How do the most successful people organize their workdays and stay motivated? With the Noteworthy Interview series, we explore the day-in and day-out of inspiring founders, creators, and more. December's guest? The uber talented Jonathan Morris.
Jonathan opened Hotel Dryce, a boutique hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2021. What once was an old warehouse used for selling dry ice is now a reimagined 21-room hotel and lobby bar that authentically introduces visitors to the city he calls home. Hotel Dryce not only welcomes guests, but also provides a community hub for locals. His dream was to work with the makers, creatives, entrepreneurs and artists that make Fort Worth special, and showcase the community through the art of placemaking and the business of hospitality.
Walk us through a typical work day.
A typical work day for me starts with me rolling out of bed and announcing an "Okay Google" command. Usually a request to play something motivational to get my spirit right, I think of this time as the soundtrack to my day which helps with deciding what I want to wear for the day. I think of getting dressed as my first creative decision of the day. Putting together an outfit sets the tone for the energy I want to exude for the day.
Once dressed, I'll usually take a look at my Appointed Notebook where I'll review and/or add notes to my to-do list for the day and make sure I'm prepared for meetings and tackling tasks. Once I've got a grasp on what my day will look like, I've got to procure my espresso, AKA gas for the day. If I'm not making my own double-shot of beans at home, I'm headed to one of my favorite locally-owned coffee shops. I've got a rotation of about 4-5 local coffee shops that I frequent, one being Cherry Coffee, my wife's shop on Fort Worth's southside. Next, I'm usually headed over to Hotel Dryce to check in with the team and take meetings either in-person or virtually. Working from the hotel lobby is my favorite. It's part office, part living room, part social club.
On a perfect day, I have a lunch meeting scheduled at Cafe Modern located at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which outside of my own businesses, is my favorite space to spend time at in Fort Worth. The architecture is awe-inspiring each and every time. It's incredible how ideas flow in beautiful spaces.
A few times a week I'm popping over to Fort Worth Barber Shop, my first small business that I opened in the city. It's a great place to catch up on casual conversation with clients/friends stopping in for a haircut. If one of my barbers has time on their schedule, I'll even squeeze in a quick beard trim for myself.
When I get home, I'm definitely turning on some music. And there's nothing quite like the joy of putting on a vinyl record, burning some incense and preparing a dinner recipe with a glass of wine.
Before turning in for the night, I'm checking daily reports from my businesses and finishing up email responses. Then I'll jot down some ideas and to-do's in my notebook to prepare for the following day.
What is inspiring you right now?
Lately, I've been updating and making fresh new playlists on Spotify. Music and sounds heard in my environments help to fuel narrative and brand perception. The soundtrack to a space tells a story and I love designing in that way. Curating music for spaces is a creative outlet for me that I pour hours into at a time. I've recently updated playlists for Hotel Dryce, Fort Worth Barber Shop and Cherry Coffee.
"Can't live without a good old fashioned pen and paper for making notes throughout my day."
Any upcoming releases you’re excited about?
For the last decade, I've spent my time and energy pursuing creative entrepreneurial projects. Casting the vision and launching new businesses has driven me. But next for me I'm looking forward to pursuing more creative projects, purely for the sake of getting ideas out of my head, out of my heart and into the world. I'm looking forward to creating for the sake of creativity without any expectation of commercial viability or market acceptance. For me, that looks like writing more. Cooking more. I may even learn to DJ. Mostly I'm just looking forward to slowly developing new skills that challenge me intellectually and stimulate my soul.
Are there any other lessons or words of wisdom that shape how you think about work?
Oh, that makes me think of my absolute favorite quote of all time by Benjamin Elijah Mays, former President of Morehouse College who once wrote: "Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done."
We've all got a purpose in life and the pursuit of finding my purpose keeps me motivated. All I'm trying to do is just make sure I get all of these ideas out of my head and heart and into the world. Hopefully some of my ideas will inspire others to chase their own dreams.
Where can people find you?
Most of my time is spent in Fort Worth. When I'm not here, I love to travel and experience new cultures, architecture, food, art, music and ideas that expand my perspective and challenge me to think in new ways.