Dear hosts, we’re tackling a different subject today. It’s not my usual, “what kind of smart lock do I recommend?” Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Deadbolt.” “How to create your Airbnb systems,” or ”the best sheets to buy” (Target Threshold Performance, of course, for the love of all hospitality).
With today’s topic, you’ll create an Airbnb (or you won’t). Is the fear of the unknown holding you back? Waiting for everything to be perfect? It never will be, trust me. Sometimes change can happen instantly; other times it comes slowly.
So, in today’s episode, “Embracing Change in Your Life,” I’m going to talk all about it.
Change or Resistance?
Change is the act of becoming different. And then there is Resistance, the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something.
But sometimes change happens whether we want it to or not, right? For me, change came into my life without warning nine years ago. As many of you know if you heard episode 1 My Personal Hosting Journey I was let go of my advertising producer job in 2010, and I just could not find a job. People weren't answering phones or emails. It felt like everyone was in the same boat.
You know it’s bad when your therapist is checking in on you.
Before then, I had been working. I’d had my home for almost nine years. I was financially stable and was doing research to adopt as a single mom. Then in an instant, it was gone. All of it.
My job, my income, the person I thought I was… Hey, in the United States, we tend to define ourselves by our jobs. Without my job, I was lost…
But then, change happened again.
My friend Caroline planted the seed in my head to rent my home; but I thought, “Where in the world am I going to live?” Moving in with my parents wasn’t an option.
I showed my home to a couple who were looking for a place, and my heart hurt. After they left, I remember crying in the corners of my house. I love my home.
1982 Guests from 45 Countries
Then I saw an article on the internet about Airbnb (or what it used to be called back in 2010, “Air Bed and Breakfast”). I spoke to my roommate and to friends because I needed a place to sleep.
Before I knew it, I was welcoming my first guest, Ed—a professor of innovation; and I was giving up my bedroom and not looking back.
Embracing this change saved my home, my income, and my sanity. Yes, I could have fought it…
I actually turned down my first booking request. I was scared. I thought, “I’m not ready…but will I ever be?” Now, I have hosted over 1,982 guests from 45 countries. I’m happy I embraced Airbnb in my life.
My life is nothing that I could have ever dreamed of back in 2010. Was it easy? No (you know I don’t sugar coat it, my dear hosts). Was it worth it? Heck yeah!
That Space In Between:
Javier and I are currently building a new Airbnb in Puerto Rico. This will be my second one. Yes, I have helped some clients build their own Airbnbs, but this will be my second personal one. I keep my empire small because I like my lifestyle uncomplicated.
There is a space between what life is, and what life will be like. It’s uncomfortable.
Even if the before wasn’t great and you know the future will be better. Oh that in between… Argh.. we fight it. We resist it. But when we’re on the other side…
We forget (hopefully). Hopefully, we forget the people that might have failed us. We don’t worry about possible construction mishaps. It is our own resistance, for the most part, that holds us back.
Like Viktor E. Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Let me share some tips on when to embrace change. I’m going to focus on Airbnb because that’s what we talk about here, but change can happen in any part of our life. Here are my recommendations for embracing change in the vacation rental world:
- Do research on short term rental legality in your area, because you don’t want to buy a new home or start renting your apartment and then have to stop.
- Research: Find out if it’s financially worth it, but don’t create analysis paralysis, where you do so much research that you never start.
- Open Before You’re Ready: In my experience, without a particular dateline, the project can go on forever. With one Airbnb client, we actually opened up the calendar and accepted guests before we were completely ready. This commitment provided a sense of urgency and forced us to make sure I finished that project. Believe me, we were shopping at Target and prepping that house for those guests. But if I hadn’t set the date, weeks would have turned into months in no time. You know what I’m talking about.
- Expect the Unexpected: The construction crew might not show up, or items you bought might not work. It happens, but know that it will work out in the end. This is just a hiccup. Hey, I ask for recommendations from folks at Home Depot, neighbors, etc. because there is nothing, and I mean nothing, like a team of workers you can count on.
- Trust Your Instinct: Ask for recommendations, but also trust yourself. We have found an amazing guy to work here in Puerto Rico. He has provided a few people that we like, as well as one who isn’t as meticulous as he could be. We don’t have to go with him because he doesn’t match our style. He did one job and wants to continue working with us. We have a lot of work, pay well, and I’m kind of fun. At least, I think so…but yeah, no. We like detail-oriented people who will finish the job. In the Myers Briggs personality test, we want a “J” on that fourth letter.
- Willing to Feel Uncomfortable: You’ll be doing new things that might be outside your zone of genius or out of your comfort zone. You might find something you love, or you may not. It is only by trying things out and stretching yourselves that we truly learn who we are.
- Be Gentle with Yourself and with Those Around You: Javier and I also take the time to recharge, even if it means a day of Netflix and chilling. Dear hosts, can we say Casa de Papel Somos la Resistencia. It’s important to not let this project consume you because it will if you do not set firm boundaries.
I also like to take time to meditate, journal, practice yoga and do my own spiritual practice. I tell Javier to not forget to pick up his bass and practice, which fills his soul. Don’t forget to do you.
See where you want to go, what you want to do. Remember the ride is often better than the destination. We don’t know what we will find on the other side until we open the door.