In This Case Study, we talk to Ann I’Anson about her experience as a Massage Therapist and what she has learnt over the last few weeks through our program Fully Booked Without Burnout.
See below for the full transcript of the interview with this amazing woman!
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Transcript of Case Study with Ann I’Anson
|Elicia:||Hey, guys, Elicia here from Fully Booked Without Burnout. I’m really excited to be able to interview Ann tonight. Thank you so much for coming on and having a chat with us, Ann, it’s great to have you here.|
|Ann:||Thank you. I’m glad to be here.|
|Elicia:||Ann is a client of ours and Ann’s been working with us for probably the last six or seven weeks. She’s also attended a few of our webinars which has been fantastic and I guess I just wanted to have a conversation tonight, because every time I do a webinar Ann’s always typing, always asking people for feedback and comments, and she’s always typing, “Oh, my gosh, this is amazing. Everyone has to do this, everyone has to know,” and I just jumped off the end of a webinar through the week and I’m like, “Right, that’s it, we’ve got to have a conversation.”|
|Ann:||Yeah, and I’m really pleased that you have, Elicia, because I have lots of cause and it’s been of tremendous value to me.|
|Elicia:||Fantastic. Maybe, Ann, do you want to share a little bit about your massage business, because I know that you’ve run a few businesses in the past. Can you maybe share a little bit of your journey with us before you were a, life before massage, and then we’ll talk about your experience coming into this industry, which is a little bit different, but how you’ve been able to utilize the tools from your past life I guess.|
|Ann:||Yeah, sure. Previously I was a self-employed dairy farmer and also had beef, cattle and crops, unlike massage. I did that for about nine years and I was in a partnership, and we ended that partnership. Then I went and worked for fifteen years for state government in New South Wales, and that was really good, I was an employee.
Then I went back to self-employed and a little bit of combination of administration contract type work, where it was admin relieving for any company, and it was good, the majority was self-employed. Then I decided I really wanted to pursue my passion so I went and studied massage and went through to Diploma of Remedial Massage, and I completed that at then end of 2012.
|Elicia:||Okay. Fantastic. How did you find the transition from being an employee for such a long time into running your own small business in a very different capacity to what I’m guessing quite a large farm, because you spoke to me about having staff and things like that on the farm. How did you find the transition from employee mindset into small business that was a lot smaller obviously, on a smaller scale I should say?|
|Ann:||Yeah, it was quite different and I had forgotten so many things, including the mandatory things such as the taxation laws. I was pretty good on the bookkeeping, however I use an older system, but as far as finding insurances and finding your clients, I was back to the basics, it was quite difficult.|
|Elicia:||Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I know we’ve had some conversations over the last sort of few months or so, even before you started the program with us. Maybe do you want to share what was the catalyst for you to step up? When we first started to speak there was maybe some nervous or some hesitation or fear around the decision, and then something when you just rang me one day and you were like, “Leash, we’ve got to have a conversation. I’m so ready to step up.” Can you maybe share that journey because that was a really exciting experience that you were a part of.|
|Ann:||It was, I wasn’t so much nervous about taking on the I guess the business coaching, the Fully Booked Without Burnout. What had happened is prior to that I was juggling finances while I was also locating two different clinics to work from and they were both part-time, which is where I am now. I was weighing up the financial aspect.|
|Ann:||Also knowing too that I’m going to be studying this year and next year, so two years full-time study on top of that, and just really looking at it from the overall perspective of what I could manage and what I could afford. I went away with my girls, my daughters for a weekend and it was really, really good, and we went to a particular event and it was all about commitment and also the positive I guess outlook on life and things that you can do to change and improve any situation, be it work, family life.
I knew straightaway on the way back I’m doing this. I guess too, I wasn’t really sure whether to get somebody to develop a website and I had looked at obviously digitally enhanced, that side of it, and then on the other side I wanted to learn and also grow my business. I was trying to weigh up the options, but coming back from that weekend away was the best thing I ever did, I knew straightaway it was the right thing to do.
|Elicia:||Yeah, absolutely. That’s right, because in kind of the six week program that Ann’s talking about, in week three, Jams my husband who’s a digital marketing expert jumped in and teaches you how to create a website. We create a website from scratch, and really teach you the exact, like literally, “Click here, install that, click on that,” and you’ve got James’s lovely dulcet tones, you can set up, you’ve got a video of him explaining what to do while you’re actually creating it yourself.
It’s like literally for anyone who’s going, “I don’t know, I can’t, it’s too hard because I don’t get this internet stuff.” It’s like it really is, we make it as easy as possible to be able to create your own website, so you actually can bring your own flavours through as well. Do you maybe want to talk us a bit about that experience that you’ve had creating that?
|Ann:||Absolutely. Well in fact that was quite interesting. I am not computer savvy, at all, so I found it quite challenging, the whole concept of me developing my own website. I did speak with James to weigh up the options whether to have somebody create that for me so I didn’t need to think about it, or do the business coaching course, and I thought, “No, I take on the challenge and I’ll do it.”
When I started all the terminology was something I’m not at all familiar with, that was the very first thing I found quite interesting, but the step to step guide from James was incredible. I’m not Generation Y, I’m not that computer literate. It was so easy, I couldn’t believe it, it was just so beneficial in his step to step guide, right through from how to setup accounts in different things, it was so easy, I could not believe it.
|Ann:||It was great.|
|Elicia:||Fantastic. You’ve got a working site now, haven’t you?|
|Ann:||I do. Yes.|
|Elicia:||Yay. Well done, well done. That’s super exciting. What have you noticed since having that in place?|
|Ann:||Well I’ve had a few clients comment on that. I put a posting on Facebook which was something I also wouldn’t used to often, that was social media. I also sent out some little text messages just with a link, and I’ve had clients comment on that, and also look up vital information, and it’s been really beneficial because they’ve decided on a few things before they’ve come to see me.|
When it comes to your strategy or the content that you’ve got on your website, do you want to maybe share a little bit of what you’ve decided to put on there? How are you attracting those people in?
|Ann:||Well mine’s specific for sports and active people, so I kept it very simple with some key terminology for sports and mobility and performance, that type of thing, and they were all James’s tips, and I guess I really targeted my niche clientele, in the way that I put on some attractive photos, that once again they were professional ones that I learned in the course, and they are things that you would look at those photos and you wish you were that person lying on the table.
It was really relevant to the active person and also the sports athlete, and coming into football season now, which I love, that now I’ve had those preseason footballers start to look at that, see the oily legs, and the massage photos and then they read a little bit about things they didn’t understand before, and they want to book in. I actually targeted my clientele through the wording.
|Elicia:||Yeah, nice. It’s like you’ve created this online platform of your website, which becomes what we call the mother ship, where you’ve got all that critical information about what you and how you do it and why you do it, and it’s the imagery and the languages reflecting your target market. Then you’re using Facebook as well [inaudible [00:09:54], there you go, you’re using Facebook to really to attract a tribe of people who believe what you believe, and you’re able to send them to the mother ship so they can get all that information and obviously make bookings and stuff like that. That’s exactly what it’s all about, because that’s, like without social media, without an online presence, it’s really hard for people to find us.
It’s like people just can’t access who we are, we could be brilliant at what we do but without that kind of, “Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah. Here’s what I do, here’s what I can,” because everything we do we search on the internet. It’s like in the last probably four weeks I have, I found a dog trailer for my new dog, I’ve organized dance lessons for my daughter, karate for my son, and guitar lessons for my son, and now I’m investigating singing lessons for my daughter, and that’s all on Facebook. It’s like I haven’t met these people outside of it, but I’ve gone and checked out their website after I found them on Facebook, looked up all their information and then made bookings and got it done some. I think that’s so how we do stuff these days.
|Ann:||I totally agree with that, Elicia, and I’ve had to change my entire mindset to being online, because I am old school. I have also seen the benefits and I’ve also experienced the benefits because I’m just starting to reap the rewards now from having online, and using Facebook, and I do use a few other things as well. In my feedback it’s seems to be from all they’re either social media or something online.|
|Ann:||If anything it was me, yeah, it was me catching up not the clients.|
|Elicia:||Nice, nice. That’s a good reflection. Ann, besides the, we’re talking a lot about marketing and online, which I think is incredibly important, because a lot of therapists I speak to, and I’m going to be really honest, are around your age, and they’re not that kind of tech savvy, I mean James and I didn’t grow up with Gen, what do we class as Gen X, Gen Y, we’re kind of border line. We didn’t grow up with computers, our school had computers and we had a computer class and it was a Commodore 64, and I’m talking like the floppy disks, and this is probably in primary school. We had to learn it, it’s not something like, my kids can probably use a iPad better than I can, but for them they’re just going to grow up with technology.|
|We didn’t grow up with technology, so what we’ve been able to do is we’ve had to learn it and we’ve totally embraced it, and then we’re able to teach implement it. That’s really cool. What are some of the other key things that you’ve gotten out of the course, because I know there’s been quite a lot of stuff that you’ve really, that you’ve gotten a lot out of and you’ve grown and you’ve noticed? Do you maybe want to share some of, if there’s anything maybe on a personal level or anything else that you’ve noticed about how to run a successful business?|
|Ann:||Yeah, probably I’d say with the, right from the beginning, the map. To understand what it is, like your mindset, the whole mindset side of things, to understand where you’re at, where your client’s at, and then to adapt that to not only the business life but into my personal life. Then to use that to strive to live above the line, because even though that I have been doing that, occasionally I slip under the line, and I’ve been really quite conscious of living at cause.
I think if I hadn’t have done the course right early from that start of the course, I wouldn’t have had that same mindset, I would have just plugged along and gone up and down and all over the place. It’s really created a goal and stability in what I want to achieve.
|Ann:||That’s the very first …
|Ann:||Yeah, so it’s been fantastic because you really need to look after yourself and understand which direction you’re heading in, and also which type of client that you really want to service. To get it all together isn’t that easy, you think about little bits and pieces, but you don’t actually do it. That’s been really beneficial. I would say also too, learning all the systems, the online systems, and to compare such as Clinico and Power Diary, and different systems that are there, and to understand the importance of online backup, because I’m a little bit like the portable hard drive person, but I have lost things before when my computer blew up.|
|I never knew about the Google online system, little things like that so you can store your information. Those type of things have been absolutely vital for me because I know the documents that I want to create but I just kept storing them manually on my little computer. That’s been really monumental, to shift my, once again, mindset to online. Yeah, the map is actually very good.|
|Elicia:||Yeah, that’s fantastic. Absolutely. I think like just to kind of, for these guys listening who maybe don’t understand some of the terminology that you’ve just used, one of the things that I’ve noticed as a coach is that our business is often a reflection of us. What we do in the first couple of weeks is we spend time designing, and as we’re really designing our mind to then design our business. Because if we want, if our business is not, it’s not busy enough or there’s not enough structure or there’s not enough systems or there’s not enough inspiration, whatever our pain points are, whatever our sticking points are in our business, it’s a reflection of where we’re at in our personal life and in our thought life. One of the first things that we’ve got to change and look at and how we can step up, is looking at how to change our thinking. When Ann’s talking about being above the line, it’s like or at cause, so it really is being understanding that we are one hundred percent responsible for every result or non-result in our life.
How can we then choose when we’re going to be at cause or when we can notice if we’re at effect, which is where we’re blaming and victim mentality and all sorts of stuff like that. I think that’s a really good point, and then even the online systems that Ann’s talking about, whether it’s a Google doc or whether it’s Dropbox, at least this for me came out of me losing, using a particular system, like booking system where we had a hard drive crash, unfortunately miscommunication with our IT man, and we didn’t, we weren’t backing up like we thought. We lost over two hundred and fifty appointments leading into the month across seven staff, and we basically had to spend the next two or three weeks piecing that back together. This is not the only time that I’ve heard of this happening. We look at it, if I’m going to be at cause for that, we handled that really well in the business and it was fine, but then it’s like, “Well, it’s great to make mistakes, because if you make mistakes it means you’re learning, but we don’t make the same mistakes.”
It was like feedback to me, “Cool, let’s get some online instructions on some online systems.” Yeah, thank you, Ann. That’s really cool. If there was something that you wanted to share, maybe with a therapist who hasn’t had as much experience as you’ve had, or is just starting out in their career or maybe struggling to get bookings, what piece of advice or what gold nugget would you like to give to them or do you wish you had have known when you first started?
|Ann:||Well truthfully, and this is form my heart, I believe that every therapist, be it Myotherapist, remedial massage, therapeutic, it doesn’t matter what type of therapist be in allied health, they should do Fully Booked Without Burnout, and I’m not just saying that because you’re on the other side of the line here, I’m saying that truthfully because I have embraced, and I guess recapping what I did know, but I have learned so much that I didn’t know existed. I don’t know where else you could find that information that is relevant to my industry.|
|Elicia:||Yeah, beautiful. Thank you.|
It really has been an absolutely pleasure having you coming through the program. It’s exciting, obviously it’s always as a coach you want people to enjoy the process and that’s cool, but for me it’s really about, I mean each day I ask each person as we’re doing a module or we’re doing a lesson, there’s the opportunity to share your feedback and your insights. I was just saying to Ann before we started, I actually get emailed those, so everyday I’m getting however many people are going through the course at different stages, I’m getting different insights into what’s happening, and I love that.
Because I get to share in your journey and obviously like people are commenting their thoughts and feedback into the closed Facebook group that we give you access to, and it’s beautiful because you’re getting all these, I know when someone will post something in the group that you’re going through, it’s like everyone else like and comment and start to, like it gets them going as well.
|Ann:||Yeah, I actually love that closed group. I must admit I wasn’t even a Facebook fan until you changed my mindset about that too. On the Facebook group, the closed group, I absolutely love that we give each other support, it’s impartial, it’s very supporting though to each other, and we are all striving for the same thing or be it that we have a different type of niche or and marketing maybe slightly different. However we are striving to improve ourself and our business, and the support, you could probably get that generally within the public or a business service support center, however this is for the massage therapist.
It’s really tailored for us, and I love the fact that somebody can post something onto our group and you’ll understand where they’re at, because you’ve been at the similar thing either a day or two before, or you’ll be there the next day. It’s a little bit like the new age forum, but it’s just fantastic and I felt very much like a family within that group.
|Elicia:||Nice. Yeah, absolutely. It is, it’s that, someone posts in that group and within minutes other people are like, before I can even get in there and say anything and coach, you know, this is my job, it’s like you guys have done it, and I just jump in and like all your posts and go, “Yeah, rock on.” It’s beautiful, it’s such a great, it’s a great space.|
|Ann:||Yeah. I think too, with the questions that come up in the group, if it’s not something that I have been thinking, it’s what somebody else has been thinking anyway, so we’re basically throwing around some good ideas. Once again we would not have probably thought of the answer by ourself, but we’ve thought of the question.|
|Elicia:||Yeah, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. That’s awesome. Annie, I just want to say thank you so much to you for stepping up in your business and for holding the space for those around you, and for being such an amazing encouragement in your group, I know you are very active in there, and it’s great to have you in. I’d like to thank you for your time tonight and thank you for sharing your experience and your journey with us, with these guys that are listening and watching in, so I want to say thank you so much.|
|Ann:||Thank you, Elicia. Thank you to you and also to James, you have been absolutely wonderfully supportive, and I guess that’s something I haven’t had probably throughout my working career and I’ve been working for a long time. I did not know that business coaches and courses like this existed for self-employed, so I thank you immensely.|
|Elicia:||My pleasure. I’m just going to stop this.|