This one was by far the most powerful stumbling block for me in the beginning of my practice. But, as soon as I got over it and started taking the actions needed to really grow, things got much easier.
So often we start a new endeavor (growing a massage practice, anyone?) with huge excitement and energy. But then it sinks in that there’s actually quite a lot of work involved – and if you don’t have the right resources, things can get very confusing and frustrating, very fast.
So, most of us (yes, me included) want to kind of sit back and just wait for the good stuff to happen. I mean, we opened our practice, it should pretty much fill itself, right?
In any case, this is all about getting unstuck from Myth #3, so let’s get rolling!
If I build it, clients will come.
This is, perhaps, the most seductive of all three of the myths we’ve been talking about.
This is the one that most often keeps practitioners in perpetual frustration. This is the one that so often leads practitioners to resentment and keeps their practices limping along rather than flying.
Opening your practice and expecting the best because your energy or your heart is in the right place is not enough. That’s the beginning point, but all of the good energy in the world will not build a successful practice. You have to work at it.
Again, by “work” I do not mean “difficult drudgery.” This work can be so much fun and so satisfying if you have the right tools at your disposal.
There is a lot of trial and error and readjustment in every successful practice. Very rarely will you do something and it works perfectly the first time. If you have the right help, it will be a much shorter road. But every practice is a bit different and you will have to figure out what works best for you in each situation.
This is a very wonderfully creative process and it can be just as satisfying as the hands-on work you do with clients.
Figuring out that your specific clients:
- love a warm foot bath during intake
- like to lie down on the table during intake
- adore online scheduling
- love to give you a rundown of every health-related issue since their last session
- or about a hundred other things
. . . figuring these things out and then intentionally making space for them in your practice is GOLD. And that’s what will draw people to you over and over again.
And that’s just one example. There are so many creative ways to seriously OWN your practice and make it so full of who you are that your ideal clients can’t resist wanting to work with you.
AND . . .
This knowledge doesn’t just appear. You have to look for it. You have to:
- work with enough clients
- talk to enough colleagues and mentors
- do enough journaling
- survey your clients
so that you can see these things clearly.
When you give up the idea of a magically filled practice and start to really own your practice by taking the action necessary to build it . . . then that is where your practice becomes uniquely yours.
And that is the place where you will find out all of the things that will draw your ideal clients to you over and over again, and leave them HAPPILY paying your full rate over and over again.
So, even though you want the magical “If I build it, they will come,” practice (as we all do!) remember that there is so much satisfaction in the growth work of building your business.
That process is where all of the good stuff is. So instead of wishing for magic, look around in your own work and start making the adjustments and taking the actions that will really start to bring in your favorite clients over and over again.
Now please take some time to finish your Myth #3 Worksheet.
Now that you have completed this work of busting up these three myths, don’t stop here!
- Go through your three worksheets and actually do the action items you wrote down.
- Keep working on any disconnects you feel about making your living from helping/healing.
- Really work on building the relationships that will sustain you through this work.
And, most importantly, be sure to have fun with all of your good work!
- Isabel Spradlin has owned her full-time practice since 2007. She has a deep drive to help other massage therapists and bodyworkers to create thriving businesses for themselves. For comprehensive programs to help you do just that, see the 'Programs' tab in the menu.
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