September 6, 2018
46 | Be more than the services you offer – with Christina Zeidler (Part 1)
Why you’ve got to listen to this episode:
Christina Zeidler took on an enormous project of renovating and rejuvenating a historic Toronto landmark, the Gladstone hotel. The Gladstone hotel is Toronto’s oldest continually operating hotel originally built in 1889.
The task was enormous not only because of the history and the significance of the building or the fact that the hotel was in such bad shape but because Christina had to renovate a historic building while coming up with a completely new business model and plan to revitalize the hotel.
Christina also took it upon herself to make sure she kept the existing staff and found appropriate homes for the guests who have been living in the hotel long term. These guests were from low incomes and many had mobility issues which made finding an appropriate home much more difficult. This transition took 2 years and many challenges and obstacles later to complete.
It would have been a success to renew and rejuvenate the Gladstone hotel but the true success is the fact that Christina did much more than that. She created a space that has become much more than a hotel. The Gladstone is a social and cultural incubator.
Christina’s story of how she accomplished building a brand that has deep connections with the community, the visitors and staffis inspiring. Through many obstacles and challenges, Christina managed to build a brand that is much more than the services it offers.
Who can benefit from listening in:
Many entrepreneurs and business owners can relate to Christina’s journey of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how to best approach a challenge or solve a problem.
Building a business is hard and it can be very lonely too. In this episode, you can hear how Christina Zeidler managed to build a business overcoming many obstacles and more importantly build a brand that has become an important social and cultural hub and an example of stewardship for people and the planet.
This is a story of commitment, perseverance and of bringing people together to build something truly remarkable.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- “The only way to change the narrative is by doing it differently”. Christina Zeidler
- “You can’t do it alone. You need a team, a community to build a brand.”
- “Even if you can’t see or know all the story of a brand, you can feel it and love it because of it.” Christina Zeidler
- Art is not just something on the wall, is the way to run a business.” Christina Zeidler
- “How are you putting your values to action?” As a business leader, you have to constantly ask and monitor this.
- “It can be lonely to build or lead a business.” Christina Zeidler
- “You have to continuously evaluate your processes, policies and procedures to make sure you are constantly challenging yourself to be as close to your values as possible.” Christina Zeidler
Links to resources mentioned in this episode
- Gladstone Hotel
- Christina Zeidler
- Alberta Podcast Network
- ATB Entrepreneur Centre
- Don’t Call Me a Guru podcast
Thanks for listening
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