Episode 159

May 11, 2018

The one in which we share all (well maybe not all) of the embarrassing ways we’ve screwed up running this business over the past 3 years. You’re welcome!

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The one in which we share all (well maybe not all) of the embarrassing ways we’ve screwed up running this business over the past 3 years. You’re welcome!

Sponsored by:


Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by The Jojoba Company. I firmly believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products, because our clients deserve it, and our own bodies deserve it. I’ve been using jojoba for years. Here’s why: Jojoba is nonallergenic; I can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction. Jojoba is noncomedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores; so if you have a client that’s prone to acne or breakouts, jojoba is a great choice for them. It also won’t go rancid; it doesn’t contain triglycerides like many products; so it won’t go bad. This makes jojoba a great carrier for essential oils, too. And finally, jojoba won’t stain your 100% cotton sheets; so your linens will look better for longer. And since jojoba won’t go rancid, they’ll always smell fresh and clean. For more information and to get some jojoba, go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. That’s massagebusinessblueprint.com/J-O-J-O-B-A.

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 are your hosts. Glad you’ve joined us today. You may notice the NPR feel of our podcast today because we are together in person in the same room at my recording studio here in Indianapolis. Welcome to Indianapolis, Allissa.

AH Thank you. For a minute, I thought we were at WKRP in Cincinnati.

MR I love that show. I used to watch that all the time as a kid. Did you watch that too?

AH It was — okay. Who was your favorite character?

MR I don’t know any of the characters. There was a guy in a brown suit. Who was the guy in the brown suit?

AH Dude, seriously?

MR Yeah.

AH I wanted to be Bailey, everyone. I wanted to be the sharp, young, attractive, be-spectacled, long brown-haired Bailey newsperson, like news associate. She really wanted to be a well-respected —

MR Did she have big hair?

AH No. She was the mousy one. And she was never going to get anywhere in that office, not with — was it Lonnie Anderson who played the big blonde?

MR Oh, yes.

AH Yeah. She was never going to get anywhere.

MR I do remember her. Yeah.

AH She was underappreciated; no one really appreciated her be-speckled beauty, which the same could be said about me for the 5th-8th grades before I got my contact lenses. I adored Baily; I wanted to be her. And now you all know, and I’m glad I could sing that jingle for everyone.

MR [laughs] I wonder if that jingle is copywrited. Are we going to get sued now?

AH God, I hope so.

MR Because you sung it on the air?

AH I want to be in that lawsuit right now.

MR All right. Allissa came in Sunday afternoon, so we’ve been together 24/7 for the past couple days now here in Indianapolis doing a photo shoot for our premium members, which I think is going to be awesome, and just some other stuff. We’ve got other stuff up our sleeves. It’s been fun. We had sushi last night.

AH We have played —

MR Lots of sushi.

AH We’ve been playing with Michael’s child. The toddler had the three adults running around in superhero outfits last night. Full on each of us had a mask and a cape. And first of all, we might need to talk about how many masks and capes are present in the Reynolds household. There are many.

MR Quite a few.

AH Many. And I think there’s going to be a rumble tonight with the adults fighting over the capes that have the most neck room and the masks that itch our faces the least. Yeah, we ran around the condo fighting bad guys for a while. It’s been good times, people.

MR Yeah, good times. All right. On that note, our topic today is all the things we’ve screwed up running our business. [laughs]

AH And I’m really wondering what we’re going to banter about for the next couple of episodes we record here, but I’ll find something.

MR [laughs] This was my idea. So if you hate the topic, it’s my fault. But I thought it would be fun to basically share with our listeners, all the things we’ve screwed up running Massage Business Blueprint for the past three years. Apparently, we’ve got a long list of things here. In fact, Allissa’s adding one more thing.

AH I’m adding 5 more things.

MR [laughs]

AH So we’re going to cover stuff that we have messed up here at Massage Business Blueprint, and then the second half, we’ll talk about things that I have messed up in my massage business.

MR Ooh, I like it.

AH I just thought of another one.

MR I like it. So let’s start from the top. I noticed you put one of my biggest screw ups at the very top of the list.

AH Okay, because it’s what you mentioned first.

MR That’s true. Well, it’s the one that stands out in my mind. It’s the one I’m most horrified about over the course of this business. Yeah, what happened there? Feel free to share.

AH We recorded a podcast episode with ABMP, who’s president at the time, Les Sweeney — he’s moved into a higher position now that I can’t remember the name of, sorry, we’ll just put that in the list of screw ups — so we recorded a podcast episode with Les, which we were both really excited about and also really nervous about. But the timing worked out, we were able to record, and my internet kept dropping out during the recording of the podcast, which in the earlier days was not uncommon from my office when I tried to do internet stuff. So my internet dropped out a few times, at which point Michael and Les just chatted for a minute until —

MR More like 10 minutes.

AH What? I wasn’t that long.

MR It was actually 7 minutes. I remember because I remember looking at the file — it was 7 minutes of chatter.

AH So I’m mortified trying to re-log back on and they were chatting and it was recording the whole time, and, well, we intended to edit out that blank chatter before we posted the podcast, but, Michael, what actually happened?

MR What actually happened was I published it without the edit, and then Les emailed us saying “Hey guys, it sounds like you forgot to edit out that glitch in the middle.” [laughs] I was horrified. I almost just died right there on the spot. I was so horrified. I scrambled to go grab the file, re-edit it — or actually edit it in the first place, re-upload it knowing that hundreds of people have already downloaded the file and listened to it with the unedited version. It was out of the gate without — you can’t pull that back. [laughs]

AH In the meantime, one or two of our listeners emailed us and were like hey, was that chat in the middle supposed to be there? Thank you, Sakinah, by the way, for being so gentle about that.

MR She was very nice about that.

AH Everyone was so sweet. And especially Les who was like meh, it happens.

MR At least we didn’t cuss on the air.

AH Right? Nothing — and at least — thank gosh it was Michael and Les having that dead air chatter because if it was me and Les, I would be like “Tell me about everyone you hate in the massage industry.” Right? And I would have shared about everyone I hate in the massage industry, and Les would not have because he is a professional. Yeah. Les, was nothing less than super gracious and thankfully did not ruin our relationship with ABMP. In fact, we’ve got a column with them now. Bless their hearts.

MR Look what happened there.

AH They are nothing but kind to us. Yeah, that was when Michael made a huge mistake. It was nice because Michael doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, so I got to be on the good side of that one.

The next one was me. I have on more than one occasion — it is my responsibility to send our weekly email. I have on more than one occasion completely ignored the email reminder that comes to me and says on the Thursday “Hey, Allissa, do the weekly email,” just blown that right off.

MR You get an email reminder about that?

AH Yeah, from that old thing, that list thingy you set up, which by the way I need you to stop.

MR Oh, Process Street?

AH Yeah, because I ignore it.

MR Oh, yeah. I didn’t realize that was still running.

AH Yeah. That’s got to end.

MR There you go.

AH I get nudges like three times a week to do things that I have just completely ignored now. So I ignore that weekly email as usual and then have forgotten. So then there’s been times where on Friday night or Saturday morning I’ve been “Oh my God, I got to send that weekly email out.” And for the first time in our almost three years, I completely forgot the weekly email three weeks ago and didn’t remember — and didn’t even notice that I’d forgotten it until the following week. And neither did Michael. We just didn’t notice that the weekly email didn’t go out. And it wasn’t until the following week when I went to do the weekly email that I was like did we not send an email last week?

MR Wait a minute…

AH Oh. Oh, yeah. That’s on me.

MR [laughs]

AH So that happened. And you know what? We’re still just fine. What’s next, Michael?

MR So actually this was, I think, last week/a couple weeks ago. Recently, I noticed that our podcast episode for Friday went out with no description on it. So what I do is I actually upload the edited — hopefully edited — episode every week and put it in the website, and then I put a little thing that says “Description goes here” or “Description” or something because I know Allissa is going to go in and do the copy for the episode.

AH And then he sends me a little message that says “Podcast is ready for your information.”

MR That’s true. I do send a message.

AH He sends me a message and I’m like okay; thumbs up.

MR So I look down at my phone at the next episode coming out and I noticed that it’s published with a title, but then it says “Description…” I’m like “Hey, Allissa” —

AH Yep.

MR — “do you have time to put a description in there?”

AH Hey, perhaps we could share some more information about this podcast we would like people to listen to. Sure. And so I did. But nonetheless, that was out there for several hours with zero information, and thank you all who listened anyway.

MR Yeah, I’d say a good 6 hours.

AH Yeah, whatevs. And yet people still listen to our podcast. Who knew?

MR Who knew?

AH What’s next? Another podcast foible. I think this might be the last one. Michael completely forgot to add music and sponsor stuff to one of the podcast episodes that got uploaded a few weeks ago. Man, we had a rough — I think we just had a rough month or two.

MR Maybe.

AH Whatever.

MR It was one of our most exciting episodes too. The one we really liked a lot with special guest and everything. And it was whoop, no sponsor, no music; just raw file. Luckily, we embedded the file itself, but it was just like meh.

AH So we fixed that after a little while, but there were a handful of people who listened to it without pleasant entry music and sponsorship information, but that got fixed right away.

MR And you were like “Who cares? We don’t need the music.” [laughs] I was like “We got to add the music!”

AH I don’t care about about sponsor stuff. Whatever. The next one — you want to cover or do you want me to?

MR Oh, the one about when I locked out our course participants from getting their own files, their own lectures in the course?

AH Yeah.

MR So we have a course called Transformational Journey, which is in our second round right now. We love the course and our participants by the way. I was actually setting up the second course enrollment, and in the process, I forgot exactly what I did and I kind of copied some files and changed the configuration. And suddenly a couple of our members starting posting in the Facebook group saying “Hey, I can’t access this video lecture. I thought I was supposed to be able to get to it.” I’m like oh, wait a minute. So for two days we had locked them out of their own course.

AH That was great.

MR We fixed that quickly with some back-end wizardry on the website.

AH And multiple times, I have been either in office hours or some kind of online meeting or even recording a podcast episode and thought that I was muted and haven’t been. So there’ve been a couple of times where I’ve been in an office hour or a meeting, and Dr. Boyfriend or one of the kids has wandered into the room and I just started talking to them thinking that I was on mute, when in fact, I was not. Or last week, I had an an epiphany of an idea in the middle of podcast recording, so I went to type it out on my idea sheet, and I had not muted myself and Michael called me out for my loud typing.

MR You were typing with purpose.

AH I was typing with purpose and inspiration. Yep, sometimes we forget to mute ourselves and clear our throats.

MR [clears throat]

AH Michael does that without even trying to mute himself. Whatever. That happens. Thankfully I haven’t forgotten to mute myself if I have to run to the bathroom or something.

MR [laughs]

AH I’m kidding. I’ve never run to the bathroom with my headphones and stuff on. That would be terrible.

MR While podcasting?

AH That would be terrible. Last week or the week before, I was a minute or two late to a meeting because I was trying to look up and see if the royal baby had been named yet.

MR I did not know about this one.

AH Yes, yes. Yep. I was totally — I think — what did they end up with? Louis? I think they ended up naming him Louis.

MR I have no idea.

AH Louis joins his brother George and his sister Charlotte. And can we talk about how good Kate looks maybe 6 hours after giving birth she’s like standing out in front of the hospital —

MR I saw that photo.

AH — holding that little baby. That woman is just lovely. What a treasure. She is a national treasure for that country. Yep, I was really — I really needed to know what the royal baby was being named and I was Google searching, and I was a minute or two late to a meeting for that. That happened. Typos abound.

MR Oh, so many typos. Too many typos to share.

AH So many typos and we so appreciate when people are like hey, yeah, you typo-d that. We try to fix it and I’m sure there are still several hundred up on the website that we have not —

MR They’re in the wild.

AH That’s just the way it is. What’s the last one, Michael?

MR The last on my list here is we were transferring our webcasts — our recorded webcasts for premium members over from an old video system to a new video system. In the process, I just blatantly lost a webcast. In fact, we have people asking about it. People were saying hey — it was the financial webcast — oh, yeah, let’s go get it. Oh, must have forgotten to post it. Nope. Just lost it.

AH Yep.

MR Been deleted. Gone forever.

AH I had made reference to it and been “People, you should watch the financial hacks webcast.” No. It’s gone. I’ve been waiting to finish one of the financial books I’m reading to re-record it. I’m about done so that one will be out for our premium members in a couple of weeks. We’ll have that new financial hacks webcast for you. And thanks everyone for their patience for that.

MR That sounded super professional.

AH Thank you.

MR When you get in front of a microphone like this, you’re full on NPR mode.

AH I used to be a performer.

MR I know. I’m impressed every time because you’re just a natural. Wow.

AH I’m totally going to get a really high-quality setup in my new home office that is the middle of being built. So Massage Business Blueprint listeners can try free for 30 days and save 20% off the published rate for one year by going to massagebusinessblueprint.com/artichoke.

MR Lovely.

AH All right. What’s the second portion of our podcast, Michael?

MR So you are being very generous here by sharing mess-ups in your own massage business as well. So we can go even further there.

AH Yeah.

MR Some of these I didn’t know about either. What have you messed up in your own massage business?

AH I’ve messed up so many things.

MR I see 4 things.

AH 4 things, and I’m going to think of 10 more just as I go through this list. There was a typo in my bio, my long bio, on my About page of my website for about 8 years. And I was doing a little How to Write Your Own Bio bit for our blog, I think I was teaching a class too, and I was using my own bio as an example and I had it on a slide projected in front of the classroom, and someone was like “Hey, there’s a typo there.” Yep, in class. In a Copywriting for your Massage Business class, I got typo corrected.

MR That’s awesome.

AH In my bio, which had been on my website for about 8 years. Mind you, I was still very successful; was before and have been since I fixed that typo. Yeah.

I have forgotten to change the vacation away message on my outgoing voicemail for 3-4 weeks upon returning from vacation, forgotten to fix that back to “Hey, I’m in the office” normal outgoing message until a client finally called and was like — and in their voicemail that they left — was like “Hey, you should fix that because I don’t think you’re in Tucson anymore.” I think —

MR Did this keep clients from booking with you because they thought you were away?

AH I don’t know. I mean, it could have just routed them to the website to book. I have so few people that I care about that actually call me, so I don’t think it was a major thing —

MR Fair enough.

AH — but I think that anyone who did call, probably it didn’t make me look good when I was like “I’ll be back in the office on February 2,” and it was March 3 at the time. Great.

MR Ooh, yeah.

AH Yeah, good going, Allissa. I have forgotten client’s name in the middle of the massage multiple times or called them the wrong name. When you forget, it’s not that big a deal because you can just not use their name. But I have, in fact, done that wrong and given — addressed the client with an incorrect name.

I have not remembered that client has been in before. They book an appointment and for whatever reason I didn’t notice that they had a client history, and so they walked in the door and I have been ready with a new client intake form. Yep. And been like “Oh, hi! It’s nice to meet you! I have an intake form for you.” And they look at my funny and they’re like “Yeah, I’ve been here before. It was only about 6 months ago.” Oh. It’s forgivable when it’s a couple of years, but it has happened in situations that was more recent. Luckily, with my new scheduling system it doesn’t happen anymore because I’ve got things flagged a little differently. But it happened a couple of times back when I was using paper and pencil and a previous scheduling system.

There have been many, many more foibles: draping incidents, trying to stretch something and just doing a terrible job, running over my own foot with my roll-y stool on a regular occasion, more draping things that have happened, just being dumb at my gig sometimes in both the hands on and the marketing and networking stuff. And it happens. And yet, we are all able to pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off and continue to run a semi-successful, if not occasionally embarrassing, business.

MR [laughs] I’ve done all those things as well in my other — in marketing business for example. I’ve had typos in my bio; I’ve forgotten client’s names; I’ve called clients the wrong name in a meeting — like in a meeting 3 times until he finally corrected me “Actually, my name is not Kevin.” Oh my God, I’m so sorry.

AH You know, it popped up in the massage — in our private premium member discussion group last week where someone had missed an email that was a solicitation to do a chair gig, and they just didn’t see the email for 3 weeks, and they felt mortified. And they called the person and they apologized, and the position for the chair massage gig had been filled already, but she felt just completely mortified and in tears about it. Actually, going back to our podcast recording with Les Sweeney, Les Sweeney emailed me and it, for whatever reason, went to my junk mail box and I did not seen that email for 2 1/2. Yup.

MR I know that.

AH I ignored an email from them by accident for 2 1/2 months. Y’all should be blessed to deal with people as gracious and kind as those at ABMP. You know what? These things happen. Happening occasionally will not wreck your business or burn it to the ground. You are human, and it’s how do deal with these situations and how you respond to them that indicates your character and shows who you are as a human and a business owner and a massage therapist. Dealing with these things well, being able to recover, shake it off and carry on; that’s really what matters. Foibles are going to happen.

MR If you ever think you’re bad at business, relisten to this episode, and we’ll hopefully help you get through it. Anything else come to mind? Any other glaring errors that come to mind?

AH No, I’m embarrassed enough. We can wrap that up.

MR You embarrassed enough? Me too. We’ll go ahead and stop there, lest we embarrass ourselves any further. So that wraps it up for today. Thank you so much for joining us. Reminder, our website, assuming it’s up and running, is as massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com if you have any questions, topics, things you want us to bring up in future episodes. We appreciate all the iTunes reviews. We’ve gotten a couple of new ones lately. We really, really appreciate that. So thank you so much for that. And until then, we will see you next time. Have an awesome day.

AH Bye.

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