When you work with as many change seekers as I do, you begin to see some common self-employment dreams.
One is the classic bed and breakfast fantasy.
When I ask these clients what they love about owning a B&B, they often say things like…
“I’d love to pick out furnishings and decorate all the rooms…”
Or, “I’d love to go out to the garden to pick fresh herbs for the cook to use in the special omelet of the day…”
Or, “I’d love to welcome and chat with all the interesting guests.”
Once the guests check out, my clients picture themselves sitting by the fireplace with a good book… or puttering in the perennial garden while the housekeepers tidy up.
There’s just one problem.
As many B&B owners have discovered, this familiar B&B fantasy turned out to be a nightmare when realized too late that they don’t have the capital to hire people to do the cooking, cleaning, and office work.
Instead they’ve become a combination cook/chamber maid/bookkeeper/front desk clerk!
To be clear: There are wonderful things about running a B & B.
If you’re a natural host who genuinely enjoys meeting new people and making them feel at home…
Or, if you love rising early to prepare a scrumptious breakfast, then go for it!
Still there are several ways you can get your feet wet without taking a financial soaking.
This first one is also perfect if you want to live the B&B owner lifestyle but have neither the funds or the desire to actually own one.
Become a B&B Sitter
Just as it sounds, sitters take over the day-to-day operations of established inns so the owners can go on vacation or otherwise get away.
Companies like Interiminnkeepers.net match B&B owners in the US with experienced relief workers.
Some like Jill Britt have run their own B&B in the past and are looking to channel their experience by offering sitting and other services including consulting with start-ups.
Others, like Kari and Rick Willis are retirees from other careers and up for a new adventure.
Take a Class
You don’t need to earn a four-year degree in hotel and restaurant management to learn how to run an inn.
Many B&B’s offer weekend workshops for aspiring inn-keepers and some owners do individual consulting.
No classes in your area? Then contact a local B&B and ask if they’d let you intern with them in exchange for some free staffing time once you’re trained.
Or for $125-$199 (slightly more for couples) BB Team offers one-day seminars as well as more intensive (and higher-priced) weekend training programs in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, and elsewhere.
If you’re ready to take the B&B plunge in a big way – or if like me, you just L-O-V-E looking at real estate – check out BB Team’s listings of fabulous B&Bs for sale. (For more affordable options, check the “lifestyle” box.)
Look, every line work, no matter how interesting it may be, will always have aspects that are less than glamorous. Mine included.
The key is to check out how wide the expanse between fantasy and reality really is, before you take the leap.
So what’s your fantasy business? Post it below.
Then keep your eyes out for the next issue when we explore other ways to test your idea before you change course!
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliott
Do you have a great idea but no clue how to make enough (or any) money doing it?
Or are you still trying to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up”?
Then again, do you love so many things that you never seem to act on any of them?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I invite you to join me and a community of like-minded souls from around the world to discover how you too can…
Click on the heart to learn how.