Posts tagged Success
As a massage therapist in private practice, it is quite likely that you did not chose your profession because you wanted to be a business person. As a result, it can be challenging to go into business for yourself and be successful. Taking time to prepare and plan as you build your private practice will help you avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Below are ten areas to address to help ensure your success.
1. Get Your Life in Excellent Shape
Massage therapists and healing professionals know that our personal lives affect our professional lives, yet many who are struggling to market a private practice fail to take this into account. Look at all aspects of your life and determine what seems to be working for you and what needs to change. Determine any activities you need to reduce or eliminate in order to have the time and energy to market your practice. Examine your lifestyle and personal work habits and see where improvement needs to be made. The more your life is on order, the more time and energy you will have for marketing and building a practice.
2. Develop a Financial Plan
Before you start marketing your practice, assess your financial situation and make a financial plan. Make sure you have funds from other sources until your practice becomes established. Do not put your self in a position where you are desperate to secure clients in order to pay your bills. Potential clients may sense your desperation and may not be eager to hire you. Feeling secure financially will allow you to market and build your practice with greater confidence and ease.
3. Know that You Are a Business Owner
It is essential that you start seeing yourself as a business owner if you haven’t made this mind-shift already. You must pay careful attention to all aspects of your business–your revenue and expenses, how you spend your time, methods of attracting clients, and developing operating systems that allow your business to run smoothly.
4. Develop a Vision for Your Massage Practice
It’s difficult to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. Develop a detailed vision of what you want your massage practice to look like in 6 months, 1 year and 5 years and write it down. How many clients do you want to have? What days and hours do you want to work? How much income do you need/want? The more clarity and specificity you have, the more likely you will turn your vision into reality.
5. Develop at Least One Specialization
Massage Therapists and healing professionals new to private practice often fear that if they are too narrow in the type of services they offer, they will rule out many other potential clients. The opposite is actually more often true as people tend to want to hire specialists. The more targeted you are in marketing your practice, the more you will stand out from others and become known for your expertise. In addition, it’s easier to market your practice to a particular group if you know where to find them.
6. Determine Any Negative Attitudes and Fears You Have About Marketing
Many massage therapists, and healing professionals are uncomfortable with the marketing aspect of being in private practice. They see their role as to be there for others and not to promote themselves. Our repeated exposure to negative and manipulative types of marketing further contributes to the belief that marketing ourselves is somehow inappropriate. Any negative attitudes and fears you have about marketing a practice need to be eliminated. You can and should find ways to market with integrity and authenticity. Be proud of your services and have confidence that you have something to offer people that they need and want.
7. Develop a Marketing Plan
In order to market your massage practice successfully you must have an integrated marketing plan. One of the most common mistakes helping and healing professionals make is trying a few methods of marketing your practice haphazardly, and when the results are not immediate, they erroneously assume the techniques don’t work. Flourishing massage practices are frequently built upon a number of marketing strategies that work together over time. To market effectively you must make yourself repeatedly visible to potential clients and referral sources so that they get to know and trust you.
8. Choose Marketing Methods That Excite You
Take some time to explore and develop marketing methods that suit your unique talents and interests. There are numerous ways to promote your practice. To get ideas, read books, take courses, ask other professionals how they built their practices, or hire a marketing consultant or coach. Marketing can be an enjoyable and creative process that provides a balance to the work you do with your clients. Find a way to take pleasure in this aspect of your business and you will be more motivated to do it.
9. Make a Commitment To Build Your Practice
Typically it can take anywhere from 1-3+ years to build a full practice. Exactly how long will depend on several factors including the size of your current network, how effectively you market, the demand for your area of expertise, and how much time you spend developing your practice. Make a commitment to take action steps on a regular basis. It’s best if you set aside a specific amount of time on a weekly basis for marketing your practice, and try to stick to this schedule even when you become discouraged or become tempted to allow other things to take priority.
If you want to learn low- and no-cost methods to develop your massage practice, check out the second edition of my book Creating a Prosperous Practice, Spending Little or No Money Marketing.
According to the Law of Attraction whatever we focus on expands. All too often we concentrate on what is wrong with our bodies, our relationships, our lives, and our businesses. If we are focusing on what is wrong and the Law of Attraction says that what we focus on expands aren’t we getting more of what is wrong? What a vicious cycle and totally avoidable.
How you ask? I want you to stop being critical of yourself and I want you to focus on what is right – your successes. You will journal these successes – the “ups” of your life into a “Success Journal.” Journaling is the act of writing out your thoughts. By writing your successes, you train yourself to see what is working, relieve stress and tension, and multiply your successes, creating a “delicious” cycle as a former instructor of mine used to say. Remember that what you focus on expands. Since we are now focusing on our successes, we will draw more successes.
Some people find journaling difficult in general and now I am asking you to write only about your successes. Just in case you may be having a little difficulty, let me give you some ideas about what could be successes in the various areas of our lives:
Regarding our bodies
1. I went on a 30 minute walk first thing this morning.
2. I ate very healthy yesterday – all day!
3. I looked dynamite in my little black dress when my husband took me out to dinner last night.
4. My complexion looked very healthy this morning after my shower.
5. I lost two pounds this week without trying very hard – just by eating healthy and walking a few times a week. This is so different from the previous times I have tried.
Regarding our relationships
1. My husband and I had a great time at dinner last night. He took me to my favorite restaurant.
2. I love it when my daughter helps me with the breakfast dishes as she did this morning.
3. My son and I had an enlightening conversation about why I should let him borrow the car this weekend to take his girlfriend out. He was so entertaining, I am seriously considering it.
Regarding our lives (work, financial, health or whatever else you want to write about here)
1. I saved $10 at the grocery store by using coupons.
2. My client thanked me for helping him feel better. This acknowledgement made me feel appreciated.
3. I am having a massage after work today. I am looking forward to the relaxation. I deserve it.
4. I got 5 new clients this month and we still have two weeks left in the month.
You don’t have to write for an extended period of time, unless you want to. I recommend writing for 2-5 minutes each day. I do, however, recommend writing first thing in the morning because you are writing about your successes which will set you up for more successes throughout the day. Remember the Law of Attraction says whatever your focus on expands! Go ahead, end that vicious cycle, create a “delicious” cycle!
Here are some other tips to get you started:
1. Get yourself a journal dedicated specifically to record your successes. Journals come in all varieties. You should get one that appeals to you. Below are some resources to get you started.
2. Find a quite, clutter-free area to record your successes.
3. Remember only record the successes! And be sure to report back and share your experiences.
Do you have any tips for journaling? Be sure to share them in the comments. I’m always looking for ways to improve my journaling experience.
I recently had a HotStone pedicure. I have had this treatment several times before at this particular Spa but not by this nail tech. Although the technique what correct, I didn’t come out of there feeling marvelous and relaxed as I have in the past.
When I go to the spa, I want to get pampered. I want to be the center of attention. I want my stress and aches and pains to melt away. This time my usually luxurious treatment kept getting interrupted by the nail tech stopping what she was doing to drink her coffee. This was almost as bad as the time, I had a massage therapist answer the phone, not once but twice during my massage.
When our clients come to us for massage, or any other treatment, they are paying for a service. They want to know for that one hour they are the center of attention as they may not get any other attention in their daily lives.
I never went back to the massage therapist who thought answering the phone was more important that I was. I have yet to decide whether I will continue to patronize the Spa and make sure I never get “Ms. Coffe” again or move on. There is no lack of massage therapists, so doesn’t it make good business sense to keep the clients you have.
Where is your focus as you are working on your clients? Are you giving them your all?
When you make a mistake, big or small, cherish it like it’s the most precious thing in the world because in some ways, it is.
I can just hear you now, “What? Celebrate my mistakes? Are you crazy? I just lost a lot of money because I did …” Celebrating our mistakes, goes against the norm. Most of us feel bad when we make mistakes, beat ourselves up about it, feel like failures, get mad at ourselves. We have been taught from a young age that mistakes are bad and that we should try to avoid making them.
Mistakes can be painful. You can lose friends, money, or time. People can yell at you. Yet without mistakes, we could not learn or grow.
If you think about it that way, mistakes should be cherished and celebrated for being one of the most amazing things in the world. Mistakes make learning possible. They make growth and improvement possible.
By trial and error — trying things, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes — we have figured out how to make electric light and to fly.
Think about how we learn. We don’t just consume information about something and instantly know it or know how to do it. Instead, you get information about something, from reading, another person or from observing usually … then you construct a model in your mind … then you test it out by trying it in the real world … then you make mistakes … then you revise the model based on the results of your real-world experimentation … and repeat, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, until you’ve pretty much learned how to do something.
Mistakes are how we learn to do something new — because if you succeed at something, it’s probably something you already knew how to do. You haven’t really grown much from that success — at most it’s the last step on your journey, not the whole journey. Most of the journey was made up of mistakes, if it’s a good journey.
So if you value learning, if you value growing and improving, then you should value mistakes. They are amazing things that make a world of brilliance possible. So the next time you make a mistake, don’t berate yourself, celebrate because you are about to learn something new.
What mistakes have you make, either in business or in your personal life, that have been a blessing in disguise?
Dictionary.com defines “success” as follows:
1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like
3. a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that is successful. She was a great success on the talk show.
I think that something is missing from this definition. Let’s just say it is a good starting point. I don’t think that it doesn’t clearly defines what success is. And who can do that? I think that each of us has to define what “success” is for us. One person might think that s/he is only successful when s/he achieves a six figure salary, a huge house by the ocean and a Lexus in the driveway. Another person might think that they are successful if they live comfortably and are debt-free, but have lots of time for family, friends and to do the things they love to do.
What is your definition of success? Go ahead take a few minutes to think about what has to happen for you to be successful. Take a moment and post is below.
(Just a note, you can always change your definition of success in the future. As we evolve as a person our values and beliefs change, therefore, our definition of “success” may also change.)