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How to be more Creative

     Relaxation from things like meditation, naps, and massage enhances creativity.  There are no ifs, and, or buts about it.  Why should there be when even your butt itself gets massaged? And relaxation stimulates inspiration: a relaxed mind in a rested body is more receptive to the creative impulses than a worried mind in a tense body. 

Many of the world’s great scientific insights and artistic conceptions occured in a restful state rather than a restless one?  The famed “a ha” experience of eureka that can make you laugh in a delightful “ha-ha,” happens when you’re most relaxed, not when you’re most worried. 

  German chemist Friedrich Kekule discovered the benzene ring in a “waking dream” while riding in a London bus. Isaac Newton’s discovery of the Law of Gravitation came while relaxing under a tree and observing an apple falling to the ground. Albert Einstein intuited vital parts of his Relativity Theory while sitting patiently on a non-moving train as a nearby train left the station. 

  For Romantic poet William Wordsworth calmness was the means. The former Poet Laureate of England wrote that, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” cb best shotCalmness, tranquility, relaxation are keys to enhancing your creative output.

     While receiving an Indonesian massage on a luxury yacht off the coast of Thailand, this non-scientist gained inspiration for this column.  During other massages and meditation sessions, I’ve received ideas for other columns, for new workshops, and for new books that I would write.

Bob Hope, one of the greatest comedians ever, used to get a massage every single day.  No doubt, it kept his body rested and his comic mind sharp and able to ad-lib in his inimitable way.

The next time you get creatively stuck, try lathering up your face or legs with shaving cream, as Einstein did.  A nick in your skin may be a small price to pay if it comes in the nick of time to stimulate your creative juices.  Or better yet, call a massage therapist and have her lather you up with oil.  Creative inspiration may be just a phone call away.


Creating a Win//Win/Win Sales Referral Program

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Your clients are the unheralded resource of your sales team.  A study of referral programs that I conducted among some 200 massage therapists reveals that the average therapist sends a thank-you note to the person doing the referring and a discount of about $7 off that person’s next session. Analysis reveals that the average client comes about once a month and remains a client for about three years.  At $60 per massage, that’s $720 per year or $2160 over three years (not counting the additional referrals that new client can bring).

A referral, therefore, brings $2160 in new business and the therapist sends a thank-you card and $7 coupon.  Is this any way to run a business? Here’s a win/win/win appropriate way to conduct a client referral program.  Continue the use of the $7-off the next treatment and thank-you card, but in the card, indicate that, in 6 months, another thank you will come.

Half a year later, after analyzing the revenue the new client has added to your business, send a check for 10 percent of that total to the client who referred.  Accompany the check with a second thank-you note, and in it indicate that you strongly believe in win/win/win scenarios.  Explain that the new client wins because he gets regular massage; you win because you’ve received added revenues; and the person to whom you’re sending this thank-you note wins with this check. Tell her to use the money any way she wants: for a facial, a gift for a loved one, or a donation to her favorite charity.  The choice, of course, is hers; it’s her money.