Podcast

Episode 392

Dec 17, 2021

Business courses can be an enormous investment. Listen as Michael and Allissa discuss how to discern when the course will add value to your business.

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EPISODE 392

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • How to Discern Whether to Invest in a Business Course or Program

Quick Tips

  • Let yourself off the hook on personal enrichment for a while. It’s fine to coast sometimes.
  • Quick tip: double click to select a word, triple click to select a block of text

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

ABMP is proud to sponsor the Massage Business Blueprint Podcast, and we are delighted to have them. One of the many, many benefits of ABMP membership is ABMP Five-Minute Muscles and ABMP Pocket Pathology. These are quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information that you need to make a decision about your massage session planning. The Five Minute mMuscles includes muscle specific technique and palpation videos for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by professional massage therapists, and ABMP Pocket Pathology can help you sort out contraindications before any treatment. These apps are included with ABMP membership and you can go to abmp.com/apps to access them. And non-member can sample demos as well. Again, that's abmp.com/apps.

Allissa Haines:

Hello 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 am Alyssa Hayes.

Michael Reynolds:

And I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

And we are your host here for episode, ready? 392.

Michael Reynolds:

Holy cow, almost 400.

Allissa Haines:

I can't believe it. When I was prepping a little bit last night, I was like, "Oh man, we are so close to 400 and it only took us what, six and a half years. That's pretty good. That's more than 52 a year. So we've more than reached our goals.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. So I we'll be seeing 500 before too long. And I feel like we should do something crazy for our 500th episode. I don't know what, but I just feel like it's a milestone.

Allissa Haines:

We always say that we'll do something special on like the zeros or whatever, but then we're like, "Eh, you know what? We're just not special event people." We're consistency. And that's who we are. We put more value on the consistency than the special event.

Michael Reynolds:

I like that. I agree, because I've always been bothered by... Sorry, rant alert. It seems like nonprofits and other organizations, they love to highlight their 20th anniversary and then make a special logo for it and everything. And I'm like, I never got into that. I'm like, "Okay, just this particular milestone means you have to make a big hype about it." So I'm with you. I like the consistency, not a special event person, so.

Allissa Haines:

And that's just who we are. So what have you been reading Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

I've been listening to various podcasts as always. And the one I listened to yesterday just recently was from... Which one is it? I think it's the journal or not the journal, but Your Money Briefing from Wall Street Journal. I like these because they're short. They're 10 to 15 minutes each and they're super direct and actionable. It's like, "Hey, you bring an expert on, you talk about a thing." And it's a really deep dive. And this one was titled, More Millennials Are Writing Their Wills Thanks to COVID 19. So a little morbid, but apparently COVID has prompted many younger people to pay attention to getting their wills put together, which is super important. And I know a lot of people think, "Oh, well, a will and estate documents there for older rich people basically way later in life," but not true.

Michael Reynolds:

A basic estate package includes not only a Last Will and Testament, which is important for what happens to your stuff and your people in your life when you die like kids, but also a healthcare directive, power of attorney, living trust, things that basically dictate what happens in certain cases. For example, if you become incapacitated or in a coma, or medically disabled, and you can't make decisions for yourself, who makes those decisions for you, or what sorts of things would you like to happen? Would you like to have extraordinary life saving measures or not?

Michael Reynolds:

And those are really important things to think through so that the people that are kind of managing your life, if you're not able to have kind of a lower stress level and are able to navigate that based on your wishes, as opposed to kind of flailing and figuring it out as best they can. So really, it's a gift to people that are in your life to put these things together. So anyway, more young people are doing it because we're thinking through their kind of mortality with COVID. So anyway, good episode, definitely worth considering and get your will in place.

Allissa Haines:

That's actually really helpful, because I need to update my will specifically the portions that refer to what should happen with my business. And that reminded me, and I put it on my to-do list. So thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice. What about you?

Allissa Haines:

I've been reading nothing, nada. I have not had the brain power for actually, for... After I get my work done or things that have to be done, I have zero desire to read anything, and I will own that. I've just been spending time, it's so unhealthy, for half an hour at night, just scrolling TikTok in bed instead of read something of value. But, frankly, I really enjoy TikTok and I learn a lot from it. So that is the level of effort with which I can consume any information right now. And I'm okay with that. So I do have a course that I'm taking that I want to tell you all about, but not till I'm a little further into it. So stay tuned for a couple of weeks on that. And I feel okay with that, Michael who's our first sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. All right. Jojoba.

Allissa Haines:

Yay, Jojoba. you know that I love Jojoba for a lot of reasons, because it's non-allergenic so I can use it on every client without being concerned that I'm going to send anyone into some kind of anaphylactic reaction. It's non-comedogenic so it's not going to clog pores. It's not going to go rancid, so it can sit on my shelf for a year and a half during a pandemic when I'm not using a lot of oil and still be good. I have a bottle at home in each bathroom. I have a bottle on my kitchen counter, and I have many bottles here at work.

Allissa Haines:

And I think you should check it out. If at the very least you go to their website via a link I'm going to give you in a second, they have tons of useful information for people practicing any and every modality and wellness related thing. And I think they even have a recipe to make a beard oil, if you need to gift something to someone for Christmas. You, because we love you, and because Jojoba loves you, can get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba check it out.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks Joba.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks Jojoba. So Michael's doing the heavy lifting today and you know how much I love that. So Michael, take it away.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. So I'd like to talk a little bit today about how to discern whether to invest in a business course or program. So I said program because it could be a course, it could be like a membership thing, or whatever. It's just kind of a general discussion on the types of business courses and programs you see probably every day on social media. And I wanted to talk about this because I've had more than one conversation recently with massage therapists about, "Hey, should I take this course or not?" In fact a couple of people have said, "Hey, I'm looking at this particular course or XYZ program, and what do you think? Do you think I should do this?" And I always try to be really careful to say like, "Yes, take it. Or don't, it looks awful."

Michael Reynolds:

Not to be a super binary thing, because I think it's important that everybody thinks through this stuff on their own. And I wanted to talk about just some things to think through as you're evaluating a course, and this has come up a lot because there's no shortage of business courses or business programs, or things that promise business results all over the place. You can Find... On your Facebook feed I'm sure you've seen all sorts of courses like, "Hey, take my business program or my course, and it'll magically fix all your problems," or they're everywhere. You can find them everywhere. So this is not necessarily related to a massage modality program, it's more related to those business courses online that you see that are designed to help you do something in your business.

Michael Reynolds:

So that's what I'm talking about today. So I want to kind of talk through some things to evaluate in your mind as you are deciding, because some of these programs are fairly expensive. So I want to first talk about when you're looking at a program first, I would say, identify what problem this is solving for you. Are you adding a business skill that you think you're lacking. More importantly, will it help you make more money? Is this particular skill you're learning going to help you get a return on that investment you've made? Will it help you maybe save time in your business? Will it help you attract more business, more clients come into your massage practice? Is it going to help you do something that expands your business in a way that you want?

Michael Reynolds:

Or is it something just for fun? Do you just kind of want to learn this skill and it may not lead to more money, but you're intentionally saying, " I want to..." Whether it's some sort of money related skill or marketing related skill, or often they're kind of combined in a one big program like, "What is the reason for doing this?" And more importantly, I think, than any of this stuff is what have you done so far to try to solve the problem? Is your problem marketing related? Are you having trouble attracting people to your business and growing at the rate you want. Okay, what have you done so far? Have you done all this stuff that everyone around you is probably advising you and all the resources are kind of telling you? Start there. Make sure you're actually doing all the things that you know you should be doing before you take a course that is promised to solve your problems.

Michael Reynolds:

So think through what you've done so far, and be very honest with yourself about how far you've gone to try to solve this problem first. Also, how relevant is the course content to your massage practice. There are lots of business courses out there that promise things that are designed for bigger businesses or different types of businesses. And you want to make sure that the content you are purchasing and digging into is relevant to a solo massage practice or a small massage, whatever your structure might be. So identify those problems that it's solving and think through those things. Next, I think it's important to remember that the burden is on you to get results. A course is not going to solve your problem. You are going to solve your problem possibly with guidance from a resource in the form of a course or a coach, or a program like this.

Michael Reynolds:

So remember that the coach, that the course creator is pretty much absolved of all responsibility. Their job is to deliver this content to you, and then your job is to implement it. So it's very tempting to say, "Well, I just, I need to do marketing better, or I need to do this thing better in my business, or I'm just not growing the way I want." And, "This course will do it for me, because I'm paying all this money and they promise all these results and boom that's my answer." Well, again, don't forget the job of the course creator is just to deliver this teaching and this learning, and it's up to you to implement. So it's okay. It's not a bad thing. I mean, listen, I have courses too. We have a membership community, we have courses and we're very honest.

Michael Reynolds:

We're like, "Hey, the course is here. It's up to you to make it work." We're not promising it's going to work unless you do the actual work to implement the guidance. So just keep that in mind. Remember that it's up to you to make it happen. Just because you spent the money doesn't mean you're magically going to get a result. Next, evaluate how you're going to allocate the time for the course and your time for implementation. So a lot of people say, "Well, this course looks like it's three hours worth of content or five hours worth of content. Great. I can do that." But it might be 10 or 20 hours worth of implementation on your part to do things.

Michael Reynolds:

So do you realistically have the time for that? And do you have the discipline at this point in your life. Time and discipline are both really important for this. If you enroll in a program that teaches you marketing, and it takes five hours worth of course time, that's one thing. But then do you have the 10 or 20 hours to create content and redo your website, and all the things that might go with it. And do you have the discipline to put that on your list and make it happen? If you don't, you may be wasting your money, if you spend money on this knowledge and then don't implement it.

Michael Reynolds:

So also look for signs of hyperbole. This bugs me so much because there's so much hype out there. Many of the business courses you see will make these outlandish promises. "Oh, here's testimonials of people that have doubled and tripled their income within six months using our program." And they have extra long ad copy that just goes on and on trying to convince you that this is the best thing ever and act now. And especially if it's a timed thing, if it's like, "Hey, enroll within the next 48 hours to get this special rate, and it'll never be offered again," Any kind of stuff like that is a big red flag for me. Hyped imagery that alludes to this perfect lifestyle like, "Hey, here's this person that took our course, and now they're taking their photo in front of a private jet, and they're making all this money, and they work 10 hours a week.

Michael Reynolds:

And those types of things are designed to suck people in and prey on their kind of desperation for some kind of answer and some kind of perfect life, which doesn't exist. We don't have the perfect life and the perfect business, but, we do our best to improve little by little and get joy and happiness from our business. But it's not aligned with these fake images and fake hype that you see a lot of time. So look for markers of hyperbole and over promises that... It's really easy to get sucked in and kind of overlook them when you're kind of in the emotional moment of, "Oh, wow. This sounds awesome." Step back, take a look, look for these signs that it's over promising.

Michael Reynolds:

So Allissa I'm sure has some feedback as well. And I want to definitely get to that, but I would say just to kind of close this particular discussion on my part, courses and programs can be really helpful. There are some great ones out there. There's some great business courses. Allissa and I think our courses are pretty darn good. We think that we have some programs that are really helpful, but channel your inner skeptic before you spend a lot of money on something.

Michael Reynolds:

Go through this thought process and make sure that it's a good decision for you and evaluate that against the price you're paying for it as well, to make sure that it's solving a real problem for you, that you've exhausted all possibilities, be okay with the fact that the burden's on you for the results and implementation, so you've got to take responsibility for that. Evaluate how much time or discipline you have to make use of the content. Look for signs of over promising and hyperbole to make sure it's a legitimate program, and just kind of go through that thought process before you invest in something like this. So that's my opinion. I'd love to hear Allissa's opinions.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. So, okay. One thing I disagree with, and then one additional tip. Okay. So I actually disagree with the concern about extra long ad copy that goes on and on. I mean, trite stuff and stupid stuff absolutely is a red flag, but I actually prefer, when I'm researching a course or a class or whatever, I prefer that the description of the class be very descriptive, because I like to know if I am the kind of person who will benefit from it, obviously. And I want details about the course content and also the ways in which it's taught.

Allissa Haines:

And the number of times that I have looked into a course and that they say that there's a live component and a recorded component, or a self-paced component, but they never say when the live events are going to be, or and then I have to ask, or they say it's going to be... I'm trying to think of like some random example of a loose, broad topic, but they don't give me enough to know if it's stuff I already know or not. And then I end up paying for something that's intro level that I didn't need. So I actually prefer a longer description because those typically have the information that I was going to have to go back and ask anyway.

Michael Reynolds:

So we don't actually disagree on this. We're talking about two different things, I think. So what I'm talking about is the... You've all seen those sales pages where there's super long and they don't really tell you anything extra. They just keep saying the same thing over and over, and it's meant to play on your emotions. Like, "Hey, here's all the hype around why you should do this." And then it kind of goes on and on. That to me is different than what you described, which I agree with. I think you should be very descriptive and give lots of information. So I'm glad you brought that up so I could clarify what I was talking about.

Allissa Haines:

Excellent. So we agree. And the next thing actually kind of comes from that is before you spend any real money on something, like if you're spend more than $100 on something, I encourage you to email the course creator or teacher, or whatever, with some kind of question, because I want you to see what kind of response you get. And I want you to see one, if they have some kind of system in place, so that they're always getting back to you within a couple of business days.

Allissa Haines:

And that doesn't mean 12 hours. If I email a teacher on a Friday night, I do not expect an answer until at least the following Tuesday, because we all got lives. But I want to know if they answer my question or if they have like an assistant, or some kind of mechanism to make sure that people's emails are responded to, I want to know if they answer my question completely, if they have that information at hand, because that's going to tell me if someone has just thrown together a course and is winging it, or if this is like a legit thing, and I want to know their tone or their attitude about answering questions from potential clients.

Allissa Haines:

So I definitely like to ask these things, and I actually just did this with a course. I'm taking a Manual Lymphatic training class in May, and it's an in-person class and we're still in a pandemic, and I kind wanted to know what safety precautions were happening now in the classes because I wanted to know how vigilant they are. And so I emailed, and I said, "I want to take this class, but I would really be interested to know how big the classroom is, how many students will be there, and what kinds of pandemic precautions you guys are taking right now with the acknowledgement that things could be so much better in May that some of these aren't... You don't require this and this, but I kind of want to know what your response is right now. And I got a response the next day, not from the instructor, but from the administrative assistant at that office that so kindly answered all of my questions. And I really appreciated it, and I'm taking the class, and I'm dropping a ton of money on it.

Allissa Haines:

And it's five days. That's a lot. That's a big commitment, and that's a lot of money. And I was so happy with the speed and the thoughtfulness of the response. And she even gave me some answers to a couple questions I hadn't asked yet. And then the course registration process was very easy. Even the part where they're like, "Listen, we charge a fee for credit card stuff because you know, we can't take a hit, whatever." I have a problem with that. But whatever. But even the instructions for mailing a cheque were super easy. And when I sent the cheque in, they acknowledged the receipt of my cheque immediately, and everything was so beautifully streamlined and so thoughtful that I'm excited to take this class, and I rarely feel that way about anything. So yeah. Ask a question. Any question just to see what kind of response you get.

Michael Reynolds:

Awesome. I like that.

Allissa Haines:

That is it. Anything else to add Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

No, I don't think so.

Allissa Haines:

All right. Why don't you tell us who our next sponsor is?

Michael Reynolds:

Well, I'm glad you asked. Our next sponsor is PocketSuite.

Allissa Haines:

Hey PocketSuite. PocketSuite is an all in one app that makes it easier to run your massage business. You can schedule and get booked online by clients and manage all your forms, notes, contracts, payments, reminders, all the things and to type a compliant. Whether you are just starting out or seasoned business owner PocketSuite helps business save time and make a great living. A massage therapist can be up and running on PocketSuite in 15 minutes. Massage Business Blueprint listeners, if I can pronounce that, get 25% off your annual premium subscription for your first year with PocketSuite, visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/pocketsuite to check it out. Yay. And Michael, what's your quick tip today.

Michael Reynolds:

So my quick tip is really simple, but I sometimes screen share with people to help them with things. Like, "Hey, my computer thing is this or my website thing is this." And so we screen share, and I often see more often than not. If someone has to copy and paste something on their screen to do something else and I'm watching them, most people tend to drag their cursor to highlight a word or highlight a sentence, or something. And so it occurred to me, this might be a quick tip worth sharing. So did you know that on your computer? If you double click a word, it will select the entire word automatically. If you triple click a block of text, it will highlight the entire block of text automatically. So it saves you some effort to drag and get the right letters in place. You just simply double click a word, grab the word, and copy and paste it. Or triple click a block of text, it'll grab the whole block. So there is your quick tip that hopefully saves you a little bit of time dragging things around if you want to select something.

Allissa Haines:

Oh my gosh. I just tried it, and it totally works. Huh? Does this work on PCs too? Or just Macs?

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, I think it works on PCs too.

Allissa Haines:

Dang. That's cool. Okay. My quick tip is super related to what I'm reading, which is nothing. And it's just to let yourself off the hook on personal enrichment or even certain behaviors for a while. Like I was feeling bad that I wasn't reading to relax at night. Just let yourself off the hook. It's fine. It's fine to just have a mildly less healthy habit for a couple of weeks if your brain is fried, it's totally okay to coast. And now is just a good time in the world and also like seasonally to do that. So it's okay if you don't clean that weird spot behind your toilet for a couple extra weeks, it's okay. Nothing bad is going to happen to you in your life. If you just let a few things go, be nice to yourself. And that's what I have.

Michael Reynolds:

How did you know about that weird spot behind my toilet?

Allissa Haines:

Because I have it behind all of my toilets. And I hate it. I hate it. It's frustrating. And yesterday when I was cleaning the bathrooms, I was like, "You know what? This part's going to know wait until next week." And or "I'm going to ask someone else to do it," which is not always something that someone else can do. But sometimes I can ask for help even with things that are traditionally... We have things divided up pretty well in the household in a clear way, but also a flexible way. Where if Walt just done doesn't want to put his shoes on and bring the trash barrels out on Monday night, he can text me and say, "Would you mind bringing the trash barrels out on your way into the house when you get home from work? And I will. And you know what? He's probably going to clean that spot behind the toilet.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow. More information than you all needed. Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Take us home, Melissa.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you for listening this far. Sorry about the absurdity. And if you have a topic you want us to cover, we would love to hear about it. Because we are putting together topics for the new year. You can email us podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com that goes to both of us. We really do answer your emails and usually within a day or so. And yeah, we want to hear from you. If we're doing something great. If we're doing something terrible, if you want us to add a new segment, if you want us to get rid of a segment, we're always up for change. We love it. So again, email us podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. You can learn more about Massage Business Blueprint, check out all our free resources. See our podcast archive and our blog archive, and consider becoming a member of our private community, the Blueprint Mastermind, and all of that at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Thank you for listening.

Michael Reynolds:

Thanks everyone.

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