Episode 332

Jan 1, 2021

Michael & Allissa share their 3 Words exercise for 2021

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Weekly Roundup

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  • Michael & Allissa share their 3 Words exercise for 2021

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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. Welcome to our first episode of the new year. We're happy you're here.

AH Happy New Year, Michael.

MR Yay. Happy New Year.

AH What've you been reading?

MR So I've been reading about things related to the new stimulus bill, which I know we're all tired of. We're tired of everything. We're just tired. But there's a new bill. It's been kicked around for months. It is now signed into law. It may have even had an update at the time of this recording, but hey, we'll go with it. So I've been reading all about what is in the new bill and how it relates to our listeners, specifically the independent massage therapist/business owner.

So there is a link to an article from Michael Kitces, who -- I'm not going to expect anyone listening to know who that is. But he's sort of a rock star in the financial advisory community. Yes, nerd alert, #nerdalert. But he -- basically, as soon as anything at all happens when it comes to money or business or the financial advisory world, five minutes later he has a 3,000-word blog post about it. So he has a lot of really good information to share when stuff like this happens. And he wrote a really detailed -- actually, I don't think he wrote this, but I think someone else wrote it but it's on his blog. But it's basically kind of a roundup of what's in the stimulus bill version 2, which was recently passed.

So there's a ton of stuff in there, but the main highlights are -- there's kind of three general things that have come out of this: one is there is going to be another stimulus check being sent. It is $600 per person or $1,200 per couple. There is talk of it being -- legislation to try and get that raised to $2,000, but who knows if that will happen. So there is another stimulus check coming. It's very small, it's not great, but it's more than zero. So it is what it is.

There is also a -- the Pandemic Unemployment has also been kind of restarted with a $300-dollar additional benefit instead of the previous $600-dollar additional benefit. So it's cut in half, but it is still a $300-dollar additional benefit on top of the regular benefit for unemployment. So that is in the bill as well.

And then the third thing is PPP, which is the Paycheck Protection Program. So this is interesting. I have, all along, kind of been pretty pro PPP. I'm not saying it's perfect, or I'm not saying the government always does everything right. But in this case, it helped a lot of people for all its flaws. And so what's interesting is this act reopens PPP round 1. So my understanding is that you can now go back and apply for round 1 of PPP again. And I even dug a little deeper because I've talked to a couple people in this situation. Even if you handed back a PPP loan after getting it, you're still eligible to go back and reapply. So that's an interesting part of the bill. And there's also a PPP version 2, which is based on different eligibility requirements. So in this version of it, there's kind of a round 2, and the requirements are based on the revenue in a given quarter. So basically, if you look at the current quarter and you go back one year and apply that equivalent quarter's revenue to this quarter, if you are down in the current quarter more than 25% in revenue, then you're eligible for PPP round 2.

AH And you can choose any quarter from 2019 and compare it to the same quarter of 2020, right?

MR That is my understanding, yes.

AH Okay. That's what I read, too, because I was thinking on it. I'm like, well, second quarter just decimated everybody because that was April, May, June. And I think we would be hard pressed to find a massage business that didn't experience a decrease in revenue of at least 25% from '19 to '20.

MR Right. Right. So it really opens the doors to a lot of people being eligible.

AH Yeah.

MR And also, I -- I'm not totally clear on this. My understanding is also that this round 2 is only for businesses with less than 300 employees. So it's meant to kind of block out the big, huge companies that swooped in and took all this money. So it's really meant -- now, 300 employees is still a huge business to most of us. That's a massive company to me, to my little, tiny businesses here. But it's meant to make it more accessible and designed for small businesses. So that's the round 2.

It also allows the money to be spent on more things than just pay and rent. It also -- I don't have it in front of me, so I'm not totally -- I'm a little murky in this, but I think it also can go toward safety equipment like PPE. It can also go toward paying certain vendors and suppliers. So it's a lot more flexible in what you can use the money for as well. So there's a lot in there, but those are kind of the highlights that I think are most relevant to our listeners. So I've been digging through that this week.

AH Can I -- I want to point out one more thing in the -- within the new legislation is that if you got the PPP and you also got that EIDL advance, that EIDL grant --

MR Oh, yes.

AH So I got the grant for $1,000 because it was typically like $1,000 for each employee. So I got the $1,000 grant, and then when I applied for forgiveness for my PPE, they took that $1,000 out. Now I had to repay that $1,000, so it was kind of like I never got the grant. However, this next round of legislation allows forgiveness even for the amount of the grant. So if you already got your PPP and got your forgiveness and it was minus that grant, give it a couple of weeks and then reach out to your lending institution, and it sounds like we'll be able to get that back, So we'll be able to get that full PPP forgiven, or at least if you used it for other funds and didn't get your full amount forgiven, you should still get that $1,000 grant portion forgiven if you spent it on the right stuff.

And so just know that if you're -- now you've got a balance of a grand on your PPP that could get eliminated. But you got to -- we got to give lending institutions some time to get this set up and figure out if they want us to file an amended forgiveness form or if we just need to drop an email. Give it a couple of weeks, but know that that's a thing that you'll want to take action on as soon as your lending institution has it set up.

MR Yeah. Thank you. Oh, and two more things: So one, this isn't terribly relevant to most of us, but they also extended the -- or they increased the, kind of, threshold of using the simplified form to 150,000. So if your loan amount was under 150,000, which I think is probably all of us, then you can use the one-page simplified form for forgiveness. So that has been amended as well. So if there's anyone out there that had a loan that was larger but under 150, then you're eligible for that one-page form.

And then another side note: We try really hard not to be super sales-y on here, but I want to note that this'll be -- this is the kind of stuff we talk about in our Community. So if you're at all overwhelmed and like, oh, my gosh, this sounds interesting but how do I take advantage of this, what are all the ins and outs, what -- my situation specifically, this is the kind of stuff we parse through in our Community. So if you're not a member of our Community, it might be a good time to consider joining because we help people with this stuff every day in the Community. So if you want more information, the best way to get help from us and our peers, who are really on top of this, is to consider joining our Community. So that's my sales-y side note.

AH Yay.

MR Yay.

AH Yeah. So I haven't been reading much. I've been chipping away at a really old memoir from a comedian, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet because I don't have the links. But I have been playing with my new bullet journal. Yay! I think I mentioned last week that I got the new Bullet Journal. I had kind of given it up in -- when everything went bonkers in 2020, and I'm doing really good with using electronic to-do lists and checklists using Microsoft To Do. But I have found that I miss writing things with my actual hand on actual paper. So I've decided to reinitiate my bullet journal even just for like -- I'm not going to put any business lists or business stuff in there but using it for -- and I don't want to say "journaling" journaling, but light, daily reflection and check-ins to make sure that I am staying on track, which is what we're going to talk about today with our three words.

But first, who's our first sponsor, Michael?

MR The lovely folks at ABMP.

Sponsor message ABMP is proud, and we're delighted, to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint podcast. Continuing education courses you will love are available for purchase or included for free with membership in the ABMP education center. So yes, you can get them, even if you're not a member, at abmp.com/ce. You can explore hands-on techniques, you can complete ethics requirements, and discover trending courses like "A Detailed Approach to Low Back Pain" from Allison Denney. All ABMP memberships include the 200-plus video-based, on-demand CE classes. Again, if you're not a member, you can purchase access for a single course or a package. All of that is at abmp.com/ce. And I wanted to point out that I'm super excited because I have two CE courses that I'm going to look at in a few weeks. One is Til Luchau's "Working with Inflammation." And the other is Ruth Werner's "Taking the Danger out of Endangerment Sites." And I'm really excited for both of them. I think they're interesting and pertinent. And just so you know, I'm walking the walk over here. If you want even more from ABMP, they will deliver. You can check out the ABMP podcast available at abmp.com/podcast, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Again, you can go to abmp.com, and all of it is there. That's what I have to say.

MR We love ABMP.

AH We really do. They do good work, man.

MR They do.

AH So yeah. What -- tell us about three words. Sorry, I had to flip pages in my notes and totally forgot what was happening. So can you give us the most briefest of explanations about three words?

MR I will try to be brief. So the three words exercise is something Allissa and I have been doing for years. And we got it from Chris Brogan, who is a -- an author, a speaker, a business consultant, who Allissa and I have been following for a while, and I think we still like his work. He came up with this exercise called the three words exercise, and it is meant to be somewhat of an alternative to New Year's resolutions.

So if you think about New Year's resolutions, they work for some people, and that's awesome. For many of us, though, they are a little too binary. You say, oh, I'm going to reach this goal or do this thing or do this particular milestone or something that I want to accomplish, and it's very pass or fail. It's like, oh, either I did it, or I didn't or I didn't get around to accomplishing it, and now I feel bad about myself, and now I have head trash. And it's like this whole thing. And so for some of us, New Year's resolutions or goals or goal setting or whatever just don't work very well. And the three words exercise is meant to be an alternative to that that is not quite so pass/fail or binary or goal-oriented. It is meant to be more of a guideline for the direction you are headed that year.

And what you do is you take -- you define three words, and some people do one or two words, but I pretty much -- I'm a purist; I like to follow the rules. I stick to three words. And so I do three words every year. And that the three words that you define are meant to be kind of your theme for that year. So we're going to talk about these here and talk about what our words from last year were and this year. And I think as you listen to us talk about these, I hope it gives you some insight into how the three words are used and kind of how it might work for you if that feels in alignment with how you want to kind of approach the year. And I love it. I absolutely love it. I think it's the smartest thing Chris Brogan has ever said is this three words exercise. I absolutely love it ever year.

AH So do you want to do a quick recap on what your words were for last year, or you want to just charge into 2021?

MR I wouldn't mind a recap if you're okay with it.

AH All right. Do it.

MR Okay. So my three words from last year were forgive, build, and health. Forgive was meant to kind of remind me to forgive myself when I'm too hard on myself, to forgive others for -- just being less judgmental in general, just me to be less judgmental of others. And then just some general forgiveness stuff I needed to work for some specific people. So forgive was kind of wrapped in that. Build was a theme of building my businesses and to really focus on the growth aspect of the business work I was doing. And then health was to remind me to work on my health and to basically honor and celebrate the fact that I have been really finding great ways to work on my health. And I'm happy to say that I really am happy with how the year turned out as it relates to these three words. I really feel like I made a lot of progress on these things, so I'm really happy.

How about you, Allissa?

AH Hey, this is Allissa popping in with a post-production note. In true 2020 dumpster fire style, when I went back to look at my three words to recap them for the year, I actually pulled the 2019 words instead of 2020. We're just going to be cool with that. Carry on with the --

So my three words -- and I'm just going to note that I legit had to look them up because I just let it -- even when we did our June episode where we kind of recap, I still just did not get onboard. But I'm forgiving myself for that. I'm choosing your word to forgive.

MR [Laughing]

AH So my three words were work, patience, and friendships. And work was that I had really big income goals set for 2020. I feel like we all know how that worked out. That said, I do feel really good with how I have handled -- one, about that I was financially okay and even -- it might be slight exaggeration to say "prepared" for a crisis like this. I've done okay. Thank you to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and also the PPP. I did not do this all on my own with savings. I utilized the tools. But I feel really good about how I had saved and then how I spent and managed the closure of my business and reopening of another smaller practice.

My second word was patience. Eh, I think I did pretty good considering that for ten months I've been home with kids. I feel okay. My third word was friendships. I had intended to try to set up at least one event with a friend once a month. That didn't happen. I haven't even -- I did like two walks over the summer with a friend, and that was it. So I failed miserably, or at least a little bit. I also am okay with that because 2020 is the year of just forgiving ourselves for everything and cutting ourselves some slack. So that was my 2020.

Why don't you launch us on 2021? Let's start looking forward.

MR Okay. So I -- the first two words I had defined pretty quickly. The third one took me a while, but I finally arrived at it as of yesterday. And I'm really happy with the list I have. So the three words I've chosen for 2021 -- I've also got some alliteration going, which makes me happy -- they are simple, strong, and space.

So simple is because I have spent the last year in building mode. And I've been really happy in building mode, and I've really got a lot of systems in place for things. And I think, Allissa, you and I have done great work to kind of really build up the rebooted version of our Community. We've got a lot of things going really well. And to me, 2021 is the year of simplifying, and to me, that also comes with things like optimizing and making more efficient and just really, really honing and refining the systems and the business stuff we've built in 2020. So to me, simple is a theme I want to focus on. It's how do I simplify? How do I focus on simplicity? I always have a strong bias towards simplicity, but I really want to focus more on the simplicity aspect of everything I do in the coming year.

Strong has also a few different facets to it. It's a little bit narcissistic and surface in some ways because quite honestly, I've been focusing on the health aspect from last year. And a lot of that involves exercising three times a week. I've been lifting weights. I've been really happy with the fact that I'm lifting more and more weight. I am happy with the changes I'm seeing in my body. And this is in no way to indirectly shame anyone who's not working out. It's just that my version of being body positive involves doing those things, and I've been really happy with the way it's been going for me. So I feel physically stronger, and I also feel mentally stronger. I've been doing a lot of work, I think, on mental stuff. I actually found a good therapist I really like who does telehealth. She's based out of Florida. I really like her. So side note: if anyone's looking for a remote telehealth therapist, let me know. I'll be happy to connect you with her. I really like her. So being able to do that. Just generally being more self-aware, I think, of how to be mentally strong and resilient in certain situations. So just generally just -- the theme of strength in many ways is something I really want to focus on as well.

And then finally, the word space. I love the word space because I'm a huge Star Trek nerd and I love sci-fi and space stuff. So that kind of fits anyway. So the space aspect of just the word is fun for me. But space, to me, really means creating space. I have a natural tendency to fill up all the space in my life with stuff. And therefore, I end up getting a little bit overwhelmed. I don't have any free time; I just use all my time for business stuff and saying yes to everything. And so this is the year for me to work on creating more space. That might mean taking more time for myself, my family, stepping away, turning off work more. It also involves setting better boundaries. I've been really working on boundaries with certain things like family boundaries and stuff that has not been good for me mentally. And so I -- not my family personally, but just some family members in general, or just some boundaries with life in general, just people and life in general, being able to set the right boundaries to make sure that I am mentally healthy. And I'm setting appropriate space to just be, to just be effective, to be doing my best work, be my best self or whatever you want to say it. So creating the right space in my life is really important to me this year. So the word space is my third word. So that's what I have for my three words.

AH I love it.

MR Thanks.

AH That's really good.

MR Thanks.

AH You're going to laugh at mine because I did the alliteration thing as well.

MR Oh, I love it! I can't wait.

AH [Laughing] I did patience, pace, purview. So let me dive in.

Patience again. I had that last year, and I feel like it's pretty self-explanatory. I want to work on being more patient with the children and with my partner and with myself and with my ability to produce work, which has been limited. I also want to have more patience with current events and things I cannot control and things that I cannot change. I want to be better about not perseverating on those things and just letting them go. And also being patient with other people's evolution and acknowledgement of the seriousness of current events in a variety of ways. So that's patience.

The next one is pace. I really want to figure out a routine and a pace for work that works for me and that considers a variety of factors, like what my massage schedule will be post-pandemic. I love what it has become with changing -- moving my office. And I share a space now with somebody on opposite days, so my schedule is even more strict than it was before, and I'm working fewer days. And I'm liking it a lot. So I'm already --- I already see the potential for me to overwork on the days I am in the office, and I want to be mindful of finding the pace that works well within my massage schedule. And also finding a pace for work for the work I do here with Blueprint, which I love doing but have struggled to do because it is brain, deeply focused work.

And I -- on top of just struggling to maintain focus in this very weird time, I've also had problems with my eyes aging, and I need special glasses now to -- not special, but I need -- I'm supposed to get progressive lenses, and I'm not going to do that because they make me so dizzy I can't -- I tried them and it -- they did not -- they couldn't get fitted right for me. So now I need just a pair of glasses strictly for being at the computer, which I am waiting to arrive in the mail. And I took a -- I've taken like a week and a half pretty much off from Blueprint work, and -- because I can't be at the computer for any length of time without getting a headache and all that stuff. So anyhow, I need to find a pace of work for Blueprint that allows me to do the focused work without doing so much of it that I make myself either crazy or have a headache. And also, with some little side gigs: I picked up some little marketing side gigs during the pandemic, and I want to -- and I think I've actually already done this. I've found an amount of work that I will accept that is interesting and fun but not -- doesn't get tedious. I also -- again, the factors of volume of computer time with all of these things and how much focused time I can put in on any particular day. So I feel really good. I've got some ideas; I've got some plans. I have a schedule, a loose schedule I actually put in place yesterday. And it has gone well for one day in a row. We'll see about the end of today if worked for two days in a row. So that's pace.

And purview -- and the definition of purview, in particular -- I looked it up because I wanted to make sure I was using the word right -- is the range or limit of authority, competence, responsibility, concern, or intention. So for me, as in "stay in my lane," I can let other people handle their crap; they don't need me intruding on it. So unless something directly and clearly impacts me, I'm going to stay the heck out of everybody else's business. I want to know what is within my purview. So I can offer help to someone who I think needs assistance, and if they say no, that's fine. And I can also walk away if I don't want to offer help or I'm not actually needed, and I have the word "needed" in asterisks all over to make me really rethink and remind myself of when I am actually needed in both personal and professional situations, when my feedback and my assistance should be offered, and when I just need to step away because that is not within my purview. So very much like "above my paygrade," or just not something I need to put energy into because it would probably change my patience and mess with my pace. So patience, pace, and purview are my words.

I have written a whole two-page reflection in my new Bullet Journal on what I wanted my three words to be. With these bullet points, I pretty much just read directly from my Bullet Journal sharing these. And my goal is to write them, all three words, on the bottom of every single new page of my bullet journal as I start a new page every day, to physically write those words down so I remember them. I also created a list of things like -- ideal, related activities I need to incorporate into my daily life in order to achieve some success with these three words and keep them in mind. And there's things like daily meditation and daily exercise, specifically some strengthening for my back because I've some upper back issues. I think I've got a disk that's out of place and I need to do some strengthening along my spine. Some bone-building stuff -- my mother broke a hip early in the year, and now I'm afraid of breaking a bone. And some vitamins and limiting my screen time, which I have already removed a few apps from my phone to discourage my lying in bed at night or in the morning scrolling through things that are going to agitate me and perhaps test my patience and purview.

So that's where I'm at. I feel really good about. I really good about writing it down in my new, pretty, pink Bullet Journal. And I'm done.

MR I love that. I love your words.

AH Thank you. I feel really good about it.

MR I also love that you did alliteration too. [Laughing]

AH Right? I don't know why -- and then I was like, oh, it's the same as "pandemic," but whatever. It's fine. I'm over it.

MR [Laughing] There are lots of good "p" words.

AH There really are. So that's what she said.

MR [Laughing]

AH All right. Anything else we need to talk about for our three words, Michael?

MR I don't think so. I just -- I am so happy with your three words and mine. But I really love yours. I think I just -- I'm really excited about this. I love this exercise. I love that we do it every year. It's so helpful to me.

AH I do -- I feel like I need to reiterate whenever I talk about New Year's stuff. Nothing magical is going to happen at midnight. We're not going to enter 2021 having all of 2020's problems eliminated. And the reality is -- I'm going to be dark. I'm sorry. We are heading into a very difficult 8 to 12 weeks. And every expert I have heard from in the last ten months or whatever has said all along that this is going to be a long crisis for our country and for the world, and that this winter will be the hardest. And it's kind of a brutal thing to say to people who've already lost people, who've been sick, and to people like me who used to -- businesses got wrecked and a lot people who aren't back to work and all of these things. But I do think that the next 8 to 12 weeks are going to be the hardest of this crisis, and I feel like at least I'm going into it with an awareness of that. And I think the last several months have prepared us to do our best during that time.

So everybody, take care of yourselves and reach out if you need to. And I say that especially to colleagues. We have a lot of colleagues who had to leave the Blueprint Premium Community because their practices -- they're not practicing anymore. And we got an email the other day from someone who has picked up on her old career and is doing that. And even if you're not a member of our premium community, you can reach out for a little hug and love at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, and one of us will get back to you. So take care of yourselves. And that's all I have to say.

MR Right on. Okay.

AH Who's are -- now that I've brought us all down, who's our next sponsor?

MR [Laughing] Jojoba!

AH Yay!

Sponsor message This episode is indeed sponsored by The Original Jojoba Company. They are the only company in the world that carry 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. It doesn't go rancid, so if it's been sitting on your shelf while you're not working for the past year, don't worry. It's still going to be good and not smelly when you get back to work. It rinses out of your cotton sheets. It's not allergenic, which is -- probably my favorite thing about jojoba is that I can use it on any client and every client and I don't need to worry about an allergic reaction. So you got that woman who's eight months pregnant with a peanut allergy, I don't have to stress about that. I can safely massage her with jojoba. You can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com -- I'm hiccupping, I'm sorry -- massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. And also, be sure to follow their Instagram, their Facebook because they have been having all kinds of free shipping sales and stuff like that. So it's worth following them. Also, their pictures are beautiful. The president's wife is a photographer, and she just takes the most beautiful pictures. So anyhow -- and they've got a really great new social media manager, new as of a year or two ago. And it's just wonderful, so follow their social as well.

Michael, got any quick tips?

MR I do not. I'm going to just ride on your coattails today.

AH That's cool. So my quick tip is that if you use Google Drive to manage your files and stuff, and I do in two different businesses, use the "Starred" feature. I didn't even realize until quite a while ago that if you're on your home Drive page and you look at that menu to the left, it says like, My Drives and Shared Drives and Recent and Starred. If you -- you can click the little star that's at the top of any particular document or spreadsheet, or you can right-click on a whole file and choose to star it. And then when you go to that Starred menu, it will just give you a list of all the items you've starred.

There's a bunch of items that we use -- I probably use twice or three or more times a week in Blueprint, and I'm always hunting around to find the files in my Drive. And I'm like, duh, I could star them. So I have done this in our Blueprint Drive where I starred the podcast agenda file for this year and also our three main sponsors and also the spreadsheet where we plan out our episodes. And now I can just go right to Starred and find what I'm looking for right away easily without having to search for any terms or go through a bunch of files. I did this in my massage practice Drive. I Starred my -- the link to all my client files, and there was something else I can't remember right now that I access a lot that I starred. And it has just been so helpful. It saves me so much aggravation on a daily basis. It's one of those very small quality-of-life changes where I don't have to look for crap anymore. I love it. That is my quick tip. If you use Google Drive, start embracing the Starred folder and the Starred option.

MR Nice. It's a good tip. You inspired me to think of a quick tip, actually, when you mentioned Google.

AH Okay.

MR So my quick tip is now check out the new Google Voice. You reminded me that I use pretty much all Google products in business stuff. And in my financial advisory practice, I use Google Voice as my business line. And so this is kind of the equivalent of if you're a solo massage therapist, do you want a separate business line that's separate from your cell phone. And some people do, some people don't. But if you do -- I've been using Google Voice for like a year and a half now, the new version. I guess it's new-ish. And I really like it. It works really well. It's 10 bucks a month, and you can have a second line that rings your cell phone because the Google Voice app on your phone will ring. And it transcribes voicemails for you, so you can get those via email.

It gives you a second phone number so that you don't have to give out your cell phone number to clients. If you want to post it on your website, it's a separate business number. So it's a way of having a whole separate number for your business for 10 bucks a month. It rings your phone and on your computer. You can basically place calls on your computer as well if you're sitting down at your desk. So I really like it. It's -- it also has certain features like it can ring at certain times of the day. You can set office hours. So if you want to have it not ring after 6 p.m., you can say, hey, my office hours are this; do not ring my phone after 6 p.m. And you can set those windows of time when it'll ring and when it won't ring. So I really like it. It's worth checking out, I think, if you're looking for a second business line.

AH Sweet.

MR Yeah.

AH All right. That's all we got. Take us home.

MR All right. Sounds good. Well, thank you very much for being with us today. We appreciate everyone being a listener. You can find us online, as always, at massagebusinessblueprint.com. That's where you can learn more about our Community that we mentioned earlier if you'd like to check it out and get a 30-day free trial to join and kind of pop in there and talk to people and meet people and see what it's like before you decide to commit. You've got 30 days to decide. So if you'd like to email us, the email address is podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. And again, thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

AH Bye. 

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