Richard Williams journey through the hospitality industry has brought him to a conviction that spas and wellness are integral to the future.
What’s your story?
Having worked in hospitality all my life i shifted from Food & Beverage and studied at The Southern School of Natural Therapies in Melbourne, Australia in the 90’s. Working first in a clinic as a Remedial Therapist with naturopaths/homeopaths and physiotherapists I then shifted into the Spa industry, working in 5- star hotel spas, as a spa therapist, trainer educator, Spa Manager/Director and eventually working for a renown spa consulting company in South East Asia and since 2015 founded 6Degrees Spa Consulting. I also lecture at Stenden University Bali campus and online and write for Spa China Magazine.
What excites you most about your industry?
I am deeply passionate about my industry and I, like many in our industry, have an optimism for the future. With the calamity of the last 12 months globally, what this pandemic has forced us to do is take a good hard look at ourselves and respective industries and seek to find sustainable solutions in a results driven way. People are more interested in their health and wellbeing and are seeking certain lifestyle options. Thus the Spa & Wellness industry has yet further to morph and grow in a very positive and successful direction.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
Great question! I regard myself as an industry disruptor and this is much needed. It’s not ok to just be good, sufficient, adequate, to blindly follow trends and believe in hype and gimmicks. One must strive always to lead the way and by example, to create the trends, to strive for differentiation, think outside the box, push the envelope! But in a way that is relevant, practical, authentic and more importantly in a way that can be productively monetized.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
One skill now embedded in my DNA is to always look at a situation, scenario or subject from all directions. Leave no stone unturned and ensure you have looked at every detail, questioned everything and looked at all views, for example in hospitality that might be different people’s perspectives, the clients, the consultants, the competitors, the owners, the guests, your colleagues or co-workers.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I learnt many years ago, a couple of really useful mantras/sayings, I still use to this day…”Surrender & release” and “Embrace chaos”. They have been invaluable as I have navigated my way through life.
Who inspires you?
I am constantly surprised and inspired by artisanal works/workers be it producing a Japanese olive oil, an heirloom vegetable, or Ikat fabrics of Indonesia.
I have had some terrific mentors in my professional career that have taught me, diligence, tenacity, flexibility, humility, to be detail-oriented and at times courageous!
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I am aware of organic skincare brands using biophotonic glass to protect product from light and extend shelf life to sustainable product labels made of marble that save 20 trees and 61,000 litres of water per batch! To me this is very impressive!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Be an opera singer, hahaha. But in all seriousness I do not have a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” mentality and believe in learning from the past to ensure one achieves better and more positive and meaningful outcomes.
How do you unwind?
I like to swim at the beach, walk in nature, read, cook, listen to music, meditate, go to an art gallery or museum, have a massage or spa treatment or watch Netflix.
I love floatation, salt/halotherapy and sound therapies.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
The biggest shift that I believe is still in process, is that of the disconnect between hotel/hotelier and the spa and wellness arm. Yes there is still much work to be done, but slowly slowly the old ways of thinking are changing and hoteliers are learning what wellness is and how this greatly impacts the guest experience and is more and more on demand. Wellness should be 360degrees and very much be a part of any brand’s DNA.
It’s inspiring to see corporations create positions such as “Wellness Ambassadors”, let us hope these roles contribute something beneficial and authentic.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Based on the current world situation, working from home and remotely, I think the book, “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss is even more relevant. Giving practical advice on working more smartly and effectively and managing one’s time efficiently.
Shameless plug for your business:
Having over 38 years in the hospitality industry and an operational background, allows me to provide memorable, intuitive and inspiring concepts and a 360degree wellness service, be it liaising with architects and designers, developing protocols, products & services, collaborating with suppliers for OS&E, products, training teams and assuring productive positive revenue outcomes to award winning developments.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
I have a Facebook profile however I no longer use FB
Website is under construction, stay tuned…
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.