Episode 187

Nov 2, 2018

Sure, you run a massage business. But…why? Being clear on your mission, about what your business does for others as well as what it does for you, can make decisions so much easier.

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Sure, you run a massage business. But…why? Being clear on your mission, about what your business does for others as well as what it does for you, can make decisions so much easier.

Sponsored by The Jojoba Company & The Center for Barefoot Massage

Halloween costumes as promised:


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’re your hosts. We’re glad you’ve joined us today. Welcome, welcome ,everybody. It is a cold, rainy day in my neck of the woods for my weather report. How about you? What’s your weather report, Allissa?

AH Cold but clear, and it’s going to be a really good night for trick-or-treating.

MR Yeah, we’re recording this on Halloween as you probably guessed by now. I’m glad you’ve got good weather for trick-or-treating. It’s supposed to rain for us, but I brought a couple of huge umbrellas so we can cluster around Eli and keep him dry while he parades around as a ninja and collects candy, so we’ve got it all covered. We’re good to go.

AH I’m so excited because I get to stay home and give out candy this year, which is a big deal. I haven’t done that in probably 10 or 15 years. Last year, I took the older kid out with her friends, which was a challenging experience, and I don’t have to go out this year. And my grandbaby is coming over, and I am in charge of his costume.

MR Oh my gosh, you are going to have a blast.

AH I know. Bless, bless my step-daughter for allowing me to be in charge of his costume. It is the greatest gift she could give a grandparent. I am so excited. We will make sure that pictures of our children’s and grandchildren’s costumes are posted along with these show notes and probably all the heck over our social media.

MR Yeah.

AH So that’s going to happen, people. Thanks for sticking with us through this family-related banter.

MR [laughs] So we’re talking mission today on the podcast. Specifically how knowing your mission can guide your decisions in your massage practice. I know you’ve got some thoughts. I have a couple thoughts here, but I know you — where do you want to start?

AH Yeah, so I want to kind of talk about how your mission statement, which doesn’t have to be grand, and we’ll have some examples, is a really powerful tool in not just nailing down who you serve, but helping you make all of the decisions in your business.

And it’s a two-parter. Your mission statement actually has two parts. You name what your business is doing for who you want it to do it for. So what your business does for the community you want to serve. And then it’s the second part that often gets left out, which is what your business does for you. And we’re going to use Massage Business Blueprint as an example. And then in the second half, I’m going to use my massage practice as an example as what we’ve laid out, how it serves us, and how it helps us make decisions.

So Massage Business Blueprint. Massage Business Blueprint is a member-based community designed to help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve the quality of your life. So we specifically focus on independent massage business owners, usually one-person offices. That was our first and primary focus. It’s expanded a little bit, but whenever I’m not sure what to do, I got back to that core of helping independent massage business owners attract more clients, make more money, improve the quality of your life. That’s our Massage Business Blueprint mission. But the reason that we do this and how it serves Michael and I on our side, why we do this, is because we like massage therapists and this is a web-based business that we can work on remotely from different parts of the country. So we get to work together, like I get to have a business with one of my best friends, which is super fun. And then we can do this remotely on a variable schedule that serves and fits in well with the rest of our lives. So we’re serving the massage community in a very specific way, and we are serving ourselves as the owners of this business by making our business function a certain way.

Michael, I know that you want to expand on that, I hope.

MR Yeah, a little bit. I mean, you said it very well. I think– and I forgot who — it’s been so long, it’s been over three or four years. It’s been so long since we put this together initially that I’m not sure how we arrived at this or who kind of baked in what language, but we did arrive at this particular kind of statement. And I really like the reasoning behind it because it kind of — each component has a specific reason behind it.

So first of all, “a member-based community” is just kind of saying hey, we have a community of people, we have a membership plan, blah blah blah. But really the three things are designed to help you attract more clients. Every massage therapist seems to agree that they would love to have at least a few more clients; growth is a goal for a lot of our members. They want to make more money. And we specifically put that in because — I personally feel like we put that in because there is this stereotype of massage therapists being kind of resistant to money and resistant to feeling like they deserve more money. And so we want to kind of plainly state that we want you to have permission to feel like it’s okay for you to make more money; that is a good, positive thing. And then finally, to improve your quality of life. Me personally, this speaks to me because there’s so much hype out there. There’s a lot of hype around hey, make a ton of money with this magical secret or whatever. And when you put all these things together, we’re not trying to say that you’re going to become like this multi-millionaire as a massage therapist or there’s a magical button you can push. It’s very specific little tweaks that if you turn the levers on these particular things, they’re going to add up to give you a better lifestyle and actually a better lifestyle practice.

And so, again, “attracting more clients” is a lever we want to pull; “making more money” as a result is a lever we want to pull through niching and maybe charging more money, etc., and ultimately “improving our quality of life” because that’s really why a lot of our members are in business because they love the work they do, they don’t want to be working 60 hours a week, and they want to make enough money to feel successful and empowered. And those levers all kind of pulled together in tandem strategically can really improve our members’ quality of life. And so that’s why it’s — at least I think we stated it that way. I’m not sure if that makes any sense. I feel like I didn’t quite explain that super clearly.

AH I think you got it, and I think we have more examples coming up where that will become even more obvious. And I also just want to jump back to make sure that Michael gets full-on credit because he totally came up with that whole “attract more clients, make more money, improve the quality of your life.” He really bulleted down all of the random rants that I had — that was like a 150% Michael. I think on his first shot coming up with a bunch of our stuff at the very beginning, like, nailed it. So 100% credit to Michael on that one. Hey, you don’t get much right so I like to throw you a bone.

MR Fair enough, fair enough. I’ll take what I get.

AH [laughs] Oh, good times. So in a minute, we’re going to move on to yeah, that’s great, but how does this, in practice, help you make decisions? We’re going to get to that, but first we are going to cover our halftime sponsor. Michael, who’s our halftime sponsor today?

MR It is our friends at the Center for Barefoot Massage. Glad to have them back on the sponsor rotation.

AH It’s been a while.

Sponsor message Thank you, Center for Barefoot Massage for sponsoring us and keeping our lights on as well as offering Ashiatsu continuing education across the country. They focus on a unique blend of anatomy-driven, game-changing, career-saving “FasciAshi” courses that will totally empower you to provide massage techniques with your feet. With this alternative to wearing out your fingers, wrists, and shoulders, they’ll work to invigorate your career and enhance your quality of life. And it all starts from your foundation: your feet.

I and want to throw a little side note in here that I am so pleased to be part of the FasciAshi community on Facebook. They have a wonderfully, beautifully supportive alumni group that is probably, I’d say, the second or third massage therapy based private — okay I’m going to say it’s the second-best private group because it’s private. And I never like to un-include Massage Sloth, but his group is public so whatevs. But Center for Barefoot Massage has this fantastic private alumni discussion group where alumni can really connect and work through the intricacies of starting their Ashiatsu practice and evolving their practice into all or partial Ashiatsu. I’ve watched so many great questions come up in the past couple weeks, and I’ve been so enjoying how the community has supported each other. So I wanted to make sure I did a shout-out about that. You can learn more at massagebusinessblueprint.com/barefoot and get yourself some information on Ashiatsu continuing education and extend your career.

AH All right, we’re jumping back. Sorry, Michael, I thought you might pop in with a segue.

MR Oh, oh, sorry.

AH But I didn’t actually ask you —

MR Clearly, we planned this episode very well. [laughs]

AH Apparently.

MR Thank, guys. We appreciate you being a sponsor. [laughs]

AH There you go.

MR There’s my segue. You’re welcome.

AH Yeah. So let’s jump into an example of my massage practice and how knowing my mission for my community and for me helps me make decisions. My massage practice is focused on massage therapy for people who need calm. I define that as people with anxiety and extreme stress, which probably defines like 50% of the population. And even more specifically, I nailed that down to people with small kids in the home and business owners. Those are two targets of people who have super extreme stress and often higher proportions of diagnosed anxiety. So that is who I serve very specifically. People with anxiety who have kids in the house or own a business. Done.

I want to help them be more calm. I want to help them be more in control of their lives. So I call it massage therapy for people who need calm, and the bigger explanation I just gave you. So that’s great. That’s who I’m serving. That’s my mission in my community in my business.

But for me, internally, the mission for my business is to serve my community in this way, but also keep my work hours to 35 hours a week of seeing patients and maintaining the business and to make enough money in that time frame and to be able to do so in the environment that makes me most happy. So I like to be in my massage office. I like my office. I have it set up beautifully. I have officemates who I adore and I want to be in my office for the bulk of those 35 hours doing the work that I do. This helps me decide what opportunities to take and what opportunities to seek out and which I don’t need. What things to say no to.

For me, I got invited to go do on-site massage at a wellness fair. I looked into this thing, and it was a bunch of holistic practitioners and a couple of no-so-holistic practitioners, but they were mostly looking to serve this athletically-oriented group of people. And I thought about it and I looked at it, and I know some of the clientele for this fitness place — a lot of them have families and young kids, but the kind of work involved was not the kind of calm, anxiety-related, relaxation work that I want to do. And coupled with the fact that it was going to pull me out of my office to do that work, I was like yeah, no. Thank you so much for the opportunity, but that’s not the best thing for me.

Whereas, I was asked to donate a gift certificate to a local parent-teacher organization fundraiser where there will be lots of parents bidding on different items and auction stuff, and I looked into that. I thought about who was going to be there; I thought about the fact that the school it was going to be held at is right up the street from my office and the clientele there, the people there, the audience there was going to be all people with small children. And I was like, yeah, that’s my demographic, yo. So I do, in fact, want to donate a gift cert and a gift basket to this particular fundraiser. It’s a good place where my target people will go.

And I get to make these decisions with my core principles, with my missions, for my business and for me in mind. That has helped guide all of my decisions. The things become so much easier when you already have the answers in front of you and you just have to think through your motivations.

I can say no to things happily and openly and refer them to another therapist who might utilize that opportunity better, and I can say yes to things feeling really good and not at all annoyed or resentful that I’m donating something or giving my time. So that’s my example there. Michael, what do you got?

MR I’m in a mode of simplification these days, and I think my favorite part about what you described is how it simplifies your life and your business and your decision making. Because you’re right. I see a lot of massage therapist and business owners in general that have all these opportunities and they can’t figure out what to do and what to say yes to and what to say no to. And it seems trivial, but the more decisions you have to make on a daily basis, the more complicated your life becomes and the slower everything moves. And so when you simplify your decision-making process, everything accelerates. Your ability to take on clients accelerates, your ability to grow your business accelerates, your ability to implement marketing accelerates, and you find you have more time because everything is moving faster. This is a very difficult principle to put in a spreadsheet and prove, but it really makes a big difference. I guess I’m saying I agree, obviously, wholeheartedly. [laughs] But the simplification is the key for me. That make sense?

AH It totally does.

MR Yeah.

AH So I hope that in this very short little episode, we’ve kind of made it clear that it could be a good idea to think through specifically what you want to do for the constituents, the audience, the community you want to serve, and how that’s going to serve you. And this is a much bigger process; it is a lot to think through. But just getting started, coming up with a few bullet points, can really help guide your future decisions.

MR Right on. Goes with the niching, too.

AH Yeah, it really does. But I think people are tired of hearing about niching so I wanted to back off on that for a little bit.

MR Are they really?

AH We beat it out of them earlier in the year. And if people aren’t going to niche, they’re just not going to get over that scary stuff and do it —

MR [laughs] At this point, yeah, the line has been drawn.

AH It’s okay. It’s okay. And if you’re new and you want to know what niching is, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can type the word “niching,” N-I-C-H-I-N-G, or “specialize” into the search bar in the footer and hear the bajillion podcasts we did about it and see all our articles about it. But if you just know you’re never, ever, ever going to pick a target, like a specialized audience, then just think about this mission tip and maybe that will help you.

MR [laughs] All right. Well that wraps it up for today. Thanks for joining us, everybody. Reminder our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. Check us out there. If you have a question or a topic for us that you’d like for us to cover or discuss in a future episode, email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. We get a lot of emails there and some of them are random questions and some of them are topics or some of them are criticisms, and we take it all. We respond to pretty much all of it and really enjoy all the feedback. We very much appreciate that. We also appreciate iTunes reviews, so feel free to leave us a review there. If you love the show, leave us a review and tell a friend. We’d appreciate that as well. Till then, see you next time. Have a great day.

AH Bye.