Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 71 attempt at the licensing exam before passing. And, even after he made a name for himself in the massage industry, his decision to add esthetics to his resume brought even more hurdles to clear. Bonner says that being a male in the fi eld of massage was hard, but being an African American male in the esthetics fi eld was "very, very hard." He says that living in Mississippi may have played a part, but he's not sure. "I don't know," he says, "I can't speak for anybody else, but nobody would hire me." As Bonner refl ects on his journey, the motivational force of rejection is not lost on him, but he maintains he wouldn't have it any other way. "It hurt to be rejected," Bonner says, " but I was so excited to be able to do massage and esthetics—even though I was in an industry where nobody would hire me. Rejection forced me to open my own door." TEACHER "I will say, I've inspired a lot of people," Bonner says. "There are so many more people who look like me now who are getting into esthetics and massage therapy." But that wasn't always the case. "A lot of times, I'd go into a [class or seminar], and I'd be the only one in the room that looked like me," he shares. "People would look at me crazy, even though I had my shirt. It had my name, my license number on it. Even with all of that, people would ask why I was there." This experience replayed itself repeatedly, according to Bonner—even at one of the larger local market festivals, where one of the coordinators asked him if he was licensed. Rather than be discouraged, Bonner decided he had a lot of educating to do. "I was at every function, every festival there was," he says. "And that's where I kind of built my name. I did that, of course, to be seen, but I also did it to educate others about the business." Today, Bonner is a Mississippi-approved continuing education provider for both the massage therapy and cosmetology boards, as well as a licensed massage therapy instructor and a member of a diversity task force for education. Bonner has completed more than 3,000 hours of education, including hands-on training, continuing education, and certifi cation credits. He has no plans to quit learning about his craft, and he has even traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, twice for courses in Thai massage. AUTHOR Bonner's aspiration to educate anyone and everyone about the benefi ts of massage therapy and esthetics—as well as promoting these fi elds—inspired him to stretch, yet again, as an author. In order to share his own experiences, core principles (faith, determination, dedication, and compassion), and business acumen with a larger audience, Bonner decided to write his fi rst book, Determination + Core Values = Success: A Business-Building Guidebook for New Wellness Entrepreneurs, as a teaching tool. In his book, Bonner teaches readers to recognize and develop their own core values and offers step-by-step instruction for setting up a business, including writing a business plan, choosing a support team, calculating the cost of doing business and profi t, creating a marketing plan, and more. WHAT'S NEXT? In the words of Bonner, "To think outside the box means to stretch yourself into an uncomfortable space, try new things, and be one step ahead of your game," which he has brilliantly done—and will continue to do. When the suggestion to do a TED talk was broached, Bonner just laughed. But it was evident in that moment, that the notion was not out of the realm of possibility. Lisa Bakewell is a full-time freelance writer, editor, perpetual learner, and lover of life in Chicagoland. Her areas of writing expertise span a multitude of topics that include health and wellness, travel, parenting, personal/ company profi les, a plethora of "how-to" articles (her favorite!), and technology. She can be reached at lbakewell@att.net. "It hurt to be rejected," Bonner says, "but I was so excited to be able to do massage and esthetics—even though I was in an industry where nobody would hire me. Rejection forced me to open my own door." SCAN AND LISTEN "The Power of Determination with Terrance Bonner"

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