This week we sit down with the coolest business owners around town. Sam Bloodworth and Beth Smiley own and operate Mobile Cryotherapy (http://www.mobile-cryotherapy.com), and we couldn't help but use that cold pun. Beth has a degree in Entrepreneurship and met Sam working on a previous project. Now they help relieve all sorts of ailments and fatigue by getting you in -200 F for up to 3 minutes. We hope you enjoy this conversation with Sam and Beth of Mobile Cryotherapy!
Sam: Hey, I'm Sam Bloodworth, and ...
Beth: I'm Beth Smiley, and we're with Mobile Cryotherapy.
Marcus: Well, I'm really happy to have you all on the podcast today, 'cause I just think what you guys have done and what you're bringing to Mobile is just so cool.
Beth: Thanks, really,
Marcus: So, good to have you. But to get started normally what we do is try to find out a little about the entrepreneur that's on the podcast. Why don't you start since I know very little about you.
Beth: Well, I am Mobile born, and raised. So, the only time I didn't live in Mobile is when I was at college, University of Southern Mississippi and I got an entrepreneurship degree.
Marcus: Very cool.
Beth: Even started my first business in college, but since then I've just been really fascinated by business and different businesses, so whenever the idea of Mobile Cryotherapy came about, it was super cool to think about and bring something really different to Mobile, and Sam was the perfect fit for that with me.
Marcus: Before we go to Sam, though, I've not known that many people that have gotten a degree in entrepreneurship.
Beth: I know.
Marcus: How would that differ from a normal business degree? 'Cause that's really cool.
Beth: Well, you get a little bit of everything. So, instead of focusing on marketing or focusing on accounting, you learn as the business owner, "This is what I need to know about marketing. This is what I need to know about accounting from a business perspective," as far as the owner goes. And then you have different classes for business owners where ... I guess that the business degree didn't get from an owner perspective, so ...
Marcus: Sounds really interesting. I have an English degree, and I've 20 years in business, but 10 years owning a business, and it's amazing to me that I'm still ... I'm sure you feel this way too, you're still learning things, but I just wonder ... 'Cause I don't even think a business degree would've really helped in this because it's very specific, very focused on one niche, so that's interesting.
Beth: I don't know that the business degree did anything to help me mature and figure out what I wanted to do, you know, but it comes in handy whenever you're doing your own accounting and your own marketing, whenever you're a one-man show or in my case, a one-woman show. It comes in handy to know a little bit about everything.
Marcus: Very cool. Sam?
Sam: Oh, me? So, also born and raised in Mobile. Only left for four years of college in Tuscaloosa.
Marcus: Where is that?
Sam: Where is Tuscaloosa?
Marcus: No, what ...
Sam: What school?
Marcus: I didn't know there was a college in Tuscaloosa.
Beth: Shelton State.
Marcus: This little university called.
Sam: It took me four years. Yeah, so from Alabama. Came back home. And it's a marketing degree, so I went right into radio and television. Worked with a lot, a lot of business owners. Knew someday I wanted to do it myself. Wasn't quite sure how I was going to get there, what I was going to do, but being a business owner truly intrigued me. Beth was one of my business owners.
Marcus: Oh, cool!
Sam: That's how we met, and we worked really well together. We clicked. She said she's always looked for different ideas to make a new business, so when she had that one, she called me, and I was like, "Okay, I guess this is it. This is the thing I've been looking for."
Marcus: Why don't you describe what cryotherapy is? 'Cause I don't think that many people really understand what it is, what it does, why it's important, how it affects the body, that kind of thing.
Sam: Right, well, I mean, cryotherapy is a medical term. It's the use of any cold for treatment or the therapeutic use of cold. And the way we're ... There's obviously a lot of new technology that's out in terms of cryotherapy, and that's where we come in. It's not just an ice bath. It's not just putting an ice pack on your shoulder or your knee.
Marcus: For those that have never experienced the true joy of an ice bath, it pretty much sucks.
Beth: I can imagine.
Marcus: Yeah, but go ahead. Sorry.
Sam: Yes, it does. So, there's new technology out, what's called Cryosaunas, Beth having seen those. We started researching them, looking at them, looking at the manufacturers, looking at where the closest one was from here, seeing what their purpose was, and that's when we decided that it needed to be here.
I feel like Mobile over the last few years has grown leaps and bounds in terms of the athletic community, sports community, so it seemed like a good fit.
Marcus: I guess the general premise is that just like if you were to apply ice to it, that it's reducing the inflammation and so ...
Sam: Well, it's much colder than ice.
Sam: And it does it much faster.
Sam: So it's get on negative 200 Fahrenheit.
Marcus: Yep. You heard that right. Say that again, negative ...
Sam: 200 Fahrenheit. It gets colder than any recorded temperature on Earth.
Marcus: That's pretty wild.
Sam: It gets pretty cold, but there are different levels. There are three different levels of cold, so you don't have to do the highest level of cold.
Sam: Yeah. We ease you into it.
Marcus: Yeah, slow torture versus quick torture. But I do know that you put limitations. You're not in this thing for a long time, which is I think-
Sam: Three minutes is the max.
Marcus: ... yeah, the problem with ice baths is that you have to ... Usually, it's what? Five minutes and one or two minutes out, then five minutes. And you're in there for a long time, whereas with this, it's like you're in, you're out, and that's it. And it affects the whole body.
Sam: Correct, correct. Right. And because it's not a wet cold, it's a dry cold, it isn't as painful. It really isn't.
Marcus: Yeah, yeah.
Sam: We do have localized cryotherapy so you don't have to opt for a whole body option if it's not something you feel you want to do. Then there are some pre-existing conditions with the whole body that some people can't do, and they can do localized.
Marcus: So what have they found the benefits to be? I know but explain to the people that are listening, what they ...
Sam: The biggest thing it does is it reduces inflammation like pretty tremendously with one session. You're looking at a good reduction in inflammation 30%, 40%. That's the biggest thing it does. With the whole body, you have that whole body blood circulation as well, so while you're in there all that blood is going to rush from the surface of your skin to your internal organs. It does that to protect them. It's your body's natural response to cold, but when you come out, you warm up immediately, and all that blood is rushing right back to warm you up. But now it's new fresh oxidated circulated blood. What your body naturally circulates in 24 hours, that just did in three minutes. That's what increases the metabolism. It gives you that endorphin release and increases your energy for the rest of the day. So, those are some other good benefits to it, but the inflammation reduction is the biggest thing.
Marcus: My father had a heart attack when he was in his forties, and so I've, over the years been, very aware of all the various things that they're saying around heart diseases and cholesterol and all those things. And it's interesting to me now because what they're saying is that it's not really the cholesterol. It's more of just the general inflammation that people are dealing with and that the plaque on your arteries and stuff like that is a symptom of inflammation in general. When I stumbled across cryotherapy, it was more along those lines of reducing inflammation as a whole, and there are some supplements that I take, in general, just to help keep inflammation down, but that's what it's interesting-
Beth: We have a lot of autoimmune diseases too that increase inflammation past the point where a person is comfortable. So, whole body cryotherapy with Hashimoto's and fibromyalgia and those types of things-
Marcus: Rheumatoid arthritis and stuff like that.
Beth: Yeah, yeah. And it can really drastically help a person unmedically, without medication, to manage that inflammation that's more so than you and I have to deal with.
Sam: And the technology was actually originally developed for rheumatoid arthritis patients. It gets a lot of its hype and it's more mainstream in the athlete-
Marcus: Athletics and stuff
Sam: And the movies and stuff, yeah.
Marcus: I was telling Beth, and the way that I heard about it, I think was listening to Joe Rogan's podcast and he was talking about it. It was either [Hammerton Faris 00:08:39] or one of those guys. And they were talking about how they had started using it. At the time I don't think you guys existed and so, I just put it off, but I definitely want to get out and give it a shot, so ...
Do you remember, I mean, obviously, where was the closest one? 'Cause there's not ...
Sam: Pensacola had just opened up.
Marcus: Is that where you went to go see...
Sam: We tried Pensacola shop. She probably has figured that.
Marcus: Well, I mean, yeah. The first time that you step in had to be kind of shock. I mean ...
Sam: It's different.
Marcus: At that point in time you're thinking, will this fly in Mobile? What was some of your thought process as you're going down that path? 'Cause this is not ... Most people know about going to a doctor. Most people know about [inaudible 00:09:38] pops and Advil because I think are better.
Marcus: This is an area that a lot of people don't consider.
Beth: I knew going into it that education was going to be really important. I knew going into it, it was going to be different, unusual, people were going to be nervous about it, but if we could educate and get people in for them to understand that Mobile was ready for it health-wise. And more than Mobile was ready for it, Mobile needed it. Mobile still needs it with the opioid epidemic and just everything going on as a nation with diet and exercise and all that, Mobile needed it. So the fact that they didn't have one was a big indication to me, and they needed one that it was somewhere we could get in.
Marcus: How have you found business to be? And I mean that in the general sense, not this business, but you're both from a business degree background, but I often times find that as people go into business for themselves, that there's some differences in what they thought it was versus what it actually is.
Sam: Well, for me, absolutely because this is my first business, and my first time actually doing that. For Beth, I guess, there's less surprises.
Beth: Yeah. It's always harder than you think it's going to be. You always have a way that it's going to roll in your head, and then you just tackle these challenges as they come, and that's what makes it so awesome.
Marcus: So keep in mind that our audience is business-oriented, hustler, entrepreneurial, kind of audience. What were some of the things that you went in thinking that have since changed?
Sam: That we went in thinking that have since changed? So, how daunting cryotherapy can be for some people, how scary it can be for some people.
Sam: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, yeah. A lot of people-
Sam: Yeah, not everyone's tough like you.
Marcus: I wouldn't say that. It's just that last week I was in Denver and I was all bumbled up and one of the people that we were with was from Denver and she had a tank top and flip flops on, so ...
Sam: So pretty much ... I'd say a good 70% of the people are like, "I hate cold. I hate it," and I was like, "I don't get it. We're all from Mobile. This is why we're here. We don't want to leave the coast," but it's not that painful. It is only three minutes, and you feel so much better. It's worth it. And that's a big reason why we brought the localized cryotherapy in. I would say we're almost that 50% of our sessions are localized now.
Sam: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Marcus: Because people don't want to go "whole-hog".
Sam: Well, I mean, and because now it's introduced and brought all these people who were scared to do the whole body.
Beth: It just opens up a new client for us that otherwise would not have come in.
Marcus: What else? You come from a marketing background and obviously, both of you are smart young ladies, and there any other aspects of running a business that ... What are some of the lessons learned in the first? 'Cause it's been about a year now, right?
Sam: Yeah, and I'm still learning. That you can't drag yourself down with a bunch of small tedious tasks. I got to ... huh? What? Stop. Why are you making faces?
Beth: 'Cause that's such growth.
Sam: Yeah, and I tend to ... Because I'm like, "Okay, I have to do everything. I have to do everything myself. I need to delegate that. The people that we have there working with us" ... Yeah. I mean, if something needs to be fixed in a client's profile, instead of me just saying, me doing it, and just saying I will take care of this, I need to make sure they know how to do it so I can make them do it.
Marcus: Train them once and guide them versus doing it for them forever. Yeah, I would agree with you. To the effect that I can duplicate myself, 'cause when I started it was just me, to the effect that I can duplicate myself it allows me to focus on other things. I would imagine since education is such an important aspect that you all are the brand ambassadors and the people that are doing that education, so the effect that you cannot deal with the minutia, the detail or the [crosstalk 00:14:06] of details, 'cause the details are important, but the minutia, then it's better.
Beth: And for me it's communication. So, I come from owning another business and other things where I'm a one-man show, and it's all in my head and I won't have to communicate anything 'cause I just know it. So having a business partner and employees that I'm having to manage and deal with, for me, my biggest learning key has been extra communication opposed to assumption and just keeping it in my head and thinking I've said it out loud, but not actually saying it out loud.
Marcus: One of the questions I always ask is if you were talking to someone who was looking to start their own business or was interested in that, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?
Sam: Don't do cryotherapy.
Marcus: No competition.
Sam: Yeah, basically. Have a plan.
Beth: That's what I was going to say.
Sam: Yeah, but at the same time, like Beth always says, because I'm more of a perfectionist, you can't wait till everything is perfect to actually do it. Just start doing it, and the rest will fall into place as you go. Yeah.
Marcus: There is no perfect plan, right?
Beth: You just roll with it, and have fun while you're doing it. The whole point is to make money and have fun. You can get bogged down and all of these things that don't matter, and are things that are consequential to making money and having fun. And you got to know why you're getting into business, why you're really getting into business, and people are doing it to make money and have fun, really, in my opinion. So, keep doing that. And if it stops being fun, make it fun again.
Marcus: One of the questions I like to ask is whether there are any books or resources that you've found helpful when running the business? What would you say to that?
Beth: What book were we going through and I was highlighting stuff and telling you 'cause you didn't have time, it was something in the digital age. Do you remember that?
Beth: I think it was How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age, and that goes to social media and stuff.
Marcus: I did not know that they updated that book.
Beth: Yes, they did it for social, you know ...
Beth: Yeah, for ... I guess we're not millennials. What are we?
Sam: I think this is one of those times where you think you said something ...
Beth: I did. I would highlight stuff and go through it. Anyway ... So, and then I also love blogs, so, Reddit, anything. They have different subreddits on entrepreneurship, and they even have a cryotherapy one that I'll read every once in a while and ...
Marcus: I'm aware of Reddit, but I've not checked it out for entrepreneurship, so that's interesting. I'll have to check that out.
Beth: So they have an entire sub-Reddit on entrepreneurship, and it goes through all different kinds of businesses and I love reading about all. I just love business, general stuff. I love reading about all the different types of businesses and that. They have a stock Reddit that's really good.
Marcus: A stock Reddit?
Beth: About stocks. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Marcus: Interesting. And there's basically a Reddit for anything you can imagine, but I'll have to check that out because I've not seen that subreddit. For those of you that aren't familiar, Reddit is actually a website where you can go there and post questions and people will answer them. Well, it's R-E-D-D-I-T-T? Or is it just one T?
Beth: I think it's just one T.
Marcus: Just one T. So, R-E-D-D-I-T.com, but you go there, and there's like subreddits for cat memes and cute puppy dogs. It's just like a lot of silliness, but there are also legitimate subreddits where you can go in and find out more about a topic. What do you guys like to do in your free time? I know ...
Sam: That's hilarious.
Marcus: Yeah, I know you both have kids.
Sam: That was a joke, wasn't it?
Marcus: So, I hesitate between owning a business and having a family. But that gets a little bit crazy, but ...
Sam: Yeah, and I'm on three boards that I like to-
Marcus: Which boards are you on?
Beth: I'm in the Family Center with [inaudible 00:18:18], on The Grounds, which we have a fair next week.
Marcus: So that's keeping you busy too.
Beth: A-ha. And then, my neighborhood, which ...
Sam: Do you call that your free time? You call that your free time? Being on these three boards, that's your free time?
Beth: I guess so. I guess that's the-
Marcus: No beach time? No time at the Y exercising? No ... you've got to have some way to blow off some steam. If you don't, then we need to talk after this podcast.
Beth: Yeah, I'm like ...
Sam: Why don't you give us advice.
Marcus: Yeah, I'm going to. All right, we'll continue this conversation afterward 'cause this could be dangerous.
Sam: For me it's vacations. I will take a vacation in a heartbeat. I do not care about going out of town for a week, going out of town for 10 days, like, "The ship will sail. I'm gone."
I think I've learned that I come back so much better, so much refreshed. A lot of times I'll get new ideas on a vacation. I come back going, "We need to do this for our next [inaudible 00:19:19]."
Marcus: What is your favorite place to go?
Beth: No, where isn't my favorite place to go? Well, right now I would say the mountains 'cause it's October. I love to be in Tennessee right now. Aside from that, anywhere with blue water. I'm a beach girl.
Marcus: Yeah, you're in a good spot for that.
Marcus: Yeah. So, tell people where they can find you. Physical address, phone number, Facebook, website...
Sam: 6345 Airport Boulevard. We're in the Piccadilly Square Shopping Center.
Beth: Phone number.
Sam: And our phone number is 251-345-4600.
Beth: Yeah, and we're on Facebook.
Sam: And it's Mobile-cryotherapy.com. We're on Facebook. We're on YouTube. We're on Instagram. And I have to say our website is pretty great. So if you still feel like you don't have an understanding of cryotherapy, we have FAQs. We have benefits of all the different things that we offer. I think it's a really great website as a resource to learn about it.
Marcus: Very cool. Well, I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast. To wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?
Beth: That wasn't as painful as I thought.
Sam: And that is what everybody says when they get out of a cryotherapy chamber.
Beth: That was not [crosstalk 00:20:45].
Marcus: Well, it's also what everybody says when they finish a podcast, so there's a lot of similarities.
Sam: A lot of similarities. So we have a lot more similarities than we do differences. It's just three minutes, right?
Marcus: This was a little bit longer than three minutes. This is usually 25 or so minutes, but I think we're right around there. But, it's funny how people come to be on the podcast, and you can almost see them vibrating from being so nervous. They'll have notes and all kinds of stuff.
Marcus: And it's like... I mean, some people they want to feel that they're...
Sam: Yeah, they need to be prepared.
Marcus: It's like their blankie. I tell people that it's usually just like you're having a conversation with somebody at dinner or something like that. So anyway, to wrap up, I just wanted to say I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as business owners and entrepreneurs. It's been great talking with you.
Sam: Thank you.
Marcus: Thank you.
Beth: Thank you for having us.