March/April 2023

to come from what started out as an accident and is now a big part of my business. Three things you can apply to your career:

1. Be of service. I didn’t know my friend was going to have to cancel her appearance at this conference. I immediately thought that at the last minute, the meeting planner had to be scrambling. It’s stressful enough running a conference, but last-minute cancellations from a speaker adds compounded pressure to an already stressful situation. I offered to cover for that speaker, and it was one less thing she needed to worry about. 2. Hit it out of the park! Yes. Do your job so well that people talk about you. Word of mouth advertising is the best referral source around. Think about what you can do extra special to make your product or service buzz worthy. It will pay off in dividends in ways you can’t imagine. 3. Show your gratitude. Think of the last time you received a hand-written thank you card or special gift. I bet it felt good. I sincerely was so grateful to have had such a great time and I wanted to express that gratitude with hand-written notes and gifts. I wanted to convey my gratitude for the collective hug-like feeling I had as they welcomed me into their conference, industry, and lives. By the way, I wasn’t selling anything when I reached out in gratitude. But, it turned into deeper relationships and spin-off speaking opportunities. I’m still reaping the rewards from that event. After that first year of speaking for WFF, they invited me back for the next 12 years. That forced me to develop more material relevant to hospitality and foodservice. I even did a 12-city tour with them when they took their leadership conference on the road. I’m super psyched to return for their 2023 Leadership Development conference. It will be like visiting old friends. What was the turning point in your career in hospitality? Was there a defining moment for you when you discovered you were in the right industry? I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at Marilyn Sherman is a Hall of Fame Business speaker who inspires audiences of all industries to improve morale, productivity and reduce stress through inspiring, content-filled programs. However, her favorite industry is Hospitality and Foodservice! For free access to her Front-Row Friday video series, go to


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