For a long time I didn’t think of myself as an entrepreneur, and then I heard someone else describe me as one. I was quick to say no, I was just doing what needed to be done for our family run Hiking and Fitness Retreat, Coastal Trek.
On any given day my duties can range from: taking guest’s bookings; answering emails; filling propane tanks; promoting the lodge; preparing meals and menu planning; updating the website; making beds; planning events and shoveling snow. The list goes on. There is no aspect of my day-to-day life that isn’t tied to the operations of our business. And this is when I realized this is what an entrepreneur does: whatever it takes, and that I most certainly was one.
It is a fair comment that I hear often ‘why don’t you hire some more help?’ When I need to, I do just that. But it’s not always about the list of tasks that has been completed at the end of the day, it is about the atmosphere that we have created and maintained for our guests. If this means that I’ve had to do something I’ve never done before or something I might not like to do, I step back and look at the bigger picture and do my best. I genuinely enjoy taking care of our clients and the spectrum of care is broad and I am ok with this. If I can allow someone the comfort of being cared for, and in turn they can care for themselves, I have achieved my goal.
As an employee I have always learned the most from the employer who is hands on and is willing to do the job that they are asking you to do. This is always what I set out to achieve with our staff, contactors and instructors.
When I am asked to describe what we do at Coastal Trek, I often say we offer a glimpse of what a balanced lifestyle can be. By no means do we pretend everyone one will go home and find the time for perfectly planned meals, daily exercise, me-time etc. What each guest will have is a reservoir. This reservoir will be something that they can draw on and come back to as they find themselves moving further away from their centre.
My role of blending hospitality with wellness is not something I find challenging. I come from a family that values good food, time outside and connecting with others. My mom is an extremely detail orientated person while my dad often only sees the bigger picture. I find my internal voice saying: ok does this require a Big Jim move or is this a Susie moment?
And surprisingly I find that 90% of the time I have the skills I need to make the day a special one. And the times that I don’t I chalk it up to something I will work on when my children are older and our lives are less busy. I take to heart something I often tell guests who may be a bit hard on themselves for being less than perfect: Perfect is boring and nobody wants to be boring!
Andrea is the general manager of Coastal Trek Health & Fitness Resort on central Vancouver Island. She is the mother of 4 beautiful children and has been happily married for 12 years. She loves trail running with her dog Barlow and is a bikram yoga enthusiast. She is passionate about creating healthy and satisfying meals for her family, friends and the guests at the hiking and wellness retreat. One day this will result in a cookbook that she can share with everyone!