Podcast

Episode 457

Feb 24, 2023

Allissa and Michael discuss how having a clear and focused strategy and doing one thing at a time will help you run your business, instead of your business running you.

Listen to "E457: One Thing at a Time in Your Massage Business" on Spreaker.
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EPISODE 457

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • One Thing at a Time

Quick Tips

  • There‚Äôs a chrome extension that will generate closed captions
  • Sharpie & cardstock for a more effective to do list

Sponsors


Transcript: 

Sponsor message:

This episode is sponsored by ABMP. One of the many, many benefits of ABMP membership is their apps. They've got two apps, the Five-Minute Muscle app and the Pocket Pathology app. They are both quick reference apps designed to help you quickly find information you might need to make a decision for session planning or to use outside of sessions to refresh muscle and pathology knowledge. Five-Minute Muscle includes muscle specific technique and palpation videos. I use these at least once a week in my practice for the 83 muscles most often addressed by professional MTs. They use progressive web app technology to take up less space on your device, which is sweet. These apps are included with your ABMP membership. You can go to abmp.com/apps to learn more and run a little sample demo if you're a non-member that can woo you right in because they are so useful. Again, that's abmp.com/apps.

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 host today. Welcome. We are glad you are here. Welcome to our show. That's it. That's my introduction.

Allissa Haines:

Thanks. I feel thoroughly welcomed.

Michael Reynolds:

Aw, I'm glad. We want to make everyone feel welcome.

Allissa Haines:

I have done no quality reading lately. I've pretty much just been scrolling. But tell me what you have been reading, sir.

Michael Reynolds:

I've been doing some pretty high quality reading, I think. So, I read an article recently from Harvard Business Review called The Hidden Toll of Micro Stress. And, it's long, but it's really interesting and insightful. I don't know how practical it is because I think as wellness professionals in our community, we are a little more attuned to these types of things, I think, than the average person. But it's basically a discussion of how micro stresses affect our minds, and our bodies, and our wellbeing. And, it describes micro stresses as things that cause stress in our lives that aren't these big obvious generalized things we think of as stress. We think of stresses like, oh, car accident, or death in the family, or some major event that causes stress and anxiety. And those are things we can point to and clearly say, "Oh, that's stress. I've got stress in my life." It's easily identifiable.

But micro stresses are little things. Things like, you're in the zone, working on something, doing a great job at it, someone comes by and interrupts you and says, "Oh, I just need 15 minutes." And it just pulls you out of your zone. Or, your partner has a bad day and snaps at you and just instantly tweaks something in your emotional state and causes a micro stress. Little things that just pop up here and there. We don't always notice them and we don't always label them as stress. But over time, and especially over the course of a day, week, a month, year, lifetime, these micro stresses can add up and really start to have a toll, or take a toll on our wellbeing.

And, the interesting thing I found is in the article it points out that, our brains don't always distinguish between major stress and minor stress. So, our minds might see the big major stress as fairly equivalent to the micro stress. And they can affect our brains and our bodies in similar ways. And so, it's an interesting discussion into digging into what micro stresses are, how they affect the body. And then, there's a few practical things that I think really ties into what Allissa might talk about today, which is, practical ways to push back on micro stress, learning to say no to interruptions, learning to create environments of focus in your life, learning to balance your schedule in a way that helps reduce the impact of micro stresses or the availability of micro stresses to enter your life. One thing it also has pointed out was be attuned to the micro stress you're causing others. That can help you in turn, have tools to work against micro stresses in your own life.

One example again is if you snap at your partner for whatever reason, that can lead to resentment and swings back, and identifying those things that you're causing in others as well can help you manage your own micro stresses. So, I just found it interesting. I like to dig into some of the deeper psychological stuff about how stress affects the body and I found it interesting. So I think our community will also find it interesting.

Allissa Haines:

I love it. I cannot wait to read it. I just bookmarked it.

Michael Reynolds:

Cool.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you, sir. It is relevant to us.

Michael Reynolds:

Absolutely.

Allissa Haines:

Tell us now, who's our next sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, our friends at The Original Jojoba Company. I used some jojoba just last night.

Allissa Haines:

I did as well. My hands are super dry in the winter.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. My hands as well. My hands crack in the winter, so I use it after washing my hands. And, after kiddos take a bath, it's really great for helping their skin too.

Allissa Haines:

Rock on, man. So, I think I misphrased something last week in the jojoba ad. So I'm going to start with some education today. First, I want everyone to know that jojoba is not an oil, it is just jojoba. It's actually a liquid wax ester, that is akin to the esters that your skin produces. Your skin actually does not produce oil. It's an ester. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure first press quality jojoba. Other companies try to get as much extract as they can from the seed, but The Jojoba Company does a light press, they call it a first press on the seed. So they don't get as much quantity, but it is by far a higher quality jojoba.

You can learn more about jojoba, and also get 20% off the price of the product when you shop through our link at massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba. I've said it before, I'll say it again, it is something I keep in my office because it is non-allergenic, so I can use it on any client and every client without being all stressed out about an allergic reaction. Again, 20% off the price of the product and all kinds of info when you go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds:

I love that this wasn't planned, but what you're talking about today ties in a little bit to what I talked about earlier. So, this is cool. So, I think the title of your discussion today is one thing at a time.

Allissa Haines:

One thing at a time. And nowadays, I don't ever miss an opportunity to tell people about my dog. So let's talk about my dog. My dog's name is Rusty Freckles. And, he is half beagle, half Australian cattle dog. And he's my first dog, so pretty much I had no idea what I was doing. And, I did not know that I was going to spend multiple hours of my day playing fetch with a Frisbee. Only he doesn't really fetch and bring it back, he catches it, and then drops it, and then puts something else in his mouth, and then you have to just throw three Frisbees and five balls to one side of the yard and he tags them more than catches them. And then, you have to go to that side of the yard and just throw them all to the opposite side of the yard. And you have to do this for 45 minutes at least twice a day to get his energy out, because he's a cattle dog, he's a working dog, and if he does not work for a certain amount of hours a day, he is a nightmare.

So, anyhow, that's my dog, Rusty Freckles. I was doing a thing with him the other day doing this Frisbee thing, and I was getting extremely bored, because 45 minutes at a time, and getting all my steps in though. But I gathered all three of the Frisbees, they're these canvas Frisbees with a stiff rim on them. They're not hard Frisbees. And, I grabbed all three of them at once and I threw all three of them at once, and he caught exactly zero of them. And then I was like, "Huh? He can't even catch one." And then, I threw one at a time and he actually caught each one in his mouth three in a row. And it's so cute, he jumps up and he does this little mouth thing and sometimes he catches him with his paws and puts the Frisbee in his mouth. It's fricking adorable. And then he drops it and carries on with his life.

And I tried it again. I threw three, he couldn't catch any of them. I threw one, caught it every time. And, I'll be darned if this isn't a metaphor for business people. You got to focus on one thing. And, that is probably the hardest thing to do as a business owner, because we get real caught up in the busyness of all of these menial and recurring tasks. And, the busyness part, it's tedious but also the easiest part. So we default to spending all of our time with these busyness things and these tedious tasks, because it's a good way to avoid the bigger tasks that are scary and harder and yet are the things that will propel our business forward.

It is very easy for me to spend four hours... Or, probably I don't need that much time anymore, let's say two hours working on my bookkeeping, and making sure my schedule is accurate, and setting up a few Facebook posts, and that stuff that's super easy. It is way less hard for me to spend two hours sitting down doing some online searching and making some phone calls to find some local networking groups that have meetings I could perhaps visit. Now, one of these things is probably going to bring clients into my office effectively. The other one isn't. And yet, it's a struggle to do the thing that is a little bit harder.

So, we do a good job of making ourselves busy when in fact busyness is the enemy. So, that's it for the most part. That's my lesson. We need to focus on one action at a time. And, it doesn't mean you blow off all your bookkeeping and all your regular tasks or you ditch your laundry. It means that we've got to set aside time for menial and recurring tasks that keep us busy, but also keep our business going. And, we have to set aside time for the big picture, thinky tasks, the projects, the things that will actually bring us new clients, things that are a little bit harder to do but are also super important to build a foundation of a successful business where you're going to bring clients in as you need them.

This is exactly why we wrote the ebook, How to Get New Clients, which I believe you can get free at massagebusinessblueprint.com/newclients. Because it's always, "How do I get new clients?" And there's these scattered answers and you do half actions based on other people's advice and you get all scattered. You cast wide nets, you give free massage somewhere, you give all these coupons away, you're doing share events, you're doing some Facebook posts, but none of it's cohesive or strategic. When really, the way that you get new clients, and not just new clients, but the way that you build the foundations of a successful business boundary-wise, schedule-wise, money-wise is with a clear, focused strategy, and tackling these tasks, one at a time, ideally in the right order, which is How to Get New Clients lays out. That's what our ebook lays out.

This right here is what weeds out the suckers. That's it. That's the difference, when you talk to somebody who's been in massage 10 years and they're like, "Ah, my clients never show up on time and I just can't make enough money and... People cancel. And..." And I look at those things and I think, "Okay, it's either that you just don't like doing massage, which is legit. Or, that you have never learned, or just don't want to do the strategic tasks to build the good business with boundaries, and income, and all of that stuff." And it's okay, not everybody's cut out to be a business owner. But, this is the thing that weeds out the suckers. "Do you want your business to be successful enough that you're willing to do some of these hard tasks?"

Now, I totally flinched myself when I wrote, "Set aside time for menial and recurring tasks." And, "Set aside time for the big picture tasks," because I know that you can put those blocks in your calendar and then absolutely just ignore them. I know because I've done it three times this week already and it's only Wednesday.

So, I get it. If you are someone who resists structure, if you're someone whose schedule is just a regular day-to-day, you've got to set up some construct, some accountability, some partnership, something that's going to help you so that you can accomplish that two hours of big thinky stuff every week. Even if it's not the same two hours every week. I can say up and down, "I'm going to spend Tuesdays 10 to noon working on X, Y, Z." And it's never going to happen because of the way my life is. But if I say, "I'm going to spend two hours in the first three days of the week, and I can be flexible about it, and I can get my partner in on this task so that he knows at some point he needs to give me two hours to be able to do this." Then I can make it happen.

So, please know that I cringed when I said those things. I cringed when I wrote them, because I know that when you just say stuff like that, you're like, "Yeah, that's great, but I have ADHD, or I have kids with this schedule. I have whatever." And that's not a thing. But, you don't have to do that exact thing. You have to figure out how to make that thing work for you. That's what makes a successful business owner. And if that means that you can't be a solo business owner, that's what that means.

I could not be a solo business owner of this whole blueprint thing. I spent, what? Six years on my own, five years on my own trying to make it work and make it a thing. And it did not properly become a thing until Michael became my partner. And I had an accountability situation going on, where someone else was counting on me to get certain bits of work done, or we would crash and burn. So, I say this as someone who needs that. Michael's an upholder, he can say he's going to do a task and then he can do it. That does not work for me.

So, anyhow. Sorry, I went off on a tangent about that, because I want you to understand that I do grasp that just making a note in your calendar is not going to work for everybody. But being able to set aside some time and in some way getting these big thinky tasks done, looking at how you need to network, setting up a bookkeeping system so that you're not always confused about your money, taking a lesson on whatever X, Y, Z, learning how to update your website, these are big foundational things. If you can set aside the time to do them, it's a huge deal. And that's the difference between running a business and letting the busyness of a business run you. That's it. That's the witty thing I'm ending with. I really am done, Michael.

Michael Reynolds:

Yeah. I struggle with this too. I struggle with it, because I'm very addicted to quick action payoffs. Like, "Hey, let me get this thing done. Let me knock this task out." I'm very task-oriented. And that often is the enemy of big, strategic, focused thinking about one thing. So, I struggle with it too. I'm with you.

Allissa Haines:

Good to know.

Michael Reynolds:

Great advice.

Allissa Haines:

That actually totally made me think of another quick tip that I want to share with people. So I'm making a note of that.

Michael Reynolds:

Wow, look at you. Two quick tips from you, zero from me.

Allissa Haines:

Who's our next sponsor?

Michael Reynolds:

Oh yeah, before we get there. Our newest sponsor is Jane, an all in one practice management tool. So tell us all about Jane.

Allissa Haines:

Jane is indeed a complete practice management software designed to help practitioners grow and manage their practices. They do this with all kinds of helpful features like online booking, scheduling, billing, and charting. Whether you are working solo where in a large multidisciplinary practice, no-shows and late cancellations are the thing that we face. Jane offers several tools to help you prevent and manage those no-shows, including the ability to save a credit card on file, send out unlimited text and email reminders. And I just want to say that since Jane joined us as a sponsor, we have had at least three, maybe four blueprint premium members who... Or pardon of me, mastermind community members who are like, "I use Jane and it's the best thing ever." And they're raging about how good the customer service is. It's just awesome. So, you can learn more about Jane's helpful features at jane.app, jane.A-P-P. Listeners can also mention the podcast at the time of sign up for a one-month grace period applied to their new Jane account. Thanks, Jane.

Michael Reynolds:

Is that code still MBB1MO?

Allissa Haines:

Yes. Yes it is. But, they didn't put it in our copy for the second month of script, so I haven't been saying it. So, I don't know.

Michael Reynolds:

Oh, well try it. Hopefully it works. There you go.

Allissa Haines:

Sorry Jane, I'm confused.

Michael Reynolds:

All right.

Allissa Haines:

Just let them know you're coming from us.

Michael Reynolds:

MBB1MO should do it. If not, there you go. All right, quick tip time. You've got two, I've got zero. I'm just going to kick back and learn. What you got?

Allissa Haines:

Okay. So, I joined an online community and course for dog training. This is a very dog heavy episode, I apologize. And, okay, so far I'm loving it. It's this woman named Susan Garrett. And, it is the most structured and organized online course and community that I have ever seen. Total life goals here. They've got moderators for the groups, they answer questions quickly, they have thought ahead on every question you could ask. And, it's really well organized. Anyhow, if you got a dog any need training, let me know, I'll send you a link.

So, one of the things I noticed though was when I went to the first lesson, there's always a video, and then there's a downloadable PDF. And, I'm watching the video and I realized it didn't have captions built in. And that is a pet peeve for me. I really need to hear it and I need to read it in order for me to absorb it and remember anything. So, I emailed their help and I was like, "Hey, your videos don't have captions. Is that coming soon?" And, I asked that question and I got an automated email back that was like, "Hey, we're going to get back to you on the next business day." Because this was Saturday night or something, which tells you how great my Saturday nights are that I'm spending them on a dog training course.

So, I got an email back that was like, "Hey, we're going to answer your question on the next business day. However, you mentioned this, and we have a help article about this." And it led me right to a help article on this course's website or FAQs that said, "Did you know you can get live captions in the Chrome browser?" Which I did not know you could do. It's a thing. Use live captions in Chrome. It's a little extension, you just select to use it in your settings. I put the link in the show notes here, but you can also just Google live captions in Chrome, and you turn it on and then whenever there's any video on your screen, the captions automatically pop up. And if you don't need them, you can X them out. And they're pretty accurate. So, yeah.

Michael Reynolds:

That's really cool.

Allissa Haines:

Anyhow.

Michael Reynolds:

I didn't know that.

Allissa Haines:

Yeah. I had no idea this was a thing. So thank you Chrome. I'm still annoyed that these people who made this amazing course that is so well organized couldn't be bothered due to captions. But, they also do a lot of other stuff and this is a thing that's available, so I'm going to cut them some slack. So that's my first quick tip.

My second quick tip is, so I have spent the last couple of days around the house. My partner's gone for the week. I've had the kids a few days. I've had not the kids a few days. But, Monday and Tuesday of this week I had mostly days by myself at my house, which doesn't happen very often. And I had this huge to-do list. And, typically my to-do list is work stuff on my computer. Some of my personal stuff is on a computer list as well. But, for whatever reason, when I was sitting down Sunday night to put my week together, I had an old sketch pad with really thick paper in front of me and a black Sharpie. And I tore a page out and I wrote my to-do list on one side, I wrote my grocery list on the other. There's something else I wrote. But, it was the most effective to-do list I've ever had. I'm sure partly because I had two days where I was able to accomplish things without being interrupted.

But, having a piece of card stock and a sharpie handy, big print, it was the most effective to-do list I've ever had. It was right there on the kitchen counter on this island that you see from almost everywhere. It's an open floor plan. It was so easy to see what I had to do next, and it was so hard to avoid it. And, thankfully I have this tiny house. And, it was just the most effective to-do plan I've had, and I'm going to keep using that for all of the household stuff. And, it's big and obvious. Use a sharpie, so it's big print, it's bold. So, it was easy to rope other people into it.

So, I just circled one thing and put a kid's name next to it and that was their task. And they couldn't avoid it either. They had to keep being reminded that it's their job to put the laundry away or whatever. So, this is my new plan, big thick pieces of paper and a sharpie on the kitchen island all the time. And, I'm going to see how this works for me as we move forward and also for the rest of the family.

Michael Reynolds:

I can see that working.

Allissa Haines:

That's my lo-fi tip for today.

Michael Reynolds:

I like that. Thanks.

Allissa Haines:

Thank you.

Michael Reynolds:

Well, you really brought it with the quick tips today. Thank you.

Allissa Haines:

I'm trying. I'm quick tippy, all right.

Michael Reynolds:

All right. Well hey, Allissa, that's a good place to end as any. So, thanks everyone for joining us today. As always, you can find us on the web at massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you want to email us, you can do that too. You can email us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. That goes to both me and Alyssa. We love getting your feedback. We will respond. So with that, hey, we're glad you were here today. Thanks for joining us. As always, have a great day. And, we'll see you next time.

Allissa Haines:

Bye.

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