Posts In: competition


Dan started by inviting me to teach yoga at his studio. The first time he asked me my answer was an easy “no. “ But a year later he asked again.

I’d been practicing yoga very irregularly since the late 70’s.  But it was 1993. For a couple of years I’d been attending yoga class two to three times a week and had a regular home practice. Plus I‘d started working in my massage business full time. The timing was perfect for me to start teaching.

Step one…

I said “yes.” Then time passed. One day Dan asked how “we” were going to get me to teach. My response? “I don’t know how to do headstands.” His response? “Don’t teach headstands.”

Little chunks

The next week during a class I was attending he asked if I could move my mat to the front of the class. That way he could adjust students as I demonstrated the poses.

At first I was aware of being in front of the class, but then I focused on the yoga and it was okay. Then he asked if I could teach the beginning of a class the following week. I’d been offering guided mediations for years in other settings so that was easy.

The next week he had me teach the end of a class. Then when I’d taught the middle of a class on week three he announced that I had now taught a full class so was ready to sub for him. My thought was “What just happened?”

I went on to complete both yoga teacher and yoga therapy trainings, but Dan’s trick got me started.

What stops you?

Since then I’ve let fear or limiting beliefs stop me in other ways. “I don’t know enough, the timings not right, someone else is already doing this work, blah, blah, blah… “ At those times I’ve found Dan’s trick a handy part of my toolkit.

I wonder if you ever let yourself get stuck by outdated ideas about who you are? Or how about beliefs about “competition?” Or feelings of not knowing or being enough? Or other beliefs about lack and limitations?

I wonder if Dan’s trick might work for you? Can you trick yourself into action by taking on one very, very small piece of what scares you? Whether you’re starting a brand new business or working on a project within your business you probably have experienced getting stuck. Give this trick a try and join the conversation here.



Envy Not the Enemy

March 2, 2011

Because I “like” Massage Magazine (I’ve been a subscriber since the late 80’s) I received a link in my Facebook newsfeed to an article about Massage Envy’s $10 million dollar advertising campaign. Seems most of the Facebook fans who commented were not fans of Massage Envy.  

I subscribe to the philosophy that when we bring our unique gifts to the table (or to our businesses) there’s no competition. There are plenty of unmassaged and under massaged potential clients out there. You’ve heard the phrase different strokes for different folks? Nowhere is that more true than with massage.

Don’t Envy My Experience

When Massage Envy opened in my town I wanted a firsthand experience. I won’t return to Massage Envy, but not because of an inferior massage. The massage was ok. But the business model is geared toward a high volume of clients. That means a 50-minute massage. That means my therapist couldn’t control the temperature of the room. That means minimal intake and exit interviews. That means a room without personality. That means I felt like more of a number than a person.

Not my taste. And I don’t think I’m alone. Some people prefer the budget experience. I too love to feel I’ve gotten a deal. But many clients (the ones I see included) want something more from their massage experience. They want to feel comfortable during the massage. They want to feel special. They want to develop an ongoing relationship with their therapist. They want specific, repeatable results.

And What is it That You Do Well?

But Massage Envy must be doing something right because an earlier article at says Envy experienced record growth in 2010. They serve a niche and they’ve communicated that niche well—affordable and convenient massage.

When I coach business owners I suggest figuring out their niche, their “special sauce,” and then doing the best job they can both with their craft and the practicalities of running their business. If you feel like you’re losing business to the franchises of the world, show both your potential clients and your clients where and how you offer value for them.

And if you know that running your own business isn’t your thing, then spend your energy finding an employer that matches your values and that needs your skills. I teach a business class at a massage school and find that for some of my students Envy is a good fit.

My Challenge to You

I do think a major ad campaign for massage carries the potential to help all MTs. My challenge to you is to think about how you can take advantage of Envy’s big spending. How can you be prepared to serve those new clients? How can you become the best at what you do? How can you let your ideal clients know about you? How can you serve your clients so they want to return and refer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas here.




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