As I mentioned in Part 1 of this post about dealing with stress, if you are running a b&b or planning on opening a bed and breakfast, you definitely bring your work home with you! And, as you are generally on call 24/7, it is crucial to make sure you take good care of yourself physically and mentally.
In my previous post I discussed 5 ways that I take care of myself as an individual. In this post, I want to focus on some tips to include in the running of your b&b to help you deal with that stress:
- Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of our guests. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
- Develop a schedule and a system for dealing with everything you have to do. I’ve had a number of new B&B owners tell me that things go so much better for them and make them feel more in control of the business once those routines are in place.
- Learn how to say no. While sweating the small stuff is what make a bed and breakfast owner successful, it is important to learn how to say “no”. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely. (When it’s to a guest, provide them with alternative choices – for instance a guest asked me to make a picnic lunch for them. Instead of saying no, I told them all the great places they could go to get made-to-order sandwiches, and encouraged them to help themselves to the bottled water in the guest fridge and fruit in the pantry – plus offered a bag to put everything into.)
- Build a mutual support system. Since “misery loves company” as the saying goes, connect with other B&B owners so you can talk about your situation with those that know exactly what you are dealing with. Social media provides a number of forums such as Facebook, Linked In and Innspiring. If you need a place to vent about guests, it is important to make sure it is a closed forum (i.e. for bed and breakfast owners only). You could also find ways to connect with other B&B owners – locally or not …and when those people won’t do, I have a best friend I can call or visit for a shoulder to cry on!
- Finally – have a secret hiding place! Even if it is your bedroom, a garden patch behind the shed where no one can see you, or even your car, where you can just blast the radio and sing your heart out, this idea will always be in your back pocket when you have reached your breaking point!
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