Today’s culture is often obsessed with looking for get-rich-quick solutions, or low-work paths to success. It’s not that people are lazy, but the idea of having relatively easy work that pays the bills and brings a life of comfort and success, that’s pretty appealing.
Just not to entrepreneurs like Sunil Wadhwani.
Sunil Wadhwani takes a very hands-on approach to his hotelier business. His approach includes daily visits to his locations, daily conversations with his general and financial managers, and bringing his own unique perspective to problem-solving and dealing with any issues at his locations.
That’s a lot of work, but the rewards seem to be worth it to Sunil Wadhwani. After all, it’s provided him with a comfortable life, and helped him support his marriage of 35 years, his 4 kids, and now his 3 grandkids.
But why put in so much extra work when there are other fields and other specialties that could have been easier?
Well, for one thing, Sunil Wadhwani believes in the value of hard work. Understanding your business, paying your dues, and working up from the ground floor aren’t just ideas or sayings for Sunil Wadhwani. They’re the reality of being successful and proving yourself to prestigious brands like Marriot.
It took time and dedication with his McAllen, Texas La Quinta and Motel 6 locations to prove that he had what it took to run a Marriot, but his hard work has paid off. With 8, soon to be 9 locations, including a longer stay suites Marriot hotel, Sunil Wadhwani’s approach might be difficult, but it clearly pays off.
Of course, there have been challenges along the way as well. For instance, the first Marriot location Sunil was able to open was also the first (and so far, only) location he can’t visit every day. That means no personal inspections, no opportunities to talk to employees every day, and having to trust his managers and long-distance interactions instead of giving the location his personal touch.
But, years of experience running hotels since his first McAllen La Quinta in 2000 has paid off. Even though Marriot locations are different kinds of hotels, with different clients, and different demands, Sunil Wadhwani has been able to make long-distance dedication work just as well as his in-person approach to his other locations.
The kind of hotel might be different, but apparently, the personality and work ethic that make it successful are just the same.
Of course, Sunil Wadhwani has a lot of motivation to succeed too. His parents are, in his opinion, living proof of the American Dream. They arrived in the United States when Sunil Wadhwani was just six years old, and with only $100 in their name when they got started.
Only with hard work and dedication were they able to forge a path forward for themselves and their family.
Their work ethic paid off though, and Sunil Wadhwani’s first personal experience with work and running a business was helping his parents run a brick and motor retail store.
Maybe that’s part of why Sunil Wadhwani prefers the hands-on approach. His business started was helping with one of the small mom-and-pop shops that helps make the United States the great and thriving economy we enjoy today.
He took that entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic with him into adulthood, starting several businesses of his own before landing his first hotel location and discovering a talent for being a hotelier.
Of course, Sunil Wadhwani himself probably wouldn’t say that talent has anything to do with his success. It’s all hard work, dedication, and being willing to put in the hours and learn and adapt to the industry from day 1. To say that Sunil Wadhwani has a talent for the hotel business might undermine his incredible skill and willingness to learn and adapt to all the challenges that come with his work.
Why put in so much effort? Maybe it’s a way to carry on his parent’s legacy, but there’s another big legacy on his mind at the same time. His kids and grandkids. Sunil Wadhwani isn’t just looking for success for himself, but also for his family, and to cement the legacy in the United States that was started by his parents.
This is the kind of immigration story that defines the American Dream, and the kind of old-school entrepreneurship that made the United States fall in love with the entrepreneur archetype in the first place.
But for Sunil? He’s going to be putting in the hard work today, tomorrow, and probably the next day, week, month, and year. Why? Because he can. Because he’s good at it. And because this is what he does.
Retirement? Well, that will happen someday, when Sunil Wadhwani finds the team that can take over and runs his locations the way they need to be run. In the meantime, Sunil Wadhwani has more hotels to open and a lot of work waiting for his personal attention.