Guest Post by Jess Weagle of Deep Relief Massage Therapy.
If I started my massage therapy business over, what I would do differently…Sometimes I think back to the days as a new therapist and I shutter at the thought at the things I have done and said to clients and employers.
When I first got out of school in 2001 I was all gun ho about working for a chiropractor, working in a spa was beneath the skills I had learned in massage school. I was a very ego driven 21 year old when I got out of school.
I was never able to even get an interview at a chiropractors office so I was forced to apply to all my area spas. And I will never forget this interview.
So my potential employer and I are sitting chatting about the job and she asks what’s your ideal work environment? And without even thinking about the words that where about to come out of my mouth I said
“Working in a chiropractors office is my ideal place a spa is not my first choice”
Need less to say I didn’t get that job. And lesson learned never tell a potential employer that there are not your first choice.
This is a funny story about how I did not know how to make up a table when I got out of school. While I was in school my only real experience with making up the table was during hands on class. So for those of you who don’t know in massage school hands on is done in one big class room and you put the bottom sheet on the table and you get undress and wrap the top sheet around you like a toga. Than you get on the table with the sheet wrapped around you.
Well this was the way I have been taught for 12 months. I had no clue that you where so post to put the top sheet on the table.
Fast forward to getting out in the working world. I laugh at the thought that I would have my clients get undressed in the bathroom walk out in public with the sheet wrapped around them and them get on the table in the massage room. Know wonder clients looked at me funny & no wonder a lot never came back. And no one ever question why I was having clients undress in the bathroom.
Than one day I had a client name Ruth come in, God bless her soul, she question me ! Ruth says in a nice way, “Why the heck are you having me undress in the bathroom?”
And I said “Because that is what I had always done in school”
And Ruth fires back ” This is the real world Honey that is not how you get a client on the table”
Then Ruth shows me how to make up a table the proper way.
My first of many lessons learned by one of my clients.
And my last big mistake was not opening my own place sooner. I work for other people from 2001 – 2009 and those where very unhappy working years for me. One of the biggest reason I wanted to be a massage therapist was so I could be my own boss and somehow I got stuck in this rut that I needed to work for other people. When I was working for other people I didn’t feel like I couldn’t be the type of therapist I knew I wanted to be. I always felt like I was being held back. And it wasn’t until I had a huge falling out with a former employer that I finally had the courage to open my own place. That falling out was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Jess Weagle has been a massage therapist since 2001 and she owns her own private practice Deep Relief Massage Therapy located in West Boylston, MA. She also helps teach solo massage therapists grow their practice on limited funds over at Solo Massage Therapist Business Guide