I love my job. I’ve had two employers for my entire professional career (closing in on 20 years this fall), and have enjoyed working for both of them. When immersed in association management, it helps to believe in and like the members of the organization you serve. I worked for the Club Managers Association of America
for 4½ years before finding my home with ABMP (one month shy of 15 years here). I can say without qualification that I truly enjoy being in the service of service. Who doesn’t like helping people? I love massage (so much that I went to massage school) and I love helping our members be successful.
Many massage and bodywork professionals are in business for themselves, but every practitioner works for someone. That next client is your boss. If you don’t think that’s the case, try this: tell your next client to go home because you don’t feel like giving a massage. Then tell the one after that. Repeat this for two straight weeks. Then you will be able to say you truly have no boss, and no income (please don’t try this at home—and especially at work).
I remember telling one of my staff that I viewed my job as an audition; my goal is to keep getting asked back. That’s exactly what massage and bodywork professionals do—you want encores. You audition your skills in an attempt to help your clients achieve a greater level of wellness and satisfaction in their lives. And if your business relies on others’ disposable income, you are competing with movies, restaurants, vacations, and lots of other diversions. So delivering excellence is really not optional.
Being happy and comfortable in your environment makes you more productive; I have had the great fortune of working in environments that were supportive and conducive to creativity and opportunity, and valued the contributions of all members of the team. For a massage and bodywork professional, valuing your clients will make you a better therapist, and a more prosperous one.
If you don’t love your clients, I’m sure someone else will.