I decided to open my own massage practice in 2013. I had been working for massage employers for two years and had had enough. Not only was I dealing with a persistent low back injury I had developed shortly after starting with my second employer (I was on my third) but I wasn’t happy. The volume of massage I had to do to earn enough money to pay my bills was more than I was physically capable of and I was being treated like a robot, not a person.
This wasn’t my first crack at private practice. I had opened my own practice upon graduation from massage school in 1999. After sharing space and working a part-time job for over two years, I had built up enough clientele to earn a living from my practice alone. I was single then, so my income needs were manageable on my own.
But fourteen years later, my income requirements had changed. I had left massage as my only job to teach yoga and Health at a private high school in 2005. I liked the stability but not the lifestyle (so much work brought home and too many meetings), so had returned to massage in 2011. I thought building a private practice again would take too long, so I chose to work for other people. Sadly, none of them cared about me or my ability to earn a living doing what I loved. After exploring a few different career options, I decided to learn Ashiatsu barefoot massage and open my own practice so I could provide massage on my own terms to preserve the life span of my career.
I opened the doors of my practice in November 2013. I had a part-time position as a massage instructor and worked weekends at a massage franchise to supplement my meager private practice income. After only three months and doing TONS of marketing from networking to flyers to online directories to paid advertising, my business was failing. I wasn’t getting enough clients to earn enough to cover my business expenses (which were pretty low) and was afraid I would have to get yet another part-time job (my instructor position was temporary) to pay the rent for my office.
I just couldn’t face the shame and expense of breaking a lease when I knew in my heart that what I was offering was awesome. The problem was, not enough people who wanted Ashiatsu knew about me. I had resisted trying Groupon because I had heard it only attracted cheap clients who didn’t return, but I had tried everything else and was desperate. After talking to an acupuncturist I shared a lobby with who had been happy with Groupon, I contacted them. This is the best decision I could have made.
As soon as my deal launched, I started getting more clients. After running the deal for only five months, I paused it because my schedule was practically full. And one year after starting my Groupon deal, I left the massage franchise and have been earning a living exclusively from my practice ever since.
I knew I wasn’t the only one who had struggled to build a practice fast enough to make a living. There are so many massage therapists who give up on their dream of running their own business because they simply don’t get enough clients to be profitable. What a waste of time and money spent learning massage, not to mention a waste of gifts and skills so needed to heal our world. That’s why I’ve dedicated myself to teaching massage therapists my method of using Groupon. Not only will the clients who are looking for you find you, you’ll provide such an exceptional experience and make it so easy for them to become frequent visitors that your practice will fill up quickly. The more of us who have thriving practices, the more people will be helped and healed, and the better our planet will be.