This blog post is part of the "Finding the Career Balance" Series; where you will get to hear from currently practicing massage therapists and health practitioners on how they balance their career for longevity -physically, emotionally, and monetarily. My vision is allow a light to shine on all the opportunities that are available. Use these opinions as a platform for growth.
Guest Blog Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Urban Therapeutic. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. - Brenda Stebbeds, LMT / Urban Therapeutic Owner
I would be willing to bet you agree with me that supplementing your massage income with a part-time, mediocre-wage job is frustrating. If you've had similar experiences as me, you receive a request for an appointment during the hours you're scheduled for that commitment that isn't producing nearly the hourly rate you would have received doing a massage, making it clear that you are not committed to that part-time opportunity in your heart. In the long run, what does a standard part time job really offer you anyway?
I dug into this question for myself, and found that I want more for myself. I want to build a solid foundation to support me through my slow times, and set myself up for a successful retirement from this career, as retirement tends to come earlier for us than the average career path. What's your plan for when that time comes for you?
As massage therapists we are passionate about our careers, and our clients, but it is a tricky balance in not over-working ourselves, making enough income to cover all our needs and life desires, being available to accommodate clientele, and saving or investing for the future.
Now, I want to be transparent here and tell you that I was SO RESISTANT to this concept for years. I don't even know where all my beliefs about network marketing and MLM's came from, or why I was so stubborn to open my mind, but I was. Then I decided to really look into it. You know what I discovered? It is the PERFECT solution to my career long issue creating sufficient supplemental income. (And bonus building a retirement plan.)
Network marketing provides:
A turn key business with minimal overhead and all the heavy lifting is done by the parent company.
No income ceiling: The potential to earn big is REAL LIFE, and your effort and commitment determine your success.
Timing: The employment field as we know it is changing and employers are no longer offering the long term benefits they once did.
No boss and no set schedule: This is a huge benefit. It leaves us open to working our side business in the cracks of time in our massage schedule. (Hello, something productive to do when you have a no show!)
Legacy income: This may be specific to the company I chose, but once you reach a certain rank and income level, you can set up your earnings to continue to go to a beneficiary in the event of your passing. Keeping your family financially supported is incredible!
Paid Time OFF!: I don't know about you, but I am an independent, self-employed therapist, and my boss, as pretty as she may be , does not pay me when I take time off. The income that comes in from network marketing comes even when you sleep. It eliminates trading time for money. You work hard in the front end, to create ease of big gain in the long run.
Relationships: Network marketing, much like massage is about building trust and relationships. It is entirely about the other person. Our job is to listen, and meet a need. It's not about forcing it on everyone you know. You don't go around asking everyone to let you massage them, same thing for network marketing. Find a product that fits a need you're passionate about, and offer it with the same sincerity you offer your massage services with. People appreciate sincerity.
Personal Development: As Eric Worre says "The greatest benefit is not getting what you want. It is becoming what you need to become to get it." The personal development that comes from working this type of business is invaluable. It makes you dig into yourself and stretch your capabilities in ways other career paths do not. It paves way for you to truly see your full potential and become your best self.
All of that is ideal in a career right?! Here's the thing, You have to treat it like a business. You are in complete control of your own success or your own failure in network marketing. You must be confident and dynamic. You must be consistent and give it a real chance to work for you. A mighty oak tree does not grow over night, nor will your network marketing business. If you stick with it and give it consistent energy and focus, it can become everything you dream it could be.
Network marketing is a long-term, life-changing gig. In 4-7 years you could be a 6 figure earner. Did you know the average career length for a massage therapist is 5-7 years? Imagine if you spent that time building something along side your massage business that will carry you through the rest of your life. The time is passing anyway, make the best use out of it.
One very important thing to consider is staying within your scope of practice as a massage therapist. Check into how your chosen company lines up with the laws we are governed by. For example, vitamin and supplement based companies are a big no-no according to the board, so if you choose a company that does offer supplements, you must be very strict with yourself on how you discuss them with your clients. The company I work with has very strict compliance policies that line up very well with scope of practice, so that makes it easier to share appropriately. Read the policies and procedures that your company runs by and follow them accordingly.
There are many wonderful network marketing companies out there. Find one that fits you. Choose a company that offers a product you are going to use. You must be your own best customer, so you have to love and believe in what they offer. What you choose to share in your practice should be something you are equally passionate about, so that you can rely on it with love if necessary. There are companies out there that offer great products that compliment massage treatments very well, making it easy to turn your clients into customers gracefully. It is truly a beautiful thing.
Beyond products offered, network marketing is about team building. It is about coming together with like minded, driven individuals that are working towards a common goal. Having a strong and supportive up line is very helpful in building success. When you have strong leaders to learn from, you can pass down the knowledge and support you have received, to people who are drawn to build below you. Success in network marketing is about duplication. There are many methods and practices laid out by people who have put the work in and found great success. You can utilize their wisdom and tools as inspiration and guidance to pave your own success path. It's truly a career of togetherness. So go forth my friends, connect and be successful!