Happy Price, Sad Price

I know that exhaustion and worry are directly opposed to prosperity.  The question is, how do you find a good groove with creating money when you are in worry?  The irony is that when money is tight is when you have to be in a state of positive expectation and gratitude to turn it around.

Energy is magnetic.  It attracts like to itself.  I don’t believe that you just send out good vibes and lo, all that you need shall come to pass!  No indeed.  Being actively in service is what it takes to prosper.  The trick is to be in service joyfully, from our fullness.

So, the sad price is the price many of us go to when we think we are in need of more business.  I got this idea from John Eggen, who is one of the entrepreneurs whose work I subscribe to, and this message came to me in my inbox. It seemed particularly relevant to massage therapists.

If I ask you to give me a massage for $30.00, does the idea of doing this make you happy or does it make you sad? Of course this depends on a lot of variables.  Are you just starting out?  Are you experienced?  Where do you live? What’s “the going rate”?  Do you need to get your first clients to get you going?  Are you busy but you feel you need more money to get by?

23 years ago, while I was still a student, I decided that my student rate was $35.00 for a massage.  I was influenced by one of my instructors, who said, “I wouldn’t want a massage that was worth less than $40.00.”  I deduced from her statement that my rate right out of the starting gate was going to be $40.00.

Since I was still in school, getting any paying clients at all was a win.  I figured that for my clients, getting my massage, which I knew was good, for a student rate was a win.  So I told any prospective client that my student rate was $35.00 and that the day I graduated it would be going up to $40.00.  The week I graduated, I had 12 clients booked.  It was a great start!

These prices made me happy.

When you are working at your happy price, you enjoy your work and do it well.  When you work at your sad price, you are resentful, exhausted, and feeling devalued.  This is not a prosperous, magnetic state!

You may naively suppose that I am suggesting that you charge top dollar for your massage, as a lot of business coaches do.  Nope.  The right price is the price you feel good about, because it is a win for all, and it will change organically.  You’ll have to shoot me before I’ll do a massage today at $40.00.  Not here, in the Bay Area, not with the experience I have under my belt, not with my current client load.  What I charge sounds like riches to some of my massage therapist coaching clients, and one of my colleagues who works with Hollywood movie stars says I charge too little.  It’s all about what you feel good about, and feeling good makes you magnetic.  If I had a dollar for everyone who has said they want to work with me because “I just love your energy!” I would have a tidy stash!

Cultivate the energy of joy and your love for your work will ease the path for you in ways you can’t imagine.

“I work for goals.  Miracles work for me.”  -Stephanie St. Claire

My “happy price” for mentoring massage therapists is a great value right now, while I’m beta-testing my practice building materials!  Let’s have some fun practice building together!  Check out my current programs here.

The Flaky Massage Therapist: Is this You?

Before you get upset at this absurd question, take a deep breath.  It’s ok.  There is a stereotype about us out there in the world, and I want to take it on.

Most stereotypes exist because some small grain of truth exists in some small population.  We are no exception.  I had an experience of a flaky massage therapist last night.  I was supposed to receive a massage at my home, and she dropped off the planet.  This was especially disappointing to me because I have been searching for some time for a therapist who could give me the massage I want.  This also, incidentally, would be the massage therapist I would consider subcontracting to when I need some help.  I received from her at a local spa, and I called her and scheduled my massage.  It was scheduled about a month in advance.

The disappearing act may be a little extreme, but there are other ways we can show up as flaky.

There’s the “woo-woo” factor that a lot of folks expect.  Now I know full well that energy and matter are intimately related, and intimately create each other.  :).  However, I don’t go to a session draped in crystals.  Some folks do.

I once had an intuitive Reiki student who was so spot-on that nothing could be hidden from her.  She could pick up all kinds of information, just from hearing my voice on the telephone.  She also deliberately wore skirts that dragged on the ground by a good couple of inches.  She said that this helped her feel connected with the earth.

So what’s going on here?

There is a wide spectrum of flaky and dependable in the massage therapist world.  Most of us fall somewhere in between.  Here are some valid questions to ask yourself to discover where you fall.  There are not wrong answers, and change always starts with detached awareness.

Are you taking care of yourself?  

Most of us enter this field because we are committed to helping others to take care of themselves.  Despite knowing better, we ourselves get the leftovers.  If you are not taking good care of yourself, you may be working in pain, exhausted, or scattered.  Voila, the flake factor, one session at a time!  When I am burnt out, my body mechanics stink, I am tempted to chat to distract myself from my discomforts, and each massage leads to further exhaustion. Not the path to my best work!  Fortunately, after 23 years I have learned better, sometimes the hard way.

Are you out of your body?

This is a further look at the previous question.  Most of us went into this field because we had an amazing experience receiving.  If your first massage blew your mind, you probably needed it, a lot!  It was magical and amazing, and we are our own perfect client.  Your clients come to you to help them get into their bodies.  To do that effectively, you need to be fully in yours.  I find it interesting and significant that so many of us have health issues that require awareness to manage.  We are teaching what we need to learn.  Embrace this truth and you will not be fighting against yourself.

Are you money averse?

Why of course not, you say!  But wait a minute.  If you refer a client because you can’t see her, do you ask for a kickback from the therapist you send her to?  Do you love managing your money?  Do you offer crazy discounts to people because they “need it and can’t afford it”?  Do you balance your checkbook?

Did you grow up hearing arguments about money?  Have you heard over and over that rich people are jerks?  Is money the root of all evil?  Being money averse sounds crazy, but it is not at all unusual.  If you grew up in an atmosphere of anxiety and conflict about money, dealing with it may not be your favorite thing.

So, are all massage therapists flaky?  Obviously not.  Enough of us are though.  And plenty of us are afraid of money, out of our bodies, or not taking care of ourselves.  Is this you?  If it is, you’re not wrong, you’re in need of some TLC.

Isn’t that what you’re in business for?