Episode 139

Jan 26, 2018

Business decision are often fraught with emotion, here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you make solid decisions (and still sleep at night).

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Business decision are often fraught with emotion, here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you make solid decisions (and still sleep at night).

This episode 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. Glad you’ve joined us. Allissa, what’s going on? How are you?

AH I’m good. I am fully nourished having eaten all of my breakfast and lunch and had a snack. I’m on my second lunch right now —

MR Oh. Second lunch.

AH — and you haven’t had any lunch today?

MR I have not. I’m forced to skip lunch today due to my self-imposed scheduling error. So yep. No lunch for me today. So far, I’m powering through it. I think I’ll last without collapsing.

AH I believe in you.

MR Yeah. So with that, we’ve got a fun topic. Our topic today is two questions to work through emotion in business decisions. I love this. I’m really excited to hear what you think about this, because I’ve been dealing with a lot of emotion in business lately. [laughs]

AH Yeah?

MR Some ups and downs —

AH Me too!

MR — yeah. What are you thinking?

AH So I whined about this a little in the last episode: that I’m having a tough business week and that I do best reacting — I react better reacting to situations when I pause and ask myself a few questions first. I have found that when I have things come up that require decision-making in my business, they are often appropriately emotional, because we build these businesses and they are a reflection of us in many ways, and they are — for lack of a better word, I hate this, but they are our babies. They are things that we have made and grow and help to grow and thrown our passions into, and so making decisions around our business can be — it can be emotional. And rightly so. So I’ve got two different situations and two different questions for different things surrounding our businesses.

The first one is when you find yourself putting off a task, or when you find yourself in a situation where you’re having a conflict or a difference of opinion with other people related to your business, or again, you’re finding stuff that you just don’t want to do, it helps to ask What will happen if I just don’t do this? I’ve been reading a book called Essentialism, and I’d heard this question on a podcast I listened to with Gretchen Reuben for — a while back; so it’s not the first time many of you are hearing this. But if that email’s been sitting in your inbox for 12 months, you’re probably never going to deal with it; so maybe you need to accept that you’re not going to deal with it. And really ask yourself, “What will happen if I don’t do this?” What will happen if I don’t answer this email about doing some free charity gig? Or what would happen if I stop — I don’t do this charity gig that I’ve been doing for five years? What will happen? And usually when you work through what would actually happen if you make that decision, you feel really good about letting go of it, but you just have to think through that situation. I’m going through this right now where I’ve worked at a charity event and sponsored a certain charity thing for a couple years in a row, and I don’t want to do it this year. I’m dreading, dreading hearing about it coming up, and there’s a few changes happening with the event; so this might be a good time for me to step back. And I really thought through the other day what would happen if I don’t go to this event anymore? Am I going to lose any current clients? Am I going to lose goodwill in the community? I decided I might a little bit, but I’m kind of okay with that. And I thought of some other ways I could support the event without me actually having to be there.

But I also found that this question can be evolved and translate to a few different things. So what would happen if I don’t react to this thing? What would happen if I just stop caring about this? And this works really well if you are sharing space, or if you have other people involved in your decision making, and if you have to consider other people in your decision making and people disagree with you — what would happen if I stopped caring about this? What would happen if I stop caring if the website if laid out this way versus this way? It works really well in a whole bunch of situations. And I also reframe that to be I care about this less than…, and then I include the upside of a situation. So, for example, it will always be a thing that whoever takes the last roll of paper towels from under the sink is not going to refill them. They are just not going to go into the storage closet and get five more rolls of paper towels. It is a thing that I am always going to have to keep an eye on. But last time this happened, and I noticed that nobody had refilled the paper towels, in my head I actually said, “You know what? I care less about the paper towel situation than the integrity of the practitioners sharing this office space with me.” I’m not going to care about the darned paper towels. And it works really, really well! It reframes a situation. I care less about the people who are going to miss me at this charity event than I do about spending my resources and my time in a manner that supports my business. And that one sounds a little bit harsh, because I hadn’t practiced that. I’m going to have to reframe that one a little better so I don’t sound like a jerk. But it really works. It works at home. It works when the kids have a puzzle all over the table, and they’ve had it there since Christmas, and I thought to myself, “I care less that there has been a puzzle completely covering the dining room table for two weeks than I do about” — I think I said that one wrong; I’m going to flip that around. I care more that the kids had a really good time working on this puzzle together than I do about having a smooth surface upon which to eat my dinner. It works really well in all situations. So that’s my first one. And let’s take a moment for our halftime sponsor. Michael, who is our halftime sponsor today?

MR Today we’re talking about Soap Vault, which is actually one of our newer sponsors that I’m really excited about, because I’ve had my eye on exploring them for a while, and I think a lot of our listeners probably work with them as well. So what’s up with Soap Vault?

Sponsor message Managing your practice can be time consuming, and SOAP Vault can help with that. SOAP Vault helps you complete your SOAP notes in seconds. They have predictive SOAP charting that learns how you chart and can finish your sentences. You can allow your patients to book online, send text reminders, sync with Google calendar, and so much more. Starting at just $19 per month, SOAP Vault is excellent quality while still affordable. And I will just note that the thing I like about SOAP Vault is that it’s super easy to export — to access and export your old client notes. If for some reason you decide that you are going to change services or you’re going to shut down your practice, you can stop paying the $19 a month and still access all your old notes. It’s not one of those services where once you start using them you’re stuck with them forever and ever. They are super legit and high in integrity and they don’t try to trap you in, because it’s such a good serve you’re going to want to be in. You can learn more at massagebusinessblueprint.com/soapvault, S-O-A-P-V-A-U-L-T.

AH And now we’re going to jump into our second question, and this one is actually inspired by one of our premium members who mentioned this in one of our online office hours, and I have totally stolen it. When you are making decisions about your business, and you’re finding yourself emotionally attached to these decisions, straight up ask What does the math say? It is not the only way that you will make decisions, but when you are having a hard time thinking about what to pay your employees or if you should rent out another room or what you want to do, figuring out the math — really sitting down looking at the potential with the numbers for any particular change that you make, figuring out how the thing, the decision, will impact your bottom line — asking “what does the math say?” will take some of the emotion out of making this decision. And, I think oftentimes, if we do this, we’ll find that maybe we’ve been making decisions that make us take the financial hit for someone else’s benefit, paying our employees too much. Or it will help us realize that we’ve been making a money decision based on guilt or some other emotion, and really putting the math down on paper can also give you a justification if you need to talk to someone else about your decision. That can often help. I think we tend to not be transparent with money things and that can lead to a lot of resentment. But really sitting down and saying “what does the math say?” will help take the emotion out of decisions, and I think that’s a weak spot for a lot of us. I’m done, Michael.

MR I needed this. I really needed this topic today, personally. [laughs] This is really helpful to me.

AH Me too.

MR No, I’m sure we all do. But it really helped me, because I’m very guilty of hanging on to that email for 12 months or hanging on to that thing that I really think I’m going to do, and I’m really going to follow through, and I really want to help this person, and it’s just not going to happen. I just need to admit that it’s just not going to happen. It’s a money thing too. We all do this. I really needed this today. Thank you. It was awesome. Good, good advice —

AH Well, I’m glad this helped. Really thinking it through —

MR — for me as well as our listeners.

AH — and talking through these questions — thinking through them and then talking through them with a colleague that I trust has been super helpful to me. So yeah. That’s what I want to say.

MR Awesome. Thank you. All right. Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us as always. Reminder our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. Check us out there. You can email us topics and questions and anything you want to say at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com via email. We really appreciate all the iTunes reviews; I just found a couple more recently that warmed my heart. We love all those reviews; we appreciate the feedback. Thanks again for joining us. We’ll see you next time.

AH Bye.

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