A drawing of a person on a balance beam, holding a smiley face in one hand and a frowning face in the other, is used to illustrate the concept of balancing and sustaining your passion for business success.

When building sustainability into your massage career, one of the most important things that is highly overlooked when it comes to sustaining your career is how to maintain your drive for business as an entrepreneur.

For those of you who have run a business for many years, the feelings of what I am about to talk about are all too familiar. For those who are new to working for yourself or have only been managing your own business for a few years, you may not have experienced some of these emotions yet. Just realize these emotions are actually quite common for anyone who is self-employed.

Setting the massage therapy part aside, how do you maintain the passion, drive and willingness to continue to push forward for success within your business even when you are just simply tired of all and want to quit—but can’t?

No one really talks about these emotions that are a normal part of being an entrepreneur and owning a business. There are seasons to running a business where at times you are so thankful to be your own boss and carving out your own path to success. And there are times when it is a day-to-day struggle because you are depending on yourself, and it can be a mental battle to keep going.

So the question is, during those times of struggle, where and how do you find the spirit to keep going?

Finding the Spirit and Passion for Business … Again and Again

I recently read a blog post that resonated deeply with me as an entrepreneur striving to find the energy to maintain a consistent forward drive for myself and my own business. The post was called the “Key to Courage,” written by Michael Dauphinee: “Don’t spend your time tightening your grasp or your resolve; get a grip on the compelling truth. Instead of blindly pushing us to something we think is right, we need a magnificent obsession that pulls us forward.”

It took me years to grasp what that one statement means, and here is my similar experience and understanding.

The energetic will to continue forward in business is not about pushing yourself to do more. I can guarantee the mental energy behind this type of action, at some ungainful point, can leave you feeling drained, depleted and unable to continue forward. I have experienced this and have found myself struggling to go to work, disliking what I was doing every day, and looking for ways to get away from my own business.

The internal conflict this can produce is huge. Essentially, you begin to not like yourself and start resenting what you are making yourself do because you are your business. It can be such a mental merry-go-round.

The energetic will that propels you forward, almost effortlessly, can always be found when you are in pursuit of what you are passionate about. I have experienced this energy enough times that I can tell you: Passion has the ability to create its own momentum within you. Out of passion comes a special kind of energy that can propel you through years of being an entrepreneur, bringing with it enjoyment and the discovery of new aspects of yourself.

Passion is what business longevity is made of and what each of you felt when you started out in business. That is why you even ventured out to try running a business.

The secret is to continue to seek after that passion, or as Michael called it, your obsession.

What Are You Passionate About?

I want you to ask yourself, why do you continue to be a massage therapist and run a business? And then I want you to really pay attention to the answers you give yourself.

When asked this question, most of the therapists I coach state they have continued in this career because they believe in helping others and believe massage makes a difference in their client’s’ lives.

When I ask why they are struggling, while I at first get superficial answers, the heart of the dilemma can always be narrowed down to one specific thing: They quit pursuing what they were passionate about and start simply repeating their workday until they can’t remember why they are doing massage anymore. They have lost their passion for massage and are looking for a way to find it again.

I can tell you it is simply a matter of looking within and asking yourself the right questions to bring it forward in your mind. It is not lost, merely forgotten.

The driving force of sustainability isn’t just about having good business sense and correct body mechanics. It is about having a belief deep down inside you that what you are doing is worthy of you, your time and effort while at the same time, allowing you to pursue your passion.

It took some time for me to realize and then accept that I am not a massage therapist, or a coach, or even a writer. Those are merely the ways I express what I am passionate about. What I am most passionate about and what brings so much energy to my core being is to have the opportunity to solve a problem.

I am a problem solver. When I can sit down with a coaching client, perform massage work with a client for a pain pattern or condition, find a solution to a business issue, or even write about how to fix a problem in your business, that simple act of being given the opportunity to create a solution is when I am on fire and the happiest.

The joy that comes from that opportunity creates its own kind of energy that propels me forward and makes me want to continue forward in my own business indefinitely. In essence, it is my obsession.

How to Make Massage Your Magnificent Obsession (Again)

I want you to ask yourself what creates this kind of passion within you? I have learned it will not be the first answer you come up with. You will have to dig deep and let go of what you think the answer should be. You will know you are there when the thought of being this person or pursuing an action sparks something within you.

I call this exercise “Finding Your Why,” and when you understand what your why is, it will be one of the most important pieces of information you need to successfully continue to work for yourself.

My why has propelled me through 30 years at the massage table, allowing me to expand how I help others and continue to create more tools for success. I promise you it can do the same for you.

Whatever your passion is, the reason you most likely pursued massage therapy was it gave you the opportunity to pursue what you were passionate about while also giving you an avenue to experience it.

I will leave you with this: I challenge you to remember your why, then infuse it into the massage therapy you offer and pursue that energy again.

Amy Bradley Radford

About the Author

Amy Bradley Radford, LMT, BCTMB, has been a massage therapist and educator for more than 30 years. She is the owner of Massage Business Methods and the developer of PPS (Pain Patterns and Solutions) Seminars CE courses and an NCBTMB Approved CE Provider.