Top 4 Troubles for Self-Employed Massage Therapists and How to Avoid Them

Take care of your hands as a massage therapist

Take care of your hands as a massage therapist

Most Massage Therapists are good at the art of giving a massage, even spectacular.  Rarely is the problem, when Massage Therapists decide to leave this career, that the therapist is bad at massage.  Sometimes this is the case, but even a mediocre massage can be improved with practice & study.

Another reason often mentioned for leaving the massage therapist career is the strength Massage Therapy requires is more than someone can handle for more than a few years.  True, sometimes, depending on the modality the massage therapist chooses to use.

Honestly though, the top reasons therapists leave this business, which is similar to why people leave many Entrepreneurial professions:  a lack of business savvy.  I think this is why being an employee or sub-contractor is easier in the long run for those people who are good at massage, or which ever business you are in, but not so good at the business end of the business.

 

Top 4 Troubles for self-employed Massage Therapists:   (And How to Avoid Them)

  1. Not enough clients or income or both
  2. Feeling stuck or frozen about lack of clients
  3. Paperwork overwhelm
  4. Fatigue, in the hands, neck, back, forearms, feet

 

First of all, THERE IS HOPE!!  So don’t give up or stop trying because of fear.  If you are doing what you love, like massage therapy or personal training or yoga, etc, I have some ideas for your success (and a reminder for my own continued success).  My suggestion is just to be realistic, patient and persistent.  Lets look at why these pit-falls show up in the first place:

The first problems start with UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS….that:

  • clients are easy to find & easy to keep
  • money will show up often “just because”
  • expenses are low, almost nonexistent
  • paperwork takes care of itself
  • taxes are for other careers
  • your body is strong and you don’t need extra maintenance
  • self-care, hydration, rest, stretching, physical fitness is what we Preach, not what we Do. Hee, hee.
  • assuming that this is the perfect career path for you, without looking at hard facts

The second problem is a lack of knowing your CLEAR PATH:

  • List your reasons for doing massage (or personal training, yoga, etc)
  • Why do you love doing massage, so much that you’ve done many for free?  Remember those reasons.
  • What are your Goals? (answer these questions…in writing)
    • What types of massage do you want to do/not do…be VERY SPECIFIC
      • example: instead of saying: I want to work on athletes.
        •  I want to work on female Mom athletes, between the ages of 35-55 who are college educated and willing to do their physical homework in order to get better.
      • example: instead of saying: I don’t want to work on Mean people.
        • I will pre-charge for first time clients, and I won’t reschedule them if they are disrespectful.
  • Write a BUSINESS PLAN   NO KIDDING!!  
    • Start with a simple plan
    • Know your NUMBERS!
      • How many appointments do you need per week/month to pay your “nut” or minimum bills?
      • How many people do you need to talk to in order to make 10 appointments?
      • What is your rate of return? (how many new clients return?)
      • How much money are you putting into retirement from each massage? (often forgotten about)
      • Do you pay your taxes monthly or quarterly? (and put it aside immediately…untouchable!)
      • From Where are people finding you?  (where should you spend your advertising dollar?)
  • Take CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
    • In ANY profession…60 min of daily exercise, plenty of water, plenty sleep… for starters (do what i suggest and not what i do… :))))
    • Find Balance: easier said… but still essential
    • When your hands are hurting…let them rest

Don’t give up.  A career you love—-getting paid doing what you love is really possible.  Find a MENTOR!  Message me if you have questions.  Don’t give up yet…

Massage is a Great Career Choice for Moms

There is so much discussion about women and their careers on whether women should be at home with the kids or whether they should

Massage is a Great Career for a Mom

Massage is a Great Career for a Mom

pursue great careers.

The problem is that women simply ROCK.  We can do it all.  Our ability to multitask and organize is amazing.  Plus we can nurture and heal, discover & teach, cook and clean. On and on.  Lately, in the past few decades, we have tried to do it all.  And we CAN do it ALL…we just can’t do it all at the same time.

The last conversation I had with my loving Mother-in-law before she passed away, which I will never forget, as I was playing mental tug-of-war, she said to me, “Ruth, you can do ANYTHING you want….you just can’t do EVERYTHING you want….especially all at the same time.”

It’s such an individual decision to stay home or hammer at work, it seems.  Women are so capable, and for that exact reason, the struggle to find the balance between family and career can be excruciatingly painful.

For me there was no question of whether I wanted kids…I always knew I did, and set up my career around that idea. But it hasn’t always been an easy road.  As I established my business, I wondered if I’d ever meet anyone…because I was working 70+ hours each week, then going home and washing massage sheets.  I was lonely, but I was on a mission to have an established business by the time I got married.

Once established and married and staying at home with the kids, I struggled with the choice of letting my business almost die to stay home, or to stay working long hours to continue the financial success, but let someone else raise my kids.  Sleepless nights I struggled & played tug-of-war in my mind of what is the best for my family.  No one could comfort me.  No one had the right answer.  All the while staying home as my business almost died, but I spent all my time playing with my kids.

It’s funny that “in the moment”, like Rush’s song FREEWILL, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”, I WAS at home loving my kids, laughing, playing, but suffering with the withering of something I had spent so much time creating.  I finally let go and appreciated where I was in life….that this was one of the “have ANYTHING” while a career was part of the “EVERYTHING right now” part of my Mother-in-law’s advice.  She had been through what she was watching me struggle through.

The idea that those who are not in this position can’t understand is the push and pull from both sides.  Each side feels extremely justified in their convictions of YOUR time.  The very beginning of being a Mom is the hardest, especially with an established career:

  • Staying at home is actually MUCH HARDER than working!!
  • At work, I know EXACTLY what I’m doing and what to expect
  • At home, even the best plan rarely starts and ends the way it’s “supposed to”
  • At home, nothing is EVER organized, clean, put away for any amount of time
  • At work, I know where everything is, counters are clean, my mind seems peaceful and clear
  • At work, I am making more money for the family & keeping staff happy
  • At home I am spending money & keeping family happy
  • People at work want you at work and don’t care about those at home
  • People at home want you at home and don’t care about those at work
  • At work I can sit quietly, alone, and get oodles done
  • At home, I’m never alone, I worry and am constantly moving to manage the household…just to start all over again, it’s never done

This is the cycle of thoughts until a decision is truly made peace with.  The loss of my bustling business was all about my ego, and that part of me could wait. The kids and their daily milestones could not and would not wait.  This finally was crystal clear to me and the rebuilding of a career took back seat to being home full-time when the kids were home. What an incredible opportunity.  I am so lucky.

For those Moms who may be going through something similar with your career vs your family….hang in there.  Only you know the right answer for you and your family.  Meditate.  Force exercise and quiet time at home.  I think it’s good for our kids to see powerful women in the workforce.  And also, it’s so important for kids to have their Mom to be with and physically hang on to.  When you look back on your life, ask yourself, “what is most important to me” then make choices accordingly.  That’s what I answered for myself.  This answer is different for each Mom.

As a Massage Mom, this has been a great 20 years!!  I recommend this career and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The PROS for a Mom as a Massage Therapist:

  • Able to establish an office and buy a house fairly quickly
  • Work while pregnant and raising kids all while working minimal hours making great money
  • Forced to stay in shape
  • Choose days and hours worked
  • Choose the clients I want to work on
  • Do what I love & make money doing it
  • Connect with clients in a manner that is extremely fulfilling
  • Be a “stay-at-home-Mom” with a career
  • Be with my kids most of every day
  •  Exciting daily work, always challenging, always engaging
  • Learning something new everyday
  • Honoring God with my work, using the talents I was given
  • And the best pro of all:  I’ve been honored to help the clients I love so much
  • Help them feel better in their lives
  • Keep my clients playing their sport
  • Allow clients to become and stay pain free.

The CONs for a Mom as a Massage Therapist:

  • Massage is physically demanding
  • My hands hurt after 20 years of working
  • There is little camaraderie in this profession

Bottom line:  massage is a great career choice for a Mom, especially before you have kids.  Strengthen your hands before you start and learn excellent body posture while you work.  This is true in any profession.  Good luck. 🙂

Single? Make A List of The Parter You Desire

So, you are single and looking?  Can’t seem to find the right person or always finding the wrong person?

Try these 3 ideas:

Start with making a list of what you’d want in your partner, with what is important to YOU…not to your roommate or your family.  For example:

  • Honest
  • Educated
  • Kind to their parents
  • Wants kids/doesn’t want kids
  • Athletic
  • Likes dogs
  • Is my same religion
  • Has my same political ideas
  • Enjoys Movies, Fishing, Cooking, Gardening

Get the picture?  What is important to YOU?  Be EXTREMELY specific. This example list is not as specific as yours should be.

Next, get a Feng Shui book to help you create a space in your life for having your partner “fit into”, as if they will walk into your house, work, etc at ANY time! Be ready.  Some simple things to do:

  • Set 2 place settings at your table
  • Have an extra coffee cup available
  • Have 2 bath towels hanging
  • Make some space in the closet
  • Hang pictures of 2’s: 2 animals together, any shape in 2’s, etc
  • Put out some fresh cut flowers in your kitchen

Finally, notice your own energy output.  What is it like?  Ask someone you really trust to tell you honestly how they see you?  Do you see the glass half full or half empty?  Are you a giver or a taker? Do you make people wrong in conversations or in your thinking, or do you give people every excuse for their actions? Just be honest about these areas.

Which areas are you willing to look at and which are you not in your own behavior.  Which behavior are you SURE you don’t want around you in a partner.  Excellent.

If you are so mad at the pool of possible dating options and just KNOW that you won’t find someone, then take a break! You can’t win a game when you start the game KNOWING you’ll loose!  Take a breather until you can change your attitude. Go garden. Or do some Hot Yoga! Get a colonic. 🙂 And best idea yet, get a 90 minute massage.

Now, try to remember that there is someone for everyone, and maybe your someone is sitting, lonely, wondering who you are, making their list of you.

Let me know if these ideas work for you…they did for me. 🙂