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Massage Today
October, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 10

How Your Cat Can Help Grow Your Business

By Cary Bayer

My cat is a 10-pound Buddha I named Ananda (Sanskrit for "bliss") because she's got the fastest purr in the West (and East). This calico has taught me volumes about how to enrich my life and become more successful in business. Her teachings can enable you to expand your massage business and enjoy your life more. If you have any doubts, check with your own cat.

Think Highly of Yourself, and Others Will Be Attracted to You

Ananda says self-worth is the basis of net worth. To build a "multilevel cat home," 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," my cat says, "and others will, too." I'm reminded of the line: "Dogs have masters. Cats have staff."

Let Others Support You

"Always accept dinner invitations and bring home leftovers in a kitty bag." This isn't restricted to food, of course - you must be supported by others on many levels for your livelihood. (Ananda suggests replacing the expression, "earn a livelihood" with "enjoy a lovelihood.") No matter how large your massage business, it can't survive unless people purchase your services. Without support, you're out of business. Let others support you in every way, whether it's a book from a friend, a coaching session from a colleague, or a $10,000 gift from your mother.

Let Others Touch You; Cuddling Against Them Isn't Bad, Either

Don't just give massage; receive it. Far too many therapists forget this point. A talented LMT can relieve you of the thousand slings and arrows to which the flesh is heir, as Shakespeare's brochure might have said if he were the Bard of Bodywork. The less tense your body is, the more relaxed your mind and heart are, and the more deeply you connect to clients and prospects. This translates into inspiring them 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 helps 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 lead to an educated life, but not a prosperous one. The fourth "R" does.

Exercise Keeps You Young in Body and Heart

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

Nap When You Feel Like It; It's Good for Your Soul and Your Body

"Stop living like a dog," my cat tells LMTs who do a few massages past their comfort levels. When your cat cuddles with you, she may be saying, "Stop working and start napping." Downtime for meditation, walks on the beach or just plain catnaps do wonders for your soul. This rejuvenation travels through your hands, benefiting all your clients.

It's Innocent to Be the Center of Attention

Your cat is completely at home as the center of attention; you can be, too. Don't be shy at a party if the topic of conversation turns to massage's healing effects. Being the center of attention means you're handling large amounts of energy from people. This prepares you to handle a lot of money, too.

Curiosity Thrills the Cat

At 14, Ananda 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 sniff away at times? Doesn't she want to explore every new thing you bring home?

When does your natural curiosity get aroused? Are you curious to learn Thai massage, hot stone or watsu? If so, why keep putting it off? Curiosity keeps your mind young and your spirit alive, so explore your interests - there's pleasure in fulfilling them. Curiosity can also thrill your bank account if you investigate, with an open mind, the opportunities presented to you. Curiosity can make you one rich cat.

The More Playful You Are, the More You're Loved and Prospered

Those celebrities on People magazine's covers are actors who play at being others: singers who play concerts; athletes who play games. Our culture pays buckets 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.

If You're Happy and You Know It, Purr Away - You'll be Feline Groovy

"Don't just walk your talk; strut your stuff." It sends a message that you're the cat's pajamas. It's time you reverse your parents' weird message to "wipe that smile off your face." If there's a smile on your face, let it grow.

Ananda says, "The more I purr, the more you stroke me, and the more I keep purring." The opposite of a vicious cycle, this 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 previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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