With Rebecca Overson

 I talk to a lot of LMTs who have plenty of complaints about the place they work. The solution, they think, is to just bust out on their own and start their own practice….


But being self employed is NOT for everyone.

Running a business is not the same as performing massage. If you want to be successful in your own practice, you need to think of it as starting your own business – because that’s exactly what you are doing. Your practice is a business and should be treated as such. You need business skills AND massage skills.

Many therapists try on their own and the majority of them fail. Why? Because they are great bodyworkers ONLY. Recognize that IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE A GREAT BODYWORKER TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. How do I know that?

Because most of you ARE great bodyworkers, and you still struggle to get and keep clients. It’s not because you lack skills – it’s usually simply because you lack business know-how and strategy, that's all!

Listen, there is a lot to be said about the niceties of working for someone else… being able to show up for work, take care of clients, do some paperwork, and go home.

When you have your own business, you work pretty much all the time because all the results and all the liability fall on your shoulders. (You may even have to carve out time to STOP WORKING ON THINGS.) So yes, while you get to choose your hours as someone who is self employed, you also have to do marketing, bookkeeping, website, customer service, laundry…. You get the picture.

Being self employed is for those that LOVE the risk, LOVE the creative process, LOVE having control over everything… and they love it MORE than the security of someone else signing their paycheck. (And listen – you don't have to have it all figured out – that's why the right mentor in this business can stack the odds in your favor.)

Is this making sense?

So, here are some signs you are NOT ready to be self employed.

1. You have thoughts like, “Man, I get paid $20 an hour here, but if I was on my own I could make $65!” 

Hint: you still don’t MAKE $65 when self employed. There is a difference between gross income for your business, and NET income for you. You’ll make more, but you will also be working way more hours ON your business just to have clients coming IN to your business. (I personally would rather work 24/7 for myself to avoid working 40 hrs a week for anyone else.)

2. You do not have any money saved up to invest in growing/starting your business. It takes money to grow or start a business, always. Most businesses fail due to lack of capital – they simply run out of money and can’t make it up in sales fast enough. You should have SEVERAL thousand dollars to get you started in a private practice.

3. You are easily discouraged or you know you lack confidence. You ARE going to get a one-star review here and there. You WILL get negative feedback from time to time. You will have losses, setbacks, and betrayals. If you don’t look forward to that as an opportunity for growth, do not start your own business.

4. You think that the way to build a practice is by poaching clients from the franchise you work at. Or that setting up a Facebook page will magically bring clients. Noooooo.

5. You say things like “I’m going to TRY this and see how it goes.” Did you know that there is no action in trying? (There's a big difference between trying to stand up and actually standing up for example.) Being self employed is usually for those that are 125% committed, mission driven, purpose driven. You must be willing to smash through any obstacle that comes your way. I have one woman in my mentoring program who was having labor contractions during one of my webinars and KEPT WATCHING…. She is currently working with me to build her practice, all with a newborn in her arms. NOTHING will stop those that are determined to succeed. “Do or do no, there IS NO TRY.” -Master Yoda

6. You literally have no money and no clients in sight, are drowning financially, are about to lose your home, and don’t know where your next meal is coming from. STOP AND GET YOUR FEET UNDER YOU. My dad used to always say “McDonalds is always hiring.” That’s not a slam – that’s the reality that you must get your basic needs met and here in the USA there are opportunities everywhere to create stability for yourself until you are in a place to BUILD. You can always get a job at Target, Wal Mart, McDonals, Taco Bell…. Anywhere. There is no need to starve. There is no shame in getting another job while you prepare to build a business.(Besides, it’s hard to be successful when you are truly desperate.)

So, what do you think? Are you cleared and ready for takeoff, or do you need to spend some more time getting things in the right place? There is no shame in admitting that being self-employed is not for you! And if you are clear that being self-employed IS for you, how did you know? 


Rock Your Massage Practice Academy with Rebecca de Azevedo Overson, LMT, Business Mentor and Coach for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers.

​​Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Rebecca Overson Holdings, LLC.