Small Biz Buzz—106—Grace Abruzzo—Solopreneurship in Women’s Health

Small Biz Buzz hosts Crystal Heuft and Scott Martineau are joined by Grace Abruzzo, the owner of Rooted Physical Therapy, who is a physical therapist specializing in the pelvis area, and discusses how her business aligns with her passions, her calling and how she uses it to provide a service.

Abruzzo typically works with women, but also works with any gender, any transitioning transgender and any age group. She got into physical therapy because she has a history of needing from when she was a child what she now provides. She has been trained in treating the whole body, but specializes in the pelvis.

“When I was in physical therapy school, I learned that this is the thing that I always needed that I never knew existed and that most people don't know exists,” said Abruzzo. “I was immediately hooked.”

Abruzzo also tackles the subjects that people don't feel comfortable sharing with a medical provider or the conversations that they hardly have with their spouse–helping those overcome the stigma behind discussing pelvic health issues.

“I'm working on one person at a time, but the change I'm making, I'm hoping that we're all going to experience it,” said Abruzzo. “Because if you do healing, your partner is going to feel it, your kids are going to feel it, your friends are going to feel it, it's going to change the world.”

Click play for more.

Transcript:

Derek Harju (00:00):

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Crystal Hueft (01:09):

Dusey, my roommate just said, "Don't record yet. I have to flush the toilet."

Grace Abruzzo (01:17):

I heard that.

Dusey Van Dusen (01:17):

That's amazing.

Crystal Hueft (01:17):

That's awesome. Oh my gosh, that's so funny. Yeah, they heard Morgan. Go ahead and flush away and then stay in your room. Exactly. I saw that, Jennifer.

Grace Abruzzo (01:27):

Okay, Charles-

Scott Martineau (01:27):

That's the coronavirus equivalent of the-

Crystal Hueft (01:32):

That's my favorite part of the newscast ones. I chuckle so hard watching the newscast ones because it's like, why do they try to act like nothing's happening? If Morgan flushed a toilet in the middle of the recording, I would just say, "Morgan, you just made an appearance on the podcast." I wouldn't try to pretend like it didn't happen. I think it's so extreme.

Crystal Hueft (01:51):

Okay, so that being said, are we ready to dive in here? Because I think Grace is going to start thinking we just invited her so that we can chat and make new friends.

Scott Martineau (02:00):

Which is only half true.

Crystal Hueft (02:04):

We have. This podcast is simply a way for us to connect at this point. Oh man. Okay, so I wanted to talk about what are our quarantine weekend plans? So Scott, do you have any quarantine weekend plans?

Scott Martineau (02:19):

I might be really boring in this. I asked my wife out on a date tonight. I was like, "We could go to your office." Which is just a bedroom in our house. We could go upstairs. There's not going to be much happening when you're in quarantine. I think for us, we're going to probably find a new series to binge watch. We're going to probably keep doing our family exercise routines. We've been alternating yoga one day, and then we did, my son has a build muscle mass version the next day. I don't know what we're going to do. Maybe we'll go into meditation over the weekend. Maybe, I don't know.

Crystal Hueft (02:52):

Well, that would be a good meditation date night. I'm literally painting my entire downstairs to avoid yellow bouncing light. That is my quarantine plan. I may have a quarantini, which is basically a martini at home. But that's the kind of level of excitement I'm having. We have our guest here, Grace Abruzzo. Did I say that right, Grace?

Grace Abruzzo (03:17):

Yes.

Crystal Hueft (03:17):

I'm dying to know what are your quarantine weekend plans for this coming weekend?

Grace Abruzzo (03:22):

Actually, I am creating an online course right now. That's my weekend plan, is to finish it.

Crystal Hueft (03:33):

You have such the entrepreneur answer here. Right, Scott?

Scott Martineau (03:39):

That is-

Crystal Hueft (03:40):

If that's not an entrepreneur answer, I don't know what is.

Grace Abruzzo (03:42):

Okay.

Scott Martineau (03:42):

Crystal is curling up with a quarantini, you're curling up with an online course. I love it.

Grace Abruzzo (03:47):

Yeah.

Crystal Hueft (03:48):

I love it too. Nothing like serving your audience. They need help any day of the week, right?

Grace Abruzzo (03:54):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Crystal Hueft (03:54):

Grace, I guess we can dive right in here and talk about... I'm so curious by looking at anything Derek sent us about what you do. Can you share a little bit your business name and what you do for your job, and where your passion came from for what you do?

Grace Abruzzo (04:10):

Yes. My business is called Rooted Physical Therapy, and I am a physical therapist specializing in the pelvis. Specifically, I typically tend to work with women, but I can work with any sexual, any gender, any transitioning, any age. How I got into this? Well, I got into it because I have a history of needing what I now provide from a young child. Then when I was in physical therapy school, and I learned that this is the thing that I always needed that I never knew existed and that most people don't know it exists and even now, people don't understand what it is that I do, I was immediately hooked.

Grace Abruzzo (05:02):

Since then, it's been really... It's just aligning my passions and my calling and using it to provide a service.

Crystal Hueft (05:11):

Definitely. We were chatting a bit before Scott hopped on here, and I was telling you that I inherited my dad's bad hips. It bothers me every day now. Kids are mean, I realize now. I used to laugh at my dad when he would struggle to even sit crisscross applesauce. The struggle is real now. It is hard for me... I was telling you, I can do a squat, but I can't get as low as I know I could for the amount of weight I can squat with. But I can't get any lower because my hips hurt.

Crystal Hueft (05:44):

I was saying, I know I need some PT. It sounds like... I don't know that's a general area, but could you elaborate a bit more on the pelvic area and why women maybe need some special attention for PT?

Grace Abruzzo (05:58):

Yes, I have two thoughts coming. So, I'll answer your question and then I'm going to feedback another question.

Crystal Hueft (06:04):

Great.

Grace Abruzzo (06:07):

A lot of people when I say I'm a pelvic specialist, your mind goes to thinking that I only treat the pelvis. But I actually am educated in treating the whole body, and I specialize in the pelvis. Even though it's just thinking, okay, what does that really mean? To me, it means that I am curious and skilled in treating the deepest parts of ourselves.

Grace Abruzzo (06:37):

The subjects that you really don't want to share with a medical provider, the conversations that you hardly can have with your spouse, those are the things I'm typically working on with people. I believe that it's that foundation deep within us that can be the contributing factor, and other body pains that you might be experiencing. There's more details around what that actually looks like, but that's kind of the general concept.

Scott Martineau (07:08):

I would imagine people don't necessarily think that when they think physical therapist, right?

Grace Abruzzo (07:13):

No.

Scott Martineau (07:14):

How does that experience unfold? Where you go from a pelvic specialist to treating in this maybe more holistic way?

Grace Abruzzo (07:23):

Yeah, a lot of the difficulty in creating the clientele is in the education piece, because it's not like your back hurts, go see a chiropractor. Everyone knows how to finish that sentence. Versus, I have pain when I have sex, or I leak my pants every time I sneeze. That kind of thing people are like, "Well... " There's a huge education piece on just the general idea of what it is that I do and transitioning the buy-in on how to convince who I'm working with that actually this is the deeper problem that we really need to work on. It takes a lot of practice on my end.

Crystal Hueft (08:15):

I think too, women are taught from a young age, or have been for a long time, I think it's starting to shift but it's a slow shift, that some of these things you shouldn't talk about.

Grace Abruzzo (08:26):

That's it.

Crystal Hueft (08:27):

You're supposed to keep quiet about it, don't mention that. But a lot of times, probably with some PT or with some other help, they could probably be helped. I always had friends that have already had kids that tell me, the sneezing and coughing and then peeing thing is a natural thing. But the older I get, I'm like, "I don't know." There's been a couple of coughs that, I have not had kids, but I feel like it's very close to peeing my pants kind of situation.

Grace Abruzzo (08:55):

I am so excited to have this conversation. Every time I have it, I get this light up on the inside. I have so much to say to you right now. One is-

Crystal Hueft (09:04):

I need help, right?

Grace Abruzzo (09:08):

Right. There's intersectional experiences of this being, what you're talking about, shame around women sharing their intimate experiences with their pelvis. But, it's also applicable to men. It has more to do with the masculine rather than men. Men also experience this. I also have male clients who come in with anal pain, difficulty having a bowel movement, testicular pain and penile dysfunction, prostate issues. It's also the shame experience is shared across the board. It's because we're operating from a system, that there's only one normal and everyone else's other.

Grace Abruzzo (09:58):

The work I'm doing is actually coming under that in trying to validate, inform, hold compassion for the experiences and the stories that are behind all that pain, and then reframe all of it. It seems very... I'm working on one person at a time, but the change I'm making, I'm hoping that we're all going to experience it, because if you do healing, your partner is going to feel it, your kids are going to feel it, your friends are going to feel it, it's going to change the world.

Crystal Hueft (10:35):

For sure. If your body's not working the way you need it to, to feel healthy and feel good, that changes every aspect of your life. I think it's so cool that you... I know Scott talks a lot about identifying a problem and a passion that you have to fix that problem and then creating a business about that. It's clear, you've done that.

Crystal Hueft (10:56):

For other small businesses out there that are in fields that are sometimes hard to talk about or hard to explain what you do, what kind of advice would you give them?

Grace Abruzzo (11:07):

People respond best when they hear it not just from you, but also from a friend. I would say, gathering reviews from people that you've worked with is one of the best ways you can market more than so many other things.

Crystal Hueft (11:22):

I love that, reviews are so critical.

Grace Abruzzo (11:24):

... just word of mouth. Your first goal is to just make that connection with your first client and have that be a really good experience. Then encourage some feedback that you can share. A lot of people don't really want to share with their friends that they're having pain with sex, and that they saw someone for it. That can be tricky. But maybe even getting a couple of sentences from them that you can post on your page, something like that.

Scott Martineau (11:50):

It's so interesting, because a lot of business... We've preached for a long time that education can be a critical part, a really effective and impactful way in marketing. Some people are on the opposite end of the spectrum in the sense that they're in a fairly commoditized industry. Coming up with unique content is not as natural or easy, shall we say? I think you sit maybe on the opposite end, which is, you're in an extremely unique niche, and then you add that layer... I think maybe one of the challenges for you, as you're pointing out, you got that layer of I don't really want... It's a topic that I don't necessarily want broadcasted in the way that I consume the content, and to your point, somebody who's giving you a positive review.

Scott Martineau (12:40):

What an amazing opportunity you have just to be in this space of education, where you're entering a conversation that is going on in people's head, which is usually the goal of that education, but you're entering the conversation that in many cases, they have to have alone. You don't have... Maybe with the exception of some very very close intimate friends, it's a struggle that they're having to deal with on their own.

Scott Martineau (13:06):

I just imagine that the work you're doing is a breath of fresh air for them to realize-

Crystal Hueft (13:11):

For sure.

Scott Martineau (13:12):

I'm thinking as you're talking about reviews, that even just hearing that somebody else has had a similar issue with you, there's not something wrong with me. I'm just part of a group of people that need to focus on this, right?

Grace Abruzzo (13:26):

Right. It can be a very isolating experience to have these types of pains and just chronic pain, invisible pain in general.

Crystal Hueft (13:34):

Definitely. I think it's so interesting what you do. I think it's really important. I love that your website and everything about you here today, you're just very clear about who you're serving and who you welcome to serve. In a world where I feel like healthcare in some ways has gotten so impersonal, you can tell by your webpage and just hearing you talk today that you keep it very personal.

Crystal Hueft (13:57):

I think too, certain transgender... It's becoming more and more common, people are becoming more and more accepting of that. But I feel like we're just starting to scratch the surface of the things that they might experience and some of the things they're probably embarrassed to speak about too. I love the fact that you're so open and welcoming to anyone who has an issue that you can probably solve. I love that.

Crystal Hueft (14:26):

That being said, what would you say the advantages of being in a niche specialty audience serving kind of business?

Grace Abruzzo (14:36):

The advantages? Well, I think Scott, even you touched on this. It's easy to get... When you're creating a business, it's easy to get trapped in the idea that there is scarcity. There's not enough clients and there's so much competition that you can't... They have a lot of people so there's not enough people for you to have. There's an orthopedic clinic on every block, so there must not be enough clients.

Grace Abruzzo (15:08):

The idea that you're having to compete to get success or how you measure success. I think being in a niche, sometimes I would... Actually, the reason I actually decided to go into this is because I wanted to be one of the few people diving headfirst into this. I started in my own practice four years ago, and that was when I was only a year out of school. Other colleagues were like, "You hardly know anything. Why are you starting your own business?" I was like, "There's something that's giving me the confidence that I can level up to what's being provided because I can count on my hand, how many people are doing this."

Grace Abruzzo (15:52):

I've now come to discover that the feeling of scarcity is more internal than it is external. The advantages, I think it's maybe an illusion on cement, that there's a limited number of clients in the pot, and we all need to scramble to get them. There's so many people. There's so many people with a lot of money, who need this.

Scott Martineau (16:20):

Many of them, it's just not being solved. There is no-

Grace Abruzzo (16:24):

It's not being solved.

Scott Martineau (16:28):

There is no pot.

Grace Abruzzo (16:28):

Right. Exactly.

Crystal Hueft (16:28):

100%.

Grace Abruzzo (16:28):

The thing that I thought was the advantage I've now learned, that was just me needing to face my internal scarcity ideas.

Scott Martineau (16:37):

Grace, take us back... I want to have you go back to maybe the time when you felt the most self-doubt about this move that you made off on your own. You mentioned some of the feedback even from some of your friends. Okay, well, you're clearly not ready for this. I imagine that was a personal journey for you as well, so take us back. What was the hardest moment and what was it that got you from that place to where you are today?

Grace Abruzzo (17:01):

I so deeply believe in myself. I don't need external validation. I've gotten to a place where if I don't offer this, then I'm holding myself back in a way, and I'm not living my authentic self. My authentic self is expressing through these gifts. Why would I quelch that?

Grace Abruzzo (17:28):

There have been times and my closest friends know, because I would call them in distress saying, "I give up. This is too hard." I had a co-partnership for the first year and we dissolved that. I was like, "I'm going through a business divorce." We had to sign papers and it was so hard. I was like, "Well, should I do this again?" Yes, and then recently I rebranded and there's always something that's going to come in your life no matter what it is that you're doing. You might stop and think, can I really do it?

Grace Abruzzo (18:08):

You have to have that little voice inside of you who loves you unconditionally, and saying all these conditions that you're seeing out here, they don't matter, the unconditional, yeah, you can. I always come back to that place.

Crystal Hueft (18:25):

That's awesome. I think you just really are confirming that it's a calling, you feel like you have a purpose and a mission. All of that's aligned to what you do daily. I think you're going to be clearly a success now and for a long time. Based on that alone. I do think there's people out there that need a lot of help, and need more importantly than anything, what I really want when I go to the doctor is feeling like they care about me outside of a textbook.

Crystal Hueft (18:55):

I want to know what they've read in the book, they're not just throwing at me and putting... Which of course, that's how they work. But I want to know they're actually listening to me, hearing what my problems are, hearing what I'm telling them.

Crystal Hueft (19:09):

I feel like if you're doing that every day, that's a gift to have in the healthcare industry these days. I think it's really cool.

Grace Abruzzo (19:16):

In any industry, we literally we all want to be seen and heard by our partners, by our friends, by everyone. Unfortunately, the healthcare model does not support doctors in the resources they would need to really successfully do that.

Crystal Hueft (19:32):

That's for sure. But, I think having your own business does. That's really cool-

Grace Abruzzo (19:37):

Which is why I did this.

Crystal Hueft (19:39):

That's so awesome You can build exactly what you want out of your own practice, so that's really cool. Okay, well, that being said, I think it's a great time for us to break and throw to our Worst Business Ideas in History where Derek and Dusey will talk about follies from big corporations and how they've messed up. Let's go to that and we'll be right back with more.

Derek Harju (20:10):

Howdy folks, I'm Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:12):

And I'm Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (20:13):

And this is Worst Business Ideas in History.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:15):

The show where we look back at some of the most brutal missteps, failures and flops in consumer history-

Derek Harju (20:21):

And make fun of it-

Dusey Van Dusen (20:22):

... but also learn something.

Derek Harju (20:23):

Nope, it says my contract I don't have to learn.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:26):

Fine, the rest of us will learn something and you can just mock people's misfortune.

Derek Harju (20:30):

Sounds good.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:32):

Welcome to the Worst Business Ideas in History.

Derek Harju (20:36):

Hi, guys, this is Worst Business Ideas in history, I'm Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:39):

And I'm Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (20:41):

Today we're going to be talking about Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup.

Dusey Van Dusen (20:44):

Okay.

Derek Harju (20:45):

Now, Dusey, you have more and older children than I do. Did you guys ever have the Heinz EZ Squirt in your house?

Dusey Van Dusen (20:52):

Maybe I'm... You'll have to describe to me exactly what this is, because I was assuming that this is a bottle, like upside down bottles that are still around.

Derek Harju (21:02):

That is the exact same thought that I had when I saw the name, because it's Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup. What you think is that the products pull is that it's easier to use, hence those bottles that we have now that they're basically upside down all the time.

Dusey Van Dusen (21:19):

Yeah., they're all engineered to be able to get it all out. They've put a lot of thought into these bottles.

Derek Harju (21:27):

I remember those bottles when they came out and the big selling point was there's no of that weird ketchup goop at the cap that accumulates.

Dusey Van Dusen (21:34):

Yeah, right?

Derek Harju (21:35):

But what we're talking about today is you might remember this more by sight than by name, and that is Heinz putting out a line of ketchup that came in different colors.

Dusey Van Dusen (21:45):

Okay, yes. Yeah.

Derek Harju (21:50):

Ringing a bell now?

Dusey Van Dusen (21:50):

I do remember purple ketchup and stuff like that, yeah.

Derek Harju (21:53):

That's usually the one people remember. Apparently, Heinz put out this product in 2000. It came in teal, green. Then primarily it was purple that was the most popular. The exception to that being they put a green version as a tie in with the movie Shrek, which-

Dusey Van Dusen (22:15):

Okay.

Derek Harju (22:17):

Which despite your feelings on Shrek, it's a very successful franchise [inaudible 00:22:21] Dusey's feelings, I mean the public at large.

Dusey Van Dusen (22:24):

Yeah. That first movie was charming. That first one.

Derek Harju (22:32):

Yeah, it was fine.

Derek Harju (22:35):

It was fine. I didn't need to go deep into the Shrek mythos. That's a discussion for a different day. Heinz, this is a pretty straightforward play by Heinz. They're like, you know what kids like? Kids like colors and kids like ketchup, and kids eat a lot of ketchup. They put ketchup on everything. Let's make it so that kids want to buy our ketchup more. We'll put it out in these fun colors and these easy to hold bottles so that the kids feel more involved with mealtime.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:05):

I like that phrasing there, more involved with mealtime, because that's a battle sometimes. As a parent, having kids be involved in mealtime-

Derek Harju (23:14):

Or just getting them to like... I only have a toddler, so I don't know what happens when they get older but I know, just my focus is just to get my child, which you can probably hear right now, to remain in a single spot long enough to put food in their mouth.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:29):

Yeah, absolutely.

Derek Harju (23:32):

They put up these multicolored ketchups. It's not a terrible idea. Kids like bright colors, so they made 650 million bottles of this stuff.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:44):

Wow.

Derek Harju (23:46):

Yeah, that was the total production load. They sell about that many total bottles of... Heinz does, sells that many total bottles of ketchup almost every single year.

Dusey Van Dusen (23:55):

Okay.

Derek Harju (23:56):

They mass produced this stuff, thinking it was just going to become one of their staple products. As anybody knows, Heinz is actually a pretty fun company to look at the variety of their products, because they make everything. They sell a bunch of products here in America, but worldwide they make all kinds of weird stuff. They make pineapple chutney, they make canned sardines, depending on what part of the world you're in, Heinz makes a lot of stuff.

Dusey Van Dusen (24:24):

Okay, yeah, that's definitely... We think of condiments.

Derek Harju (24:28):

That's their bread and butter so to speak. That wasn't intentional. It's coming out of my mouth [inaudible 00:24:36] There wasn't a problem at first. The truth is the product actually did pretty good. They had some success at the beginning, they sold like 20 million bottles their first quarter, which I guess is good for them. Kids seem to like it. But after a while, it wore off really fast for a handful of reasons. The first reason was parents buy the ketchup, kids don't buy the ketchup. When kids go to the store, if they are coming along on a grocery shopping trip, they care about picking out cereal, asking for sugary snacks, and the staples are mostly left to the parents. Which means the parents are like, I'm not putting purple ketchup on my food. We still need ketchup in the house, and I had no interest in it being purple.

Dusey Van Dusen (25:23):

You may want this, but I don't want this.

Derek Harju (25:26):

Yeah.

Dusey Van Dusen (25:27):

It's not... Cereal, it feels like a thing that it's like, here's some of the kids cereal, and here's the cereal that I eat, but who wants a bunch of different kinds of ketchup bottles all in their fridge?

Derek Harju (25:37):

That was the other thing is that kids have a propensity to collect things. Maybe they buy the purple bottle of ketchup. Well, the problem is they don't stop at the purple bottle, they want the other colors too, because what's the point of having one color of ketchup if they can't mix it with other colors? Which is apparently what a lot of kids want to do.

Derek Harju (25:58):

Well what happens when you mix purple ketchup with green ketchup is you get brown ketchup, and nobody wants to eat brown ketchup. The other problem was is that in order to make ketchup green, or purple or teal, or any of the other colors that they made, they actually had to modify, genetically modify the ketchup. I assume the tomatoes they were producing to accept to the color. Because otherwise if you add food coloring to something that's already red, red is a really dominant color. If you add another color to it, most of the time again, you end up with brown.

Derek Harju (26:37):

They modified the ketchup, and it apparently changed the texture to the point where people described it as goo. The word goo comes up over and over and over again. It was more viscous somehow, which is a word that immediately turns almost every human being off.

Derek Harju (26:54):

After... It actually stayed on the market for a very long time, longer than you might expect.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:00):

I do remember seeing it around for a little while, that it seemed like it maybe was going to be a thing because it was on shelves for some time. Remind me, what kind of time frame we're looking at for this?

Derek Harju (27:12):

This one actually lasted much longer than some of our previous contenders. This is on shelves for 12 years, they only stopped producing it on store shelves in 2012. The truth is, you can probably still find some of this stuff because ketchup has a long shelf life, and stores aren't going to take it off the shelf if it's still within the sell by date. There's a very good chance you could still find a bottle of this stuff around.

Derek Harju (27:38):

Their last dying gasp was that Burger King did a tie in with Heinz to create green ketchup that they gave away during St. Patrick's Day promotions. If you really really want this stuff, all you have to do is wait till St. Patrick's Day, roll up to a Burger King and ask if they can give you some green ketchup.

Dusey Van Dusen (27:58):

Participating locations only.

Derek Harju (28:00):

Participating locations only. You import green ketchup all over your chicken fries and laugh in the face of God, I suppose. You can't put them on your Satisfries though.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:14):

No.

Derek Harju (28:14):

That is a call back to a previous episode, please listen to our Satisfries episode of Worst Business Ideas in History. What have we learned from the Heinz EZ Squirt, which again, right off the top, there's a place I'd like to start. Usually it's your gig to point out what we learned-

Dusey Van Dusen (28:35):

Please jump in.

Derek Harju (28:36):

Which you brought it up from the jump. In the name, it doesn't even indicate what it is. It makes you think that it's a mechanical change, not an aesthetic one.

Dusey Van Dusen (28:47):

Right. EZ Squirt, all the other bottles are that kind of way as well. To this one, it does feel like this was a somewhat valuable experiment for them because they were able to keep it on for a while, but maybe just weren't getting what they needed out of it long enough.

Derek Harju (29:09):

Well, I think that one of the things is, this is a situation where they found a demographic that wanted this product and that is kids and adults that have kids. What they didn't account for is whether people were going to want to buy more than one bottle. Because I assume that at best, people bought this product once. They ended up with three different colors of half-finished ketchup bottles in their homes, and the parents said, "Never again. This is a red ketchup household. This is a red ketchup household. We don't truck with green ketchup in this house."

Dusey Van Dusen (29:48):

That's a really good point. There's always a novelty effect with something new introduced like this, right? It's like, if you have something that you're bringing new to your clients, there likely will be a lot of... Especially your existing clients, there will likely be a lot of people who will say, "Oh, I like what they've done in the past. Let me try this." Maybe you initially get some positive response from that, because it's new, and it's different, and I like what they've done before. So we're going to try it out."

Dusey Van Dusen (30:16):

I think it also speaks to knowing when to... Trying to figure out when to cut it off. If this is the thing that is just doing okay, is it better for me to focus my attention on the things that are doing really well? That as a small business owner, you're constantly having to make choices about where you're focusing your time. Something like this could be a distraction.

Dusey Van Dusen (30:40):

In the early days, when Keap us founded, they're taking all sorts of random jobs that were unrelated, anything to keep the lights on. Which you're in a place where you have to do that, there'll be times when you have to do that. I would strongly encourage you to work as hard as possible to get to being able to take the kinds of jobs that you want, and not saying yes to every single option that you've got out there.

Derek Harju (31:04):

This was absolutely a distraction. You could tell that they... I think that it's more likely they took this product off of their catalog, more because they're just like, it doesn't make enough money. It probably still made money towards the end, but it probably didn't make enough money to justify an entire plant full of people and the equipment that could just... They're like, "You know, what makes just as much money as purple ketchup, red ketchup."

Dusey Van Dusen (31:33):

Exactly. Exactly. There must have also been... I'm thinking of the timeline from 2000 to about 2012 as people's ideas of what's healthy evolve and change. Food coloring and food additives like that haven't always had a good rap. It seems like the fact that it had enough success to keep it moving that long at that time was actually pretty surprising. It seems like that probably just got the better of them.

Derek Harju (32:01):

Yeah. I think you really touched onto something there as you were talking about the changes in the way we perceive health and certainly the way people perceive what they feed their kids as whether it's healthy or not. I think that there was a big shift, post '90s, early 2000s, to stop putting artificial colors and ingredients in our children.

Dusey Van Dusen (32:24):

Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.

Dusey Van Dusen (32:25):

Absolutely.

Dusey Van Dusen (32:29):

This one, I think is less of a big failure and more of they did eventually move on. It's one of these things like, well, it's just okay, and where should our focus be? A giant corporation like Heinz can probably afford to have some long term stuff like that going on. It's good as a small business owner to have a long term outlook, but focus, I think is key. Narrowing down what you're working on is absolutely key.

Derek Harju (33:02):

All right. I've been Derek Harju.

Dusey Van Dusen (33:04):

This is Dusey Van Dusen.

Derek Harju (33:05):

And we will talk to you guys next time.

Dusey Van Dusen (33:07):

Bye.

Derek Harju (33:09):

Keeping ever expanding client info straight, sending the same emails hundreds of times, scheduling and rescheduling appointments over and over. Who enjoys this nonsense? No one except my cousin Brent and Brent is the absolute worst. Keap is the premier, all in one CRM, just head over to keap.com. That's K-E-AP.com and start your free trial today. Get the busy work out of the way so you can focus on what's important and make your small business grow with Keap. Start your free trial at keap.com. That's K-E-A-P.com. More business. Less work. That's Keap.

Scott Martineau (34:00):

All right, welcome back. Thank you for that, Dusey, thank you, Derek. All right, Grace, I wanted to touch on something you talked about earlier. You said that your weekend plans involved creating some course content. Help us understand is that always been a part of your model? Is that something that's new that you're doing as a reaction to the quarantine? Tell us a little more about that.

Grace Abruzzo (34:26):

I have been working on online content for eight months. But it was always a side project, and I was creating this big idea like I'm going to make a whole post-partum program that is inclusive, validating and body positive, which is something that's not currently on the market.

Crystal Hueft (34:49):

I love that.

Grace Abruzzo (34:49):

This has not yet been created. Hopefully, my idea.

Crystal Hueft (34:54):

It will be by this weekend. You got this.

Grace Abruzzo (34:56):

Okay, so separate. I've been working on that one with co-partnering with a chiropractor, and that's going to be coming soon. However, in this past week, things have changed. I no longer can see patients with my hands and I'm now learning a vulnerability in the career I have chosen is that my clients love my hands. Now that my hands are unavailable, there's a lot of like, "Well, we'll see you when this is over." I'm like, "Honey, no."

Grace Abruzzo (35:28):

Actually, within a week's time, I got a download for a new content, and right now I'm creating a program that has to do with our sense of safety and security. That feeling actually resides in our pelvis, in the deepest part of our pelvis.

Grace Abruzzo (35:47):

Right now, while we're all feeling like the floor may have been dropped out, suddenly, I'm creating some program, an online program to help you navigate some tools to use and where you might be feeling that in your body and how to integrate the feelings with your new reality.

Crystal Hueft (36:06):

I was just going to say, my hips have been getting even worse sitting in a different environment than I'm used to. At work, we have office chairs. Home, I'm just sitting on the couch, but it's been definitely I've noticed feelings in my body where it's like, I'm just feeling heavier.

Crystal Hueft (36:23):

I've been working out a little bit more and trying to make sure I'm moving, which has been helping. But yeah, I definitely understand what you're saying about that. I think it's probably people are feeling that. Whether they're used to an office job or any kind of job right now just shifted.

Grace Abruzzo (36:37):

Yeah, shifting, transitioning can be... It has to do with our root. The root is the part of us that feels like the gravity is coming down, but the Earth is underneath us, so we're not going to fall. That feeling, and if we don't have that really stable center, then shifting sand is like whoa. It comes back to that.

Crystal Hueft (37:01):

It's a good thing your wife is making you do yoga.

Scott Martineau (37:03):

Oh, boy, we don't want to talk about my hips.

Crystal Hueft (37:06):

It's probably good for you right now to be doing that yoga with her.

Scott Martineau (37:09):

When everyone sits cross-legged, it looks like I'm not sitting cross-legged. That's bad.

Crystal Hueft (37:17):

I was telling you I have the same problem now, and I used to tease my dad about it. Now I'm like, man, he was hurting this much? I feel bad for teasing him. Definitely, that's a great course.

Scott Martineau (37:30):

I'm sorry, Crystal.

Crystal Hueft (37:31):

That's okay. I just said it's a great course.

Scott Martineau (37:34):

Tell me when the first idea of that... Is that something that's been on the back burner for a while and that you're just taking advantage of this opportunity? Is it something that came in the moment after you found out about coronavirus? Maybe it's not related at all. Sounds like it is in some degree, but-

Grace Abruzzo (37:49):

It is related. There's a healthy amount of anxiety that we all have. It's that part of us that's like, things are changing, how am I going to survive this? That's where that was born from.

Scott Martineau (38:01):

Well, it's awesome because Clate and I have been doing... We did a series of webinars this past week. It was all about the mindset strategies that entrepreneurs need to have in place to be successful. I think this one, just your responsiveness to the situation, your quick action around it. You had to get to a place of decision, and into a place of action quickly. It's just really inspiring to see that, because-

Grace Abruzzo (38:28):

Thank you.

Scott Martineau (38:30):

... there are obviously other options of just sitting around and not, sitting around in panic or in turmoil and not making those important decisions, but it's awesome to see that.

Grace Abruzzo (38:41):

Well, I had a really good cry. I cried really hard. I called a friend, I cried on the phone and I was like, "This is the situation I'm in." Then as soon as I let those feelings move, then I got a download of here's the new creative information we need to put. Instead of saying stuck, I was able to-

Scott Martineau (39:01):

Love it.

Crystal Hueft (39:02):

I think that's honestly the best thing you can do. Sometimes a good cry just helps you get over that part of it so that you can move on to actually being productive.

Grace Abruzzo (39:10):

Yes.

Crystal Hueft (39:10):

What would be some tips other than a good cry and moving on, what would be some good tips you have for small businesses that are maybe experiencing some pain from their business shifting or loss of business? What would you tell them to do right now?

Grace Abruzzo (39:27):

I guess I would first say, to really, really look at what it is that they think they're facing. A lot of our fears... 99% of our fears aren't actually happening. What is it that you're really facing right now? What's the fear that's actually there? Then experience the feelings around that and that might lead to a cry. Then I think after that I would move into maybe a gratitude practice. Like okay, well, I have a roof over my head and just the list of things that right now in this moment, all of my needs are met, because we go to catastrophizing quickly as small business owners. We're all like, it's over. It was all for nothing.

Crystal Hueft (40:12):

I guess when you put that much into something, it's easy to feel like that when things shift.

Grace Abruzzo (40:18):

Right. But, it's just like you're married, you have an argument with your spouse, it's like you go through it, that doesn't mean everything's over, right?

Crystal Hueft (40:24):

Yeah.

Grace Abruzzo (40:24):

It's coming into the reality of okay, what's actually... What am I facing here? What do I still have going for me? Then I would probably do something that would get me in a space of downloads. I call them downloads, but as an entrepreneur, when I'm feeling aligned and spiritual, I get these crazy ideas that flow through me. For me, I would be doing something to get me in that space of the downloads. It might be staying outside and looking to trees and I'd be doing some yoga, some stretching or some deep breathing or some breath work or something like that.

Crystal Hueft (40:59):

That's great.

Scott Martineau (41:01):

I can hear in your voice just the confidence that you know there's a process to get there that maybe in one moment you're not ready, but you know you can get there. I think those are fantastic steps.

Grace Abruzzo (41:12):

And what is there. I've had to face that a lot because every year I'm like, "I'm not making enough money." But I live in an apartment now. It still feels like I need to be making more, but I'm also spending more into bring that up. There's never enough, it's that old scarcity crap.

Crystal Hueft (41:31):

Yeah.

Scott Martineau (41:31):

Right. Well, and then there I was referring to was getting to that place of creation, because-

Grace Abruzzo (41:38):

The creation space, yes.

Scott Martineau (41:40):

Yeah, and obviously that's the key, I think in terms of getting the other benefits of that creation space. But as you called out, when your mind is gripped with fear, as many of us are having to deal with in different ways today, you're definitely not in that place. I love that you called out the need to just experience an emotion and allow it to pass through your body.

Scott Martineau (42:06):

I think there's a lot of resistance to the emotions that creates a lot of the suffering that we have. I love that. If that is turned into a cry or whatever other form of experience that is-

Grace Abruzzo (42:16):

How it comes out.

Scott Martineau (42:17):

Yeah, it may be ugly on its way out. I love that you thought about that-

Crystal Hueft (42:22):

Mine is an ugly cry.

Scott Martineau (42:26):

Nothing a quarantini can't-

Crystal Hueft (42:28):

I don't know. I try not to have a quarantini if I'm feeling low. I feel like-

Scott Martineau (42:32):

That's actually, I was-

Crystal Hueft (42:34):

I have healthy boundaries with my quarantinis, or any other kind of alcohol. But I do think that really, it just adds a little bit fun. I've been by myself so long at this point, I feel like maybe if I get a little quarantini in me, my buzzed mood might be slightly different, and then it's like hanging out with someone else. That's one way to look at it. But, who knows? It should be an interesting paint session if I'm slightly on a quarantini, but we should be good.

Crystal Hueft (43:08):

I was curious, Derek had mentioned something about you having to make a branding shift or a shift in some of your business strategies. I wanted to hear a little bit about that before we're forced... They give us the red flag virtually this time, but I want to hear a little bit about that shift to make sure that we can share that knowledge and anything you've learned from that.

Grace Abruzzo (43:30):

Sure. I would say I've done two shifts. The first one, I started a business. It was a S Corp partnership with another physical therapist and that was my first year into private practice and creating a company. It was so much work. It was such a high growth curve and I was unstable within myself, and I was just ending a long term relationship. Sorry, there's a helicopter going over. I don't know if you guys can hear that.

Crystal Hueft (44:10):

I was getting a little nervous.

Grace Abruzzo (44:15):

I have a fancy microphone, you might hear that.

Crystal Hueft (44:17):

That's okay. Thank you for telling me. I was getting scared, ready to hide under the table or something.

Grace Abruzzo (44:23):

No, we're all good, I just live in LA. So it's just normal sounds for me. I created this partnership. However, with my circumstance that was changing, and then her circumstance, she was a new mom. The demands of motherhood were new for her to experience, how much she can contribute. Ultimately, we couldn't make it work. It wasn't going to work, and so it needed to end.

Grace Abruzzo (44:48):

I kept replaying this statistic in my head that most businesses fail within the first year of... I was like, "No."

Crystal Hueft (44:58):

It is scary.

Grace Abruzzo (44:59):

Right. The dissolving of that was hard to let it go and to move on. But also, with a fresh start, you also get a new energy. When I was rebranding again, I was like, "Well, I don't have this cool idea." My first company was called Bloom Physical Therapy. I was really jazzed about the brand around it. Then when I had to rebrand suddenly, I asked one of my clients, I'm like, "What are your thoughts?" She was like, "I don't care about the name, I only know your name."

Grace Abruzzo (45:31):

Then I was like, "Okay, the brand is me." That was when I first drew that connection that you can be so much of what your brand is. They can be so mirrored and the mirroring actually builds authenticity within the receiving end of the client.

Grace Abruzzo (45:47):

Then my next brand was called Dr. Grace Physical Therapy, and I just went by my name. Then just recently as I have changed, so has my brand. Now, I am Rooted Physical Therapy because I am all about rooting into this stability, safety, security space within us. Then COVID happens.

Crystal Hueft (46:12):

Well, I feel like Rooted has roots, so you can keep that one long.

Grace Abruzzo (46:18):

It's going to be here. Yes, it's so brilliant. I love it.

Crystal Hueft (46:20):

I love that.

Scott Martineau (46:21):

It was matching with what you shared earlier too, for what it's worth.

Crystal Hueft (46:23):

Yeah, totally.

Grace Abruzzo (46:25):

Thank you.

Crystal Hueft (46:25):

I feel like when all this is said and done, you'll still have Rooted. I think it still really identifies what your purpose and mission is, and it's a great name. I have faith that when this is all done, you're going to have some killer courses-

Grace Abruzzo (46:39):

Maybe even before it's all done.

Crystal Hueft (46:40):

... another way to serve. Yeah, you'll have those done before, but I'm saying, at the end of all this, you're going to have killer courses and a great business that's still going to be thriving. That's my prediction of after COVID because I don't see you slowing down. You are like a ball of energy. I think it's going to just bounce right back. It should be fine.

Grace Abruzzo (47:00):

Yes.

Scott Martineau (47:01):

Grace, I want to ask you the opposite question I asked earlier. I asked you when was the moment of most doubt? Take us to the moment where you've been most fulfilled and excited about what your business is doing.

Grace Abruzzo (47:14):

I get so many of those. Just the other day I was working with a client, and she's two weeks postpartum, and she was feeling symptoms of maybe having a UTI. I was like... She didn't want to go into urgent care because of everything that's going on. She needs to be staying at home, she's immunocompromised. I was able to use my expertise to diagnose that it's actually a physical therapy issue that is presenting like an old feeling of a UTI and that it's very unlikely that she needs to go get a urinalysis.

Grace Abruzzo (47:56):

In just what I'm providing, I'm creating so much of a change in each person I work with their life and they create an equal change in my life. That connection and transference is validating, every time it happens, and it happens to me every time I work with someone. Even if it's in a teaching way, even if it's in a way that's like, oh, this is the type of client or this client, for whatever reason, in this moment, is actually not the right fit with me. Even that is teaching invalidating, in a way.

Grace Abruzzo (48:28):

I get those highs, those kind of like, "Okay, I'm where I'm supposed to be." I get those really, really often and I don't take it for granted. I really do feel blessed.

Crystal Hueft (48:38):

Well, it's very clear that you're helping all of your patients and all of your clients. What would you... Just as a final thought, what would you tell small businesses out there, what would you tell them to keep going? How would you tell them to weather the storms that they face? That you inevitably face every day in being a small business owner?

Grace Abruzzo (49:01):

Well, one thing that's coming up right away is research is me-search. Anytime you're feeling that external business wanting to fix things outside, the job is to look inside on what's going on in here and work on that first, and then it will transfer outside. For that, I would say, coming back... Every Yogi person says this, but I'm going to say it, coming back to breathing is a really good place to start anywhere with anything in this present moment, just taking a breath.

Grace Abruzzo (49:38):

If you're feeling stuck, and you don't know what to do, or if something unexpected has happened, just sitting still and taking some breaths and sitting with that feeling is actually, I would say the most healthy advice I could give right now.

Crystal Hueft (49:52):

I love that. Awesome. Well, Scott, do you have any other final thoughts?

Scott Martineau (49:57):

Well, I just... Grace, I want to thank you. I'm just really impressed with the unique and obviously needed problem in the world that you're solving.

Grace Abruzzo (50:08):

Thank you.

Scott Martineau (50:10):

I never am ceased to be... Let's see, how do you say that? It never ceases to amaze me at how the entrepreneurial spirit will go after and find these problems and then create unique solutions. It's awesome. Not only are you creating solutions in your regular course of business, but you're adapting and learning and shifting, like many of us are having to do in this environment.

Scott Martineau (50:34):

I'm just super impressed with what you're doing and glad that you got to come on today and share some of your lessons and thoughts and ideas and recommendations for other business owners. I hope our listeners are able to find in your story, a version of themselves and that they can draw strength from that.

Grace Abruzzo (50:55):

Yes, we're all mirrors. Thank you so much for having me.

Crystal Hueft (50:58):

Yeah, thank you, Grace. Thanks guys.

Scott Martineau (51:01):

All right. We're going to call that a wrap for this episode of Small Biz Buzz.

Derek Harju (51:08):

Thanks for listening to Small Biz Buzz. Please take a second to subscribe to the show and leave a five star rating. It helps keep the show going, and if you need a hand with growing your small business head over to keap.com. That's K-E-A-P.com, and get started. More business. Less work. That's Keap.



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