A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee
Unknown
1,000 marbles
When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.”

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

1,000 marbles

1,000 marbles
Unknown
1,000 marbles
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday morning. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it: I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about a thousand marbles. I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital, he continued; Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities. And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a thousand marbles.

You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail, he went on, and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.

Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.

It was nice to meet you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.

What brought this on? she asked with a smile. Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.

Salon Spa Marketing That Makes Sense

Salon Spa Marketing that makes sense
Christopher Brazy
sensible salon spa marketing
REVIEW: Marketing with Card Emergency
What are we up against as spa owners? Well, there’s the health club spas, hotel spas, resort spas, medspas and giant salon/spas. Now there are even massage and facial franchises. A practicing owner (or any owner) has a lot to deal with. How do you do so?

If you’re one of the few that went into the business prepared with funds to run your business, great. If not, you need to watch your bottom dollar. Even with advertising dollars, in this economy, you need to market smartly. That starts with a properly written ad (see link at bottom of page). But what can you do further? We found an amazing service that helps …a lot!

Getting read
What’s the main problem with advertising? It’s ADVERTISING! People don’t want it. They see it and they toss it. But can you really address thousands of envelopes by hand in hopes of them getting opened? And once opened, will your piece be read? Probably not. So, what does get opened? Think of yourself and what you open. And for myself, if I get a greeting card, I open it and I read it. And if it’s humorous, that’s even better. Card Emergency does just this.

What CardEmergency is exactly
Card Emergency is an online service that prints greeting cards (in your own handwriting) of their -or- YOUR design (with your own picture and headline if you like), stuffs the card in an envelope, addresses it, stamps it and sends it …all for you. You can even add in gifts (gift cards, cookies, books, etc). And it does so for MUCH less than the cost of a regular card. Simply put, you upload clients addresses, design a card and send it to one person or a thousand, in under a minute. Simple, cheap and best of all, effective.

A little bit each day
Most grand plans get put aside and never see the light of day …this doesn’t get pushed aside. With a service as easy as a few clicks online, you can stay on top of your marketing and actually get it done, which is what’s really important. We do a little each day, sending birthday cards, thank you cards, referral cards or even planning a large mailing. It’s easy to add in gifts for clients who have referred us and strengthen our relationships with business partners. When times are tough, it’s a lot easier to spend $5 to send a few cards to clients than to spend $5,000 to send out a postcard campaign that just ends up in the trash.

Ease of use
The learning curve is very low, but there. The hardest part is joining! But once signed up, you just go to the card catalogue, search through the categories (there’s even a beauty/spa category) and choose a card. You can choose a postcard, greeting card, or tri-fold (these you can use for menu’s). You type your message and can adjust the font color, type and layout. Images are easily added too. Creating your own card with your own image and headline is even a fairly simple task.

Getting your own handwriting font setup is simple as well. You just print out the alphabet on their form (cursive doesn’t work), create your signature and mail it in. They scan it into your own font so your letters truly are hand written. You’re even allowed four signatures, so you can have a personal one, business one, formal and informal.

The cost?
Technically, nothing. It’s free to use. You’ll pay retail and won’t get the bonus features (like adding in pictures and your own handwriting font), but if you buy “points” to pay for a card and put a little money into your account to cover postage, you’re set to use it. A retail point is .49 and 1 point covers a postcard, 2 a greeting card (so .98 each) and 3 a tri-fold.

For a $99 setup fee you can create your own cards with the “picture-plus” upgrade. If you’re going to do a lot of mailings you can even buy down the cost of points to wholesale pricing of .31 each (a 37% discount). This wholesale setup includes your own handwriting font and is an additional $199 (so $298 total). For $100 more you can be an “entrepreneur” and get paid for everyone you tell about it who signs up underneath you. So if you work it, you’ll earn residuals that will add up to a nice monthly paycheck! All the details are online at www.sendoutcards.com/cardemergency

start quoteChanging people’s lives, one card at a time.end quote
– Send Out Cards
The REAL glue
As their slogan says, you literally are changing peoples lives, one card at a time. By sending out heartfelt messages to your clients, colleagues, friends and family, you’re making a world of difference. I get a big smile on my face each time I send a client a birthday card, knowing that I’m probably one of maybe two or three people that even remembered. I get an even bigger smile sending a card and adding in a gift to anyone who refers me. By showing our clients, friends and family that we truly care about them, we create a bond that cannot be broken. Not by glitzy advertising, not by cheap rates, not by anything. And THAT is marketing that makes sense.

The Best Day Spa Skincare Line

The Best Day Spa Skincare Line
Christopher Brazy
best day spa skincare line
Skincare and body products are everywhere. Everyone has their own personal idea on what’s “best.” What’s really important? That’s what everyone ignores. If you want your retail sales to soar, pay attention to these qualities.

Ask 100 different people on what the best skin care is and you’ll get 100 different answers (really, see our forum post). “This line sells the best” …”that product line has the best ingredients.” It goes on and on and on. What we’re dealing with here is ego. A personal testimonial …advice. People love to give it. It’s all based on who they know, much like everyone’s favorite sports team is always their home state’s team. Who from Indiana likes the Denver Broncos? No one. Or WORSE yet, it’s based on image. We’ve all been “Brand-washed.” The medspa industry is the WORST at this. Call 10 doctors and see what they carry. I’ll tell you, Skinceuticals or Obagi.

Let’s look past the emotional attachment we have to what our top esty likes (only because she used it in school) and find out what you should REALLY be looking for in a spa product line.

Exclusivity
We carried Dermalogica way back when. We were 1 of 2 in town. Within two years we were 1 of 20. Look at Aveda, there are now Aveda retail STORES (not salons/spas) selling product only. Why would anyone come to you to pick up something they can get elsewhere? People want their own little secret place to get those exclusive items you can’t find elsewhere.

Internet presence
Tying in with the above, if it can be had online at just over your cost, why would they buy it from you? A friend of mine told me about her lunch with a first time spa-goer. She asked how he liked his facial. He LOVED it! She asked if he bought product, he said of course. Where did he buy it? Not from the spa that recommended it, but from online for 40% off from some super skincare store.

Branding (not)
The public does NOT know about skincare lines. We do. After all look at their advertising. Do you see them in “O” or “Cosmopolitan?” No, you see their ads in spa professional magazines. Why is that? It’s because they advertise to us, so we do all of the word of mouth advertising for them. We put it up in our ads, on our websites …why spend time building someone else’s brand? If you ever do see a national skincare line advertising in women’s magazines that means they’re ready to go public with it.

Ingredients
I almost named this “quality” but switched. Really it’s two fold here since clients don’t really care about ingredients. Sure, if it’s au’ natural, not tested on animals and the such those are benefits, but no one walks up and asks. Even organic, who has actually ASKED for it? Or is it US hyping it up? “Our line is organic!” Actually, organic product is VERY expensive and goes BAD very quickly. So what do our clients care about? Did you guess results? Good guess! Clients would like to see results, something more than what they could buy over the counter. So look for effective ingredients (which will more likely than not mean leaning away from the “all organic” lines). Botanicals are a great mix between “earth friendly” and “result oriented.” But I’d have to say the smell is probably one of the top deciding factors in buying, so that means essential oils (not perfumes).

Look
We don’t try stuff out before buying (sampling is the quickest way to lose a sale), we look at it! Do the labels look like return address envelope labels? Cheap. We feel it. Does it have some weight to it, is it substantial. We smell it. Is it YUMMY? Our first impression with a product (along with personal recommendations, below) has considerable impact.

Can you believe in it?
Whatever line you carry, it has to be YOUR choice. If you leave it up to staff you’ll be getting in a new line for every new hire. Let your staff know this is the line we’re using and be it’s number one cheerleader. Get staff psyched up about your skincare. Talk about how wonderful the ingredients are [our own line uses the 2 most stable types of vitamin-C out there, bonded together to further stabilize it and add to its effectiveness]. Talk about how wonderful it works and see how nice the clients’ faces glow afterwards. Your personal recommendation will have the MOST impact on sales, to your staff and your clients.

…and we saved the most important for last.

Markup
We assume a regular branded line has a decent markup. It costs $10, we sell it for $20 (100% markup, that’s called a “keystone”). A keystone used to cut it, but not anymore. You’ve got 50% in cost. 5% shipping cost. Up to 5% merchant fees for using the credit card. 10-20% commission. Then there’s the time of the receptionist to ring it up (that’s not free) and MORE importantly the LEASED SPACE that it occupies. A 500 square foot retail/reception area probably is costing you at least $1,000/month. If you’re selling $10,000 worth of product/month that’s another 10% there. So what’s left for you? 10-20% …Is that worth it?

The answer? Find a line with MORE than just a single keystone markup.

When we found a manufacturer to develop our line “Alexandra” we didn’t go with our personal favorite for everything. We went with what worked best, what smelled the best and was the best for business-sense. We didn’t have to put our “personal favorite stamp” onto every product. I personally HATE lavender. But it’s the #1 most popular scent. So guess what, we have a lavender cleanser.

To recap, find a fairly exclusive line with limited presence (especially internet discount stores). Preferable a website that would refer back to you. Make sure it looks worth it’s price, has an incredible markup %-wise with quality ingredients and stand behind it with your staff.

SPA REVIEW: The Lanzerac Spa and Wellness Centre -South Africa

SPA REVIEW: The Lanzerac Spa and Wellness Centre -South Africa
Sarene Kloren
lanzerac spa
The Lanzerac Spa and Wellness Centre is set amongst the historic vineyards of the 300 year old Lanzerac Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. From the moment that you enter the quaint Cape Dutch cottage that houses the spa you immediately feel at ease. The homely atmosphere encourages guests to leave their stresses at the front door and simply relax and enjoy.

The spa has recently undergone a refurbishment and now offers a large covered relaxation pool area, Turkish hamman, warm and cold hydrotherapy pools and a Jacuzzi with stunning views overlooking the vineyards and Stellenbosch mountains

Following the world-wide spa trend of becoming environmentally friendly and going green, the Lanzerac spa has recently introduced their own signature range of organic products and signature treatments — VinAqua. These products contain the finest organic ingredients produced by farmers who farm without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. VinAqua products contain no artificial chemicals or preservatives and the packaging is biodegradable.

The Lanzerac is the only spa in South Africa to offer a traditional Turkish foam massage treatment — The Lanzerac VinAqua Hamman experience. Based on the age-old cleansing ritual from the Byzantine times and combined with organic VinAqua products, it is a luxurious and revitalizing experience to refresh and purify mind, body and soul.

Guests are welcomed with an African footbath ritual. Feet are soaked in a bowl of warm water containing African essential oils and glass marbles that gently roll under the feet, washing away stress and relaxing weary feet.

wellness centre

The Vinaqua Hamman experience starts with a 15-minute steam to stimulate the blood circulation. The guest is then taken to lie on the specially built heated marble Turkish Hamman overlooking the vineyards and surrounding mountains.

The therapist begins with an exhilarating full body exfoliation using Merlot infused products. After this the warm soapy foam is applied and the therapist massages the entire body using long, sweeping movements. The foam is gently showered off and the treatment ends with the application of specially blended oils to the head that nourish the hair while the therapist massages away any remaining tension from the scalp. Finally, the experience is ended with a traditional ritual. When the treatment is finished the guest has the option of relaxing in a warm hydrotherapy pool or dipping into an exhilarating cold plunge pool — located beside the hamman.

The Lanzerac has recently introduced a romantic “Spafari” – an African safari with a difference. The experience focuses on the five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. The adventure begins with a wine tasting of wines from the estate, product sampling and a tour through the historic vineyards in a customised open “spafari” vehicle.

The “Spafari” experience includes a relaxing massage using exotic African massage butters under the protective leaves of a massive old willow tree, which take the form of an outside treatment area.

The “Spasafari” massage treatments include “The African Theranaka Avocado and Sheabutter Nugget” massage experience – blocks of Avocado and Shea butter are placed on different areas of the body. As the butter begins to melt with the body’s temperature, the therapist performs a deep tissue massage, combined with Shiatsu trigger point therapy. Another exotic massage treatment is “The Theranaka African Wood Treatment” which uses specially designed Swarthout dumbbells to glide over melted Olive and Shea butter. The guests are left with a luxury picnic basket under the willow tree to relax on their own.

The Café at the Spa makes use of the freshest ingredients to ensure tasty and healthy food, which has been selected to provide guests with the richest sources of essential ingredients. The menu includes healthy breakfasts, gourmet sandwiches, delicious salads and nutritional smoothies

The Lanzerac Spa and Wellness Centre also offers a host of alternative therapies, including Intergral Vanyasa Yoga — often described as the “user friendly” version of Hatha Yoga, making it easy for beginners to master. Intergral Vanyasa Yoga specialises in the dynamic flow of movement, concentrating on correct breathing and posture to integrate mind and body making it easy for beginners to master. Individual or group lessons can be arranged. Pilates classes are available on request. Pilates is often referred to as the “thinking exercise regime” because it teaches mental focus and awareness of where the body is in space and awareness of good body mechanics.

Vigor Life is a lifestyle management programme that focuses on enhancing the state of wellness and wellbeing. Individual programmes, group, post-rehabilitation, pre and post natal programmes are all available.

A day at the new Lanzerac Spa and Wellness Centre is a rejuvenating experience for anyone who wishes to recharge their batteries and completely destress.

The 3 biggest mistakes advertising your salon spa on TV

The 3 biggest mistakes advertising your salon spa on TV

EVERYBODY keeps asking how we did so well with our television advertising campaign, it’s a favorite topic of our members-only mastermind calls.

As Zhenya says, “it’s the ONLY check I don’t mind writing EVERY month!”

Many of you are either members or have been on our email list for over a year and recall how this discussion came about.

For those who don’t, WE MOVED OUR SPA… TWICE during one year. First, when gas was 4 bucks/gallon, we moved INTO town. Then once in town, the building that had been waiting for years on a city project finally got the green light for acquisition (eminent domain) the month after we moved in!

So our final move to our current location came ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK, just before Thanksgiving. We were working our client list, sending cards, emails, having open houses, etc. so felt comfortable… but I had a nagging feeling.

Since we were at a new location and the holiday shopping season was just starting, I really wanted to try out the holy grail of new-client-acquisition, television, but didn’t know HOW to go about it… so I asked YOU, our entire list who had experience with it.

…only ONE person had successfully ran a campaign and MOST FAILED MISERABLY. The most common comments were:

– It’s EXPENSIVE

– It didn’t work!

And for MOST the people out there, they are RIGHT…

That didn’t stop us though, so what we did is this…

We took your questions and went searching for a tv advertising guru (and found only ONE in the nation).

He had a “tv goldmine” how-to advertise on television advertising system that WE BOUGHT AND TESTED OUT (and is now available in our shop here).

Our results?

a 400% ROI (while our radio at the exact same time gave us only 1/5th of our money spent back!).

…set aside an hour and watch our webinar.

REMEMBER, you have to TAKE ACTION to make a change.
Who loves ya?
-Christopher

Our SECRET Salon & Spa marketing plan

Our SECRET Salon & Spa marketing plan

EVERYONE’S been emailing about what kind of plan to work out for their salon & spa marketing, here’s our plan. Remember, your marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated, just some simple steps to coordinate things. Doing so will put you at the top of your town (most do NOTHING to market themselves, let alone PROPERLY …I think we’ll setup an “online evaluation” bonus for all here on our list as a Christmas gift).

1. Mid-October, emailed our list (are you building yours?) asking what THEY would like for a fall special (facials won).

2. Early Nov, emailed results, posted on facebook page as well, with a coupon for the deluxe facial (30 off of 99).

3. Mailed an actual, physical card using an automated service to our top 200 vip clients saying “Happy Thanksgiving” and telling them to bring the card in for 30 off our fall facial.

4. Today, mailing a “wanted” card, this time to our “missing” clients with a 20 coupon and announcing our HUGE Black Friday special.

5. Next week, sending more cards to our VIP list again announcing our Black Friday open house and 3 for 1 special along with emails the day before (you’ll double your response with repeat mailings).

6. …continue with emails about instant, online gift certificates, putting up a video on our facebook page and blog announcing our Holiday party (open house right before Christmas).

7. Setup multiple keyword loaded blogs and heavily distribute videos for an online marketing assault to go along with our PPC campaigns.

8. Sending more cards/direct mail to our missing list and vip list (now that it’s been a few weeks) to invite them to our Holiday party and push instant online gift certificates.

9. Adding on 3 more network tv stations to our already successful (400% ROI) tv ad campaign for a HUGE last minute push for online gift certificates.

10. Post holiday, setup a coop of fellow businesses for ongoing tv advertising and sending direct mail campaigns every 3 weeks (cards, newsletters & outrageous items) at LITTLE to NO COST to myself except time.

This isn’t rocket science …I just spent a half hour on the phone (at no cost) to a PROSPECT for my site who is doing nothing (as nearly all businesses out there, they just don’t know how or what to do that will actually work) and she’s realized the importance of taking action to keep things afloat and is ready to INVEST in her business. How about you?

REMEMBER, you have to TAKE ACTION to make a change.
Who loves ya?
-Christopher

How do you feel about LABOR Day?

How do you feel about LABOR Day?

Labor …can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.
(if you’re already a member, read this anyway, it’s a good story).

It’s labor day, “time to celebrate all the accomplishments of the American worker and the prosperity they’ve created for our economy.” (source, US Dept of Labor)

Almost ironically, our economy isn’t doing too well, but I don’t think the American worker is the cause for that. But Looking at the above statement, I think the prosperity really comes from the American small business owner, don’t you?

Labor certainly is a VITAL part of our or any small business, but it is the owners who have put everything out there …risked their lives savings and home to put the business out to the public …to give labor an opportunity to make a living.

*******************************************************
And what about our SALON AND SPA Industry?
*******************************************************

Even more ironically, it’s LABOR (specifically compensation issues) that are KILLING US. The demand for 50% (or more!). The demand that anyone they touch is now their client. The demands that they can just come in, pick up the money, leave and come later for more, without any thought of paying their dues and building (or keeping) clientelle.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?????

Many hide their heads and hope for the salad days to return …you shouldn’t.
Many hope for MORE clients (and although we show you how to get them, THAT isn’t the real problem and shouldn’t be your focus).
Others just close up shop, exhausted, and walk away …such a loss.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO??????

TAKE CONTROL of your own spa, fix the situation and ride this economic wave to prosperity.

We’re having a record breaking year in our own spa.

Our members are dealing with the nightmare issues, fixing them and LITERALLY saving their businesses and are now MAKING MONEY.