Sunday 10th June 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood inﬂuence your work ethic and attitude towards business?
I am coming from a middle class family with parents working hard and doing their best to make us kids grow up in a safe environment. It’s rather my protected childhood than my adolescence that influenced my attitude towards business. I studied social work and between 20 and 30 I worked with sexually abused children and homeless families. I’ve looked into human abysses and learned to focus on what is possible in life. My attitude towards business is therefore strictly positive. It is pure blitheness to work and I am deeply grateful for every day, for every meeting with wonderful people and for the chance to share my knowledge.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
What is success? Making ever more money? Being featured in the press? Having a Ferrari as a second car in the garage? No. In general “reaching your goals” might be a good definition of success. And being successful in today’s world (or business) means particularly creating wonderful and long-lasting experiences. People will forget what you said, they will forget the product they bought in your shop, they will even forget the price they paid for it. But they will never forget how you made them feel.
The principles therefore are easy: be honest, be pure & authentic, be impactful. Be YOU. And make others feel well.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
No doubt it was opening up my own business. The freedom it gives me is priceless.
Q4 - Who has inﬂuenced you the most through your career?
When I was living in Greece, my boss told me to stop thinking and instead follow my intuitions. “Listen to your inner voice”, she said, “trust it and follow it”. Which I did. I literally lost my mind in Greece. And I am still gratefully remembering this lesson. The second huge influence was the team around me at the Marbella Club in Spain. They showed me what passion means in our business. I lost my mind in Greece, and I lost my heart in Southern Spain.
Q5 - What was your most difficult or worst business decision?
I actually can’t remember exactly what the worst decision was about. But I remember that I took it against my inner voice. It gave me sleepless nights and sorrows throughout the day. And there should not be any business that shatters your sleep!
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for success?
Honesty – diligence – positivity. In this rank.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
I am rarely stressed. But if, I sit down and look at the lawn like my friend Stefan told me (see Q 10)
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
When at home I love walking the dog, which means a minimum of 2 hours of light workout in fresh air (or rain or snow…). And at the same time it is kind of walking meditation. No news, no social media, no internet, just fresh air (or fresh rain or fresh snow…) and the certainty of being together here and now with my best buddy. No need to talk, wordless understanding, just breathing in and breathing out and walk along your path. Nothing better than that.
When travelling (which is most of the time) I at least try keeping up with my meditation routine. Last but not least I keep looking on the bright side of life. I strongly believe this saves you from a lot of diseases.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
I would change the perception that wellness is about luxury and pampering. It is not. And it was never meant to be. I would clone Dr. Jack Travis, Don Ardell, Deborah Szekely & Co. and send them through the world as wellness ambassadors to teach society what they could do to live well and up to their full potentials. I would integrate Wellness as a mandatory class in Kindergarten, School and University. I would urge governments to have a ministry of wellness and I would offer wellness
offerings free of charge for poor and / or homeless people.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been given?
There are many quotes or advices that made – and still make – me think:
“Love it. Change it. Or leave it.” (Adriano, the owner of a chiringuito in Southern Spain when I was complaining about my job as a beautician.)
“look at the lawn and watch the grass grow” (my best friend Stefan who had to leave this world far too early)
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
Pick any book of John Irving… I love them all.
2. What’s your favourite ﬁlm of all time?
Monty Python's Life of Brian – for its awesome satirical take on religious fanaticism.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
That would be a huge selection of people, friends and family, rich & poor, decision makers & decision takers, entrepreneurs & employees… can’t name them all (well most probably there would be no politicians and no preachers amongst them)! But it would be long dinner table and a very long night! Why? Because I love bringing people together, listen to people and be part of a network.
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
Playa del Cristo, Estepona, Andalucía. Alternatively, if beaming goes slightly wrong, 80 km south west, Playa los Lances near Tarifa on the Atlantic shore would be fine, too.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
Whatever is served – main point is a good friend who joins and understands the importance of a good glass of wine.
6. Your go to drink is?
Champagne. “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.” (said E. Bollinger)
But I am also perfectly happy with a Cremant. (don’t want to seem posh you know…)
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
A piece of cake. Too Delicious.
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Reflexology. It’s impactful and I just love it.
10.What’s your favourite ﬂower?
I love all flowers. Not just one in particular.
11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Go to bed.
12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?
13.The theme tune to your life is?
Always look at the bright side of life.
14.What makes you laugh to your belly?
The ludicrous ideas of John Irving.
15.What’s your favourite season?
Summer. Is there any other?
16. What’s your favourite colour?
17. Your favourite time of day is?
Between 6 o’clock and midnight. And I am very much enjoying the rest.
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
What? What a strange idea!
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
No guilty secret. The only thing I really love about TV is the power button to turn it off.
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
Wilfried Dreckmann knows the Spa business from bottom up. After several years of working as social worker he swapped sides from the world of homeless people to the world of the rich and famous and became beautician on a cruise ship in the Ionian sea / Greece. His entry into the fields of wellness was at a time when the word “Spa” was widely unknown in Europe and “beauty” was for a men still unknown terrain. His spa & wellness career path included the Marbella Club Thalasso Spa, the St. Regis Mardavall Hotel and the Victoria-Jungfrau Grandhotel & Spa amongst others.
In 2006 he opened up his consultancy “spa project” to help develop and re-organise wellness & projects throughout Europe. Today Wilfried is working as a consultant, trainer and coach for Spa Managers and teaches spa management at the IST University of applied Sciences. He is brand ambassador for Wellness & Resorts and mentor for several young spa managers.
Connect with Wilfred: