I think we all need a little good with lessons weaved in! What a year 2020 was huh? Weird and full of lessons. I really believe it was a year with intention… but I feel like in moments I wanted to crumble… and to be honest I authentically did! As humans, we thrive on feeling safe and I just felt safe nowhere at times. Unknowns were at every corner, but can I say now though I am so thankful for it all. The lessons, refinement, and knowledge it left me with. I think things happen at times to push that growth.
The point of this post is I made some updates to North Georgia Escape, and I wanted to share all of those with you but I also wanted to share more and I wanted to intermix some lessons and tips that maybe you can apply in your own journey.
From a business perspective, it was hard. All of my ventures felt the effects. Some suffered greatly and others flourished and I moved in the process of it all. I just had to pull back in some areas. One of the main areas I pulled back was online and I just became quieter. Safeguarding certain aspects and just knowing where I needed to be putting my energy. If you don’t already make sure you subscribe to my Podcast! I have some big plans this year and I will need you all along this journey. But can I be honest and say, I feel like at times it is easier to be in my bubble, saying nothing. Then I also feel led to speak. To help and to openly share my lessons, knowledge, and heart…. and hopefully, it will help others.
We all felt the effects of what is happening and it was just a year of pivoting, adjusting, regrouping, and continuously figuring out the steps forward! Which I am authentically continuing to figure out! Looking back honestly I didn’t always make the best or right decisions. One of my “weak” points, which I happen to believe is also a strength, is I think with my heart a lot! I allow emotions to make business decisions at times. This is good in some areas and other times you have to just separate the two and make the smart choice for the validity of the venture. That is why it helps to have a network of people that understand you and your business structure and can help guide you. We all need mentors and people supporting us! We are better together than alone.
It just was a great reminder of the need for diversity in all areas, but I am not going to lie it was so hard. I thrive on knowing plans and having a clear direction. I like to do nothing without knowing the financial impact and plan and knowing all details. I like using historical data as a guide for that. Historical data almost became obsolete. As an entrepreneur that thrives on passion, my heart bleeds for any other entrepreneurs that did have to close their doors due to external factors outside of their control with the global pandemic. Or anyone that did lose their job and is figuring it again. Know it is okay! Almost every foundation I had in all areas of my life fell last year, and I do believe now it is with clear intention and lessons that they did happen. Because that is how you rebuild.
The reality of it all is.. you can plan… and YOU SHOULD PLAN but you must learn to plan with open hands and with the ability to pivot! And pivot. And pivot. We often live in the past or the future and where we have to continuously learn to live is in the now. The present and it is one of my biggest things I am still learning!
Okay, maybe more on all that later perhaps, but let’s talk specifically about North Georgia Escape. When the pandemic first started my state went into shut down. All bookings for that month were canceled and I fully refunded everyone without question. I really didn’t know what to do, but I decided until more was known I would just open it up to friends and family. After things started opening back people wanted to travel but not too far. Social distancing and isolation were the cool things. What better way to get away and be distanced than nestled in the woods surrounded by land? I decided to spend that time and dial everything in. Updating welcome guides, adding new services, and really focusing on the experience. I also hired an operations manager because I couldn’t do it all and we reworked processes to make sure everything with COVID was followed and to oversaw properly. She quickly took control and started telling me what to do. I was like…. yep I found my person! I love it!
2019 to 2020 this venture had a 241% growth! Focusing on the experience and really dialing in workflows to make it more efficient I became a SuperHost on Airbnb with over 50 reviews and it has made this property one of the most sought after properties. It has not had a weekend open in over 5 months!
I just spent time there touching up things, continuing to dial in things, and also investing in updates there! Some due to continuously asking for feedback. Others were things that I felt like would just up the experience and help it to continue to grow! I almost sold this home back in 2019 and I decided to open my doors to others. I knew it would be more work. Sure it would have been easier to sell but it just didn’t feel right in the timing it was. I also believe all the work and foundation that was built in 2020 will help it as it continues!
More than anything I am so thankful for everyone that has come and stayed! Friends, babymoons, company retreats, church leadership retreats, a couple of weddings(more on this soon), friends weekend, and just space for families to get away. What people are not talking about or focusing on enough is the mental health and impact COVID has had on people mentally. It has just been an unexpected gift to be able to meet other people and on their journey and be able to provide this space and experience for them. Would love to host any of you! Stay@northgeorgiaescape.com if you want to come for a visit!
Here are the updates!
Thank you all for following my journey and life and supporting my ventures. If you made it this far reading know I am so grateful for you and your own journey! Know I am rooting for you and for your hearts best intentions!
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