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Massage Today
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10

How Your Cat Can Help You Grow Your Business

By Cary Bayer

My cat is a 10-pound Buddha named Ananda (Sanskrit for bliss), because she purrs faster than any cat I've ever met. This little calico feline has taught me volumes about how to enrich my life (all nine) and how to become more successful in business.

Here are her teachings, which can enable you to expand your massage business and enjoy your life more. If you have any doubts, check them out with your own cat.

1. Think highly of yourself and others will be attracted to you.

Ananda says self-worth is the basis of net worth. To build a multi-level cat home, as all cats know, the foundation must be secure. The foundation for increasing the number of massages you give is for people to be attracted to you. Why would anyone want to work with you if you don't already think highly of yourself? "Treat yourself like a dog," your cat says, "and others will, too." I'm reminded of the line, "Dogs have masters, cats have staff."

2. Let others support you.

"Always accept dinner invitations," your cat might say, "and bring home leftovers in a kitty bag." This isn't restricted to food, of course, because you must be supported by others on many levels for your livelihood. (Ananda suggests replacing the expression, "earn a livelihood," with "enjoy a lovelihood.") Even if your massage business or spa is flourishing, it can't survive unless people keep purchasing your services. Without support, you'll go out of business. Be open to support in all its variations - a book from a friend, a coaching session from a colleague, a $10,000 gift from your mother.

3. Let others touch you. Cuddling against them isn't bad, either.

Don't just give massage; receive it as well. Far too many massage therapists forget this simple point. A talented LMT can relieve you of the thousand slings and arrows the flesh is heir to, as Shakespeare might have written in his brochure if he were a bodyworker. The less tense your body, the more relaxed your mind and heart, and the more deeply you connect to clients and prospects. This translates into inspiring others to work with you.

Massage breaks down your body's armor against being touched, allowing you to be more intimate with people - physically, emotionally and where appropriate, sexually. Such intimacy makes you feel better, which makes you perform better on your massage table. It also gives you the profound experience of receiving the fourth R you should have been taught in elementary school. Reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic can lead to an educated life, but not necessarily a prosperous one. However, the fourth R does.

4. Exercise keeps your body and heart young.

My cat's idea of exercise is chasing chipmunks and mice. It keeps her trim and gives her body a workout. She doesn't belong to an expensive gym; the outdoors is her health club. She doesn't try to get her endorphins going; they just do when she does her thing. Get your endorphins going by playing tennis, swimming or riding a bike. All work and no play make for a dull therapist. Plato said we need a sound mind in a sound body. A sound mind and a sound body also are essential for developing a sound massage business.

5. Nap when you feel like it; it's good for your soul - and not bad for your body, either.

"Stop living like a dog," your cat might say when you're doing a couple of massages past your comfort level. When your cat cuddles with you, she might be saying, "Stop working, start napping." Downtime for meditation, walks on the beach, hikes through the woods, or just plain catnaps do wonders for your soul. This rejuvenation travels through your hands, benefiting everyone on your massage table.

6. It's innocent to be the center of attention.

Your cat is completely at home being the center of attention; you can be, too. Don't be shy if you're at a party and the topic of conversation turns to the healing effects of massage. Being the center of attention means you're becoming comfortable handling large amounts of energy from people. Getting comfortable handling a great deal of attention prepares you to handle a great deal of money, too.

7. Curiosity thrills the cat.

Ananda is 11, so she doesn't have the curiosity of a kitten anymore; but her ears perk up when she hears rustling in the woods. Doesn't your cat's nose sniff away when change happens around her? Doesn't she want to explore every new thing you bring into the house? When does your natural curiosity get aroused? Are you curious to learn Thai massage or watsu? If so, why do you keep putting it off? Curiosity keeps your mind young and your spirit alive, so explore your interests - there's fun and pleasure in fulfilling them. Curiosity also can thrill your bank account if you investigate with an open mind the opportunities presented to you. Curiosity can make you one rich cat.

8. The more playful you are, the more you're loved and prospered.

The people celebrated on the cover of People magazine are actors who play at being others, singers who play concerts, athletes who play games. Our culture pays enormous amounts of money to see them play. A picture is worth a thousand words to you, but to Hollywood's elite stars, it's worth $20 million - when it's a motion picture.

The more playful you are, the more your inner child is alive and kicking. Self-love attracts love and support from others. Having fun makes the workday fly by, and if you're self-employed, brings you more money.

9. If you're happy and you know it, purr away - you'll be feline groovy.

"Don't just walk your talk," your cat is saying, "strut your stuff." Let your light shine. It innocently sends a message that you're the cat's pajamas. Didn't a parent or teacher ever tell you to, "Wipe that smile off your face?" I say, "If there's a smile on your face, let it grow." Your cat would agree.

Your cat says, "The more I purr, the more you stroke me and the more I keep purring." This opposite of a vicious cycle is a delicious cycle. A delicious cycle for an LMT looks like this: When you do your "lovelihood," you have a great time, and others are attracted to that joy, giving you money for what you do. This brings you more joy, and that joy attracts even more money.


Click here for more information about Cary Bayer.

 

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