90 days

I am typing this while sitting on an airplane. Life has put me on a plane three times this month, for both business and pleasure. On balance, travel makes life more interesting—even business travel. Seeing other parts of the country is a privilege I never take for granted. My adult life has taken me away from my immediate family and my place of birth, but I treasure returning “home” when the opportunity arises. Today’s flight was for business, but last week was all fun—the (usually) annual reunion with my beloved band, the Traveling Pillsburys, for a weekend of rock and roll with my college buddies and bandmates.

This morning I was reflecting that September is over. The school year is underway and, by this time next year, my oldest son will be off at college (and his brother the next year). Where has the time gone? We always comment how “time flies” and “it’s going too fast.” I heard a quote once that time doesn’t go fast—it just never stops. Amen to that.

So my question to you today is, how is your year going? Is your practice where it should be? Are you doing better than expected? Worse? What’s happening? Are you taking stock of where you are as a massage therapist and where you want to be as a professional? We have 90 days left in 2011 to achieve some of those goals we set back in January. At a minimum, we need to feel like we’re making progress.

How about personally? I have run two half-marathons this year, but I am slower than I have been in a few years. My objective for the next 90 days is to do my best keeping life in balance. We have a busy spate in front of us at ABMP—strategic planning and some new membership initiatives—but I want to make sure I’m exercising my heart, lungs, and legs in addition to my brain. Last week singing with the Pillsburys gave my vocal cords and inner rock star welcome workouts.

What does your 2011 report card look like thus far?

Taking Care of Business

ABMP offered its first live-training workshop for professionals just last week. Like many activities we try out, we started close to home, right here in Denver. Forty-two professionals gave up their Saturday to, in essence, look in the mirror. The subject matter was Successful Practice Development, as part of our BizFit program.

Introverts and extroverts—men and women, students and newbies, veterans and the simply curious all joined in. I admit I have a bit of a bias here, but practice development is one class that should never end. Have you ever met a therapist who said, “I’m finished getting clients.” If you did, chances are they’re on their way out, not on their way up.

What’s fun and exasperating all at once is that business success—whether you delve in massage and bodywork, software, or cars—does not follow a universally recognized path. There is no secret recipe or one true path to success.

Our workshop focuses on building skills and capacity, and exposing therapists to tried and tested development exercises. Building a practice consists of visiting the cafeteria line of ideas, and picking out the ones that suit your specific (or individual) interests and skills.

Kristin Coverly, an über-talented and inspiring member of our education team, delivered an outstanding workshop, receiving an average rating of 4.9 (out of 5). Not bad for her first try (we’ll expect perfection next time). And the workshop will only get better from here.

At ABMP, we don’t rush into things, so I’m not announcing a slate of 30 workshops coming to your city. We’ll continue to refine the program and make sure we visit towns that will generate good attendance—no point in playing to an empty concert hall.

But this workshop, and our BizFit program, is another example of us looking around and saying, “What do our members want? How can we help them be more successful?”

We’re glad to be at your service.