Hi friends!

Image by Bellafotograpfica

Image by Bellafotograpfica

I absolutely love being a small business owner. I feel empowered, accomplished (most of the time!), and a sense of pride when I work hard, design something, and then see it come to fruition (though I give props to the Lord for guiding my hands to His “fruition”.)

I also love sharing lessons learned, and I dream of one day being able to speak and help others feel the same empowerment, accomplishment, and sense of pride! But I had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was my first job.

I received an email from TheLadders, a career platform that takes the pain out of career searching that in turn makes it less of a headache and more efficient, on writing a post about what I learned from my first job and how it affects my current one.

I remember being so excited to turn 16 because it meant I could start working, I think I went to get an application either on my birthday or the day after!

My first job was a hostess position at Texas Roadhouse (to this day they are the only restaurant I will eat a steak at!)

Obviously, I am not still in the restaurant industry, but I am still in the hospitality industry, and really the lessons I learned could have translated into any field!

Here are 5 things I learned from my first taste of the “real” world as a goofy 16 year-old.

Timeliness matters

When you are late (repeatedly, not one time because you got stuck in traffic) I believe it communicates that you don’t take where you are supposed to be seriously. It also reflects poorly to your supervisor or boss, who has the power to replace you with someone who is eager to make it to work on time. This keeps me on my toes now so I give myself ample time and aim to be early to appointments, not just on time.

A smile goes a long way

Being in a hostess postion, I was the one to greet guests, seat them or take their name when there was a wait list. We live in a busy world so waiting can be met with frustration, and sometimes well, you can just be downright hungry which can cause crankiness (it gets the best of all of us!). So if a guest began to complain, a smile with a hint of “I understand, I hate being hungry too” usually did the trick to appease them until their table was ready! 🙂 This translates to TMD in the unfortunate event that a particular “hoped for” flower is out of season, but a smile accompanied with a “I’m gonna take care of it” attitude will keep our bride and/or coordinator happy.

Customers are always right

In the hospitality field this is imperative to just believe regardless if they are or aren’t. If a guest says they have been waiting for 30 minutes for a table, but you know for a fact its only been 12 because you wrote down the exact time they came in, refer to #2. Nowadays, in TMD if a bride or client has a rare request I exhaust every avenue to make it happen.

Every customer matters

We take every customer/client seriously at TMD, even if we know we aren’t the right fit for their needs, we still take the time to chat with them and then ultimately refer them on to one of our florist friends.

Consistency builds brand

When you visit a Texas Roadhouse you are met with a big friendly smile, most likely will hear a friendly “yeehaw”, and your steak will taste the same as it would in any other Roadhouse. They use the same recipes for customer service and their menu. With TMD I have built a brand that reflects not only the business side of things, but also I enjoy being transparent about me personally so potential clients can get to know me. We also strive to build relationships with our clients and the vendors we work with versus just viewing each wedding/event as a “job.” TheLadders also has a great post about building a brand, so I thought I would include it, you can read it HERE!

So there ya have it, the top 5 things I learned from my first job that have carried over into owning my own business. What was your first job, and what was the best thing you learned from it?

xoxo, Tamara