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Massage Today
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01

Welcome to My World

By Perry Isenberg

This is my first article in what I hope will become a regular column for Massage Today. Only you, the reader, will deicide if I continue to write this column. Its goal is to provide you with thought-provoking insights, ideas and examples of ways to improve your practice so it remains profitable and fun.

I am not a therapist, though I am a patient of massage therapy and believe in the value of all types of massage.

In subsequent issues, we will address issues related to customer service, marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions, etc., in hopes of finding ideas you can use. I will draw from personal experience and observations, rather than textbook instructions. My own experiences span almost 20 years of advertising agency background and entrepreneurial endeavors, including my current duties for the past 10 years as partner and vice president of marketing for Performance Health, Inc. We are the company that brought Biofreeze to the health care market. My business are Chris Cox and Craig Cox. Chris Cox is vice president of sales and also in charge of the day-to-day operations; Craig Cox is vice president of international business. Thanks to Craig, our packaging is printed in Japanese, Spanish, French, and Korean and sold in twenty-five markets overseas.

Starting, operating and building a business is not easy. It requires commitment, dedication, sacrifice, risk and a burning desire to succeed. By success, I'm referring to reaching desired goals, not just financial ones. The ride can be very exciting and worthwhile.

Nine years ago, we started the company with only two people: Chris and myself. Craig was busy with other projects and would eventually join us a little later. We started in a small office on the 3rd floor of an old building in the historic "strip district" in downtown Pittsburgh. From the street to the 3rd floor, we would carry product up three flights of stairs (that's right - no elevator!) to repackage the bulk shipments to smaller boxes for distribution. It generally took us over an hour to carry everything and then an hour to recover. Now, none of this seems like a big deal. I would not want to do it again but I would if I had to.

Did I mention no salaries? That's right, for the first year or so money was only available to make product advertising, etc.

Those who consider all these facts no big deal, most likely possess leadership skills and recognize that the road to reach any goal can be long and bumpy. Those who are intrigued at how we did it should realize that although it is a big deal, they've also managed considerable obstacles of their own to reach their goals.

Massage therapy is on the forefront of health and wellness; it requires the continued efforts of its leaders to keep bringing the message of massage to the population at large. Massage cannot prosper if the perception remains that it is a luxury for the wealthy and distinct groups like athletes.

Massage therapy is for everyone. All therapists and their respective associations must continue to work with government and corporations to reach the ultimate goal: letting the population know of the benefits and healing value of massage therapy.

In my next article, we will examine an issue that happened to me on the way home from the AMTA National Convention in Phoenix. In the meantime, be healthy, be good, and stay focused and motivated.

Click here for previous articles by Perry Isenberg.


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