How to clockwork your STR business with Mike Michalowicz

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 450. In this podcast I interview Mike Michalowicz about how he is helping the hospitality industry and the impact he’s had on Boostly.
 
Check out Hospitable Hosts on https://hospitablehosts.com/
 

Here’s the audio for this episode:

Here’s the video for this episode:

 

Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
01:41 – Books that Mike has offered and created
02:55 – Blinkest
07:01 – The cheerio analogy
11:15 – Profit First
15:54 – Market
21:28 – What is Mike creating next?
25:51 – Mikes go to destination
27:13 – Does Mike book direct?

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Transcript from the Episode

Introduction

Mark 
Okay. Mike Michalowicz, thank you so much for doing this today. I really do appreciate it. We’re going to dig into a lot of questions that I prepared and the audience have prepared before. We do probably get started, I’ve got a little intro. But to tease you on the intro, I want to personally thank you for helping me not have to buy a cow.

Mike
That’s a great cliffhanger, Mark.

Mark 
Here we go.

Mike 
Fully engaged.

Mark
Here’s the intro. This is a freestyle. I’m going off the dungeon.


Ready for my close up. Good looking, let me tell you.


Get more bookings. Oh, that’d be nice. Giving me tips, tools and advice. Yeah, you’re going to get them, honey. You’re going to sit back, listen to Mark Simpson. Having a blast. Going to get it on the Boostly podcast.


Bruce Lee like Bruce Lee because it’s so hard on the tesleep making up those rhymes.


Don’t write it. Just do it loosely. If you want my respect, you’re better put direct. Here are the words in the podcast. That’s what comes next.

Mark 
All right. That was my get different.

Mike
I love that.

Mark
So the gentleman rapping, he’s a guy called Chris Turner. You do got to check him out on YouTube. He is a middle class, not a very upper class British white guy, but he turns up at events and he does freestyle raps. I discovered him on YouTube in the lockdown. He had a cameo account. I set up a cameo, started chatting to him, and he very gracious. Did a couple of introductions, a little wraps for me. So that was one of them. That’s the podcast. That’s my get different.

Mike
Wow. My gosh, I’ve never seen someone do that before. And it was fun and engaging. I love the Bruce Lee with the T lead.

 

Books that Mike has offered



Mark
Yeah, I’m glad you could see that because I don’t know if you can see it or hear it. A guy called Ollie Hodge Kiss. Got to show him. He’s a very talented animator, but we can dig into that all day. But I really want to celebrate you and just have a chat about you personally. Thank you very much. So before we start, I wanted to give you a little test. Could you just please list off the books that you have offered and created? Because they are a lot. You’re a prolific officer. If you could just.

Mike
Get it written for early. Second was The Pumpkin Plan. Then I wrote Profit first self published edition, which then became a mainstream edition. Surgeon expanded Clockwork Fix, this next pinpoint we needed to do then get different. My most recent book is My Money Buddy, my first children’s book. And I’m just about to start writing my next book, which is employee engagement. That’s my list.

Mark 
And we’ve got The Clockwork Revisited in June this year. Is that about right?

Mike
Right. That’s coming out amazing.

 

Blinkest



Mark
Again, prolific offer. My personal journey began with you with Blinkest. I don’t know if you’re aware of Blinkest?

Mike
Yeah, I know of them.

Mark
So basically, Blinkest, they turn all the books into little 15 minutes journeys. I’m on Blinkist. I’m just checking out these 15 minutes books. And then Profit first came on and I dug it. And basically my journey is if I really like the 15 minutes Blinkest version, then I’ll go and cheque out the offer and I’ll go and then I just disappeared down the YouTube and you can pretty much find every single interview you’ve done by just Googling your last name. Yeah. So from there, Profit first and then led on to Clockwork. And I really resonated Clockwork with myself so much that I signed up with Adrianne in the accelerator programme back in December. And yeah, I’ve literally just this week been working on the Queen Broll, so I feel like I’m getting it. I’m not going to reveal it personally, publicly just yet, because my team this week, my goal for the team is to also see what it is. And we’re going to do a big little meeting on Monday and then we’re going to come together. I think I know what it is, but I want to see what theirs is. So it’s super.

Mike
One of the major revisions in the new version of Awkward was finding that making it simpler at the heart of your business question. How do you pinpoint it? Because if you’re serving a clean, e role, your business will flourish. It’s the same. If you ignore it, you really compromise your business. And I think most business owners don’t know what that critical role is in their business.

Mark
Well, thank you very much. So I think for me personally, and then I dug into Get different and I love Get different. And there’s a little cost coming up, a little tweaker cost, a beat, of course, coming up that Justin sent out and I’ve signed up for that. So I’m really excited. I mean, for me personally, my journey with you is started off with profits and finances, moved into time management, and then now it’s marketing those ways that I’ve gone. And that’s why I’d love this podcast interview to go, if you don’t mind. So we’re going to take one sort of question around finance, one question about time management, and then we’ll go from there. One of the biggest problems when it comes to converting a looker into a Booker for a direct booking is the trust factor. Whether you like it or not, your guest is looking to make sure that you are who you say you are. So how can you do that? Well, the number one accreditation and recommendation certification service in the industry is Iprac. And I’m so happy to say that Iprac is sponsoring this podcast and is the lead sponsor for all Boostly content.

Mark
The reason why we partnered up is because I have been working alongside Chiropractic for many years. I recommend them to every Boostly customer, client and team Boostly member. The reason being is that unlike other accreditation services, they are not just country specific, it is global and it is worldwide. They’ve got over 10,000 members and they’ve got over 250,000 properties, which means that you can display your Iprac certificate on your website and on your socials and know that you are going to be providing that trust that your future potential guest is looking for. I reached out to Iprac and I asked them if they’ve got a special offer for Boostly members. And so if you go to boostly.co.uk/trust you will go to a special Boostly landing page where you can book in a call and a demo. And if you sign up, you get a very special exclusive discount that only Boostly members can get. So thank you. I practised for being our sponsor. Thank you to listening to this very short message. I hope that you go and cheque out Iprac today. I hope that you go and join them just like hundreds of other Boostly members have done, because it will help massively with you increasing your direct bookings.

 

The Cheerio Analogy



Mark 
Right, let’s get back to the show. Okay, so let’s dig in. So, finance questions quickly. At the very start of this interview, I thanked you for not making me have to buy a cow. And the reason why, because of that is in profit first. And then I’ve watched a lot of your YouTube videos. You explained a lovely story back where your children, teenagers were just delving into the Cheerios. Basically, mine is that my kids love drinking milk. And every morning, every afternoon, every day, I’ve got three boys, I’ve got a three year old, six year old and a nine year old. And I kept thinking back to your Cheerios analogy. And basically I used to give him a big cup every single time buying so much milk. I literally got to the point where I turned to my wife saying, we’re going to have to buy a cow, put a cow at the back. But then I discovered those little espresso cups, those little espresso cups. And you know what? Put the milk in the espresso cups, they were fine. So how could we please relate all of that, the Cheerios, the milk? And how can relate business owners to working with smaller bowls and how business owners, when it comes to finance, please.

Mike
Yeah. So it is all based upon a theorem, Parkinson’s law and what he proposed that’s human nature to expand our consumption to meet the availability of a resource more milk children is natural for them to expand their consumption to drink at all. And soda bottles that used to be 8oz that are so big and our consumption and our waistlines are expanding. There’s something interesting that Parkinson also pointed out. He said as the availability of a resource decreases, we’re forced to consume less because there’s less available. Also become innovative. Watch how quickly you consume

Mike
as opposed to mass consumption, but the ultimate consumption is tremendously and the value they drive is likely the same. Similar, maybe even better. Now with money, what happens is for most businesses we have that one large cup of milk. Everything goes into that one checking account. All the bills get paid from it. Just like our children, we drink it all up. First is at your bank. And it’s important to your bank, because if you log into your bank account, that’s the refrigerator you’re walking to. That’s where you’re naturally going to spreadsheet. Or I can do my accounting system. No, you can’t. I realise you can put numbers there, but if that is not intercepting your natural path, if that’s not your refrigerator, you’re not going to see this. We set these accounts at the bank, so every time you log in to see your balance, there’s multiple cups there. Now money comes into that one account and we carved it up. We have those little espresso cups there. One is for profitability to pay the owner their salary for the work they do, which is different than profit. Profit is a reward for owning the business.

Mike
The owners pay is a form of compensation, taxes. By carving the money up in these different accounts before you spend a Penny, you know what’s available, to what degree in those accounts. That’s how the system works.

 

Profit First Book



Mark 
Thank you very much. And again, if you want to cheque out more about that in more detail, please do go cheque out the Profit First book. I feel like a lot of people by now and I speak to a lot of hospitality owners and when I said that you were coming on the podcast, they were the one that they said to me first, profit first, definitely one that’s helped them get the balance, get the business, which is amazing. And it’s definitely helped me, me personally and so many others. The second one was clockwork. So clockwork. As mentioned, I’ve been going through the QBR role training this week and you’ve hinted that in the revised version it’s going to be updated slightly. So I guess the question that I have number one, busy hospitality owner, busy Airbnb host, busy short term rental owner, how could they best find potentially what their QPR role is within it? And also as well, what are the slight little tweaks that you’ve made for book one to the revive version that’s coming up this year?

Mike
Sure. It all starts off with what do you want to be known for? What you take, your reputation in, the big promise of all the commitments, what’s the big make? And as Airbnb host, you get to choose, I promise, the most extraordinary views, or I promise the most hospitality if you meet with them, or I promise, the cleanest room. Whatever it is, we have to pick the number one thing aren’t important. Only one thing can be the most recognisable thing about the definition most. Once you identify your big promise that the next step is of all the activities you do, what one activity most supports now, it’s a quicker step by step. What do you want to be known for? All things you do what most of you. Maybe you have a location that has great views, but it’s deck facility because that’s where people are going to see these views. Making sure it’s accessible and presentable encourages people to see those views is the most important thing. Everything else matters, but nothing matters to the degree of that refrigerator beautiful linens and people won’t necessarily value that much because you’re known for your views.

Mike
But if that deck is messy and unapproachable, it’s going to crush your reputation. If you make an extraordinary deck experience, the linens are a little bit ragged, refrigerator isn’t perfectly clean, you may notice that, but you will win because your reputation is being delivered on the goal here with the QR. And the big promise is once you decide what to take your reputation on, make sure you’re serving the number one role. If you do that and everything else is okay. But in the ballpark, you’ll do absolutely fine. More than fine. If instead you do marginal at the QR and marginal thing else that will crush your patience because you’re not consistently delivering a big promise and you crush the other areas, it still will crush you because you’re not serving on what you’re taking your reputation on. Summary is pick your reputation, then pick the one activity of all the activities that most of it, and never allow that to go undated.

Mark 
For everybody that’s tuning in, whether it’s live or on the replay. I would love for hosts, especially that Nova QBR to put it below, because what I love about this is that the team boostly community. We come together and I feel like there’s somebody watching this. It took me so long to get it for me, so long. And what really helped me was when we were doing the accelerator, part of the training was that we looked at other companies and we looked at other companies from the outside in. We did their QPR and like the big brands and stuff. And that really helps. So there’s somebody who’s in here. Yeah, it’s really cool. It really helped me. And then again, I feel like once you figure that out, it is so important because it just makes your life so much easier when you’ve got that. So that’s a clockwork book. There’s another book to go pick up available on all your good bookstores. Now the final one, the one that’s really affected me, is Market. Now this one has been going through my head so much at the moment. We’ve got different and you’ve got the book behind you, behind your shoulder.

 

Market


Mark 
It’s very nice. So we’re going to go to the dad. Differentiate, Attract Direct so tips for a Hospitality Owner to Follow the dad to Market Different and again, if you just break it down very quickly. I know we’ve pushed for time, but break it down and how they can use that and put that into attracting guests to book with them, ideally directly, because that’s what this whole podcast is about, not through Airbnb. How can you get a guest to book?

Mike
What I did was I evaluated what makes marketing effective and what doesn’t. I found that this framework, dad, is the essence of effective marketing. If you can cheque off all three of these elements, your marketing is most likely to be successful. I guarantee one element. Now the marketing is crippled and it’s likely going to flounder. And often we’re floundering what most businesses revert to as they double down on it. My Facebook ads aren’t working, so I’m going to pay more and pay more and we get frustrated and we start burning cash. So here’s what the three elements are. The first D stands for differentiate. The only way to get noticed is if you are breaking out of the white noise that repeating sound everyone hears. And if you receive junk mail at your home, you already know this. All those pieces of mail you get that even before you return to your home from your mailbox are going in the recycle bin. Those things are commonweight noise. Our minds are very attuned to irrelevant. And if it’s been irrelevant in the past, it’s going to be irrelevant in the future. The first time I received a Hay friend email, I’ll never forget it.

Mike
I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve never received this. Who’s this friend who calls me friends. They don’t even use my first name. I love them and I started to read it. I’m like, oh, this is irrelevant marketing. I think I’ve received hundreds, probably thousands of a friend email since I’ve deleted them all. It doesn’t work. Our minds become habituated, meaning attuned to what’s irrelevant and ignores it. So to be different, don’t do what your industry does. That’s the key lesson here. If there is a common Practise, often called the best Practise that’s the Practise actually to avoid because customers are tuned to that break and disrupt the pattern. So instead of sending a hey friend email, maybe you send an email with a big picture of you waving and holding the person’s name, saying, this is really for you or something. It may just be enough to disrupt the pattern unless they’ve experienced that before, to no benefit. To differentiate is the first step and what does it garners? Attention. And we’ve all experienced this. Have you ever walked down the street and you’ve done one of those double takes? Like, what was that?

Mike
That actually is your mind engaging in something different when something different presents itself. How the human mind is wired is we must pay attention to it. But there are two other elements. A stands for attract. What this means is once you Garner attention, you must keep people engaged by speaking to their needs, speaking to their interests, entertaining them, educating. There has to be a justifiable reason for them to stay engaged and spend those brain calories checking out what you got going on. In fact, hopefully it’s happening right now as I’m presenting to you. Hopefully I’m delivering enough value and maybe there’s enough energy in my presentation that you’re staying engaged. That is something that happens in these segments that every moment your mind is calculating. Should I stay involved with this consideration or am I going to drift off and do something else? In our marketing, we have to keep people engaged. And the way to do this is speak their need, speak their challenges, entertain, educate, but speak their language, validate that they’re significant and you get them throughout. But even that’s not enough. Once you attract, we have to direct. That’s the last D in this dad mile direct is tell them what to do with this and we want to move through this efficiently.

Mike
You don’t keep on trying to attract. I can present to you for ten straight hours. There’s a certain point, this is enough. So I had to move efficiently, continue to deliver value, and then get to the transaction. Here’s the key about the transaction. Direct. It’s not going for the final close necessarily. It’s not about being obsuse and unclear. It’s about giving a very safe and specific direction or invite them to take something. There’s an exchange, but they drive value from it. But it’s not so big that it’s just two quick examples and I’m keeping you going in this circle. Give me your email and cell number so I can contact you, and then I will do a true 30 minutes consultation. Maybe you’ll walk away with the success. You need something value, permission to contact you. Value in exchange. That’s what a direct is of that model.

Mark
I like it. And again, that’s the get different book. And again, that’s just free of many that we listed off. So thank you very much for that. So you very quickly, at the very start, you said there’s another book in the making. So you’ve done the finance, you’ve done the time management, the marketing. Can you just very quickly before we go into the last segment is just what’s that book you’re planning. What are you thinking of creating next?

 

What is Mike creating next?



Mike 
Yeah, I’m really excited. What’s the challenge you’re facing now? The number one challenge I’m hearing, maybe this is partly is I can’t act like owners. The issue, I wish my employees would act like owners. So I said, okay, how do you get employees act like owners? Well, I did start this analysis about five years ago, but two years ago when Kobage struck, I went double down on this. I’m an equity owner in six different businesses. So we started testing out these models. And in the last year and a half, we worked with about 300 businesses deploying solution. There’s a concept called psychological ownership. There is a switch that happens in the human mind. We go from responsibility to ownership, and those are radically different. Most employees are given responsibility. Here’s what you need to do, like leasing a car, renting a car. You must return it with a full tank caravan to spin out. But when I own it now, I’m patting on the dashboard. Good job, baby. The thing is, I may not even actually own it. The bank may own the rights. I have a psychological ownership. There’s a very simple way to invoke psychological ownership and move people from responsibility where they’re just employees to psychological teachers.

Mark 
And then that’s amazing. Without having to give them all the equity.

Mike
Giving equity actually diminished psychological ownership. If you get your employees saying, this is my company without any equity, that’s the definition of psychological ownership. They’re demonstrating they’re doing it and their performance in general will skyrocket.

Mark 
Any idea on launch date? I know they say never tell everybody your launch date, but is it this year? Next year what we think? Amazing. Well, already looking forward to that. Thank you. So let’s finish with the last eight minutes with more about Mike. This is a little thing that again, you can Google your surname and you can pretty much find every interview, every podcast, everything you’ve done. But there’s a couple of things that I have dug into and I haven’t yet been able to find out. So I wanted to just do it more for me, but it might also be beneficial to other people. So the first thing first question is, do you have a quirk or something that other people think is just pure crazy or mental? But you love for example, mine is when I’m at the supermarket, I’m in the checkout queue. I love reading those gossip magazines. Yeah. My wife thinks I’m crazy. I love it. I just have a little read cheque get on my celebrity gossip. Is there something that you’ve got?

Mike 
I do like doing that. No one knows this, and I do it every day. I wear runner socks under my jeans, but I wear runner socks. I’m standing right now and I generally stand all the time for work. I found these compression runner socks actually gives me more energy. So I’ve been wearing them every single day for the last three years.

Mark
That’s cool. I stand up as well. And I’m always barefoot. And I got to a point where I Googled and found on Amazon a little map you can stand on that tries and gives you. There you are. I couldn’t get on with it. I couldn’t get on with it. It got really dirty and I’m barefooted a lot of the time. Very cool. Okay. Right. Next, let’s bring it back to travel a little bit. You’re obviously a big fan of a four week vacation. If anybody’s read the clock a book, you will know that. Where is your go to destination, the go to place to travel.

 

Mikes go to destination



Mike
Yeah. So there’s this island. I live in New Jersey. There’s an island called Long Beach Island. And to me there’s a Sunship bridge called the Causeway bridge over it. And you leave the mainland United States, New Jersey on this little island. And there’s a transformation, in fact, a little bit of work. My wife and I will play June Buffets. We’ve been doing 50 years straight. It’s such a tradition now that my kids, when they go with friends, they won’t cross the bridge unless volcanoes play. I will tell you there is nothing there. This is the most beautiful place on the planet. It’s overcrowded. It isn’t the Jersey shore. That disgusting TV. But there’s something about the transformation in my own emotion when I get on the island. Place to go.

Mark 
Thank you for that. Okay, so this channel, this whole boost is all about helping hosts book get more direct bookings. My little elevator picture. I help hosts get the tools, the tactics, the training, and the confidence to increase your direct bookings and cut down on your alliance on Airbnb booking combo. So my question to you, Mr. Mike Mccallows, is when was the last time you booked directly with a property or are you an Airbnb Booker?

 

Does Mike book direct?



Mike
Airbnb is the convenience, but I directly book. Sometimes I do this home exchanges. I don’t know if that’s 100% there is. When I find something in a target area, I’m looking to go to Scotland or something. And when I visit, I have a very specific community. I’m going to then start looking there. And if one is unique, if it just depends on another flat to visit, not interested. The second it says like, there’s a brick in the wall that a former Lord touched. Oh, my God. I am so immersed in the story. I got to see it. I think the opportunity we have direct booking is to show the intimate detail, the oddities and the uniquenesses and get people to immerse in that story that becomes really palatable to me.

Mark
Use the data effect. This is why I love bringing people into the podcast from outside the world of hospitality because we talk about that. And it’s like this is like the roadmap that we’re being shown right now on what to do. So it’s really exciting. So thank you for that. And I guess the last question is obviously prolific offer. You read lots of books. You can tell that just by reading and listening to the Audible of all the other books that you mentioned. But what was the last book that you gifted for somebody? And why was that that was on your own?

Mike
I think the last one I gifted was The Self Reliant Entrepreneur by a guy named John Jan. And it’s interesting is there’s a guy he’s an authority in the marketing space. He wrote a book about just the mental welfare of entrepreneurs and how to on a daily basis consider the greater good you’re doing. It’s a really profound book. It’s not necessarily wildly pop.

Mark
Really appreciate the time. I just want to say that I put my first book together last year. I released it February of this year. It’s called the book direct playbook and in January I did the audio recording. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and in preparation I listened to get different. I listened to work and I’m so impressed at how you do it because it is so hard. You go into it thinking this will be easy. I just read and talk, that’s all I got to do. But when you get into it you’re so paranoid of your breath and the noises you talk. The amount of noises that my stomach makes is ridiculous and I love the interview that you did with the editor on the last book because it was really good because all the things that you were saying about how many times you had to redo things and stuff. So I just want to say I have massive respect for anybody who narrates their own book so thank you so much for everything. I really appreciate your time today. I know we’ve only had a short amount of time but it’s been for me.

Mark 
Bucket listings thank you so much. I hope everybody enjoyed it. Okay, I will let you go. Thank you so much. Take care and thank you to everybody who’s tuned into the podcast I wish you all have an amazing day be Proactive don’t be reactive and let’s go and get some direct bookings.

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