So, you have your newly acquired Certificate from an accredited massage school and its time to fill the coffers with the steady flow of economic support that you dreamed of when you first decided to embark on the bodyworker’s journey. Or you have been at it for awhile and things aren’t going quite like you expected and you are wondering why? There is no “how to” blueprint that will apply to everyone and all their needs. There are obviously too many variants in goals and desires for that to be accomplished in one template.
So let’s explore the one question that was posed to me as a teacher of deep tissue massage and cranial work in the three schools where I taught. “How do I get my practice built?” And for the seasoned players, “How do I turn up the heat a little bit on my my tepid practice?” There are many underlying thoughts flying under the “conscious radar” which I believe need to be addressed.
First of all the biggest reason for an underactive practice that people have somehow grasped on to the belief that if you are in the service industry, it is not in alignment with making a lucrative living! If that sounds familiar discard and burn it! Lots of us make good money and are
very satisfied with a mid five figure range, And others of us who want to work long hours and put our hands on 25 plus people a week, make great livings in the 6 figure range!
The next one, which I have heard myself squawking, is that the community can’t support me because its too conservative, or its———( place your language in the blanks). Then there is of course the economy, “Damn economy. You know, if things weren’t so slow in the economy I could be doing better!” Or this one, “I am no good at marketing, I am an artist and I feel it cheapens me,” or “I just don’t know how to market!” Better lose that one as quickly as possible! And there is of course the confidence issue. Deep down inside your self esteem may be challenged. You may feel you don’t deserve success. “I am just not good enough.” That one might require a deeper look, or even some professional help. But if that is your challenge, don’t let it stop you from implementing the tools I am going to share.
And last but certainly not the least, “There are just too many massage therapists and bodyworkers in this town, the competition is too fierce for me to really be successful!”
Now that you have ruminated and found the one or ones that resonate with your journey, let’s look at a few ways to overcome your hurdles. First pick the number of sessions you feel confident would serve you economically, emotionally and physically. Each of the three is important, very important in order to love what your are doing. Then keep that number in mind from time to time in the day. Or write it on a piece of paper where you can see it often. Just do it and don’t think about whether or not it will work. Let’s just sync your conscious and your unconscious a wee bit. Think of it as a Universal appeal. And know this, if you want to change your practice numbers, you have to be consistent for awhile with these tools.
This is a process, and not just a single event like writing down how many you want to do a week and your done. Its easy to get discouraged, but keep putting one foot in front of another for this journey is all it takes to get to your destination. On the other hand, and I know this one from personal experience over a 27 year period, its very easy to become complacent about your numbers once you have achieved them and let go of the focus of practice building, only to come back and say, ‘oh shit, how did this happen?” Practice building is an ongoing effort to deal with ebb and flows. Please repeat that last sentence a few more times, then a few more so you get it.
Now the second piece of advise is to look for a local magazine or newspaper where you can write an article about your skill set and how your set of tools might reach a wider audience. Radio stations are some times looking for an interesting topic as well. The topic could be about people
who are in pain or those who want to experience a higher level of performance in their chosen sport.
And thirdly, and I want to continue this in the next blog, is to create a referral base with yoga people, health clubs, local running clubs etc. That can be with a demonstration at those various centers, or working on individuals who can and will refer out to you. Nothing is better than word of mouth, but you have to get lots of people jawing about you for that to take place. And ultimately, its the best form of practice building. Look for the second part of this shortly..