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Road Trip Story: How I Made $350 in San Diego, in 15mins – in a Hotel Lobby!!!

hotel lobby

On the way back from BlogWorld at the beginning of this month, I took a little detour from my trip back to the Philippines and stopped by to say ‘Hi’ to all the lovely people in San Diego, staying four nights to enjoy a little down-time with my wife. We hit the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld (with my buddy, Pat Flynn and his family) and Macy’s for a brand new suitcase as my other decided to die the day before we were due to leave!

Our time in San Diego was awesome. The place is fantastic, and we’ll definitely be going back again in the future. There was one thing that made it all the more sweet, however.

As my wife and I were enjoying a late breakfast, before checking out, I had an email come in from my assistant back in the Philippines. She was confirming a consultation call with a Virtual Staff Finder client – in 30mins. Bad timing? A little… But, it was better to take care of the call now, I thought, before hitting the ‘road’, as I would be keeping my client waiting for at least a few days whilst I traveled and got re-acquainted with the Philippines time-zone.

I Don’t Pay for WiFi!

Being the tight bastard that I am, I don’t pay for wifi. Anywhere. I think that in this day and age, to even attempt to charge for it is nothing short of taking the piss, quite frankly. And at my hotel, they were attempting to charge me for in-room wifi. However, I was told that there was free wifi in the hotel lobby. Great!

I escorted my wife back to the room so she could finish the packing (as all good wives do!), and headed back down to the lobby with my MacBook Air and a pair of earbuds!

The call with my client was going by as normal. Simple questions at first, then getting a little more in-depth. Advice needed on how much to pay their virtual assistants, how to work with them properly, and whether the time differences would cause any issues, etc., etc. It was around half way through the 30min consultation that I noticed another hotel guest sitting across from me, using the free wifi, too. “I’m not the only cheap bastard staying here..!”, I thought to myself.

Why Eavesdropping is a Good Thing!

As I continued my chat, I noticed that my side of the conversation had gotten the attention of my freebie wifi buddy, sitting across from me. He was intently listening in on the advice I was giving my client, and quite frankly, I wasn’t bothered about it.

As with most people that I meet, not many of them know that much about virtual assistants and how they can help you run, support and grow your business, so I’m happy to educate whenever possible, if it means I help another had-working entrepreneur.

When I was done with my client call, I sent a quick email to my project manager, Stephanie, on the call notes, attaching a recording of the call, as I do with all my consultations (so she can go back and listen to it, if need be), and started to shut down my laptop. At this point, the other hotel guest reached out his hand and introduced himself as Mike, a business owner from LA, who was in town for a conference.

The Elevator Pitch!

After subjecting him to my 20-sec elevator pitch (which is perfected, trust me!) and a couple more minutes of general chit-chat he admitted listening in on my conversation, apologizing at the same time. No problems, I told him, and asked if there was anything in particular that pricked his ears up in the first place. He said that he liked the idea of having someone do the ‘shit work’ (his words, not mine!), that he hated doing everyday. As we all know, virtual assistants can do that stuff (along with other things, too!). 🙂

Ten more minutes goes by, I explain that we’re leaving soon and that I’ve got to go up to the room to make sure that the wife hasn’t stuffed the hotel bathrobes into our suitcase, along with other stuff that should stay in our room when we leave – he laughs – and asks one more, conversation-defining question.

“So, how much does it cost to use your service, then…?”.


I answered, gave him my card and told him to email or tweet me with any other questions that he might have. Here’s the thing… Because he had been a nosey so-and-so and listened in on my call, he already had all the answers to his questions.

By the time I had jumped in the taxi, got to the airport, checked in and was waiting for my flight to LA, I had a Paypal notification come through on my iPhone for $350. Nice.

Lessons Learned

Know your elevator pitch off by heart.

Never be shy, or scared to chat with strangers about ‘business’.

And above and beyond everything else – NEVER pay for wifi. 🙂

What do you think, should you have to pay for wifi? Anywhere? Have you any cool business stories like this to share? If so, go for it… below!

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