What does your business/book exist to accomplish, and who does it serve?
Jill - A realistic view of what a first time manager experiences when they get that first opportunity, which is enlightening for anyone who works in hotels or travels frequently.
Jokima – Our book is an uncensored peak into the hotel industry. It includes the good, the bad, and the ugly and provides 1) anyone who may be interested in going into the industry, insight, 2) anyone currently in the industry an opportunity to relate and reflect, and 3) anyone just interested in a good story a chance to also learn more about hotels but more importantly, a little entertainment.
What is a major business goal for you in 2018?
Jill - Continue writing, learning and expanding my knowledge in hospitality.
Jokima – A major business goal for me in 2018 is to get our second book published and perhaps begin writing our third! In addition, I hope to talk Jill into expanding our “brand.” I think we’re ready for a website where people can purchase our books but also inquire about having us as speakers as well as purchase products such as t-shirts, bookmarks, tote bags, and much more!
Who or what inspires you to live your best life?
Jill - My family - from the people who made me to the people that I live with and hopefully influence to live their best life.
Jokima – The little girl inside of me still inspires me today! She holds on to the dreams and aspirations that were the driving force behind me going into the hotel industry, sustaining a career in the industry, pursuing higher education in the industry, and wanting to still contribute to the industry. There are many times when I want to give in and even give up when faced with the multiple challenges of being an amputee, but then I remember the little girl. I get up, get dressed, show up, smile, push through the pain, make it through the day – in essence, I do whatever it takes to not let her down.
What has entrepreneurship/authorship done for you?
Jill - Made me realize that my other goals are possible.
Jokima – Entrepreneurship/Authorship has given me a voice. There were times in my career when I thought my employees don’t listen to me and my hotel owners surely don’t listen to me; yet, I have all of this experience and education. How can I share what I know with others that they may learn from my mistakes and benefit from my accomplishments? Being an author has certainly given me a voice and allowed me to share what I know.
As an entrepreneur what have you had to sacrifice to make this business work?
Jill - Time is always a factor in anyone's career, none of us balance this perfectly.
Jokima – As an entrepreneur, I have sacrificed time, money, and pride. The time and money part are self-explanatory, but let me explain pride as a sacrifice . . . most of the experiences and examples that are in my books are mine or Jill’s. I, personally, have made some really awful mistakes along the way and I had to check my pride in order to share them with the world! I still kick myself today wondering why did I tell that story? But, again, if someone can learn from it and/or not make the same mistake, then the sacrifice was worth it!
What motto do you live by?
Jill - There are several - But one main one is to appreciate my opportunities to grow and learn, while helping others.
Jokima – I have a few mottos that I live by; but, a very simple one that I think about daily is “Be Passionate!” Oftentimes, I look into the eyes of others and wonder “Where is your passion?” I bring my passion with me everywhere I go! Whether I am a student in the classroom, a presenter at a conference, a hotel guest, or a teacher in or out of the classroom, I bring my love for the hotel industry with me. I don’t need anyone else to get me pumped up or excited, I let it show in my words, actions, smile, my eyes – in me! One thing for sure, there should never be any doubt what is important to me.
What advice would you give someone desiring to quit their job to become an entrepreneur full time?
Jill - That is a huge step of faith, and you have to be willing to fail sometimes before you succeed.
Jokima – This is a tough one as I am not at the point of being able to do this in my own life. I guess I’ll know I am ready when 1) I have a savings account to fall back onto, 2) I have a network of professionals that includes an advocate. This is someone who cannot just mentor me but has enough influence in the industry that they can put me in fruitful opportunities, and 3) I have a solid, well-thought out brand that I can get behind wholeheartedly and with passion. Therefore, I would say to someone else that to become a full time entrepreneur will take a plan, commitment, support, and a great deal of passion!