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100+ Random facts about me

101 Random Facts

I saw someone create a list of random facts about themselves and I liked the idea.  It sort of reminds me of the question, “If I die who would show up to my funeral?”.  Don’t ask me why it just does.  After reading Dale Carnegie’s book, How to win friends & Influence people I learned people like talking about themselves.  So here I go.

The Facts

  1. Born in 1975.
  2. Virgo.
  3. Year of the rabbit.
  4. 5’3.
  5. I love my name.
  6. My name means gay, happy.  (I’m both).
  7. Apple fan girl.
  8. Married my high school sweetheart.
  9. I have one brother and 2 sisters.
  10. I’m a communications graduate.
  11. Military brat.
  12. Agnostic.
  13. Pragmatic.
  14. Rarely ever say “sorry”.
  15. Love musicals.
  16. Played soccer as a kid through college.
  17. Rarely watch TV or movies now.
  18. Don’t follow trends.
  19. Do my own thing.
  20. Some call me a nerd, a geek, a weirdo, psycho and sometimes smart.
  21. Love coding.
  22. Love computers.
  23. Prefer writing than typing.
  24. Wake up at 4am everyday.
  25. I workout 5 times a week.
  26. Lived in Japan for 6 years.
  27. Speak Japanese.
  28. Taught english in Japan.
  29. I don’t play video games.
  30. Am a vegan.
  31. I’m a foodie.
  32. Only eat whole organic foods.
  33. Favorite cooking channel is on YouTube and is the Happy Pear.
  34. Don’t smoke.
  35. Love me some craft beer.
  36. Developing a palate for whiskey and bourbon.
  37. Have a brain tumor.
  38. Can count the number of friends I have on one hand.
  39. Extremely thoughtful.
  40. I prefer coffe over tea.
  41. Love diet coke but rarely drink it or any soda.
  42. Write in my journal daily.
  43. Suffer from anxiety.
  44. Depression is something I constantly battle.
  45. I’m obsessed about cleanliness.
  46. But I don’t mind if other people are messy.
  47. I can spend countless hours organizing things so it’s just right for me.
  48. Looking at desk setups is relaxing to me.
  49. Very attentive.
  50. I am very observant.
  51. Detail oriented.
  52. Things must be symmetrical to get my stamp of approval.
  53. I do what I love and want to do.
  54. Rarely do I take people’s advice unless I really buy into what they are selling.
  55. Love organizing my mobile devices.
  56. Organizing on devices by alphabet works best for me.
  57. Have 4 tablets, 3 cell phone, 1 desktop, 3 laptops.
  58. Do all the cooking in my house.
  59. Cook in the morning.
  60. Most productive in the morning.
  61. Start massaging in the afternoon.
  62. Prefer cycling or skateboarding over driving.
  63. Will go out for a bowl of ramen, pho any day.
  64. Taco bell California crunch wraps are boss.
  65. Addicted to candy and good chocolate and cakes and pies.  Basically addicted to sugar.
  66. Most people think I’m being sarcastic but I’m really not.
  67. Love building things websites, gardens.
  68. Favorite past time is watching YouTube videos on olympic and powerlifting.
  69. Never get bored.
  70. Use to not care about politics.
  71. Digital marketing fascinates me.
  72. I HATE Donald Trump.
  73. Hate the GOP.
  74. Very political.
  75. I swear a lot.
  76. I only say things I mean.
  77. Don’t like crowds.
  78. Prefer being at home.
  79. I’m an introvert but most people identify me as an extrovert.  It’s only because I feel people expect me to be a certain way around them.
  80. I listen to everything and hear everything even when you think I’m not listening.
  81. Steve Jobs is my hero.
  82. Elon Musk is boss.
  83. Sustainability is at the forefront of all my ventures.
  84. Long bike rides are how I sort out my next steps in life.
  85. Classical, Classic Rock, Country, R&B, Hip Hop, Pop, Alternative, Metal.  I love them all.
  86. I love shopping for cheap tech.
  87. Everything I have is useful.
  88. Clutter drives me crazy.
  89. I read newspapers daily.
  90. Plain old English is sexy.
  91. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal.
  92. At the beginning of each year I do a one month juice cleanse.
  93. Social media drives me crazy.
  94. I want to learn more about playing the guitar, drawing, and photography.
  95. Read digital marketing websites daily.
  96. Never wanted to be a massage therapist.
  97. But it turned out to be the best thing for me.
  98. Love the business aspect of massage.
  99. I have 2 dog children (miniature schnauzers).
  100. Despise people who don’t pick up their dog poop.
  101. Environment protector.
  102. Animal lover.
  103. Working towards minimalism.
  104. Very particular.
  105. Reflect everyday on the meaning of life.
  106. I love being me.

Oops it actually turned out to be more than 101 random facts.  To my surprise it was pretty easy to create the list.  Actually I could easily continue on with it.  I found myself wanting to go into detail with the points.  But I thought it best to stick to general points than to get wrapped up in the details.  As I did it, I got to learn a little more about myself and myself in relation to the world around me.  Powerful stuff.  I will continue at with it.  Who knows maybe I can get to 500 facts.

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Turn a Penny into Millions

Turn a penny into millions

Felicia here.

I have a question for you, 

“If you were given a choice to receive one million dollars in one month or a penny doubled every day for 30 days, which one would you choose?”

I’m pretty sure you’d picked the million, I did.

I found this chart about a year ago.  It intrigued me so much that it is pinned to my screen.  I often refer to it.  You see, I have always been driven to do better, be better, grow, move forward.  So when something so profound as this comes along I cherish it.  When I feel like I’m slowing down or at a standstill, I look at this and well, I’m motivated again.  

Turn a penny into millions in 30 days

If you got paid a penny today, but then doubled that payment every day for 30 days, you’d end up with over $5 million dollars by day 30.

The numbers illustrate the days of the month 1-30.

1: $.01

2: $.02

3: $.04

4: $.08

5: $.16

6: $.32

7: $.64

8: $1.28

9: $2.56

10: $5.12

11: $10.24

12: $20.48

13: $40.96

14: $81.92

15: $163.84

16: $327.68

17: $655.36

18: $1,310.72

19: $2,621.44

20: $5,242.88

21: $10,485.76

22: $20,971.52

23: $41,943.04

24: $83,886.08

25: $167,772.16

26: $335,544.32

27: $671,088.64

28: $1,342,177.28

29: $2,684,354.56

30: $5,368,709.12

What does this have to do with my massage business?

Graph: Turn a penny into millions
Graph: Turn a penny into millions

This is a good lesson for anyone.  It helps illustrate 3 important points about growing your massage business.  

1) Things will start slow.

2) You have to be patient.

3) You WILL succeed if you stick with it.

Despite what all the marketing internet and book gurus tell you, building a 6 figure massage business doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time and if you stick with it, it can be done.  

Here’s what I think about

I got into massage therapy because I couldn’t find a job.  So I went to massage school to do something out of the ordinary.  It turned out to be the best thing I could have done for myself.  As I went through school and the first part of my massage career, I often thought about this concept,

We are in the business of making money.

Once I realized what that meant, I was able to transition from being the working bee to being the queen bee.  Meaning I took control of me, my career and my goals.  While working for others, I was able to grow to a point and when I returned back to self employment, I was able to grow exponentially.  I grew my clientele, office space, revenue, you name it.  But it took time.  I’ve been doing massage since 2002 so I stuck with it.  I feel I can grow even more.

Have big dreams but break them down to small milestones

It’s hard for anyone to say I’m going to make millions a year and do it without some sort of a plan.  Heck, it’s hard to say for making 6 figures.  Just look at the penny chart it simplifies the process by suggesting that doubling your earnings each day will pay you millions at the end of 30 days.  Then you start to believe you can do it.  Same with your massage goals.  

Simplifying a path is necessary.

That got me thinking, I would love to grow my practice by 120 new clients this year.  So that would equate to 10 clients a month.  Or, 2.5 clients a week.  To date (12/12/17), I have SMASHED my goal with 173 new clients for the year and the year isn’t even done.  

I knew I wouldn’t get that overnight, I had to be in it for the long haul.   

Now imagine if I decided to double that number for next year.  Before 12 months was up this time next year, I would double the size of my existing clientele and making double $$$.  

Of course, I’m not promising your client numbers are going to double every year, BUT the big message here is to take the long view of your business.

Now I know that’s tough in this day and age of instant gratification, but if you’ve set your massage business up properly, and you are passionate about massage, then you’re in this for the long haul anyways.

So don’t be discouraged by a slow start.

There will be struggles, but you will reach a point when your business starts to take off.  You’ll start making multiple sales every day.   Referrals will come at your from from every direction.   And then your business will hit that point when it takes off like a rocketship into space.

Stay the course.

This is important to know…

The world doesn’t owe me anything. I have to earn everything I get.

The sooner I understood this, the happier I became knowing that my life is in my hands.

–Craig Ballantyne

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A simple guide to get rich massaging

Get rich massaging

So, I just finished reading the article Tips to Improve Your Finances in the Massage & Bodywork magazine.  You can find the article here.  I was shocked to find that ONLY 3% of massage therapist make $75k or more a year and only 7% make $50k – $70k.  Seriously blew my mind because I thought those numbers would for sure be higher.  Then there were all kinds of other statistics that jumped out at me that you can read about on your own but for this post, I’m solely focusing of how to get rich as a massage therapist.  I’ll define rich as making more than $50k/year as a massage therapist.  However, this recipe for richness has no limits.  

The magic formula

Let’s say you want to make $100k per year.  Here’s how the formula works.  

$100k / 12 months = $8300 month ← This is how much you need to make a month.  

$8300 / 4 weeks = $2075 per week  ← This is how much you need to make per week.  

$2075 / 5 – 7 days working per week = $415 – $296 ← This is how much you need to make per day respectively.  

A simple way to set your prices

Decide how many people you’d like to see a week.  Let’s see what the average cost per session would be at 25 weekly sessions.

$2075 per week / 25 people = $83 / average per session

Keep in mind this number is scalable depending on how many sessions you are doing per week.  It’s also dependent on what your pricing scale is for 60 minute, 90 minute, 120 minute and specialty massages.  I would recommend from experience that this figure be your 60 minute session price.  This is the minimum price you would need to make for you to reach your goal.  Everything else is extra or contributes to you reaching your goal faster.

Check your competitors prices to make sure you’re within the market range.  

Setting goals work

Setting goals is the number one driver to you achieving financial success.  Goals need to be broken down into smaller short-term ones.  Shorter goals makes it seem reachable.  The more short term successes we have, the more confidence we build and the more motivated we are to continue building our success.

Regardless of where you are in your career, I recommend setting weekly goals until you get a better picture of how your business operates.  When I first started this journey, I did this for the first 2 years.  It became a routine.  I got to see and understand in real time how holidays, marketing, weather, schools, client personalities effected my business.  These things matter.  They dictate things like visits, no shows, cancellations, how to utilize a wait list.  Basically things that effect the financial growth of your practice.  

Putting in the time

If you want the prize, you gotta put in the time.  You may look at the 25 sessions per week and say that’s a lot.  If you have high goals then you have to work for it.  As your business, brand, reputation grows you can reevaluate some of these things.  You can raise prices, give more options for your services, sell more gift cards, etc.  In theory, the older more established your business becomes the more you will earn and the less you will work.  

Try it out for yourself and let me know how it goes. 

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15 Massage Years. 15 Massage Lessons. 15 Massage Tips.

Where it all began
Yes, it’s true.  I’ve been massaging for 15 years.  Time flies, a phrase I often say and mean these days.  Looking back on my massage career there a many things I probably would do different.  I’m smiling as I write this because I know the truth that being a self employed massage therapist is hard.  Doing massage therapy day in and out for 15 years is hard work (borderline insane). I love what I do though and wouldn’t change it for the world.  I mean it.

15 Mistakes I Made

1.  Set some goals.

When I first started my practice in 2002, I did everything wrong.  So wrong that I had to close shop, work 2 jobs (actually 1 full-time & 1 part-time job) and dig myself out of the financial hole I had dug myself into.  On the second go around, I wasn’t going to let that happen.  It all started with setting goals.  My original and long standing goal was of course desired yearly salary.  My goal formula went something like this:  desired income ($100k) / number of weeks in the year (52) = $per week needed / # of clients I wanted to see = my hourly rate.  This formula really solved how I would approach every aspect of planning my business.

2.  Have a simple plan.

Successful businesses are based off a plan.  I hope I’m not alone when I say initially I didn’t have a plan.  I thought I’d open my doors, make a lot of money and that was it.  As I stated above, that wasn’t the case.  A simple plan just keeps you focused on your goals.  It’s you’re road map to success.  It tells you how you are going to achieve your goals.  The great thing about it is you can make it as simple as you want.  It can constantly be tweaked, changed, corrected as you become familiar with your business.

3.  Save some money.

I always think about my past and how little I saved.  If you read any good investment book, they will always tell you to pay your bills and put money aside for a rainy day and invest.  Just wish I did more of this earlier on.

4.  Focus on a niche.

I reached my goals faster by focusing on a single niche/target group.  I created my ideal client and pushed all my marketing and communication efforts towards this group.  It made structuring my website easy.  Designing my office was a breeze.  My plan was easy to develop knowing who I wanted as my customer.  I personally was happy knowing that I was seeing people I wanted to work on.

5.  Have a reasonable vision.

Don’t expect to work on movie stars if you live in Iowa.  You really have to do your research to see if your expectations of yourself and your business are practical.  For the first 2 years, I never took a vacation.  In year 3 I decided I needed to take a vacation, it was for a month.  What a disaster.  My income dropped.  It inconvenienced my clients and referral sources.  It just wasn’t practical for my business at that time.  I learned from it.  Planned for it.  Now it’s a normal part of my year.

6.  Build a routine.

Successful people have routines.  Think, you may be very successful if you adopt one.  Years and years I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Until one day I finally crashed.  Literally could not move.  I turned to reading self help books.  I read the book, The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne.  It changed my life for the better.  It taught me how to manage my time and  achieve my goals.  The solution was quite simple, create a routine for myself.  Follow that routine.  Tweak the routine.  I’ve been diligently on a routine for years now.  Not only has it benefited me, my mental state and health have also improved because I have more time for ME.   My clients and family have welcomed the stability too.

7.  Stick to a schedule.

Commit to having set hours.  I am always in my office during these set hours.  My clients know when they can reach me and expect correspondence.  It also, lets my family know when I’d be working.

8.  Call people back.

I learned many of my lessons early in my career except for this one.  Early in my career I was driven.  I didn’t want to miss a call or a customer.  I was on it!  As I became more stable, I started to not call people back right away or immediately respond to emails.  There’s nothing worse than having potential clients or your answering service (if you use one) scold you about not returning calls.  It’s downright embarrassing.  Right away I changed my behavior and returned calls.  I’m fortunate that people didn’t decide to write negative reviews or stop coming in.

9.  Learn about online marketing.

This is the key to driving people to your business.  It allows you to reach and target a large group of people for very little.  My initial try at a massage practice failed because I paid an awful lot of money on marketing.  I got very little in return.  Taking the time to learn about online marketing jumpstarted my second go around at building my massage practice.  I can say that 75% of my new clients come from online marketing.

10.  Communicate.

Be very clear in your communication.  If you really want to attract loyal customers then you need to build a working relationship with them.  All relationships are based off of communication.  People who come to see me end up being regular clients.  I don’t lose clients because I have communicated my services and expectations clearly at every stage of our relationship.  If I do lose a client it is because someone bought a gift card for them.  Therefore, bypassing my entire screening process.

11.  Have a support network.

This is SO important.  Think about this, every super hero has a wingman or some cheerleaders in their corner.  You need the same.  They can be family, friends, peers.  But you need outside sources that will challenge, motivate, and encourage you to do your best.  Everyone needs to feel good about what they do.

12.  Do one thing at a time.

Everyone is so concerned with multi-tasking.  Many studies will show that multi-tasking doesn’t work.  It takes longer to complete an item when you’re constantly multi-tasking.  Instead work on one thing at a time before moving to the next.  I say this because I would often have incomplete tasks that never got done.  But now I complete tasks that I set out to do.  Which is much more satisfying and productive to my business.

13.  Don’t over extend yourself.

Naturally we become massage therapists to help people.  It’s a rewarding profession in that sense.  But know that massage is one of those services people can’t get enough of and want you to give away.  You have to know yourself and tolerance well enough to know when to say no.  In the past I would over extend myself by agreeing to a number of things like home visits, charity events, donations, etc.  Even-though I didn’t want to do these things I said I would out of obligation.  I realized that these things didn’t make me happy.  In fact they did the opposite.  I soon stopped doing them for my own mental health.

14.  Be forthright.

If you make a mistake, own up to it and make it right.  If you make a scheduling error, do what you have to do to make your client happy.  The last thing you should do is lie about the error or not try to correct the problem.  If you do, karma will get you.  In all seriousness, you won’t have to remember any lies to hide from your clients.

15.  Take vacation.

Massage is hard-hard work.  You need regular vacations reboot your energy and passion of massage.  When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to care for others.  I take multiple long weekends throughout the year, holidays and one 4 week vacation during the year.  Implementing this motivates me to WANT to go to work everyday.

15 Things You Should Do

1.  Hire a virtual assistant.  

Every call missed, is a missed opportunity.  When you’re growing a business you can’t afford to miss calls.  

2.  Build a website and get it listed in the search engines.  

If you have no clue as to do these things, hire someone to do it for you or put the time in to learn how.  This is how your clients are going to find you.  

3.  Promote yourself.  

Let everyone know you are a massage therapist.  Hand out business cards.  Yes they are still relevant and professional. 

4.  Get listed on social media.  

It’s just another free way to drive people to your businesses.

5.  Offer massage packages, specials and gift cards.  

This a good way to encourage your clients to return more often and refer.

6.  Get an online appointment book.  

If you’re worried about weirdos signing up for sessions make people enter a credit card.  That solves that problem.

7.  Accept credit cards.  

Sign up wit Square, PayPal and Stripe.  They charge minimum fees.  

8.  Don’t charge your clients the credit card service fee.  

That’s just tacky.  Build it into your prices.

9.  Practice good customer service.  

If you don’t know how to do this, take a course in it or read books about it.  

10.  Get your clients to review your service.

Ask them to review you on Google, Yelp, Facebook, your website.  

11.  Pay your taxes quarterly.  

It’s just easier.  Quickbooks for self employed is a great tool for this.

12.  Dress for success.
13.  Create an awesome space for your clients.  

A space that is warm, inviting and safe.  You want clients to say how much they love your space.  

14.  Be the professional.  

Stay up to date on your licenses, certifications, training.  Never speak negatively about anyone.  Be positive.  Be there person people want to be around.

15.  Pay someone to do your sheets.

My point is to simply free up more time for yourself by delegating tasks.  Hire a service, neighbors kid, a retired person to take some nominal things off your plate like sheets, walking the dog, cleaning your office.  

Closing Thoughts

When you’re a self employed massage therapist the number of things on your plate can become overwhelming.  You hear entrepreneurs talk about wearing many hats and being so busy that they don’t have time for themselves.  This can lead to bigger problems like injuries, burnout, depression, broken relationships, lack of motivation.  And, once you’ve reached these limits it’s pretty hard to turn it around.  For some reason we’re not thinking about these things when we go into the business.  But we soon learn running and operating our own massage business part-time or full-time is challenging and comes with a lot responsibilities.  Consequently a great number of massage businesses fail.  I hope I can save you time, energy and money with my lists of massage lessons and tips I’ve picked up in my 15 years on the job.

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