Are you one of many massage practice owners who feels you need to build confidence in order to build your business?
One of the greatest obstacles massage therapists can face when starting a new business is overcoming self-doubt. When left to take over, self-doubt can suffocate your drive to succeed and prevent you from taking advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Successfully running a massage practice means you have to embody qualities of a good leader and smart business owner. Growth within a business will only happen if you are able to build confidence, work efficiently and hold yourself accountable.
Whether you started your practice right out of massage school or are taking a leap of faith by leaving the security of a 9-to-5 job to pursue your dream, you may be drowning in self-limiting beliefs. Taking consistent steps to grow your practice each week will propel you forward.
With practice and experience, your confidence will flourish. Here are some of the ways I have overcome self-doubt and moved forward with confidence to grow my massage practice:
I Get Out of My Comfort Zone
Stepping outside the boundary of where you feel safe and secure is a mandatory step in personal development and business ownership. Believe it or not, exposing yourself to new challenges that at first seem very uncomfortable will work to build self-confidence.
It takes a level of bravery to jump into situations that make you feel a bit unsure of yourself—but give yourself a good pep talk and jump right into the unknown. You will develop new skills, shed light on your strengths, and identify areas that may require support.
Successful entrepreneurs all possess different strengths and endure different struggles, but in the end they push beyond what they thought they were capable of producing. If you are uncomfortable talking to new people and avoid it at all costs, how will you network effectively?
If math makes you clam up, how will you balance your books? Find new ways to practice the things that make you the most uncomfortable. This brings me to the second way to overcome self-doubt.
I Ask for Help to Build Confidence
Learning to ask for help has been such a valuable lesson for me personally. If you are feeling hung up on a problem or need direction or advice with something, ask someone who has done it before.
In fact, form a network of professionals, mentors and friends you can reach out to when you need help. Get comfortable asking for help, because the quicker you can get an answer, the quicker you can build confidence. In the end, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and time, and avoid costly mistakes.
I Reframe Failure as An Opportunity
With all of the new experiences and challenges you are facing, you will inevitably feel as if you have failed along the way—and that’s normal. Reframing a perceived failure as an opportunity gives you the chance to regroup and try again with newfound knowledge. This can build the confidence needed to move forward with your head held high.
“Start realizing right now that there’s no such thing as failure,” said self-help and coaching guru Tony Robbins. “There are only results. You always produce a result. If it’s not the one you desire, you can just change your actions and you’ll produce new results.”
If you don’t run into failure along the way, you either aren’t setting sizable goals or you aren’t challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Both will stunt your growth and potential. Use failures as stepping-stones to success.
I believe the secret to success is resilience and perseverance. Believe that your hard work will result in success. Never give up on your vision.
I Stick to My Policies and Boundaries
I have personally witnessed therapist after therapist struggle to set boundaries and enforce policies with their clients. They simply feel too weak, too shy or too insecure to do so.
Keep in mind that you teach clients how to behave when interacting with your business. Adding structure to your business will allow you to feel confident dealing with clients—and it is your responsibility to maintain the integrity of the structures you have put in place.
Ultimately, you will protect yourself from situations where income may be lost. While you may love your work, remember you are not simply devoting your precious time and money to a hobby. You are investing in the growth of a business that will support yourself and your family.
For example, if you constantly fail to enforce your cancellation policy—and yes, you’d better have one—guess what? Clients will not think twice before arriving to their appointment late or cancelling on you, day-of-session, without notice.
However, if your cancellation policy is clear, protecting you from last-minute cancellations and no-shows, your clients will treat you and your business with the level of respect they deserve. If they know they will be charged a fee for last-minute changes they will respect your time enough to make it to their appointment or pay the cancellation fee without hesitation.
Demand respect from your clients and be firm with your policies. This is not to say you can’t be understanding and empathetic toward them, especially if an emergency arises; however, enforcing rules from the get-go will prevent misunderstandings and make things run smoothly throughout your relationship with the client.
In order to implement and enforce your policies and procedures, it is critical to implement the proper systems to keep your business running smoothly. Intake forms, scheduling software and payment-processing systems are helpful tools to create efficiencies in your practice. These systems will give your clients a sense of legitimacy, professionalism and security.
I Embrace Education
Massage school teaches us a lot; however, there are knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to excel or specialize within our field. Investing in continuing education exponentially has boosted confidence in my ability to apply the proper treatment and address clients’ needs appropriately. Education will also set you apart from other massage therapists from which a potential client has to choose.
Invest only in classes and workshops that have a notable return on investment—remember, you’re running a business that needs to be profitable. Choose continuing education opportunities that will add value to your brand and niche.
For example, if you specialize in spa techniques for relaxation and your marketing targets CEOs with demanding jobs, an infant massage class probably wouldn’t be the ideal way to spend your budget for education, unless you are planning on changing the focus of your career.
I Practice Gratitude
There is always something in my life for which to be grateful. I take time each day to acknowledge what those things are, which has a massive impact on my daily emotional experience of life. In situations where I feel fearful, reluctant or angry, I challenge myself to find positive aspects in the situation.
Even in the most stressful or fearful of times, if you look hard enough you will find something to focus on that brings even the slightest feeling of gratitude. Focus your energy and attention on those pieces of the puzzle and soon you will feel that positive energy build and expand.
Experiencing hardships in life shows you what you are made of and helps you realize your potential. Developing the ability to focus on what is going well in any circumstance is a skill that can be developed. Make it your goal to have it be second nature and you can turn any situation around. Stay thankful, be positive and never give up on yourself.
Build Confidence with Motivation
It is my hope that these steps leave you feeling motivated and self-assured. Growing a massage practice is hard work. Push forward and never give up on yourself. With time and a steadfast commitment to your practice, you will grow your confidence and reach your goals.
About the Author:
Brianna Clark, LMT, has been a licensed massage therapist for 11 years. She specializes in orthopedic techniques. Her practice, The Anatomy of Wellness, is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her passion, and focus, throughout her career has been to serve those who suffer from chronic pain and injury.