Success Is An Inside Job (with Diane Matkowski)

Summary: Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe get personal with Diane Matkowski (The Massage Mentor) about what “success” means to each of them, and preview their upcoming online collaborative, the “Success is an Inside Job” training.

 

Whitney Lowe:

Whitney Lowe here and Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy education for over 20 years, thousands of schools around the world teach with their textbooks and digital resources. In these trying times this beloved publisher is dedicated to helping educators with online friendly digital resources that make instruction easier and more effective in the classroom or virtually.

Til Luchau:

And hi, this is Til, Books of Discovery likes to say learning adventures start here, they see that same spirit here on the Thinking Practitioner Podcast. And they’re proud to support our work knowing we share the mission to bring the massage and bodywork community, and livening content that advances our profession. Check out their collection of e-textbooks and digital learning resources for pathology, kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology at booksofthediscovery.com, where Thinking Practitioner listeners can save 15% by entering “thinking” at checkout. Well, hey Whitney.

Whitney Lowe:

Good afternoon, sir. How are you today?

Til Luchau:

I am pretty good. All things considered. Actually I am really good and really chaotic.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s right, are you sleeping these days because you have a new puppy.

Til Luchau:

We have a new puppy and no, he sleeps through the night, fine. It means my schedule is no longer my own.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s right.

Til Luchau:

I am now beholden to the needs of another.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s right.

Til Luchau:

Glad and blissfully but it’s a big adjustment. How about you? How are you doing?

Whitney Lowe:

Doing good. I feel old today. I turned 60 yesterday. I’m waking up with a creaky back and those things come with age and everything. But no coming into the holidays, life’s good and things are good here out in Central Oregon.

Til Luchau:

Oh, we got Diane with us today and I don’t know about Diane, but I only got one thing to say about that. (singing).

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Whatever.

Til Luchau:

(Singing). And many more.

Whitney Lowe:

And remember who edits this podcast so I can cut that song out.

Til Luchau:

Can you put a little what do they call that, little distortion on our voice?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Til Luchau:

Sounds like chipmunks or something.

Whitney Lowe:

Right. Certainly.

Diane Matkowski:

I have to add that there’s no way Jose would have ever imagined that you were 60, I was thinking maybe 45.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. This is kind of a funny story. I’ve told this before, back in the early days of my career, I grew a mustache and a goatee because I was trying to look older because I’ve always looked like I was just a little kid. So now I’m old I look like I’m 40 or so, so that’s all right.

Diane Matkowski:

Works out.

Til Luchau:

Congratulations. My friend.

Diane Matkowski:

Happy birthday. I’m glad you were born.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Welcome to the 60 club.

Diane Matkowski:

Glad you were born.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s right.

Til Luchau:

That’s right. Very cool. Well, that’s great to celebrate with you. I’m glad to be here with you and I’m glad to be with Diane.

Whitney Lowe:

Woo-hoo.

Til Luchau:

Diane Matkowski the Massage Mentor.

Diane Matkowski:

So excited to be here with the both of you.

Whitney Lowe:

Diane is featured on the front of this month’s MASSAGE Magazine cover as well, so we’re lucky to have this star with us this afternoon.

Diane Matkowski:

Oh boy. Oh boy.

Til Luchau:

Booked our appointment before that happened, otherwise I don’t know if we’d get her.

Diane Matkowski:

Oh gosh. Thank you. Thank you.

Til Luchau:

Congratulations on that, that’s cool.

Diane Matkowski:

It’s very exciting. Very excited.

Til Luchau:

Well, you’ve really done a lot to bring people’s awareness into the things you do, which have been around mentoring, like your institute’s name says by getting better. About people really taking this work seriously and in a not so serious way, getting really good at it. So you’ve really been a rising star and a shooting star in that respect, so it’s well deserved to be on that cover-

Diane Matkowski:

Thank you.

Til Luchau:

… and really pleased to be here with you. And to be talking about this subject today, which is this idea you had of Success is an Inside Job online, would you call it a group or training?

Diane Matkowski:

I wouldn’t call it training, I would call it a personal growth opportunity. How often do you get to spend hours of time with Whitney Lowe, Til Luchau, Benny Vaughn, Cal Cates, Anne Williams, Eric Brown, and then have the hostesses with the mostess’, Rebel Massage-

Til Luchau:

And you.

Diane Matkowski:

… aka me, the Massage Mentor. So for me, it’s just a great opportunity to spend some more intimate time with teachers who I admire. Really, again, this is another selfish act on my part. I enjoy hanging out with you all so much and have learned so much from you, I feel selfish just keeping that to myself.

Til Luchau:

Well, I was excited when you had the idea and I’m actually really looking forward to talking to you and Whitney today, just about this idea of success and what that means. And especially this interesting subtitle you gave it inside job, what does that mean that success is an inside job and it’s going to be a good conversation. And then we’ll finish up with a little information too about the training and how people can jump into that if they want. All right. So I think I’ll ask the first question: if that’s okay, Whitney and Diane, either one of you, what do you mean by success? What is success in this context?

Diane Matkowski:

I feel like for me, success has been a lot of things through my lifetime. When I was 23, I bought my first property and I thought after I bought my property, that that meant I was successful. The first time I had five digit digits in the bank and my balance reached the tens of thousands. I was like, “I am successful.”

Til Luchau:

You weren’t counting the cents when you did the five digits.

Diane Matkowski:

There’s been so many different points in my life where I thought that material things or things that I did, or even to date being on the cover of MASSAGE Magazine, I thought that those things would make me successful or feel successful. But I have found that those things aren’t what helped me feel or believe that I am successful and also getting to those places, the journey to those things, everything that I’ve accomplished was an inside job for me.

Diane Matkowski:

There was some big shift inside of me, there was some lesson that I learned, there was something about life that maybe I took more seriously. Again, that personal development piece, I wanted to be a better person, I guess you could say, or I wanted to exude more Diane Matkowskiness, I wanted to just be more comfortable in my own skin. So it almost seemed in a weird way that some of those successes were rewards after some hard work, some inside work that I had been doing through the years, does that make sense?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, definitely. And I think you’ve hit on some really important points about that. There’s a lot of similarity I think between us talking about success and some of the other things that are big and prominent topics in popular media. There’s all this focus on things like body image and the way in which the media conveys you need to look a certain way or you need to be a certain way. That’s true I think a great deal for this concept and idea of success, is that the measurement is often around dollar signs without regard for a lot of the other things that are important indicators of very significant accomplishments for people.

Whitney Lowe:

Just take one client who has had some very severe, challenging and debilitating problems that they’ve dealt with and they come to see you, and you help them resolve some of those things to a certain degree or completely, you have changed their life dramatically. And regardless of the exchange of money around that and probably one client is not going to make you rich, but you have changed that person’s life in a tremendous way.

Whitney Lowe:

And that is a very successful endeavor and accomplishment for what you’ve done. And then you do that over and over and over again in the treatment room with a lot of different people. That’s something that I think is really valuable for us to all step back from this monetary measure of success, and look at what we are actually doing day in and day out and how we are making an impact on the world?

Diane Matkowski:

Can I give you a little tiny glimmer into one of the activities we’ll be doing in the workshop? I’m going to do a little slow release. So one of the things is that I brought in a PhD, who’s a trauma specialist. He is a doctor. He does workshops for therapists around the world, hundreds and hundreds of therapists. He’s just an incredible man. One of the things he said to me and this got me thinking along the lines of what you’re saying Whitney. He said, “I want you to be a client. I want you to be someone who just got a massage from you and stand behind yourself and describe how it felt to yourself.”

Diane Matkowski:

Meaning like really describes how it would feel to get a massage from you to you. I never really took a minute to think about when a person leaves my office after everything I’ve just done, how magnificent they just felt. And it’s those little things that that’s success, when people are leaving your office, you’re changing the world one body at a time. And it’s those moments that I think too are just those building blocks to feeling like a successful human being.

Til Luchau:

Sounds like a great experiment. We should mention his name, is that you said Dr. Scott?

Diane Matkowski:

I call him Dr. Scott, his last name is very long, so I call him Dr. Scott.

Til Luchau:

Have Dr. Scott there helping us take in the good that we do for other people. You described it Diane as a feeling that you got, that feeling of success and you had different milestones, but it really produced a feeling. Whitney you said let’s think about it beyond or beside or instead of monetary goals. And it got me thinking and the fact, Whitney, that you had a birthday yesterday, just got me thinking that my own definition of success has really changed from the time I would say 30, to now where I’m double that I’m also 60.

Til Luchau:

So at 30, I was just trying to remember back into that time, I think it was monetary. I think I was really challenged with the idea, can I make a living at this stuff? Can I provide for my needs and do this stuff I love and still have it support me? And will I have enough time in my week to have a life, all those questions? How efficient can I be? How much passion can I give this? Or how much hard work does there have to be?

Til Luchau:

And so at that time, I think it really was a success for me, really getting my financial needs handled. I’m right where both of you are now, where it is a feeling, it’s not an external measure anymore and it really is non-monetary. But maybe some of that age and stage too, that once we have the privilege of not having to worry about money quite so much, once we get our skills where we can really believe in what we do and really know that we’re doing good for clients, then we can step back a little bit and say how can I really enjoy this work even more. And what really gives me that sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and meaning.

Diane Matkowski:

As you say that that makes me bounce back to my early 20s when I was doing massage. And some of my ideas of what people with money were like, I’ll make myself vulnerable and tell you, I was like, “A bunch of stuck up, blah, blah, blah.” I had all these ideas about money. What money was, what people with money were like, categories, judgements, criticisms. And then being in the massage industry has really retrained my mind on money.

Diane Matkowski:

I see money now as just energy, I can’t hold all my money in my hands, I can’t do things with all my money all at once, not that I have a gazillion dollars. So I just remember these men and women coming in who were millionaires, some of them were millionaires and they pulled up in their Levi jeans and their sneakers. And they cared about me so much, they cared about my success, they cared about how professional I was and they admired me for my work.

Diane Matkowski:

They were some of the greatest people and they didn’t get that money… A lot of them, some people probably do, there’s got to be some, there’s some in every crowd, but a lot of the people that I know with money saw it as energy and made it happen. And so for me, massage, the gift of this business has actually untangled the web of my judgements and criticisms or thoughts on money and opened them up to something even bigger.

Til Luchau:

It’s been a road like that for me too. And I think a lot about class and socioeconomic differences and really growing up for me, growing up middle class, my parents were teachers and artists and things like that, to go work with people who were like you said, millionaires, billionaires. And I’m not going to say their names, because that would be breaking confidentiality with people in the entertainment industry.

Til Luchau:

It was just a whole different world for me as a 30 year old, whatever I was at the time going, “Wow, this is a whole different scene.” So it really challenged me to make friends with my own, like you said, judgements about money and to start to untangle, “Okay. So who do I see that’s really living their money well?” Who really has a life that is satisfying to them and feels good about the impact they’re making on the world?

Til Luchau:

And who, which was quite a number of those people, were not particularly happy nor feeling good about the impact they’re having. So it was a great spectrum of examples, having worked in Aspen, worked in California, places where I just was ending up with all sorts of different people. It really did stretch my own ideas about what it meant to have money or around that kind of power like you say.

Whitney Lowe:

It’s almost like there’s a corresponding Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there’s almost a corresponding hierarchy of recognition of what that actually means as we get down to it. But there is something I think so insidious in our culture in particular about the acquisition and trying to always get more and that there’s…. Somebody said this one time, I thought this was a great quote about, you’ve never seen a hearse with a U-Haul trailer behind it.

Whitney Lowe:

You’re not taking that with you and there’s a certain point at which you just have to recognize, “What am I sacrificing in the pursuit of all this, that’s going to make my life really enriching.” And I think when you can get to that point and look back and say, “There’s a place at which enough is enough or something is really satisfying for me, and I’m happy and content without having to feel like I’m pushing,” that’s a really important place to get to.

Whitney Lowe:

And I think that’s also a really… Just to be practical, that’s a valuable place for people in our profession to get to, because to be honest most people are not going to get ultra wealthy doing massage. You can make a nice comfortable living and make good money, but you’re probably not going to get ultra wealthy doing massage.

Diane Matkowski:

But the thing is I feel like I am wealthy in that, I have a lifestyle that none of my friends have. Meaning I had to learn how to eat, I had to learn how to rest, I had to learn how to see the similarities with people, not the differences, it’s pushed me on so many different levels that I feel so rich. I think that I felt so rich my first couple years in the business, my first year doing massage I made $18,000, and I felt better than I’d ever felt in my life. Because I wasn’t in an office, I wasn’t sitting at a computer, and the best thing was no one was timing how long I was going to the restroom. When you work in an office it’s a whole different world.

Whitney Lowe:

I think I’m definitely in that place with you, when I use the term wealthy, I’ve always tried to make a distinction at least for myself about the difference between being rich and being wealthy. Because I consider myself to be very rich, even though I’m not wealthy. And rich encompasses to me all those things that you’re talking about, those things about lifestyle in terms of what it allowed, what this life and profession have allowed me to be able to do, personally and professionally. And wealth is really a lot more to me about how much money is coming in and those two things are related, but they’re not the same.

Til Luchau:

Well, we, over time, I’m certainly there, but it’s natural just to start asking ourselves what really matters. And like you said, maybe there’s a hierarchy of needs. Once I check off some of the boxes and know that I’m going to have a place to live and pay my bills, then I can really start asking what makes me happy and then what makes other people happy and it unfolds from there.

Til Luchau:

But my definition has changed so much, so it really is just about enjoying what I do for myself and feeling like I’m making a difference for people, it’s that simple. Do I enjoy what I do? And do I make a difference for people? That’s what I’m after now. And that’s, like I said, that’s changed over time. What’s really helped you get where you are, each of you, what’s been crucial to you finding what you wanted… and including challenges, but also assets or resources along the way that helped you get where you are?

Diane Matkowski:

A million times over is listening, for me I have made every mistake possible. I feel like I’ve made so many mistakes, I’ve made more mistakes than I even know what to do with sometimes. I’ve done so many things to embarrass myself. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and then I just would wipe the dirt and I’d get back up and I’d try again. And I would not try again the same way because insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Diane Matkowski:

I would just adjust myself. Each time I’d adjust myself a little bit more and I found that excitement was good, competition was interesting. All those high energy feelings were cool, but really what I’m finding with more time with Til and Whitney is that peace is really nice. Just being peaceful, finding a nice peaceful quiet life is really for me… Going through a lot of different emotions, a lot of different things, a lot of different everything to realize what really feels best for me is a sense of peace.

Whitney Lowe:

One of the things I think for me that has been so impactful and beneficial, and this is probably also to a large degree because of my both emphasis and identification is what I mean, my identification as an educator, is the sense of being able to help people. And that is worth so much more than money, so many times being in a classroom and trying to explain a concept to people it’s like, “Oh, I never got this. I was taught this in school and I never got… Now I get it. Now I see.”

Whitney Lowe:

And recognizing how far that goes in terms of the ability of somebody to take that out and now go work with it in the treatment room, do things and help people. To me that has been a big, big factor is the sense and continuing to get that sense from people of I was able to help them. That was a real key factor that continued to drive my sense of having made some significant success inroads for myself and what about you Til?

Til Luchau:

Well, that’s a big one for me too. I’m just thinking of the transition that I gradually went through from being really worried about paying my bills, to getting it that maybe I was going to be okay. And really focusing on what I want to be doing, which is helping people. And there was this idea of service marketing that came in then, maybe this is the ’90s or something early 2000s.

Til Luchau:

Where the idea was that we want to do our work and it doesn’t actually help to make it a quid pro quo to have a dollar for every minute or whatever we do, that’s a really awkward model. Sometimes we got to do that obviously in a session, for example, but in the situation I was in, I asked myself the question, what if I just help?

Til Luchau:

What if I just put stuff out there? What if I make it free? What if any call I get is an opportunity to connect with somebody and give them something of value, even if they’re not on the clock or whatever. And just to trust that that was going to not only help me with my feeling of contributing, but also build that sense of mutuality that’ll end up supporting us all, those kinds of connections that happened.

Til Luchau:

And I think that was a big turning point for me to realize I don’t have to meter every minute really. It’s more complicated of course in a private practice, because I got to just say anybody that’s called our customer service line knows that we probably really try and really not perfect.

Til Luchau:

Like can’t help everybody with everything, even on that customer service level, the same is true in a session too. So it’s like finding out one, what the limits of my ability to help are and how to be graceful around that, or even be helpful when I can’t give people what they want. But then also how to really help people feel enriched by the interaction, even when I don’t know what to do for them. Really to give them something to take away, even if it’s some information or some hope or just some companionship.

Diane Matkowski:

And as you guys are both talking, success in our industry, this inside job it’s such a loaded topic. There’s so many different levels to it as Whitney’s talking about the ripple effect that we have on the community. And you’re talking about dissecting and getting down to, “Maybe if I just do what feels good for me and do the next right thing things will change. I’m having this great effect on the world and that’s really important to me.” So I really am very excited about the fact that we’re talking about… I feel like talking about the inside job to success.

Til Luchau:

We are. And you’re making me think one of the presenters is Ann Williams and it was her, for goodness sake, almost 10 years ago that came to me. We’re on a hike, I remember she said, “Til, how about a class on the psychology of success for ABMP.” At that time she was the education director for ABMP, “How about a class on the psychology of a full practice,” we started to flesh this out and it was a really great conversation about what success means.

Til Luchau:

Is it a full practice? Is it quantitative? Or is it a qualitative question? Is it a feeling or an experience? And I ended up really diving into this project and ABMP sponsored me, and the World Massage Conference got behind it and bodyCushion, a bunch of people sponsored this project I went on. Ended up designing a fairly elaborate questionnaire and poll, that was designed to help correlate people’s attitudes toward their work, with their level of quote success.

Til Luchau:

And for that project that first question is what is success? How are we going to measure that? Really my measure that we came to after those discussions was, how satisfied are you with the size of your practice and the nature of your practice? How many people you’re working with and who you’re working with and what you’re doing with them, are you satisfied with that? That was it for that poll.

Diane Matkowski:

And just on that little note, who you’re working with, who you’re working with.

Til Luchau:

That’s right.

Diane Matkowski:

So many therapists are like, “I can’t not work with that person because they’re money.” No, no, no, no, no, no. You do get to decide all these little intricate details of a practice, we can really get into that together through this process with this workshop, this event. But even that little detail, like you said, “Am I enjoying the people that I’m working with?” I cannot tell you how many practitioners I talk to that are not. And your client feels that, you feel that and it’s a thing, it’s a real thing out there. Gosh, it’s a real thing.

Til Luchau:

The question of who do you work with and then how to shape that, how to have some influence over who you work with. But then the inside part of it, I suppose, is like, “Okay, so I don’t like working with somebody. What can I do about that? Is it about just not working with them? Or is it about learning something on my side?”

Diane Matkowski:

We’ll just dive in there for a second, if you don’t mind.

Til Luchau:

Sure.

Diane Matkowski:

There was a client that came in, the first time he came in he had a duffle bag, I’m like, “Why does he have a duffle bag?” And he was real quiet and seemed a little grumpy. My first feeling on him was, “Huh.” We didn’t go dancing off into the fields, the session wasn’t mind blowing afterwards, that man came to see me every week. He wanted a wellness massage, he saw it like putting gas in his car, and he came to me for years and years and years.

Diane Matkowski:

I had to adjust the way I saw him, and then when I adjusted the way that I saw him, he came to me. He since passed, but he came to me literally almost until his dying day, so sometimes those first feelings could be you.

Til Luchau:

Sometimes.

Diane Matkowski:

Something going on with you, sometimes, sometimes.

Til Luchau:

Sometimes. I’m just thinking about how I think not everyone, but so many of my clients, I just found a place of love for them, I still do. I just love my clients and what an amazing profession that we can do that, that we can be with someone who we might not otherwise I have these feelings about, and find that place of just really appreciating who they are and even loving who they are. What an amazing-

Whitney Lowe:

And you both grow so much through that process as well. They’re I’m sure influenced tremendously by the persona of what you bring to that therapeutic relationship, so it’s a growth process on both fronts, I think.

Til Luchau:

Yeah. Right.

Whitney Lowe:

And that’s part of the inside job, right?

Til Luchau:

It is. Well, I didn’t have love in my questionnaire. I wanted to tell you guys what I found out from that questionnaire, but love wasn’t one of those attitudes, but I’m just thinking it should have been, but it was things like that. I did a big brainstorm, I didn’t talk to you Whitney, but I talked to maybe a dozen industry leaders on this question of success, including some of the ones that are making it back for your inside job Diane.

Til Luchau:

And they gave me their ideas of what success was and then I went and tested them, then I went and designed this poll, this questionnaire to see, “Okay, if someone’s doing this, are they really satisfied with their practice?” And actually got the numbers to correlate which of these things really seem to make a difference for people. So I came up with a list of top beliefs that people had, who were really successful in this way and a list of bottom beliefs that people had, who really didn’t feel successful at all. Isn’t that amazing.

Diane Matkowski:

It is amazing. Maybe you’ll share that.

Til Luchau:

Well, I’m thinking I’m going to give you one or two. And I would like, if you wouldn’t mind playing this game with me, if you would guess if it’s a top or bottom belief.

Diane Matkowski:

Yeah. Yeah.

Til Luchau:

To review what I did, I brainstormed industry experts about different beliefs about success and then I went and told people about how successful they were and their own definition of that. And it says, “Okay, so the people that really have this belief are really successful and some yeah” and some were really at the bottom. All right. So I’m going to give you an easy one to start with. You’re going to tell me does this correlate with people that are really quite successful in their own eyes or really not successful. The belief, “I am often critical of myself or my abilities.”

Diane Matkowski:

I believe that that should go to Whitney first.

Til Luchau:

Throw him the softball.

Whitney Lowe:

I can see it being both of those things, but I’m going to say that that’s people who are not viewing themselves as successful. And really can see it happening with both of those groups.

Til Luchau:

Absolutely. There’s the desire to get better, which would make you think, “Yeah, let me get really good.” But that just has been phrased at least in this 2,500 people that answered the question, that was one of the strongest beliefs quoted correlated with not being satisfied with your practice size or your practice quality.

Whitney Lowe:

And I would think that one of the reasons that that might be the case is probably both those groups do that, but one of those groups lets it get to them.

Diane Matkowski:

Yes.

Whitney Lowe:

And the other uses it as fuel for improving and that’s the big difference there I think.

Til Luchau:

Yes, that’s right. I like it. And so here’s some really interesting juxtaposition. There are two that are kind of similar and one was really correlated with being happy with your practice, and the other was really correlated with being unhappy with your practice size. So here are the two statements you tell me which is which. First statement, “I market my practice effectively.” Second statement, “It’s important to know how to sell in order to have a satisfying practice.”

Til Luchau:

So again, the first statement, “I market my practice effectively.” And the second statement, “It’s important to know how to sell in order to have a satisfying practice.” And again, those were at the extreme of positive and negative influences, which do you think was which?

Whitney Lowe:

I’m going to say the one about selling is probably associated with the negative-

Til Luchau:

Absolutely.

Whitney Lowe:

… perception.

Diane Matkowski:

People get really worked up about selling.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. And I think that’s why I’m not doing this good, is because I’m not good at selling things.

Til Luchau:

That’s kind of predictable because who likes selling except for Diane and me?

Diane Matkowski:

I love it.

Til Luchau:

I do too honestly, but I really got to understand as a teacher that that is a dirty word. That’s a four letter word for a lot of people and it brings up lots of ambivalent feelings.

Diane Matkowski:

So this is the only thing for me with selling massage. Selling, if we’re going to use that word, which makes everybody cringe. Why wouldn’t you want people to get well? To me it’s exciting and challenging to help people understand the importance and values of themselves in getting well.

Diane Matkowski:

So for me that was always, I used to sell cars, so I would have to sell Plymouth Neons. And I knew that the head gasket was going to go, the head gasket was going to go. But with selling wellness and selling someone taking time to love themselves, get to know themselves and enjoy their stay on planet earth. I don’t know, how could I feel guilty about that?

Til Luchau:

That’s good, out of that profession.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s a big one there, it’s about framing the message tremendously. And I think that’s a skill that should be taught a lot more in schools to people, just as much about how to do your taxes and all the other things that get taught in those personal development business classes and everything. There’s a lot more about messaging and framing what it is that we are actually in the commerce of doing.

Diane Matkowski:

I think we’ll probably get into that in the event.

Til Luchau:

Oh, I’m totally going to. If you think about it as selling, it turns out that’s really correlated with having a practice you’re not happy with.

Diane Matkowski:

I’ve been hiring people since 2000 and something and almost I would say 99% say that word and cringe. I don’t want to sell anything.

Til Luchau:

No. We shouldn’t.

Diane Matkowski:

It’s like, “Oh, no.”

Til Luchau:

Honestly we shouldn’t. Okay. One more pair and then we can… Because there’s a whole lot more that I can say from my presentation, but there’s one more pair I want to share with you, statements or beliefs that really made a big difference. Here’s the pair, one really correlated with a super duper practice that you love and are really satisfied with. These are the people that have scored themselves at the top of that satisfaction pole and the others really right at the bottom. Here are the statements, first one, “I believe that if I do what I love, the money will follow,” that’s one. The other is, let me find it, I just lost it on my list. Oh, “Body work is my main passion or source of fulfillment.”

Diane Matkowski:

I want to say the first one.

Til Luchau:

First one is what is up or down?

Diane Matkowski:

I think, oh man, I’m going to say up. Is it up?

Til Luchau:

“If I do what I love, the money will follow,” you think that’s associated with you having a just right practice.

Diane Matkowski:

It’s so tricky, it depends who’s saying the things that you’re saying.

Whitney Lowe:

Kind of like at what stage of this process are they at because there’s a lot of people who buy into that statement so to speak and-

Diane Matkowski:

And then don’t.

Whitney Lowe:

… it’s somewhere they’re going, it’s somewhere that they want to go and get to. And they feel like they may be happy about where they are, but they’re really planning to go somewhere and get something else from…

Til Luchau:

It’s a really complicated one, “I believe that if I do what I love, the money will follow.” It came up so many times in my talking with other experts that I had to poll on it, I really wanted to see where it washed out because I had my own ambivalence about it. I think there’s a whole lot more than loving it and the money will follow automatically in a way, you got to put in your time or whatever it is to really be good at it and consistent, not just…

Diane Matkowski:

That’s so true, that’s another thing.

Whitney Lowe:

I’ve never liked that statement anyway, it’s a load of crap.

Til Luchau:

That was the one that correlated with having a practice that you really felt good about.

Whitney Lowe:

Interesting.

Til Luchau:

Those were the people that really had the practices that they defined as successful.

Diane Matkowski:

Wait, say the statement one more time.

Til Luchau:

“I believe that if I do what I love, the money will follow,” that correlates with success in a practice.

Diane Matkowski:

That’s another point that I really just wanted to just echo a little bit too, is it takes time. Takes time being a great massage therapist… there is a timeline on that.

Til Luchau:

Okay. Before we get to the details of the training though, I want to just mention that other one that was at the bottom pair, “Body work is my main passion or source of fulfillment,” that was correlated with being really dissatisfied with your practice.

Whitney Lowe:

It seems to me the way that’s phrased, people are saying like they’re using that as the rationale for why they keep doing it. Because they’re not making a lot of money, they’re not considering successful, but this is something that they feel passionate about enough to keep doing it, that’s kind of what I get out of that statement.

Diane Matkowski:

I felt like it might be setting themselves up with really high expectations of what the business would give them.

Til Luchau:

More people answered the question: are you satisfied with your practice? Says, “No, it’s much too small.” That’s what those people said. The people that said body work is my main passion or source of fulfillment, so we can take that all kinds of ways.

Diane Matkowski:

That’s deep. I like those. It’s interesting.

Til Luchau:

What’s interesting is that the correlated one was that people that did this work part-time, had a much higher satisfaction score.

Diane Matkowski:

Interesting.

Til Luchau:

I always found some real surprises in unpacking this for myself.

Whitney Lowe:

It may be because they may not be feeling as much pressure of a full-time income only coming from that, that they’re recognizing that, “This is part-time income for me and therefore I can focus more attention on the enjoyment facet of it, than I can about I’ve got to make sure that rent gets paid this month.”

Til Luchau:

Two takeaways for me, one is maybe if you’re not making the money you want, get another job, on just a practical level, another source of income. But really the big takeaway for me is really do it for love, what if we just do it for love, find ways to do that. Just do it. Thank you for indulging me.

Whitney Lowe:

That was fascinating.

Diane Matkowski:

That was great.

Til Luchau:

All right. What else should we talk about? We should talk about the training.

Whitney Lowe:

If I can interrupt before we get there, I wanted to talk about one other thing that came to mind about this. And I’m curious to hear from both of you about this, because I think there’s often perceptions that may exist, for example, in our field. With many of us who spent a lot of years doing this and have gotten to a certain level of, what externally looking inward at us might be termed or seemed as success.

Whitney Lowe:

We are people who have names that are moderately known in our profession or whatever, but just to be honest, brutally honest about this and recognize that many of us have some of the same challenges that a lot of other people do. And this is something I have grappled with over the years and I’d like to hear if this is something that you all have dealt with too. Because there’s a lot of discussion about we hear things bandied about… but that’s something like imposter syndrome and how does that impact our success?

Whitney Lowe:

The sense of I’m not really good enough to be doing what it is that I’m doing or seeing this particular group of clients, how am I really an authority to be teaching this, I’m not where I should be. And I think I personally have grappled with that over the years at different times as well. I’m curious to hear if that’s something that’s ever been on the radar screen for either of you.

Til Luchau:

Oh, God yeah. I remember my mantra, it still comes up, especially maybe my first 15, 18, my first half of my professional practice life, it was that mantra of I can trust my hands. Because I get so nervous, I’d get so unsure or really feel like I was in over my head, I had no idea how to go forward. And I’d just reminded myself, “Okay. I can trust my hands because people have told me what I do feels good. And that seems to be pretty reliable, so let me just go there, stay with that.” That’s what really helped me through it, but basically the rest of it was freaking out.

Diane Matkowski:

I’m enthralled in the imposter syndrome with my magazine cover and everything, I feel like I’ve just taken a little bit of a quantum leap in the industry and it feels great. And then on the other hand you’re like, “Oh, what in the world is happening to me.” And so I feel like for me it’s a daily reprieve and I feel like I couldn’t do this alone. Meaning for me as someone who views themselves as successful in getting where I want to be spiritually, for me is what it is on a soul level, on a personal level where I can really enjoy things.

Diane Matkowski:

I had to have mentors, I talk to people regularly who are leaders in the industry Til being one, Whitney I love talking with you and bouncing things around. So for me overcoming my imposter syndrome is allowing people to love me when I can’t love myself. Letting people know who I am, but that’s just me.

Diane Matkowski:

It took a lot of time for me to get to the place where I was willing to do that. But I definitely can be critical and hard on myself, but that’s when I really realize life’s a we program, not an I, I, I. If I was meant to do it on my own I’d have my own planet.

Til Luchau:

You’ve really been diligent about that, I know with you and I about the mentoring thing. But I just want to put in a plug for mentoring in general, because I remember somebody in my early 20’s can’t remember who said to me, “You need an older person in your life that really believes in you.”

Diane Matkowski:

Feels so good when that happens.

Til Luchau:

When I realized that is a basic need in my emotional diet like your vitamin, whatever it is, vitamin older person who believes in you. And really started to take that in when I would encounter it, whether it be my clients or teachers or things like that, I really realized, “Oh wow, okay, that’s what really helps me tolerate my own imposter syndrome.”

Diane Matkowski:

It’s so true.

Til Luchau:

In some ways, I don’t know about you too, but all I think I’ve done is just get more comfortable feeling like an imposter.

Diane Matkowski:

Yes, yes.

Whitney Lowe:

Also we have to admit, the older I get the less I care.

Til Luchau:

There is that.

Whitney Lowe:

I recognize there’s some degree of it that I don’t care that much anymore, so I’m going to continue to do some things.

Diane Matkowski:

One of the things that Til’s implanted in my brain is I’m just really working on just being myself. If I’m showing up as who I am, the way I am, and saying whatever I need to say, or do what I need to do then I’m not an imposter, I’m just myself.

Whitney Lowe:

That’s it.

Diane Matkowski:

And for whatever reason that’s attracting things to me or for me so really I just keep chiseling away at… I love that whole concept of being okay with being an imposter sometimes, because then it just debugs it a little, it does away with that, it takes away its power.

Til Luchau:

Maybe it spreads out from I can trust my hands, I can trust other parts of me too, even if they’re not perfect, but that ends up getting good results over time. And maybe after almost 40 years now I’ll start to really get that at some point for myself too, I can trust all of me.

Diane Matkowski:

I just want to bounce over to Whitney again too, just because one of the things that Whitney shared with me also, was one of the things that had me thinking about this event was how Benny Vaughn was your mentor. And how you were saying here’s this guy, he’s this big man with this big personality. And he was your guy, he was your thing, he was like who you looked up to and you realized in one breath that you could not be him. You had to be you and figure out what you were to have that feeling of success. And you had to just be Whitney Lowe, not Benny Vaughn, you learned from Benny Vaughn, but you were Whitney Lowe.

Whitney Lowe:

And I think that was a real important step in recognizing what was my mission? What was I going after? And I think that was also a place too, which he really pushed me to excel in that direction. And not trying to be a clone, but being something that was going to have a unique and different voice as well. And that was a real value in his skill as a mentor as well.

Diane Matkowski:

You guys are just great.

Til Luchau:

Well Diane said something about the training, how did you decide to do this? Who’s it for? What’s the need? That kind of thing.

Diane Matkowski:

Well, anytime someone asked me, “How did you do this? How did you do that?” And I always just would go back to it, it’s an inside job. I just keep working on myself, every day I just work on myself a little more. It’s not a conscious thing where I sit down and have an outline every day, but I just really am… I’m very reflective and look at every experience as an opportunity to learn.

Diane Matkowski:

One of my mentors said, “It’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity.” So that inside job just came to fruition by people asking me a lot of different questions. And then I thought I remember early on in my practice when I would work on people, sometimes they would have emotional releases and back in the 90s that was like, “Cool.” More so than it is now we were working through stuff, we weren’t being therapists, but maybe more people were crying or letting go.

Diane Matkowski:

And I remember trying to help someone once I did, I commented and I just made it worse. So my feeling with the workshop where we’re dealing with each other’s insights and trying to do and personal development was that we needed a doctor. So that’s why I had Dr. Scott, just because we’re all great body workers, teachers, industry leaders.

Diane Matkowski:

But I thought it would be really cool to have an outside perspective with someone who’s trained in helping people discover their insights and sorting them out, and then putting together a panel of experts that I really admire through my own experience. I’m sure there’s other people out there for other people, but all of you are my people and I just have so much respect for all of you, that it’s really deep.

Diane Matkowski:

So one of the things that I really like that Dr. Scott will be doing is some experiential exercises, and incorporating all these things to really just put people out there, allow them to experience themselves, allow them to hear what a personal journey for each one of these teachers has been like. And I’m really excited to get into it.

Diane Matkowski:

Some people will break off into groups and discuss different things, so we have a lot on the agenda. And one of the things that I like about doing workshops, the JAM events and my workshops is I realize that teachers are artists and they’re brilliant. So a lot of you get a blank canvas and decide for yourselves want to bring to the table. And I think that that’s actually why the workshops work as well as they do.

Whitney Lowe:

Nice. And I think that lets people appreciate the different colors and styles and things like that, recognizing that, for example, in those jam events, every one of those people that you brought in there are just incredibly talented and fascinating individuals with their practice. But people are going to connect and resonate differently with some of them then with others. And that’s really the ideal way of saying find the ice cream flavor that you like the best, and that’s your flavor sort of thing.

Til Luchau:

You got to really assemble your dream team Diane, you really have been asking this question of yourself and the people that work for you, and learn from you, what makes a success. And then you get to pull in a bunch of us, I’m so honored to be on that team of people that can really investigate this together and go the next step.

Whitney Lowe:

For sure.

Diane Matkowski:

Again, it just seems for me behind every massage therapist, looking to grow their practice, looking to do anything in the business world, it starts with personal development, personal reflection, and what a better group to do it with. I can’t think of a better group to do it with.

Til Luchau:

Well, I mentioned some of this stuff I’m going to bring in. Whitney I want to give you a chance to say anything you want to about what you’re going to be bringing in, I’m really curious. You got a sense of that? What are you going to do?

Whitney Lowe:

So I am kind of interested in talking about unconventional paths because a lot of people don’t know the backstory of how my whole business got started, it was a freaky, drastic accident of geographic relocation that led to me starting the education business, and focusing on writing and producing content and things like that. And so I want to talk a lot about how unfortunate opportunities sometimes or things that we don’t plan on at all, can become seeds for great germination and to really follow those potentials for people, that’s what I’d like to really focus on.

Til Luchau:

That’s great. That’s cool.

Diane Matkowski:

How about you Til?

Til Luchau:

Well, what topic did you assign me? You had something for me-

Diane Matkowski:

Well, I like to say that you are the silence between the notes. I just gave you that sentence, you are like the silence between the notes.

Til Luchau:

Either that’s really hard to do as a presenter, all of this tuning in and not say anything for the whole time.

Diane Matkowski:

Right.

Til Luchau:

But no I was really flattered that you gave me that assignment, the silence between the notes, because there is so much about my own process, that is what we’ve been talking about here, being who I am, is who I am and not so much what I do. Even though my teaching ends up being a lot about what to do, it’s like this technique focused method, the stealth agenda has always been, let’s actually really explore how we do this and who we are when we’re doing this, and who the person is we’re doing this with in a sense.

Til Luchau:

The other part that’s really important to me though is to have people be able to take some really tangible, actionable things away from our time together. It’s philosophical, it’s going to be really fun in that sense, but it’s also really important for me to be really practical. And I have a couple of secret little methods for really giving people very actionable things to do, that’ll help stretch their own definition of success, but also do what they know how to do with clients.

Diane Matkowski:

And that gives me an idea too to just explain that… It’s a seven week course that’ll open with Dr. Scott. And then each week we’ll have a teacher present their views on success, and they’re going to give us three key points. And at the end of their discussion, we’ll get together as a group and talk through those three key points. And then at the end of the week, all the teachers will get back together, including Dr. Scott. And we’ll just go through any question or a lot of the answers that we all found in the seven weeks that we spend together.

Til Luchau:

At the end of that seven week cycle, we all get together and debrief and compare-

Diane Matkowski:

Yes.

Til Luchau:

… and contrast, all that kind of stuff, that’s great. That’s pretty cool.

Whitney Lowe:

Just to reiterate that we will have information in the show notes about how to sign up for that and get more information on the Inside Job series as well.

Til Luchau:

We’ll have that information there, we’ll have sign up links. Let’s say though, what are some key dates to keep in mind Diane?

Diane Matkowski:

January 17th it starts, February 28th it ends, all the classes are midday, 1:30 to 3:30 Eastern Standard time.

Til Luchau:

And you’re going to do an intro on January 3rd, 2022, is that right?

Diane Matkowski:

Yes. We’re going to all get together and do a little intro on the 3rd, on the Massage Mentor Closed Group on Facebook. And I’m sure you’ll be able to find other places online.

Til Luchau:

We’ll put a link for that in the show notes too.

Diane Matkowski:

And I need to say this because we were talking about this before we got on, this is not a business class. Your business will grow. Your business will grow. You will be more successful. I believe after you spend the seven weeks with us, but it’s not technically this, “You have to do these five things to succeed.” It is more of an experience based, I believe the best teachers, so some of my favorite teachers, all of you teach based on your experiences, so it really is an experience based event.

Til Luchau:

Okay, that’s good because I hate business. So it’s not a business class, it’s a class about how to sell, right?

Diane Matkowski:

Oh, gosh.

Whitney Lowe:

Yes. We all know how to sell our practice.

Diane Matkowski:

Great. Thanks Til.

Til Luchau:

You’re very welcome. What is it? It’s an hour and a half per meeting or something?

Diane Matkowski:

An hour and a half, two hours.

Til Luchau:

Two hours. Okay, great.

Diane Matkowski:

We don’t have firm times, a lot of people want firm times, but we don’t…

Til Luchau:

Well, just giving a sense of the scope here, so it’s not an all day thing.

Diane Matkowski:

1:30 to 3:30. Just a couple hours every Monday for seven weeks.

Til Luchau:

I’m really looking forward to it.

Diane Matkowski:

Me too.

Til Luchau:

What else should we mention before we call it a day?

Whitney Lowe:

I think we hit on some of the themes in this discussion that will be carried out in much greater detail, in that series and be a great way to explore how some of these things intersect with our lives, to make us get to a place where we really feel good about what we’re doing.

Diane Matkowski:

I hope that at the end of the event, that people feel more confident in just being who they are and sharing who they are with the industry. Because we need everybody, we need everybody, we need all of you.

Whitney Lowe:

And I would also reiterate that in terms of getting back to the bigger picture kind of thing, a lot of this stuff has a lot of bearing on how successful you’re going to be in achieving treatment outcomes with individual clients. When you talk about success, we kind of haven’t touched on that very much here-

Til Luchau:

That’s true.

Whitney Lowe:

But this has a lot to do with are you achieving the treatment outcome goals that you’re wanting to do with your clients? And a lot of that has to do with personal interactions and perceptions about what you’re trying to accomplish with them. That’s again-

Diane Matkowski:

100%.

Whitney Lowe:

… why this is a whole lot more than a business class, and has a lot more to do with achieving successful outcomes across a broad range of areas.

Til Luchau:

So we could call it effectiveness as an inside job.

Diane Matkowski:

It’s going to be great.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. That’s cool.

Diane Matkowski:

So much information will be shared.

Til Luchau:

And then it’s going to be in your institute later, it’s going to be on the recording if people…

Diane Matkowski:

It will be, I believe we’ll also have the recording. Yes.

Til Luchau:

Okay. All right.

Diane Matkowski:

It’s approved for 18 CEs as well by NCBTMB.

Til Luchau:

Very cool. We’ll put all that in the show notes. Well, what a pleasure.

Diane Matkowski:

What an honor.

Til Luchau:

What a pleasure talking to both of you.

Diane Matkowski:

What an honor.

Whitney Lowe:

Indeed. Thank you Diane for joining us today for these interesting explorations of this topic. And we’d like to thank our closing sponsor today, which is ABMP. The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is supported by ABMP the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. And ABMP membership gives professional practitioners like you a package, including individual liability insurance, free continuing education and quick reference apps, legislative advocacy and much more.

Til Luchau:

ABMP CE courses, podcast, and Massage & Bodywork Magazine, always feature expert voices and new perspectives in the profession, including Whitney and myself and Diane. Thinking Practitioner listeners can save on joining ABMP at abmp.com/thinking.

Whitney Lowe:

And we would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors and also all of our listeners. Thank you all for hanging out with us here, every couple of weeks and hope we share some things that help enrich your life as well. You can stop by our sites for links, show notes, transcripts and any extras. You can find that stuff on my site at academyofclinicalmassage.com and Til where can they find that for you?

Til Luchau:

My site is Advanced-Trainings.com. If you have questions or things you’d like to hear us talk about just email us at [email protected] Or look first on social media just under, well, mine’s under my name Til Luchau, how about yours Whitney?

Whitney Lowe:

And also under my name @whitneylowe, you can find us over there as well. And if you will also try to take a moment or so to rate us on Apple Podcast, as it does help other people find the show. You can also hear us on various other platforms, such as Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or wherever else you happen to listen. Please do share the word and tell a friend. And of course, if you’re unable to find us in any of those locations, you can dial *TTP on your high velocity nuclear powered smartphone, and you can hear us there as well. So thank you all, again, one more time for another episode of Thinking Practitioner, great to hang out with you both today.

Til Luchau:

So Good. Thank you Diane.

Diane Matkowski:

Thank you.

Til Luchau:

Thank you Whitney.

Whitney Lowe:

All right.

Til Luchau:

See you all later.

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