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Massage Today
January, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 01

The Best of Both Worlds

By Cary Bayer

At the end of 1987, while living in a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment, I began studying the secrets of prosperity that I now teach. As I learned how absolutely natural the experience of abundance is, an innocent desire grew within me to enjoy the best of both worlds.

At that time, the best of both worlds meant a country house to go with my city domicile. By the end of the following year, I realized that goal when I bought a home in New York's Catskill Mountains in the woods of legendary Woodstock.

Some years later, as February's freezing cold became old, my shivering body suddenly became aware of a new desire: year-round delightful weather. That led me to do some inner and outer work that resulted in the purchase of an oceanfront condo in Florida the following winter (I had moved out of New York City by then.) Now, when the mercury heads south, so do I. Friends and clients in Woodstock tell me I have the best of both worlds. Come May, when scorching temperatures climb toward 100 degrees, I head for the hills (literally), and friends and clients in Florida tell me I have the best of both worlds. This column isn't about me, though; it's about how you, a massage therapist, can enjoy the best of both worlds in your life and business.

If you plan to create the best of both worlds, you might run across people who are envious. Our language, in fact, reveals this jealousy. While seeking the best, you might encounter small-minded comments like, "So, you want to have your cake and eat it too?" - "and," of course, is the operative word here. Why would anyone turn possessing cake into separate functions of having it and eating it? If you had your cake, what else would you possibly do with it if not eat it? Would you have your cake and frame it, too? Have your cake and smell it, too?

Having your cake and eating it too is a thought grounded in zero-sum game thinking; it is simply a fancy way of saying that when somebody wins somebody else has to lose. Fortunately, more progressive people in our culture have introduced a more expansive way of thinking - a different scenario that we call win/win: it is when someone wins and someone else also wins; in other words, it's the best of both worlds.

Massage Therapists Have Their Cakes and Eat Them, Too!

A number of massage therapists that I've coached have created the best of both worlds in their businesses. One incorporates two other loves into her massage career: yoga and Pilates instruction. She gives separate sessions in these modalities for massage clients whose bodies need additional flexibility after they leave her table. It's a win/win situation: Her clients get the benefits that these other methods afford, and she gets additional income while doing other work that she loves.

Another client also enjoys the best of both worlds. In her case, that means a booming massage business and weekends off. She is a mother of three who does her sessions during the day when her children are at school. She refers her overflow work to another therapist who is available on nights, Saturdays and Sundays. I've coached this client for the past two years and, during that time, inspired her first to quit her job and become a full-time massage therapist, and later to transform her practice into a business in which other therapists work for her. As a result, when she's called for an evening or weekend session, she enjoys a nice profit while someone else handles the session and she's playing with her kids. My client gets to be a mom for her kids when they're home and a successful massage entrepreneur when they're at school. She doesn't have to sacrifice her personal life for her professional life; she enjoys the best of both worlds.

A client in Florida loves delightful weather year-round, so she does what I do and heads north with the birds. Instead of enduring slow off-seasons like so many Sunshine State therapists, she has a healthy business in Massachusetts where northeasterners enjoy their summer vacations. She also avoids Florida when the mercury sizzles, opting instead for the cooler breezes up north.

A former New York client integrates two passions into her work. She loves the breathwork of rebirthing and frequently recommends it to clients on her table. They, in turn, benefit from this holistic method, while she feeds her second business. Her rebirthing practice also brings clients to her massage table. And another former client loves combining massage and essential oils. She's managed to combine these passions into integrated revenue streams. In each session, she uses the aromatherapy oils that her clients have come to love. When they ask her about the oils, she tells them what they do and asks them if they'd like to take them home; many do. Some buy them at retail prices, others sign up as distributors and join her downline. The former brings her small revenues, the latter much larger ones. These enable her to gain the passive income without having to use her hands.

Get used to having your cake and eating it too. As a life coach, I often ask my clients who desire breakthroughs what would constitute the best of both worlds in their worlds. Answer that question for yourself. Then visualize it and create a plan of action, and you can have your best of both worlds and, of course, eat it, too.

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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