Episode 304

Jul 10, 2020

Three Words Check-in. Allissa and Michael share how they are doing with their three words for 2020.

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Weekly Roundup

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

Allissa Haines I'm Allissa Haines.

MR We're your hosts. Welcome to our show today. We're glad you're with us. As Allissa was mentioning, we both kind of feel like Monday came hard and fast this week. [Laughing] We're recording on Monday, so we're going to do our best to be on our game for you today.

AH It's weird, right, because Saturday was July 4th, but do holidays mean anything anymore when we're all -- for me at least -- we're all home all the time anyway?

MR [Laughing] It's all kind of the same.

AH It's just weird. It's just weird.

MR Yeah.

AH And last night, I was like, oh, my God, tomorrow's Monday? I have to start functioning in a real week format, which is dumb because I work some on the weekend.

MR But do you really?

AH Do I? No. I did get dressed this morning, so I'm very proud of myself.

MR That's a win. I'm also dressed.

AH Michael, what're you reading?

MR I am reading about "How to Build a Home Gym (When All Equipment is Sold Out)" from Nerd Fitness. This actually relates to my three words that we're going to talk about later in the episode. But I am taking more of an interest in my health and my fitness. Obviously, we're not going to gyms right now, or at least I'm not going to gyms right now, and it's tough to find equipment, and it's expensive to buy equipment anyway. So I was doing some searching on just kind of the best DIY fitness routines and information, and I stumbled upon Nerd Fitness, which I love the name. They have an article called "How to Build a Home Gym" and using the household objects, things like -- it's all kind of stuff that we can probably figure out on our own. But it's a nice little guide that kind of walked me through, okay, using milk jugs full of water and using tables for bodyweight and even how to build a chin-up bar using a door frame, and all sorts of fun stuff that you can use to build your own home gym so you can do workouts at home without any extra equipment or anything.

So I've been reading through that, kind of putting together a routine, a system, and it's been a lot of fun. So I have put that in the show notes in case anybody else wants to check it out. But it's a really cool little article on building your own home gym with household objects that you have laying around.

AH That's awesome. I am a huge fan of bodyweight workouts where you don't need equipment other than on a floor that's appropriate for you and maybe a chair.

MR Yeah.

AH We've been doing a lot of that around here too. We actually started doing these dance workouts. So 15 minutes is about my attention span for exercising, and I found this 10- to 15-minute videos, and it's just a mix of great music. There's a '90-dance workout mix, and it has Britney Spears stuff. And I think we -- I don't know, we had one -- the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears is my favorite so far. And then there was more current music. And it's fun because it's dancing, but it's exercising.

MR Nice.

AH And we're down with that. I'm glad to hear that you're putting your little home gym together.

MR Yeah.

AH All right. So I am reading -- I just read -- so first, I finally finished the Getting Things Done book. Thank God, because it was sucking me dry.

MR [Laughing]

AH I think like 30% of it was super solid and useful to me, and the rest I'm just going to try to forget about. I want my two weeks back. Anyhow, I didn't have anything to read the other night, and I was like, I'm ready to read, and the 13-year-old brought me a book. I don't know if it's called a middle reader because it's for ages 9 to 12. She read it in 5th grade or something. It's called Savvy, and it is this really sweet little novel. I'll put a link to it. And it's this family, and each of them comes upon some kind of special power when they're 13 and their 13th birthday. It is so funny and sweet. It's kind of a road trip adventure. And this young woman turns 13, and she gets her "savvy," which is her special power. It was fun and sweet and thoughtful, and it was such a great read. And even the kid was like, I want to read it again because when I read it, I was reading it for school, so I had to think hard about things. Yeah. Anyhow, it's great. I love middle and young adult readers. I love that level of book because it's just fun without trying too hard. Anyhow, that's what I'm reading.

MR Nice. Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out. All right. Let's show some love to our sponsor Acuity before we move on.

Sponsor message Indeed. This episode is sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice. Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to run and to become virtual businesses if that's your thing. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate, giving you the freedom to focus on all the other important aspects of your business. From the moment clients book with you, Acuity makes it easy to automatically send booking confirmations with your branding and your messaging. All you got to do is show up at your appointments at the right time. You, my friends, can get a 45-day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

MR Yay. We love Acuity.

AH We do. All right. What're we doing, Michael? [Laughing]

MR All right. What're we doing? [Laughing] This is the audio equivalent of us pointing at each other going, you got it. [Laughing]

AH I know.

MR Three words -- we're recapping, right? You warned me last week that we were going to recap and review and revisit our three words and see how we're doing, right?

AH Yeah. And Michael, very briefly, what is this "three words" thing all about?

MR This "three words" thing was started many, many years ago by a gentleman named Chris Brogan, who we both follow or have followed or are kind of familiar with, and he's a business consultant and a speaker and an author. And I still really -- he's been consistently someone -- I just really like his style, just throughout. He's just one of these guys that I never get tired of. He's always doing something different, and he generally has really insightful commentary on things and advice. And many, many years ago, he came up with this thing called the Three Words exercise, which is an alternative to New Year's resolutions. Most of us make New Year's resolutions, and we forget about them by mid-January, and then we get discouraged, and blah, blah, blah. It's always this cycle of unhealthy stuff, I think, with resolutions.

And so he proposed that instead, we create three words every year that are sort of like north stars or guideposts or guiding principles that we will use as alignment throughout the year. So instead of making a resolution like "lose weight" or "eat healthier" or whatever, something like that, it's more about aligning your energy that year with specific concepts that you're going to work on. So Allissa and I both really like this. We've been using it years -- every year ever since, I think. And I personally think it's a much better way to better yourself as opposed to New Year's resolutions.

So is that a pretty good explanation?

AH Yeah. You did the work, man. That was good.

MR Okay.

AH Do you want to go first?

MR Sure. I will go first.

AH All right, Michael. What were your three words?

MR All right. So my three words were forgive, build, and health. And how am I doing? Okay. So I am two out of three so far, mostly two out of three.

Just to kind of recap the explanation behind these, the word forgive was multi-faceted. In one sense, it was to remind myself to be forgiving of myself. I tend to be very hard on myself like most business owners are and just most people are in general, I think. We're all just very hard on ourselves. So it is a reminder to be less harsh and more forgiving to myself, so I'm not demanding perfection all the time. It's also a reminder to be more forgiving of others, and in some cases, specific situations -- or a specific situation that was really tough for me to forgive somebody over. So kind of a multi-faceted level of forgiveness there. Build was focusing on building my businesses. This is a year of growth mode for a lot of things in the business world in my life, both for Allissa and I, and some other things. And then health was to focus on my health, really -- that's pretty simple. Just eat better, exercise, really pay attention to my health, and really make an investment with my health.

So as far as how I did, two out of three. I am sucking at forgiving. I'll be straight up. This is transparent to hear on this show, and I am straight up sucking at forgiving. I have not been able to move past this ugly situation in my past that I was not able to forgive this person that I had a conflict with, and I still haven't. And I haven't made any headway. I'm just going to admit that on the air. [Laughing] So it's something I need to continue to work on. I'm also pretty hard on myself. I'm very unforgiving at times when I fall short. I think I'm doing a little better at being less judge-y and more forgiving of others, so there's a kind of a small sliver of light in that discussion. But I need to be much better at the forgiveness side of things.

As far as build and health, I think I'm doing pretty well. That's why I said two out of three. I think I am focused on slow, organic growth from a business context. I think Allissa and I are both doing a pretty good job of focusing on, layer by layer, building our community and building this business. And personally, I'm doing better at having patience and perseverance at building things in my business world, and it's very exciting. So that's been going pretty well. And then health-wise -- I alluded to this earlier -- I am working out every day -- every weekday. So five days a week, in the morning, I work out. I do something. So it might just be ten push-ups if I'm running late or just not feeling it that day. It might be 30 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, some planks, some other stuff. If I'm more on, I go for a run two days a week as well. So every week day, I am working out to some extent. It might be minimal, but it might be a lot. It might be somewhere on the spectrum. So I've been pretty happy with that. I'm noticing a difference.

And then I'm also attempting to eat better. We're doing HelloFresh and Freshly and not eating out hardly at all anymore. So I might do delivery a couple times a week or carry-out a couple days a week, but it's pretty minimal. And I'm reducing sugar. I'm trying really hard to reduce sugar. I'm not just saying eliminate sugar because it's just not going to happen. But I'm trying to just be realistic and say I'm eliminating sugar -- I'm sorry -- I'm reducing sugar in my diet so I can just kind of gradually make it less important. So I'm not going to grab those Reese's Cups as often or eat that extra piece of cake or whatever. I'm just going to try to get the sugar intake down. So I feel better. I feel like it's a good thing. I'm on the right track. And what's working for me is not to make grand, unrealistic targets like, oh, I'm going to do 45 minutes of this fancy workout routine. No. I'm just going to wake up, and I'm just going to do something. I'm going to go for a one-mile run. That's better than I was doing before, and that's working for me. So that's kind of where I am.

AH That's awesome. And I'm sending you a link to these dance workouts because you and Eli would have so much fun doing them.

MR Okay. Yeah, he's loves dancing. I cannot wait to see them.

AH Yeah. It'll be awesome. Good for you! That's really good, Michael.

MR Thanks.

AH And I know that working -- you gave up your office space, right, because you just didn't need it?

MR Yeah.

AH Yeah. So I think working from home really helps with the exercising every day because it -- you can do it anytime. You don't have to schedule it around a commute or wanting to smell good for clients or anything. Like, it's fine. It's all fine.

MR Yeah. Yeah. I can just go up and take a shower when I'm done. It's all right there. Everything's good.

AH That's great. I'm so glad. That's exciting.

MR Yeah. Thank you. How're you doing?

AH All right. So real talk. I had to go back to the podcast transcript from January to remember what my three words were. I had had them posted in my little cubby at my office, so whenever I opened the little door to my cubby, I saw them. And I'd had them in my bullet journal. I would transfer them for each weekly spread, kind of like the weekly calendar. But since pandemic, I don't have an office anymore with a cubby, and I haven't used my bullet journal. I have switched over to the Microsoft To Do around the pandemic stuff, and -- because I just didn't need the little booklet, the little bullet journal -- whatever. Anyhow. Because of those words weren't in front of me every day or a couple days a week, I just -- they were gone. They were completely gone from my mind. So I have gotten off track. But when I kind of did my thinking it through, even getting off track wasn't too bad. So I feel good about it.

So my words were save, foundation, and depth. And saving was a five-year plan to just put a ton of money in the bank and put a ton a money in retirement. I just wanted to hustle for the next five years or so. And I don't mean hustle like work all the time, but I wanted to be very smart with my money so that in five years, I could kind of reevaluate and decide when am I going to -- when was I going to start making my massage practice smaller or whatever. So my five-year plan is obviously crap now. It's more like a six-and-a-half-year plan. But saving the way I did and paying off bills for the last several years and reducing my debt put me in such a good place to be able to weather this pandemic and work stoppage so well that I've decided to not feel bad about not meeting -- I'm not going to meet the goals I had for this year. And that's okay. Because I was still in such a great place, and because my living expenses are so low, and my debt is almost gone, I've been able to not suffer too much financially. Things have changed obviously. I've reduced a lot -- well, even more expenses and whatever. But that's -- so I feel really good about that. So my five-year plan is now a six and a half-year plan as far as saving, but I'm okay with that.

The second word was foundation, and that was really about revamping my -- finishing the revamp of my massage practice so that it would be an easier-to-run, sustainable business, and ditto that for Blueprint and kind of creating a better and stronger schedule. Schedule's not the right word, but schedule for the time and the energy that I assign to each business as well as my family. And that's just a pipe dream. Structure has become a pipe dream because of my partner's work schedule and the kids being home all the time now and that being indefinite because I don't know that school's going to start up again in the fall. I've given up on the idea of having any real structure. It's very loose. But I'm okay with that. My massage practice, it's closed, so I don't have to think about that for a while. I am thinking about the reopening but in a very slow and paced way. But I'm really happy with our foundation of Massage Business Blueprint, so I've decided to kind of take solace in that. We changed our website. We changed our community platform. It's going really, really well. There'll be a little bit more of that in my next word about how we've really built that foundation.

And I did find, last week, that being home all the time is weird, and I was definitely getting a little more annoyed with the people that I live with and remembered that I have tools at my disposal to help with my mood and my reactions. So in the Calm meditation app, I set up some reminders throughout the day to check in on my mood and also to -- I bookmarked a couple of very short meditations to -- mostly about anger and my own reactions because I've become a yeller. I'm a screamer. Not so much anymore. I used to be. But I was raised in a home where my mother just yelled and not always in an angry way either. But I have a tendency to be a yeller when things get a little bonkers with the family and stuff. And I've caught that a lot in the last couple years, and I've reduced it. But I noticed it becoming a problem again, so I set my Calm app to give me a better foundation and footing in my own mood and my control over that.

And then the last word is depth. And that was really about recognizing that my attention span was shot as far as consuming information. I can't -- reading -- it took me so long to read Getting Things Done -- reading anything instructional or academic or thoughtful. I was just shot. I couldn't read more than 1,000 words. I couldn’t digest more. I couldn't really dig in to deeper issues and their context and their nuance. I was just losing it. So that has gone pretty well. At first, I kind of beat myself up. And then I was like, wait a minute. I've done a couple of things that have really been good for depth. I did Healwell's bias course, the "Unconscious Bias" course recognizing your own biases and the delivery of your health-related services and such and just in your life. And I loved it. I really liked the course. I liked thinking deeper. I liked thinking more about it. I loved -- we did an office hour with Kerry Jordon, who's the Healwell instructor who taught that course. It was so great to have some thoughtful conversations with our members about things like that and, really, this whole pandemic thing, having really thoughtful and deep nuanced conversations about the pathology of our issue and the ethics of going back to work and how we can do that carefully. And that's been great.

And I even -- I told you this a couple weeks ago, Michael -- I'm taking a course about how to use our new community network. It's called Mighty Networks, and they have a course they offer to people who run these networks to learn how to do it. It's called "Community Design" -- to learn how to use the tool and also just the theories and to build a stronger community, and I really wanted to take the course. This is the fifth week of five, so I'm almost done. And every week, I've attended the live class, and I've attended the live office hours -- not all of them, but then I've watched the recordings on the ones I haven't, and I've done my homework. I have loved it. I have loved digging in deep to how to run an effective, collaborative community and how those theories apply to our Massage Business Blueprint community. I've just loved using my brain again, and it's so nice. It's just so nice.

So I'm feeling pretty good. The foundation's a little bit of a mess, but we'll get there. And even the pandemic didn't throw me too far off of these things. They were always, I guess, semi-forgotten in the back of my mind but still there. So I feel really good about the next six months. I feel good about the third and fourth quarter, if not financially, then at least productivity-wise and knowing where I'm going.

MR Yeah. I'll have to say, I look forward to two things out of the course you're taking. One is every day you give me an update on the fact that the instructor is wearing the exact same outfit every time, which is funny. [Laughing]

AH Yes. All I can think of is that maybe they're using some of these -- they take clips from the live classes to use together. Her hair always looks pretty much the same, and she's always wearing these hoop earrings and this black tank top shirt. I don't know, man. And she's always in exactly the same room with exactly the same background. I kind of like that she's has a uniform, so good for her. Anyhow, I like giving Michael those updates.

MR Yeah, she sends me screenshots every time she's in the class. And then two, I've noticed some really cool work being done in our community from the course, some -- it's a really good example of taking your own advice. You know, we teach other people how to do things like this in the Blueprint community, and it's always good to get some help from outside as well when we're doing it. So it's really interesting to see the homework you've been doing and sharing with me, and so it's really good stuff.

Also, the Calm app, you're the second -- you're my second friend and business partner that has recommended the Calm app. My other business partner in a different business, Amy, she said it's amazing. It's life-changing. You said the same thing, so I think I'm going to for it.

AH Well, I heard about it -- remember our Massage Business Blueprint summit in Florida last year?

MR Yeah. Yeah.

AH Sakinah told us all about it. One of our members told us all about it, so we have a whole bunch of Blueprint members who started using the Calm app.

MR Yeah.

AH Yeah. So I've had it for like a year and a half now. Thank you, Sakinah. It's awesome. So did you get it yet? Are you using it?

MR Well, I downloaded -- I haven't paid for it, but I've got just the free installed version, but I think you have to pay for it to do more stuff, I guess. Is that how it works?

AH Yeah. There's more. When you actually buy the subscription, you can get -- there's a lot more meditations that become available to you. And you know what? They have some kids ones. You and Eli -- we used to do it at bedtime for a long time with the kids last year and into this year because they both were kind of extra anxious and stuff. And doing the kids meditations with the kids is awesome. Yeah. It's worth it. I mean, it's like $80 a year. It's definitely worth it. Yeah. I'm so glad.

MR Cool. Well, sorry, I forgot that Sakinah was the one that told us about it, so sorry about that. It had come up recently, and so it's more of a recent thing after I hadn't heard about it for a while. So it's really prompting me to take a look at it. All right.

AH All right. Good job, us.

MR Good job, us, mostly. [Laughing] All right.

AH [Laughing] Who's our next sponsor, Michael?

MR Let's give a shout-out to ABMP.


Sponsor message This episode is proudly sponsored by ABMP, and we are proud to have them. All massage therapists and bodyworkers can access free ABMP resources and information on the coronavirus and the massage profession in general at abmp.com/covid19. You can get sample release forms, PPE guides, and a very special issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine that was all about the health crisis. And you can also access all of their other issues of their magazines, six a year, and we've got a column in there. Yay. For more information, you can also check out the ABMP podcast. Recent episodes feature conversations with Ruth Werner, Brené Brown certified instructor Amy Andrews McMaster -- that is a fantastic episode -- and Massage Business Blueprint team. Yeah, we're on an episode or two. You can get all of those at abmp.com/podcasts or wherever you prefer to listen. You can expect more from ABMP.

MR Yay. All right. Quick tip time.

AH I got nothing. What do you got?

MR All right. Quick tip on the PPP loan. This has still been a topic of lots of conversation in our community. I'll tell you why in a minute. But the quick tip is the PPP loan application deadline has been extended to August 8th. So I know many have taken advantage of that, many have not. Some people are still kind of in the process of deciding and figuring it out.

So the PPP loan is one of the programs from the CARES Act that is a forgivable loan for small businesses to pay payroll, which can include yourself as a sole provider or a single member LLC or a solo business owner. So it's been extended until August 8th. The previous deadline was July -- it was June 30th -- sorry -- and it is now extended to August 8th. And the reason this is coming up and I want to bring it up is we've had more than one person in our community say something to the effect of, hey, I kind of missed the boat the first time around, but now I'm reconsidering. I would like to do PPP after all, or maybe I didn't realize the deadline was so close, or now I'm rethinking -- maybe I didn't want to do it at first. Now I'm kind of rethinking it.

I am not in any way saying you should or should not do it, but I want to make you aware that if you are still considering the PPP loan, and you kind of missed the first time around, the August 8th deadline gives you a little more time. As a note on that, I've been having some conversations as well with some people about how do you do it? What do you apply? It seems to be that if you have a relationship with a bank already, do that first. Try to apply through the bank you have a relationship first. The exception, in my opinion, is that if you have a relationship with one of the big Fintech lenders like Square or Kabbage or something like that, go ahead and go with them first. They seem to be a more put-together, smoother approach to PPP. There's always exceptions, but I found that people that are using Square or Kabbage as their PPP loan lender seem to getting a lot of success. It goes smoothly. It's all digital. It's very quick. So that might be worth a look as well.

If you're not using one of the big Fintech lenders, then I would advise you to go through whatever bank you already have a relationship with. That's usually a good way to have a priority application process. As always, banks are different. Some banks are well put together and are being very responsive, and some are not as responsive, so your mileage may vary depending on what bank you use. But definitely go for an existing relationship first. So August 8th is the new PPP deadline. That's my quick tip.

AH Excellent. Thank you.

MR Yeah.

AH Won't it be great when we never have to talk about the PPP again?

MR [Laughing] I look forward to that day.

AH I know you do. Well, thank you, Michael.

MR Thank you. And congrats on the great work you've been doing, as well, in your three words. We'll keep at it.

AH Well, we'll be all right.

MR We'll be all right.

AH I look forward to -- I'm already -- I don't want to ahead of myself, and I don't like to wish any part of my life away, but I'm looking forward to 2021.

MR Yeah.

AH [Laughing] You know? Or making it through 2020. And maybe that'll be enough. [Indiscernible].

MR [Laughing] All right. Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We appreciate you being with us. As always, our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. There's lots of stuff there for you, including our new community. If you're not a part of our new community yet, it is growing every single day. Every single day, the app pops up and says, you have to members to welcome, and I welcome our new members every day. It's awesome. I love seeing everybody join. So it's a fantastic community, especially if you are tired of Facebook. Our new community is not on Facebook. It is on a totally different platform that is not -- doesn't require you to go through the gunk of Facebook to get there. So that'll be a good thing for many people. If you have questions or comments, email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And we'll see you next time. Thanks for joining.

AH Bye.

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