Allissa & Michael talk with attendees of the Massage Business Blueprint Mastermind Summit about their epiphanies and takeaways from the event!
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.
MR And we are coming to you from Orlando, Florida.
AH Woot woot.
MR For our first annual Blueprint Mastermind Summit. Woo-hoo.
IN UNISON [applause and cheering]
AH And we’re at the end of this day-and-a-half-long summit of intense learning and collaborating and we’re all just a hint burnt with scratchy throats.
MR [laughs] I have an extra Sprite here just in case, in case my voice goes. I had fun. Did you guys have fun?
IN UNISON Yes. Absolutely.
MR So we are gathered around with a few of our brave souls who attended who did not have to catch early flights and who were able to kind of stick around and talk to us a little bit. And what we thought would be fun to do is to go around the table and have everyone just kind of say hello, who they are, what their practice name is, where they practice, where they’re located, and then give us a takeaway from the summit and kind of share what they’re going it implement in their practice: what they might change, what they thought was something they could use in their business, and kind of share why they’re going to do it and what might be useful tips for our listeners on, you know, that particular thing, whether it’s video or marketing or Facebook or money or operations or something even more high level. Anything at all. So no right or wrong; We’d just love to hear your thoughts.
So with that, let’s get started. Anything you want to share?
AH I want to go first, I want to go first.
MR You want to go first?
AH I totally want to go first.
MR Okay. Sure, go first.
AH So we did this thing called BarCamp sessions —
MR This is Allissa, by the way.
AH It is Allissa, hi. As if they’re not going to know. So we did this thing — at multiple times through out this day and a half, we did these things called BarCamp sessions, which everyone who came here as an attendee came, potentially, with a topic or two that they might want to talk about for ten minutes or whatever. So we had a variety of different BarCamp sessions. Someone talked about how to recognize and combat imposter syndrome; Michael demoed how his Wunderlist app can change his life; we talked about maximizing your Chamber; meal-planning for the workweek, which was my personal favorite because I presented it; alternative pricing plans; money talk.
And one of our attendees Crystal, thank you very much, gave a shtick on never enough, dealing with demanding clients. And she outlined three different kinds of clients who may be difficult to deal with or demanding in one way or the other. And I’m not going to go through the whole thing, but most specifically she taught this technique, which I’d heard about before In parenting contexts, like if someone’s behavior is getting really aggressive or aggravated and you can feel yourself getting flushed and hyped up and starting to talk a little louder or a little faster, to start to behave in the way you want the conversation to go; so slow your talking down, maybe bring the tone of your voice down, actually physically bring yourself down from standing into a sitting, calmer position, and start to be the change in that conversation, be the mood where you want that conversation to evolve to, and let that client unwind the way they need to but make sure your own voice and positioning and body language is moving towards a more calm point of view. And if you have a client who is being a little too slow and calm to perhaps more animate yourself, move the conversation along quickly, speak a little faster. And that was really, really helpful for me to see it demonstrated the way she did, and I think I’m going to be able to do this better in a business and a parenting context.
And that’s my takeaway from — there’s a million takeaways from this day and a half, but that is the one that I wanted to mention. So thank you for letting me go first, everyone. I’m going to hand it on over to Kelly.
MR Actually, before we do that, I realize I did a pretty poor job of introducing actually what we’re doing here. Before we jump in, so what this is is we have spent the last day and half getting together as a group, 14 people besides Allissa and myself. We came to Orlando to the Crowne Plaza, great event, great venue, great food, I think.
AH Really good food.
IN UNISON Yeah, amazing.
MR So we spent the last day and a half doing a number of things: some instructional presentations, the BarCamp sessions that Allissa mentioned, some roundtable discussions. So we spend a day and a half together learning about business — some non-business stuff too, but mainly about business topics — sharing best practices with each other, sharing challenges, learning a lot of things that can help our business from marketing and finance and operational standpoint.
So that’s kind of what we — this is the first time we did this. We though we’d try this. We may do it again next year. Jury’s still out. We’ll talk about that. [laughs] But we had a lot of fun. So I think it’s a pretty fun little experiment we did here. I want to thank, first of all, everybody for attending. We have six people around the table now who were able to kind of linger a little bit longer and talk to us.
With that, Kelly, you want to get started?
Kelly Bowers Yeah, I’m Kelly Bowers. I practice at the Medical Massage Clinic of Durham in Durham, North Carolina. And one of our last roundtable discussions about money was really eye-opening to me. We called that zero budgeting?
MR Zero-based budgeting.
KB Zero-based budgeting and the idea of the envelope system electronically done of saying what goes here, what goes here, how much of — every time money comes in, where does it get allocated and planning that out in advance and even having multiple bank accounts to store the money. I’ve read a little bit about it, but seeing people talk it through was eye-opening to me. Because like a lot of people, I have X number of dollars in my business checking account. I can do, therefore, the thing I want to do. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do the thing I want to do in two months, but today I’m good. This idea of planning it out a little bit better — I’ve been in practice for 19 years, I pretty much know how I spend my money. So making decisions in advance about where I want all that money to go really was eye-opening to me. Really and a lot of the stuff I learned this last day and a half were things I was sort of familiar with, but the time together encouraged me to tighten it up and step it up. So that was probably the biggest takeaway of me among a lot of big takeaways.
MR Awesome. Any apps that are money related that you liked? Like we talked about You Nee d a Budget, Mint, stuff like that.
KB Everybody talks about You Need a Budget. But you remember how I said a long list of to do makes me anxious?
KB Looking at that why You Need a Budget —
IN UNISON [laughter]
KB Maybe I will go to a literal, envelope system.
MR Yeah, some people love literal envelopes, that’s ok.
Rianne Chavez But they have a spreadsheet, too, that was probably available —
RC — that does the zero-balance and it’s super easy. I used it when I was comparing the prices of what people wanted me to charge and what I need to charge, so.
MR Cool. Well, thank you, Kelly.
KB You’re welcome.
MR Glad you were here.
Beth Manning I’m Beth from Breakaway Bodyworks in Lambertville, New Jersey. And I mean, one of the biggest takeaways for me is I know I definitely need to niche down now, and I’m prepared to start doing that. And I also now kind of have a marketing plan that — we all sat down and we talked to each other in small groups and were able to really hash out marketing plans. And for once, that didn’t feel overwhelming to me. It felt very manageable because I think the whole time we were here we just kept hearing, just do it, just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be super professional, just take that first step and see where you go with that. So I feel like I really have a plan to succeed in my business now.
MR Nice. And a good marketing plan can and sometimes should be simple, right? I think that’s what a lot of people are realizing hey, it doesn’t have to be this big, complicated thing. It can be very simple. It can be a couple bullet points and an outline of what the next steps are and that can be a marketing plan and maybe that’s enough. Is that kind of what you’re taking from it?
BM Exactly, yeah.
MR Because you said it was kind of overwhelming at first and now it’s less overwhelming so I’m wondering if that’s why.
BM Yeah, definitely. And then also having that tutorial about doing videos was really helpful too.
MR Allissa’s video session was awesome.
BM She rocked it.
AH Thank you.
IN UNISON [laughter]
AH It was really scary to do.
MR There’s a reason I put you last.
RC There was no Jesus picture.
AH I did not. I was fumbling my words earlier when I was saying I needed to put cheesy stock photos into my slideshow, and Rianne heard Jesus stock photos —
IN UNISON [laughter]
AH — and then I forgot. I forgot.
IN UNISON [laughter]
AH Sorry. That’s our vibe here this week, which is really nice. Somebody mentioned they felt like we were structured but not over-pretentious or hyper-professional, which I think is a good way — and I’m just going to say it straight out, I said to her, we’re semi-structured but not tight-ass.
And this group was really — it was really neat to have such a small group of 14 people and to be able to collaborate. And I’m going to say right out, when we talked about the budget software, I literally opened my You Need a Budget and I had a little bit of a panic attack, but then I was like I want to be able to accurately demonstrate how this works. So I put my numbers — I literally logged into my bank account, too, so people could see how I structure. As an example, not as a definitive this is how you should do this, but here’s my operating account, here’s my gift certificate savings, here’s my tax savings, here’s how I organize my You Need a Budget. That was scary but also the kind of thing you can do at a small event like this where we — and we all kind of agreed to maintain confidentiality too. So you’re hearing little tidbits of what we did, but it’s barely scratching the surface. Everybody had a takeaway so that’s really nice. I’ll be quiet now.
MR Rianne, what about you. What do you think is the biggest takeaway and what would you share with our audience?
RC I would share — and it was nice that we covered imposter syndrome just because I know what that is and I go down that rabbit hole sometimes. But being in a setting where we were able to share and have that information out there. Some of the universal themes that pop up that were really easy to relate to that when they’re happening to you in the moment, you kind of think you’re the only one and you’re messing it up and you’ve got to be a fraud because you don’t know what you’re doing. But hearing those universal things coming up with multiple people was great.
MR Awesome. Ooh, actually, that’s our halftime. Thank you, Erin. She was chomping right there. So our halftime sponsor — it’s time for halftime sponsor now before we move on to the rest of the group.
You want to —
AH Hey, Michael, who’s our halftime sponsor?
IN UNISON Jojoba.
AH Yay, we were all really excited about doing this —
MR That warms my heart.
IN UNISON [laughter]
MR Ooh, that just gives me goosebumps.
AH This episode is sponsored by Jojoba Company.
Sponsor message And we all believe that massage therapists should be using the highest quality products. A lot of us use jojoba in our practice because it nonallergenic, noncomedogenic, it won’t go rancid, it won’t stain your cotton sheets. And you, too, can try jojoba. You can get 10% off orders of $35 or more when you shop through our list massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, J-O-J-O-B-A. Jojoba, thank you. We love how many of our members have been turned on to jojoba. We so appreciate your continuing support. I might get a little weepy. Thank you for sponsoring us, Jojoba. We’re very excited to have you as a halftime sponsor for this podcast episode because we all just wanted to shout that out. So thank you.
AH Let’s move into the second half of our episode.
MR That was beautiful. Erin.
Erin Detka I’m Erin Detka, Counterbalance Bodywork in Monterey, California. The biggest takeaway for me was finally getting to see people in person. I’ve been part of Massage Business Blueprint since it’s infancy and I’ve seen —
MR Thank you.
ED — many people’s profile pictures and I’ve seen many people on office hours, but I loved building relationships in person because it’s nice when I go back to regular massage, yes, I can post in the premium group, but I can also reach out to people directly and kind of know what your niches are, know what your specialties are, now have this other resource that I didn’t have before this weekend. It’s not just Allissa and Michael now that I feel comfortable asking questions. Now I have 14 other people, 13 other people, and that’s really special to me to have that comradery in a very isolated business.
MR Cool. Thank you. Glad you’re here.
ED Thank you. Me too.
MR How about you, Leslie?
Leslie Forrester Well, I’m Leslie Forrester and I practice — I own a place Quality Life Massage Therapy just outside Tampa, Florida. And my biggest takeaway, I have been listening to the podcast since the beginning and have been involved with Blueprint for a long time. I have always enjoyed it, and this year I was really going to lock into my three words and there were a lot of things that went very well with my own personal three words, where I have “systems” and “benchmarks” as two of my three words. The specific takeaway was we went through some testing of, say, websites and my website tested not so well. So I have, even before finishing lunch here at the end of the conference, contacted a new web developer —
LF — and will be making some changes. So that was a big takeaway to get the test, and I am looking forward to putting some systems in place so that things don’t fall so far away.
MR And the reason that speed was important — I want to kind of share with our audience that we talked about search engine optimization, which is getting found on Google. So when people are searching for massage therapy in Tampa, Florida, or your area or whatever it might be, that your website comes up near the time so they find you and book with you. And so we did analyses of some of our websites, and some were a little slower. Yours was maybe a little slower than some.
LF I was slower than slow, actually.
IN UNISON [laughter]
LF I came up well on the —
MR Yeah and there are other factors.
LF — optimization because there’s more than one factor. But oh, my gosh, if they did click on me, they had to wait.
MR Yeah, so Google does reward faster sites. The reason we were talking about this is the faster your site, the more likely it is for Google to reward you for a fast site and give you more points and therefore possibly rank you higher. So that’s why speed is important. That’s why we talked about it. A lot of us had fun, I think, ranking your — grading your websites and seeing how fast or slow they were. Thanks for sharing that, Leslie.
All right, last but not least, Sara.
Sarah Eckstein I’m Sarah Eckstein, Sarassage Therapeutic Massage in Woodridge, Illinois. I think I definitely second what everybody has said so far. But this weekend or week for me was somewhat overwhelming but in a really good way because I think it really lit the fire for me to just be better and manage my business a lot better. We talked a lot about, in the beginning, how most of us are in the massage industry because we want to work on people, we want to hand-to-body massage people. And we — either we’re not interested or we don’t want to be interested, but we let our businesses fall short sometimes. So like Leslie, I was called out on a few things with my website, which have been corrected because we worked on it together.
But also to piggyback what Erin said, it was just really nice. There was one, I think it was a roundtable discussion, where a certain attendee kind of opened up about some financial issues and it really brought home to me, again, the support group that we’ve built, how important it is that we all came here, how important the premium member group is. Just thank you so much Allissa and Michael for everything you do for us.
AH You guys are going to make me cry.
SE Thank you, it’s been awesome.
MR Thank you, Sarah. So glad y’all were here. Well, this has been a lot of fun. I’ll share my takeaway that food site that Allissa shared. What is it? Budgetbytes?
AH Budgetbytes. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
MR Recipes and meal prep. It’s all online.
AH I’m totally going to bust out a post for everyone on meal planning because I put together a bunch of links and presented that as a little BarCamp session. But now I have this document with all these links so I’m going to turn that into something for everyone. You’re welcome.
MR And it’s budgetbytes. B-Y-T-E like computer bytes.
AH Give me like a week, okay?
MR So anyway that was my takeaway is a fun site that I can now use — and that little notepad? I ordered that. The $10 notepad that’s like you write down your meal planning for the week: dinner is it take out? dine in? whatever?
AH And it’s a magnet notepad that goes on your fridge and I promise everyone I will get you this information in the next couple of days.
MR So that was my big takeaway and as that illustrates that our BarCamp sessions were a lot of fun. Because sometimes they’re about business and sometimes they’re not. I mean, yours was about meal prep. That’s not really business, but it’s really useful for life. Because I think business and life are very integrated and we can’t always put a clean separation between them. It’s all kind of rolled together in a messy ball sometimes. That was a lot of fun.
Yeah, so I hope our listeners will maybe think about joining us next year, maybe kind of think about if we do this again next year. I think we’re probably leaning in that direction. I had a lot of fun and I’d like to think about doing one soon again. I think Allissa has some stuff planned, maybe a campout, retreat-style thing.
AH Yeah, maybe something a little rustic in the fall. Again, give me a week or two.
MR So live events may become more of a thing here.
AH More frequent and in more areas of the country so that y’all might be able to find one you can drive to.
MR Yeah, yeah. And there’s something about getting out of the office. I mean, yeah, coming here and learning together, there was a lot of good stuff that was talked about. But part of it is just getting out of your office and getting to a new space with new people that can push you and challenge you and help you and support you. That’s just a magical environment for inspiration. I’m glad we were able to do that.
Any last thoughts before we wrap up the episode today?
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER We didn’t have any sushi and no Chipotle.
AH I know. Sorry. For next time. We’ll do our best.
RC Tomorrow is $5 sushi at the grocery store here.
MR Because it’s Wednesday, right? Wednesday is my sushi day. My grocery store sushi day, specifically. I want to thank Allissa for doing this with me. Thank you. We had a lot of fun.
AH And Michael planned like 98.7% of it, so —
MR No, not that much.
AH — so thanks to Michael for making that happen. I just had to show up. That was nice.
MR Thanks for ending with the best presentation of the event with the video. I think everybody was thrilled with everything you shared on video. So thank you for that. All right.
Well, thank you all. I hope we see you again next year in person and maybe before and definitely online at office hours in the group and everywhere else. Thank you, thank you, everybody. We appreciate it.
IN UNISON Yay. Thank you.
MR All right, we’ll wrap up there. Just a reminder, you can visit us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. We appreciate you joining us and we really appreciate all the iTunes reviews. We’ll probably read some of those next time; maybe next time around we’ll hit some of those. And if you have any questions or comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . And any topics you want to discus, we’ll bring those up in future episodes as well. Thanks again for joining us. And have a great day.