Episode 321

Oct 23, 2020

Should you have a shutdown plan? Do deep work on someone who had COVID19? Make clients wear better masks? We discuss!

Listen to "E321: What’s Your Shut Down Plan and Other Fast Questions" on Spreaker.
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Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

    Quick Tips



    Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by The Original 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 have been using jojoba for years and here's why: Jojoba is nonallergenic; I can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction. It is also noncomedogenic, so it won't clog pores. So if you've got clients prone to acne breakouts, jojoba is a good choice for them. It does not go rancid. There's no triglycerides, so it can sit on your shelf for a year plus and not be a problem. And that's what also makes jojoba a wonderful carrier for your essential oils as well. It won't stain your 100% cotton sheets, so your linens are going to last longer. The Original Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. And we are delighted to be their partner. You, my friends, can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link 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'm Michael Reynolds.

    Allissa Haines I'm Allissa Haines.

    MR And we're your hosts. Thanks for joining us today. We are happy you are here, aren't we?

    AH We are delighted. Michael, what are you reading this week?

    MR What am I reading? So as some may know, in another life, currently, I am a financial advisor. I own an independent financial advisory firm, so I read lots of stuff for financial advisors about practice-building things and kind of similar things to what we do here at Blueprint. It's kind of a -- I've got a community that's similar to our Community as well. So in that world, I read about stuff relevant to financial advisors.

    But I came across something that was -- it's relevant to really anybody who's a professional practitioner, so I wanted to kind of share it. It's a video. It is from one of the software companies that I use for my financial advisor practice called Altruist. And they have a video series called Grow that helps financial advisors kind of grow and get better at business stuff, kind of like we do for massage therapists. And so the host is Dasarte Yarnway, and he had done an interview with another colleague about expanding your practice to add diversity to your clientele. And so it's all about just some tips on how to think in terms of expanding your practice to be diversity-focused. And I won't read the whole thing or play the whole video or anything, obviously, but it's a really kind of cool set of tips.

    And one of the things was connect with your community to ask what they want, kind of connect to diverse people, and ask how you can serve them better by literally going to the sources. And also speak or contribute to media outlets that have primarily diverse audience. That was interesting. I hadn't really thought of that too much in depth, but if you're doing speaking engagements, or as a massage therapist, if you're creating content -- let's say you have a blog series or you've got a podcast you're running or videos you're making or any kind of educational content to your clientele -- maybe actively seek ways to promote those to outlets that do have a primarily diverse audience. And that'll -- that's a way to kind of make sure that you are expanding into other communities beyond just kind of the ones that you're in.

    So I thought it was good. It was a good set of tips, good reminder. It's linked in the show notes. Again, it's for financial advisors, but it's applicable to, I think, everyone in the professional services business. So that's what I'm reading.

    AH Michael, your financial advisory business, you did a podcast episode with someone from Altruist, didn't you?

    MR Yeah, Tyrone Ross. Yeah.

    AH Tyrone Ross. And I -- that was a leading question; I know for a fact that you did. It's episode 64 of the Wealth Redefined podcast, and I found it so interesting. And again, Michael's podcast is for everyone; it's not just for financial advisors. But the way that Michael and Tyrone talked about the changing landscape of the financial industry and what Altruist is doing -- and I'll say right out Michael's my financial advisor and I have an account with Altruist, and we were just talking about it before this call. I love their platform; it's super easy for me to put money into my IRA. And anyhow, Michael doesn't like to toot his own "Wealth Redefined or Elevation Financial" horn here much. He doesn't want us to -- whatever -- because he's Michael. But I will. Y'all should check out the Wealth Redefined podcast. Not every episode speaks to me. I'm not a 100% Michael Reynolds fan all the time, people. But I like a lot of them, and especially that episode with Tyrone Ross. So there we go. I popped that in.

    MR Thanks. I appreciate it.

    AH So speaking of money, let me tell you what I read. I read The Art of Money, which was recommended to me, actually, by some Massage Business Blueprint premium members. It's an author named Bari Tessler. And I'm going to straight out tell you that I freakin' hated it.

    MR [Laughing]

    AH I hated the whole book. [Laughing]

    MR Did not see that coming.

    AH I did not like the book. However, I'm telling you about this not to be negative. I see how this book could be so helpful to people who aren't me. It is a quality examination of the thought processes and the -- forgive me for this phrase, but the phases of healing one might need to go through to become in control and in command and comfortable with your money and your financial life and your financial plans. It had -- so for people who really struggle dealing with money because they had bad money history growing up, or didn't learn things, or were made to feel bad about having lots of money or bad about not having enough money, or just not know what feelings to have about money in general, if you -- it has so many really wonderful, tangible exercises to work you through that, how you feel about money and how that's impacted where you are at financially today.

    It was a not a good book for me. I -- either I'm too shallow to recognize that I need, or I simply don't need that level of exercise and mental, emotional healing around money stuff. But I saw, definitely, how this would help people, certainly in ways that my money advice can't, because I don't have either the skills or the knowledge or the desire to help people with their feelings around money outside of like, hey, here are some systems you can set up to be better with it.

    So I recommend/don't recommend The Art of Money. It's a book, again, by Bari Tessler. We'll put the link in the show notes. She also -- I mean, she's considered a financial therapist, and she's got a history in accounting and bookkeeping as well as mental health. She's really interesting, and it's a very interesting meld of mental stuff. And that's enough about that. You may like it, you may not, but I do think it's a useful resource for some people, even if "some people" does not include me. And that's what I've been reading.

    MR In hearing the description, I'm not surprised that it wasn't your cup of tea. I mean, it sounds like you've taken the journey that this book is designed to take people through already, and therefore, you teach other people about this stuff, so I feel like you've kind of gone there already.

    AH Yeah. I mean, it taps into an emotional side that I don't tap into at all, not even just in money, but in my life, so.

    MR I mean, not that we're all perfect or anything, but I'm saying you've probably -- yeah, you've kind of had this foundation already, so.

    AH Yeah. But it was -- I do think it's a -- I see why some people were like, I loved this book. I didn't, but I do think it's useful, so I wanted to tell y'all what I've been reading.

    MR That's fair.

    AH I've also been reading some crappy fiction, but you don't need to know about that.

    MR [Laughing] Fair enough. All right. Well, let's show some love to our sponsor before we move on. Tell us about Pure Pro.

    AH I will.

    Sponsor message I'm actually going to tell you two things about Pure Pro because one of them is quite timely. This episode is going to come out on October 22nd, and what I want you to know is that until October 30th, I think, Pure Pro massage products has a special on their organic, Vermont-grown CBD oil. It's a really great product, and you, my friends, can get 10% off, as well as free shipping, if you use the code CBD10 at checkout. But again, that offer is only going until October 30th. So you can go to purepro.com and just click on the little CBD link. And if you want to get some of their organic, Vermont-grown CBD oil that they have been selling for over a year now -- Dianna visited the farms in Vermont to check out how they do it. It's really awesome. And now you can use CBD10 at checkout.

    I also wanted to point out in a not-as-timely situation that Pure Pro is now making hand sanitizer spray, which is kind of awesome because I trust Pure Pro and the quality, integrity of their products and everything else. I'm glad they're making a hand sanitizer that I know is not going to poison me. It meets all of the strictest sanitizer criteria from the World Health Organization. It's 80% ethyl alcohol derived from corn. It's not like those gross gels that don't meet the criteria or leave a sticky feeling. And if you want to get that, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/purepro and use the code BLUE10 for $10 off your next sanitizer purchase of $40 or more. We'll have all of that in the show notes, too, so you don't have to remember all those codes. And that's what I wanted to say.

    MR I mean, that's all we really want, isn't it -- I mean, hand sanitizer that won't poison you.

    AH Yeah, and CBD. There you go.

    MR Yeah, and CBD. That's really all we need. If we could just get that, we're good. All right. So we have some stuff to talk about around criteria and plan for potentially shutting down. This sounds juicy. What do you got?

    AH Yeah. So we have kind of a mish-mosh of -- well, it's all COVID-related topics, and I promise you this is the last COVID-related podcast we're going to have for quite a while because I am also tired of it. But I've seen -- and I've been asked and I've been asking a handful of questions and come upon a few issues, and I just wanted to kind of, like, fast blow through some stuff with some answers to questions I've been seeing all over.

    So the first thing is, what is your criteria and your plan for shutting down if you need to shut it -- shut down again? One, will you shut down before your local or state or federal government says that you have to? And if so, what's the criteria for that? And I've been asking myself that question because lots of states are seeing spikes in infection rates, my state included, and we're seeing Rt rates increase, which is kind of a measurement of how quickly COVID could spread. And what are the numbers, or what are the factors that are going to determine if you'll stop working again or -- for the first time if you never stopped working, or if you'll simply slow down your bookings? So you might want to think about that. Will you shut down even if the government doesn't shut you down, and what will make you shut down, outside of, of course, if you're exposed or your get COVID or something like that.

    So be thinking about that because it could be a thing that you decide to do. I don't have a full decision on that yet myself, so I'm not saying that I have all the answers. What I can tell you is that last week I was intending to send the email out to my full client list saying, hey, I'm back, I'm set up at the new office, you can schedule here. And every day, I have rescheduled that email for one day further out, so I don't know. I don't know. So right now, I've decided that I'm going only be seeing the very small handful of clients that I'd already had scheduled, and I am not inviting more to schedule. I don't know what's going to change that.

    And just -- I'm going to reiterate, make sure that if you decide you're going to shut down, or even if you don't decide yet -- but either way, make sure that you know what you're going to do. Write the template email that you're going to send to your clients to let them know you've shut down. Write the template -- scripts or emails -- to clients to say, I've canceled your appointment; I'll reach out to you when I'm ready to reopen. Write that out. Say, I am -- even though the state isn't shutting me down, I'm choosing to close right now because of this. Or if you're just going to cancel a few people's appointments but still keep a few of your other regulars, write those template emails. And that way, if you decide to do so, you can -- it's a very easy copy and paste, and it won't be as much emotional effort as if you were just coming up with all of that from scratch now.

    And if you -- you have all of these scripts from last time, but you didn't put them all together in a document, put them all together in a document. Go back and look at some of the emails you sent people when you closed down in March and just make your templates from there. You probably already have this information; you just need to aggregate it into a form. So get all that together. Think it through, write down your plan, and have it ready. I have. I have my document ready of templates should I decide to start canceling appointments. And that's where I'm at with that.

    I saw another question pop up lately in a couple of different places that said, should I do deep tissue on someone who had COVID? We know now about the coagulopathy issues, and when someone posts a question like this online, 25 people are always like, get a doctor's note. I just want to remind you that doctor's notes typically don't mean jack in situations like this because doctors don't always know what massage does to the body. We're not even sure on that. And also, there's no yes or no to this. It's all about the context.

    I would encourage you to read Ruth Werner's articles that were written for ABMP and make your own decision. We will put the links in the show notes. She's got a great article on COVID-19-related coagulopathy and things you need to ask your clients, questions you need to ask if they had COVID to determine what kind of work you can safely do on them right now. There's also a conversation with a hematologist that was really, really helpful. I'm just going to reiterate that asking these kinds of questions online to the whole world is a bad idea because you will get so many bad answers, and I don't want you to take terrible advice because we all have different levels of training; we all have different levels of prudence and what we feel are appropriate and not appropriate techniques and approaches on a good day on a perfectly known, healthy body. You add something like COVID-related coagulopathy issues that we know very little about, and you add in practitioners who don't ever think you shouldn't throw an elbow into a calf, and you get some bad advice. So that's the second thing.

    The third little random bit I'm finding is for me. Starting back up at my office on a super small scale, I am forgetting new protocols. I am forgetting to, when people walk in the door, spray their hands with sanitizer. I have -- I forgot until someone was ten minutes on the table to be like, oh, yeah, have you had a fever? I'm struggling a little bit being in a new environment with new everything, and I've forgotten a few things that have -- it's been embarrassing, ten minutes into a massage, to be like, you know what I didn't ask you? I didn't ask you if you have any new pain in blah-blah-blah. So I have needed to treat myself like a toddler and create printed checklists and laminate them.

    And literally, next to my computer, on my desk, when someone walks into the office, it says -- I glance down at that list -- I have it literally -- it's either on top of my computer or right next to it, and it says "hand sanitizer," and I say, oh, I want to spray your hands with hand sanitizer first thing when you walk in the door. And then I ask them the questions I need to ask them to make sure they haven't had any known exposures that they had forgotten to mention until now, even though that’s in my email and all this pre-appointment stuff. And then I have a specific checklist for all the things I need to do between clients. And then I have another specific checklist for all the things I need to do at the end of each day because that looks a little different. And yeah, I've had to treat myself like a toddler in order to remember because we got a lot going on, people, and I want to do things right, and I want to do them safely, and I want to not hurt anybody. Embarrassing but effective.

    And finally, I have seen people asking things like, my state doesn't require masks, or my clients don’t want to wear the masks, or my clients come in with really loose-fitting masks. I even saw, in a Facebook group somewhere, someone who -- the client was face down and they had a mask with a zipper on it. And when they were face down, they unzipped the mask, so it was no longer creating a barrier between their mouth and the rest of the world, and she didn't know until that client flipped over and was face up. So there's a lot of weirdness going on out there about face coverings, and I've seen a few people say, how do I handle it? I want my clients to wear a mask, or what if they come in with a loose-fitting one? Should I require a surgical mask? What if they come in with one of those gaiters that is more like a scarf-tube thing?

    I just want to reiterate what you already know but have maybe been a little shy about asserting, is that you can enforce criteria that's more strict than your laws. You can say, please come to your appointment with a cloth face covering that firmly adheres around your nose and around your face so that air is not escaping. You can insist people -- that you give people a surgical mask, and they wear that as opposed to their "super thin with a zipper whatever" mask. You can do what you want in your massage room. And if a client does not want to be compliant with that, it's okay for them to not be your client.

    I am -- I have -- and this -- there's things that you can't always enforce. I've asked my clients -- I've asked people who, if you're eating -- if you're indoors at restaurants, if you're socializing indoors without people you live with without masks, if you're hugging people that you don't live with, please don't schedule a massage right now. I don't know; there's always an inherent risk because people might not be honest with me and they might schedule anyway, but I can ask that. It's totally within my rights. And it's within my rights to say, I'm spraying your hands with hand sanitizer when you walk into my office, and you need to have a fitted mask, and that mask will remain on 100% of the time of your massage. And you can do that without being a jerk. And none of my clients have thought I'm being a jerk. I'm not going to -- I don't not allow people to lift their head up and adjust the mask a little bit after -- when they're face down in the face cradle and they're finding their mask is creeping up and poking them in the eyes. I'm not saying, you can't touch your mask at all! I'm being mindful, and I'm being kind, and I'm being compassionate. And I haven't had the situation come up yet where someone says they can't wear a mask because of a medical reason, in which case I'll tell them it's -- now's not a good time to get a massage if you can't wear a mask, which is unfortunate, but here we are.

    And you can do these things. You can be more strict than the laws. And you don't need to feel bad about it. And yeah, you might lose a little bit of business, but you're eliminating some -- not all -- some risk, and that's really important for you and the future of your business and the sustainability of your business and your income. So don’t be afraid to be more strict than other massage therapists, than other laws and enforcing bodies and whatever. Do what you need to do.

    That's the end of my lecture, Michael. Those are all the quick questions, and I promise no more COVID stuff.

    MR Can we really promise that?

    AH We can't, but I'm going to try really hard.

    MR [Laughing] All right. Well, that's awesome. Great list. Thank you for sharing all that. Really good reminders for everyone, I think, so. All right. Well, with that, speaking of stuff that you use to run your practice, let's talk about our sponsor, Acuity. We love Acuity.

    AH Yeah.

    Sponsor message Acuity is our scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to become virtual if they choose to, and also to become traditional if they wanted to because they were virtual. It is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate, gives you freedom to focus on all the other important aspects of your business or side hustle, like creating laminated checklists as if you're a toddler. From the moment clients books with you -- although, I'll note, you can put those checklists as forms within Acuity and do things that way too, and some that I have done. So from the moment clients book with you, Acuity is there to automatically send booking confirmations. You can add your branding and messaging so it sounds like you. They can do text reminders if you choose. It can be HIPAA compliant if you choose that level of service. It is just lovely. You never have to say, what time works for you? and then not hear back from the client and then have them show up at that time when you were not expecting them. You can just say, click here to book your appointment. So if you want a special 45-day free offer, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

    MR Thanks, Acuity.

    AH Sometimes I race through some of those sponsorship ads just because I have so much I want to say, and I can picture Katherine, our transcriptionist, typing that up super fast like it's some kind of speed-forwarded, black-and-white skit from Lucille Ball. So anyhow, that's what was in my head when I was doing the Acuity --

    MR Shout out to Katherine. She's awesome.

    AH Katherine's amazing!

    MR All right. You got a quick tip? I have one that's sort of a quick tip.

    AH I do, but I lost my podcast notes.

    MR Oh, okay. Well, I'll --

    AH Wait. No, I don't have a -- I don't have a quick tip. You go.

    MR Well, mine's not even -- mine's barely anything, so we're kind of phoning it in on the quick tip today, I think. But I have this app that I'm exploring. I haven't even tried it out yet really, so it's more of a, hey, here's an app I'm interested in. That's kind of what my quick tip is. It's called VideoAsk, and it's made by Typeform, which a really respected form provider. They make forms for websites and stuff. And so I trust that it's worth something because it's made by Typeform, which is a great company. But VideoAsk is designed to let you send quick videos to people, like clients, for example, or maybe an audience that you might have, and to just basically send a little quick video, either educational tips or questions, and they can respond via video or text or different mediums as well. So it's kind of designed for getting feedback from people, but I think it can also be used just for just general communication. So it looks interesting. I haven't tried it in depth yet; I've made like one video with it. I haven't learned how to use it. I have nothing to really share other than, hey, here's a cool app I'm interested in trying if you want to check it out. It's called VideoAsk. So that's my kind of lame quick tip, but maybe it's interesting. I don't know.

    AH I am looking forward to checking it out. I think it's actually going to solve a problem I've been having.

    MR Oh, okay.

    AH But -- and I had it bookmarked since you put it in our podcast notes. I've had it bookmarked to check out, so I'm pretty excited about it.

    MR Hey.

    AH Thank you very much for sharing that.

    MR All righty.

    AH I have no quick tips except put down your work and read a novel or something. Do what you got to do, people.

    MR Yeah. Cool. Well, thank you. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We appreciate you being here with us as always. So with that, you know where to find us. We're online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Questions or comments can be sent via email at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And have a great day. We'll see you next time.

    AH Bye. 

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