“The more you learn, the more you will earn.” Robert Dedman, ClubCorp
I have a constant want and need for new information. I try to attend at least three major seminars every year that focus on things like club management, hospitality sales, wedding trends, customer service, and topics of the like. Luckily, I have a great relationship with my alma mater, The University of North Texas, and I am a member of the Texas Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). I also work as diligently as I can to have an abundance of relationships with other local club managers as well as those that are in the wedding industry in the Fort Worth, Texas market and I try to read as much as I possibly can. My goal is to learn something new everyday about my club, my industry or my competition.
I do not have to tell you that ours is one of the fastest moving, constantly changing industries in America. The way I see it is if you stop learning then you might as well just stop all together.
The University of North Texas hosts several events for students and alumni from the school of hospitality on a variety of topics and I take full advantage of these free events. Not only do I gain some education, it gives me the chance to say hello to my former professors and solicit some always welcomed career advice. I enjoy meeting the speakers after the event to attempt to begin to build a professional relationship if we happen to run into each other in the future. Do you stay in contact with your school and/or former classmates? Do you network at continuing education events? If not, start.
Being active with the Texas chapter of CMAA, has been the best investment I have made in my career both in the time and money. The association provides information about topics that I deal with on a daily basis, they support my efforts to be successful, and they give me information about open positions and often times are more than willing to write a glowing letter of reference, should I need it. If I have an issue or a challenge that I’m not sure how to handle, I have a list of over one hundred managers whom I can call that have all dealt with similar issues and can offer some much-needed advice and support. Are you a member of CMAA? If not, you should be.
I want to have as many connections regarding both local club managers and wedding industry professionals in Fort Worth. Not only do I want my club to be well known, but I want to be known as an industry leader and I want to be associated with my club. As Director of Catering and Tournament sales, I am a part of the club’s success and other professionals know that. I have been at the same club in the same department for six years, so its important that as the business continues to grow, so do I. If someone mentions “Diamond Oaks Country Club” in a conversation I want them to associate our level of quality and service with my work ethnic. Is that selfish? Maybe. All the same, it is what I want. Who do you know, or even more importantly who knows you? Get out and promote both yourself and your club.
I try to read as much as I possibly can. Publications and websites like Club & Resort Business and www.clubandresortbusiness.com are a great way to get a lot of information in a short period of time. C&RB offers industry professional a wide breadthof information both about your specific niche in the clubhouse (food and beverage, course and grounds, management, etc.) but also about industry trends, news, blogs, new products and services and more. Beyond magazines and websites, books can be hugely helpful, too. Some of my greatest teachers are also authors (Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar and Jeffery Gitomer just to name afew). These days, while I’m waiting to get my oil or tire changed, waiting for a doctors appointment or even waiting at happy hour before everyone else arrives, I try to always have a magazine or a book with me. Not only does it help to cure my boredom, but I am in a constant state of continued learning. Are you recieving your monthly issue of C&RB? (If not, sign up here.) Are you getting their daily newsletter? (If not, sign up here.) What book are you reading right now? Do you carry it around with you for easy access?
I’m sure this list of ways to continually keep yourself on top of the industry is far from comprehensive, but the bottom line is that continuing education is hugely important for everyone in this industry, no matter your job title. What types of things do you do keep up-to-date on all the latest tips and trends in club industry? I would be interested to hear what you have to say.
I hope that helps and until next time, just keep selling!