When considering opening a floatation center, I came across the following story that helped me understand the process that I was going to be going through as the owner of Float Matrix.
There once was a plumber who was excellent at what he did. He knew everything there was to know about plumbing, did good work, and the people loved him. After many years of working for a company, he decided to go to work for himself and opened his own plumbing business. It was shortly after opening his doors that he came to the realization that his job was no longer that of a plumber, but rather an entrepreneur, and that he had to learn an entire new set of skills to be successful.
Float Matrix has been in operation for over 6 years and I have come to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur. There are many skill sets that I have learned and many more still to learn. One area of the business that required a great deal of understanding was how to handle clients before their first float. When I first opened, I really didn’t know too much about floatation, other than the fact that I absolutely loved to float and had a deep desire to share it with others. I had worked in hospitality, so I knew customer relations, but I didn’t really know how to prepare the client for that first experience. I gave them basic instructions and let them go. This worked reasonably well but, over the course of several months, I began to notice something.
People tend to come in with different expectations for what their first float is going to be like and their expectations influence their appreciation of the experience.
I was reminded of something similar that I noticed about watching movies. When a friend told me a movie was the best movie they every saw, even if I liked the movie, it was difficult to meet the expectation created. My appreciation of the movie was less than it could have been if there was no expectation at all. It was recognizing this pattern that showed me that I needed to develop the skill that I call, “managing expectations”.
One of the primary jobs of the owner of a floatation center is that of a marketer. We must present floatation in the most positive way to bring people in to float. In marketing floatation, we are naturally creating high expectations for the experience. However, when they arrive, if they have fantastical ideas for what was going to happen in the pod, whether it be out-of-body experiences, or psychedelic hallucinations like Joe Roganites often expect, they will be in the float pod waiting for those things to happen. They often leave the center less than completely satisfied, even if they feel great. It is our job to help set their expectation so that they can appreciate an experience unlike anything they have experienced before.
I found the best way to set an appropriate expectation, after arriving, is to simply present floatation for what it is and not what it does…
Floatation is Nothing.
Anything a person thinks will happen, they will be in the float pod waiting for it to happen. It is, generally, not until a person recognizes that “nothing is what is happening” that their mind will accept letting go of expectations so that the beauty of floatation can unfold.
Expectation is paramount in our ability to appreciate things in life. A child who expects a bike and is given a ball will be disappointed, but the child who expects nothing and is given a ball will be delighted. An employee who expects a large bonus and finds out they aren’t getting any bonus at all,will be disappointed, but once expecting nothing, if they receive any bonus will be delighted.
Appreciation is relative to expectation and learning how to manage expectations was one of the primary skills that I had to acquire in order to be successful in running a floatation center.
Kane Mantyla, Owner, Float Matrix, San Francisco, CA