Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Time Management Tips Part 2

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How did you do managing your time this past month? What methods did you use? I would love to hear from you, so please shoot me an email to tell me what you found. If you missed out on part one of our two-part time management series, you can find it here. Here comes the next step: practice.

Practicing is going to take you longer than just a month. I’m sure you are saying, “But it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit, right?” Wrong. I did a lot of reading on this and it takes more. Check out this article. It does take 21 days for the change to become easier, but it takes on average 66 days to become a habit. Our goal is to make it a habit!

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have figured out the best method for managing your time, you have to practice it daily. You have to commit and train yourself to do it every day. One easy way to do this is to set a time each day to plan. It can be planning for the day or could be at the end of the day for next day planning. The technique you choose for time management will help you determine when to plan.

Since I use a bullet journal, my routine is that I sit down at my desk with a big cup of coffee and look at my list from the day before. I determine if there are items I did not complete and need to add to that day, move them to a later date, or just don’t need to do them at all and mark each one with a symbol. Then I start adding to my list based on the emails I received. That list is my guide to what I need to get done through the day and makes it easy for me to focus on those tasks. Some days this takes me only five minutes, but I usually schedule about 30 minutes for planning.

Elevate and Delegate

I’m a type-A personality. That means I love to be in charge and try to do everything myself. How many of you are the same way? If we want to do everything and if we want to be in control of our time, we need to look at what needs to be done and decide what we need to delegate and what we need to elevate.

Tasks that may not need your special skill set or require someone else’s abilities are the ones we want to delegate. Think of all the small things you’re doing in a day and how much time they take up. Delegate those tasks out. The to-dos you enjoy, are really good at and require a special skill set are the ones you want to elevate and do yourself.

Delineate the Time to Work on a Task

How many times do we sit down to start working and think to ourselves, “This project is going to take forever! I’m never going to finish!” We all go through that at some point it time. The key is to break it down into smaller sections and then determine how much time you are willing to work on it. It’s a lot easier to say, “For the next hour I’m going to work on this and then take a ten-minute break.”

Delineating that time helps you stay motivated and focused. The break afterward is really important so you can move on to the next task. Breaks allow time to step away, refresh your mind, and be ready for the next task. Some easy break ideas are to get some fresh air, meditate for a few minutes, or do some yoga stretches. You will be ready for the next task.

Learn to Say No

Saying no tends to be one of the hardest things for people to do. For the most part, we all want to work as a team and step in when others are not able to complete a task. Learning to say no is one of the most powerful things you can learn.

I hope these time management techniques and tips have identified some methods for managing your time better. Hopefully, they will come in handy as your summer business picks up and you find yourself on the floor more. I would love to hear your feedback and time management techniques. Comment below or send me an email to rosie@trainertainment.net.

 

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Amy Madson

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Amy Madson, Training & Project Specialist

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. This month we want to introduce you to Amy Madson, Training & Project Specialist. Amy has over 35+ years in the entertainment industry and has been a tremendous asset to our team and amazing coach for our clients.

What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

I enjoy seeing our clients grow professionally and personally. Witnessing skeptic leaders change their minds 180 degrees after experiencing a 2-day business coaching launch and hearing them say, “We’ve never been more focused on this business before.” Seeing a young man with no real leadership experience and no FEC experience grow to a GM position within a year. Working with salespeople new to our industry, training them, coaching them, seeing them become successful in their positions. We make a real difference with what we do.

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

I started in theme parks as a front gate ticket taker when I was 16, then as the Amazing Alfredo where I would guess your age within three years, your weight within three pounds, or the month you were born within two months. I ended up working 11 seasons at Six Flags in several departments but finished my time there in the Games Department as the administrative supervisor. After that, I opened the MGM Grand Hotel as an AsstMgr in the Games Department, moved next to GameWorks – Las Vegas where I worked my way up to AGM. I moved to Orlando in 2000 to open Namco’s first venture in the full-service entertainment venue market, Pac-Man Cafe/XS Orlando, and moved into the GM role. After Namco, I worked with a group of investors to open a high-end children’s entertainment venue like no other – Cool-de-Sac – in Miami. I left there as the Director of Operations and I’m now with TrainerTainment. I get to stay involved in the industry I love and use my 34 years of industry experience to help clients grow.

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

Honestly – that I don’t want kids! I’ve been “Mom” to so many “kids” over the years and that’s enough for me! I’ve also learned that it isn’t always about the product/games/environment you offer…it only matters if you can make a guest happy and they have fun, then they want to come back and bring their friends.

Which of our core values resonate with you the most?

We Believe in Fun! I try to be positive in everything I do. I’ve been in this industry a long time…because it’s fun. I’ve tried retail, hotels, office work…nothing compares to the FEC/Entertainment industry when it comes to keeping you young at heart!

Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?

Seriously. That is a trick question, right?Travel…it’s a necessity, not a luxury.

My vacation spot is Kauai, Hawaii but I’ve been to many other places I would each call “Best” in their right: Bar Harbor, Maine; Talkeetna, Alaska; Venice, Italy; Tallinn, Estonia; Lyon, France; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; Dawson, Yukon; St. Petersburg, Russia; Durnstein, Austria; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Regensburg, Germany; Kusadasi, Turkey; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria…the Caribbean.

If you could speak another language what would it be and why?

Pidgin – it’s the local language in Hawaii. I would love to be able to talk story with the locals.

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?

Your “Give a Darn” Meter

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Ever lose your “Give a Darn”? Wonder where to find your staff’s, your husband’s, or your waiter’s “Give a Darn”?

I tell you, this might be the most significant “aha” of the month for me. There’s a great quote that goes like this: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Give a Darn

I think that quote speaks to “Giving a darn.”  We’ve all walked up to a counter or looked for a service person only to be given that snarky ‘I’ll get to you when I can’ attitude. Or worse, you get the feeling you’re bothering them. Those folks don’t give a darn! I often wonder why people who are miserable at their job keep working at that job. I guess it’s not that easy except that if you give a darn, I’ve found that misery usually takes a back seat to the job at hand.

Listen, I think caring about what you do and how you serve others creates a way to enjoy your job, your family, your friends, and your life. I guess that sounds pretty grandiose but honestly if you can’t care if you can’t find a way to “give a darn,” why bother? Do something else!

Can it be that simple? I think so. Here are two really easy examples. If the redemption counter employee’s “give a darn” is high, then the counter is always stocked. There’s never any concern that things will look bare. If the folks who work in the sales office genuinely operate in a high “give a darn” zone, then they automatically pick up the phone and say, “Thank you for calling. This is Beth. How may I serve you?” AND they mean it! It’s easy. It’s natural. It’s fun.

When Things Matter

When things matter, and you really care about why, what, and how you do what you do, it’s easy to enjoy your work, your family, your friends, and your life!

Make it a great week and hey, think about how to get your “give a darn” in the red zone!

Get your Give a Darn Meter in the Red Zone!