Authentic Success: Small Business Owners

Authentic Success

“Authentic success is internal… [Making] the transition from external judgement to internal acceptance.” –Something More:… Sarah Ban Breathnach

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One year ago today Alan and I were in the last class as students of Utah College Massage Therapy. It’s a good time to look back on our journey.

Alan and I started our business, Custom Comfort Massage Therapy, LLC, in an area that produces 30-100 massage therapy graduates every 3 months. Roughly 50% of those graduates go into private practice and the other 50% work for another business. Most of the therapists I know do both. We’re in an area where having a male therapist is not as acceptable as having a female therapist. An area where the cost of a massage therapy session is $15-$30 less than the national average. We’ve used every marketing tactic we could afford to on a $0 budget and have seen a measly return on our many hours of labor.

And yet…

We just updated our annual renewals for business license, professional association, and liability insurance. We’re still making rent payments at the same office location we started in and we’re still marketing ourselves with enthusiasm and passion for bodywork.

Why don’t we move? We’ve seriously considered it and we probably will eventually, but it came down to a feeling. Crazy or not, we’re like that.

Being business owners in this field hasn’t exactly turned out the way we planned, but we knew it would take a while to build a business, especially in this area, this economy, and this “complimentary healthcare” industry. And we’re learning a lot along the way. The most valuable lessons I think we’ve learned is the increased appreciation for what we do and the connection to our clients.

Alan is gaining more leads to provide massage in businesses, including military marriage seminars (we’re on the schedule for 3 paid gigs– woohoo!). I’m proud of all of his study, hard work and positive attitude amidst the discouraging position of male therapist rejection. (Have I told you lately how amazing he is?)

Today at Solase, my internal success was that I worked on 7 clients and came home happy. Just before the last client I thought, “I could use a 15 minute sit down.” But once I got started on the session, I forgot about that and found this client (who was visiting from the Ukraine) to be one of those I will remember for a long time.

“When we achieve authentic success, we don’t compare ourselves to others quite so often. That awful force, envy, seems to diminish. In fact, we want others to have the same chances we’ve had, to do what they would truly love to do.” –Sara Ban Breathnach, Something More

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