Recharge

Living the Dream in 2019! Resort Girls and Guys

January 6, 2019

Is there a passion burning inside of you -Resort Girls and Guys- to change the world, invent something new or cool – or just make a living working for yourself and doing what you love? Are you presently “Living Your Dream Life”?

The first of the year is always an excellent time to plan for new beginnings. This article may provide insights and a road map to start your personal journey to begin building your dream life – or to make a dream come true.
My dream has come true, as evidenced by the fact that you are reading this Resort Girl article. Over a decade ago, my dream was to write for a travel and style magazine just like The Breeze. Over the years, my dream expanded to include becoming a travel photographer. My inspiration was Holiday Magazine, which was a groundbreaking American travel magazine published from 1946 to 1977. As Wikipedia states, “The magazine was known as a cosmopolitan travel wish book with photo essays in full color…along with articles by famous authors.”

My Resort Girl® (RG) brand was built upon this concept – to offer travel articles and social media feeds to inspire and construct your personal travel and experience wish book. Experience has become my number one goal in life…and for others too…those I hope to inspire.
The roadmap to building the RG brand was the same as when building my first firm, Finlistics Solutions, Inc., a sales enablement and corporate training firm based in Atlanta, GA. My role was CEO/Co-Founder, and it was my job to build, manage and market the firm.

As I traveled around the globe for almost two decades, our firm trained Fortune 500 corporations on how to show their value in the sales process. It’s a lot easier to sell your goods when you can show how it hits the bottom line in a positive way!

As I conducted this training, I also learned some very important lessons about building an idea. It is crucial to have a big vision for your dream, backed up with actionable steps. So, I decided to write my first book and challenge myself to start my writing career.

Many people had written about building ideas on an adult, business professional level. My thought was to do something different – write a children’s book, which was something no one had authored 10 years ago. The book series I created is called WizBizKids® featuring entrepreneur SmartSamantha and her sidekick Wally, One Smart Dog. From my past experience, I knew that the one unique thing you have to build on is your idea; and I developed a methodology based on core business principles to motivate, inspire and build SMART ideas. It is called the “6 P’s of an Idea.”

The method:
The proprietary “6 P’s of an Idea” methodology are: Product, Plan, Partner, Production, Promote and Purchase. And for each P, I developed tips to help one find or keep in mind ways to build a better P. I call them “Gottas”, “Nots” and “Tuck Aways”.

The formula:
(What + How + Who + “To Do”) + (Sell + Sale) = Actionable Idea (Dream Come True)
My role is a creator of ideas – not a maintainer. And, as a creator, I understand that a crucial element in developing an idea, one of the first things you need to decide is if you will partner with someone on building your dream or do it on your own.

But…before you can get to that point, you need to answer the question, “What is your idea?” It can be a product or service or even a way to change the world…or even how to live your life. What I call this is your Product.

Consider these tips for your Product:
GOTTA: How will your idea be different? Detail its uniqueness – and remember this: Your idea must “Do Things Differently, Do Different Things and/or Do Things Faster!”
GOTTA: Most of all, your bright idea must have a value! What do I mean? It needs to bring a special something to the person who chooses and uses it.
NOT: What your product is NOT! Don’t focus on lots of cool concepts. One solid one will do just fine.
NOT: Don’t be or do the same old things. No one will email, text or call to hear your voice or see your idea. Instead, do new, do unique. That’s the biggest feat.
TUCK AWAY: Keep thinking of other ideas. Many times, the first idea blossoms into a brighter idea.
TUCK AWAY: How can you expand your product and make it grow?

Even though these were written for a child, they offer a fun and catchy way to develop your dream idea, as well as a unique way to communicate core business principles – doing something in a different way.
The next step is to decide if you will be “Living the Dream” alone or with a Partner. There are so many stories of famous partnerships. In my opinion, a partner is one of the best ways to go, as it is tough going it alone and there are many different skills needed to develop an idea. For example, I excel in the more visionary and creative skill sets of marketing, sales and even management. Where I find I fail is in the details, and the partner in my first start-up possessed a strong finance and detail skill set. It proved to be a good business match.

Consider these tips for when looking for a Partner:
GOTTA: Look for a partner who can work hard and do hard work – and work smart and do smart work, because building an idea is hard work!
NOT: Don’t be shy! Hold your head up high and ask for help with your idea when you need it. After all, it’s a good one!
TUCK AWAY: Consider adding to your team. You might just need one partner now but discover you want to add more later, so keep some names in mind for the future.
The next step is the “How’s and Do’s” for the Production of your idea; and the best way to do this is to start creating a storyboard for your idea. Gather up anything and everything you have saved, seen or dreamed and start sketching a map of your “To Do’s”.
Then it is to me the best part as a creative – how will you Promote your idea. You’ve got your cool idea and now it’s time to tell a darn good story about it. To do this well, your message about your Product must have POP! To skyrocket to the TOP! Think of your brand. What does it stand for and how will it inspire change? What will your logo look like?

Consider these things to Promote your idea:
GOTTA: Build up a Brand! Think colors, designs, images and cards to hand out or now. It’s also important to plan a day’s social media feeds.
NOT: Make sure you know who you want to see your idea. Think about who would like what you do differently. People like different things, so just try to find those who might really like what you do – and pursue!
TUCK AWAY: Be sure you stand firm with your idea brand; and along the way, always remain true to yourself and your values.
And building on these brand ideas comes the next step, Purchase.
Consider these Purchase tips:
GOTTA: How will people buy your idea? Initially, you may even have to hand deliver your product, but later, you can go online when your idea (and your cash flow) grows.
NOT: A sale or service does not end when your customer swipes their card. You need to keep giving back to your customers or they just might return your idea back to you. So, keep the cost of returns in mind. Bottom line: always try to make your product shine. Doing so is a sure way to keep your customers smiling.

And many times, Purchase can help you stand out among the big box competitors. Studies have shown that start-ups and smaller firms’ greatest advantage is their ability to provide great customer service – something different.

So, we are now down to the last P – Plan, which is just taking all these P’s and putting then on paper. There are plenty of free business plan templates available on the web. And, by doing the above exercises – you have a jump start on filling in the blanks. A Plan is a critical part of any idea – but the way it is presented can vary. If you are seeking funding, then you will need a formal business plan. But, if your idea is smaller or doing it on your own, it might partly be in your head and partly on paper. Regardless of which method you choose, it is a good idea to have an overall vision or you might lose direction. You can also share this vision with others, who may be able to offer additional guidance.

I hope this article offers inspiration and insights into just how you might make an idea into a product, service, charity or change in the world – and know that by reading my monthly Resort Girl series, you are making my dream come true. You can also follow me on social media at Instagram at Resortgirlcom or Facebook at ResortGirl.

January is a great time to REFLECT on new beginnings! Are you ready to start?
“Living the Dream in 2019!”

Relax

Forging New Traditions – Celebrating the Holidays, Resort Style

December 13, 2018

You may think of resort holidays as a way to still be able to wear leisure white, day and night. You could also see it as running the A/C to make the heat emanating from the holiday fireplace more bearable.

What many may not have realized is the extended family a resort can provide to Resort Girls and Guys. Life brings changes…work demands, changes in marital status, children leaving the nest and even, sadly, death. Life can get demanding and may bring expected or unexpected changes —it is an inevitable part of the life cycle.

When life changes, it’s only a matter of time before holiday traditions begin to change. So maybe it’s time to start a new tradition – celebrating the holidays club or resort style!

During these changing times, extended families of non-family members consisting of close friends, new friends, neighbors and even “Club” members can develop. This week I heard about a generous golf pro who was helping with the move of a woman whose husband was dealing with cancer. He may have just been carrying the boxes, but he became a valued member of their extended family.

This sense of family extends beyond a caring resort team member, it also can come from caring club members. When you find the right club or resort, you may find yourself forming lifelong relationships. This may just be what you need during a life transition, especially during the holiday season.
Resorts and clubs can easily become part of a holiday tradition. All four seasons bring a reason for festive holiday events held at your club – from spring golfing and summer BBQs to fall festivals and, of course, winter holiday celebrations. As I talked about in last month’s article, a trip to your favorite motel or hotel each holiday season was a valued family tradition. That special place held an important space in your life and your family.

You were greeted by smiling associates…you sat down to supper with other members or guests who decided to go to “the club” or hotel rather than celebrate at home. You even danced the night away and rang in the New Year with familiar, friendly faces. Famous songs have been written about these holiday traditions.

Are they traditional? No, they do not evoke the tone of the grocery store commercials showing folks making all the fixings of a holiday feast at home, but they have their own special quality. These individuals and families decided for one reason another to make the club or hotel their choice of celebration place for the season. Surely other celebrations take place, but these folks…single, married, young and old decided to hold their celebrations together at this place away from home.

These celebrations can either be formal with silver decorations, china and silverware or casual with paper napkins and plates, but they are all a great escape from the usual traditions of the holidays.
For this Resort Girl, this has worked out great in recent years, with my life transition and moving to a new town. There is always room to add a single seat to a large, festive table.

On Hilton Head island and in the town of Bluffton, clubs and hotels to enrich your holidays and traditions are plentiful. With club parties, New Year’s celebrations and even the pro shop making a great place to purchase holiday gifts, it is far easier to drive your golf cart up to the clubhouse to celebrate and holiday shop than turning on that car key.

So, pack your friends and family into that golf cart this holiday and drive on the fairways – instead of the highways – to your holiday celebrations. You could also walk down the hotel corridor to the beautifully decorated ballroom or oceanside event to celebrate the season.

Could this be the year that you take a different avenue to your holiday celebration? Let someone else dish out the fixings and clean the plates and give you the chance to just celebrate with your family, friends from near and maybe even far, and maybe even a new friend or two…and be beside someone who may have needed a friend this year. Consider ringing in the New Year in a new way…celebrate at a hotel or club instead of home…even though home is a good option too! Just if you wanted to explore something new…hop in the car…or golf cart…

Celebrate this Holiday at a Club or Resort.

Wishing all Resort Girls and Guys a very Happy Holiday Season!

Relax, Reflect and Recharge…and REJOICE!

Reflect

Are Memories Becoming a Thing of the Past? – Resort Girls

November 27, 2018
Palmetto Bluff

In today’s “insta-age”, has it become just too easy to turn to the new – pieces, places and faces? The instant gratification found in our social media feeds fill our minds, every moment of every day with flashes of the present that quickly become memories of the past.
But what happens to those images from our past? In these fast-paced days, there is little time to REFLECT – on snapshots of days gone by.

Our smartphones now hold most memories in instant and constant flashes of daily life. With limited memory space, unless downloaded, these images can be easily erased. And even with the remaining photographs taking up space, it takes some time to get back to those earlier memories…which are generally only one or two years past.

So how can we keep those memories dear from over the years? Maybe we should bring back the good old-fashioned photo albums and scrapbooks. These books are the storytellers of a family’s past and they are passed down through families to teach the newer generations how their relatives lived and loved.
These albums used to sit on tabletops or were placed on family book shelves. They sat just waiting to be opened to tell of days gone by. That was their purpose, to keep traditions alive and to thrive for future generations.

They opened minds both young and old to stories of days of old. These moments, both joyous and even trying at times, made up part of who we are. They should be cherished and appreciated. Life is about loving, living, crying and even dying. It is about meeting new faces and remembering the old ones.

Let’s not make haste or waste what took place in our days of past.
Let’s respect those who stood by us.
Let’s respect those who raised us.
Let’s respect those who mentored us.
Let’s respect those who loved us.
Let’s cherish those who held us.
Let’s honor those who supported us.
Let’s honor those who challenged us.
Let’s even remember those who left us.
Let’s praise those who taught us to worship.

Let’s just remember….

So maybe this year for the holiday season, give an old-fashioned scrapbook to someone you love – or make one to pass on to your family. Download and print those iPhone photos and take some time to include those saved a few years back.

Put them in a beautiful binder as a meaningful reminder of days gone past. This keepsake can now sit on a tabletop or take a prominent place on the family bookshelf. And when the days grow colder, you can pull out this binder as a reminder of those warm sunny days of past. Share the stories behind the pictures with your friends and family members. Or, you can just indulge in personal reflection of how these moments in time made you laugh, love and even sometimes cry.

I play music when I write, and a song playing in the background right now seems so appropriate for this topic, it’s “The Story in Your Eyes” by the Moody Blues.

Look back and reflect on the story in your eyes, Resort Girls and Guys. It tells us who we are and where we came from and even helps us on where we are going….
Relax, Reflect and Recharge!

Reflect

The Leaves of a Resort Girl Life

November 5, 2018

A quote by one of my favorite personal development gurus, Jim Rohn, says:

Success is a Journey not a Destination

This seemed to be a theme this week in my reading – if you think you reach success and then stop – you will also put the brakes on your personal growth. Growth must always be a part of our life, even as we advance in age.

As I have officially arrived in the Fall season of my life, the leaves of life are starting to turn.

Like the Fall leaves, my true colors are starting to emerge. It took years to grow into who I am. Maybe that is what life is all about…growing into a beautiful person of many ideas, thoughts and – ultimately –wisdom.

We are so green and growing in our youth, just like the Spring blossoms. Then, we are bright and sunny during our adult years. Our souls are shining with new ideas and the thrill of discovery. We are like the burning rays of a hot summer day…setting the world on fire.

Then we reach the Fall years, when this growing turns our souls into their true beauty. We have become a mixture of colors influenced by all the loves, careers, cares and dares of our younger years.

Our souls are almost there…to the winter of our lives where we are wiped clean, like the first winter snow. Our minds and even hair turn to the purest of white…we are ready for eternal life.

I plan to appreciate the seasons of my life and not fight them. I will make the best of each season.
This is my season to appreciate what wisdom the world has given me and keep building and growing towards the peaceful Winter rest that is given to us.

We leave this world as we came, naked like the winter trees and with minds reborn just like a newborn.

That is my hope in life.

Resort Girl

Reflect

Should Motels Make a Comeback?

October 22, 2018

During a recent stay in Florida, I came upon an exhibit called “Historic Hotels and Motels” at the Winter Park Historical Museum. The museum was on a street my feet used to walk many times – as it was in my hometown.
As a native Floridian, born in Miami and growing up in Orlando Florida, my youthful days were spent amongst the palm trees, lakes and shores. And many times, I stayed in the famous hotels and motels that were showcased in this exhibit.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a motel as “a roadside hotel designed primarily for motorists, typically having the rooms arranged in a low building directly outside.”


We don’t see too many motels in these modern days. We are greeted upon arrival at a hotel by the valet, and are deprived of the privilege of pulling directly up to our room. At a motel, unloading your bags was easy, and if you forgot something in the car, you didn’t need to walk very far to retrieve it.

As the exhibit stated, many individuals – not corporations – ran these motels and even hotels – and they were entrepreneurs. And each year, folks packed in the car and drove near and far to pull up to that motel door. They knew the owners, they knew many of the other families staying, they loved this little slice of paradise.

These motels also featured the unit air conditioner. The exhibit had a typical room with the unit air conditioner, Matisse bedspread and funky sun mirror. Personally, I loved the humming sound of the unit air conditioner. We now pay money for apps that replicate that same peaceful sound, but the app does not have the cool air attached.

Air-conditioning was a new luxury to travelers in the South, as many of the beach resorts of old did not have this modern amenity. And in the end, they were demolished to make room for newer hotels and motels.

But…let’s not forget the unforgettable pool parties of past. They were amazing back then at many motels and hotels. And the Langford in Winter Park was one of the hippest places to stay – and even live. Many folks found it a way of life to reside at these hotels, or escape into oblivion. The exhibit revealed that many notable figures used it as an escape and hideout for days or weeks at a time.
But, as a photographer, my eyes went to a black and white photo of one of those infamous pool parties. I just pictured sitting there in my linen dress with short gloves and hair in an up-do, just watching the amazing, over-the-top entertainment.

The photo depicted a once in a lifetime pool party taking place. First, there was a pool filled with lovely women who were synchronized swimmers, with heads adorned with stylish rubber swim caps. Next to the swimmers, a couple was water skiing – how they pulled that off puzzled me. But, to my surprise there were also ice-skaters! A small ice rink was perched high above the pool. It was amazing; and I wondered just how you can have both warm pool water and cool ice surfaces.

Oh, I so wanted to have been at that hip pool party scene!

Then you have the wonderful motel pool family parties. Pools were filled with colorful umbrellas and plenty of poolside lounges and chairs. Parents got to mingle and take a rest while their kids played with the rest of the kids visiting for the summer. The wide-rimmed glasses, the martinis, the beach balls, the flipping of burgers near the tennis courts, all within walking distance from your motel room – how hip and fun!

I, for one, remember diving off many a motel spring board. Do we even have diving boards anymore? Waterslides are now a standard feature in many pools, but diving boards could be pretty scary – especially the high ones, which could prove painful when you belly flopped!

But those hip pool days are a thing of the past, replaced by more sophisticated pool landscapes.
On our own beautiful island, two of the original motels were the Sea Crest on Forest Beach and the William Hilton Inn. From what I have gathered after reading stories of the past and recollections on the internet, the Sea Crest was created for stranded individuals who just let the day of playing on the beach get away from them – and they needed a place to rest their weary heads.

But the William Hilton Inn was a hip modern motel of the 1960s. I discovered an old postcard on eBay featuring an image of the hotel with the caption, “Looking in from the Atlantic Ocean – features two pools, putting green, badminton, tennis, golf, dancing, oyster roasts – and free island tours.” Now that sounds like an exciting place to visit!

The Langford Hotel, the original Sea Crest and the William Hilton Inn have all been torn down and replaced by more modern inns and hotels. However, memories of all these motel parties and events remain in the hearts and minds of those lucky souls who were part of the in-crowd during those retro motel/hotel days.
A good oyster roast, round of golf, and dip in the pool never go out of style. Maybe the times were a bit hipper back then. The owners were entrepreneurs, not corporations. Most notably, the parties were amazing, and the time spent on the beach was fun-filled and memorable.
As the billboards in front of the motels many times read, “Wish you Were Here”, I so enjoyed reading all of them as we traveled down the road to our motel. And do miss (and wish) some of those old hotel and motels were still around town.

And I wondered, with Airbnb and retro trailers gaining popularity…maybe some of those old roadside motels might make a comeback.

I drive along many southern back roads. These now closed-down “motels” have beautiful settings, inviting me to imagine the days gone by. One such motel still has one room available and an older gentleman – maybe the old proprietor- sits in his metal chair and just watches the cars go by. There is something soothing about just watching the cars go by, many times in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s time to get that pool up and running again and add a great BBQ.

Who knew that just chilling with a few folks who came year after year to enjoy that pool, that BBQ and maybe even some cool entertainment could have been so appealing.
And then again, are we not going back to that again with the new lodgings such as Airbnb…owners who welcome you as their personal guests.

Maybe the roadside “motel” just might make a comeback….

Relax, Reflect and Recharge

Recharge

Living the Harbour Town Yachting Life

August 17, 2018

Resort Girls/Guys – Did you know that for 28 days a year you can live the Yachting life in iconic Harbour Town? Neither did I – until a fellow Resort Girl introduced me to the Harbour Town Yacht Club (HTYC) in the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

A few of my resort girl and guy friends from Big Canoe had recently joined HTYC to enjoy golf outing weekends and family vacations. My friends referred me to the Manager, Victor Davidson, and I quickly became sold on the idea of living mere steps away from all of the historic and breathtaking sights that Harbour Town has to offer. As an added bonus, I would also have access to the club’s partner golf resorts, the beautiful yacht “Mystique” and the HTYC clubhouse’s dining facilities and events.

Most of the club and private lodging is located above the popular shops and dining spots of Harbour town in Sea Pines Plantation. The rooms range from studios to 2-bedroom units and all have small kitchens with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, dishes and even blenders! There are a few condos off-site, but all are within walking distance of the yacht basin. When staying on property, you can take a refreshing dip in the pool or soak in the sun at the Harbour Town pool and work out at the Sea Pines center gym. The Harbour Town Yacht club is not a new establishment; it is rooted in decades-long traditions.

Victor leads an amazing team at the Yacht Club, one that is always there for you, with a common goal of helping you make the most of your membership. I personally nicknamed Victor “Yacht Man”! I have taken to greeting him by this moniker, often with my arms held in a big “V” above my head. (Now, I know only an exceptionally gracious man would allow someone to do that – but he has that personality.) He is a true Superman, always making my time (and my fellow members’) at the club super fine! Victor and the entire, amazing HTYC team are dedicated, hardworking and gracious. The entire staff always makes you feel special – just like part of the HTYC family.

There are two ways to become a member at the HTYC. I decided on purchasing an equity membership, but there is also a great social membership available. It has come in very handy when wanting to attend island events, hanging out with my fellow Resort Girls/Guys and meeting new friends.

Each year, with my equity membership, I am provided 28 days of lodging with an option to request certain days and/or weeks. There is a system in place for priority reservations, which Yacht Man can better explain to you, but you can also pick up days on short notice if there is availability. I have done this many times, such as when the air conditioner in my home was out of service and just wanting to come and stay at the Harbour.

The social membership is also a popular choice for locals of Sea Pines and Bluffton to meet up, as a traditional social is held most Saturday nights from 6 to 7:30 PM. Light bites and drink specials are always part of this popular event. And now, with the recent renovations of the rooftop deck, including expanded seating areas and comfy couches, watching the sunset over the beautiful Harbour Town Yacht basin is even more of a delight.

The rooftop club is open most nights with a happy hour serving refreshing libations for the grown-ups and Shirley Temple or Smurf “mocktails” for the club’s younger guests. During the warm months, the Grill features a delicious feast, serving up a set dinner menu to please the palate. It is a great way to grab a meal and then just pop back to your room, many of which feature a private balcony, to relax, reflect and recharge.

As social members, you have the option of lodging on a 48-hour notice if rooms are available. This can prove to be a perfect spontaneous vacay for Bluffton-based members and those from surrounding areas who want to come in and spend a night on the Harbour.

You can relax by grabbing a seat on the historic teak and mahogany yacht, “Mystique”, with cruises running several days a week. Complementary light cocktails are offered, and you can invite up to 2 guests for free per week (there is a limited charge for additional members). If the sun is shining bright, I might just take an impromptu voyage and hop on board with fellow members if a seat is free.

In addition to all of these amenities, there are numerous special events which are very popular with ALL members. Celebrations are held throughout the year, including a Derby Day party, a 4th of July fireworks dinner, and Christmas parties. The club wraps up the year with a rocking New Year’s Eve party. This Resort Girl has been to most of them and enjoyed each and every one – and everyone! These events draw a lively group of members and are organized and run by a marvelous and loyal team.

Some days, I just feel like popping onto the plantation to walk the sandy Sea Pines beach. It’s easy to do as a member because you get free gate pass access to the Sea Pines gate, beach club and all the wonderful dining and luxuries the plantation has offer. And, have I also mentioned the great golfing partners? Members have access to some of the best courses on the island and that is a bonus – FORE SURE!

To top everything off – some exciting updates have taken place at HTYC over the last year, including the expanded/upgraded rooftop deck I mentioned earlier. In addition, the third-floor conference center is also undergoing an expansion and updates. This conference space is stunning, with coastal furnishings and décor, and it also has all the technology required for any corporate meeting or training. There is also a sleek bar area attached to the meeting facility, offering a place to socialize after an event – or for smaller member events. Members have access to book these rooms, and the space is also available for private and corporate events.

I so enjoy being a member of the Harbour Town Yacht Club and plan to keep establishing traditions and making memories for many years to come. If you might be interested in membership, stop by and ask for the “Yacht Man”, Victor Davidson. Tell him Resort Girl sent you and join me and the other HTYC members in some yachting, dining on the deck, and ringing in some good times – while watching some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Relax, Recharge and Reflect!

(You can also read this article in the Resort Girl lifestyle section –  August, 2018 Issue of “The Breeze” Magazine – free and on stands throughout Bluffton, SC )