Posts tagged start over
Guest Post by Felicia Brown of Spalutions.
If I could start my massage career over today, knowing what I know now, I would do these things differently.
Guest Post by Laura Norman of Laura Norman Reflexology.
If I could start my massage career over today, knowing what I know now, I would do these things differently.
Laura Norman is a world-renowned authority in Reflexology, and an educator with 3 Masters degrees in education. She is the author of the best-selling book, Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, which has sold nearly half a million copies, and is published in several languages. In addition to being a Nationally Certified Reflexologist, Laura is also a Licensed Massage Therapist, Esthetician and Life Wellness Coach.
Laura and her certified instructors have trained thousands of reflexologists in 22 cities around the U.S., and her students come from around the world to study her unique multi-faceted approach that spans the scientific, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of wellness.
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
Guest Post by Gary Blackden of GTS Therapeutics
I began my massage adventure early in ‘massage as a career’ timeline. Alternative medicine wasn’t as common as it is today, and early on I often found myself explaining benefits of massage to someone who was looking at me like I had three heads. If I had it to do over again, much of what I would do differently has to do with planning and long term career growth.
1. I would develop a strong network of peers right out of the gate. Part of finding satisfaction on a career path is having others around you, who are on a similar path. I was in the field for several years before I met my massage therapist wife and we started our first private practice in Northern Virginia. We surrounded ourselves with other bodywork professionals, and have kept in touch with them over the years as well. We were all able to share experiences with clients, new developments in the area and industry, insights about classes we took, as well as ideas for professional development. Social media helps to make this type of interaction and exchange available to even the new kids on the block. Through social media, in addition to camaraderie, we are able to see how others are really moving our profession into growth and development. Interacting about marketing, business skills and creative approaches to old issues in our field is truly one of the most amazing aspects to social media.
2. Approaching my plan for professional development would be another key I would like to have started earlier. After leaving massage school, there are so many options for continuing education. If I could start over, I would make a plan for the specific classes I wanted to incorporate into my developing skill set. I took some classes that were not as applicable to the market I best serve, and have worked with for years now. Had I laid out my plan for the market or issues that I wanted to address thoroughly, I could have applied my time and money to additional classes that would give me tools to help that population sooner.
3. Last, but not least, I would have found a business mentor sooner. Filling my business toolbox, with assistance from a successful business owner, not necessarily in massage therapy, would have saved me time and money in the beginning. It is important to understand how to run a massage business. There are many important industry specific pitfalls, particularly in marketing, but many skills necessary to run a successful and profitable business cross industry lines. When you understand how to start and run a profitable and sustainable business, that skill set can be applied across many different industries.
Gary Blackden and his wife have started and sold three businesses, including two multi-therapist massage practices. He has been in the massage field since 1995, serving individuals in chronic pain and those who wish to enhance their athletic performance. Gary can be found on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, chatting it up.
Guest Post by Julie Onofrio of Downtown Seattle Massage
If I were to start my massage career over today, I would do these three things differently….
There are so many things that I wish I had done differently. Most things though really have to do with the many tools and resources that are available today – Websites, Facebook, online scheduling, Twitter that were not available in 1989 when I started my business! Basically there was nothing at that time – not many books, no coaches and had never heard of Supervision. I learned by talking to my friends who I connected with – we learned many things together by doing and failing or doing and getting clients.
I guess the main thing though is how I think about my massage business. It took me until about 10 years ago that I really saw that it was a business. In the beginning I lived simply and didn’t need a lot to live on. I didn’t care about making money really since I didn’t need much but I wasn’t putting anything away for retirement or savings. I also was caught up in the idea that “It isn’t about the money”. After 25 years, I am working to dispel that myth for massage therapists. It is about the money! You need money to be able to pay the bills, take nice vacations and save for retirement! It isn’t about greed and sales and living out of integrity. You can have a very lucrative massage business and care about clients! You are paid for your time – your time away from your life and family. The caring is free!
I would get a Supervisior/Mentor to help right from the start. I found the process of Supervision about 10 years ago. Through that process, it has really helped me get in touch with the reasons why I always felt like I needed to help. The ‘helping’ was at the expense of my retirement account! I had lower than usual fees, didn’t charge for no shows or cancellations and things like that. I thought it would look like I was not caring if I did those things. The process of supervision is working one on one with a more experienced massage therapist to help look at issues like that that come up on a daily basis and throughout your career. You can use it to address any and all concerns and issues – everything from honing your techniques, learning to maintain your boundaries in difficult situations like working with insurance companies and things like that. The more you are able to create boundaries and enforce them, the easier your practice will go. With that also goes learning that you don’t have to and actually should not work on every one that calls! Creating a vision of what your ideal client looks like and learning to attract that person to your business is also part of this. Your ideal client is someone who is nurturing (for yourself) to work with. When you work with less than your ideal client – you will feel drained and often eventually resentful.
My other passion is having a website. It has to be a search engine optimized and content rich website. That way you can easily attract ‘your ideal client’. It has to show up on the top of the first page of Google results. Once it does, then it also has to get people to click on the link. There are simple things that you can do to make that happen. Once they get to your website, it needs to tell them what you are going to do for them. So often sites start out with things like the old benefits of massage or massage has been around for 5000 years or something about the Massage Therapist. People don’t really care about any of that! They only care about what is in it for them! Your website needs about 50-100 pages of content – information about what massage does and how it works on various conditions and how different techniques work. The only think I do to market myself is use my website. I also have it fitted with a Twitter feed that tells clients when I have an opening and it works like a charm to fill openings each week and last minute cancellations. I write about websites and how to create them because I really believe if people put the time into making one that works – one that gets you new clients everyday – you won’t have to do much else!!!
Is that 3? I get carried away!
Julie Onofrio, LMP has been a self employed massage therapist since 1987 and has also created many websites for the massage profession to help people start and run a successful business, find higher paying jobs and learn about careers in massage. The Bodyworker is basically my notes from massage school to help students with their studies. Massage Career Guides provides information for people looking into careers in massage as well as help for finding higher paying jobs and starting and running a business. I also have a busy Facebook page where people are welcome to ask questions for me and all the followers to answer!
Guest Post by Susan Epperly of Tiger Lily Studios
|“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” ~Vernon Law|
“If I could start over again, I would do these 3 things differently (OK, 4 things…)”
Generally speaking, I’m really not a fan of dwelling on what I call “Shoulda, coulda, wouldas.” And I try to bite my tongue whenever I hear myself starting to say, “I wish I had…,” “If only I hadn’t…,” or “Why didn’t I…” The so-called mistakes that my husband and business partner, Shane, and I have made in our massage therapy careers have paved the (admittedly, sometimes pothole-filled) path to the thriving private practice that we now enjoy.
While I do believe that getting mired down in the regrets of the past is a big, fat waste of time, I also realize that honest reflection and a constructive evaluation of our past can not only help us direct our own futures, but also help others, who may just be starting out on the route that we’ve already traveled. And it’s a good feeling to be able to drop a few “breadcrumbs” along the way for those who may be coming along behind us.
So, in the interest of playing “Karmic tour guide,” and hopefully helping some folks who may be making their way down the path behind us, I’ve suspended my distain for “shoulda, couldas, wouldas,” and compiled a handful of thoughts on some things that I wish I had known before we embarked upon our adventures in massage therapy.
1. I wish I had known that my life as a Massage Therapist would, in no way, resemble that of Phoebe’s on “Friends.” This sounds dumb, I know, but let me explain. When I enrolled in massage school, I was looking forward to a low-stress, easy-going lifestyle and work environment. The reality is that while it is relatively low-stress and easy going, it’ ain’t easy. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I love my life. But Shane & I work really hard. We work all the time. We’ve worked harder in this industry than we’ve worked in any other industry with which we’ve been involved. Unlike Phoebe, we spend precious little time sitting in coffee shops chatting with friends, drinking lattes, and leisurely writing goofy folk songs and strumming on our guitars. Part of this, admittedly, is due to the fact that we are, by nature, hyperactive, over-achieving, über-particular workaholics (more like Monica, really), and even becoming Massage Therapists could not squelch that inherent tendency. But we’ve also discovered that being successful private practitioners in a world of corporately-owned chains requires an unparalleled level of commitment to quality, customer care, and professionalism (which means long hours, and significant and consistent investments in our practice of time, energy, and money). But, to borrow the Peace Corps’ slogan, I still believe that being a Massage Therapist is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.” Don’t, for even a moment, think that being a successful private practitioner will be easy, but then again, nothing worthwhile ever is.
2. I wish I had understood earlier the enormous role that technology and social media would play in operating a successful private practice. I remember when Shane and I attended one of the first classes of our Massage Therapy program, the instructor had asked us all to introduce ourselves and share our reasons for being there. I remember saying something about the fact that I had been looking for a career that was more organically-driven, rather than technologically-driven. While, as Massage Therapists, most of our attention is focused on the organic nature of human bodies, and the foundation of our practice is manual therapy, Shane and I have realized that incorporating technology into our treatment rooms has not only expanded our ability to resolve our clients’ pain complaints more quickly, more efficiently, and often more comfortably, but also allowed us to work more hours, see more clients, increase our income, and protect the longevity of our careers. And technology has also played an enormous role in the cultivation of our practice, in terms of our business and our “brand culture.” Social media engagement, e-mail marketing, website design and management, the utilization of an online booking system, the implementation of online social buying sites, and an endless list of other internet-based technologies have allowed us to acquire new clients, maintain a dialogue with existing clients, and nourish our brand culture. Don’t underestimate the necessity of embracing technology and social media. Stubbornly turning your back on technological advancements will do nothing but leave you in a plume of dust created by the practitioners who are charging into the new reality of conducting business.
3. I wish I had incorporated all of my talents into my massage therapy endeavors much sooner. If you want to cultivate not only a successful private practice, but also a fulfilling one, don’t neglect your other passions. Instead, invite them into your massage therapy endeavors. My first loves are art, crafting, writing, decorating, and anything else that revolves around creativity. Shane is a photographer, and loves still photography, videography, film, graphic design, and photo & video editing. It took us a little while to figure out that these activities deserved a significant role in our new life as Massage Therapists – not as mere hobbies that would provide us with something to do during our down time, but as talents that would give us an edge in our massage therapy practice. Instead of denying ourselves the joy of engaging in these creative passions on a regular basis, we’ve made a conscientious decision to make these loves and talents an integral component of our massage practice. Not just something that we’ve “tacked on” to the larger “body of work” that is our practice (excuse the pun), but rather a core element that is actually woven throughout the fabric of all of our endeavors. My artwork, writing, and crafting skills and Shane’s photo and video talents have become the backbone of our signature marketing materials. The catchy slogans that we use; the creative “bulletin board” style promotional posters that are displayed in our lobby; the hand-made fizzing bath bombs that our clients take home with them after their appointments; our client e-mail newsletters, filled with original articles and other content; the seasonal promotional favors that we distribute; the vlogs and educational videos that we produce; the original paintings, collages, and photos that hang on our clinic walls – they are all key elements of the brand culture that we have cultivated, and they all rely on skills that might seem “irrelevant” to massage therapy. But that’s just it – whatever your “special purpose” may be (please contain your giggles, Steve Martin fans), regardless of how little it may seem to have in common with massage, you will realize an exponential level of success if you make a conscious decision to bring those talents in from the cold and integrate them into your practice. Sometimes it can take some unconventional thinking to figure out how, exactly, those talents can play a meaningful role in your massage therapy endeavors, but remember that, as a private practitioner, you are not only selling your therapeutic abilities, but yourself – your personality, your nature, your character. If that “self” includes a passion for marching bands, banzai trees, Boston Terriers, astronomy, Harleys, or whatever, embracing that and unabashedly incorporating those interests into your business will make for a more authentic brand culture and a more successful practice. Don’t sequester your passions from one another. Let them interact and comingle, and they’ll all become more fully realized as a result.
4. I wish I had understood the degree to which our former professional incarnations would contribute to and inform our massage therapy endeavors. Don’t rely (exclusively) on the massage therapy industry to provide you with leadership in the area of business. In other words, cast a wider net when it comes to fishing for business guidance. An article need not have the word “massage” in the title in order to be relevant or helpful to your business (and, in fact, in many cases, it shouldn’t). Shane and I have been married for seventeen years now, and we’ve been self-employed and have worked together in various industries throughout the entirety of our time together. We’ve operated an historic movie theater in the Pacific Northwest; we’ve taught English as a foreign language and worked as freelance newspaper writers and photographers in Asia; we’ve designed websites and logos from the comfort of our Airstream trailer, which, at the time, was criss-crossing its way across the continental United States (about seven times, in total!). Believe it or not, we’ve managed to draw invaluable lessons, tips, and insight from each and every one of these experiences, which we’ve subsequently been able to apply to our most recent incarnation as Massage Therapists. And however long, short, varied, or limited your job history and list of life experiences may be, I suggest that you do the same. But in addition to drawing on your own past experiences in other jobs and industries, I also can’t understate the importance of looking to industries with which you have no experience, and which also may have no apparent relevance to massage therapy, and harvesting those industries for insight that will help you grow your business. Shane and I have found ourselves investigating and analyzing the intricacies of all manner of previously unfamiliar industries in order to optimize our own massage therapy practice. Reading massage industry magazines is, no doubt, important and can be tremendously helpful. Reading “how-to” books by Massage Therapists that are intended to help you build your business can, indeed, provide beneficial insight. But don’t stop there. Don’t take those authors’ words as The Gospel. Be sure to expand your business acumen by reading articles, books, and blogs that have been written with all types of entrepreneurs in mind, and think creatively about how the lessons offered by thought leaders in other industries can be applied to your own situation. Don’t take only classes that will provide you with continuing education credit. See if your city has a small business development group that offers classes. Take business classes at your local community college, whether you’ll get CE credit for it or not. Don’t do it out of obligation. Do it out of a desire to excel as a business person. Doing so will not only help you create an exceptionally successful practice, but may also lead you to becoming a well-informed thought leader in your own industry.
So there you have them: a few bread crumbs that I hope will make your journey a little easier. Thanks, Linda, for asking me to toss them out.
Susan Epperly and her husband, Shane Epperly, have been practicing massage since 2006 and have a private Clinical Massage Therapy practice in the fabulously funky “SoCo” District of Austin, Texas. They specialize in pain relief through Clinical Massage Therapy. They are also both Licensed Massage Therapy Instructors, and Co-Owners of Tiger Lily Studios, through which they produce and distribute top-notch educational products for health & wellness practitioners. Their collection currently includes instructional videos on Spray & Stretch muscular release techniques and Chinese Negative Pressure Facial Cupping, as well as an audio book on using “daily deal” sites such as Groupon to promote one’s massage therapy or other wellness practice. More information on Susan & Shane’s practice and products can be obtained at http://www.TigerLilyStudios.com.
Guest Post by Bobbi Payne of Bodywork by Bobbi
If I could start over on my journey with massage therapy, here are 3 things that I would have done differently or realized sooner:
1. I’d of started out in my own office space from day one. I would not have rented space from another practitioner at all. I was told in school that this was what I had to do to build up my clientele. I now know this to be a fallacy for myself and those driven to succeed with a vision, but probably truth for those telling it to me.
2. Realize that my personal growth and my professional growth are not separate, but very much interconnected. When you work on one, the other is impacted as well. Now I seek out inspiration in both avenues, daily.
2.5- Surround myself with people who contribute to my quality of life, I can learn from, who can inspire me and ideally, I can do the same for. Again, in both my professional realm, and in my personal life.
3. Trading is great, but paying for your massages is so much better. Trust me. It just is.
Bobbi is a massage therapist, business owner, and life inspirer. She’s raising the bar of professionalism & quality of service for massage therapy in Rochester, NY and if you’re not on board, your clients are scheduling on her website as we speak. She thinks massage students & recent grads need more support and inspiration, so she’s changing that game, too.
Guest Post by Tiffany Blackden of GTS Therapeutics, LLC
If I started my massage therapy business over, what I would do differently…
When I started my massage therapy business, I was in my late twenties. The reason I went into massage therapy was related to five solid years of back pain, which was not resolved by the endless specialists and physical therapists I saw, but by bodywork, stretching and learning about biomechanics. I had already traveled through a few careers, on the journey to my ultimate happiness in health related entrepreneurship. Those years included several years in sales and marketing, which offered me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone time and again, as well as the clarity that I did NOT want to be in a career which forced me to ‘sell’ ANYTHING. Going through massage school I had my ultimate goal in mind of running my own practice, and creating a space for other holistic practitioners to work together. I wanted it to happen sooner than later. I also was dropping my safety net…I had to be making full time massage income right out of school, since the person replacing me was starting right after I graduated. With that massage business marketing plan in mind, I knew I’d need to be deliberate in my time spent marketing while I was in school, so I could hit the ground running after graduation.
My goal through massage school was getting my hands on as many people as possible, and giving them every reason to refer me to all their friends. I worked full time as a chiropractic assistant, while going through my 10 month massage therapy program. An exhausting experience, but with the help of some specific massage student marketing strategies, I came out of school with 25 hours of massage a week on the books. What I would do differently in executing my initial massage business marketing plan had to do with being my own advocate about money.
So, here it is,
1. I would have negotiated a better percentage in the office I was working in, based on my willingness to execute a lot of marketing to fill my own schedule. A couple of other therapists in the office also had the benefit of my overflow within weeks after I was out of school. The number of massage hours going through the office more than doubled after I started…yet, I was too ‘agreeable’ to stand up for myself as a rookie. I knew in my gut that my value to the bottom line of that office was far higher than the other therapists in the office, from a marketing perspective. They were AMAZING therapists…but they did nothing to fill their hours. I left that office after one year to start my practice with my husband, also a massage therapist, who I met and married in the year after graduating massage school. That year I made someone else a LOT of money, with clients on MY table, as well as others in the office, and referrals to the chiropractic and acupuncture services in the office as well. Since this experience, I’ve heard of therapists in other offices getting paid up to 20%(!) more than I was getting paid at that office. Why? They weren’t necessarily far superior or even filled their schedule like I did…BUT, they had the nerve to negotiate something that worked for them.
2. On a slightly different note, but also related to money, we would have started our massage websites much earlier. Having a marketing medium that allows our target market to find us month after month is invaluable.
3. On the income side, we were in our fourth year owning a clinic before we created our Couples Massage DVD. That project was our first big project aimed at creating passive income. It was nearly six years in before we started creating other online income. Passive income through advertising, selling digital products and affiliate marketing has changed our financial world. We were able to take more time off to spend time with our family, enjoy fantastic vacations and share what we knew, because we had a venue to speak to those who were looking for solutions. Sharing what you know, whether it’s with a class, a book or a digital product, offers you an opportunity to free you up from the time for money exchange to take time off for other things. It’s important to remember that none of us really wants to ‘just get by’. We want to thrive. We want to be able to help a friend in need, or maybe take a vacation, or not sweat it when our car needs to be fixed. If sharing your gift gives you that possibility, plus the ability to help others through doing what you love…that’s where we find a magic space of feeling truly fulfilled and free.
Tiffany Blackden of GTS Therapeutics has been doing massage for 12 years. She and her husband, Gary, have built and run multi-therapist massage practices in different cities in the country. They love to share their experience, good and bad, for the benefit of other therapists who are focused on growing a successful practice. Their primary focus now is on helping massage therapists make money online, or offline with classes, by sharing their knowledge, instead of just their hands.
“If you could go back to the start of your massage career, what 3 things would you change and why?”
I wouldn’t change a thing. Every mistake I have made, every misstep I have taken has lead me to this point in my fifteen–plus year career, and in my life. I believe that all of this has played out in order for me to assist others in not making some of the mistakes I made, and for them to be able to reach their dreams and goals with much greater ease then I did. Suffering is not necessary, and is in fact, counterintuitive to building success at this. Coaching Massage Therapists has now given me proof that, with the right actions, one can be successful in this profession rather quickly. Now, having said all that… there are three lessons I learned through out my career that I would love to see other Massage Therapists learn the easy way, rather then the hard way, as I did.
1. Money is not the root of all that is evil. Being a “money-monk” or one of the many “noble poverty” believers in this profession will only keep you poor. Being poor is exhausting. Being exhausted leaves no room for taking care of your clients to the level that is necessary to build a clientele, whether you are working for someone else or yourself. Basically, you will sooner, rather then later, be of little benefit to yourself, your friends and family, or your clients with your vow of poverty. While poverty in itself is not bad, it is not a goal to strive for. It is the easy way out. It is a cover up for not reaching for your dreams, for not putting your light in the world. So stop pretending that poverty is noble. And be concerned about the influence of anyone who tells you it is. Likewise, be wary of anyone who mocks your desire to be financially secure and stable. They, most likely have not experienced the freedom to give back to the world and community that money (abundance) provides.
2. Surround yourself with people who dream big, take action, and support you in doing so. I’m not talking about people who support you in blabbering on and on about what you “will” do or “want to do” but those who support you in “DOING” the things you need to do to fulfill your dreams and goals. I once had a friend look me in the eyes and say “I think your full of sh*t. I don’t think you’ll ever write a book. I want to believe you, but where’s your proof? You’ve been talking about writing a book for years. Talk is cheap.” Her words stung. They took my breath away, but they rang true from a place of love. I had become complacent in my other accomplishments and somehow felt I could hide behind those. “See, I create and accomplish” I would think as I reached goals as a Massage Therapist and business owner that didn’t scare me half as much as the idea of being an author. Thank goodness my friend called me out. One year later I published “The Magic touch: How to Make a $100,000 per year as a Massage Therapist” and owe much of that to her and Forbes 500 clients who supported me in taking action, whereas most of the members of my family or current associates couldn’t see far enough outside of the box to support my vision, or were in disbelief that I could accomplish such a thing based on feelings of their own inadequacies. While we can’t choose our families, we most certainly can choose our friends and mentors. Learning to choose wisely early on in our profession and our day-to-day life, makes all the difference.
3. Striving to be exceptional is a worthy goal. We are not in high school anymore. It’s okay to let your inner “nerd” “geek” or “leader” come out of the closet. Be passionate about what you are doing and who you are being in life. This is not a dress rehearsal. If you are going to be a Massage Therapist for one day or 80 years, give each day your all. Challenge yourself by setting new goals that feel just outside your comfort zone. Put one foot in front of the other to meet that goal, set a new one. Change the programming in your mind that has burned a path of bad habits through your brain that says “I can’t”, I “don’t want to”, “I don’t know how” into “how is this possible if it meant my life depended on it?” Because in many ways, your life does depend on the little stuff. You are not who you were yesterday, or the day before. You are standing in endless possibility right now. Whatever you want in the future can be had by the habits you develop today. I hear too many massage Therapists, massage instructors and even mentors complain of what “can’t” be done in this industry. An industry that is still in its infancy here in the U.S. An industry that brings in $11 billion dollars per year in this country, in fact. I see these people say “that’s not possible” in an angry tone about making $100K as a Massage Therapist, or “it’s too difficult” when it comes to billing auto insurance. The list goes on forever of the number of “I cant do that because…” I hear from massage therapists who gave up trying or never did try in the first place. And I sadly observe, how other easily influenced massage therapists spread the same message as gospel, rather then try for himself/herself. But on the flip side is a whole lot of massage therapists who are so successful they don’t have time to be spreading doom and gloom. Their practices are busy and they are constantly involved in the task of creating new goals and conquering them. These people let their inner nerd come out. They are focused on their goals of giving a superior massage, delivering exceptional service, marketing effectively, and continuously strive for better. Better for their clients, their businesses and themselves. At the end of the day, it’s one of them you want to be, not one of the ones who stopped them selves short of their dreams.
Meagan Holub has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1995, and Celebrity Massage Therapist for the second half of her career. Meagan has authored two books on how to make $100,000 per year as a Massage Therapist “The Magic Touch’ and “More of the Magic Touch”, has mentored over 100 massage therapists, written for and been featured in Massage industry magazines, and the world’s #1 selling fashion magazine. She currently owns and operates MASSAGE LA (www.massagela.com), is building the world’s most comprehensive on-line directory of Massage Therapists (eMassage.co) and writing a memoir about her experiences in the world of Massage. In her free time (she does the best to make some) she takes her Pomeranian to the beach, dabbles in acting and photography and decorates modern interiors.
Meagan’s books can be purchased at any major online bookseller as well as through her website www.HundredthousandDollarMassage.com. You can read her thoughts on the business of Massage as one of the Women in Bodywork Business (WIBB) contributors at www.massagetoday.com. You can find her on Facebook under the name Meagan Holub LMT.
Guest post by Allissa Haines of Writing a Blue Streak
If I were to begin my massage career over today knowing what I know now I would change these 3 things from the way I did it the first time…
1. I would find and create my community of like-minded massage therapists sooner. It took me a few years to get active in my professional organization and seek out friendships with my local colleagues. Running my business became much more enjoyable (and prosperous!) once I found my friends!
2. I would recognize the value of high quality massage lubricants, not just for my clients’ well being, but for mine. If it’s the cheapest product on the shelf, I probably don’t want to be soaking my hands in it for 5-6 hours a day. Once I learned about the ingredients, my whole mindset changed.
3. From the very first day I start my business or begin my employment, I would automatically put 10% of my gross away for savings and retirement. I did this in my previous career, I don’t know why I neglected it when I became a massage therapist. When I finally corrected my error, it was a tough budget transition.
She is BORED, BORED, BORED with 80% of the material out there for massage therapists. She finds it dry and humorless and overly-professional to the point of being impersonal. She writes a blog at Writing a Blue Streak, a forum for discussion and a resource for other massage therapists.
If I Could Start Over