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When the Applause Stops, Keep Going!

Reese and I were connected through his coworker, Andy Wolfe, at Grand Palms Resort. I love Reese's story because he shares his challenges that have led to his successes, all of which happened because he kept pushing, despite not getting one or two opportunities right away. He kept playing long after the applause ended.


In Harlem, NY, a retired violinist decided to go back to the neighborhood that he grew up in and teach other young boys how to play the violin. After extensive training, he set a date for a recital that would highlight the talent of his class. On the night of the recital, he said to his class, “Relax and enjoy tonight. I will be up in the balcony watching, you’ll do great!” One by one, the young men went to the stage and played their piece. Once they finished, the crowd applauded, and they left the stage.

Finally, they were down to the last performer. He came onstage and played his piece. The crowd applauded, but he kept playing. He continued playing until finally, he saw his teacher in the balcony smiling and standing as he applauded him. The young man ended his set, took a bow, and exited the stage.

As the crowd began to file out of the auditorium, a reporter stopped the young man. “After the applause stopped, you continued to play. Can you tell me why?” The young man said, “All I was trying to do was please the man upstairs.”

The applause of the people signified that they were satisfied with the performance. The man in the balcony, is the boy, looking down and critiquing himself.

In that instant, the applause of the people meant nothing to him. He wanted to please only one person. Such is life. Even when others are satisfied with you, don't stop until you are satisfied!

You should work to make certain that at the end of this journey, you have done a job that you can be pleased with.

When I first started in the Myrtle Beach Hospitality market back in June 2018 as a Guest Services Agent, I set my sights on one day becoming a General Manager and even owning my own Boutique Resort. I sought advice from my then-Assistant Manager as to how I would go about growing and achieving my dreams. She said to me, “While everyone is standing around socializing during the slow months, you need to log into DestinationU (Wyndham’s Training Site) and take any and every course that appeals to you.” By the Spring, I had completed 66 Courses from DestinationU and received Certifications from American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute in Guest Service Professional, Reputation Management for TripAdvisor, and Hospitality Department Trainer. I became a sponge and soaked up all the valuable information I could find. I would go to the Evening Manager and Assistant Managers to ask them what they did. If there was anything to know, I wanted to know it.

I took advantages of opportunities to highlight my talent and ability by volunteering to do the work of the supervisors and team leads with no additional pay. There was an opening for an Emerging Leaders program that while everyone felt I was a great candidate for, I did not get the opportunity to be a part of it. Wyndham later rolled out the “Hospitality with Heart” campaign and we were the pilot property for this training. Once again, I was a suitable candidate, but my manager did not choose me to be a part.

Did I feel discouraged? Yes! Did that make me stop? Absolutely Not!

I was determined to go even harder and do even more. I would continue to work until I was satisfied, and I am never satisfied. There came an opportunity for a supervisor position and I did not get the position.

I had options. I could quit and go elsewhere, or I could continue to work towards doing what I set out to do. My big break would come one day while I was in the stairwell walking upstairs. My cell phone rang and on the other line was an opportunity to transition to another resort and assume the position of Night Manager. Who would have thought that nine months into my career, I would skip a supervisory role and go straight into management? Four months in this position, I moved up to Front Desk Manager. After seven months in this position, I accepted a position with another company as their Assistant Front Office Manager. Not even two months into this position, I became the Guest Services Manager.

Throughout my entire career, I have had opportunities that resulted in rejection. Despite this, I am exactly where I need to be. I am in a position where I have the ability to produce training and development tools to help the future leaders in our industry, while maximizing the performance of our team. My goal is to continue thriving, growing, building, and becoming. I’ve received recognition and the approval of my peers.They’ve clapped and cheered me on, but even when the applause stops, I won’t stop until I’m satisfied!

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