Bryan and Sarah Baeumler may be seasoned pros when it comes to renovations and design, but that doesn’t mean they’re not continually facing new challenges and learning new things as they build their resort in The Bahamas. We had the chance to speak with Bryan and Sarah, and learn ten recent lessons they’ve learned when it comes to running a business. (If you’re looking for motivation to chase your dreams, this is it!)
Take the Road Less Travelled
When we asked Bryan what his first lesson in business is, he had this to share: “Number one is the classic: take the road less travelled.” Leaving the life they’d built in Canada, to take on the adventure of building and running a resort in The Bahamas, was certainly a course few saw coming, but it’s one that the Baeumlers have embraced, and, despite all of the ups and downs, they’re relishing the experience.
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Don’t Be Scared to Get Off the Road
Taking the road less travelled is a great notion to live by, but Bryan was also a proponent of maintaining flexibility, and allowing yourself to “get off the road, and chase new dreams” too. Bryan and Sarah know all too well that even the best laid plans can (and often do) go awry, but succeeding comes from leaning in, and adapting, rather than holding strong to an initial vision.
Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow
Bryan’s a firm believer in pursuing your passions and doing what you love in life, because “when you find something you love, the money will follow.” We’ve watched Bryan and Sarah face some tough financial decisions on Island of Bryan, and take a few losses, but it’s that deep passion for the project that allows the couple to face financial hardships head on, and persevere.
Know Your Comfort Level When It Comes to Taking Risks
Being able to weather those financial storms is made easier if you have a deep understanding of your own comfort level when it comes to risk. It allows you to make thoughtful decisions. As Bryan shared, “People say your twenties are the time to just risk it all, bet it all on black or red or green. Your thirties are the time to really start working and focusing and getting into something. And then your forties is the time to get a little more conservative. That being said, you know, we’re in our forties, and we picked up and risked everything on blue!”
The Clock is Ticking
Perhaps it was hitting their forties that gave the Baeumlers the push to chase their dreams! Bryan and Sarah both referred to the “ticking clock” and shared the fear of waking up in ten years with regrets. In business, you have to tap into your drive and just make it happen. That’s something the past three years in The Bahamas have really taught Bryan and Sarah.
After everything Bryan and Sarah have been through with the resort (unforeseen renovation hurdles, added costs, and a global pandemic to name a few), Bryan still believes the worst case scenario in business isn’t failure, it’s regret. “The worst case scenario, whatever you can imagine the worst case scenario to be, isn’t the worst case scenario. Every morning you get up, you have an opportunity to do something wild and crazy. So really, the worst case scenario is not waking up tomorrow, but then anything failing that (losing all your marbles, going broke) no matter what happens, you can still get up tomorrow and try again.”
Be Proactive When It Comes to Your Finances
No one is born knowing how to run a business or manage finances, it’s knowledge that needs to be actively sought out and cultivated. As Sarah explained, “We’ve never shied away from learning more about something if we didn’t understand it, and finding out more and asking the right questions regarding investments and finances. You’ve got to take advantage of the resources that are out there. You can’t, as Bryan says, just sit at home and expect your money to grow. You really have to learn, get online, figure out new programs that are offered, and learn how you can help make your money grow.”
Practice Makes Perfect
Bryan shared a renovation tip that lends itself well to running a business too! The desire to take on a project is commendable, but it’s important to start small, and recognize you might have to attempt something more than once. “Don’t start with building an addition or tearing down a wall or building a home. Start with putting in a backsplash or replacing some trim or painting a room,. Something easy and small, just to dip your toe in. If you’re willing to take the time to learn how to do it properly and practice, if you’re willing to spend a little extra money for materials that you’re going to ruin and waste, then certainly dive in and learn how to do that.”
Know Your Limitations and Find the Best Person for the Job
Having the desire to tackle a project or an aspect of your business yourself is admirable, but there’s also zero shame in recognizing your limits and calling in backup. Sarah was quick to point this out: “I think it’s an important thing to remember, if you don’t want to come home at the end of a long day and work on tiling your bathroom floor, if that doesn’t excite you, then find somebody who wants to do it. Because you have to want to do those things to make it work. Otherwise it’s not worth it.”
Be Firm in Your Priorities
When the pandemic hit, it had the potential to derail years of hard work, not to mention the Baeumlers’ sanity, but Bryan and Sarah’s focus on their family helped them prevail through the most challenging times. Sarah put it best when she reflected on their journey, “When we look back three years ago, when we first decided to embark on this adventure, we had so many people saying, ‘You just can’t do that. You can’t uproot your family. You can’t leave your businesses. You can’t leave your home with little to no experience in the hotel business.’ And then we fast forward even to this past year, and I said to Bryan, ‘Are we any different than anyone else on this planet?’ We took an opportunity and we would do it again in a heartbeat, and we’ve had this experience. And if you know, God forbid something happened to one of us, We’re so happy we did have this experience together. I think if anything, the pandemic has really shown that we’re so happy that we did take that risk.”