Part 2: The Next Level
When the first cell phones came out, (remember those huge bricks???) I was the first one in line!
What freedom it brought me!
I sat in my office for hundreds of hours and it was worth every single penny to be free to roam about the city, run errands, eat lunch out with friends, do laundry, etc. I was happy to pay for it.
After several months, I was still only working on 10-15 clients per week and I was hungry for more. Several massage therapist buddies of mine were tired after 3 massages a day, but I was young and strong, and I was still ready for more after 6 massage hours each day. I wanted to see how long I could go, how many massages I could do in one day.
My friend and school mate from The New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, Kael Balizer, suggested that I go to a class...mostly to honor her boyfriend, soon to be husband, Aaron Hendon. This class was called The Landmark Forum. No Problem, $300 bucks, 30 CEUs--which I needed--and I really trusted Kael to steer me in the right direction.
Well, I liked the class. It was interesting...asked us to think about what we really wanted in life which wasn’t happening. I decided to focus my weekend course on getting 40 clients per week. I was exhausted by the end of the 3 day class and went on to live life as usual. Guess what?? Within 4 weeks, I was doing 40 clients per week!! It was awesome. Later, I’ll map out exactly how I increased my client load.
The first week I had 40 clients I thought it was a fluke. The next week was slower, so I was sure it was a one time thing. But, soon, I had consistent 40 client weeks, then 45, then 50, then 55. Finally, I wanted to see how many I could do in one week. Remember, these are 1 hour appointments each! I was single, no family...just my dog, Rigs.
The challenge to myself topped out at 60 clients in one week. This was too much for one person, in my opinion, and it was time to find some help. At this point I was making plenty of money and had purchased a nice small house, a nice car, and I was visiting my family in California ever 6 weeks. I was having a great time! I loved massage! I loved my clients! It was great.
In the mean time, some of the massage therapist friends around me were failing and quitting. Few of them, after only two years out of school, were still practicing. Some of them were such good therapists, I was shocked. Surely they just found something they loved more. But, what else could be so fulfilling, so rewarding, so beneficial to our society as spreading the power of healing touch to others?
There is a statistic that I’m trying to find, that I remember reading right at this time in my career: Only 5% of Licensed Massage Therapists are still working full time as a massage therapist 2 years after they start... I was shocked, and was watching this statistic in action with my own class of very talented massage therapist alumni.
Some of my massage school classmates were “moving on” to other professions, like grocery bagging, working at Dillard’s, saying they just couldn’t make enough money with massage. WHAT?? How much money do you need?? Are you physically hurt or unable to do massage anymore? What really is the problem? I just couldn’t understand it. My youth and naivety were showing.
It seemed to be a miracle that I had so much work. An overflow of work. Wasn’t this normal? “How many clients have you done in a week?” I would gleefully ask my classmates with pride, excited to hear their version of 40-60. But, that was not at all the response. Instead it was, “I would love to do massage as a career! I would love to do 15 massages in a week. 25 would be my maximum! That would be perfect! Then, I could pay all my bills and have health insurance. But, instead, I’m working as a waiter now.” “I didn’t know how to pay taxes”, or “I just didn’t know where to find the people to work on.”
Something had to be done! These great therapists could help so many people! They need to be saved! They are too good at massage to be working at Wild Oats! All they need is some clients...I have an abundance of clients! I can save them! I can provide them all with plenty of clients. It will be beautiful! They come in and just work! They won’t have to do any of the things they don’t like! I will do it ALL!
And for the next 10 years I did.
I “saved” 100+ employees and lost my health and made almost no money while many therapists made thousands of dollars. Finally, I learned not to “save” others...especially when they weren’t asking for help.