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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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