GRADUATE SUCCESS – D.S. from Colorado Springs, CO, USA

How many years have you have been an LMT, and # years (or months!) you have been in your own practice:
14 years LMT, 1 year self employed

What is your niche?
Overuse Injury Recovery

what was your experience of practice building like, BEFORE the academy? Paint a picture of what you were doing, how you felt, results (or none) etc.
I had no plan or strategy. I came to the US around 4-5 years ago. worked as employee and didn't like it. I used to love being a employee in Germany. it offers so much security and its more like working with a family you choose than working for a big boss. and all you have to do is show up for work and do a good job. I finally opened my own after working for an awful employer. It was a decision made because i got nausea just going to work, knowing i worked for an ass. And I knew it's not worth working for someone else if i don't have any job security or benefits and only get payed if i have a session. So I researched how to open a business and opened my own within 4 weeks time. I used my savings and hoped for the best. I managed to go from 1 client to about 3-5 a week with pure luck and no strategy. But i realized i wasn't growing fast enough, if i wanted to actually pay myself and not just my business bills. I felt much happier working for myself but did not make enough money to pay myself…

What was the main program OUTCOME you declared when you started the academy?
gain 16-24 new clients by the end of the program

What were your results DURING/AFTER the program – what did you accomplish? (and refer to your three outcomes you wrote at the start!)
I gained 12 new clients. My Revenue went from $1,000 – $2,000 to $4,000. My weekly Client count went from 3-5 to 8-15. My goal is a steady stream of 15-20 clients per week and steady revenue of $9,000 per month. and I am getting closer every week!

What was it like for you being in the program as compared to trying this on your own?
Eye opening! Life Changing! I finally have the right tools to run a successful business. no more guessing and trying and hoping!!

What aspect of the program did you find to be MOST valuable?
What didn't I? The first 2 weeks (or more like 4) where overwhelming. I learned so much and grew and changed that it is hard to say what was the most valuable. Mindset was very important. But without the spreadsheets to do my numbers, finding my niche and right name as well as learning that the best way to grow is to have practice champions. yeah those where all very important tools I needed!!!

What aspect of the program did you find to be LEAST valuable?
Nothing! Everything was valuable even if i didn't needed it. I might, so I am grateful i know now!

What would you tell people who are considering doing the program?
DO IT! It will help you get all the tools you need to succeed. And all the tools you didn't know you need to succeed! No business class will get you where you want to be as efficient as this one.

What advice do you have for newbies in the program?
Breath! All will fall into place and make sense at the end of the program. Listen to Rebecca and the Program Assistants! Ask for help! Step outside your comfort zone! You got this!

Anything else you'd like me to know?
You definitely over delivered! I can't thank you enough! This program was so much more than i could have imagined. I've learned so much more than just how to build a successful massage practice. I learned what my fears are and how to overcome them. And I learned that stepping outside my comfort zone did not kill me. I am still very much alive 😉 And even better, stepping outside my comfort zone helped me triple my income and it will help me triple that as well!

Happy Clients – D.S. from San Francisco, CA, USA

I LOVE my students. Truly. It brings me so much joy to help massage practices THRIVE! Here's a recent feedback from from a Graduate of my program. He's been in practice 10 years, and is finally making his own practice into a sustainable, fulfilling career! Enjoy this inspiration!!!

where do you practice? (city/state/country)
San Francisco, CA USA

# years you have been an LMT, and # years (or months!) you have been in your own practice:
I have been a CMT for 10 years and been in own practice for 1 ½ years. 

What is your niche?
Sports Massage: Athletes 

what was your experience of practice building like, BEFORE the academy? Paint a picture of what you were doing, how you felt, results (or none) etc.
Before the academy, I was trying desperately to get everyone on my table. I wasn't clear in the work I did, I just said I did massage and I tried to market myself without really knowing WHAT I was marketing. I got some clients, but they weren't consistent at all. 

What were the three program OUTCOMES you declared when you started the academy?
1. I want to attract more clients: the ones I want and love to work on. 2. I want to be better about talking about my work (i.e. techniques I do). 3. I need to be better about “asking” for business to retain clients. 

What were your results DURING/AFTER the program – what did you accomplish? (and refer to your three outcomes you wrote at the start!)
During the program, I was able to narrow down a niche that I enjoy working on and am now confident in talking about my work and what I can do for people. I also now have a PLAN set in place for things I need to do or get better at doing. I have all the resources I need to plan my work and work my plan 🙂

What was it like for you being in the program as compared to trying this on your own?
This program is absolutely amazing. It is like NIGHT AND DAY from being in the program to trying it on your own. Rebecca makes sure you have everything you need and the support of everyone from other students to Stephen, Adam, Dirk, program assistants, and more makes you realize you are not doing this alone. There will be support for you for life ! 

What aspect of the program did you find to be MOST valuable?
I loved the weekly Q&A calls because you realize that everyone has either similar questions or going through things you are as well. To have the support of Rebecca and other students really made me feel motivated and inspired. 

What aspect of the program did you find to be LEAST valuable?
I got value from every aspect of the program, I can't think of anything that didn't help me even just a little bit. 

What would you tell people who are considering doing the program?
I would tell them to DO IT! Even if there is fear or hesitation, it will be the best thing you can do for you and your practice. 

What advice do you have for newbies in the program?
I would say get a calendar and write everything down so that it is scheduled , i.e. your weekly Q&A calls, calls with P.A.'s and Coaches, etc. Also, use the support from the group and don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Always remain coachable and utilize all the resources that you have !

Do you have any suggestions for improving the program in ANY way?
Not that I can think of, I like the changes you are doing to make it easier for everyone involved. 

Anything else you'd like me to know?
I said it before and I'll say it again: THANK YOU REBECCA for shining your light and believing in SO many strangers who want to make a difference in the world through massage therapy. I am so grateful for you and your staff and the amazing people I met along the way. It feels good knowing I have one of the BEST mentors out there. THANK YOU!!!!

Spotlight – Eli’s Successful Launch of Body Euphoria, a Trans-Friendly, Trans-Owned Massage Therapy Center in Pittsburgh

Just bragging about one of my favorite humans on the PLANET!… Eli Shumaker! Check out this link above to an awesome writeup.

I have had the honor of helping this beautiful soul make his dream of a purpose-driven private practice come true.

In just 8 weeks, Eli and I worked together and created, branded, and launched his trans-friendly massage practice, with a mission to help members of the LGBTQ community feel at home in their bodies.

This is so. needed. And the dream is now a REALITY!

On a personal note… Eli is going down in history as the most coachable massage therapist I have ever had the privilege of mentoring. I knew from the start that he had the drive and passion, but just needed some strategy and guidance – and confidence – to make it GO. He soaked up every lesson, every call, every assignment, and just poured his heart and soul into this project. Eli, thank you for trusting me.

I'm proud. Just… freaking proud.

I remember telling Eli, “You are never doing anyone any favors by dimming your light.” It was like a switch flipped – and his reasons and fears and excuses turned into action.

Eli, thank you for DOING WHAT IT TAKES to let your light shine! The world needs you!


 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? 

Getting overwhelmed by the details?

I'm a big fan of oracle cards for awareness in the present moment. Some of my mentoring program graduates were posting in our private facebook group the other day that they were feeling stuck, overwhelmed, etc . (a typical day in the life of being self-employed…) and so I went LIVE, and pulled a card for them.  We pulled the MOUSE card (from my Animal Spirit Deck from The Wild Unknown). 

MOUSE is all about getting so hyper focused on the little things that you lose sight of the big picture.

You are in Mouse energy when you are focusing on every tiny crumb instead of your PASSION.

Don't get me wrong – the details are important. But it's easy to get lost in the teeny tiny details.

In fact–

It can suck the momentum right out of you.

Have you ever had a big goal but didn't go for it because the details overwhelmed you? 

When I was younger, I wanted to be a physician.

I started at the University of Utah in 1996 after I'd graduated from the Myotherapy College of Utah, and lasted about ONE semester because I was too afraid of taking all the wrong classes in the wrong order and messing things up. But pre-med, meetings, orientation, advisors, planning the next 4+years when I couldn't even see past the end of my nose at the time….yikes. No way. I froze just thinking about it.

Registration alone overwhelmed me, and that overwhelm and fear of messing up stopped me until I finally got me a damn Liberal Arts degree in 2008. I graduated at age 31, literally a few weeks after giving birth to my second child. (Not ideal. Not an MD either. )

Some of you are stuck in your massage practices because you are afraid to confront the nitty gritty, such as:

  • zoning
  • pricing
  • business licenses
  • taxes
  • accounting
  • social media
  • wtf to do with my website/facebook page/instagram
  • online booking
  • how to talk about what you do
  • sales/marketing of your services

I totally get it you guys. We are usually right brained healers, not left brained business people. That's why I do what I do – I help massage therapists navigate the wilderness of business. You likely didn't learn how to run a business in massage school.

Look, if you want to succeed in business for yourself as a massage therapist, you have to learn what to do, how to manage the details, and how to do all that without getting completely overwhelmed. Right? 

So here's your coaching for today if you are overwhelmed by the details:

  • Step back. Look at the bigger picture. Get connected to your bigger purpose and why on earth you became a bodyworker in the first place.
  • If you're super overwhelmed, like on the brink of an anxiety attack or depressive episode or something similar, STOP, get up and move and go do something creative for a bit. Whatever your outlet is, just go do THAT.
  • And on a very practical level, I'm a huge fan of doing a brain dump. That means, get a piece of paper, write down everything on your mind, and I mean everything. All the stuffs. Your to-do. Your dentist appt. Your home stuff. Work stuff. Client stuff. And then, pick the ONE thing that you absolutely MUST do today, that if you don't do it, you'll be in trouble. Then go do that one thing. When you're done, look at your list again and pick the next thing.

Does that help? 

My next 8-week mentoring program starts Monday June 11. It would be really sad if it was a perfect solution for your practice building problems and you didn' t.even.know about it. I help massage therapists grow businesses of their own way faster and with much less struggle. Here's the information on how to apply.