Podcast

Episode 340

Feb 19, 2021

Allissa talks about one of her favorite productivity theories. It’s super flexible and a little gross.

Listen to "E340: Eat the Frog" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 340

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Quick Tips

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Allissa Haines:

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 non-allergenic. I can use it on any client and every client without fear of an allergic reaction. It is also non-comedogenic, 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 a jojoba a wonderful carrier for your essential oils as well. It won't stay in 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 press quality jojoba. And we are delighted to be their partner. You my friends can get 20% off the price of their 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

Michael Reynolds:

We're your hosts. Welcome to our show today, this wintry episode.

Allissa Haines:

And this is a very special cozy episode because Michael has a kid home doing E-learning because of a snow storm, and I am recording from my bedroom instead of my little office. So, there's pretty much a guarantee you're going to hear one of our kids in the background at some point. We're just going to roll with it because it's a family show.

Michael Reynolds:

Please expect interruptions.

Allissa Haines:

We're cool.

Michael Reynolds:

Eli is playing Zelda at the moment, so I think that'll keep him occupied for a bit.

Allissa Haines:

Excellent. Michael, what are you reading? What are you doing? What's up?

Michael Reynolds:

I am listening to, which podcast was it, the Daily, the New York Times podcast called The Daily. And I heard this fascinating episode a couple of days ago called Who's Making All Those Scam Calls. I think it was Sunday's episode. So, we all, I think, get these scam calls from people with various agendas trying to get us to turn over personal information or send gift cards, trying to scam us out of money. And this reporter that did this podcast episode recounts this story where he tracks down this scammer. He actually travels to India, tracks down this scammer and really goes in-depth into figuring out where these call centers are located and what the motivations are, and tracks down this guy's ... Meets him face to face and asked him all about scamming and how he does it.

Michael Reynolds:

Then, talks to this guy who is the anti scammer. He basically tricks scammers into opening up their computer so he can put software on their computer and watch how they're scamming and warn people. It's this whole fascinating thing. So, that's what I've been listening to. It's really interesting, the origination and the story behind all these scam calls that we get. So, it's a fun listen. It was eye-opening.

Allissa Haines:

Wow. That's, I don't know, man. Hey, have you noticed that the new iPhone feature where if someone calls you and it's an unknown number or number that's been previously reported as spam, the iPhone comes up and says, "Likely spam"?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Spam risk? Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Isn't that awesome?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

That's cool. Anyhow-

Michael Reynolds:

Very useful.

Allissa Haines:

... That's what happens when I update my iPhone. Thank you, I might actually listen to that because it's a crime podcasts that's not going to give me nightmares.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's pretty interesting. What about you?

Allissa Haines:

So, I have two bits about pandemic assistance stuff. First of all, and I just want to preface this, I'm not a CPA, I'm not your tax preparer, I'm not your tax attorney. I do follow many CPAs and such, specifically oriented towards small business. So, I follow a woman named Jamie Troll, and she's a CPA. And specifically she serves very small women-owned businesses. She did a great video. It's on YouTube. The link is in the show notes about the Paid COVID Sick and Family Leave for Self-employed People. It is a tax credit for self-employed people who may have had to not work in order to care for sick family or care for children when schools were closed. There's very specific parameters about it. She's got a 40 minute video that talks about it.

Allissa Haines:

Now, I want to be really clear, if for every week that you have been out of work you have collected either a pandemic unemployment assistance or paid yourself via PPP or some other means, this might not be for you. But if you've had any amount of unpaid time where you didn't get unemployment or you weren't able to pay yourself through the PPP, just absolute time that would have been work time, except that you were caring for a sick family member or a child, a minor child because schools were closed, you might be able to get a tax credit for a portion of what you would have earned on those days if we weren't in a pandemic. So, it's worth it to watch the video or even just learn more about it.

Allissa Haines:

And when I was telling a friend about this, my second little thing here is that Intuit actually has an aide assist, a quiz/calculator that can help you figure out which of all of these pandemic assistance programs might be right for you. Again, I'll put up the link to that in the podcast notes, and it actually does cover this Paid COVID Sick and Family Leave for Self-employed People. I walked myself through it a bit, and it looks really helpful. Learn about these programs so that you can ask your CPA or tax preparer. And I also want you to keep in mind that not every CPA or tax preparer is up on all this stuff. So, if you look into a program that you feel confident would make sense for you, and your CPA or your tax preparer says, "No, you're not eligible for that," make them explain why, because it could be that they are not up on the most recent information.

Allissa Haines:

So, we're going to have to be our own advocates and really push back on some things to make sure that we are getting all of the resources we are eligible for. It's all just a hot mess out there, and I say this with all compassion for these CPAs and tax preparers and such who have had to keep up on all this. It's really hard. So, learn about these things so you can make an educated decision about if they are appropriate for you. So, that's the Paid COVID Sick and Family Leave for Self-employed tax credits, and then the Intuit Aide Assist survey calculator that helps walk you through what you might be eligible for. You can always find our podcast notes at massagebusinessblueprint.com/podcast, and you'll see a whole list of all our podcast episodes. This is episode 338, and hopefully that will help.

Michael Reynolds:

Actually, this is episode 340.

Allissa Haines:

Oh my gosh. This is episode 340. Okay. Sorry. This is episode 340. And I keep doing a thing where I'm changing the episode number and the document title but they're not in our podcast notes. Last week Rianne caught me, my friend, Rianne, who does some virtual assisting work for us, caught that error, and now Michael just caught it. So, this is episode 340.

Michael Reynolds:

There you go. Thanks for sharing.

Allissa Haines:

We're all professionals here. Who's our first sponsor, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Our first sponsor is ABMP. We love ABMP.

Allissa Haines:

We do, and I think they love us because they've said they're proud to sponsor our podcast. They have CE courses you will love. Available for purchase. They're included free with membership in the ABMP Education Center. You can go to abmp.com/ce to find all that. There are hands-on techniques, ethic requirements, all kinds of new courses. All ABMP memberships include 200 plus video-based on-demand CE classes. If you are not a member, that's okay. We still love you. You can purchase access for single courses or CE packs at a really good price. Again, abmp.com/ce. And if you want more from ABMP, they have more. You can check out the ABMP podcast available at abmp.com/podcast, or wherever you prefer to listen.

Michael Reynolds:

All right, Allissa, how do we eat the frog?

Allissa Haines:

Hey, this is a fun topic. So, years back I read about this, and I'm pretty sure Michael did too. And actually an old friend, Abraham, who actually used to work for ABMP, was in on it too. And it's this productivity concepts and theory and a realistic approach to getting things done called 'eat the frog'. It is a way to structure your day and your tasks in a realistic way to help solve the problem of overestimating what you can do versus underestimating what you can do in a certain amount of time. The concept is helpful if you struggle with procrastination, if you you're getting a lot of stuff done but you're not making progress on a big project or an important project, if you have trouble deciding what to work on at any given time.

Allissa Haines:

There have been a lot of times where I sit down in front of my computer and I have three hours to get work on and I don't know what to do and I get overwhelmed, and I end up looking at Facebook. If you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list. So, 'eat the frog', the frog is the hardest and least attractive task on your to-do list. And to eat it is to do it. The frog is the thing, all cap letter, THE THING, the thing you don't want to do but you need to do to move forward in your life, your business, your day, whatever. So, the first thing with this whole eat-the-frog concept is to identify it. What is the thing that you don't want to do but really need to do? You've committed to it, or it's important for you to move forward.

Allissa Haines:

So, you identify it. And I'm just going to use my real life example of the frog that I have been putting off for months, because in my head it was big and unmanageable, which is insane because it's a thing I've done a million times. I need to create a new email marketing module for our premium Massage Business Blueprint member group. We have all these different modules of different topics of running your business, and I've needed to update the email marketing module for six months. For some reason this became a big thing in my head as if I didn't know how to create a slide show, record a video, record a demo of creating a bulk email account and sending a bulk email. It's things I do every day, and yet this was a big thing that was overwhelming me.

Allissa Haines:

So, I identified the frog, doing this email marketing module. The next step is to set and clarify the amount of time you have to do it in any particular day. Ideally this would be a one to three hour block of time, a one to four hour block of time where you can be uninterrupted. Now, I grasp that this is a very difficult thing to find, especially if you have a family, people you have to care for. To get a couple hours of uninterrupted time to actually do work is really hard. So, if you can get 30 minutes or one hour, that's a win. So, please don't throw this whole concept away because you can't get four hours to concentrate on something.

Allissa Haines:

So, you identify the thing that you need to do, and then you are clear about the amount of time that you can sit down and do it. So, even if it's one hour, but I'm going to say three, because sometimes I can find a three hour block of time. So, you sit down in front of your computer, or whatever, to do that thing, and you really have to only do that thing. And you do it first, and you do it without interruption, ideally, without getting distracted by the little fires you need to put out. So, you turn off your email, you turn off the notifications on your phone if you're able to do that. I have text messages come into my MacBook. I turn that off so I don't see any notifications or texts coming in. I close every browser window except exactly what I need to do that particular task in front of me.

Allissa Haines:

It's really hard because you got to ignore all the other things that come into your head. Put a notebook next to you so that if you think of something unrelated to this project in the middle of this work time you can just write it down and let it go. And commit to this. Can I say this? Like the Nike, Just Do It, isn't helpful for everyone. If you are someone who is perhaps neuro-diverse with ADHD stuff, or if you have some real emotional block to doing this task, probably need to be in therapy about it as we all do. So, if you've tried something like this and it hasn't worked for you, I understand. I want you to maybe try again. Consider trying again.

Allissa Haines:

Think about why you need to conquer this frog, why you need to eat this frog, why do you need to do this thing, why it's important and what it will do for you. Sometimes there's a really tangible end goal. Like, for this project, the tangible end goal is going to be me uploading all of my written material and my video demos onto our premium member portal, and that's really good. That's a tangible end goal. Also, I need to envision how relieved I'm going to feel when it's done. That sense of relief that you have when you've finished a big project that you've been dreading, think on it. How did that feel? What's the last thing you conquered and it felt so good when you were done?

Allissa Haines:

And this could have just meant catching up on a week of laundry. Think about that, feeling, journal it, if you're into that. You've got to bottle it, post-it note if you have to, how you felt. Literally write down, "Tremendous sense of relief. I can take a deep breath." Whatever comes to mind when you think about maybe the last time you were successful in conquering something. Post-it note it, slap that crap everywhere. I also want to note that the idea of sitting down to do the big thing is terrifying, so, maybe the first couple of times, the first couple of blocks of time you have to do this, you set yourself a very simple task of, "Okay, I can not sit down and do this whole thing today."

Allissa Haines:

And I did this finally last week. I could not sit down and do this whole email marketing module in one day, but I could commit to sitting down and making a list of the order in which things had to happen. "Okay, I need to do the outline, I need to create the slides. I'm gonna need to learn this new bulk email program. I'm going to have to research HIPAA compliance for bulk email and transactional email stuff. I need to record the video of me setting up a new bulk email program, and then record a video of me making an email template to use in my business," and then there's a few other little tasks there.

Allissa Haines:

I wrote down what I was going to have to do to make all this happen. Then, the next time I had to sit down and work on this project, and again, all my notifications get turned off, all the extra programs on my computer get turned off, all the other browser windows get closed, and I sat down and made an outline of the content, what it was going to look Then, when I started making the slides for it, and I can't do all the slides and get all the stock photos in at the same time, I just have to put the outline into the slides and then I go back and do stock photos later. So, I've worked my way, probably about an hour at a half at a time is what I've been able to manage. And it's pretty much the first thing I do every day.

Allissa Haines:

So, I conquer it first, and then I feel a sense of relief that I have finished one stage of this project that is haunting me. And that motivates me to do more for the rest of the day, and or makes me feel as though I've accomplished enough that I can let go of the rest of my work for the day, and feel good about it and feeling accomplished so I can hit it again the next day. So, sorry, I went a bit off track on my notes here. Okay. So ... Sorry. So, if you can't do the whole thing, do one part of that thing in that dedicated time.

Allissa Haines:

Another example, and this is one that stuffs a lot of people up. You might need you to rewrite your menu in your service descriptions, maybe some of your website copy all on your website. So, that's a big, daunting, scary project. So, your instinct might be to not do that big scary project, and instead fill the time with maybe reconciling a month of bank transactions or cleaning your bathroom. So, of all those things that I have to do, rewrite my website, reconcile some transactions in my checking account or clean the bathroom, what's the hardest, what's the easiest for you? For most of us, the hardest thing is going to be rewriting our website copy, right? So, we want to distract ourselves with the other things.

Allissa Haines:

If you can push yourself to do the opposite, if you can push yourself first to spending an hour on your website copy, then do the other stuff, you're going to feel really good about moving towards that bigger goal. And again, some progress is just fine. A certain amount of time or defining a portion, "Okay, so, for today, all I'm going to do is reorganize my menu of services. I'm not gonna change their descriptions, I'm not going to change my pricing, but I am going to look at all the services I offer and go through them and decide what I'm getting rid of and what I'm not. And then tomorrow I'm going to start rewriting my service descriptions." One step at a time, either a defined portion of the task or a very specific amount of time you can spend on it.

Allissa Haines:

This is not all or nothing. The eat-the-frog concept gives you a really fantastic sense of control. If you can get one day accomplished you're going to realize that you are setting the agenda, you are controlling your time, not the, I call them the distraction monkeys in your head. You're being really proactive instead of being reactive. You are controlling your time. You're not reacting to stuff that comes in via email or text or notification or whatever. You are in charge, and that is really powerful. And again, eat-the-frog can give you a really motivating sense of accomplishment that can help you move forward in that big task and also other big tasks.

Allissa Haines:

And it also can take advantage of the best hours of your day. For many of us at the beginning of our workday, if you're not a morning person or you cannot get that time alone in the morning, find a way. Think about, "Okay, what's the next best time for me? When do I feel most motivated? It's probably not the half an hour after lunch because that's usually when I need a nap, but often sometime right before dinner, I get an up burst of an hour of energy before I need to go make dinner." So, for some of us that might be 3:00 to 4:00 PM, whatever works for you that you can carve into your day with all of the other responsibilities. But if you can identify that frog that you need to eat and you can identify a block of time, it doesn't have to be every day, even every other day or whatever you can make happen, puts you in the driver's seat, it puts you in control so that you are making stuff happen.

Allissa Haines:

There's a few tips on how to manage this. In a perfect world, the day before, the night before you're going to get that task done, and you know you want it to be the first work-related thing you do the next day, prepare for it. Get all of the screens open that you will need to accomplish that task. Have the task list in front of you of what you need to do for that project, and decide the night before what you're going to do, "Okay, today I am going to readjust my menu of services." "Today I am going to rewrite my bio on my website. That is the only thing I'm going to do today. And I'm only going to do it for the hour and a half I have allotted it. If I don't finish, that's okay, I'm going to hit it next time."

Allissa Haines:

Open the screens that you need in your computer to do that. Have it on your computer desktop so when you open your computer the next day your email's not open and the other stuff isn't open, you are going to spend the first 90 minutes doing that thing. Then, you get to shut it down and let it go. And don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Whatever you can manage is better than nothing. Even if that's a half an hour in the morning or at night, hide in your bedroom or your basement or your car in order to avoid distraction. Whatever you can manage. You might not be able to turn your phone off for a half an hour in the day because what if your kid's school calls or whatever, but you can probably put it in another room for half an hour at night after they go to bed, half an hour before they wake up, or a half an hour while you put them in front of a television, or Zelda, whatever it takes.

Allissa Haines:

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. And that's the eat-the-frog concept. It pictures a very big ugly green frog, and you just have to eat it, get over it, and move on with your day, like you're eating vegetables first on your plate. That is all I have. I'm going to put two eat-the-frog resources in the podcast notes. They explain it much more in depth and maybe more helpfully than me. But sometimes just picturing the big ugly frog, identifying it as a particular task, and then conquering even a portion of it, makes me feel so much better, so I wanted to share that concept with you. I'm done, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

You know I love me some productivity tips.

Allissa Haines:

I know-

Michael Reynolds:

I like it.

Allissa Haines:

... And I like this one because it gives you a good visual, and it can be really forgiving too. And it's so motivating. If anybody has any other stuff, productivity tips, things that have helped them, I would love to hear about it because it's a thing we all struggle with.

Michael Reynolds:

Right on. All right. Thank you for that. Love it, love it.

Allissa Haines:

Now, especially, and this probably came up because I think someone in our premium community mentioned eating a frog, and I was, "You know, a lot of people don't know what that means." So, now you do, and I'm going to use the term more. Who's our next sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Our favorite online scheduling software, Acuity.

Allissa Haines:

Acuity is indeed my favorite online scheduling software. It is your online scheduling assistant. Not just scheduling, it does a bunch of other stuff. I said that totally wrong. Working 24/7 to fill your schedule, no more phone tag. Clients can quickly view your real-time availability and self-book their own appointments. They can even pay online and reschedule with a click. You can eliminate no-shows with emails and text reminders, either, or both. You can sync with your existing calendars like Google, Office 365, iCloud or Outlook. And I have to say, this has been really helpful to me. I can actually sync my Acuity into my personal Google calendar. And that means that my partner can see when I have appointments booked, but you can set it so that he can't see their names.

Allissa Haines:

He can't see my client names. He just sees a yellow block that says, "Busy", and he knows that that yellow block means that I have a client, so I will be at my office at that time, which has been really helpful to be able to import that and have them see it, but still have it be private. He's not looking at all my client names. And it's dramatically helped in our management of a family schedule. You can handle all your forms before the appointment so you can get right to doing the massage that you do best. And customer service is a delight. You can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. And check it out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Quick tip time.

Allissa Haines:

You have a quick tip? I do not, so share.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. My quick tip is, consider hiring your child. Let me explain. So, in my financial advisory business I sometimes come across specific situations that I haven't encountered before, and so I enjoy digging into it and researching it. And recently this came up, the concept of hiring your child, specifically a teenage child, someone who can do some productive work in your massage practice, for example, whether it's administrative stuff or just general clerical stuff in your massage practice. And this was brought up a couple of times in the financial advisor forums I'm in. Someone brought it up recently by saying, "Hey, there's this TikTok video of someone saying, 'Hey, you can like get around taxes by hiring your child'."

Michael Reynolds:

It sounded scammy because it was on TikTok, but then I did some more research, and it actually looks pretty legitimate, like a really good idea for some people to consider hiring your child in your business, and here's why. So, if you hire your child, obviously you're paying someone and you're reducing your your taxable income. So, you have an expense by paying that person, and so you're reducing your taxable income which lowers your tax bill. Also, you are allowing your child to start earning income, which allows them to contribute to a Roth IRA, for example, which then allows them to start getting a really early headstart on compound interest and enjoying that tax-free growth in that Roth IRA.

Michael Reynolds:

Also, because there was a $12,000 standard deduction, anything up to $12,000 a child earns is tax free, which is nice. Also, if you're a sole proprietorship or an LLC, which is the vast majority of our members, our listeners, I believe, then they're excluded from payroll taxes. So, there's a lot of advantages tax wise, and it's a way of keeping money in the family and transferring money to the child through employing them and then taking advantage of those tax tax perks or tax advantages and give them a headstart on saving in a retirement account, which is obviously the more time you have the more compound interest is useful.

Michael Reynolds:

So, if you have a teenager, someone who's able to do some basic clerical work or administrative work, it's actually worth considering. And the SBA endorses it. When I was doing research, I was, "Okay, let's, let's dig into this and see how legit it is." And there's actually an article I linked to on the SBA website that says, "Hey, you should probably do this." They really endorse it. The thing to watch out for is just really making sure that you are paying your child a reasonable wage, which means you can't overpay them just to get money in their hands. You have to pay them what you would pay someone else. So, you want to make sure you're paying a legitimate wage which would stand up to audit. And you want to make sure they are legitimately doing work, which would also stand up to audit.

Michael Reynolds:

There've been cases where, during an audit, the IRS will send people to your workplace, so to speak, and ask people around the area, "Hey, have you seen this kid actually doing this work," and actually really investigating it. And you want to have records of time clock entries or time tracking software and documentation showing they've done the work. So, it has to be legitimate. They have to be legitimately doing real work and getting paid a real wage for that real work. But as long as you're doing that, it could be a real advantage to helping your child get a headstart on saving and also give them experience in the real world doing work as well. So, I want to share that for anyone who maybe has an early teen or teenage child who need something to do and maybe wants to earn some money and get a jumpstart on investing, and also, like I said, get some experience.

Allissa Haines:

Man, I have dreams of making the teenager here, paying her to do my office laundry, but I'm not legally married to the boyfriend. So, she's not technically a kid that I can pay. So, ... Booboo, buddy. Slap a ring on this finger. I may have to use this as another-

Michael Reynolds:

This just took an interesting turn.

Allissa Haines:

It really did, it really did. No, it's cute. The little guy, he actually folds all of our hand towels at home. We use dishcloths as napkins because we don't use paper towels here, and he is just, it's adorable. He just sits in front of the TV and he folds all of our little hand towels, and we call it, 'saving the earth' so that we're not using paper products. And I totally yesterday was, "Man, I could get this kid to fold my massage laundry too, that would be awesome." So, just an idea for all of you if you have someone capable of doing laundry then you could pay them to do that at the very least.

Michael Reynolds:

There you go.

Allissa Haines:

Awesome. All right, we're done. If you have a topic you want us to cover, you should email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. We've got a couple of really cool questions lately that weren't really appropriate for podcast topics, but we absolutely answer them. So, email us, whatever your question is, maybe it'll be a podcast topic, maybe I'll just answer it.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah [crosstalk 00:30:10].

Allissa Haines:

I love telling people what to do. And if you like this show, then please leave us a review on wherever you listen to podcasts. That helps other people find us, and we appreciate it. I'm all done. You can finish up.

Michael Reynolds:

I like how you're just steamrolling over my outro.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry. Sometimes I want to say things.

Michael Reynolds:

That's fine. Say things all day long. So, with that, find us online, massagebusinessblueprint.com. Stay warm. We'll see you next time. Thanks everyone. Have a good day.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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