As I've mentioned before, I work with hospitality-focused businesses so Chip Conley's presentation, the mastermind behind Joie de Vivre Hospitality, really resonated with me. Chip has also been the fabulous MC for the Summit.
I like Chip's message because he speaks to the small business owner. Even though his company catapulted the charts and is touted as the second largest hotelier in the U.S. and the first in California, he tells it like it is - and he's enlightened. There's a reason why he's THE guy when it comes to the boutique hotel industry.
The theme of the conference is to raise the consciousness of business professionals across the world - it's time to shift and think about new, innovative ways to do business. It's time to steer away from outdated business mode and look at WHAT really matters in business - values, culture, leadership, emotions, dreams, energy, etc.- yeah, scary stuff! But it's not that scary. Globally, we need to work together to make this shift and it's happening - one micro step at a time.
Chip brought up some points that hit the nail on the head for me. He shared that 'the most neglected fact in business is that we are all human.' It's time to throw away the "I must be perfect" name badges and join the imperfect human race, and learn from our mistakes.
He also talked about a huge factor that I think gets lost, especially for new small business owners and freelancers. He pointed out that if you start a small, new business, that you should pick a small niche and serve that niche effectively. I couldn't agree more. He started with a small niche - boutique hotels that had a funky edge to them - and he grew it into a huge business, Joie de Vivre.
Start small equals grow big is a concept that 'gurus' out there need to take to heart in their own messaging. Many "six figure" super stars proclaim that newbies (especially copywriting and marketing giants) can make MILLIONS if they target large corporations. Take a page from Mr. Conley. Did he hit up the Marriotts and Hiltons? No, he stuck with the little guys and that niche thinking worked! His company's successes are proof that niche marketing really is the way to go for small businesses.
Highlights from his presentation that really hit home:
- Are businesses measuring the right things? Are you measuring the "intangibles?" Are you measuring customer and employee satisfaction? Company culture?
- Reputation does MATTER! Be aware and treat people better.
- Your actions as a leader are magnified much more than you realize!