We are starting to hear from a few hostel owners and managers who are stating they are struggling to figure out what they should be doing while their hostel is shutdown. Their hostels are painted and the showers are grouted but what now? Additionally, others are starting to feel guilty that they are not doing enough and are continually wondering where all these newfound hours are going?
In this episode of the Hostel Road Trip Podcast Pandemic Mini-Series, James Black and Bobby Dyer talk to former HostelManagement.com editor and Pacific Tradewinds Hostel manager to help everyone regain a bit of calm and control over our lives.
Courtney Loechl is a Make Shit Happen coach for entrepreneurs & creatives and a hostel consultant. She has some really good advice for all of us on how you can continue to authentically communicate with your customers even when you are closed. Does authentic communication by writing and video strike a bit of fear into you? I know it does me. This is where Courtney really shines.
Ready to learn how to engage your audience through content and turn fans into customers? Catch the replay of Courtney's FREE Magnetic Messaging webinar here.
Want to take things further? Sign up for her 4 week bootcamp, Writing Doesn't Have to Suck, here.
Final enrollment is closing Thurs. Apr. 30th!
SHOW VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
James Black (00:00): Well, the mini series, Jimmy black, Bobby Dyer with international travel. I have managed to find the only business in the entire country and you're to learn stronger on the other side. Courtney is with us. I would do it. Courtney. So good. How are you guys? Oh to fantastic advice and knowledge, wisdom and really excited about the connectivity of things because for those of you who don't know, Courtney runs and operates is this life coach type of company. That shit happen. I actually have the sticker on my helmet for my motorcycle. No big deal. And it's a really cool, this is that. She does great videos online, but she was formerly the editor of hostel manager.com the manager of the Pacific trade winds in San Francisco. So a very unique perspective that we can get here today. Great advice for the listeners. I know it's everyone's kind of at home and you've just got such unique marketing operations. Courtney Loechl (01:24): So tell us how you do it. Yeah, thank you. So as Jimmy said, I'm a make shit happen coach these days. But I have years of experience in the wholesale management industry. So I totally understand, you know, both sides of this and to an extent. Anyway, so what I wanted to talk about first is this concept that we keep hearing around us that's being productive during a pandemic. And there's this like meme that's been going around. It's like, Oh, you know, you don't come out of this like speaking of fourth language and playing a new instrument behind your back blindfolded ready to start a nonprofit. Like you never lack the time, you lack the discipline. It doesn't quite say that, but you know what I mean? Courtney Loechl (02:07): Like while there's some truth to the sentiment behind it, I think it's also really disregarding that a lot of uncertainty in life and in business can cause a lot of stress and there's a ton of uncertainty within the hustle industry within the travel industry. And so first of all, don't be too hard on yourself if you're not suddenly like deep cleaning your entire hostel with a full on marketing plan and like revamped all your systems. Like there's a lot going on right now. So while there's some stuff we should definitely touch on and talk about also, you're still a human. You have a business. We're human behind the business, you know, and we forget that. And a lot of hostels are really small operations, you know, the small independent ones, they're not these major corporations with tons of people. So like you've already got a lot on your shoulders. Like take a deep breath. It's okay, it's fine. You're just trying to make it through right now in bed and cry for a day every once in a while. Courtney Loechl (03:04): I'm not kidding. I have cried at least four times, like out of nowhere since this whole thing started. Right. And it's been so like weirdly out of nowhere and I'm like, that's not my normal. I'm just like, Oh, there's a lot happening. James Black (03:21): The unknown, nobody knows what's going to happen. So it's hard to, yeah, totally gives you anxiety in that and yeah, and then that tree and then you can't even go to the gym and go for a good steam or a spa, you know? Courtney Loechl (03:40): But we have a camper van. And so we normally do our workouts at the gym where you usually shower at a gym. And so we've had to shift everything. And if it's not, you know, raining, we can work out outside and that's great. But when it's raining we're like, fuck. So we've gotten very creative. My wife does yoga every morning in the van and she fits just perfectly in like the little aisle. It's so funny. So yeah, you just have to, you know, make it do and and just roll with the punches really. So Courtney Loechl (04:15): Now real quick on that van though, before we get jumped back into a little bit of more business life holistic coaching, give us a quick update on the band project. I know that this obviously doesn't help. I mean it gives the listeners a touch because this is a really cool project. Courtney Loechl (04:33): Okay. So the whole reason we live in a van is our end goal that we're working on is to renovate a full sized school bus into a mobile hostel hostel and like retreat space. And that will move all around the country. And so we decided to start with a van and renovated a 79 camper van and do our tiny home. And now we live on property in the Santa Monica mountains outside LA which had space to also renovate a full size bus. So we're hoping to buy the bus by the end of 2020 and start renovating it. And in time we will have a hostel that can go everywhere so the supply can follow the demand and we get to still travel. Bobby Dyer (05:08): That's amazing. I can't wait to check that out. The concept is so cool too because you get to travel as well as yes. Right. And then I love how you're completely impervious to seasons. You know, you just move around to the scene. It's like, Oh, I'm not as sure with season or the slow season, you know, you're like, just pick up the teepees and go. I love it. Courtney Loechl (05:32): It's been a, it's been a work in progress for several years with everything. Things take longer than you think, you know, for almost five years ago I was like, ready? I got the idea and I was like, with my bus tomorrow, life happens and it's taken time. But doing the van first was great because you learn a lot when you're renovating something, exercise and patients and skillset of course. But I'm like, okay, this bus is going to take to build. I just know that. James Black (06:02): No, that's so true. So back towards the business and life coaching and some ideas and thoughts and tips you might be able to give people to try to stay productive. You know, that three part system of the what, why, how type you were talking about earlier you know, do a little taste into that in a little bit of encouragement out there to people and some advice on how to navigate through the next two months or so. Courtney Loechl (06:29): Totally. So the first thing I want to mention as that, even though it's like, okay, you don't need to be a productivity machine, it is a really good time for you to look at your time and energy management. Maybe some of the demons you were facing with time and energy management. And the reason I say energy management, not just time as that really what I see with clients, with myself is that time, time management really does come down to energy management because you can time block every single part of your day and be like, okay, I'm going to do this, this, this and this. But if that's not matching where you're actually at with either your energy in general of how much you have to do give or like maybe you had a really crazy day yesterday, you're not going to be as go, go, go today. Courtney Loechl (07:13): Like you really have to keep that in mind. And I think that's where a lot of people fall short is they think they can do way more than they actually can and they're setting themselves up for failure, which just causes this kind of like vicious cycle. So keep in mind that a lot of time and energy management comes down to what are you saying yes to and what are you saying no to? Because anytime you're like, I'm going to do this thing, you're inherently saying yes or no to something else. So for like the most basic example, if you are, you know, you have some tasks you need to do and you're totally procrastinating, well you might procrastinate by binge watching Netflix. You might do it by, you know, going for a run, which could still be a good thing to do. But that can be like productivity, procrastination, which a lot of people get caught in the loop of because they're like, well I'm doing something good. Courtney Loechl (07:58): But it's like, is that really what you should or need to be doing in this moment or does it just feel better? And so it's really thinking always like what are you saying yes to and what are you saying no to? And are you doing it for the right reasons? So like if you are binging Netflix because you truly just need to like zone out and chill, awesome, do it own it, it's fine. But if you're doing it because you're numbing out from doing something else, just because you don't want to face the challenge or like it takes discipline, then you maybe need to look at that a little bit. So, even if right now in this moment you don't have this like active running hostel where you have a chance to put some of this into play or navigate in real time, it is a chance for you to kind of reflect back and be like, okay, where am I not setting boundaries? Courtney Loechl (08:42): Where am I? And not saying yes or no to the right things. Where am I not getting help where I need it? And I'm like bottlenecking my company and I'm not leaning on my staff as much as I need to. Where am I leaning on them too much and things are falling apart because I'm showing leadership. Like there's a lot of ways to really get real with yourself at a time like this. Cause there's nowhere to hide and you have like a lot of times nothing else to do right now if your business is shut down actually do have stuff to do. And we'll talk about that in a minute. But you know what I mean? Well, yeah, like when you run a 24, seven business, and I've been several years, not just in San Francisco but also I ran a hostel and Swazi land and you know, navigated lots of other hostels talking to the owners and managers and when you are an onsite live in manager, which is what I did for many, many years, it is so critical that you cut off at some point because you're just like literally in a business 24, seven. Courtney Loechl (09:35): And if you don't have boundaries for yourself, if you don't put boundaries to staff boundaries to even friends and family, like you have to navigate your time and energy to be sustainable in a business like that. And now it's the time to really look at that. Courtney Loechl (09:49): Yeah. Like you said, being at a hundred percent energy is so important to be able to execute and do things the best you can. It's a really good point cause I try to get much better at being organized with my time and plan of attack and make the plan to win, you know? And I make the whole plan for the week and everything. Look like I'm going to kick ass. And then at the end of the week, I think it's a healthy process to go through the week and see what you did and didn't do and transferred over yet. At some Sundays I sit there and I'm like, good God, what happened? I didn't expect to watch for nine hours that day and I wasn't planning on studying so much of this being efficient, productive, healthy, positive, but you've got the previous experience. So it's really a neat that you've got that ability to bend the two and blend them together. I, like I said, I don't know if there's anyone else in the country that has that qualification. You should really brand yourself as that. What do you have a, you know, coming up in that Courtney, lack of coaching makes you happen brand. What do you have? Cause I know you do these really cool webinars and video meetups, which now Courtney Loechl (11:13): Better than ever to get on board with because you've got the time and ability and one of the only social aspects you can do. But yeah. Well, what do you got coming up on the radar? Courtney Loechl (11:25): Yeah, so I have a free webinar coming up that I actually ran last week and it was so good and I got so much feedback of how helpful it was. I'm running it again this Tuesday and it's called magnetic messaging that convert. The whole focus is on how to write and engage your audience or rather engage your audience through writing both on social media, on emails, any way that you're using writing to try to connect to your potential customers or customers you've already had that you want to come. And it's really important that you're doing this authentically. You're doing it powerfully and that you have an online presence. And that, you know, this webinar has been a focus on any business, but it's really important for hostel owners to be thinking about this because especially if your business is closed right now, you might be thinking, well, I don't really need to be marketing right now. Courtney Loechl (12:13): Like there's nothing to market. But when you think of that like know trust factor in marketing, the trust isn't just that you're going to deliver what you say you'll give in your business. So for instance, a guest comes, you give a great experience while they're here. Great trust is really about the entire process. So they need to trust that you still have them in mind right now while they're prepping. Like they're, I'm sure there are a ton of millennials right now just like waiting for the day. They can buy the cheap flight and travel again. Courtney Loechl (12:42): Yeah, Courtney Loechl (12:44): Yeah. They need to know that you're like, Hey, I'm gonna be open in six months or three months or however long is dig when you're ready to travel. And then they need to know that you're going to be supporting them when they're making their travel plans that you're giving advice on this city. So that when they go to say, okay, well where should I stay? What can I do? You're there with that online presence and then of course while they're staying and then after. And so if you wait to start doing some of this online presence for six months from now, you're already behind. And I don't mean that in the like, Oh my God, scramble get it together. But people want to know that there's that social proof before they book. So you've got an online presence that has continued with momentum instead of it stop for six months and then you're like, Hey, we're here now. Courtney Loechl (13:26): You're going to be really giving yourself an upper hand. Especially if, I hate to say it, like if your competition totally, you know, drops off the face of the online world, like guests who people are going to find first. Yeah, because I read that. But also algorithms pick that shit up. Like if you drop off social media presence on Facebook or Instagram for even a few weeks, let alone a few months, they pick that up and it's a lot harder to get your stuff back out and being shown again. So it's really critical that you keep continuity with your online presence. So if you want to learn how to do that and do it really well, definitely check out my webinar. But regardless like please, if you're in the hustle industry, like don't give up on your online presence is really one of the easiest ways you can keep your business running even when it's not running right now. Bobby Dyer (14:12): Yeah. We like to you know, provide an inspirational message and a positive message so the people at home can see that, you know, nice experiences and destinations happen in the world and they can plan their next trip, you know, so you can use that chance to sit at home to connect with the guests like you said, and give them hope for the future. Yeah. Bob has been mentioning that a lot over the past couple of weeks if there's a lot of marketing opportunities to be had and also the time that you never have. That's something that I've been trying to work on is like staying more organized and getting more organized because for years that I've been saying like, gosh, we've just been going a hundred miles an hour and I just need things to stop for a few weeks. Well now it, no, I'm good. I'm trying to get organized. I'm trying to get my shit together so I can make it. Courtney Loechl (14:59): Yeah, Courtney Loechl (15:00): When this pin again it gets over. But I think that's all great and break time to get into these things and dig in and feel that beyond you to do layers work on yourself because you do have that ability at time. But this Courtney level, I thank you so much for joining us. We have to jump off because we're doing an interview with the resilient hostel owner from Rio de Janeiro books hostel, but I look forward to watching your webinars and seeing your coaching and I hope that you continue to spread your knowledge through the hostel industry. Bob, anything in closing for the listeners, thank you so much for joining us. Looking forward to checking out the webinar. Courtney Loechl (15:41): Thank you again. What's the time again where people can log in and check that out? It is happening Tuesday, this Tuesday, April 16th I'm at, is that the 16th or 14th I'm totally blanking now. Courtney Loechl (15:56): Yeah, 16 right. You do not know Easter. Oh my Lord. Yes. Yeah, Courtney Loechl (16:05): Yeah. Tuesday the 16th at one o'clock Pacific, and then the replay will be available until that Sunday. So even if you aren't able to catch it live, you can still come catch the replay and I'm sure we can put a link to it. When this goes out for people to check. Courtney Loechl (16:18): Absolutely. We'll get that all down it. Well, you take care out there on the bus, the copter, big bear and see us or San Diego and it's all over. Speaker 2 (16:26): Yes. All right. Bye guys.