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See How An Ordinary Guy Got Into A Hot Restaurant And Easily Become A VIP

See How An Ordinary Guy Got Into A Hot Restaurant And Easily Become A VIP

So you want to be a hot shot at the latest hot spot?

While in school, I worked in some of the hottest restaurants and hotels in L.A.  One of my first jobs was an assistant position at a top-talent agency in Hollywood where we booked reservations for big agents and celebrities.  Now, I dine at some of the finest restaurants in town with clients and friends, so I know a thing or two about the scene.

Restaurants aren’t just a place to eat–they represent a lifestyle and are one of the best places to see and be seen. They are where business deals are done, connections are made and great moments are created. Choose your spots wisely.  From trendy popups to hotel dining rooms to the legendary establishments, all restaurants are not created equal.

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A word to the wise: pick places that match up with your lifestyle and start putting in effort.  Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and get in anywhere you want.

1.  Build familiarity fast.

Be strategic in your approach.  Here is how to create familiarity with the decision makers (or the people who influence the decision makers):

Nurture the relationship:

Pick one or two people and build the relationship like you would with a friend.  Treat them well because they will soon be one of your best allies.  Remember, you aren’t working with a job title.  You are working with a person with goals, hopes and dreams.  Treat them that way.  Make eye contact when you thank and tip them.  Call people by name and ask about their lives when appropriate.

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Baby steps:

People can smell desperation, and it will work against you when you try too hard to get the best table if they don’t know who you are.  Build familiarity first by sitting at the bar and connecting with the bartender and the staff. The key is to connect while you get to know the place.

Repeat business:

Keep going back.  They will notice.  A repeat customer is a VIP most of the time in the restaurant business.  Pick a few restaurants and go there often.

2.  Getting others to book for you.

The fastest way to get in on the action is to go through someone who is already in.  Use your resources.  There are people around you that have access.  Here is how to access them:

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People already on the list:

Ask a work associate, socialite friend or popular neighbor to book your reservation for you.  Even better, go with them.  The best way to get in is to be attached to the people who are already in.

Luxury hotel concierge:

Getting to know the luxury hotels around you and the staff there is necessary.  I live in NYC and don’t work out of an office, so I often use high-end hotels to hold meetings with people and have drinks.  In the process, I get to know the important waiters and concierge who know everyone.  Take care of them and they will take care of you.

The special event planner:

If you are thinking of planning a large party, call up the manager or event planner of the restaurant and tell them you thinking of organizing a very special party in the future and would love to experience the restaurant to see if it is right for the occasion.  If it is not right for you, tell them you are going in another direction because of the theme but you loved the place so much you want to bring your other friends there.  Win-win.

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3.  Give them a reason.

You need to find that hook that pulls someone on your side.  Most of the time, it’s something that can benefit them. You must give them a reason to treat you like a VIP because it doesn’t just happen on its own.  Here is how to make it happen:

Be associated with someone influential: 

Similar to what I mentioned above, be strategic in your first few encounters with the staff at a restaurant.  It can be another VIP or a member of the actual staff.  The key is to be associated with someone who is in-demand or someone on the inside.

Money talks:  

This one is kind of obvious but you need to know how (and who) to take care of.  Always take care of the person who takes care of you, even if they don’t make the decisions. If they are on the inside, they have some influence.  Go through them to get in next time.  Whomever you make your connection with is your ticket.  Don’t get too cocky—I can’t tell you how many times a bus boy has delivered what another couldn’t.

Make a special trip:

Most people don’t make the effort to personally introduce themselves.  If you want to be treated like a VIP, you must get noticed in some way.  It has proved to be highly effective when people go into restaurants and meet with the manager or gatekeeper to explain the situation ahead of time.  They will respect you for it because you respect them enough to take time out of your day to meet with them.

Final thought: these tips don’t just apply to restaurants. The more strategically you think and the more you nurture your relationships, the easier it will be for you to become a VIP in every area of life.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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