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Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels
"Try this: Early in the New Year, get your top few people together for 30 minutes. Pair them up. The first person asks the question, 'What business are we in?' The second person responds and then asks the same question, but the first person can't answer the same way.
"Do this five times and I promise you that you'll discover the core essence of your business. Then build your 2013 business plan around this differentiating essence. It's how, as a boutique hotelier, we learned we weren't hoteliers but we were in the "identity refreshment" business. Our key differentiator: creating a habitat that helps refresh our hotel guests' aspirational identity and [reflect] their best self."