Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Sometimes, the hardest part of starting any project is to just take the leap of faith complete step one.
With some words of encouragement and caution, Graham & Ashkahn channel their inner Tony Robbins and encourage a highly knowledgeable aspiring float center owner, to trust their gut and start their float center.
They share how Float On started out as a leap of faith and even though at some points, times were rough, the benefits of helping people discovering floating, it was worth the risk.
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.
Credit JECT Production for the sound effects in this intro.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: Yeah, it’s a question that we have from our listenership, oh and by the way just a little thank you to everyone out there you know. Since announcing this and kind of putting out a little form on our website to sign up for our live calling show. We just had a bunch of people who write in nervous questions or to just to say thank you and kind of wish us well and say they are sad that the podcast is ending. So thanks to everyone who reached out! This has been really nice to hear your questions coming in. Thanks for listening everyone.
And a question, we do have a question is: Between your podcast, the Art of the Float Podcast, and the Float Collective, I’ve digested enough information to be dangerous. Do you think people will lock me up for this information? No, they don’t … yet fear still gets in the way of me taking the next step. This could be related to so much of the content focusing on what could go wrong. Can you take a minute to encourage me to take action and trust my gut?
Ashkahn: Sure, yeah, you can do great.
Graham: You’re wonderful, you’re-
Ashkahn: I mean look at you.
Graham: Your world is your oyster.
Graham: You know.
Ashkahn: I think nothing can stop you.
Graham: Grab that oyster by the tail and just pull it down and put it in your pocket. Yeah well, I mean listening-
Graham: … So thanks for writing in-
Ashkahn: I think we did a good job there.
Graham: Yeah I mean I would actually say, to get serious for a second here. To bring it down to the serious level. You should be nervous opening a floats center. Right, I mean it’s so crazy, it’s a huge investment of time and resources and it’s like a decision of what you gonna do for the next half a decade or more of your life, you know it’s a big thing. You know it’s like if someone wrote into me and it was like, “ Hey I’m thinking of marrying this girl. Who you don’t know anything about, like could you just encourage me to do it.” I’d be like well, I don’t know, like tell me a bit you know.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean we do focus a lot on all the stuff that can go wrong as does Art of the Float, and a lot of different people in the industry, and we put on workshops and all that sort of stuff.
Graham: I think we’ve all been traumatized.
Ashkahn: Well yes, but also it’s because that’s the stuff that people don’t know and expect, right? We don’t wanna … If we were to sit here and be like, “Hey I don’t if you found this out but opening a float center means you gonna have really cool conversations with people.” And, I’m like man, people are gonna feel good and it’s gonna be awesome to watch people who are like happy coming out of your place. People know that stuff. Like that’s why you are opening a float center.
Graham: Yeah your not gonna blow anyone’s mind. Right, yeah
Ashkahn: To understand that sort of stuff. Right. We’ve seen over the years people, everyone gets that part, you float you have a great experience, you see other people floating, they have great experiences and it obviously seems like a cool business to run. And you wanna go open a business, and it’s way harder to realize that, oh, maybe the salt is gonna destroy these materials I’ve considered. Maybe I need to do like, soundproofing is gonna cost more. Then I thought I would have never looked into it before you know.
That type of information you just don’t know upfront. And some people totally go never realized that they don’t know all that stuff. And go and open a place and then find Uh Oh, there is all this stuff that I don’t know. So I think that’s why we focus on it so much. But it’s not to say that everything about running a float center is just about controlling disasters and there’s nothing good that ever happens.
Graham: No, no certainly not. Like in that sense. I mean it’s an amazing business. There is a reason that we’re still in this industry and in the end, love running Float On and, a lot of that has to deal with the actual impact on peoples’ lives and all the beautiful experiences that come out of a float tank center for sure. I totally agree like I think it is the obvious stuff. You know if you have attended, if you been a customer at the float tank center you’ve clearly seen the positive side, especially if your thinking of opening one up. I mean in that sense I agree. I guess it’s just the … I guess is like first is like trusting your gut and just going towards the opening you know. Like if you’re waffling about the idea of, should I open or should I maybe consider this for a little longer and do some more research.
I would say that’s a healthy conversation to be having in your brain. You know I wouldn’t want to encourage you to just like trust your gut and go full steam and opening a float tank center.
That’s kind of what we did and it was really crazy.
Ashkahn: I mean at some point you have to take a leap, right.
Ashkahn: I mean I think there’s something about being the type of person who wants to open a business. There’s that entrepreneurial spirit that to me it goes hand in hand with taking a certain amount of blindness in leaps your taking and have entrusting yourself to be able to solve problems down the future.
Like there is just no way even if you listen to everything forever you gonna get everything perfect. Right. Before you hope to open you gonna make some mistakes, everybody makes mistakes. Were we to open another float center right now, it would be vastly different and better than the one we opened and we’d still screw some stuff up.
Graham: Oh yeah for sure.
Ashkahn: At some point, you really just to have like realize that you gonna have to fix some stuff down the line. You gonna have to roll with the punches, and you gonna wanna go for it. I think it’s an … it’s tricky in the float world because of the construction stuff more than anything. Cuz that’s the stuff we are like missteps can be really expensive and really time-consuming and so that’s why doing a lot of research beforehand is nice to really feel like you have some sense of that, but you know it.
If been listening to a lot of information you’re gonna-
Graham: If you’ve been listening to us. Definitely go find some other source of information.
Ashkahn: … You’re gonna get some big fundamentals correct and that’s the good stuff right. Like your not gonna go put in carpet. Like not having any floor drains, the stuff that’s gonna be like, oh boy! Like a have a huge problem on my hands in the future. You’ve probably already averted. So you gonna make some mistakes, but they’re gonna be way easier to fix and way less expensive to fix, so go for it.
You got it!
Graham: You totally got it, don’t get me wrong but you should be nervous about “gotting it.” No okay, so here is what I would say is…
Ashkahn: This is like more like we’re sitting on either side of their shoulder right now.
Graham: I kinda like it. If you’re okay with everything crashing and burning. Be it as a year to three years or five years down the line. Then yeah, totally go for it. You know I mean that to me is part of being an entrepreneur and the risk factor is like being okay with your creation not succeeding and being in a place where it can fail and not totally ruin your life or put you in a really bad space, you know. So I don’t know like we’ve said before at this podcast as well.
Even if Float On totally went downhill and then it had to shut down tomorrow. It would still feel like we’d spent our time on something great and I wouldn’t have regretted starting it up or doing all the work that we have done in the meantime. So yeah I mean if that’s the same attitude that you have into going into this, then it’s just a risk and you gonna have to assess it.
Yeah you got it. You’re gonna be great.
Ashkahn: Someone told me a good quote recently which was and I don’t know exactly remember it but it was something along the line of just have like, “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough and don’t let good enough get in the way of perfection.” Something along those lines.
But the basic idea is that I think, there are different decisions to make for different things that you are trying to do. Right. In some circumstances like if you’re building an airplane, you don’t want to look shoot for good enough, right, you can’t shoot for good enough, like you gotta really freaking make sure you’re doing everything perfectly. In some cases when your building something that you know it doesn’t require that level of perfection. The level of perfection can get in the way of you actually getting out in the world and having it be good enough to like be something that exists out there and start getting feedback and start you know improving it as it’s up and running.
And, so part of I think part of it is realizing what those things are. I think for things like construction and some of the sanitation stuff like we’re shooting for some of that perfection because it does become a lot more mission-critical and it’s a lot harder to fix afterward. And, there other things where you like maybe don’t have your other parts of the actual branding completely 100% perfect and polished or the interior design of your lobby completely perfect and exactly what you want. But you like you gotta pretty much figured out and you got the basics and you gonna maybe improve it over time, I think some of it comes down to that too.
Just realize what areas you’re okay with just putting out into the world and which ones you really do want to make sure your kind of digging through every detail of.
Graham: Hey, and if you’re actually going out there and doing all these research and listening to the podcast and downloading the free resources that are out there at your disposal and really feel solid in your information, you’re so much better prepared, than a lot of float centers that currently exist. When they started out.
Graham: Like ourselves included.
Ashkahn: I mean we made it, like we … things were crazy in our place when we started. You’d be hard-pressed to open a worst float center than we did when we first began.
Graham: It’s like the difference between our earlier intros to this podcast and the current intro that was just in this episode you know night and day.
Ashkahn: Like really like real, real bad and we’re still here like we did it, like we managed to deal with the stuff as they came up and it was hard. It took a lot of long hours and we’d put a lot of all-nighters for the first couple of years and a lot of our money went straight back into dealing with that sort of stuff. Certainly, it didn’t come at no cost, but like we made we’re here we have now like a nice float center and so.
Graham: So you have a leg up on us and a lot of other people on the float industry. You’re in the top percentage of people who are prepared.
Ashkahn: If you have like enough willpower, you can pretty much overcome almost anything.
Graham: Yeah, and if you-
Ashkahn: Depends on how much you want this to completely take over and control your life. If you’re willing to toss aside absolutely everything else in your life to power through anything that comes your way then you can pretty much jump at any point you want.
Graham: Ashkahn will give advice for onions so. Just mail onions to our shop.
Graham: I’d say that like two onions per ten minutes of advice.
Ashkahn: I’ll mail you back some answers.
Graham: Yeah. 4530 SE Hawthorne Portland, OR 97215 care of Ashkahn I guess. Yeah, I got nothing more to say.
Graham: Go get them.
Ashkahn: You got it. You like a tiger.
Graham: Yeah, I was just gonna say that tiger. Rrrr, rrr, rrr. Alright and if you have any more questions go find answers somewhere else-
Ashkahn: Yeah good luck.
Graham: … coz, yeah the form has been shut down and do tune in for our live episode November 29th, 3-5 pm PST.
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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