Do you struggle with setting goals in your massage business? Do big scary targets make you sweat? Do you ever think to yourself: “there’s got to be a better way!” Well, you’re in luck. There is.
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Allissa Haines Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Allissa Haines.
Michael Reynolds And I’m Michael Reynolds. And every single time you open and, kind of, do the intro, I’m just astounded at how, like, bold and business-y you sound. I love it.
AH Thank you. I can pull it together on occasion.
AH Not frequently and not for any extended —
MR You really sell it. You really sell it more than I do, I’m just going to say it.
AH (Laughter) I watched a lot of morning TV news shows as a child —
AH — so I’ve got the original — I know it’s not the original Good Morning America, but Joan Lunden was the host when I was growing up. And I try to just pretend that, like, I’m, — yeah. That’s what’s going on.
MR Yeah, I think I remember her actually. Yeah.
AH She was the best.
MR Good call.
AH She was really the best. So where — we’re just going to bring it in. We’re going to bring it in fast here. And I’m pretty excited about today’s topic, partly because Michael’s doing the heavy lifting, and also because Michael is doing the heavy lifting. So Michael, what is our topic today?
MR (Laughter) I love that your sole source of excitement in our topic is that you don’t have to do it. (Laughter)
AH Zero prep work for me.
MR Hey, it’s fair. It’s fair. So our topic today comes from, actually, today’s office hours for premium members, which, for those who have not joined office hours, it is a two or three times — two, three, four times a month we get together via virtual video conference and people all around the country, and the world sometimes, join, and we have about an hour where we can set aside to work on, you know, asking questions and sharing best practices and challenging each other and supporting each other and kind of helping crowd source ideas to help get through hurdles in our massage businesses. I think it’s, like, the coolest thing about our premium membership, actually.
But anyway, we had a great discussion today in office hours about goal setting. And so specifically, it was about how goal setting works or how it doesn’t work or if it does work for people and how to set goals and reach them, et cetera, and all this stuff. So it was a great discussion. And, you know, we kicked around some alternative ways of looking at goal setting. So I thought today we would bring that to our podcast audience and talk about goal setting. And specifically, the cookbook method of goal setting, which I will explain shortly here.
So you okay if I jump in?
AH Just do it, man. Just do it.
MR All right, let’s do it. So let’s talk about goal setting first. We’ll talk about goal setting and, kind of, the problematic parts of it, and then after halftime, I’ll kind of share the cookbook method of goal setting that I use — and lots of other people use also, but that I really like.
So goal setting. What do we do when we set goals? So setting goals always sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? It sounds like, you know, all the gurus and the leadership people tell you, you should set goals and put them on a dream board and write them down and stick them on your mirror and set all these goals, right? And so we’re kind of trained and conditioned by all these people yelling at us to set goals. So what do we do? We set goals. We write them down, we make big lofty goals, we stick them on the mirror, we do all this stuff. What are some examples of some of these goals that we can set?
So in our massage businesses, what are some things we could do? Well, we could say, for example, a hypothetical goal might be let’s say I want to grow my practice by — grow my revenue by 10% — I want to make 10% more money. Or let’s say I want to make $50,000 net this year. Or let’s say I want to increase my client load from 10 to 15 per week. Or let’s say I want to do x, y, or z or whatever. And these goals are all based on these big objectives that are kind of of a big milestone that we think sounds good, but if we stop and think about it, the problem that we always have with these goals is we don’t really have control over it. So think about making $50,000 a year net. Okay. Do you really have control over how much money you make? Now, obviously, there’s arguments to be made, yeah, we’re in control of our destiny, et cetera, which is all true. But when it comes down to it, can you predict the future and say that I am going to push this magic button or whatever, and I’m going to definitely make $50,000 next year. You can’t guarantee that. You can’t say that that is something that you have complete control over. Or I want to increase my — I want to be seeing 15 clients a week instead of 10. Okay, that sounds great. And, yeah, you can certainly achieve that. But is that something you literally have control over? Can you force five extra clients per week to start coming in on a regular basis? No, you can’t force people to do that. You can’t force something like that to happen.
And so the problem with goals — and those are just some pretty modest examples of goals. I mean, we can set bigger goals, like I want to — I’m going to hire three new people in my massage business within the next year. Okay, there is — again, that’s a goal that you can’t control. You can’t force the universe to send you three qualified people. You can’t force the universe to pour enough money into your massage business to afford new employees, whatever.
So we set these goals and then what happens? Well, sometimes we reach those goals and we feel great. That’s fine. And some people are really good at that. Some people are very motivated by these big kind of ethereal goals that are targets on the wall to shoot for. But the problem is, sometimes we don’t meet those goals and then we end up feeling bad about it. Or some people, like me, don’t get motivated by these goals. They sit there on the wall as a big bullseye target, and all we see is this big gap between where we are now and where we want to be, and we haven’t thought through how we get there, and we’re not focusing on how we get there. We’re focusing on how do I get to that goal, but all the steps in between are what’s missing. And so, again, this is not a problem for everybody. Some people are very motivated by the big bullseye goal they can shoot for. But a lot of people are not. And so I’m speaking to the people that are not. That’s kind of who I’m talking to today. And I’m one of them and so I really can relate to that.
So what do we do if we’re the type of person who’s like me who doesn’t really get motivated by sticking a bullseye on a wall that is somewhat out of our control. So we’ll talk about what I like to call the cookbook method of goalsetting after halftime. So stay tuned for that. But first, I do want to spend a couple minutes talking about our halftime sponsor, which is — who is our halftime sponsor today, Allissa?
AH Our halftime sponsor is jojoba!
Sponsor message This episode is happily sponsored by The Jojoba Company. I believe that massage therapists — ooh, I got so emotional, I choked up there. Excuse me. I firmly believe that should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our bodies deserve it. I’ve been using jojoba for years because it is nonallergenic; I can safely use it on any client and every client without fear of allergic reaction. I’m going to go off script here and tell you that I had three different clients over the last couple of weeks tell me that — ask me what are you using on my skin? I love that I never leave here feeling greasy. And I said to them, I am using jojoba. It’s non-comedogenic; it doesn’t clog pores. So if you have clients with acne, this is a great choice for them. We love it. We love the company. And you, my friends, can get 10% off orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link, which is massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, that’s J-O-J-O-B-A.
AH And thank you, jojoba, for being our sponsor.
MR I feel like if we’re ever having a bad day, all we have to do is talk about jojoba. (Laughter)
AH We really do. It’s such a wonderful company.
MR We just love them so much.
AH I do too. So Michael, now that we’ve learned that goals don’t work for everyone and that maybe we need to focus on things that we can do versus things we cannot control, how do we do that?
MR Well, I would love to talk about it, but first I want to kind of see if you have any thoughts as well. Are you — I know that you maybe kind of struggle with the same things sometimes. How do you feel about those kind of goals?
AH I like to set loose goals in that I don’t want to say, like, I want to see 19 clients a week. I need to say, okay, my goal is 55-62 clients a month. I do better with that because it gives me a rough gauge and — but I also do not do well with financial goals, with money income earning. So if I say, okay, I want to earn $1500 this week and I’ve only earned 1400 and someone calls and wants a massage, but I don’t feel like working late the next day to fit them in, I’m not motivated by money, so I’ll just refuse that call. So loose goals work well for me, but I do better when I have a plan of action in front of me as well.
MR Yeah, and that’s actually a great segue because the plan of action is the key. So again, some people really don’t get motivated by the goal on the wall or the target, and so what do we do? Well, it’s really important to me to focus — instead of on goals, focus on habits and specific actions, specific things we can do, specific activities. So it’s activities and habits that are really what you can control. Again, you can’t control how much — you literally cannot control how much money you make. You literally cannot control exactly how many clients come into your door in a week. But if we focus on the things we can control, suddenly we get motivation, we actually can focus on the things that give us wins, we can focus on the things that give us momentum, that lower stress, and guess what happens? The goals that we would have set happen anyway as a byproduct because we can start to pick out certain activities and habits that lead to predicable results. Not guaranteed results, but predictable results.
So here’s an example, let’s say you’re a massage therapist that is doing no marketing. You’re just — maybe you’re brand new, you get maybe five clients a week on average coming in, you really want to grow, and you’re really not doing anything. Okay, great. So do you think that if you started to go to one networking event per week, and you started to run a series of Facebook ads with a defined budget and a defined audience and stuck with it for a few months, and started sending an email newsletter, and started asking your current clients for referrals on a very consistent, regular basis, or doing whatever number of other activities, if you did those things on a consistent basis for the next three to six months, do you think something would change? I would argue yes, something would likely change. You might not suddenly be making triple your income right away, but you would likely get more clients in the door and you would likely start making more money.
So if you focus on things that you can control, some people, like me, get a lot further with this. So again, some examples I already mentioned, can you control how many networking events you get to in a week? Absolutely. You have 100% control over that. You can look at your calendar and you can say hey, in my town, there are X number of networking events throughout the month. I am going to go to one of them per week. And aside from unforeseen emergencies, you literally have 100% control for if you do that. You have 100% control over how often you share information on social media. You have 100% control on how many emails you send throughout the week to your clients to get them to come in for, maybe, open booking appointments or remind them to come in for X number or — or whatever situation or holiday or whatever it is. If you start to blog or do a podcast or do videos, you literally have 100% control over how often you do those things.
So if you focus on habits and the activities, this becomes, what I call, your cookbook. And I didn’t make up this term, by the way, this is actually a — in the world of sales, in sales training this is a term. The cookbook term was coined by the Sandler training system, where — it’s a specific type of sales system where they teach salespeople, and sales managers, specifically, how to manage salespeople. And a lot of people think that if you manage salespeople by giving them quotas, that’s the way to do it. But guess what happens when you manage salespeople by giving them quotas? They freak out, they don’t meet their quotas because it’s a big, scary number, and they burn out. So instead what you do is you give them a spreadsheet or a list or a whatever and you say, you know what? Don’t worry about your quota. I want you to make 100 calls a week, and I want you to send 50 emails per week all to prospective clients or prospect list or whatever, and I want you to go to three evens per week. All I care is that you do those things. And at the end of f the week, we’re going to look at your spreadsheet and we’re going to see okay, did you make 100 calls this week? Did you send 50 emails this week? Did you go to three events this week? And if that person says yes, then they have met their requirements for the week. And again, they have 100% control over if they do those things or not. And so we’ve learned over time that sales managers can see that if their sales people are doing those things on a consistent basis, the sales happen. The sales just start to happen because those are byproducts of those specific activities.
So that’s my spiel. It’s pretty simple. It’s not much more complicated that that. But I really like — and it really helps me to shift my focus away from, you know, the big, lofty goal of X dollars annual revenue this year or X number of clients this week or X dollars this month or whatever it might be. Instead, it really helps me to set up a set of habits that are not defined by — in this particular time, like a smart goal, but it’s basically hey, I’m going to start a habit of blogging once a week or once a month, or I’m going to start a habit of going to one networking event per week, or I’m going to start a habit of sitting down a a referral partner once every month and going through this agenda. And if you start to create those habits and act on those habits and do them on a consistent basis, likely, the rest will happen. The money will come, the clients will come, the business will grow. So that’s my spiel. I’d love to hear your thoughts, Allissa, but that really works for me and a lot of other people.
AH What would be a couple of examples — I guess you kind of mentioned it already — I was thinking examples of what would be in someone’s cookbook. What would be a regular activity. But attending a networking event, writing a blog post, going to meet another local business owner, making one one-to-one connection with another local business owner or potential referral partner a week, something like that.
MR Yeah, all those things.
MR Yeah, all the marketing stuff we teach and have been teaching for the last three to four years. (Laughter)
AH Yeah, so I’m going to — do you have anything else to say about that before I segue into a little announcement of our project that we’re going to do?
MR I guess — using ourselves as an example, we — I don’t think we’ve ever set out with specific podcast goals. We never said hey, we want to get X number of downloads per month, which would have been a really easy goal that people would say, oh, that’s a great goal for you to set. You know what? We have no control over that. We have no control over how many people download our podcast.
AH Actually, I did do that once. Remember last year, we kept coming really close to —
MR Oh, you did.
AH 20,000 downloads in a month. And I was like, ugh, you know what? In January, I want to get 20,000 downloads. But to do that — because I set that goal — we even did a podcast episode about this. I’m going to have to go look it up. Because I set that goal, when I set it, I gave myself a list of things to do to meet it. And I was like I am going to make sure that I and my personal networks of massage therapist are sharing links to my podcast more often, I am going to reach out to industry leaders and friends who I know if they shared my podcast, I would get lots of new listeners. And so I made a point to do that. I made more regular postings. I posted some of our really good, like, vintage stuff from back when we began that are still popular topics. And I asked friends, hey, if you’re listening to the podcast can you tell a friend? And we totally topped like 20,000. It might have been when we were trying to get 10,000 a month. I don’t remember — I was so — exactly, but it wasn’t just that I was like — the goal was kind of arbitrary. I was like hey, let’s throw a dart at the board and see what number would be good. But then I daily did the actions to make that happen, so it was a good pairing of systems.
MR Yeah, fair enough. And maybe you’re destroying my theory here, but — (Laughter). My thinking in addition to that was that I personally, I mean, yeah. It’s fun to do that. But over the long haul, over the, I guess, four years-ish we’ve been doing this — my plan and theory and expectation was if we simply do a great podcast episode every single week without fail, then the numbers will come. And they did. And now we’re at like 25,000 downloads a month. And so that predictable habit of never missing a week of recording — we’ve never missed a week have we? Ever.
AH We have not.
MR Yeah, we’ve never missed a week of recording. And that consistency and that habit has let to a lot of the success and the exposure, so.
AH But what I also wanted to say was coming off of that month where I really wanted us to get to a certain number, those same habits that I created that month stuck, and I do them more now.
MR Yeah, that makes sense.
AH So it has created exponential growth.
AH But — so I had an interesting thing happen in March, where we ran a little pilot project called the March Massage Room Project. And we took a group of our premium members and we said hey, do you want to be part of this project that’s going to help you figure out what to post on your social media, specifically Instagram and your Google My Business page. And I’m going to give you — I gave everyone a whole stack of, like, sample posts based on my own — we focused on the massage room and what’s in your massage room and how to tell the world how you thought through how you set up your massage room and your business.
And I provided a whole bunch of sample posts based on my office and that helped and inspired people to create their own months’ worth, daily almost — it wasn’t specific. It didn’t have to be exactly every day. And it went really well. We had so many people. I’m trying to look at exactly how many we had participate and I can’t remember now. But we ran this project through March. You may have seen on some of our social media, we hashtagged it with #blueprintmassageroom. And we just did a wrap up the first week in April because this project ran through March. And we had such great results. My — I posted on my Google My Business page and my analytics went crazy. I got lots more traffic to my website, I got lot more visits — phone calls from my Google My Business page, all kinds of traffic going on — I can’t find the verbiage right now — and rave reviews for the people who participated.
And I’m telling you about this because we are going to do it again in May. So if you want to increase your traffic, make a habit of posting on your business social media accounts, you want to — you need a little help, you need a little nudge, you want to improve your search engine optimization, if you want to more fully educate your clients and potential clients about what kind of work you’re doing and how it could help them, or if you generally need a kick in the pants to get this done, you should consider joining our May Massage Room Project. You can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/massageroom — I think that’s right, Michael —
MR That’s correct. Massageroom, all one word. No dashes.
AH Excellent. You’re going to sign up there. It is free for premium members of our website. There will be — there’s — words are hard today.
MR Blargedy, blarg, blarg, blarg.
AH Yeah, I’m still sick, everybody. I’ve been sick for like three weeks —
MR Your head’s full of snot, isn’t it?
AH I’m so tapped out on various medicines right now, so I apologize for being fuzzy. So when you go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/massageroom, there’ll be a button for premium members to sign up for free. And there will be a button — if you’re not a premium member, maybe should become one, or you can hit the “join” button and there is a small fee to participate in this. You’re going to get all kinds of support in a private Facebook group for all 31 days of May and all sorts of sample postings. It’s going to be great. You can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/massageroom for all the details, and we’ll make it happen.
And that is what I wanted to tell you about. I’ve been excited to tell you about it for a couple of weeks, but we had to get it all set up and I had to run finish my beta test, and I’m excited to do it.
MR And that’s a prime example of what we just talked about today because you didn’t focus on hey, we’re going to set a goal of growing x, y, or z or whatever. All we’re going to do is focus on the very specific tactics of posting on this regular schedule. And you really did a good job of focusing people and getting them to stay focused on that. And then we get all these byproduct stories of people saying hey, all these new clients came in, and my web traffic skyrocketed, and all these great things happened as a byproduct. So great example.
AH Well, I’m glad.
MR That was —
AH Glad I could help.
MR Yeah, perfect.
AH So that’s it, everybody. Thanks for sticking it out with us in this episode. And Michael, thank you for sharing your cookbook stuff with us. I always like hearing about it.
MR My pleasure.
AH It motivates me and makes me feel a little more on track and that’s helpful. And everyone, if you have a question you’d like us to answer, you can email us at email@example.com and Michael and/or I actually will answer you. We answer our own emails, and yeah, no assistants to do that. We just do it. So holler if you have questions, and have a super productive day.
MR Thanks everyone.