Dual relationships are tricky beasts. And with a landlord? Could get even trickier. In this inaugural Q&A episode we work through the facets of our listener’s question.
Submit your questions at: https://www.massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk
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Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to a Q&A episode of the Massage Business Blueprint podcast. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.
MR And we are your hosts. Welcome, welcome. Welcome to the first of a series of podcast episodes we are doing as an experiment. It’s my hairbrained little experiment. Allissa is humoring me, so I’m going to say thank you to Allissa for humoring my silly little experiment.
AH This is our third attempt at starting to record this podcast in this particular series.
AH We’ve had a couple of —
MR Way to reveal how the sausage is made.
AH We’ve had confusion about what we’re doing, we’ve had a technical difficulty, and this is our third — so I guess — is it really the premier at this point? I don’t know. It’s tertiary.
MR It’s kind of old news at this point. Although our listeners don’t know that [laughing] we’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to get tech to work and format and — but hey.
AH But one of the rules of our Q&A episode is that we are minimizing the banter.
So Michael, tell us what these episodes are, and then bring us our first question.
MR Oh, thanks for the reminder.
So these episodes are — they’re releasing on Tuesdays for a short season here as a trial, and we are asking our listeners to send us questions with their voices. We want to hear your voices. So we have some great questions lined up. We want our listeners to go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk and to record your voice saying your question. So you give us your first name, if you want to, and then give us what’s going on for you specifically. We want you to treat this like a consulting session.
So we’re doing more and more personal consulting sessions with our listeners and members right now, but we want to kind of take that feel and we want to move it to the podcast as well. So kind of think of it like a consulting session where you ask a question with something that is challenging in your business, something that’s going on that you’d like some help with or some feedback on, and we will play the question on the air — I almost said “live” on the air, but it’s not live, so — sounds cool to say it though, so I’m going to say it — live on the air, and then we will do a sponsor spot, and then we will talk about it. We’ll just discuss the question. We may have answers. We may have no awesome answers but thoughts about it that could be helpful or not helpful or — who knows? So we’ll talk about it. That’s the idea.
So that’s what we’re doing. Sound cool?
AH I’m ready. Bring our first question.
MR All right. Here is our question for today.
Listener question You’ve covered other types of dual relationships as far as therapist and client and that kind of thing, but what are some good boundaries to have in place when you’re in a tenant-landlord situation? How do you establish and maintain those kind of boundaries and deal with that kind of dual relationship?
MR All right. Great question. Let’s hit our sponsor, and then we’ll answer it.
Sponsor message All right. So our sponsor is Yomassage. Yay. And this is really cool because Yomassage virtual training is finally available. Registration for the very first virtual training — it’s hard to say, not hard to do though — is open now with classes beginning in November. The Yomassage Therapist Training is an intensive 24-hour certification program. Over three weeks, you immerse yourself in the Yomassage philosophy, learn about the nervous system, the mind-body connection, the fascial system, mindfulness, benefits of touch, trauma informed bodywork. You learn to utilize Yomassage massage positions —
AH I’m so excited about it I can’t say it.
MR It’s very exciting.
AH It’s so cool.
Sponsor message — and incorporate modifications. You build community with the other therapists going through the training at the same time as you. There’s assignments due each week, weekly discussion posts, live Q&As, weekly quizzes, lots of one-to-one feedback from your instructor. In other words, things that have never been done with virtual training before. This is really exciting. And for you, you get the special offer of $50 off a virtual training registration when you go to yomassage.com and use the code BLUEPRINTONLINE.
MR Cool. Thank you.
AH Yeah. And I’m going to — it’s like BLUEPRINTONLINE, all one word, lowercase.
MR Oh. I’m glad you clarified that because I was thinking to use the word “BLUEPRINT” when you’re online —
MR — but you mean it’s BLUEPRINTONLINE, all one word.
AH The code is actually BLUEPRINTONLINE, all one word.
MR Ah. They’re testing to see if our listeners are paying attention. I like it.
MR All right. Great question. Boundaries from a landlord-tenant relationship.
So what are you thinking, Allissa? What are your thoughts?
AH Well, I think it’s — what’s cool about boundaries is that when you have really good ones and really clear ones, they apply in like 99% of situations. So in essence, boundaries with a landlord are the same as boundaries with a referral partner or boundaries with your Uncle Tim because boundaries pretty much mean, in this context, applying the same set of rules to everyone, deciding what rules work for you and making sure that they apply to everyone you do business with or everyone you interact with in some way or another.
So the same rules apply here as they do in most other situations where there are dual relationships. The first is to just be really proactive, I think. I think being proactive helps. And we’ll have a little fix if you haven’t been proactive and you found yourself in a bad situation. But being as clear as possible as early as possible because you want to display confidence that’s like, yeah, this is no big deal; yeah, I absolutely treat people that I know in other realms of my life; sure, no big deal. It gets tricky if someone like your landlord wants a massage and they want to trade it for a portion of your rent or they want a discount or they want a massage at a different time than your normal schedule. That can get a little tricky.
But just state your policy to them the way you would state it to somebody else. Like, oh, I’d like a massage on Sunday. You know what? I don’t work Sundays; here’s a link to schedule, and you can see all my available appointments. And that removes that feeling like you have to make some special exemption for them, some special accommodation for them because you’re just giving them the link to schedule the way every other client schedules. And I think that just treating them like every other client really helps. And if they ask about a discount, you can say, you know what? I don’t have discounts; that’s not how I run my business; I don’t compete on price. And then, you know, a landlord is a businessperson, so if you say something like, I don’t compete on price, so my rates are the same for everyone, that’s it, you’ve told them your policy. Period.
And then the final part of any dual relationship is privacy. You want to be really, really mindful of privacy. So you don’t want to out your landlord as a client accidentally or purposely or — you want to be extra mindful. And you can even let them know that. You can say, I’m — here’s how I maintain my client’s privacy, and even though I know you as my landlord, I want you to know that that applies to you as well. And if you’ve gotten — okay. I’m going to stop there before talking — maybe I’ll talk about it if you backtrack because you’ve gotten into a bad situation.
But what do you think, Michael? Have you had dual relationships? I mean, in other businesses you have, right?
MR Yeah. Well, I have — I’m involved in four different businesses that I either own or am a partner in, so I have plenty of dual relationships happening every day. [Laughing]. So I am very familiar with this. And honestly, I agree with you. This is one of the reasons I don’t like trades. I used to do trades for stuff, and it never worked out very well. So I think you mentioned this or alluded to it when you were talking a minute ago is trading and all this stuff. You know, set your prices. Set your boundaries. Treat them like any other client.
And so I’m with you. I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating dual relationships because I’ve had to, and I think they can work really well if you are really disciplined about it just like you said.
AH Yeah. And if you’ve gotten yourself in a bad situation, I’m always a big fan of pairing your renegotiation of that relationship with other changes in your business. So if you’re tired of giving your landlord that special discount that he sucked you into when he first moved in there or something, it’s okay to say — just like you would tell anyone else who’s price is changing — hey, I am restructuring my pricing on January 1st, and I’m ending any special discounts I have for friends and families. So beginning January 1st, your pricing will be $100 for an hour massage. And do that when you’re doing — like, along with other things.
And ditto if you’ve been making scheduling exceptions for somebody. It’s okay to say, hey, my schedule is changing on January 1st and I won’t have Thursday evenings; would you like to pick another time from the online schedule here? Here’s the link. And give them the link. Let them find an appointment that works or let them not schedule. But that’s what I think.
MR Well, I think so much of the time we have head trash around what we think people will think or do. Like, often I’m in a situation —
AH Did you say “head trash”?
MR Yeah. Head trash. You’ve never heard of that term?
AH I have never heard that term, but I love it.
MR Oh, it must be a total business-y term because I’ve heard head trash all my life. Head trash is like, you know, the tapes we play in our head about all this stuff and — so for example, I’ve been in situations where I’m thinking, oh, I can’t set a boundary with this person because they’re going to be mad or it’s going to be uncomfortable or I have no right to do blah, blah, blah. Like, we make all this stuff up, and that keeps us from setting these boundaries that you just described.
And so often, all we have to do is say, hey, let’s — you know, here’s how I work with my clients. And like, okay, cool; no biggie. And everyone’s fine. But we don’t often — or often we feel like not everyone’s going to be fine because we make up this story in our head. So yeah. A lot of it, I think, for me is getting over the head trash. And I’m glad you like that term.
AH I love that term.
AH That’s fantastic. I’m going to use it.
AH Well, yeah. That’s it. Dual relationship with your landlord, try to handle it the way you handle every dual relationship with lots of clarity and openness and fingers crossed it doesn’t go terrible.
MR I like it.
MR Well, thank you for the question. We didn’t get a first name on this one, so we’ll keep it anonymous, but we appreciate the question. So thank you, thank you. Great, great thoughts.
All right. Well, we’ll wrap it up there. We hope to have more questions from you, our listeners, so reminder to record your questions for us at massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk. And just a reminder, we’re looking for specific stuff to your situation, so treat it like a consulting session for your specific challenges. And again, massagebusinessblueprint.com/talk.
Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.