Well, we have arrived at the halfway mark of 2009. I’m a numbers guy, so I usually take stock in milestones (especially when running a race—I always like to know how I’m doing and when I’ll be done). When I think about the first half of 2009, I think about some successes we’ve had here at ABMP—more than an armful of awards for our top-notch communications and web teams, some quality work developing our BizFit initiative, among other highlights—along with some new opportunities we’re working on. Personally, I think about saying goodbye to my mom, how I could have run more, and how I plan to give and receive more massage in the second half of the year than I have in the first six months. What about you? Take a few minutes to look at your practice. Have you embraced the challenge of these trying economic times? What is your practice like compared to the first half of 2008? Busier? Not so much? Harder to maintain? Are your clients more stressed, less happy, not taking care of themselves as well as before? The staff here at ABMP will tell you that I sometimes sound like a broken record based on the subject matter. Here’s one they’ve heard before (and before and before…). I had a finance professor in grad school who was not exactly warm and fuzzy. An aura camera would have been handy, but I think I know what the result would have been anyway. He provided me with a saying as instructive (and occasionally depressing) as nearly any I have received in my life. He handed back a test one day and said, “If you don’t like the result, first take a look in the mirror. If you do that and still want to talk, come see me.” Ask yourself three questions about the health of your practice, circa June 30, 2009: 1)If my clients’ lives have changed this past year, what have I done to adapt to these changes? 2)What opportunities for learning have I embraced so far this year? 3)What new tools am I using to maintain a healthy practice? Only you can answer these three questions about your practice, but I will pass on a partial answer for #3. Massagetherapy.com, ABMP’s public education website, is a great tool for helping educate your clients. Tomorrow (July 1) ABMP members will get a copy of Massagetherapy.com’s monthly e-newsletter (provided we have an e-mail address on file for you). It’s a great resource to help your clients gain additional knowledge about the profession and your skills, and a ready-made marketing tool for you to keep in touch with your clients. Read it, and pass it on. Happy Birthday, America! Talk to you next week.