Finally, the biggest of them all, Christmas!

    Christmas was always one of my favorite holidays in the center. Well, it just happens to be my favorite holiday all around.

    • First and foremost, be sure you are decorating your center! You don’t have to spend a ton of money, it brings lots of cheer to your center, and it gets everyone in the holiday spirit.
    • Who wouldn’t love to have breakfast with Santa? Pre-sell tickets and open an hour or two earlier on a Saturday morning for families to have breakfast with Santa. Have various activities for the kids to do with him and a special station for picture taking.
    • Letters to Santa is a great idea that can involve your staff. Place a table with pen, paper, and a mailbox for kids to write their letters to Santa. Have the team members write back to them and include a special offer for being so good this year.
    • Have a pajama party where families come in in their pajamas for hot cocoa, fun Christmas activities, and the reading of the Polar Express. It’s a great way to draw in mid-week business and bring a little holiday cheer. Make special tickets for a round trip on the Polar Express, too!

    All of these holiday marketing tips will help you get through the holiday season and add something new to your marketing plan. Remember, they don’t have to be over-complicated; the point is to connect with your guests, have fun, and help families make memories.

    I would love to hear your feedback or what you plan on doing this year.


  4. First Class Is Fun

    October 6, 2016 by Beth Standlee

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    First Class is FUN!

    It’s Easy to Appreciate First Class When You’ve Ridden Coach First!

    I’ve had this thought on my mind for months. However, I just could not get the words out. It felt like maybe I was bragging and that is not my intent.

    I am an “other side of the tracks” gal. I don’t believe I grew up poor but we were not rich. My husband and I started our lives together at a very young age and raised three children. I’m the kind of person who places a HIGH value on fun and always look for a way to make the most of any situation.

    Many moons ago, I got fed up with the commercialism of Christmas and thought, “Why don’t we do something as a family that would make a grand memory?” My children were 15-21 and, as a family, we decided that a cruise would be GREAT fun! So, I went on a frugal hunt for how we could make that happen for the five of us.

    We found an inexpensive, five-day, two indoor cabins, out of Galveston, cruise to Mexico. That worked great. My college girls met dad, Jordan, and me in Houston and we had the time of our lives. Those indoor cabins seemed great. It was super dark, which made sleeping easier and we only used those cabins to sleep, bathe, and prep for the next game of bingo on the ship! What could be better?

    Fast forward 13 years. Everyone is older. Life is pretty darn good. That oldest child supports herself at a pretty high level and so mom and daughter have great fun cruising together. We have upgraded the accommodations and that’s my point. I can find lots of good things about the cheap seats. If that’s what I need to do to take the cruise, that’s what I’m going to do. However, Les and I got exposed to “The Haven” in May and I may be super-spoiled for the rest of my life!

    I just finished our second “Haven Suite” cruise this year. We traveled on a wonderful seven-day cruise from Spain, through Italy, and France last week. I did not hesitate to book “The Haven” suite. The service and the amenities are well worth the cost and today, we are in a position to afford that kind of experience.

    I share this story NOT to brag but to encourage you to create those VIP exclusive experiences for your guests. They will pay more. Obviously, your guests will expect more. You can make it worth it to them and to your business. Maybe you have a VIP suite or exclusive (skip the line services). Talk with your staff about what they believe you could do to create that exclusive (expensive) event. Make it “worth it” to you and to your guests.

    The VIP treatment feels good. As a matter of fact, I am just giddy about the Haven experience. It’s awesome. I don’t know that I could appreciate it as much as I do if I had not first experienced the interior cabin. So, my advice to you is to create experiences that are affordable to everyone AND work hard enough to give yourself the opportunity to upgrade along the way!


  5. Leadership is Complicated Sometimes

    September 22, 2016 by Rosie Salas

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    This week my husband had his annual review. He had prepared himself based on last year’s review and his boss’s leadership style, so he wasn’t surprised by the outcome. Last year, his boss made him create an action plan for the year and they reviewed it together.  There were a few things that really rang out in my mind.

    The first one was communication. My husband is an introvert. He is very smart and speaks up when needed. This past year was the first year he and his boss worked together so it took a while to figure out what his boss’s communication style was.

    Quite frankly, he didn’t have a solid one. On my husband’s plan, he was to have better communication, so the boss wanted to be copied and emailed on just about everything. When his boss said he didn’t do that, my husband said that he had and emailed the boss consistently, his boss’s reaction was, “Well, you know I’m not good with checking my email.” He had communicated that is how he wanted to be kept in the loop but did not hold up his end on making sure he was involved in that communication.

    The second big issue was that his boss put something on the improvement plan that my husband had started and did not complete and his response was, “I had that on there but I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it.” My gut reaction is that he did not set him up for success, but for failure.

    That leadership style is not one my husband is accustomed to. He has flourished and done well with leaders who say, “This is what we need to get done. Now let’s go do it together,” instead of “go make it happen with little to no direction.”

    Leadership is a very complicated thing.

    During our talk last night at our weekly date, I realized why their team is not excelling and accomplishing all the things they want. They lack structure and leadership. I have been in many leadership positions in my time and know I have grown even more in my leadership role in the past few years. About three years ago, Trainertainment adopted a lot of the EOS System. We have implemented L10s to make our meeting time meaningful and more productive. We also have implemented quarterly and yearly meetings to set goals and define our strategies.

    The most meaningful parts of this process have been setting clear and realistic goals each quarter, gaining a vision of where we were going as a company, and having well-defined values of what Trainertainment is as an organization. Every quarter we leave our meeting knowing everyone on the leadership team is on the same page. Every person in our organization knows our goals and our vision and base their decisions on our core values. It seems simple but I’m amazed by how many organizations do not have a solid foundation like that. By having such clear strategies as our foundation, we have been able to meet our goals and exceed expectations.

    I challenge you to think about your role as a leader, not just to your leadership team but also all your team members. Do you have a clear vision? Core values? Realistic goals? Does every person in your center know and share your vision? Do they really know and understand the core values? Do they know your goals and what their role is in getting there?

    I encourage you to join us for our Business Coaching Conference in a few weeks. We are going to help you identify all these and get you on track for business success.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


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