Episode 331

Dec 25, 2020

Allissa and Michael discuss ending the year 2020 and finding some hope in 2021.

Listen to "E331: Finishing 2020 Thoughtfully" on Spreaker.
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Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • Think about your 3 words
  • Consider: What’s the thing that you wish you had done this year? Can you make it happen for 2021?

Quick Tip



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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.

AH On this last episode of the year of our Lord, 2020.

MR Indeed. There we go. Wrapping it up. Saying goodbye to 2020.

AH Yeah! And I'm happy to do that even though -- I mean, we can acknowledge that there's nothing magical that happens when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. But it will be nice to have a slightly more clean slate and some hopefulness happening. I'm -- I feel good about that. So that's --

MR Yeah. Yeah. Fair.

AH So I've --

MR What're you reading?

AH I got -- I'm not so much reading. I was on a fiction burst for a while, and I'm taking a break from that. But I had been working on a large cross-stitch project for like the past year that I am gifting to someone at the holiday. And I -- it took me forever to finish it, and I've been like -- and I wouldn't let my start -- let myself start anymore cross-stitch or embroidery projects until I finished it because then I knew it would just get blown off for another year. So I finally finished it, and it has been sent to its person and, hopefully by now, opened and enjoyed.

And I started on some starter embroidery stuff, which I've never done before. So I have not been reading so much as I have been watching embroidery videos and following embroidery artists and -- I forget what -- textile artists and such on the Instagram. And also, it turns out my friend Tracy Bradley in Arkansas, she has just started embroidering too, so she gave me some -- a link of someone else to follow. So I have been watching YouTube video embroidery tutorials from someone called Hopebroidery. And also my friend Tracy suggested Barmy Fox, which -- and I'm putting the links in our podcast notes. And I'm just starting up, and I did a really fun embroidery piece that I may be able to post on Instagram or put link in by the time this podcast airs. But it's a gift for somebody for the holiday, and I'm waiting for the frame to come in, so I can't put it up yet.

But I -- I'm just starting, and I'm learning all of the slip stitch and a French knot and the back stitch. And it's really fun and creative and gives me something to do that's not in front of the computer. And I've been feeling really good about being creative in a textile way again. So the moral of this story is, next year, everyone's getting something embroidered for Christmas.

MR So I just have to say, I've -- really love seeing all of your adventures in cooking and crafts and all the stuff you're doing. It's just -- it's been a lot of fun to watch.

AH Aw, thanks.

MR Yeah.

AH And I got to say, I found a lot of solace in cooking partly because I feel like because I'm not bringing in much of an income nowadays that my usefulness to the household is increased when I can make meals and really economize with our grocery shopping and our meal planning and the cooking I'm doing. And also because my productivity is just down so much and I've finally forgiven myself for that and recognize that I can only spend three hours or so thinking in front of the computer every day, it's really good to have a hard stop time in the afternoon to be like, okay, well, it's 4 o'clock; I need to start making dinner, or it's 3 o'clock, and if I'm going to have these homemade pretzels with dinner, then I need to get them started now because they require two rises. So it's been really good for me to do that.

And also, it's dramatically cut our grocery bill, so I feel good about that. And we were not people that ate fancy foods or even went out. We only ever went out to eat like every other weekend when the kids would go hang out with their mom, and that hasn't happened since March. So I feel really good about -- I've been making more interesting food because then it's more fun to have dinner and also keeping our grocery costs down by doing a lot of things from scratch and eliminating food waste. So I feel good about that in a variety of ways.

So thank you for mentioning that.

MR Yeah.

AH I like the cooking because it's tangible; you have an end product. And I -- it's part of what I really am liking about the cross-stitch and embroidery now, is like, you do a thing and then it is done and it is pretty. There you go.

MR You're a bright light in my Instagram feed.

AH [Laughing] It's totally a -- I think I just changed my Instagram profile description to say -- I just totally -- it used to be like, ukulele amateur, marketing whatever, and totally silly and cheesy. Yeah, that's right. I changed it: massage therapist, marketing geek, and amateur pandemic chef. And I'm going with that.

MR Yeah. I've just embraced Instagram. My Instagram has nothing to do with business. I've just embraced it as total fun.

AH Yeah. It's -- no, it's still -- like the past five years have just been all pictures of Eli. That's it.

MR Yeah.

AH It is the Eli Channel.

MR Yes. [Laughing] Well, there's a reason for it. So side note: there's a reason for that, like a little logistical, practical reason because I link it up with Chatbooks. And so Chatbooks takes my Instagram feed and just turns it -- every time it gets up to 60 photos in one batch, it turns it into a printed book with all the photos in it. So I get a little square, artsy book with every 60 Instagram photos.

AH What?

MR Basically it's just auto-scrapbooking Eli's life growing up in this automated Instagram integration.

AH How have you not put this as a quick tip?

MR Oh. Okay. I'm going to go with more detail into that in my quick tip at the end of this episode. That is my quick tip for today, so I will talk more about that at the end. Stay tuned.

AH OMG, Michael. I had no idea that was a thing.

MR Stay tuned. Yep.

AH Okay. So our first sponsor, I'm just going to -- because I know Michael's looking up Chatbooks right now.

MR [Laughing]

AH I know he's finding the link for all of us shortly. Our first sponsor is ABMP.

Sponsor message Thanks, ABMP, for sponsoring this podcast. You know this already, my friends, CE courses you will love available for purchase or, if you're a member, included free in your membership in the ABMP education center at abmp.com/ce. Explore hands-on techniques. You can complete ethics requirements and discover trending courses like "A Detailed Approach to Low Back Pain" from Allison Denney. I love her. All ABMP memberships include 200-plus video-based, on-demand CE classes. If you're not a member, you can purchase access for one class or a package of CEs at abmp.com/ce. You want more? You should get more, my friends, because they will give you more, including the ABMP podcast, which is just wonderful. It covers this -- just broad areas of topic related to health and wellness and also lots of massage-specific stuff at abmp.com/podcast. One of my favorite episodes is the one with author -- I think his name is James Nestor, and he wrote the book Breathe. And it was all about breathing and what happens physiologically in the human body. And he did a thing that -- where (indiscernible) deep sea divers, and then this whole book is just about breathing. And I got to tell ya, I've been doing some of the breathing practices, and they have improved. And it's actually helped Walt snore a little less at night. And it's awesome at abmp.com/podcast. Didn't mean to go off on that tangent. Sorry. Okay.

MR Hey, sorry, not sorry.

AH Sorry, not sorry at all. Okay. Let me flip back to my podcast notes here. Okay. This is totally throwaway episode in that we're just going to talk a little bit about end-of-the-year stuff. And this last episode we had was kind of about taking it easy on yourself, and so I didn't want to give you some big, learn-y, marketing thing that made you think you had to do hard marketing things. So some ideas for wrapping up this year thoughtfully and perhaps emerging into 2021 with some new goals and new approaches and feeling positive about the future as opposed to feeling just the way we've all been feeling. So some thoughts.

Michael, first, can you tell people about our New Year three things that we do?

MR You mean the three words?

AH Three words, yes. Sorry.

MR Yes. Gotcha. So yes, the three words is an exercise that we do that is created by Chris Brogan, who is a -- kind of a business author/speaker, educator. And I think we both still like Chris. I like Chris Brogan still. I think he's a good guy. And he does this three words exercise, which is an alternative to New Year's resolutions. And the problematic thing that some people find with New Year's resolutions is they're kind of pass/fail; they're kind of like -- create head trash if we don't do it properly or whatever. And we -- it's this whole thing about New Year's resolutions that doesn't work for some people.

And so the three words exercise -- we'll talk about that, I'm sure, at the beginning of the year more, but it -- it's an idea of creating or defining three words for the year that kind of give you a direction to go. They are words that define the energy that you want to have or where you want your energy focused during that year. And so it's not pass/fail. It's basically a theme for the year that gives you, again, a theme to kind of point toward or a target to point toward. So I really like it.

And I think, Allissa, you and I both really like it because it's not so much like a hard pass/fail kind of thing or a goal or whatever. It's a nice, supportive theme. So that's what we do every year.

AH Yeah. So if you have not ever done this three words, please know that it could be one word or two words. I have had many years where it's just two words because I got enough on my plate and I'm tired. And you could go to some of our past episodes, and usually, it's our first episode of the year. And we've talked about them a little bit. In our next episode, which we'll publish on January 1st, we will -- Michael and I will launch our three words. And so my suggestion to end the year thoughtfully is to think about your year and think about your three words for next year.

Also, kind of business related, and this comes from a conversation I had with one of our premium members at office hours the other day: What is a thing you wish you had done better in your business this year? And this was a wackadoodle year for all of us. But what is something that didn't go well that you wish had?

Maybe it was your ability to contact every client when you had to shut down or to contact every client when you reopened or to have weeded through your files so that you weren't getting cluttered up with clients you hadn't seen in ten years. Maybe think about something that you wish you had done a little more better, a little more better this year and what you can do to set it up for a better 2021. And then do that thing. Now, I know that the "do that thing" is the hard part; we'll get to that in a second.

So an example is email marketing. If you're working or you know you're going to go back to work at some point in 2021, and you wish you had done better about email marketing, now is the time to hop on that. Now is the time to plan out some content for the first couple of emails after you return. Now might be the time to weed through your client list or weed through the current email marketing list you have and remove any clients that you don’t want coming back. Now might be a great time to learn how Mailchimp or MailerLite or Constant Contact or any of these mail programs work and do their tutorials so that you are ready to start email marketing at whatever date you determine. That can be an arbitrary date, and that's okay.

And specific to email marketing, which is something we're going to cover a lot in January because I'm kind of diving into that to redo our resources on email marketing, I was talking to this member the other day and she's like, I don't know if I should it; I have a small list; I feel like I don't get any responses. And I said, when you send an email, do you get even one booking? And she's like, yeah, usually. I'm like, great, you made 100 bucks. One email, which was hopefully less than an hour of effort and usually free because there's plenty of free options for bulk email marketing senders. You made 100 bucks off of one email. You should absolutely keep doing it. If you even get one booking, it's absolutely worth it. So even though it's not something you super enjoy, maybe make a plan to at least do it on a certain schedule. And it doesn't have to be every week. It should actually -- maybe every two weeks or every month. That's fine.

If you've been thinking that you're unhappy with your prices, if you've been thinking that you didn't love the schedule you were working -- and I speak from experience on this: I used -- I didn't love the schedule I was working, and then when I moved and reopened, it was a great opportunity to create a new schedule. My clients have -- the clients that have come back have adjusted very well. Now could be a good time to start thinking about that change and how you're going to make it. If you don't want to take new patients who have headache problems anymore, you only want to see patients who have chronic back pain or whatever, now might be a good time to start adjusting your niche and thinking about how you want to move forward with that.

So here is my only "do that thing": Make your plan. If you've decided there's something you want to change, write out the steps for that. Schedule a time to do the tasks. Maybe come up with an accountability partner, maybe a colleague or a friend who you can meet with once a week for a half an hour via Zoom or on the phone and say, here is the progress I made on my goal this week. Here is my plan for next week. And they can do the same. So if you want and need to make any changes in your business -- sit down. If at all possible, give yourself some quiet time if you can get someone to watch your kid and you can go hide in another room with a cup of tea or even go for a walk with your notebook. Do whatever you can do to think about that and at least map out the steps. It is a gentle entry into change and making things happen in 2021. And that is the entirety of my topic today.

MR Love it. Thank you for that.

AH Thank you, sir. Who's our next sponsor?

MR All right, our friends at Jojoba!

AH Yay.

You know that I love The Original Jojoba -- Jojoba Company -- I love them so much I can't say it. I'm going to start again.

Sponsor message You know I love The Original Jojoba Company and using jojoba in your massage practice, since it never goes rancid. It's safe for all clients. It won't stain your natural fiber sheets. And it's really nice to have on hand with all the hand washing and stuff and the hand sanitizer that's drying out our skin. I keep it on hand, a couple of drops all over my hands and my cuticles, and it keeps my hands nice and soft during the winter and all of this wacky time. It is the only -- The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. We are delighted to be a long-term partner with them. You can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. And I will also note that they have a handful of new products, and I love their lip balm.

MR All right.

AH All right. Quick tip. Tell us a little bit more about Chatbooks, Michael.

MR All right. So little did I know, I do have a quick tip today, which is that I use a service called Chatbooks. And I've been using it for -- I think for like five years now, whenever -- since Eli was born, my son. He was born five years ago, and I started using the service to kind of document and scrapbook the fun photos throughout him growing up. And so Chatbooks is really cool. It's $10 a month for a subscription, and you link it up with your Instagram account. And every photo you take on Instagram -- you can decide this manually. You can choose the photos you want to go in when a batch is ready. But I don't want to go through the work of that, so basically, I just make Instagram nothing but the family photos I want to put in there. So every time you take a photo Instagram, it'll go into Chatbooks. And then when you hit 60 or whatever your threshold is, 60 is kind of the default, it'll take those 60 photos. It'll put them in a batch. It'll email you and say, hey, we're going to -- in a week, we're going to ship your book. And you have time to go in and make changes if you want to. And then it mails you a little square book. The website has pictures of it. It's really cool. It's like a little square picture book with the dates, the captions are there as the captions of the photos. It's got the dates with every photo. It's really nicely packaged and nicely done.

So basically, every few months, we get this little cool photo book of the past year-ish or partial year or little more than a year time frame depending how many photos I've taken of our family. And it's just a really nice little stack of books you develop that is kind of a little, mini scrapbook. So yeah. I've been using that for a while. It's really easy. It's automated. It's inexpensive. And so it's a really fun way to just use Instagram to produce printed photo books automatically. So there you go.

AH Thank you, Michael.

MR Yeah. It's fun.

AH Thanks for that. All right. Wrap us up for the year, bud.

MR All right. Well, hey, thanks so much for joining us for this episode and this year. So if you're a long-time listener, you've been with us for a while, we really appreciate that. And we love that you have been part of our Community for this past year and possibly beyond. And if you're a new listener, thanks so much for joining us. We're so happy to have you on board. We love it that you're a new listener, and we hope you continue listening in the next year as well. So if you're looking for something new to help your practice as things hopefully get back to normal in 2021, consider joining our Community. If you're not a member yet, you can try it free for 30 days. And hop on in there at massagebusinessblueprint.com, and we'd love to see you on the inside there as well. So thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Have a great end of year, and we will see you next year.

AH Happy New Year!

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