Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
One of the most amazing things about the float industry is how open and friendly everyone is. Every float center we’ve ever talked to has stories about receiving help, advice, or information from another center or offering it themselves. It makes sense that float center owners would want to pass this goodwill on to the next enthusiast who comes knocking, but it can get a little time consuming talking to everyone.
Graham and Ashkahn share advice on how to enthusiastically and efficiently talk to new floaters without burning yourself out or make it feel like you’re having the same conversation 100 times in a row.
If you’d like to sign up to ask a question on our two hour call in show, November 29th at 3pm PST, go to floattanksolutions.com/dsplive.
And as always, feel free to send questions in the form above or directly at floattanksolutions.com/podcast.
Float Tank Solutions Free Resources (Including our About Float Tanks Guide, Scientific Research List, Float Industry Reports, and more!)
Atlantic Standard Time is not a half hour difference, like Ashkahn suggested, it’s an hour later than Eastern Standard Time. Eastern Daylight Time and Atlantic Daylight Time are areas that observe Daylight Savings Time in their respective time zones.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: Yeah, hey.
Ashkahn: Hey, hey, hey, hey. Hey. You’re looking nice tonight now.
Graham: You’re just trying to prove that you can have a smooth voice or something after that intro?
Ashkahn: Totally smooth.
Graham: I’m Graham.
Ashkahn: I’m Ashkahn.
Graham: A little bit of special information for you special listeners out there.
Ashkahn: Yeah, we have a special episode coming up at the end of this month.
Graham: Other wise known as, AKA our last episode.
Ashkahn: The ultimate episode.
Graham: We talk a little bit more about that, why it’s out final episode in another episode which is not our final one called Special Announcement. Go look for that, download it. It’s a few episodes ago.
Ashkahn: The cool thing is, for this ultimate episode we’re going to do a two hour live broadcast where you get to jump in, ask us questions live on the air. We won’t have any chance to ignore them if we don’t like them.
Graham: It’s insane, I actually don’t know anyone that has ever done a format like this before. It should be pretty radical. I suggest checking it out.
Ashkahn: The technology, it doesn’t even exist yet. We’re going to have to make it.
Graham: It is November 29th between three to five PM Pacific Standard.
Ashkahn: Or Pacific Daylight Time, whichever one we’re in right now.
Graham: Pacific Daylight time.
Ashkahn: I don’t know.
Graham: Oh boy.
Ashkahn: I’m not for sure.
Graham: Pacific Time, PT. That would be six to eight Eastern Time, if you’re over there.
Ashkahn: Seven to nine Atlantic.
Graham: I think that’s it. I think those are the only …
Ashkahn: Is Atlantic half an hour. We’ll put in the show notes what time it is.
Graham: If you want to know more about daylight saving time send in a question asking us and we’ll do some research and get back to you. In the meantime we do have a question for today, which is sort of a meta question, which I like. Which is, “Hey fellas. Just wondering how you handle people who ask questions about the float industry.” Well obviously we make fun of them and mock them relentlessly.
Ashkahn: Yeah, what a dumb obvious question to ask.
Graham: He says, “Hah, okay so now I’m going to submit your question to the podcast type.” Oh, he got us. “But we are the only float center around and are constantly having people who are thinking of getting into floating or want to add a float tank to add a float tank to our business. I was that guy once too and so many people who have helped along the way I feel it’s my duty to give back. But I’ve spent a lot of time with people who just disappear and move on to the next thing that sparks their interest. Is this part of the duty of owning a float center and being down for the cause? I’m stressed, have a million things going on and 24 hours is not enough time. Taking an hour to engage someone who is kicking the tires on floating but doesn’t know anything about it sometimes bother me. I know they haven’t done any research if they haven’t heard of the Float Collective, you two guys, or Art of the Float podcast so how much effort, time do I put into people? P.S. I’m sending virtual hugs so hug, hug.”
There’s a hug for each of us.
Graham: Yeah. Thank you, that was very nice. I like getting on air hugs. Ashkahn has never given me one.
Graham: Don’t get your hopes up over there, buddy. This is a good question. In a lot of ways this exact thing is sort of the origin for us of Float Tank Solutions.
Graham: Back five years ago, six years ago now.
Ashkahn: 10, 15, 20 years ago, yeah, whenever that was.
Graham: Yeah, century. It does take a lot of time. At the risk of volunteering you for more time I also think it’s one of the things that makes our industry so cool, is that you can pretty much call up most float center owners, around not just the country but the world, and ask them questions and chat with them. Almost anyone will at least give you 10-15 minutes to talk about something that’s going on.
Ashkahn: Yeah so in some ways it kind of is your duty I guess. I think we can all appreciate the fact that that was so helpful to us when we got up and running, right?
Ashkahn: I don’t know of anyone out there who didn’t talk to some other person running a float tanks center and have that person be super open and kind and sharing and generous to help them out. That’s one of the things that’s led to everything that’s happening in this industry, everyone being cool, good communication happening around, growth happening very quickly. All that sort of stuff is definitely bolstered by the fact that people are willing to take some time out of their day and talk to people who are interested in getting into it.
Graham: The term “float family” gets thrown around a lot. It’s not just because it’s alliterative. It’s because it really does feel kind of familial in this industry.
Ashkahn: Like the weird uncles?
Graham: There’s weird uncles in any family, including the float family right? That’s us in this case I think. Me and Ashkahn are kind of the weird float uncles. No, it has that feeling, A) because I think it’s a really hard business to run and there are so many questions and it’s not just like there’s tons of information out there like if you want to get into search engine optimization or Facebook marketing or something like that where there’s so, so many sites devoted to them. It’s a little bit more of niche strange knowledge. As a result of the difficulty I think that people do kind of bond over that. Having been through it and again, having gotten advice themselves, it does make sense to keep that going. Whether or not you should spend an hour with every single person who comes your way, that might be a little much, right?
The sentiment certainly is to give back to the up and comers an people who are entering the industry. That’s been carried on from way before we got into it. Even as we were opening up, Glenn and Lee from Samadhi were lending us a ton of advice. Our person, Keith, who we bought our float tanks off of, spent way more time with us, telling us the ins and outs of running a float center than I thought any reasonable human being should. Like Ashkahn said, I do think it’s a little bit of your duty and responsibility. The cool thing is it’s what makes this industry so amazing. If you talk to any owner around, any century owner, they’ll say that too. They’ll say how they couldn’t have done it without the support of the community around them.
Ashkahn: The nice thing nowadays is that there just actually are a lot more resources available to people and accessible to people than there used to be. A way to save some time is actually just pointing people to all the things you said. This podcast is us answering float tank questions every day. There’s blogs and there’s the Art of the Float podcast. The Float Collective website I think is trying not to let people who are just absolutely brand new kind of in. They want people who have float centers to keep it a slightly more informed community. I don’t know if that’s the best first place to direct people to. There is a lot of free resources online nowadays. Between people like us and other people in the float industry who are, I guess, taking the leap to decide to spend more of their time actually trying to create these things and turn it into something that allows them to be more full time float tank knowledge sharers. That’s definitely something that can be leaned on and it’s cool that that exists.
Graham: It is. I was just going to say, we kind of use this terminology in Float On for people who are demanding some of our time, or not even demanding, just requesting some our time I guess, which is the idea of hurdles.
Ashkahn: That’s what I was trying to get at.
Graham: We use the term because what we found is we’re very generous kind of giving people and when we get into something we’re kind of in it 100 percent. We’ve realized even with our own ideas we have to give ourselves these little hurdles that they need to pass before we do any kind of significant time investment. I think it’s the same for people who are just calling you up and asking for an hour of your time talking about the float industry. That’s great, you should definitely help people who are just getting started but maybe, like you said, you say, “Hey, I’m really busy, there’s these great resources out there. Have you checked out the Art of the Float podcast? Have you checked out the Daily Solutions podcast, have you downloaded the About Float Tanks Guide and researched list and free resources from float tank solutions. Have you …” whatever it that you feel like is, from your perspective, the best resources in the float industry.
Direct them there and say, “Go through that stuff and then give me a call or write me an email with questions that you have or things from those resources that don’t make sense and I’m happy to talk to you about it.” Or just if they’re … lots of time’s you’re the one they’re calling because they live close to you and you’re just the local float center. Be like, “Hey, go through these resources and then lets go out for coffee and chat about it. Let’s meet face to face or let’s hang out in my float center. I’ll give you a little tour around” or something like that. Then those people who are going to drop off will never go through those resources and call you for a cup of coffee. It’s a hurdle. You just make people jump over this hurdle before you start investing time in it.
Ashkahn: It is genuinely helpful. If I were to call someone to just try to figure out the bare bones basics of an industry I would love if they pointed me towards good resources. In some ways that’s really a nice thing to find out from someone. Like, “Hey, I don’t know what’s going on in this industry or who to listen to or where there is information.” Someone coming back at me like, “Here’s a lot of information that you can go look at,” is such an awesome helpful answer to get and saves you time for having to look on the internet and try to find that stuff yourself and figure out where that information is stored. Really it doesn’t feel to me like you’re giving someone the cheap end of a relationship or something like that. It does feel very useful and then offering to chat with them afterwards and answer more detailed questions is really nice.
Graham: It puts you on the same footing. In a very real way the reason we decided to start Float Tank Solutions and more recently just this daily podcast is because it takes a lot of time answering the same questions that pretty much everyone who is new in the industry has. Just directing them over to our podcast is what we do now with new people who call in and want to know more about the industry. We talked to probably about, I don’t know, 600 to a 1000 new people a month who are getting into the industry. We’re very willing to take that time. We have whole float tank experts whose job it is to talk to new people getting in and direct the to good resources. Definitely as a quick way to kind of push those people off feel free to send them our way.
It’s why we exist. The podcast is a really nice one. We’ve tried purposefully to answer the most common questions that people do have about the float industry just so we don’t have to spend one on one time answering the for every individual person. That’s great. It’s an awesome way to get people into it. Like I mentioned earlier, then when you do go out to coffee you’ll have this common language. They’ll understand what’s going on. It’s not just like you talking down to them and saying the same thing that you’ve said 100 times to 100 different people.
Ashkahn: That’s it.
Graham: Yeah, spend time with people but do throw up hurdles. Make them do a little bit of work before you just devote your time to them because you’re right. There are a lot of tire kickers out there who will come and you’ll hear from them once. You spend an hour with them and then that’s it. You almost just threw an hour of your life away for someone who’s not opening a float center.
Ashkahn: Thanks, thank you I mean from everybody in the industry. There’s a great amount of gratitude for everybody else and how much time we are willing to spend helping each other.
Graham: It’s way worth it. I mean isn’t that the kind of industry and the kind of world you just want to exist?
Ashkahn: Isn’t that kind of why you got into this business.
Graham: One where people help each other?
Ashkahn: Because that’s the experience you had? Good work.
Graham: Yeah, keep it up.
Ashkahn: You know what, virtual hug back to you too.
Graham: Yeah, hug, hug your way. Yeah that’s right.
Ashkahn: You’ve earned it.
Graham: If anyone else … Let me try this sentence again.
Ashkahn: You’ve had a lot of practice, but go for it.
Graham: If any one else out there wants hugs go to FloatTankSolutions.com/podcast.
Graham: There’s a free hug generation machine sitting right there. If you don’t see it, submit a question about where the hug machine is in the question box and we’ll try to get back to you.
Ashkahn: All right.
Ashkahn: Yeah, talk to you tomorrow.
Graham: Yeah. That was good. I feel nice.
Ashkahn: Yeah, you do feel nice.
Graham: Bye everyone.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about.
Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year.
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