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How to get a New Massage Client

Wouldn’t you love owning a business where everyone wanted what you offered?  Even giants like Microsoft aren’t in demand by everyone. But there is a business desired by virtually every adult–it’s called massage therapy.   


That’s because everybody has a body.  And most of those bodies are in lots of pain and dis-ease.  Very few of the 150 LMTs whom I’ve privately coached recognized this when I started working with them.  The absence of this insight causes LMTs financial struggles.  Realizing that virtually everyone wants your service makes you enthusiastic and bold.  (Enthusiasm and boldness create new clients more effectively than clever marketing.) Tell someone at a party that you’re a massage therapist, and she’ll likely express interest.  At this point, many shy LMTs laugh and reach for the spinach dip.  Others, who might be a little more confident, reach for a business card.  The even wiser therapist reaches for her appointment book and asks when she’d like to come in for some relief.  Landing a new client can be that simple.


That’s why it’s important to get into conversations about what you do, the second question strangers ask.  Don’t just give your card and ask her to follow up.  Try playing a new business game, targeting one new client from your yoga class, or party.  Some consider this audacious. I don’t encourage dropping business cards everywhere, but I do encourage adopting four easy strategies:


1) Recognize that every adult is interested in relief from physical pains and/or desires deep relaxation.

2) Tell people what you do when asked; if they’re interested, wait for them to say they’d love a massage.

3) Then, take out your appointment book and schedule a session.

4) Stay open to the reality that this can happen anywhere at any time.





People at a party are all potential clients

People at a party are all potential clients

Focus on the Actions, not their Fruits


“You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself—without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind.”

The 192' luxury yacht the Universe provided

The 192' luxury yacht the Universe provided

—Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita



Yoga is more than bending and stretching in a class.  The lesson from Krishna (above) was driven home deeply to me one night when I arrived in Raleigh to teach at a holistic center.  On this night, their mailing list “workshopped out,” I walked into a very small turnout:  One solitary soul.


The student and center director asked if I wanted to cancel the class. I could have gone to the movies instead, but an inner voice said stay.  I figured out why by the end of the class.  My lone student learned volumes in her 2-hour private workshop on relationships.  For that, she thanked me profusely; the guy who cleans up popcorn and gunk from the movie theater’s floors wouldn’t have been so effusive.


What I realized quite deeply was that my job is to show up, whether it’s for one person or for one thousand people, as occurred just two weeks later when I delivered the keynote address at a convention in Atlanta.  When you’re a teacher and a coach, you teach and coach.  The Universe takes care of the results of those actions.  


Oh, and about the Universe taking care of the fruits…the following night, I received an email from a mega-rich buddy in Australia.  In it, he invited my wife and me to be guests of his on a 2-week Caribbean cruise on a chartered private 192-foot yacht.  Since my job is to show up, I showed up on a luxury liner even though, on board, there were only a few people, just like I showed up for a class for one.


How to Thrive in a Recession


A lighthouse lights the way in the darkness






As the business coach for massage therapists, I often teach my 6-CE workshop,

“Build a $100,000 a Year Massage Business.”  When I do, I take two hours to

awaken Success Consciousness in my LMT students because the overwhelming

majority of the thousands of LMTs I’ve met do not think this way naturally.  I

often say that a slowed down economy is not a problem for massage therapists.

The problem is how a massage therapist thinks, speaks, and acts about it.


The movie business thrived during the Great Depression because

Hollywood offered relief from daily worries.  If massage therapy doesn’t

offer that—plus pain removal—then I’ll eat my hat—and I’m not a



I’m well aware that some LMTs have seen their numbers drop.  The 

massage therapist who understands when her clients says he needs to

 cut down or cut out massage, is an LMT who might soon need a job.

The massage therapist who makes her client understand that, in a

recession, where stress and fear are rampant, one must spend money

on staying empowered and motivated—or else fears will pull one

into a deeper spiral.  The LMT in this economy must be a body

worker and a lighthouse illuminating the way for those in darkness

around her.


The Chinese ideogram for disaster is the same as the one for

opportunity.  If an LMT sees this economy as a disaster, she’ll likely

find her business dropping.  The one who sees it as an opportunity

will likely succeed. Thank goodness we have the choice to choose.

How to do Money Yoga

 moneyskyIf you have debt, it’s essential to discover whether you spend more money than you bring in monthly. If you’re debt-free, and would like to create–or add to–an investment portfolio, it’s essential to know how much more you bring in monthly than you spend.  In either case, this much is certain: recording your expenses for 30 days is the first step of the journey to financial enlightenment.


Congratulations…you’re about to go from unconsciousness to consciousness.  We all need help along the way–Dorothy had the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion.  You’ll need your mind vigilant, your heart compassionate (without judging your spending), and your spirit courageous (to discover your financial Truth).  Two more allies are a notebook (or pad) and pen. Think of them the way you might have once thought about your American Express Card…don’t leave home without it. If you buy a newspaper, a cafe latte at Starbuck’s, or juice for the kids, write it down.  Do this for a month. A big reason people have debt is that they don’t want to know how much they spend, so they’d rather head for the hills than record every purchase for a month.  So stay vigilant.  The impulse to go unconscious is so insidious you’ll probably “forget” before even knowing you have.  


One other thing: you’re noting your purchases, not judging them. It’s not necessary to change spending habits during the month you observe them. At month’s end, after you’ve gone over the numbers, you can decide how to change your spending patterns.


This recordkeeping month is your Money Yoga, your Zen of Finances, and parallels the lunar cycle.  There’s spiritual significance to accounting for your spending; you’re becoming conscious of what was mostly unconscious. Each day review the spending of your daily bread, and make sure you’ve covered each expense.  


      During your record-keeping month, review a year’s credit card and checking statements for unusual or seasonal expenses that didn’t show up in your monthly vigil. This discovers what it costs for vacations, insurance premiums, car repairs, and holiday gifts and birthday presents, etc.  For expenses that show up once a year, divide by 12 and assign an appropriate monthly number.  If they appear twice a year, divide by 6.  If they happen every other year, divide by 24.


      When the numbers are tabulated, lift your spirits before sharpening your pencil or downloading your Quicken software.  Meditate or take a walk in a park, then put your expenses into categories and make appropriate decisions about how you want to spend or invest your money.

$ $ $

How Enthusiasm can Empower You


A picture (of yourself enthusiastic) is worth a thousand dollars.

A picture (of yourself enthusiastic) is worth a thousand dollars.

Many 20th Century giants had more adventures with the mirror than Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Foster Hibbard, one of my most inspired teachers, said that Napoleon Hill, his teacher of 13 years, said that many of the leaders he met through a 20-year mentoring by Andrew Carnegie, derived great results from their work in front of the glass. Hill studied with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, among others. 

The process involves looking into the mirror when you’re by yourself and saying “Enthusiasm!”  (Don’t mind the responses that go through your head as you implore your reflection to be enthusiastic.)   Consider its etymology: Our English word enthusiasm comes from the Greek “entheos.” The Greek root “theo” is familiar to us as theology, the study of the divine. Entheos is the divine lively within you.  


This technique works immediately and amazingly. Just before introducing it in my workshops, I ask students to evaluate their own level of enthusiasm on a scale of zero to 10.   (Zero stands for the depression of one ready to call it quits and jump off a bridge; 10 is the euphoric state when you’ve just been told you won $50 million in your state’s mega lottery.) Then I tell students that after 30 seconds of the Enthusiasm technique, their rating will increase.  In all the years I’ve taught this technique, nobody has ever disproved my assertion.  


A caveat before beginning the “Enthusiasm” technique: It’s natural to feel foolish when you start doing it.  In time, that self-consciousness gives way to a more confident, excited consciousness, a magnetic personality. It’s that enthusiasm in your being, that higher vibration, that will attract more people to you. And that means more clients, customers and favorable opportunities. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps the image of yourself all turned on might also be worth a thousand dollars.

“Inner” Vitamins for Massage Therapists


Minimum daily requirements for "outer" vitamins

Minimum daily requirements for "outer" vitamins

Recently, while preparing for a 2-week teaching road trip teaching, I was packing multi-vitamins and noticed the label.  As a massage therapist, you understand the need for vitamins every day.  But are you aware of your minimum daily requirements for inner vitamins as well? 

I’m referring to qualities like appreciation, for example.  The word “vitamin” didn’t appear in Webster’s dictionary until 1912.  For centuries we didn’t understand these “organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals.”   That’s Webster’s talking.  For centuries, we also didn’t know the need for analogous emotional substances.  Fortunately, as professional nurturers you do.  Perhaps by 2012, MDs will  recognize the role they play in keeping us healthy.


“Inner vitamins” are available through a terrific two-minute process that involves you and another person.  You can do it with clients to connect to them deeply.  Here’s how to get vitamin A1 (Appreciation): appreciate the person you’re working with, while she says, “Thank you.”  You may need to remind her not to say, “If you knew me better you’d never say such nice things.”   The process looks like this:


You: “Something I appreciate about you is your commitment to personal growth.”


Her: “Thank you.”


You: “Something I appreciate about you is how you care about people.”


And so on.  After a minute, have her acknowledge you.  (As an LMT, you’re a professional giver, so it’s likely you have a tough time receiving—especially appreciation.  Being comfortable taking in appreciation helps you become at ease  taking in money.)   It looks something like:


Her: “Something I appreciate about you is your dedication to helping people heal.”


You: “Thank you.”

Her: “Something else I appreciate about you is your deep therapeutic massages.”


Then thank each other for providing your minimum daily requirements of appreciation.  


Vitamin A1 isn’t t the only inner vitamin you need each day. Others include Vitamin E1 (Enthusiasm); Vitamin H1 (Happiness), Vitamin H2 (Hugs); Vitamin K1 (Kindness); Vitamin L (Love); and Vitamin R (Respect).   If you’d like real health, add these essential inner vitamins daily with the people in your life—from your mate and kids to co-workers and clients.  If you live alone, you can do this on the phone.

Accentuate the Positive

Al Green's album "Accentuate the Positive"

Al Green's album "Accentuate the Positive"

“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mr. In-between.

—Johnny Mercer

Long ago, Broadway’s Tin Pan Alley offered such advice to Americans who wanted success in love and business.  It’s as true today for those who want to succeed in life and massage.

Most LMTs call their work a “practice.”   If you want to “practice” massage practice on my back.  If you want a massage business, I’ll show you how to change the limiting attitudes about money kicking around in the cellar of your subconscious mind that hold you back.

As the business coach for massage therapists, I teach an LMT that a powerful way to accomplish this transformation is by rewiring your mind through affirmations.  It’s critical to release negative thoughts preventing success.  In coaching 150 LMTs, I’ve discovered four common thoughts.

1. Healing is pure; money is dirty.
2. Doing massage is so enjoyable, I don’t need to get paid much for it.
3. Marketing?  I have a massage license, not an MBA.
4. If my business gets too successful, I’ll burn out.

These limited messages must be released to take your massage business to the next level.  Let’s now heal that second thought: Doing massage is so enjoyable I don’t need to get paid much for it.  I recommend the following affirmation: “When I do the massage work I love, the world is enriched and so am I, as clients and money flow to me quickly.”

Write the affirmation as 1A, then the negative response it elicits underneath as 1B. Suppose the negative thought that emerges is: “If I do the massage work that I love, not enough people will come.”

Write the response without judgment.  Underneath, as 1C, create a new affirmation to treat this response. A good one is: “The same force of Nature that helps my clients heal on the massage table supports me in bringing people to that table.”

Writing the resistance releases it from your being. I recommend doing this process for 10 minutes a day until its truth manifests. Each repetition has three parts.  Writing these affirmations daily can help get more clients onto your massage table, and put more food on your dining table.

How to Find the Silver Lining in the Economic Cloud

Every cloud has a silver lining

Every cloud has a silver lining

If you listen to TV news, you know about people losing jobs. Politicians place creation of jobs as among their most frequent promises in stump speeches.  But all that glitters with regard to jobs is not gold.

When I grew up, a job meant cradle-to-grave security. But with outsourcing of jobs overseas, American workers discovered that no longer applies.  Reliable biweekly paychecks with health insurance coverage is what most U.S. families desire, despite the fact that more than two million jobs were lost in the economy in 2008.

A dark cloud hangs over every home where someone has lost a job, but there’s also a silver lining that’s rarely discussed.  That’s because being an employee seems to be as American as apple pie, even though many people swear off the sugar in such pie.  What’s more, many apple pies were baked by self-employed entrepreneurs.

Ironically a majority of Americans don’t like what they do for a living.  A 2005 Conference Board study found that only 14 percent are “very satisfied” with what they do for pay.  If people liked their work, there wouldn’t be a TGI Friday’s which, as of November 2007, boasted more than 600 U.S. units, and another 303 in 57 other countries, while ringing up sales in excess of $2.1 billion.  That’s a lot of people who can’t wait until Friday.

People don’t like what they do for money because they’re trying to force their round pegs into the square holes of a pre-existing job.  What might happen, on the other hand, if they looked to create income not from the outside (like a job created by some entity outside themselves), but from the inside (from within their own Being)?  In my “Spirit & Money: Prospering by doing what you Love” workshop, mini-book, and CD, I say that the former creates a livelihood; the latter, a lovelihood.

Your parents taught you to have something to fall back on.   Imagine if you were told that you could use your God-given talents as your ticket through life.  Imagine if you took the gifts that are second nature to you and used them to share with the world.  When you bring your gifts into the world, you enrich the world, enrich yourself from within, and enrich your pocketbook, as well.  This is the opportunity that millions of newly-unemployed Americans have been given by the Universe if they could just see it, and have the courage to act upon. And with unemployment insurance stretching to about a year and a half, they could be partially subsidized by the government while they turn inward and craft their talents into goods and services that enrich society while simultaneously giving them the chance to develop that lovelihood.  When they do just that and the weekend ends, they can look in the mirror in the morning and say to themselves, “Thank God, it’s Monday.”

How to Strengthen your Boundaries

If you grew up in a dysfunctional home where a parent drank or raged, chances are you thought it was your job to become a peacemaker to make others feel good.  (It wasn’t.)  This behavior calmed the battle around you for a while, but it robbed you of your integrity.  It also attracted angry people to heal this pattern.  If this is your pattern, you’ve lacked the knowledge that it’s not your responsibility to make everyone happy.  Especially since it comes at the high price of your own peace and happiness.

Adding a vitamin to your diet makes up for a nutritional deficiency; adding an affirmation to your mental diet overcomes errors in thinking.  Here are three for boundary deficiency:

I am responsible for my feelings and emotions and everyone else is responsible for his.

I create the pleasure and pain in my life and others do the same in theirs.

I can support others without taking on their problems.

cb best shot

When the Going gets Tough, the Tough get Massaged

The overwhelming majority of LMTs I’ve encountered—now in the  thousands—do not think successfully. A business coach for massage therapists, I tell clients that a slowed down economy is not a problem for  massage therapists. The problem is how a massage therapist thinks, speaks, and acts about it.

During the Great Depression, the movie business thrived because Hollywood offered relief from daily worries.  If massage therapy doesn’t offer that—plus pain removal—then I’ll eat my hat—and I’m not a “hatatarian.”

The massage therapist who understands when her client says he needs to cut down or cut out massage, is an LMT who might soon need a job.   The massage therapist who makes her client understand that, in a recession, where stress and fear are rampant, one must spend money on staying empowered and motivated—or else fears will pull one into a deeper spiral.  The LMT in this economy must be a bodyworker and a lighthouse illuminating the way for those in darkness around her.

The Chinese ideogram for disaster is the same as the one for opportunity. If an LMT sees this economy as a disaster, she’ll likely find her business  dropping. The one who sees it as an opportunity will likely succeed.  Thank goodness we have the choice to choose.