Join us for the second episode of our three-podcast series to set you up for success in the new year. Today we focus on skills to evaluate and reshape your practice. Learn a two-step process that will have you looking at your business—and life—in a new way and give you the tools and inspiration to improve them!
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0:01:32.8 KC: Welcome to The ABMP podcast. I'm Kristin Coverly, licensed massage therapist, educator and ABMP's Director of Professional Education. As regular listeners know, I normally co-host this podcast with Darren Buford, but we're doing a little something special to kick off 2021, we're actually having three episodes of The ABMP podcast this week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and we'll have our regular podcast with Ruth Werner on Friday. Our goal for doing this was to set you up for success in 2021 and share strategies to improve your practice in life. Yesterday on Tuesday's podcast, Darren shared tips to sharpen your skills and it's fantastic. So, I really encourage you to listen to it if you haven't yet. Today I'm flying solo, and I'm really excited to spend some one-on-one time with you. Tomorrow Darren and I will be back together and we'll be joined by a special guest, so don't miss it. And we'll be back next week with our normal format where we speak with leaders in the profession and share their wisdom.
0:02:29.6 KC: So let's jump into today's podcast, and I wanna start by talking about the process of how this podcast came to be. I was asked to share my advice to set listeners up for success in the new year. And if you know me at all, you know that I was really excited about that idea. And then what I found is it kind of quickly became also a challenging process, I was... Really felt big, how do I boil down everything that I wanna share with my colleagues, listeners, my friends, co-workers into one short podcast? I had pages and pages of thoughts and ideas, and I'm old school, so, in that creative process, I still use pen and paper. So I was writing everything down. I started emailing myself if an inspiration or something struck while I was out on a walk, you know, in between those moments I was pulling pine cones out of my puppy's mouth, which is frequent. I had a list going on my laptop, I meditated on it, all of the things to try to really figure out what is the message that I wanna share with people?
0:03:21.5 KC: I could have gone in over 100 different directions, and actually before I go any further, I'm gonna offer this piece of advice to you, I'm gonna encourage you to do this exercise yourself. I'm gonna pose the question to you, what advice would you share with your colleagues, friends, co-workers to set them up for success in 2021? Figure out your advice and start sharing it with people. Now, we could call it something like the 2021 advice and inspiration challenge, the AIC. But anyway, so again, great process, I loved the process, and I'm gonna encourage it for you. After all the brainstorming for me, what it really came down to is I started to think, What do I need for my practice in life right now? And do I think that what I need is what will be helpful to others? I know listeners are in so many different places in their lives, whether they're practicing or not, maybe they're home schooling, maybe they have someone in their family or their community that's sick, that they're dealing with that stress.
0:04:14.4 KC: You know, there's so much going on. Could I share what would work for me and it would be helpful for others? And I really hope that it is, because every time I put it into that perspective, I kept coming back to what I call the two Cs, get clear and get consistent. So let's start with get clear. And what I really mean by that is, take a pause, press the pause button, there's so much swirling around right now in our lives, in the news, in the country, in the world, that we really need to make an effort to focus on our practice. So, hit that pause button and examine your practice, take a fresh look at it. What we've learned from 2020 for sure is that things change unexpectedly and we need to be able to adapt. We may not be able to continue "as is" with our practice going forward. And separately, I've been in practice for 20 years, what worked for me when I first started working and started my practice probably doesn't serve me now. And so, sometimes just that your practice carries its own momentum forward and will just sort of evolve on its own if you don't actively shape it.
0:05:23.1 KC: So this is what I'm asking you to do, press the pause button and get clear about what you want your business to be. And we're gonna look at four things here, what you need, don't need, want and don't want, and hopefully all the things we're talking about today, they definitely apply to your business, but hopefully they also can apply to your personal life as well. Need, don't need, want, don't want. We'll start with need. What does your practice need today and going forward, for you to stay competitive, for you to be happy and to enjoy it and feel like it's prospering, for it to be successful? Do you need to change something? Do you need to add something? Do you need to let go of something? Could be in your marketing, could be within your schedule, could be the modalities you offer, but also it could be the support, the connections, the people you're working with. Are you a solo practitioner? Do you need to reach out and start making different connections? Do you need help with marketing? Do you need help with accounting? What does your practice need to be successful?
0:06:32.7 KC: This is where you need to spend some time thinking about it. Pause button, evaluate. Pause and evaluate. Get clear. Also, we wanna talk about what you don't need, right? A lot of times, again, things started 20 years ago, we don't need them anymore. Lives change, the world changes, our practice changes, and one of the big things I want you to look at here are your expenses, what do you no longer need to be spending money on going forward? Let go. Cut anything that is no longer necessary. And again, these could be big or little changes, it could be like, hey, I'm moving from a rented office space to my home office, huge expense savings, but also huge change. Maybe you are looking at changing your schedule, maybe I don't really need to work on Sundays anymore. I thought my clients needed it, maybe they don't. Evaluate, look at the data, make changes that are gonna be good for you, for your prosperity, for your success, for your happiness.
0:07:28.6 KC: Maybe it's a certain population that you no longer enjoy working with, you don't need to work with that population anymore. They were really critical when you started, but now your practice has evolved, you've changed direction, you wanna focus your attention and intention in a different way. So evaluate what you need, don't need. Now, let's start talking about what you want, don't want. So, when I think about what I want, I'm gonna actually ask everyone right now, off the top of your head, to name at least one thing that you've wanted to do for your practice but have been putting off for whatever reason. Yup, I'm sure many of you have at least one thing that popped into your mind, many of you maybe still have things that are popping into your mind as we move forward. That's the way it goes. You know, of course it's like, Oh, I would love to do that. And then, that gets pushed to the side because now you have to go to the grocery store. Or now, oh, I actually have a client coming, so I'll think about that later. Right?
0:08:20.5 KC: And so, we constantly have these ideas for change and these ideas for prosperity and ideas to shift things and move in a different direction, and we so often push them to the side. So I'm gonna encourage you to really get clear about what you want. For a long time people were like, I really wanna do online scheduling or embrace technology in a different way, but I'm kinda scared and I'm just gonna deal with that tomorrow, and tomorrow became next month, which became next year. Maybe it's learning a new modality, what do you want? What's juicy, what's exciting to you? And sometimes we don't know what we want until we see it, so this is where research plays really a key and fun role. Start looking around, let yourself be inspired, and not only within the massage profession, but outside of it, look at what other businesses are doing, how are they marketing, how are they communicating with their customers, how have they adapted during 2020?
0:09:13.7 KC: And then start getting creative, and if something looks really interesting to you, start thinking about, how can I modify that? How can I apply that to my practice? Maybe this is a really big company that's doing this thing and that feels huge, but I can take a piece of it and make it work for me. So start getting excited about this process of what do I want. Let yourself be excited about wanting something new and different, and then just as important, what don't you want? Again, same question off the top of your head, name at least one thing that you are ready to let go of. But you've been holding on to for whatever reason. Yup, and again, I'm sure you have a lot of little things swirling through your head right now, same thing, there are so many things we're like, ugh, I kinda feel like I'm over that, but I'll just keep doing it because XYZ, you know, fill in the blank with whatever excuse we have here.
0:10:02.4 KC: And for me, this was stone massage, hot stone massage. I kept doing it for the longest time. I love the idea of hot stone massage, but not the practicality of it, and when I finally realized, oh, only one of my clients ever books the hot stone session and I don't look forward to it, I kinda like, ugh, resist it, like, looking at my schedule, I kinda have a little bit of a prickly reaction to it, it was time to let it go, and man, it was great, she didn't care, it turns out, and I felt free, right? So, think about what you don't want. Letting go of things that no longer serve you is just as important as doing the next new fun exciting thing, right? So, get really clear about what you need, don't need, want, don't want. Maybe it's something you're gonna change, let go of, or introduce to your practice. Very fun. I think that's such a fun, fun phase. Okay, that's good, clear.
0:11:02.4 KC: Now we're gonna talk about the second C, get consistent. So, once you've gotten really clear about how you wanna change your practice, maybe it's something you're letting go of, introducing, changing, we need to dedicate time and a focused approach to make those changes happen. So, I always like to say, make spending time in your role as the CEO of your business, and yes, please start seeing yourself as the CEO of your business a priority, even if you're not practicing right now because of COVID, even if you're homeschooling, even if you're juggling a million things and it feels like, oh, there's no way I have time for that, carve out a little bit of time. And studies show if you can make that consistent day and time each week, that's even better. And I would encourage you to dedicate time weekly to your practice, daily if you are practicing full-time right now. But if nothing else, weekly. Same day and time each week, so maybe Wednesdays at 10, that is my practice time, I'm gonna focus on manifesting change and success in my practice.
0:12:05.0 KC: And you can do so many different things during that time, it could be planning, it can be executing change, it could be networking, connecting with others, really you wanna focus on being an active business owner, making change happen for your practice rather than being a passive business owner and just letting your practice evolve in its own way, which it will do, but it may not be what you're looking for. It may not be ultimately the practice you want. And every Feng Shui expert will tell you, you need to clear out the clutter to make space in your home for the new energy to flow. Well, you need to make space in your brains for our new business ideas to flow. You need to make time in your schedule to make the change happen. We need to dedicate our attention to our new intentions. We need to really focus on allowing this change to happen, making it happen. And it's time to focus without distraction, right? Once you set aside that time, oh my gosh, there's so many things that can happen. It will really flourish. You'll be excited about it.
0:13:02.6 KC: I mean, even if you don't feel like you're gonna be excited about it, I think you're gonna be excited about it. I promise. And there are so many different ways you can structure that time, right? So, something I started doing, and I suggest you try it too, is a weekly list, like business expert, author, and podcaster, Tim Ferriss does, he emails a newsletter every Friday called his Five Bullet Friday, and in there, he lists every week what I'm... Fill in the blank. What I'm reading, what I'm listening to, what I'm inspired by. I'm gonna encourage you to do a similar list, and of course, tailor it to your own business and life, you can combine the list for business and life, have separate lists for business and life. And you can, yes, of course, include what he does, but also really personalize it, say, okay, all of those things, but also, yes, what I'm researching, who I'm reaching out to, what page of my website I'm re-working this week, and really focus, make it specific.
0:13:54.3 KC: It really helps us dial in to the specifics to action steps, and it helps us maintain progress. So, that weeks don't go by as we know they do in the blink of an eye with no progress. I don't know if you've had this ever happen like, oh, right, I meant to do that last month, and I still haven't gotten to it. Oops, you know, right? So this really helps you stay focused. It helps you stay on track. And something Darren mentioned in his podcast yesterday is the idea of having an accountability buddy, I'm really gonna encourage you to do that. Someone to keep you on track, right? To bounce ideas off of, to hold you accountable, to say that you're making progress together and no one's left behind or hits that pause button for too long as can happen. And a lesson that I've learned is that, but being completely independent and doing everything by yourself is not the definition of success and happiness. It doesn't mean you're any better because you did it yourself, actually it means you're stronger if you've done it with others, because you've created a network which is always stronger than the individual.
0:15:02.1 KC: So, get consistent, make time weekly, make lists, keep yourself focused and reach out for an accountability buddy, for help, so that you're doing it together, you're connected. Okay, so that's our get clear, get consistent mantra for 2021, of course, applying to your business, but I also want you to really look at ways you can apply this to your personal life as well. So, within the realm of self-care, get clear about what modality you wanna practice, meditation, get consistent about doing it daily and again, recommend same time each day. Relationships, get clear about who you wanna deepen a relationship with and get consistent about connecting with them. If I had time in this podcast for a third C, it would have been connection. Don't ever undervalue the power of connection. But I had time for two Cs for 2021, and they are get clear and get consistent.
0:15:56.0 KC: Thank you so much for spending time with me today. I'd love to connect with you and hear what you're excited to get clear and consistent about, and I also wanna hear your advice and inspiration for others for the new year, our challenge from the beginning of the podcast. So please connect with me. Email me at CE standing for continuing education, firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish you all the best today, and every day of this new year. Be sure to join us tomorrow for the third installment in our 2021 ABMP podcast kick-off week, where Darren and I are back together on the pod and we'll be joined by a special guest.
0:16:37.5 Speaker 2: This has been a production of associated bodywork and massage professionals. ABMP is the leading association for massage therapists and bodywork professionals in the United States and beyond, from liability insurance to Professional Advocacy, award-winning publications, to the world's largest continuing education library for massage, to this podcast, no organization provides more for its members and the profession than ABMP. ABMP works for you.