Podcast

Episode 397

Jan 21, 2022

Allissa and Michael discuss some problems with large "coaching" programs, what to look for, and how to avoid the pitfalls.

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EPISODE 397

Weekly Roundup


Discussion Topic

  • The Problem with Coaching Programs

Quick Tips

  • Tax Prep Tip: Create a folder on your computer desktop, right now called "2021 Tax Docs". Then, every time you get an email about a new tax document from your various accounts, immediately download it and save it in this folder. Helps you avoid scrambling to gather stuff during tax prep.

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message: 

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Michael Reynolds:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients to make more money and improve your quality of life. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines:

I'm Alissa Haines.

Michael Reynolds:

We're your hosts. Welcome.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

And welcome, Melissa. Am I welcoming you? Am I welcoming our listeners? Who knows? It could be both. Could be everyone.

Allissa Haines:

It's all of these things.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. Doing all right, Michael?

Michael Reynolds:

Doing all right. I feel like we're kind of low key NPR today, which is appropriate because my what are your reading comes from NPR. So, didn't even plan that.

Allissa Haines:

Excellent. Yeah. I'm not even going to pretend, people. I kind of rolled out of bed a little late and do not have the coffee in me quite so much. And we're dealing with a COVID situation in my home, so everybody's in separate rooms and it's all just a little weird and fuzzy here. So I am lowering my expectations for myself. You all should lower your expectations for me today, but I do think we have a good episode, so.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

What are you reading?

Michael Reynolds:

I'm reading about COVID vaccines.

Allissa Haines:

Of course, you are.

Michael Reynolds:

Course I am. Why? Oh, come on. You follow this stuff as much as I do.

Allissa Haines:

I do. I do.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

I'm just so tired of it.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, well. We all are. Yes, we all are. So this is from NPR and apparently a research team, which is now based out of Texas comes, they came up with a COVID vaccine that... Okay, I hate headlines like this, says it could be a global game changer. Okay, fine. But it was interesting because I was reading about this team that was originally at George Washington University and they already had a vaccine for some other similar viruses. And they're like, "Hey," when COVID came out. They're like, "Hey, we should repurpose this and tweak it to be used for COVID." And they tried to get interest from government officials in the US.

Michael Reynolds:

And apparently, our government wasn't interested because they were all focused on innovation and new technology and all the cutting edge stuff. And they just basically kind of just blew them off. And they're like, "Okay. Well, fine. We're going to go get private funding." And they got some funding from various sources and a lot of the funding came from Texas, apparently. So they moved their operation to Texas and they developed this vaccine that was based on just really old technology, just kind of basic, run of the mill vaccine technology we've had for decades. And apparently, it's 90% effective against the primary strain. It's 80% effective against Delta. It's being tested against Omicron and it's like a dollar to $1.50 per dose to manufacture. And it's in the public domain.

Michael Reynolds:

It's basically they've released the recipe, so to speak, so anybody can manufacture it. And so it's being adopted in India right now as one of their primary vaccine sources. And it's really, their whole goal was to make it available at a really low cost and really accessible to lower income areas of the world. People that couldn't afford the primary vaccines. And so it's really kind of penetrating, no pun intended, areas of the world that are potentially underserved by our current vaccine. So it was really interesting to read about, and it's called Corbevax and it's apparently getting some attention. And like I said, especially in India, it's being adopted very heavily. I thought that was interesting and potentially encouraging.

Allissa Haines:

That is interesting and encouraging, and we all need that right now. So thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. What about you?

Allissa Haines:

I am reading a book by an author named Dana Schwartz and it's called Anatomy: A Love Story. It's fiction. But let me tell you how I ended up with this book. So I follow this author, Dana Schwartz, on Twitter because she's been a guest on a podcast I listen to. It's like a very radical feminist, I can't even say it's radical. It's a very feminist podcast called Hysteria and with hosts, Aaron Ryan and Alyssa Mastromonaco, who was, I think Deputy Chief of Staff for Barack Obama. Anyhow, she was very young when she was in that position, so she's really neat.

Allissa Haines:

They have this wonderful podcast and Dana Schwartz is often a guest on it. So this is like a two for one in what I'm reading and listening to, anyhow. Hysteria, a podcast. But this guest Dana Schwartz is an author and she put out some young adult fiction called Anatomy: A Love Story, that actually released either... I don't know if it was the 11th or it's coming out on the 18th. I don't know. Books always release on a Tuesday. Anyhow, she put up a pre-sale link on Twitter and was like, "Buy your book here." But I don't really buy books anymore. I get them all from the library, like Kindle download.

Allissa Haines:

So I went to my library website right away and I put a hold on it so that I would get it when it comes out. But I was like eight out of 10 people or I was like, pardon me, I was 10 out of 10. 10th in line is the word I'm looking for. And it was going to be at least eight weeks, eight to 10 weeks before you get this book. And I was like, that's cool. That's fine. And when I responded to her tweet and said, "There's already a waiting list at my library. This is great. I can't wait." Because how awesome is it, like there's already a waiting list. Yay. And others really do like it when you do library stuff, because they do get paid when there's bigger demand. The libraries will buy more books and they do get paid per read in some, for some e-book stuff anyhow. So I tweeted that editor and Dana sent me a private message and said, "I would love to send you your own copy so you don't have to wait for it."

Michael Reynolds:

That's lovely.

Allissa Haines:

And I was like, "Thank you." This author that I've never had any communication with at all, just was like, "Yeah, I got some copies. I'll send you one." So they actually got their extra copies a couple days later. And then all of a sudden, in the mail, I get this package and it's this book with a beautiful cover. If nothing else, go click the link in the podcast notes or look this up and look at the cover, because it's beautiful.

Allissa Haines:

And I get this signed copy, so I've read it this past weekend and I've passed it down to the kid. And then I'll give it to the library, and it's this really funky story. It takes place in the 1800s and there's a young woman, Hazel, who's in the upper class that's in England. But she wants to be a surgeon. She wants to train to be a surgeon, which is kind of unheard of. She's not allowed in the classes, but she manages to get in. But the only way to practice anatomy and such is to work on bodies and there aren't a lot available through... Well, there are plenty available because it's the 1800s, when people are dying left and right.

Allissa Haines:

But she ends up working with essentially a body snatcher, a grave robber, but they're called resurrection men, to get bodies to practice on, to pass the physician's exam. But there's some intrigue and a mystery going on underneath and it's not a crazy long read. It's young adult, so it moves really quickly. It was just a really great piece of fiction. And if you're a nerd about guts and stuff, that this will satisfy that urge. Some of it was like a hint to gory for me, so I kind of skimmed a few parts. But I loved it. It was a great story. And clearly, the author is a lovely person and human and just sent a stranger a free book, so they wouldn't have to wait on the library wait list. And that is my what I have been reading. Isn't it like...

Michael Reynolds:

That is lovely.

Allissa Haines:

Sometimes Twitter really shows up and I try to remember when it's like a dumpster fire, that actually it's been a really useful tool for gathering information even before this pandemic. But especially now, with this pandemic, if you follow the right epidemiologists and local doctors, you can get a really good read on what's going on in your area. I will always remind people, my friend Jason, who bought me that wonderful mug that heats things up. I met him on Twitter. I met him through massage discussions on Twitter and he's become a friend that I go and visit and stay and work at his... I used to work at his place, his massage place on Martha's Vineyard. Sorry, again, not quite enough coffee, but it's nice and warm in my cup here. And that's my story for today. Sorry, tangent.

Michael Reynolds:

You know, that's funny. I met Amy, my other business partner on Twitter. Yeah. For the...

Allissa Haines:

Because you were looking for an assistant.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, good stuff has come from Twitter.

Allissa Haines:

Right.

Michael Reynolds:

How about that.

Allissa Haines:

Not everything online is a dumpster fire.

Michael Reynolds:

This is true. All right. So before we move on, we are sponsoring our first spot here with your amazing Marketing With Personality ebook. So tell us about it.

Allissa Haines:

All right. Well, don't oversell it. I mean, it's not amazing. It's good.

Michael Reynolds:

It's pretty darn good. Okay. You're pretty darn good resource.

Allissa Haines:

It's good. And it has a really great cover because Michael picked out the stock photo for the cover.

Michael Reynolds:

I love picking stock photos.

Allissa Haines:

I know you do. You're so good at it. It's such a weird superpower. Anyhow, people, we know that marketing is a lot more effective and your soul is not sucked so dry in working in your business, when your business kind of matches who you are. So you don't feel like a fraud. You don't have to put on an act every time you walk in your office in the morning, when you can just be who you are and market your business with the tiniest bit of personality and authenticity. I'm sorry about the word authenticity. I know it's a buzzword now.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow, when you can do that, your job and your life becomes much more enjoyable and really so much easier. We have a 16 page guide to help you learn how to build on your strengths and how to grow in clientele, that you can truly connect with and enjoy. And you can get this ebook completely one million percent free at massagebusinessblueprint.com/personality.

Michael Reynolds:

Free 99.

Allissa Haines:

Free 99, my friends.

Michael Reynolds:

All for you.

Allissa Haines:

Yay.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

So, I'm here for this next topic. I'm totally here for it. Popcorn out, I'm ready.

Allissa Haines:

All right. So today, if I can find the right tab with my notes here, there we are. Michael pointed out to me earlier that we actually covered how to choose a course. If you're going to take some big course or class, how to discern what could be a good one for you and what could not be a good one for you. And this is a second look at that, only with my approach. This comes because I was having a conversation with another massage therapist last week, who we're trying to go through all of her materials and be like, okay. What's the obstacle that's preventing a new client from booking, and just trying to re figure things to increase her new client load. And something came about not putting your prices on your website. And I was like, "Oh, heck no. You need." Am I muted? No. Okay, sorry. Can you hear me, Mike?

Michael Reynolds:

You are not. I'm hearing you loud and clear.

Allissa Haines:

I'm so sorry. My computer just did this weird flashing thing.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh.

Allissa Haines:

And I saw the little red mic. Anyhow, okay.

Michael Reynolds:

Maybe it was aliens.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, I think it was having some issues. So anyhow, I'm talking to this person and about the concept of not putting your prices on your website. And I just kind of lost my marbles a little. I was like, "That is just the worst advice that is immediately going to make somebody just click close that screen and go look for another massage therapist, where they can get the information they want, and immediately. Your website should tell people what you do, who it's for, how much it costs, how to make an appointment. If you make it hard for someone to find any of that, they're just going to click off and go to somebody else."

Allissa Haines:

Some of us are in markets where it's hard to find a massage therapist right now, but most of us are in markets where there's plenty of options around. So if you make it tough or if you make people think that your services are so expensive, they can't possibly afford them. If they're not, those places aren't on the website, people are going to think it's a luxury, a fancy thing. They might be embarrassed if they have to ask about the price. It's just done. So anyhow, it started a whole conversation about these large coaching programs. And I want to note, I'm not talking about individual hourly coaching with a business coach. I'm talking about these huge programs where you have to buy a whole training program with multiple segments that teach you a technique that's great for everyone. And I say that with so much sarcasm.

Allissa Haines:

And you'll see phrases used like, "I doubled my business in 30 days, or I had 50 new clients in a month." Now, first of all, I don't know what the hell I would do with 50 new clients in a month. That's too much. It's too much, it's too many. Make six figures, and they don't specify gross or net. Frankly, it's not that big a deal if you're full-time in massage to at least gross six figures, depending on your marketplace and stuff and your cost of living in your area and all that. But ugh, it's so gross. And they have these big, long sales pages and it's usually some person telling their story of how their massage business boomed. And that's great and all but, and I say this as someone whose massage business dramatically increased in the middle of that 2008, 2009 recession. I don't really want to hear about how someone's business boomed at some time when the economy was really good, even. It's not helpful.

Allissa Haines:

And it sets really unrealistic expectations. They've got these big, long sales pages. The website's usually full of glamor shots of the head instructor or person who created this program. Frankly, I want to see shots of your darn tax return. I don't want to see pictures of the instructor, whatever, on a beach or some bull crap like that, or giving me a thumb's up or something. That's just insane because then you know that the course is all about the instructor and it's just there's no one program or one technique that's going to work for everyone. So I cringe a lot when I see these and especially because the freaking prices of these.

Allissa Haines:

Now, I am a person who, for all of my cheapness, I do believe you need to invest in your business. So I don't think that investing in education is a bad idea. I don't think that investing in coaching is a bad idea. But when you have to scroll through 3000 words of why this instructor is the best ever, and then you have to click a button to schedule a discovery phone call before you can even find out the price. Pro tip, the price is probably over two, three, four grand. So I get super grumpy about these really super sales techniques, often trying to sell you a very fixed structure and program that you can only do one way.

Allissa Haines:

It is a business structure that often involves selling packages with the promise of fixing a problem. If you have migraines, I can send you, I will have you fixed by the end of this five massage package that has to be over three weeks. And it charges an enormous price for a massage, which by the way, don't have any problem with. I think people should charge as much as they can for their massage. And sometimes it's really appropriate to have high pricing for nicheing. But when you only sell this kind of package or when you make a radical change in your business a little bit too fast, and you change to a structure that alienates every referral partner you've ever had and any potential in the base that you are serving, it just turns you into a shyster. It turns you into a salesperson, who has to make a lot of claims to sell massage. And making claims is super dangerous for us because it's usually unfounded and often out of our scope of practice.

Allissa Haines:

It's a super strict nicheing, which again, love nicheing, with weird inflated package pricing. Again, I love high prices, but put all together, this is a very specific and sometimes dangerous thing that I have seen wreck a handful of therapists who have done it. And one of the red flags, one of the many is that you'll read a lot of multi-level marketing tactics in the program and in the sales material. Things like you can earn as much as you want. You are your only obstacle to big income. Your potential is in your hands. Work whenever you want to. And the downside of that is that if this particular strict program fails to work for you, it makes it your fault. It blames you. It treats you as if you didn't have enough motivation or you just didn't want it enough. And it makes you the failure after you spent several thousand dollars to have someone help you build a practice.

Allissa Haines:

So you saw all the context and all the caveats in that. As I described, a lot of the problematic stuff. I want to know. Coaching can be fantastic. Some of these programs can be good for you, if you don't go into debt for it. You shouldn't be putting $4000 on your credit card for a coaching program. That's dangerous stuff. It could be great if you think it through for a few days. If you have a friend or colleague look through all of that material with you, listen in on your discovery call maybe, and help you determine if you're being taken. If you're being sold something that's not right for you. Just like buying a car, you need to be ready to walk away if you feel pressured.

Allissa Haines:

If you're in a discovery call and the coach is like, "Well, it's normally $4000, but it's 3500 if you commit today." Walk the heck away, people. Like buying a car, do not be pressured. You got to know yourself really, really well before you start a program like this. Are you going to do it? Are you really going to do it? Do you think, are you clinging to the idea that this is going to be the thing that finally changes your life? How many classes and programs and such have you left unfinished? I can tell you, I've got a file on my laptop that has many. And I'm grateful that I've learned this lesson about myself and haven't added to it in the past couple of years. But there's a couple of grants that I have never finished the programs for.

Allissa Haines:

You've got to know yourself. If you invest in this, are you really going to do it? How are you going to do it? What are the supports you're going to put in place so that you have the time and the energy and the motivation to learn what you need to learn, and then put it into action. That can be a good thing about these programs, is you have some support within the program. You might have check-ins and meetings and deadlines or whatever. But if it's a completely prerecorded thing without much live help or check-in, are you really going to do it?

Allissa Haines:

And then talk to graduates of it, and don't just talk to graduates who have given a testimonial for the website. Go out into the online world. Go into one of the big massage groups on Facebook, even if you hate those groups, which I do. And say, "Has anyone taken this particular program? Would you be willing to talk to me privately about it?" A lot of people will just leave their comments right there on the thread, but you'll get the real juicy material if you have a private conversation with somebody who's taken it. And that is my whole mellower than I anticipated because I'm a little tired this morning rant about these kinds of programs. And I want to make it clear, I don't think that they're all evil. They work for some people, but learn enough at the start to know if you're being sold and if it's truly something that you can do. And that's all I have to say, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

I love it. This is the episode I wanted to do, so thank you.

Allissa Haines:

Well, yours was much more grown up, but I really appreciate that. Sometimes...

Michael Reynolds:

Here's what...

Allissa Haines:

We need an adult in the room.

Michael Reynolds:

I think yours was so much more helpful. So thank you.

Allissa Haines:

And I'm just going to note, now that I'm calling you the adult in the room. I just took a sip of my coffee and I totally put a marshmallow in my coffee this morning.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, because why not?

Allissa Haines:

I am not the adult in the room and I'm okay with that.

Michael Reynolds:

And speaking of those mugs, I know when you told me you got that mug for Christmas, I bought three of them for our family. For me and my wife and our six year old, Eli. So we all have our own heated mugs for our hot chocolate with marshmallows in it.

Allissa Haines:

I was just going to say, is it hot chocolate?

Michael Reynolds:

Of course, it's hot chocolate. Yeah. We love it.

Allissa Haines:

I did notice that the battery on the mug part for me is getting a little low, a little faster. But it just means I got to move the pedestal and keep it on my desk.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. We just kind of stick it on the base when it starts to go down.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. But I really...

Michael Reynolds:

So great find.

Allissa Haines:

I like it, and I also like it because I have the smaller size, which is good for me, because then it means I'm not drinking 12 ounces of coffee in a hit. I'm only drinking like six hour ounces of coffee.

Michael Reynolds:

Nice.

Allissa Haines:

Which is good for me. All right. That's what I have to say. I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. Well, before we move on, let's... I'm feeling mellow today, so I'm going to skip the battle cry and just say our next sponsor is the lovely people at the Original Jojoba Company.

Allissa Haines:

Well, that's good because I am going to talk about a very mellow little bit of the Jojoba, which is that I am on their website, jojobacompany.com. And I'll give you another link with a discount thing in a minute. But I was looking at their blog the other day and they have this beautiful, DIY lavender jojoba massage recipe in the blog. And yeah, I'm totally going to DIY some jojoba lavender stuff. I'm really excited about it. We've got a little recipe and you have these beautiful pictures with this cute little jar. And I'm like, "I'll make a cute little jar. And I'm going to make some of this." And it's just making an infusion, and it's with jojoba is the base.

Allissa Haines:

You need a little bit of bee's wax and lavender. I think I actually have all of those things and I'm very excited, but this is all to point out that Jojoba has a bunch of wonderful resources. On top of being a fantastic product that makes an excellent base for things like a lavender salve. It is non-allergenic so you can use it on every client and not worry about an allergic reaction. It is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first press quality jojoba. You, my friends, can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba and get 20% off the product when you shop through that link. Don't miss out. Their new website is beautiful. Their blog is incredibly helpful and massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

J-O-J-O-B-A.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

For those who maybe don't know by now. All right, quick tips. You got anything for us today?

Allissa Haines:

You go first. I might have something by the time you're done.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. My quick tip is a tax tip. We are coming up here on tax season, our favorite time of the year. So my tax prep tip is this. I do this every year and it makes life a lot easier. Create a folder on your computer desktop right now called 2021 tax docs. Then every time you get an email about a new tax document from various accounts, like bank accounts, retirement accounts, or if you have a W2 job somewhere or your spouse or partner has a W2 job. Everything that you collect of tax documents, those statements you get, those 1099s, all that stuff you get. Just every time you get it, just download it immediately, dump it in that folder on your desktop, and then forget about it. And then when it's time to do your tax prep, either on your own or with your tax preparer, it's already collected and ready for you right there. That way, you're not scrambling to try and get everything together. So that is my tax prep quick tip for today.

Allissa Haines:

Okay. I'm just going to add to that by saying, when you save something to that file, give it a really good name, name that...

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah, it's helpful.

Allissa Haines:

File, and that's going to be extremely helpful if you put like 2021 1099 Square. So you know that it's the 1099 that you got from Square credit card processing and it's for 2021. That's going to help you a lot for long term storage and when you have to search for something later on. So I'm just going to piggyback on that tip and say, use that folder like Michael said, and give that file a good name. It's going to take you less than 10 seconds and you'll feel really good about it.

Michael Reynolds:

Cool. I'm going to add one more thing, actually, and say that...

Allissa Haines:

Oh, my God.

Michael Reynolds:

If you, I know.

Allissa Haines:

Now it's not a quick tip. It's a long tip.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, come on. This is really useful.

Allissa Haines:

I'm kidding.

Michael Reynolds:

Make sure your computer is being backed up because if you're saving all those things in that folder and then your computer crashes a week before the time you do taxes, that won't help you. So while you're doing this, it's a good time to make sure you've got a backup system on your computer set up. So that's, now I'm done.

Allissa Haines:

So now I have to go longer and tell you that I actually don't even use the folder on my computer. I have in my browser window, I have a little bookmark link to that folder. So it's super easy for me to open the browser and immediately slide it into Google drive. So I do not have to worry about any or all of my devices imploding.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, there you go. So many options to choose from.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. And it keeps my computer desktop clean, which maybe should have been a quick tip a few weeks ago because one thing I do around New Year's every year is completely clean my computer desktop. I just go through every file and every document and every screenshot or whatever, sitting in my desktop and put it where it belongs or delete it. And then I start the new year with a much cleaner desktop, so that's nice for me.

Michael Reynolds:

So since we're already down this rabbit hole, I'm just going to keep going one more time, just to be completely ridiculous and say, did you know that Google Drive has a desktop app where you can actually...

Allissa Haines:

Yes.

Michael Reynolds:

Okay. You knew that. Okay.

Allissa Haines:

Yep.

Michael Reynolds:

So you could just...

Allissa Haines:

Yeah, it's tricky because you can only connect to one Drive account at a time.

Michael Reynolds:

Yes.

Allissa Haines:

With it.

Michael Reynolds:

That's true.

Allissa Haines:

So I do have it connected for, I think my massage business is the one that I tend to need the most with stuff. So to go into my personal or my other business ones, I have to open a browser. But yes, that Google Drive app can be really helpful. Although I struggle searching with it sometimes, but that could just be me. I'm not super proficient in it.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Now we're done officially.

Allissa Haines:

Good job us.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah.

Allissa Haines:

We're so helpful.

Michael Reynolds:

Super helpful. Anything else?

Allissa Haines:

I'm done.

Michael Reynolds:

We good? Okay. Well, thanks everyone, for joining us today. As always, you can find us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. So if you're a new listener, that's a great place to start to kind of get to know us. And if you're not a member of Blueprint Mastermind, which is our private community of super smart massage therapists, where we share resources and tips and business talk and all sorts of great stuff to help you grow. You can check it out there, look on their website. And if you have an email for us, you'd like to send us, you can email that at podcastmassagebusinessblueprint.com. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. We'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye. (silence)

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