Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2023

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84 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m ay/ j u n e 2 0 2 3 essential skills | BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS Creating Separation Between Your Identity and Your Business By Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds TAKEAWAY: If you start to think of your business as an asset you manage, and not an inseparable part of your identity, you will focus on ways to make it more valuable. Massage therapy business owners are predictable. We tend to grow our businesses slowly, gathering clients through personal networks and word- of-mouth referrals. Some of us integrate formal networking, a great website, and maybe some online advertising. We tend to learn as we go, hacking ideas together that work for our individual style. Massage therapy is also an art. It's caregiving. Massage therapy is a service that requires personal touch and thoughtful attention to a client and their needs. Clients will be attracted to us not just for the specific hands-on techniques we perform, but also for our personality, our professionalism, and our approach to client care. Our businesses are a ref lection of ourselves in so many ways that it's easy to become enmeshed and think of ourselves and business as a merged identity. This balance of business sense, caregiving skills, and boundaries can be tricky to maintain in a massage practice. For many of us, our personal life and identity are interwoven with our business. A sustainable business also requires good boundaries. Boundaries ensure financial security, protect our nonwork time, and keep us happy about walking into the office and seeing clients each day. There are signs that some separation from your business may be helpful. TAKING CLIENT FEEDBACK OR SUCCESS PERSONALLY We cannot be the best massage therapist for every client. We can be good. We can be helpful. But we cannot be perfectly suited to every client. When a new client doesn't reschedule or a longtime client fades away, it can be easy to take it personally. When we hear that a client didn't love our massage or music or the lighting in the office, it can feel like a punch to our identity

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