Welcome To Our Home

This is my visit to CPL in Sarasota, Florida - and my wonderful motivational speaker friend Linda Larsen. Linda, and CPL, treated me like a most treasured guest!

We’ve all been on the giving end and the receiving end of hospitality. The warmth shared by those who welcome us into their homes. All the big and tiny gestures they do to make us feel welcome and honored and respected. When we have company, we put on our best behaviors, hide our dirty laundry, and put everything aside to make those guests feel special, and to give them our fullest undivided attention – catering to their every need – making sure they are comfortable, have what they need, are entertained. It’s what we do with our treasured guests. Think back on a time when you were welcomed into someone’s home – whether for an hour or a week – and all the tiny things they did to make you feel special. Got that image?

Now, if your head can hold another image, imagine a time when you catered to a guest – all the many ways you went out of your way to make them feel at home. Think of all the things you would never do in front of company. Imagine the heart of service you have reserved just for them.

Now…..is this how you treat your customers?

Do you treat your customers with same heart of service that you treat your most treasured guests? Can you imagine if you did?

Recently we stayed at a hotel (one of many for the motivational speaker’s life I lead) and got up early to head down to breakfast. It was early – we were tired and a little grouchy. From the moment the elevator doors opened, we heard the high-pitched scream of a vacuum cleaner. A noise that continued all throughout breakfast, as the nice lady cleaned the floors around our feet for the entire time we ate. We couldn’t hear each other. We couldn’t hear the news. The noise was shrill and deafening. We finally took our breakfast to the car where we could eat in peace.

I know the hotel values cleanliness, and I certainly appreciate that. And she was certainly smiling as she ran that vacuum all around us. Her attention to detail was impressive. But was it the right detail? Was she so focused on procedure that she wasn’t looking at the big picture? If her motive to serve outweighed her motive to follow the rules, would our experience have been different? If we had been guests in her home, would she have spent that moment cleaning?

I hope I’m not sounding like a diva. And I would still rate the hotel’s service as top notch. I’m just making a tiny point about customer service, that’s not really tiny. I’m just asking that when we serve our customers, we put on the same glasses that we put on for our treasured guests. And the same ears – ready to hear what they need and respond – not just plow through a list of things to do.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s not what you do that makes you great – it’s who you are. It’s not in the list, it’s in the attitude. Take a moment to step away from what you do, and focus on who you are. To step away from the list and study the motives. That tiny shift in perspective just might make a BIG difference in your bottom line.



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. No, you don’t sound like a diva at all.  This would be totally annoying to anyone!  Your point is a good one, pay attention to details but think first the importance of what details to pay attention to! That’s why a mission is so important.  If your mission is to have clean hotel that’s a bit short. Take it further, like our mission is to have customers feel comfortable here in a clean environment that they would want to return and bring their friends and families.  Or whatever.  Sounds like this woman was only give part of the mission, just doing her job, not knowing why they are to do what they do which ultimately is to create the best guest experience to have that customer return.  I’m so sorry you had to eat in the car!!! 

  2. Kelly I was having flashbacks to my Father’s early morning vacuuming while we were still trying to sleep! Dad certainly wasn’t concerned about treating us like guests, but my Mom was thrilled he was pushing the vacuum to begin with! Seriously, though, great point from one of my favorite motivational speakers.

  3. Well, as the person in the photo who was honored with “hosting” you at my home, I have to say it was absolutely the BEST!!  You were fun and funny and a DELIGHT to have with us! We LOVE LOVE LOVE you! And all the members of my Church felt the same way.  But it makes me wonder…  Was I vacuuming around you when you were here???  Well, I’m kidding… but it really makes me want to think about how I treat all my guests from beginning to end…. and all the little times in between!  

  4. I am reminded of Linda’s post about entering a shop in Paris.  We are, in effect, entering into someone’s home when we cross that threshhold.  As a guest, we are polite, and as the host, we welcome them into our home (or business) and treat them as you were treated in Sarasota!

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