I love getting massages. I have a membership at Massage Envy, a national chain where you get a massage a month for only $49 bucks. The guy (yes, I prefer a dude) who I usually go to when I’m in town recently announced he was leaving to work out of his house. He figures he can make more money on his own. Typical! I “innocently” asked him to tell me his business plan. He confidently announced he was going to charge $75 bucks a massage and even if only half his customers go with him he will be making the same amount of money working for himself as he does working for someone else. Interesting I replied and then I asked “Hey, if I go with you what would I be getting for my extra $26 bucks a month?” “A Bio-Mat” he enthusiastically proclaimed! He then geeked out about his new $1,200 Bio-Mat massage table expounding on it’s ergonomic features and improved comfort. Funny I thought, never once have I laid down on a massage table and felt anything but comfort. I began to mention that but before I could he quickly cut me off again proclaiming the virtues of his new Bio-Mat. How much did it cost you again, I asked? “Only $1,200 bucks which means it will only take 16 massages to pay it off!” As I lay there I “innocently” wondered if he was planning on paying his mortgage or even eating for that matter? Or paying taxes? I also wondered how many of his customers would leave Massage Envy with their fireplace, classical music and even eucalyptus smelling waiting room for his basement? I’m not sure but I am sure of a few things. His Bio-Mat sounds cool but not nearly cool enough. And it most certainly won’t be paid off with 16 massages. He will certainly have a “few” more expenses he’s yet to factor in. I know he’s a good masseuse but as for being a businessman, I have my doubts. But my doubts laid with me as he wasn’t asking my opinion, rather telling me what he’s going to do. After all, what does a Pond Guy know about Bio-Mats?! He also didn’t ask me if I would be leaving to join him in his new venture. A salesman he most certainly is not!
I see a lot of people who either make the leap or live in a perpetual state of “someday, I’m going to make the leap and do this for myself” kind of mindset motivated by whatever their Bio-Mat” is. Right? Obviously we all know that to be successful all you need is an innovative idea or a better mouse trap. Right? Marketing, sales, let alone business acumen, are all just superficial skillsets after all that hard work will overcome.
I work really, really hard at marketing and sales and for that matter all other aspects of running a successful business. But no amount of marketing and sales I do will dent the resolve of the masses who believe success and failure in business comes down to their version of a “Bio-Mat.” Or those that believe success comes from your passion and hard work—sales, marketing and finances be damned! More people than not reject the value of saddling their businesses alongside the Aquascape sales, marketing and business model machine. They won’t become a Certified Aquascape Contractor which would allow them to be listed as authorized installers of our system on the number one site in the world for consumers searching for information on water features. Why? Because they have a favorite “Bio-Mat,” pump or “fish safe skimmer” they would prefer to install instead of swearing loyalty to a brand that’s entire business model is predicated on their success. That’s their right and their prerogative. As it’s also my right and prerogative to keep my membership with a national firm that has an app that finds the closest Massage Envy to wherever I’m at (fireplace, classical music and eucalyptus smelling waiting room and all). I will miss my masseuse however…and his “Bio-Mat.”