Episode 309

Aug 14, 2020

Listen as Allissa shares a tale from real life when she found a new office space.

Listen to "E309: Ask For What You Want" on Spreaker.
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Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Ask for what you want.

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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. We're glad you have joined us today. Hope everyone's doing well. How are you, Allissa? What's going on?

AH I'm all right. I am, you know, in it to win it. I'm just recognizing -- our friend Stacey Schultz said a while back, earlier on in the pandemic, that she can't make plans more than 48 or 72 hours in advance.

MR Right.

AH And that is very much how I feel.

MR Yeah.

AH So that's where I'm at.

MR You reading anything interesting?

AH I am. Thank you for asking. I, a while back, read the first book in a series of three by an author named Ashley Poston. And it's the Once Upon a Con, and they're talking about Comic-Con kinds of con conferences, Star Trek convention kinds of conferences. It's the Once Upon a Con series, and it's young adult fiction, a hint of romance. The first book is called Geekerella, and it's about a young girl who totally is super into this Starfield show and a whole series of meet cutes and such that happen from there. And then the second book I just finished. I happened upon -- again, "author Twitter" is awesome. So I happened upon somebody tweeting about the book, and I realized -- I didn't realize that the first book I read was part of a series. It's like -- yeah. So the second one is called The Princess and the Fangirl. And they're just great, light, funny stories. There's a little bit of a mystery theme in each of them.

And they're just good young adult novels that have -- I love this new generation of young adult novels that has just all the diversity built in without it being so obvious and without it being so forced like I feel like older authors are doing. They have to force an Asian character in, or force some gay moms in. These books, it's just there. It just -- it's just -- it exists, and it's non -- it's great. It's a nonissue. And it's really neat to see that written into young adult novels. And I'm enjoying them, and I'm enjoying sharing them with the kid in my house. So that's where I'm at. It's a -- and I will put the link to the author's website. And I just -- when I went to the website, I learned that she's written kind of another sci-fi series with -- it looks like a young woman hero in it. And I might even read those because I have been expanding my genre of books that I read.

MR Sounds delightful.

AH It was light. Oh, and my Kindle -- oh, actually, this -- so my Kindle died.

MR Oh, no.

AH It is the Kindle that I won from the Massamio booth like eight or nine years ago at a convention.

MR Oh, wow.

AH It is the -- it was the very old style, basic Kindle that -- actually, remember that I won the Fire in the raffle, but some other woman wanted it so much I just traded with her.

MR Yeah.

AH Yeah.

MR Well, you -- you got the good Kindle. The good one is the basic default, old-school Kindle. That's the best one.

AH Yup. So it had been -- I'd been having a problem where I would turn it off and I'd turn it back on, and it would go two chapters back, and I'd have to forward back to where I had been reading. And it had -- that'd been happening for a couple of months. And then now it barely holds a charge. It'll hold the charge for like two hours of reading, and then I got to plug it in. And then -- so technically, it didn't die. But I read something Saturday, finished a book, and lost the Kindle. I mean, it's somewhere in my home or on the back porch or wherever I was reading. But we looked for it everywhere yesterday and couldn't find it. So I broke down and bought myself a new Kindle.

But what I learned is that -- and first of all, I'm trying really hard to not buy from Amazon, but I needed the Kindle. And I don't -- please know that I don't buy from Amazon much anymore, and I don't buy books from Amazon. I just loan them free from the library. But you all know that. So anyhow, they had -- like a year or two ago, they rebooted that old, basic Kindle, and so I didn't have to spend the money for a Paperwhite. And I had a $30 credit on Amazon from something, and so I got a brand-new Kindle for 50 bucks.

MR Nice. I have the Paperwhite, and I really like it.

AH Yeah, and I just didn't -- it was more than what I needed. I don't know. But it's an old-style -- it's the old-style Kindle, but it also has a front light, so I don't need to clip a book light to it when I'm reading at night.

MR Oh, yeah. Yeah.

AH So I'm very excited. So that's my Kindle story.

MR Congratulations.

AH And I am on the wait list for the third book in the Geekerella series, the Once Upon a Con series, called Bookish and the Beast. And I'm -- and all -- this series, they all have characters that overlap. Each book has its own set of, whatever, protagonist and antagonist, but the characters and the themes overlap. So anyhow, that's that. Who's our first sponsor?

MR [Laughing] All right. Our friends over at --

AH Wait, you don't -- you already told me you don't --

MR Woah! Woah, woah, woah. What?

AH You already told me you didn't have -- you weren't reading anything this week, right?

MR Oh, yes. [Laughing] Sorry.

AH Okay. I didn't want the audience to think that I was jumping over what you've been reading, but he had already informed me pre-recording that Michael has nothing useful to share with us.

MR Sorry. You totally surprised me. I was like, woah. What's going on? [Laughing]

AH Sorry.

MR No, it's okay.

AH Who's our sponsor?

MR Our sponsor is Acuity.

AH Yay.

Sponsor message This episode is indeed sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice that I have started using more again now that I'm working a little bit. Yay. From the moment clients book with you, Acuity is there to automatically send booking confirmations with your own brand and messaging, deliver text reminders if you choose that, and let clients reschedule on their own, and process payments. I added the Pay for Your Appointment button to my reminder email, so clients are getting that 24-hour reminder that's like, hey, you got to let me know if you have any of these COVID things, and also, hit this button to pay for your appointment now. Thank you very much. So all you got to do is show up for the appointment with your bottle of oil and do whatever you do. So you, my friends, can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. And you can use our link at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

MR Thanks, Acuity.

AH Yeah. Thanks, Acuity.

MR All right. What are we talking about today?

AH All right. So once again, we are drawing from Allissa's adventures in real life. And I don't know if I mentioned this last week or not, but I found a new office. I had to close my office. I found a new office. I'm not prepared to go back to work in an office full-time or maybe not even part-time yet, but it was a great deal and a good location with plenty of ventilation. I have someone to share it with. The neighbors are awesome, and it's ridonculously affordable. So I have decided to take this office even though I'm not going to work for a couple more months probably.

But I've had some epiphanies as I go through this process of looking for and getting a new space. And the first little epiphany is that I shouldn't be shocked by this, and yet, I have been shocked by the amount of knowledge and experience that I've gathered over the last 15 years. And it kind of -- there's a little spotlight on it because the woman I'll be sharing the space with has -- she's been working at another place as, I think, a contractor but of course treated more like an employee. So this is her first foray out into, for legit, really owning her own business. And so she's got a lot of questions. She's brilliant. She's very, very smart. But she's never done this before. So it's been really neat to know, as she asks questions, I can answer them. And I'm like, oh, that's right. I know this. I know how to do this.

And there's some stuff that's new to me as well. A lot of things have changed in the establishment licensure laws. And so there's stuff that I haven't done because I got legacied into establishment licensing way back in the day when they started it in Massachusetts because I was already operating. And it's been really neat to be like, oh, that's right. I know how to negotiate a lease. Oh, that's right. I know that I need to ask about dumpster access. And oh, I know these things, and I know that signage matters, and blah, blah, blah.

So one, it's been really neat to do this reboot 15 years into my career and be able to apply all of the experience that I've had and all of the experience that so many of you have given me and knowledge you shared with me and the Community. Our premium community's been really helpful, just so much we've gathered from so many different people's different kinds of businesses that I feel -- I felt really confident walking into this situation. I felt really confident doing the math like, is this worth it even if I don't go to work for a couple of months? If I don't get to work at all in the next year, how much will I have lost in money for this -- for rent and such? And what questions do I need to ask the neighbors? What do I need to ask about utilities?

So that was epiphany number 1 that the bulk of this process felt so good going into it knowing a little bit more than I did last time I negotiated a lease, which I didn't negotiate. I just took the lease. So that's part 1. So if you're flailing, try to remember that you know a lot more than you think you do, and maybe have a conversation with a colleague who can help point that out for you.

So the second part of this is that I have always felt a little bad asking for stuff. I've always felt a little bad letting my landlord know something wasn't working right and she was going to need to spend money to fix it, or imposing on people as if asking for something is this horrifying imposition. So a few times, I caught myself doing that. I almost let a few things go in the lease. I almost let a few things go in this space. And I kind of pushed myself to speak up, and it all went beautifully. So I got -- I talked to the landlord a few times on the phone. She's great. My office neighbors have told me she's great. They've been there for quite a while. So I felt good about it going in to this. She's very personable. She's a great landlord. So that's a gift right there.

But I -- in Massachusetts, it's going to take us eight to ten weeks to get properly licensed, which means I'm paying rent on an office for two to three months that I can't use. And I wanted to say that to the landlord and be like, what can you do for me here? But I was afraid. And I got over that. And I was like, can we have the first month free because, first of all, some of your -- the old tenants still need to get a few things out. There's work that needs to be done in this space they haven't done yet. And I need to file for all my licensure, and it's going to take eight to ten weeks. So can you give me -- can you comp August, and we will start the lease for September 1st, but I get access to this place in August to do -- I want to paint the treatment room, which I'm going to be responsible for, and then she has to do a few other things that she hadn't done yet. And she was like, yeah, that works. That's fair. And this was on July 31st, so she wasn't going to get anybody in there for August anyway. But I was so happy that I asked for that.

And then there was things that needed to be done. There's this big wall, and it's kind of tall, in this entry area that's like a bright red that is not going to work for us. And I had just automatically been like, I can paint that. Is it okay if I paint that? And she was like, yeah. If you feel like you can, that'd be great. And then when I met her there at the office when we looked around and we realized there was a lot of holes in the wall, there was a lot of spackling needed, and I was like, ugh. And I said, listen. I'm not great at spackling. I don't think you want me to spackle this room before I paint it. Do you have a guy who can do it? She's like, yeah. I'm going to have all this done. I will have this room handled and painted. Great. She's like, but it would be great if you could still paint that treatment room because that doesn't really need to be painted. That's a choice. I'm like, you got it.

And then there was a stain on the carpet that I hadn't noticed until I looked at one of the pictures I took of the space, and I said -- I said, there is a stain here. Do you have a carpet shampooer? And in my head, again, I was going to take the full weight of this and just ask to borrow her carpet cleaner. And then -- and I caught that in my head and went, do you have a carpet cleaner? Could you handle this? And she was like, yeah. You know what? When I have the guy in to paint, I'll have him shampoo the carpet. Awesome.

And then I noticed later that the front door sticks, and it's hard to pull it closed so that it locks and latches. And the previous tenants kind of knew this, but it didn't really bother them because -- whatever. It worked for them. I didn't want to have to slam a door shut to lock it every time a client came in and I closed the door behind them. So I said something. And she was like, oh, I didn't know this was a problem. Okay. I'm going to get this fixed for you.

And then there was a thing with signage where because the office I'm moving into was previously one space that's been split into two, there's not really a lot of room left on the big sign out in front of the building for me to put a slab to put a sign up. And so I said that. I was like, you know? There isn't any space except at the bottom, and you've got some shrubbery. So are we going to change something about the sign, or are you going to cut that shrubbery down? And she looked at it and went, you know what? The top of the sign needs to be updated anyway. I am going to reach out to the sign company. They will get -- they will let you know the size of the, whatever, plaque you can have up there, and you can work with them to have that done. And give me a heads up when your design is all set, and I'll have the whole top of the sign redone. So now I'm going to be at the top of the sign because I said something.

These things all went so well that I was like, duh. You just have to ask for what you want. And she was never put out by this. And I've got to share the utilities with the tenants in the rear of the office. And at first, the person running the utilities back there who I need to pay for the utilities was like, would you be able to Venmo me the money for that? And I don't use Venmo for my business because I don't have Venmo for business. And I don't want to use Venmo personal for business stuff because it's a grey area. And I was really worried that she was going to be so offended when I was like, I really don't want to do that. Can I just have an automatic check sent to you at the beginning of every month? But I said it. I said, I don't really like to use Venmo personal for business stuff. Could we do it this other way? And she was like, oh, yeah, absolutely. Here's the address you should send the check to. And then she sent me copies of each utility bill with the budget agreement on it so I would know exactly what the full amount was and exactly what the half amount is that I have to pay.

Every one of these things went fine. No one had a problem with my request. No one felt like I was asking too much. None of these women felt like I was an imposition. It was just all in my own head, crap I just made up in my own head. Yeah. So that's my lesson for the day, people. Just ask for the things. Do it thoughtfully, and do it with some knowledge of what has to happen for that other person to do the thing, and ask for it. Stop feeling bad about that. I'm done.

MR I love it.

AH Thanks.

MR Such a simple, awesome reminder that many of us need to hear.

AH It was just so dumb that I didn't even automatically think that, but here we are.

MR Yeah. And congrats on getting to the top of the sign.

AH Thank you very much.

MR [Laughing] Very cool.

AH I don't know what we're going to do with it because we're two separate businesses, and I don't think it's really going to be big enough for us to each put our logo and our business name and stuff. But I bought the "Town Name Massage." So it's "townnamemassage.com". So we might actually just put that at the top of the sign and have that be a hub site where when you go to that website, it's got "Allissa specializes in this and this." "Angela specializes in this and this" -- go to their individual website.

MR Nice. Yeah, a really good idea.

AH Yeah. I think it just makes sense. It worked really well for me in the last place when I had a banner made that was like, plainvilleyoga.com. It made -- it was just easier for people to reminder the website versus the name of my business, which was hard to spell.

MR Yeah.

AH So yeah. I'm pretty excited about it.

MR Awesome. Well, thank you for that. All right. Well, before we move on, let's show some love to ABMP.


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MR Nice.

AH Thanks.

MR Thanks, ABMP. [Laughing]

AH What do we got for quick tips, Michael? You've got one. I do not.

MR I do. So this is from Rachel Cargle, who's the author of the 30-day, Do the Work course we have mentioned in prior episodes. And she has a simple Facebook post, which is really insightful. It's something that I've sort of felt in my bones for a while, but I think she said it better than I've ever said it. And the post is basically "Allow Yourself to Ebb and Flow." And she -- it's a pretty short post. She says -- I've linked to it in the show notes. You can link straight to it. It's a public Facebook post. And she said, pay attention to your cycles. What time of day, month, or year do you usually find yourself on a downswing? She said, try to keep note of your energy -- of when your energy is naturally low and your creativity is hard to tap into or when sadness or lethargy sweep over you. And she says, also, do the same when your energy is high. Your mood is way up. You feel seemingly limitless bouts of creativity and contentment. So she keeps track of what months, days, times, parts of the year, these things happen.

And so in her example, she says, I know, for example, in the late fall -- and she says, I get sluggish on all fronts. So instead of kicking myself for not doing enough, I recognize it as a natural ebb and a flow of my energy. And I lean into it with rest, nourishing food, solitude, and giving myself permission to cry if necessary because I know that my upswing is coming, and it will all be balanced out. So again, I've felt this in my bones. I've said it -- I've kind of mentioned stuff like this, how it works for me as well. But she said it in a really elegant way, much better than I've ever said it. And I wanted to highlight that because it was just so beautifully stated.

I'll only go a little step further and say that I think, Allissa, you and I do this naturally on this podcast as well. I think a lot of times, if you listen to a podcast or media people or shows or whatever, they're -- the host or the people on the shows are always sort of artificially upbeat and perky all the time. And you just know it's sometimes artificial. And I think we do a pretty good job of just being very authentic about this to the point where we don't edit. We leave goof ups in the show. And sometimes, we're just higher energy and lower energy at different points throughout the year, day, or month. And we just -- we honor that. We lean into it, and we admit that. And I think that is very useful for all of us to remember so that we don't beat ourselves up in a counterproductive way. We lean into that natural ebb and flow of our energy. And so I really like the way she stated that. I think it's beautifully stated, and I recommend everyone take a look at that post and remind yourself of that.

AH Thank you for sharing that.

MR Yeah.

AH You know, I've read it. I think it was on Instagram too. And I read it, I was like, yup, word, because I think when I read it, I was laying in bed in the middle of the day. [Laughing]

MR [Laughing]

AH I started leaning into naps last week, like proper naps --

MR Oh, naps are beautiful.

AH -- and got very little done in the way of work but was just so burnt physically and mentally. [Laughing]

MR Yeah.

AH And I was like, all right. Yeah. I'm going to ebb and flow this.

MR [Laughing]

AH So yeah. Thanks for that, Michael. I don't have a quick tip today. I'm tired. I'm going to lean into that.

MR There you go. That's authenticity right there. All right.

AH And if you love our authenticity, you can give us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. And that helps other people find our podcast. And it just, in general, makes us feel really good. So maybe do that. And if you have a topic that you want us to cover, you should email us because I need topics, people. I don't know what you want to hear about. So email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. That goes directly to Michael and I both. One of us will get back to you and will answer your question, whether on a podcast or privately if it's podcast appropriate or whatever. But we'll get back to you. So do the --

MR Nice segue. Artfully done. Yeah.

AH Thank you.

MR [Laughing] All right. Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. As always, you can find all the things at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you're a new listener, for example, start there. Just check us out there. If you're a longtime listener, go there anyway if you're not a part of our community. You can join our community there. And there's more stuff there, including some recent articles and blog posts, mostly from Allissa, with very smart things to say. And you can contact us through the website as well, massagebusinessblueprint.com. Thanks for joining us today, everyone. Have a great day. We will see you next time.

AH Bye.

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