Thursday, 30 July 2009

The only thing I have to fear is fear itself.

Yep, FDR's words are applying to me these days since I moved my business location this week. It's a change, but I believe it is for the better. It's a wee bit scary too!

I am no longer working out of my home. I'm renting a room at a place that is very near my home which has a separate area for massage therapists and aestheticians that has it's own little waiting area. I had a few reasons for the move. Firstly, my husband was getting fed up with not having his home available to him and he couldn't take vacation time if I was working all the time - especially since I work a lot in the evenings. Secondly, I think that I was going a little stir crazy with being in the house all the time, especially on busy days. Sometimes I wouldn't leave the house at all. And thirdly, I just wanted to try something different to see if it is easier to market my business with a different location. Even though I have a fairly decent client base and I think I have a good return rate, it's getting people in for that first massage that was difficult. I think it will be easier to do in this new place and it might give my practice a more professional initial feel. I get a lot of hits on my website, but I think people are reluctant to go try someone in their home - since most of my clients are referred by existing clients, I think I should get more people other ways. It will be interesting to see if I get more newbies from the website.

So I got a floor covering down in the room over the weekend and moved my stuff in on Monday. I was pretty busy on Tuesday and Wednesday and so far my regulars have been positive about the new location. The room is considerably smaller than what I've been working in, but it is forcing me to think of things that I really NEED rather than junk that was accumulating in the room I've been working in. I'm amazed at how much crap I've gathered up over the years. Old massage oils and lotions that I tried and didn't like (why did I keep them?) and tools and little do-dahs that I thought might be interesting to try. I need to have a garage sale for MTs only!

The new place has a shower facility so I can still do some foo foo stuff (salt glows and wraps) and it will be interesting to see if I sell more of them than I did at home. The only thing I can't do is a foot soak since the room isn't big enough to do that, but then soaks were only to get people's feet clean for a reflexology treatment and I can use hot towels for the same purpose - plus cleaning the foot soak thingy was a pain in the neck anyway, so I won't miss it.
The other major change is that I won't have my PC in the next room ready to check my email for people wanting appointments BUT SINCE MY HUSBAND BOUGHT ME AN IPHONE FOR MY BIRTHDAY (which is today and the capital letters is me bragging, yes, I have been assimilated into the iPhone Borg ship), I can check my email through it instead.

The place seems to be fairly quiet. The manager is nice and my next room neighbor is a massage therapist who seems to be very professional and cool. On the other side of me is an aesthetician who seems pretty nice too. She's even sending me 2 of her clients on Saturday which is a good thing in my book!

So we'll see how it goes. If I get on here in a few days ranting and raving about how much I hate it, then I'll just have to grin and get on with it since I've signed the lease for the year. I don't think that will happen though. My initial feel over the past couple of days has been a good one.

OK, I'm off to change a load of online listings!

Gaelic lesson #65 "eagla", pronounced "agla", meaning "fear"

Friday, 24 July 2009

Braveheartical thoughts...... back to my movie-soundtracks-played-during-massage-even-though-I'm-starting-to-come-to-the-conclusion-I-shouldn't.

Yes, I'm still playing that playlist.

One track on my massage compilation playlist is called "For the Love of a Princess". You can hear a wee snippet with the little doo-dah at the side of the page - along with other tracks that I've referred to in previous posts. (Plus if you hit the "massage music" label below you'll see those other incredibly boring posts) . It has a bit of a Celtic-y feel to it, which one of the reasons I like it, plus it's nice and slow.

So you might think "What's better than the thought of long haired men in skirts who go a little overboard with blue eyeshadow?" Yes, that thought may come into the client's mind, but there may another:

What's more relaxing than the thought of some guy getting tortured by having his gut ripped open and his intestines pulled out of him like a string of sausages?

Not all that relaxing an image, is it?

Mind you, I think if it was possible to temporarily pull out the client's intestines it would be mighty handy for iliopsoas work!

Gaelic lesson #64 "aghaidhe gorm", pronounced "agee gurm", meaning "blue face"

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

How do you massage away grief?

One of my clients passed away at the weekend. She was a lovely lady and had a good vibe about her and I was sad to hear she had passed. She was referred to me by another client who is one of my favorite clients and the both of them were good friends.

I felt bad for my client this morning since I know she's hurting and I wish there was something I could do for her.

It's a pity there wasn't a "rip out grief" massage. I'd be all over that.

No Gaelic lesson today.......I'll get back to it in my next post.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

It's official...Massage Therapists have the Best Job on the Planet

OK, so guess what the above picture is.
Here's a clue:
Today I spent the day in an aromatherapy class and this was one of the pictures that was shown to us during the class.
Cool, isn't it? I bet someone will get it.

It was a GREAT class. The teacher , Katharine Koeppen, is a registered aromatherapist and it was obvious that she really knows her stuff. I wanted to do a Vulcan mind meld with her (I can't write too many posts without putting a Star Trek reference in here somewhere) so that I could get just a smidgen of the knowledge she knows about the subject. I've come away with a ton of new info, some new oils and a want to learn more - not only for my own clients, but for my own use too. The students in the class were cool too. It was interesting in that there were two people in the class that are not massage therapists - yet another sign that it is becoming more popular.

The fact that we get to use oils in our work just reminds me that we have the best job on the planet. Why? Because it's just COOL!

I'm off to slather some customized oil that I made for myself on the soles of my feet so that I will dream of Brad mistaking me for Angelina (well, there wasn't actually an oil for that......but there's always hope!).

Gaelic lesson #63 "briongloid", pronounced "bringloyd", meaning "dream"

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Your Head "Post" Massage

OK, so maybe most clients don't look quite as bad as the Phil fella, but you have to admit, some do look like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards. I know I do. In fact, the more "dragged through the hedge" looking, the better the massage.

SOOOO when I had a "think" about this problem I decided to get some combs with my business name printed on them and put up a wee sign in my room with some pics of people having a particularly bad hair day with "Got Massage Hair? Have a Comb With My Compliments" on it. I keep having to fill up the comb box - it seems to work well with my clients and I know they like getting free stuff. Giving them some goodies with the business name on it is good in my book.

Taking this FURTHER, I decided to make up a wee box of combs for my hairstylist. Instead of me having a funny sign with bad hair, I made up a sensible one with my logo. I attached a business card holder to the display thingy with referral cards that are specific for my hairstylist ("Terri's clients get $10 off their first massage") and on the back of the card I had a map showing people how to get to my place. Combs and hairstylists go together, right?

At the time I thought this was marketing genius. I actually thought my hair was going to be singed from the brilliant big idea bulb going off above it.

That was 4 weeks ago. I still haven't had 1 referral from it. That's what I get for thinking it was marketing genius!

Oh well.......gotta keep on trying!

Gaelic lesson #62 "gruaig", pronounced "grewig", meaning "hair"

Friday, 10 July 2009

A Reminder to all of us to ALWAYS GIVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE...

Word of warning - NEVER give a bad massage to anyone, but most of all, MUSICIANS.

I just wonder how many more songs we'll be seeing about bad customer service......

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A Massage Therapist's Right Thumb Celebrating July 4th

Just in case you don't know it- AMERICA ROCKS. Artie knows it!

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Hard-sellers. Salesmen. Online social sites. Condescending attitudes. I've just been verbally bombarded by all of them today.

I got a call today from someone that has some sort of internet radio thing, where they interview me, then they take that interview and "set up" pages for me on facebook, myspace and twitter. The lead in was the fact that I'd have a recorded "interview" in which I could talk about the benefits of massage and aspects of my business. When they first talked to me it sounded like they just wanted to interview me on an online talk show, which sounded good to me, but of course, if it sounds good then it's usually too good to be true. This whole thing where they do the twitter/facebook/MySpace thingy was added in later in the conversation. This whole thing would of course "promote my business, get me more clients and have my current clients coming back more often".

Of course, I found out after I'd talked to them for a while that they'd charge me. First price was $250, then they went down to $99 and I was passed off to someone else to try to do more selling. The first dude said that he needed to know today since his job could be on the line if I didn't get signed up and he also said that I was late in calling him back (they'd left a message on my voicemail saying they wanted to interview me initially). Ooops. Really? My bad. I was a bit confused since was I not the one supposed to be enticed into giving him money? Was the way to do it through "guilt"?

The second dude I was passed on to sounded like he had shiny shoes and goop in his hair. If there's one piece of advice that I would pass on to young women everywhere it's NEVER TRUST A MAN WITH SHINY SHOES AND GOOP IN HIS HAIR. He was Mr. Smooth salesman that talked to me as if I'd the intelligence of a neanderthal.

When is it ever good to try to sell something through talking to someone as if they haven't a clue? When is it ever good to tell someone that they have put someone in a difficult spot and their job is on the line if they don't buy whatever it is their selling?

In the end I just told them that I just didn't want to use twitter or facebook for business uses. I really wanted to tell them that if I did want to use it then I think I could figure out how to do it myself since all those sites are set up so that neanderthals could actually set up accounts. But I held back. I wasn't rude. Maybe the pint of whiskey I had for lunch helped.

It's got to the point where I don't answer my phone if it doesn't have a local area code. This is just one example of why I've decided to do that.

Gaelic lesson "61 "uisce beatha" pronounced "ishke vaha", meaning "whiskey"