Michael and Allissa share their annual 3 Words tradition to start off the new year.
This episode is sponsored by:
Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by ABMP, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Supporting the largest community in massage and bodywork, ABMP goes above and beyond great liability insurance to make it easier for you to succeed at what you love. ABMP membership combines the insurance you need, the free CE you want, and the advocacy and personalized customer service you deserve. Join the ABMP family and learn why more massage therapists and bodyworkers choose ABMP membership than any other association. Expect more at abmp.com.
Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.
MR And we’re your hosts. We’re both freezing our butts off today. It’s in the negatives in both Indianapolis and Boston area.
AH It’s wonderful. But my car started; so that’s good.
MR That’s good. But everyone should feel very sorry for us.
AH It’s been intermittently starting on these days that get below 4 and 5 degrees, which is never a problem I’ve had before with any cars. And the battery is new, but I learned how to use this fancy, emergency device thingy you hook up to the battery, and it gives it a little extra boost to get it started on the extra-cold mornings. So I’m feeling kind of cool that I have this equipment, this extra little booster in my car now, and I know how to use it. It has a little clamp that clamps on to the battery, and I haven’t killed myself doing it yet; so I feel good.
MR Look at you. How handy.
AH Yeah. Yeah.
MR Oh, that reminds me of a dumb story I have.
AH Bring it.
MR So anyone who knows us enough knows that my wife, Ariana, is the one that is much more handy and mechanically inclined. We’ll go to — last time we bought a car, the people kept talking to me, because I’m the guy, and so they were stereotypical and trying to explain everything to me. Meanwhile, she was under the car with the hood open looking at stuff and calling them out on all sorts of things that were wrong with the car, and they were dumbfounded. It was amazing. [laughs]
AH I actually did not know this.
MR So this is my wife: My wife actually fixed our heat, because we had a heating problem in our house where we couldn’t get it to go over 55. So we were freezing; we were like, “What is wrong with our heat?” She’s like, “Huh. Have we checked the filters lately?” And I was like, “Well, no. But the filter shouldn’t do anything. Blah, blah, blah.” And she goes in there, and the filter had gotten crunched inside there and some pieces were layered over, and it was blocking the air flow; so she swapped the filter and suddenly it fixed the heat. I’m just telling everyone my wife fixed our heat, and I didn’t know what to do. So that’s how things go at our house. My wife is the one that is much more apt to fix mechanical things in our life, which is very funny.
AH But you really know how to use frequently flyer miles like a champ, so it’s a good pairing there.
MR [laughs] It was just so funny seeing her under the car figuring out all the stuff that was wrong with this car while this car salesman was trying to talk me into buying it. It was so funny.
AH That’s amazing.
MR Yeah. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Happy 2018. We are glad to be back and — actually, we never left, but glad to be here in 2018 starting off a new year. So welcome, everybody.
AH Oh, and you know what? Before we jump into today’s topic, I just need to make a correction. In our last episode of 2017, we were talking about our new year’s plans, and I inadvertently misidentified the Adirondacks as the Catskills, no vice versa —
MR Oh my God.
AH — I stated that Dirty Dancing took place in the Adirondacks, which is ridonkulous. It took place in the Catskills. And I know that, but my brain was just a little fried. I made a correction immediately in the podcast notes, but a couple of people have called me out on that. So I just need you all to know that I actually do know where Dirty Dancing happened. I just misstated, because we record a couple podcasts in a row, and that was where I was at. And I’m really sorry, everybody, to all the Dirty Dancing fans and also all the Catskills fans. My bad.
MR I love that we can always count on our audience to tell us when we’ve screwed up.
AH Yes. Yes. I will pay better attention and closer attention to detail in my banter. And in case anyone cares, I had a lovely and delightful new year’s weekend at — in upstate New York, where I got — at DiCastro’s restaurant, I got the used meat sandwich, and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. Michael, how was your new year’s?
MR Oh it was actually very boring; it was awesome. We went to bed at 10 o’clock, watched movies on our iPad until 1 am, didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t go anywhere, Eli was asleep by 8:00. It was fantastic.
AH That’s wonderful.
MR It was the most boring and amazing New Year’s Eve ever.
AH Good for you. I’m so glad to hear it.
AH So let’s talk about our topic, shall we?
MR Oh, we may as well since that’s kind of why we’re here, I guess.
AH It’s a good segue. Michael, what are we talking about?
MR We are going to talk about our three words for 2018.
AH And if people haven’t heard of it, why don’t you tell them what this three-words exercise is all about.
MR I’d be happy to. So our three-words exercise, we got this from Chris Brogan, who is a prominent speaker, author, business expert, blogger. And he has been doing the three-words exercise for many years. What he does is he recommends instead of doing goals like a lot of people do or new year’s resolutions, where it’s like hey, I want to lose 30 pounds, or I want to do this or that — those are such pass/fail type of things that can make people feel bad if they don’t perfectly meet those goals. Instead, he recommends picking three words that define the theme for your year that drive how you want to focus your energy, which I really like. And so, every year — Allissa and I have been doing this for, I think, many years ourselves, and we pick a new set of three words every year to start the year off and set the tone. So that’s what we do.
AH All right. So I’ll jump in here. My words last year were consistency and numbers. I did a really good job at that; so I felt like I could let go of that, because I have really good systems in place now to keep my daily, weekly, monthly tasks consistent. I’ve already talked about my bullet journal that I totally adore, and that handles the consistency. And my numbers — I’m in a good place with my money where I typically have a good idea of what’s coming in, and then I know where it needs to go to keep me solvent and keep me paying off my debt and feeding myself and keeping a roof over my head. So I feel really good about consistency and numbers.
I tend to pick two words instead of three, because I have a pretty short attention span and don’t like to overwhelm myself; so my two words for 2018 are prioritize and patience. Prioritize, in particular, is because, like many and most of you, I certainly struggle to manage my time and minimize the useless activities, and I’m talking about watching every old episode of Mary Tyler Moore online while I do busywork and scrolling Facebook instead of doing — and engaging in activities that are actually good for me. And so, prioritize, I want to keep honing in on the work that brings me income and activities that give me joy. So less silly busywork that I don’t need to be doing, really continuing to streamline that so I can get my tasks done efficiently, but also minimizing and eliminating time-wasting stuff. So yeah. I’m probably going to get rid of my Hulu subscription in the next month or so. Dr. Boyfriend and I have been watching a TV show all the way through, and we’re almost done; so once we’re done with that — and really, we watch about a half an hour a week, tops, of that. We’re almost done, a couple more weeks, and I think I’m going to get rid of my Hulu subscription. I keep hedging my bets on that, because it scares me a little bit, but I’m going to do it. Instead, replace that with reading books in the evening. I’ve also installed the Facebook news feed eradicator; it’s an extension you can put on Google Chrome that makes it so that you can log into Facebook, but you don’t see the news feed, which is really great for me, because then I can manage my pages and manage the groups that I’m in and participate in them without getting stuck in mindless scrolling. And I’ve logged out of Facebook from my phone; I don’t use the Facebook app anyway; I just use it in my browser, but I’ve logged out so that I have to mindfully type my password in should I want to utilize Facebook when I’m mobile, which I really don’t need to do. So I got to stop that altogether. And that’s the prioritizing, prioritizing my time and my energy.
And then patience; I am not a patience person. That is never more obvious than when I’m spending time around small children. I am working on my patience with young people and everyone around me. This means really being patient and not reacting immediately when I feel like someone in my office needs some redirection, and, instead, really thinking about the situation and approaching it in a mindful and kind way. And also being patient in the moment. When I’m hanging around with kids or the boyfriend and, when I have a tendency to get a little snippy, instead taking a deep breath and being a little more kind and patient in those situations. I’ve really set myself up — I’m listening to some mindfulness and parenting podcasts to give me really good tips to use in the moment and making notes about those and tacking it to the fridge to remind me to breathe a little bit when stuff comes up when I’m hanging out with the kids. And also to kind of keep me on track, what I’ve done in my bullet journal, is on the outside edge of every page, I have written for the next, I don’t know, 20 pages, and I’ll keep going throughout the year, I am literally writing “prioritize, patience” so that every single day I’ve got a place where I am seeing those words, and it’s reminding me that these are things that I want to be attentive to. And that’s where I’m at: prioritize and patience. And, Michael, do you know who our halftime sponsor is today?
MR I do, but I’m still busy being stressed out by the thought of you cancelling your Hulu subscription. [laughs]
AH [laughs] I know. Especially — right? Since the last — the thing that’s really killing me is that the last season of Scandal is going to start soon —
MR Oh, yes.
AH — but it’s kind of gone downhill; so I really feel like I don’t need to see it in real time. And that’s the thing, too. I thought about this: It’s winter; it’s getting dark pretty early. I might want to watch TV some nights. And I certainly need downtime to unwind. But I have Amazon Prime, and I’m not getting rid of that anytime soon. So I was like, you know what? Maybe I’ll allow myself one episode of something on Amazon Prime a couple nights a week on those times where I have a chunk of time and I am allowed recreational time. I’m not trying to toss myself into a situation where I don’t have any downtimes activities; I’d just like the bulk of them to be reading. I was figuring I can catch up on those things when I don’t have so much work in front of me or once I’ve gotten a better handle on binge/addiction watching. We’ll see. It might not make it through blizzard season. I don’t know. We’ll see. We’re going to get a massive storm tomorrow, and you bet your sweet pippy I want my Hulu around.
AH I know. The thing is, it gave me a little bit of an anxiety attack, too, and that’s why I was like maybe you need to conquer this.
MR Well to answer your question, I do know who our halftime sponsor is.
MR And I’m actually excited, because I think it’s been a little bit of time since we talked about Artichoke. But Artichoke is our sponsor. We love Artichoke. They’re a great online scheduling system, good people. So tell us a bit about Artichoke.
Sponsor message They’re more than just a scheduling system. They’re a really great all-in-one way to manage your business. They had an expansion in the past year where it’s not just about managing individual businesses; they can handle teams of up to 10 people. So if you’re looking for online scheduling or a website or one-touch payment processing, customizable appointment reminders, gift cards, client notes, they’ve got it all with Artichoke. It is a refreshing departure from running your business with a whole bunch of different apps or even with good old pen and paper. It’s really easy; it’s super user friendly to set up and get started so you can focus on serving your clients. Massage Business Blueprint listeners can try free for 30 days and then save 20% off the regular rate for a year, and you can get that offer by going to massagebusinessblueprint.com/artichoke, A-R-T-I-C-H-O-K-E, artichoke.
MR There it is.
AH Ok, Michael, tell me about your words.
MR All right. My three words last year were action, refine, and balance. I just straight up am admitting that I failed pretty miserably. [laughs] I just did not do well. So last year — I’ve heard a lot of people saying this actually as well, last year had a lot of challenges for them. I’ll kind of say it that way. But I wasn’t really great on taking action on things I wanted to take action on; I didn’t really refine or move things forward the way I wanted to; I felt stuck in a lot of ways. I felt very unbalanced in my life as well when it comes to work, family, personal, all the stuff I want to keep in balance. So in the blog post we published, I wrote: Boo on me. I’m going to move on. I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m just going to say “Hey, sometimes I do better than other times.”
This year in 2018, I am focusing on these three words: simple, dreams, and family. When I read this, I felt kind of floopy and “whoa, head in the clouds,” dreams and family or whatever. But I’m looking to give myself permission to be that way little bit, because, first of all, with simple, I want to focus on simplifying my life. I have a bad habit of starting new businesses all the time and new projects and new brands and new things and doing new things all the time. [clears throat] Excuse me. So I’ve narrowed things down to I’ve got the businesses running that I want to run. Obviously, Massage Business Blueprint with you, Allissa, that is top priority for me. Another top priority for me is my marketing agency. Another high priority for me is my financial services business. And there are some other things I have been playing with too much in the mix that I need to let go of and simplify. So I’m going to simplify my life, focus on ways to remove things from my life, as opposed to adding things.
The dreams word is because, I don’t want to get too much in detail, because some of this is very personal, but there are some dreams I’ve been putting on hold that are kind of related to business for the most part. But I’ve been putting those things on hold, and I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to, for lack of a better phrase, follow my dreams. That sounds kind of silly to say out loud, but to me, I think I really do need to stop putting certain things on hold and do things for me that I want to do.
The last word, family, is pretty self-explanatory, I think, and I’m definitely not saying I’m neglecting my family at all, because I don’t think I do that. But I want to spend more time with and on my family. My son, Eli, is two and a half. He’s growing up every day. He’s talking and running around, and I want to spend more and more time with him, just being with him and watching him grow. And I want to spend more time with my wife, and be able to spend more time together as a family. I used to think that if you were the kind of person that wanted to spend all this time with your family, you couldn’t be successful, or you were lazy or not working hard enough or whatever. And I think that’s total crap. These days, I think it’s just crap. [laughs] I’m deciding that I want to be the kind of person that focuses on my family first, and I can still do that while being successful in business, and, by golly, I’m going to make that happen. So that’s where I am with my three words. What do you think?
AH I think that they’re great. And I think I told you this privately: I completely don’t agree that you trashed it all last year. I think as far as the stuff that I do with you, you were pretty on the ball, and for the first time in a long time, you were really willing to ask for and accept help. We both, I think, did that really well within Massage Business Blueprint, which we’ve got a lot of other gigs going on, and I’m actually really proud of how we run this and how sometimes we’re like “Oh wait, no. I’m overwhelmed. Can you take the helm for a couple of weeks?” And we trade that off. So I think maybe we, you and I, need to apply the Massage Business Blueprint model to the rest of our lives and we’ll be fine. [laughs]
MR [laughs] Probably.
AH Or maybe we just need really kicking business partners in every other aspect. [laughs] I don’t know. We need more Michael and Allisas to partner with. I don’t know. That might be a little be self-congratulatory, but I think we did okay. I just think 2017 was just a crapstorm of a year in a lot of ways for a lot of people. I don’t know that 2018 will be all that much better in some ways, but I know that I feel better about my own capabilities and my own goals and my own priorities moving forward. I’m sure 12 months from now we’ll be having this conversation and we’ll be like “Oh my goodness. 2018 was a crapstorm of a year.” But that’s because you and I are people who — we take great importance in reflection and improvement; so I think next year this time if we are saying I didn’t spend as much time at home with my kid as I wanted, but it was way more than the year before, then that’s a win. I think we’ll probably be all right.
MR Yeah. Probably. You’re right.
AH Anything else to tell the good people, Michael?
MR I don’t think so. I know we had an article we published on the website this week also that had a lot of other three-words exercises from our listeners; so go check that out. A lot of good stuff there as well. Yeah. I think it’s a great exercise; so if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. It’s pretty insightful and pretty useful.
AH And you don’t need to wait until the beginning of a year or a week or a month or whatever to do it. Start whatever you want tomorrow. And feel free to leave comments and let us know what your words are.
MR There you go. All right. Well thanks for indulging us as we do at the beginning of every year with our three-words exercise, and we will go ahead and wrap up there. A reminder: our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. We have a ton of resources there for you. As we mentioned last time, the monthly, free, blog post template and social media image is now a premium benefit; so we appreciate all of our new premium members that have been signing on over the past couple of weeks. We thank you for that. Thanks also for all the iTunes reviews and for everyone who’s been telling your friends about us. We will see you next time. Thanks for joining us.