Hallucinating For Profit

This article was first published in 2004 by hotelonline.com and I will be forever grateful for their support.


Open your bloody eyes – it’s right in front of you!

If you’re similar to 99% of the humans holding a spot on planet earth, that phrase awakens memories of scattered confusion.

You quite likely didn’t realize during your reconnaissance mission for the television remote that you were hallucinating but you most certainly were.

After all, there it is – on the table, right in front of you.

There ' Twas - Gone graphicThat’s also why most folks are bewildered when the reality of their situation chomps them on the posterior.  This conundrum is well captured in the oft spoken statement – “I don’t know why I got fired – I was just standing there, I wasn’t doing anything …”

The fact of the matter is that all mere mortals invest a good deal of time drifting through life, totally unaware of what’s actually going on around them. And that’s pretty dang scary when you think of how much IS going on, wouldn’t you agree?

Fire up your RAS

RAS is an acronym for Reticular Activating System. This silent reality editor works feverishly inside our craniums 24 / 7. Our maker originally included this awesome brain option to ensure we could continue to watch TV or read a magazine while “sort of” listening to the daily challenges of our relationship partners. “uh huh, mmm, hmm.”

But your RAS has bigger fish to fry.

Think of it as an information traffic director that either limits or allows data to reach your conscious mind based solely on attitudes and expectations in our lives. Scientists who have studied this process in depth agree that the average human being in North America is inundated with more than 6 billion bits of information each day.

Your RAS acts similar to a radio in that it controls the volume of those bits of info that pelt your noggin’ daily and it directs you to focus on whatever aspects of reality you feel are correct for you.

It’s what allows seemingly normal people to say “I Do” one day and invest in a lawyer’s retainer the next. “Uh, huh… mmm, hmm.” (hey, it takes practice)

The awesome aspect of this wondrous function is that you can command your RAS to evolve from stage one of awareness, you don’t know – you don’t know, to stage two – you KNOW you don’t know. I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out that there is a hail of allot going on around you of which you are totally ignorant.

Be Aware Wolf

Now that brings us to a question: How will your business get better if you can’t imagine it better? Why would your employees work more effectively without you pretending they can?

And who cares about all this anyway? ( Oh…sorry, were you talking to me…?)

Your ability to perceive what others can’t is the single most important skill you can possess today. You can enhance your awareness by recognizing how you interact with the people and circumstances that create the often mundane world that envelopes us.

Probe the mysterious realities that deep contemplation of a better future can unveil.

Here are some hints on how you can direct your focus to ensure you begin that awe-inspiring journey into the realm of all things possible.

Take a fresh look at your employees – Your people really want to do a good job and they’d like you to notice that fact. See their enthusiasm or lack of it. Notice how they interact with your customers. Is it a joyful experience? Who should be moved to a different department or to your fiercest competitor’s business?

Thar’s gold in them thar frills – Have coffee breaks in unusual places in your hotel. See that tattered edge on your entrance mat? That’s a sign of something. Look for what is missing. Should there be Flowers? What scents are evident?  Are your people on the lookout so they can greet customers warmly when they approach your front desk or does it seem like patrons are interrupting a good conversation for employees only?Great! My Thinking is Inside the box and I'm out here graphic

Taxi! – Look at your business from across the street. Is your parking lot clean? Should the parking lines be purple? Look at your marquee. Is it up to date? What haven’t you changed on your main sign over the past two years? Does it reflect the current desires of your target market? Where’s the parking stall that is reserved for fat people? (hey, there’s one for everyone else…)

Elvis has left the building – When was the last time you stayed at your establishment under an assumed name? Are your hallways party central at night? How long does it take for room service? Extra pillows? A sleepover with your family could be the best way to engage your imagination for any challenges your room guests might face.

Is your back to the wall? – Plant your rear on a new stump in your office. (Hey, all the other chairs are lower than yours!) Do you have pictures of your family around? Is there evidence that you might be human or does it look like everything is set up for a quick exit? You’re sending signals from command central – find out what they are!

Yeah, what do you want? –  Phone your establishment. Are your employees giving a 20 second spiel while your customer waits patiently to tell their story? Can you hear their smile? Does the communication sound real or canned? Phone your closest competitor and listen to the differences between their employees response and yours. Remember, your customer is hallucinating about the accommodations they will receive at your property based on your representative’s description and demeanor.

The rewards for seeking undiscovered realities are great and will have a significant impact on your business. A wonderful aspect regarding new ideas is that they always breed additional concepts and that’s when all that fantasizing will really pay off.

Imagine it being that easy – because it really is.

Happy Hallucinating!

Barry out.

17 Responses to “Hallucinating For Profit”

  1. This is good advice for any business Barry, It’s amazing what you can see when you take a different perspective.

    When I ran my holiday company, I travelled incognito on one of my trips to Amsterdam. I wanted to see what my holidays were like from the customers point of view.

    It was lucky I travelled anonymously, because I had one too many ‘space cakes’ in the coffee shops. When I stepped off the coach I fell flat on my back, and couldn’t get up. My customers all stepped over me, to get off the coach. 😆 I was really glad they didn’t know who I was. 🙄

    John
    John McNally recently posted..FREE eBay Tools CHECKLIST

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    Space Cakes. I like the sound of them already…

    As far as customer walking all over you, this is the way I’ve always operated. That way, everyone knows where to find you…

    Good story John, thanks.

    Barry

    [Reply]

    Bill Murney Reply:

    @John McNally,

    On a trip to Amsterdam a few years ago my buddies and I were in a C Coffee shop and one guy eating space cake suddenly fell of his chair and lay prostate on the floor to the amusement of everyone in the shop. The owner didn’t bat an eyelid. I must add that I didn’t partake myself though.

    Bill

    [Reply]

    Don Maisey Reply:

    @Bill Murney,

    Space Cakes? I only like chocolate mudcakes or matured fruit cakes.

    Now Bill, you must have been at the “Coffee” shop for some reason. You can confide in me, I won’t tell a sole 🙂

    Don
    Don Maisey recently posted..A Week of Cricket

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    Don – saying you eat “matured” fruit cakes is not something I would advertise.

    That’s a code word for old, smells different and “what’s this?!”

    You’ve already got the time warp thing figured out. Now, can you lay still on your back in a crowded “airport” for 30 minutes? There’s your mature fruit cake!

    Thanks Don.

    Barry Williams Reply:

    “You’ll be floored by our Space Cakes”

    I have this agreement with reality. I overdo it and fall down. No problem.

    Myself, I am quite familiar with space cakes and while I would wobble, I bet I could continue running the shop. Not profitably, though…

    Thanks Bill.

    [Reply]

    Don Maisey Reply:

    @Barry Williams,

    Hi Barry,

    When I said matured fruit cake, I meant matured with some nice port or sweet sherry, not e-Coli.

    Don
    Don Maisey recently posted..A Week of Cricket

  2. Hi Barry,

    Sounds like you have the making of a new TV show. You could get the CEO to go under-cover and find out what people really think.

    Oh, crap, somebody else has already done it!.

    Many CEO’s make decisions in their best interest without knowing if it is right or wrong for the company. Genuine feedback is golden.

    Don
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    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    Hey Don.

    Once humans make it into management, they soon forget what its like on the grubby side of the desk where the money meets the customers and after a while, not knowing what is going on becomes standard operating procedure.

    I often wonder about executives who travel around to places without thinking that people are preparing for their visit. Those poor managers seldom ever get to see the the way things really are and for the most part, they don’t even realize this…

    You’re right about feedback Don – authentic, respectful opinion is tough to find.

    Thanks Don.

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Barry

    In general the business hierarchy seem to have no clue whatsoever about the everyday running of their businesses and the problems and frustrations of their staff.

    If the working environment made them feel respected and part of a team they would actuall enjoy going to work instead of dreading it.
    The business leaders should take the customer experience themselves and then they would see why their operations were failing or not up to scratch.

    It is said that if you smile when on the phone this comes across to your customer but how many actually do this or have the incentive to do it.

    Bill

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    I believe that many people in management are sadists who are unaware that they are sadists.

    “Do you know you are standing on that cat’s tail?” is the same question as “Are you aware that your charges are unhappy?” except human cats often don’t make any noise when they’re being stepped on. They just spread out more, like paying for talcum powder when a person is supposed to be getting cocaine…

    Most leaders are so far away from the customer they no longer remember or care what they look like, let alone what they want…

    Right on, Bill. Thanks.

    Barry

    [Reply]

  4. So Barry, my COOL friend,

    After a week of 28 degrees Celsius, I am shivering at a cool 22. Have you dug yourself out of the snow yet? Have you got your passport and tickets to fly to a warmer climate? If not, I’ll see you in 6 months when you wake up.

    Don 🙂
    Don Maisey recently posted..A Week of Cricket

    [Reply]

    Barry Williams Reply:

    It has snowed four times here already and each time required me to invest time in moving solid air by hand.

    Unmitigated lunacy accurately describes snow shoveling and some day I would like to be sitting on your patio, shooting stones at crickets, kangaroos and koala bears with a slingshot when I hear about the first snowfall of the year in Saskatchewan. Then I’ll phone you to make sure you clear the driveway all the way back to the garage on account of we have traded homes.

    THAT will be a happy day for me, I imagine…

    No more hibernating.

    Later, pal.

    Barry

    [Reply]

    Don Maisey Reply:

    @Barry Williams,

    Swap homes? Now you are hallucinating!!!

    Don
    Don Maisey recently posted..A Week of Cricket

    [Reply]

  5. Space Cakes, eh. I keep telling my wife we need to visit Amsterdam.
    Ralph recently posted..50′s Nostalgia- The Barbie Doll

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    Barry Williams Reply:

    Thanks Ralph. I agree with you on visiting Amsterdam.

    I hear they have some very high buildings there and yet they’re not so tall as to cause vertigo. And so friendly with their snacks!

    Hopefully someday Canada will be more like Holland because with all this snow and cold temperature, we need plenty of artificial intelligence to keep going. That’s where the cakes would come in…

    Thanks for stopping by Ralph, I’ll keep this spot open for you.

    Barry

    [Reply]

  6. A finely penned and proffered procedure my good man. How’s everything going mister? I hear you’re taken some wee time away. I’m sure we’ll survive Barry, but how will you fare? And how will your blog fare, what with goggle and alexa and all? Seriously, you know I’ve only been posting once a month so I’m taking 29 days off a month in a manner of speaking that is. (I’m posting once a week come January or high water.) Whereas you’ve been posting much more per month. And yes, you know, I feel sometimes like I’ve run out of things to say but I don’t act on that thought. I act on the act itself and try my best to say something of value or interest even if it isn’t Shakespearean or Socratic or highly pungent social commentary. So what, that’s just me anyway. And you are you and that’s the truth. Have a wonderful holiday and well earned respite my friend. I’ll be leaning on Maslov’s pyramid while you’re away. 😉 😉 Steve D.
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