Episode 275

Jan 17, 2020

Pay for things that work. Be frugal but don’t be dumb.

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What caught our attention this week?

Discussion Topic

Pay for things that work. Be frugal but don’t be dumb.

Quick Tip

  • Be better at communication, especially when you are doing something for the first time.
  • MailerLite


  • Acuity Scheduling
  • The Jojoba Company
  • Yomassage


Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by The Jojoba Company. I 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 and here’s why: Jojoba is nonallergenic; I can use it on any client and every client safely without a fear of allergic reaction. It won’t clog pores, so I can use it on all my clients who are prone to acne breakouts. Jojoba does not go rancid; it makes jojoba a great carrier for essential oils. And it won’t stain your 100% cotton sheets. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. And you, our listeners, can get 10% off orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, that’s J-O-J-O-B-A. massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I am Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.

MR And we’re your hosts. Allissa, how are you feeling about today’s show?

AH I’m feeling excited about it. We got lots of little tidbits, and also we’ve gotten some good feedback on the new format. And I’m very excited.

MR Good. Glad to hear it.

AH Oh, we have a —

MR Yeah, go ahead.

AH — new review.

MR We do?

AH We do. And of course, I had it in front of me and when I sat down and set my computer up, I immediately lost it.

MR Well, you should definitely go find it.

AH But I have — okay, I’m just opening the photo. Here we go. Okay. And now I can’t —

MR I mean, I could find it too, but I’m being lazy since you said —

AH Okay. I’m going to find it —

MR [Laughing]

AH — but not till the end of the episode because now I —

MR I’m on the edge of my seat. Okay.

AH Okay. But let’s just get going.

MR Are. Let’s get going. So let’s start with weekly roundup. So what are we reading? What caught our attention this week? You want to go first, Allissa?

AH I’ll go first. People, there’s a new podcast from Whiney Lowe and Til Luchau called The Thinking Practitioner. I will put a link to it in the show notes. It is so good. They’ve got four episodes up right now. I think a fifth one is coming this week. The first two are just a little bit about their backstory. If you don’t know Whitney and Til, the are both massage educators. They’ve been around a long time. Hearing their backstories and how they ended up getting into massage and just the little nuggets of wisdom that they dropped in the first two episodes that was just kind of backstory, I am so excited. I am almost done with Episode 2. I’m sorry; I’ve been listening kind of slow. But 3 gets into sacroiliac joint pain; Episode 4, I think is going to be a pretty deep one with key challenges facing our field. And I am so excited about it. It’s called The Thinking Practitioner. Again, they’ve got some great sponsors. They have a great format. And every massage therapist should be listening to this podcast. And that’s what I think. The Thinking Practitioner with Til and Whitney.

MR Yay!

AH That’s what I’ve been — that’s what’s catching my eye this week.

MR Nice. Thanks for the shout out to them. Very cool.

All right, so mine is a little morbid. Not very happy and jolly.

AH [Laughing]

MR [Laughing]. I read an article this week called Why You Need to Make a When I Die File Before It’s Too Late (sic). [Laughing] So it’s actually really important, but it’s obviously a little — not an uplifting thing necessarily. But I was reading it because it’s one of those things that in my other profession I talk a lot about legacy stuff and planning for worst-case scenarios and being respectful to the people that love you by preparing for stuff like that.

And this article was really — it’s from Time Magazine. It’s from the middle of last year, I think, August of 2019. And it kind of starts with a story about this woman who was 81. She was driving to her daughter’s house for Thanksgiving, and she had a heart attack and died. And then her children were kind of picking up the pieces, figuring out what to do from that point on. And they went to her house and opened up this little box that was on the kitchen counter, and they expected, oh, it’s a recipe box or something. And it was actually full of all the stuff that they would need to organize her affairs. Things like account numbers, banking transactions, documents to settle her affairs, the will, all the stuff they would need to distribute her estate and kind of take care of everything. Passwords, stuff like that. So it was — the daughter talks about how loving this act was that her mother put this together because that saved them probably tens or hundreds of hours of time in dealing with this because she was so organized about it.

And the article kind of just emphasizes the point that we don’t want to think about this stuff. We don’t want to think about oh, what if I die? what happens? because it just seems so improbably and ethereal and intangible. But with a little bit of effort, we can put together a legacy document or a legacy drawer or file or system that if we die, that the people that love us have the gift of the organization needed to handle things efficiently and with as little pain as possible from a logistical standpoint. So I really like this article’s point to emphasize that, to remind us of that.

Some examples that I do personally, I’ve got a legacy file in my digital system. My wife is the contact for recovering my LastPass and Facebook accounts. And Allissa, you’re — as you know, you’re a recovery contact as well as a backup. So it’s important to have trusted people you love in your life that can kind of handle this stuff for you.

So I really liked it. It was not necessarily uplifting. It was a little morbid, but I think it’s really important for us all to think about.

AH I — it’s so wild. This weekend I was having a conversation with Walt about — I was actually showing him LastPass, the password system that we use. And I was explaining to him the backup, the emergency backup stuff and how it’s easy to share passwords and then if something happens to me — I actually was like, if something happens to me, you need to call Michael because he’s the backup on my LastPass because Walt doesn’t have LastPass set up yet.

MR Yeah.

AH And [Laughing] I was like, you’re going to have to call Michael if you need stuff.

MR [Laughing]

AH But he’ll help you out. He’ll help you through it. But yeah, I actually have — in my inbox — in my email inbox right now I’ve had the estate planning information from an attorney. Walt and I got it back in June, and we just haven’t made the appointment yet to make it all happen. And we’ve been — it’s silly that we’ve been putting it off, but we are watching a friend try to unravel her deceased sister’s life right now. Her sister died kind of suddenly. She was sick, but then she died in an accident. And thankfully the guardianship for her daughter was all set up. But watching the friend have to unravel all of the real estate stuff, and the will was not the way it should have been, and things had not been probated properly, and it’s been really tough watching her deal with the red tape on top of taking on guardianship of a kid.

And this is so important.

MR It really is.

AH All of this is so important. And I’m just going to throw in another factor. If you’re single — if you’re partnered, but you’re not legally married, there’s a whole other layer. Walt and I need to get this done so that we are each other’s — for lack of a better terminology — next of kin. Because we’re not married, but we’re long-term partnered and committed as if we were married, but when you don’t legally marry, you lose a lot of default status, so it’s a big thing. And there’s a lot of complexity, too, with having kids from a prior relationship. And there’s so much complexity, and I realize if I’m in a car accident tomorrow, it’s my parents who are making the decisions about what happens to me. [Laughing] And who would be having to handle probating my stuff. And that’s — well, it’s not fair to them, but also I’m not close enough to them to really want them being the ones making my decisions. So it’s really — especially if you’re single. Especially if you’re single, people, you really have to do some thinking about who you want handling all your stuff.

MR Yeah.

AH And child-free if you’re children are not adults yet, things like that. So anyhow. I’m really glad you brought this up, and I’ve got the Time article up, and I’m totally excited to read it. So thank you, Michael.

MR Yeah, yeah.

AH What’s next?

MR On a lighter note, let’s show some love to our sponsor Yomassage today.

AH Yay!

Sponsor message Yomassage combines restorative stretching, massage, and mindfulness in small group sessions. They have limited in-person trainings for 2020. You can see them in August on February 3rd (sic), Portland March 2nd. Virtual trainings begin the first Monday of each month. Space is limited in both personal and virtual trainings. You can get $50 off —

AH I’m going to start that again because I just fumbled the sentence.

MR You can do it, Allissa, you can do it. [Laughing]

AH I’m struggling. I can do it.

Sponsor message Massage Business Blueprint listeners can get $50 off trainings January through March using the code BLUEPRINT. You can find out more by going to yomassage.com. Check out their virtual trainings, their in-person trainings. Use code BLUEPRINT — all caps, one word — to get $50 off trainings from January through March. Again, yomassage.com.

MR And as a side note, they will be featured in an upcoming episode as an interview coming up here soon. So we’re excited about that.

AH That’s right. They will. I’m excited about that. They’re like marketing whizzes, and also, just, I love their background and everything, and I’m glad that they have partnered with us.

MR Yeah, yeah. All right, what are we talking about today?

AH So we’re talking about me wanting to tell you that it’s okay to pay for things that work.

MR Oh, my gosh.

AH Like frugality is awesome, and it’s really important when you’re bootstrapping a business. Michael and I both advocate for not building up debt when you’re trying to grow a business and doing things step by step as you can and being mindful about your expenditures. However, I’ve had a bunch of funny situations lately all about — funnily all about online scheduling.

There’s a client of mine who just opened a local business in my town, kind of tutoring for kids who need help with tutoring. And she was so funny. The other day, she goes, so my partner wants to cancel or change our online skeg because it’s $30 a month and she feels like that’s too much to pay, but we love it. It lets us do events and individual sessions and have all of our teachers — and I started laughing.

MR [Laughing]

AH And she’s like, what? And I was like if your online scheduling is only $30 a month and it does all the things that you need it to do, leave it alone. Do not change it. Do not deal with a new learning curve. If it’s $30 a month and it does all the things you want it to do — if it’s $100 a month and does all the things you want it to do, you’re winning. Do not change.

MR Yeah, it’s making you more money than it costs. Absolutely.

AH Right? But she had no perspective on how much one should spend for online scheduling for a business her size. And it was really cute too because she’s like when should we start to worry that we don’t have enough clients. And I’m like, well, you’re doing all the things — you got — I thought she was six or eight months into the business. I said, if you don’t have 75% of your schedule filled at this point, I’d be happy to sit with you and talk about some local marketing stuff. And I was like, but wait. How long have you been open? And she’s like, five weeks. They’ve been open in their tutoring business for five weeks, and they’ve already run three successful events with like 10 kids each or something. And they have some one-to-one tutoring clients. And they’ve only been open five weeks. I started laughing again. I’m like, you’re doing great.

MR And they’re worried about 30 bucks a month for online scheduling. [Laughing]

AH Yeah, it was — but this — they’re very new small business owners, so they don’t have any perspective. But again, this was posted in our premium group, a member is trying a scheduling service that’s a little bit bigger and broader and has more features and handles classes and individual sessions and all these things and was about to pull the trigger on it, but then was kind of second guessing because I think it’s like between $70 or $90 a month. But it’s all inclusive. It does all the things of detailed SOAP notes, it’s HIPAA compliant, it’s all of the things, and a bunch — I’m so delighted to hear a bunch of people pop in and be like, it does all the things. It’s okay to pay $70 a month.

So I’m super cheaper. I — it’s no secret I use Acuity. Their sponsor message is coming up in a minute. But — and I think I’m grandfathered into the one that’s $10 or $15 a month. It’s not perfect. It doesn’t do exactly all of the things I wish it did. But it suits me and the price works for me. That said, if I needed more features — and there have been times — when I was running a yoga studio, I used a different system that was more expensive and I even used a higher level of Acuity for a while that was more expensive — I didn’t mind paying for it because it had all the features that I needed.

So we tend to nickel and dime ourselves, but — and here’s my criteria. If there’s a tool that you’re paying for or a service that you’re paying for that does something that you yourself cannot do, it’s okay to pay for it. I can clean my own office. So if I’m cutting costs, I’m not going to pay, whatever, $100 a week to have professional cleaners come in and clean my office. I’m going to do it myself. But I cannot design an online scheduling system that does all the things I need it to do. So I’m going to be okay putting out money for that.

Bookkeeping’s kind of a gray area. Bookkeeping you can probably do the simplest level of bookkeeping yourself. But when it’s more complex — I used a bookkeeper when I had a whole bunch of contractors and I had income coming from different streams because of the yoga classes and stuff. There was nothing wrong with paying, and it was worth the price to pay for a bookkeeper because I could not do it myself. And while I probably could have, I did not want to embrace the learning curve and the complexity of it scared me.

So it’s okay to pay for tools and services for things you cannot do yourself, and it’s okay to pay a little more if you’re making the money and can cover it and you’re not going into debt to do it. So pay for things that work and don’t feel guilty about it.

That’s my discussion topic. I’m done. You can go, Michael. I know you have things to say.

MR I think the phase is “stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.” That’s kind of the mindset a lot of times as business owners because we do want to be so frugal. No, I think you said it all. I agree. There’s so much stuff. I mean, bookkeeping is a great example. I’m a big advocate of paying for bookkeeping no matter who you are. Now, again, a tiny business, yeah, you might be fine just doing it yourself. But even if you can do it really well yourself, is it the best use of your time? And it’s not so much about whether you can or cannot. In certain cases, it’s the best use of your time. Is it better for you to be serving clients or doing marketing, or is it better for you to get into QuickBooks and mess with bookkeeping? And I would argue —

AH I hate QuickBooks so hard. And once I got rid of QuickBooks, I went back to doing my own bookkeeping, and I love it.

MR [Laughing] That’s a whole different discussion.

AH I love it. But that’s the thing. These choices are individual, and they’re not wrong. Unless you’re swimming in debt because you’re outsourcing too much, the decisions are not wrong.

MR Yeah.

AH All right, what’s next.

MR That is fair. Well, it’s a great segue into our sponsor, Acuity, today. Speaking of online scheduling…

AH Speaking of Acuity.

MR Tell us more.

Sponsor message Acuity Scheduling is your online assistant working 24/7 to fill your schedule. No more phone tag. Yay! Clients can quickly view your real-time availability, book their own appointments. They can pay online. They can reschedule with a click. It’s so easy. You look professional because you’ve got this modern technology at your fingertips, and you’re making things easy for your clients. You, my friends, can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. And you can check that out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

MR All right. Quick tip time.

AH Okay. You go first.

MR Me go first?

AH You go first.

MR Okay. So I have found a new email marketing program, and I want to tell the world about it because I love it so much. [Laughing] It’s called MailerLite. Mailer, L-I-T-E, and there’ll be a link to it in the show notes. But the reason I like it — I’ve been kind of fumbling through email marketing programs for a while. I’ve tried Mailchimp. I’ve tried Constant Contact. I’ve tried Sendinblue. I’ve tried, I think, something else. I’ve tried AWeber in the past. And they work fine. They work really well, but I’ve always felt they’re clunky.

And I always felt like they’re were trying to add on features all the time to be more than they were originally meant to be. Mailchimp has all these features now, and all the other programs are adding marketing automation, all kinds of stuff. And they’re just getting more complex. And for my — for another business I have, I want to make it really simple. All I want to do is send emails. You know what? All I want to do is I want to send an email newsletter. I don’t want automation. I don’t want fancy stuff. I don’t want a bunch of fancy things. I just want to send beautiful emails, and I want it to be easy to put together. So I’m like, there’s got to be a better way. I can mention Joey trying to open the milk, you know? There’s got to be a better way. [Laughing]

AH [Laughing]

MR And I found something. I love MailerLite. I was googling, and I finally came across MailerLite, and it’s exactly what I wanted. It’s simple. It is free for up to 1000 contacts, which is perfect for me. The drag-and-drop email editor is super clean, and it just feels good to use. You just drag little blocks up to your emails, and you just put logos and images and text in and it just looks beautiful. And all it does is it sends emails. It’s so clean, so beautifully designed, so easy to use, so free, and it’s perfect for me.

So I may be the only one struggling with this, but if anyone out there is feeling like the other systems are too clunky and cumbersome and too many features to mess with, you might like MailerLite. So I wanted to share that with the world because I’m kind of in love with it.

AH Okay. So when you were talking about MailerLite, and you totally censored yourself because you were like, I used it for my business — my other business. You didn’t just say what other business you were using it for because I think you were worried about sounding promotional. But I’d like you to tell us what other business you use MailerLite for.

MR [Laughing] Yes. I was trying not to sound promotional. Yeah, it’s for my — for Elevation Financial, my financial advisory business.

AH Yeah, which everyone should go check out at — what’s the website, Michael?

MR elevationfinancial.com.

AH There’s a podcast, too, and I have to say I like 75% of your episodes. They’re great.

MR [Laughing] 75%? Wow, that’s more than what I would have expected.

AH I know, right? Yes.

MR I’d expect you to like 3%.

AH [Laughing] No, your podcast episodes are great.

What’s the name of the podcast, Michael?

MR It is called Wealth Redefined.

AH Wealth Redefined. And you can find it through his Elevation Financial website.

MR That is true.

AH Yes. So there’s that. But I did actually check out MailerLite, and I am excited to try it out. I’m a Mailchimp girl. It works for me, so embracing a learning curve is not exciting to me.

MR Yeah. Mailchimp’s good.

AH But I do like to get familiar with different systems, so I can recommend them because I know a lot of people don’t love Mailchimp, and that’s fine.

MR Yeah.

AH All right. My turn for a quick tip. Ready?

MR What do you got? I’m ready.

AH Be better at communication, people, especially when you’re doing something for the first time. I will give you an example of a situation that led me to this quick tip. When Michael and I decided — by the way, Michael does not know I’m using this example. He’s going to laugh at me. So Michael and I decided to change the format of this podcast. And in doing so, I was like, I want to change the interim music. And Michael’s like, great. Here’s a couple of websites that have the stock music stuff that I usually pull through. So I listen to a whole bunch of stock music, and I was like, hey, here’s my top three. And Michael’s like, out of those top three, I really like this one. And hence, we got our new intro and outro music.

However, I was so unclear about which portion because you get this stock music — it’s a three-minute song, essentially, and a lot of parts loop over and over, but there’s different parts to the song. So when I was listening to all of this stock music, I was listening to the 15-second loops, which are different from just listening to the whole piece from beginning. So Michael shows the first, whatever, ten seconds of the beginning of the musical composition, whereas I had been listening to a totally different part of the musical composition. And as it turns out, I did not notice until after our first episodes for the year published that I do not like our intro music. But it was really — it was a great lesson. One, because the error was entirely me, so I know that that makes Michael happy when it’s not his fault. And two —

MR [Laughing] I like it when things are not my fault.

AH Right? And then — but also I realized this was the first time I did this. I failed to communicate clearly, and I failed to check up on the results of the whole exchange to make sure that they matched what was in my head. That was really, really useful because I do this all the time. In the name of efficiency, I under-communicate and assume that everybody knows what’s going on in my head when that is not the case at all. I should have made the time for more communication or even for us to listen to the clip that I was thinking of while we were together in a conference call versus just shooting out a link to you saying, I like this one. And now I know.

So that’s really helpful, and I think it’s going to be applicable to a lot of other parts of our life, even with my client interactions. When I’m like — when I say things like, if you find your heart racing, or there’s a situation that’s making you anxious, try some deep breathing. That’s not enough for instruction because people don’t know what deep breathing is. They don’t know how to belly breathe or breathe in other ways. They don’t know. They don’t recognize the cue. So I don’t know. It’s applicable in a million different ways with all of your client exchanges and also communication with your colleagues and your partners. So be better at communication. Be specific in your communication. And follow up, especially when you’re doing something for the first time.

MR It’s on my list today, actually, to go update that music, so you’re welcome.

AH Yay! I’m glad. And, people, I hope you like the music at the beginning of this particular episode because it will be the updated version. And if you hate it, you should let us know because we’ll switch it back to the one that Michael picked out.

MR Well, I’m going to go back and fix the first two episodes too, so it’ll be updated for —

AH Oh, you don’t have to. That’s too much work. Just leave them.

MR Oh, no. I’m totally going to. It’s not that much work.

AH You’re ridiculous.

MR I got it.

AH Anyhow, I did find that review. Would you like to hear that before we —

MR I was going to ask. I would love to hear the review.

AH Yeah. It was just from Friday, and it says, “I love Allissa and Michael. I have been an LMT for five years and have been running a private practice for three years and listening to Blueprint for the last year. My business is more organized financially, and my networking has gotten better because what I’ve learned from this podcast. I always appreciate your content because like many massage therapists, I am not a natural business person. And I enjoy Allissa and Michael’s bantering.” Which is funny because we don’t banter as much anymore in the new format. We’ll have an episode of all banter soon.

MR There’s just enough, I think.

AH There’s just enough. “I have learned so much from Massage Business Blueprint. Thank you so much for continuing to provide an excellent podcast, and I love the new 2020 podcast format.” And that was written by Mountain massage. Thank you, Mountain massage. We really appreciate that.

MR That totally warms my heart. Thank you.

AH Right? Yeah. So yeah. Thanks for listening, everybody.

Michael, take us home.

MR All right. Well, thanks for joining us today. We appreciate it as always. You can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. And if you would like to leave a review like our listener did just then, we would love it. Go to iTunes or — I’m sorry, it’s Apple Podcast. I keep saying iTunes, but it’s Apple Podcast now — and just click the little review thingy, and give us a rating and review. We would appreciate that. Thanks again for joining us today. Have an awesome day. We will see you next time.

AH Bye.

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