Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Warriors Ignore Road Rage!

So you travel a what! Any successful person who lives on the road for business knows that the way to make more money is to get out there and see more customers. So why when the rains of heaven pour down on New York City last week does every grown professional adult that I run in to go crazy at the airport?

So if you haven't read my book Living with No Balance and Loving It, here are some tips to keep you calm during the hectic dog days of summer travel.

1. Summer storms are worse than winter storms. The lightening and tornadoes keep planes on the ground so - get real with your technology - make sure your mobile office is really set up for travel. I can't tell you how many people I had to lend my power cords to at the Red Carpet Club because they "were only traveling for a day so they didn't think they need to charge anything." Are you kidding. Always be prepared to charge your phone, computer, iPad and anything else you need charged - maybe yourself!

2. Pack smart! Your business suit is not fun to set around in at the airport - either change before getting to the airport or travel with a change of is not fun eating your pizza on the floor of the airport in your Armani suit.

3. Bring entertainment - download the latest episodes of your favorite HBO series, use your ebooks to browse magazines and articles so that you can pretend you are having fun.

4. Most importantly have fun. Many of the airports have upgraded their bars, restaurants and shops. Pull up a bar stool and order your favorite drink and make some new friends. Remember to lose the attitude because you are not alone in the misery of travel - everyone you meet at the airport is in the same boat so enjoy it and carry on!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The US Open Shows a Sign of a True Professional

For those of you who have been following my blog in the last year, know that I attended all 4 golf majors last season and have become quite a golf connoisseur, like my husband and daughter.

So far 2011, my family hit The Masters and Lefty (my husband) just attended the US Open at Congressional in DC. He spent the entire week, staying at the player's hotel - conversating and relaxing with some of golf's finest. One of these players, was Rory McIlroy who just won his first major yesterday at 22 years old.

On Thursday afternoon, Lefty was hanging out in the player's club room after most of the players had just completed their first round of the 2011 US Open. Lefty was sitting at a table and Rory came up and sat down next to him and started a conversation. Now, think about this - this 'kid' is LEADING the US Open, 22 years old and is going to sit down at a table of strangers for some casual conversation. I know many senior sales people in business and senior players on the tour that would not do what Rory did.

After introducing himself to Rory, Lefty told Rory that his (Rory's) sponsor, Jumeirah is one of our luxury customers as well. Rory was so enthused and started asking him all kinds of questions about what we do in business and how we got in this business, etc. It was incredible, Rory is leading the US Open and is excited to have a full conversation about something other than himself. Remember, he had a lot on his mind. In the lead, pressure all around him and yet totally engaged in others and soaking up all the opportunities of playing in this unbelievable tournament.

So what is my take away? What has happened in business today where some people make it to the top (or what they think is the top)and forget those around them. There are so many people who don't return calls for months even years and then when they need something you are the first person they call. How about your team, your company and your clients. Most people care about those in a different order - clients first because they pay me, but forget about the team that supports them in order to get those clients and make their commission.

Time will tell what type of person you will be remembered as. Are you the person who is giving of your time, ideas, solutions and partnerships or are the person who only cares about yourself and what you will benefit from each interaction.

Good guys do finish first and Rory has shown that a winning golfer can be relaxed, fun, professional and shows that to the fans who support him because he knows that is why there are golf tournaments in the first place.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Friends, It's Truly a Luxe World!

No matter where you live, where you came from & how much money you make - you can enjoy a luxury lifestyle, because the word luxury can be made into any way you want it. Luxury to some may be designer bags & clothes and extravagant trips to far away destinations or to others maybe it's a small town feel of bike riding, popsicles, spending time with family and going tubing down the river for a summer vacation.

What my point is, is that luxury, no matter what "kind" should not be shunned upon for any reason and NO ONE should have to apologize for hosting events or parties for the luxury industry.

I spoke at an event last week in San Diego: Engage!11, which is a luxury wedding event put on by two incredible women, Rebecca Grinnals & Kathryn Arce for all luxury wedding professionals - and what a spectacular event this was. The colors were "noir, cream, & crimson" and it was done to THE NINES. Splendid set up, divine speakers, dolled up parties, exquisite decorative items, you name it - they had it!

While my team and I were there, we were speaking with numerous people in the luxury industry and they were all saying the same thing - why should we apologize for hosting luxury events? Business is coming back and there are still consumers out there that want luxury goods and services. They kept saying, we are employed in this industry to provide the best of the best and work our tails off everyday to provide these people with the most outrageous experiences ever - why should we apologize?!

They are right, luxury isn't saving lives by any mean, but everyone has their own role in this world. One of them put it into this perspective for me: I am putting on weddings for people in the luxury market that are working hard to maintain a comfortable life and then there are some that are just born into wealth and maintain that. But in retrospect, they explained that they work with people that work hard and want to have nice things and desire to be on top one day. Doesn't everyone?!

So, next time you see something with "luxury" plastered on the label, don't be discouraged or think that luxury means the same thing to everyone - get motivated, inspired & engaged!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Traveling Blanket Saga

Many of you saw on my Facebook a few weeks ago about "my traveling blanket." Being as I'm such a positive and happy person all the time, you probably thought it was some cute story about how my daughter made me a traveling blanket or something - NO! It is a terrible story of bad customer service and how customer service is downsizing across the globe and how once again, it always happens to me.

I was flying on United Airlines on that day a few weeks ago, coming home in my first class seat from Washington DC. I'm flying first class because I had flown over 100,000 miles in the first half of the year. Yes, I know, scary. So, as you all know I'm exhausted from my trip and need to get my 5 hours rest in on this flight because the next day I'm doing it all over again.

I have griped about a lot of airlines on my blog because #1, I live on them and also because I simply do not understand how downright bad most of them treat you as a PAYING customer in a service industry. Well obviously United is cutting costs and ultimately beginning to screw every passenger, one by one.

Let's go back - I am putting my "wheelie" in the overhead compartment and I sit down to get wrapped up in my blanket and catch some Zzz's. As I open my blanket up, I realize that it barely covers my body and think to myself if I have the kid's size or something... NOPE. I look around me and people are getting their blankets out and they are all HUGE ones. Am I seriously the only person that has the small blanket? I ask the flight attendant, because at this point, I'm OTT (over the top). "I'm sorry Ma'am, I know that United is changing the blankets to cut costs on these aircrafts and maybe they are doing a "slow transition." A SLOW TRANSITION? No, you are downsizing your customer service one blanket at a time and I'm the one sitting here with the kid's blanket when every one else has the big ones. Of course there were no extras and none in Coach because God forbid anyone catch Sars or the Bird Flu. I stole the girl's blanket next to me when we landed, so I could take both of them home, lay them out on my floor and show to you all that I am FAR from kidding. Look at the right of my blog and see for yourself.

Needless to say, another letter will go in the mail to United and I'll rant and rave and a measley 10,000 miles will be awarded in my account - YIPEE. When is it going to stop?!