Vision for the Next Quarter and Beyond

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I just love ending the 1st quarter and going into the second quarter of the year, it helps you see your vision clearly. Last week our leadership team had our quarterly meeting. During this meeting we revisit the goals we set for the year, look at how we did with our first quarter goals to help set our goals for the second quarter, and see how the first quarter set the pace for the rest of the year.

Get a Vision of What is Possible

It is the time you get the vision of what is possible for the year. I remember as a young party manager, we had just finished our first quarter of birthday party sales, and I had a vision of what could be. It was really at that moment I realized, “Oh my gosh…we had a great quarter and I think we could do a million dollars in birthday party sales.” Yes! One million dollars! That’s when the vision began, and I knew it would have to be all hands on deck if we wanted to make the vision a reality and we did.

I shared that vision with Beth and our corporate team since we were in the sales coaching program. I knew sharing the vision was the first step and I also knew we couldn’t stop there. I had to share that vision with my birthday leadership team and then with every single person in our center, and that’s what we did.

Set Clear Goals

Our little birthday team was very young with just a couple of years of birthday experience among us, but we knew what we wanted. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so we set very clear goals. Our first one was to figure out how much in revenue we would need to average each week for the rest of the year to hit a million dollars. Then we looked at average revenue for each party we had in quarter one to determine the number of parties we needed to have each week to get the million dollars. W kept a very meticulous spreadsheet to update where we were and what we needed to do.

I think the real game change occurred when we shared the vision with our entire center. We became very transparent about our goals and the numbers associated with them. Every Monday, we would update the big white board in our sales office. We broke down all of our goals for people to see. At any time someone could come in the office and see how many parties we had to date, how much more we needed that month, how much in party sales we had, how much more we needed to do, and so on.  They always knew the magic number left to hit a million dollars. It didn’t matter if you were a party booker, cashier, game room operator, cook, or dishwasher; you knew what our goal was.

Be Transparent to Get Buy-In

I know most owners or managers don’t want to share those numbers with their entire staff. We knew, for everyone to see the vision clearly and have 100% buy-in, we had to be transparent about the goals and where we were. Once it was clear, we had to relay “how” each team member was an integral part of this vision.

We had quarterly center wide meetings, and I remember doing a team building exercise to show how every person in our center affected someone else and how it impacted our birthday parties. It was a great illustration that something as simple as being five minutes late could play a major impact and could be part of what made a party great or not.

That’s what I hope for you as we close out the first quarter of 2017. Reflect back on what you have done, see what you can do, and share that vision with every single person in your center. Once every person sees the vision and feels part of it…..that’s when the magic happens.

A Desire to Serve & It Shows!

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“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”  Henry Ford

A Desire to Serve

I had breakfast with a friend of mine last week at a 50-year-old restaurant near downtown Fort Worth. That establishment may have the BEST example of a business that exudes a real “culture of service”I’ve ever seen. Was it a five-star place? NO. Look it up. The Ol’ South Pancake House. It’s what you would think, except bigger!

They had lots of seats and plenty of staff. When we arrived, they found us a table (booth) as quickly as possible. There was a slight wait, but the host was so pleasant. She seemed glad to see us. Neither of us had ever been to this location, but honestly, it felt like we were part of the family.

Once seated, we were greeted by the BEST server I’ve ever had. The only way I can describe Jennifer is that she was genuinely joyful to serve our breakfast. She smiled. She verbalized how happy she was we were there. She was interested in us having the best thing for breakfast based on dietary needs and desire.

Get Your Staff Enthusiastic

Listen, I don’t know how to tell you to help your staff get enthusiastic about the choices your guests make, but I can tell you as a guest, I LOVE it! The word that comes to mind about this server is authentic. She wasn’t faking it. She was happy and joyful. She had a genuine desire to serve, and it showed.

Maybe that’s the interview question we need to ask prospective or current employees. “How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to serving others, with 1 being I’m a help yourself kind of person and 10 representing a burning desire to serve others?” Then I would ask for an example of a time when they exhibited that kind of service.

A Spirit of Service

Back to Jennifer. She was friendly and tuned into the fact that my friend and I were going to visit a while. She never interrupted inappropriately yet tended to our every need. At one point during breakfast, my friend said, “Jennifer makes me want to ask her for one more thing just so she’ll come back to the table!” I’m telling you this woman was gifted with a “service spirit.” I know that may sound “woo-woo,” but it was just awesome!

We got to looking around, and you know what, the place was full of Jennifers. Every server was fully engaged when they were with a table. We even noticed a cranky couple at a table near us. Their server seemed to make it her mission to lighten up this meal for Mr. and Mrs. Cranky. It worked.

I think it may have had something to do with the fact that when she delivered breakfast, she did so with an enthusiastic, “Incoming!” and served them eggs and bacon in a royal sweeping style. You had to laugh. You have to get happy even when you are cranky! It’s bacon and eggs for crying out loud, and to me, it looks super important to the folks at the Ol’ South Pancake House for it to be a meaningful and fun part of each of their customer’s day. That’s a culture. They all believe what they are doing is important and they are consistently delivering service at a level I haven’t seen in a while! It was so honest and genuine.

Jennifer, if you see this…..I mean it, YOU are the best server I’ve ever had.

Wouldn’t it be cool for your guest service people to get tagged with that message?

Set Aside 20 minutes each day to…

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I am amazed at how many self-help books have been written, You Tube videos produced, blogs poured over by a late night blogger or well-meaning author about what we should do with our time, our talents, etc. It has to be in the bazillions!

What I’m MORE amazed at is how little we actually implement ANY of what we read. For example, if we implemented just some of the Christian Biblical principles over the past 20 years alone, we’d look and act like a very different society, wouldn’t we?

Apply This One Simple Principal

You don’t have to even be a Christian to apply this one very simple principle that says, “Don’t try to take the splinter out of another (person’s) eye when you can’t take out the very plank in your own eye.” Meaning, don’t try and help someone with the problem they are trying to solve when you may be challenged with the very same one.

My hope for all of us in the fun industry would be that we not force or make ourselves do this, but that we would welcome, yes, welcome, setting aside 20 minutes each day to ponder the last thing we read we know we should practice and figure out how to act on it.

For some of us in this fun industry, it may be standing in front of a mirror and practicing the suggestion of turning that frown upside down. I mean it. We are supposed to be fun people in this business, ambassadors of fun, right? How many have you encountered in your places of business, conferences, and lunch get togethers that look as though they were weaned on a dill pickle?

Find a Quiet Place for About 20 Minutes

So, for the next ten days, put down that “How to Conquer the World” book and find a quiet place for about 20 minutes. Match the quietness of that place with the quietness in your head, your heart. No cell phone, no tablet, just you and air. Breathe then let that thought pop in your head of, “Yeah, I’ve put that off too long. When I read it I knew then it would help me with _____ if I would just do it.” Then, go do it.


Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

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21 Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

I recently read a blog from Lifehack about 21 habits of highly successful entrepreneurs and was reminded of what a dear friend said to me in the early days of TrainerTainment.

Jim Ernst, who left us way too soon, said to me, “Now everyone owns a piece if you.” Jim was as right then as he is today. We do belong to the people we serve.

Sharing My Vision

I shared my vision 12 years ago with Jim of helping those in the family entertainment world because I sincerely believed we could help grow people and in turn their businesses. Fortunately, Jim believed in me and so did a ton of other people.

We are lucky and blessed at TrainerTainment. The TrainerTainment team takes ownership of our clients and their growth, the same way an entrepreneur takes on everything when they start a new business. Our coaches and trainers take the success and failure of our clients very personally. It doesn’t matter whether we are working on hiring and training superstars, growing group sales, opening a new center, or working with the leadership team through our business coaching program. Everyone at TrainerTainment is all in all the time.

Own It

It seems to me everyone has or takes ownership of something in their lives. Maybe it’s your family, a softball team, your job, a hobby, travel, music, something. When you “own it,” you may notice some of these habits come naturally.

  1. You are rarely afraid of failure, and when you do fail, it becomes a lesson that propels you to the next success.
  2. You practice gratefulness.
  3. You surround yourself with great people.
  4. You welcome and give feedback.
  5. You work hard, and you play hard.
  6. You start before you are ready.

Furthermore, I encourage you to read the article. It will take 5 minutes.

If you want to sell, lead better, become a supervisor, start your own business, have the winningest ball team, or the best Sunday school class, begin by “owning” your situation. Be the entrepreneur of you. No one owes you a thing. Life is there for you. Be in service to others and watch what happens!

I look forward to hearing what you want to own and why. Share that vision out loud and see what momentum you can create for you and the people you’ll influence!

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Phil Showler

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Phil Showler, Vice President of Sales

Over the past few years, the TrainerTainment team has grown leaps and bounds! Once a month we will get to know a TrainerTainment team member. First up is Phil Showler, Vice President of Sales. Phil joined the TrainerTainment team in June of 2016 and brought tons of industry experience. Phil has been an incredible asset to our team this past year, and we know he will be in the years to come! So without further ado, meet Phil Showler.


What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

  • Knowing that our services can authentically help them grow their people, challenge themselves, and do so in a very personal way; truly being a coach.

How long have you been in the FEC industry and in what roles?

  • I have been in the FEC industry for 21 years, mostly involved in sales of capital equipment, then sales management, then being an advocate for education serving on ed committees and speaking at national shows and regional events.

What is the most significant thing you have learned working in the FEC industry?

  • Strip away all of the games, attractions, food, and what you have left are people! The “people business” is what I love about this and it’s what is behind the organizational structures and the reason they exist. It’s all about the people and people searching for stress relief and fellowship. It’s kinda like church!

Which of our core values resonate with you the most?

  • Being in service to one another is a passion for me. I love making someone’s day better than they thought it would be, whether through personal life coaching or a timely joke. I know if I can do that, it helps make whatever seems so overwhelming seem less overwhelming, even achievable. I’ve always tried to stick to the tried and true principle of doing unto others as I would like them to do unto me.

If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

  • My Bible, picture album of my family, and WATER!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

  • I would want an anti-sadness touch! Many people I encounter through my work and ministry deep down are sad, anxious, offended, angry, depressed, and we all cover it up well. Can you imagine if I were able to just walk down 42nd Ave of NYC and literally just touch thousands on the shoulder as I strolled by and BOOM, they’d be free of all of it? Maybe it’s not an anti-sadness touch, but more of a JOY touch!