In: Leading Others

I’ve been fortunate to work for the best in class in the hospitality industry. True visionaries.

Last week I met Ian Schrager.

A legend.

The man created Studio 54, Morgan’s Hotel Group, Public Hotels & partnered with Marriott to launch Edition. His life journey is fascinating. But his commitment to his art & his vision is even more fascinating.

We chatted a little about the industry, how it’s evolved, the challenge in finding people that ‘get it’.

Then we got down to the reason I was there.

Later, this conversation got me thinking about what makes visionaries unique and the experiences I’ve had in the hospitality industry.

After I left The Standard, I quickly realized other companies, owners, and brands desperately wanted what Andre created. They wanted the end result—that is. The highly coveted $50M++ in F&B revenue. Very few cared to hear what it cost to achieve the $50M.

Figuratively and literally.

These companies fail to understand the fundamental reason AB was able to create this amazing experience, this outlier in the hospitality industry, in hotels, is because of his commitment to his vision.

He created this in an area of NY that was in a neighborhood some might call questionable. And he did this…

Despite the criticism.
Despite the pressure and comparison.
Despite the obstacles.
Despite the interference from others.

When you create something of this magnitude, something original that serves a purpose and YOU are original it pays.

Big time.

The same goes for Ian Schrager.

The brands that try to imitate these visionaries fall short.

100% of the time.

I often find myself asking others who try to imitate The Standard business model or another brand if they are willing to do what it takes.

What is appealing about achieving $50M in revenue?

If the response is driven by a financial reason, you’ve already failed.

You are an imposter.

You are not in business for a purpose and on purpose.

You do not have the backbone to weather the ups and downs.

Just stop.

Hire me as your coach and I’ll help you get back on track.

If your response is fueled by originality, purpose, passion, desire, love AND a crazy look in your eyes?

That?

That I can get behind. I will fight tooth and nail to help you achieve that dream. I will be your cheerleader. I will be your advocate. I will be your critic.

You don’t actually need to have these dreams of achieving $50M or amassing a large amount of wealth to be a visionary.

Your vision is unique to you.

You get to define it.

We are all visionaries

On your path to executing your vision, there’s a delicate balance between seeing what others can’t and constructive criticism.

It’s up to you to get clear on your why.

As you face criticism, try not to take it personally. Make sure your vision is fueled by your commitment to your purpose.

The desire to serve, solve a problem & and make an impact. Not about proving others wrong or you’re smarter than you’ve been given credit for.

Now get to creating that vision!

Anytime a friend outside of the hospitality industry asks me if they should invest in a new restaurant or, god forbid, open their own restaurant my response is NOOOOOO!!! Go to Vegas, put your money on black. Your odds of winning are much higher. Most people don’t understand what it takes to be successful in this industry because they underestimate how much of themselves they have to give.

Success largely depends on the intangible components in hospitality–the secret sauce.

Early on in my career, I fell in love with the energy of the industry. That fleeting moment when it all comes together—the food, the service, the ambience—that moment is energizing, deeply satisfying, and intoxicating. The look on a guest’s face when you and your team have truly nailed it. Knowing that you’ve played a very small part in the creation of a memory for a perfect stranger.

That satisfaction is intangible.

As I progressed in my career I got further and further away from those moments. I started working for myself and rediscovered what I love so much about the hospitality industry. It’s always been about making an impact and the people.

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