"I have to do it all or my practice will fail." Disspelling the Myth of Having to be Everything to Everyone
Why doing the OPPOSITE of what they tell you in bodywork school is the way to fill your practice.
Recently, I was at a conference/master-mind in Washington, DC for women entrepreneurs. I love getting together with like-minded women who run their own businesses, because Sister, there is POWER in group intention!
During one of the breakout sessions, I was bouncing ideas off of a couple of women in my group. Specifically, I was talking about "niching down," which is business-speak for focusing your effort and energy on what you do best.
I know from my own experience as a CranioSacral Therapist, and from mentoring other bodyworkers, that niching down is critical to building a successful massage or bodywork business. In fact, I'm so passionate about it that I just did an interview about niching down on the Biz Women Rock! podcast. You can listen to it here.
For bodywork practitioners, niching down means to narrow your focus. And since you can rely on me to always give it to you straight, here you go:
You can't be great at everything.
To really make it as a bodywork therapist -- with a practice you love, a lifestyle that gives you plenty of time for your LIFE, and an income that gives you the freedom and security to live the life you want to live -- you've got to become known for one thing. That's niching down.
--The one thing you're known for could be your favorite modality. You might be the best Rolfer in the tri-state area.
--Or you could be known for working with a specific population -- maybe you love working with kids or you want to specialize in women's health.
--Or you can focus on working with specific conditions. If you niche down to work with people suffering from PTSD, you can use a variety of modalities that will help your clients with their physical and emotional pain, while still becoming known for the work you do with this condition.
The key is not trying to be everything to everyone.
As much as you may enjoy 7 different modalities, you can't be an expert in all of them, so you'll wind up blending in with all the other bodyworkers in your area.
To fill your practice, you want to become known as the go-to person for the work that you want to do with the people you love working with.
Back to my conference in DC...
As I was talking this through with my group, one of the women told me that she got online to make an appointment for bodywork, but ended up logging off in frustration. She told me:
"I had a headache and felt tight in my neck and shoulders, so I decided to make an appointment online for a massage. But when I got to the page to make the appointment, there were too many choices! The pulldown menus had aromatherapy add-ons and hot stone add-ons. Then I had to choose between massage and Thai massage and deep tissue massage. In the end, I gave up because it was too confusing. I just wanted to feel better."
People just want to feel better. I encourage you to trust your intuition -- fill your practice by niching down and doing the work you truly love, and stop trying to be everything to everyone.