resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
December, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 12
Making the Leap
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
How do you know when the right time to jump from employment to private practice is? I have been asked that question a lot lately. Often I consult with massage therapists who have enjoyed the benefits of employment at a variety of venues but somehow think they are missing out on the opportunity to run their own show.They ask me, "When and how do you know you are ready to make the leap?" It is a question that is not easily answered but I will address some key points to consider before making any moves.
Let me start by saying that not everyone is cut out for self-employment. It seems desirable and in this day and age when any employment situation feels less than secure, being in business for yourself has an allure of self-sufficiency and security. Not so fast. Small businesses are closing at alarming rates for the simple reason of not making it, not being able to pay the bills and not generating enough business. That being said, I am not discouraging you but want to pose a few questions first.
Look Before You Leap: Questions to Consider
There are many other factors that bode well for self-employment but in my mind, those are the top four. If the answers to those four questions are less than favorable, do not despair. It might mean that you are better suited for part-time private practice and part-time employment. I would suggest that you not rely 100 percent on self-employment and mix it up with working for someone else.
Is There More Money in Private Practice?
Many people think that private practice means more money. I hate to burst your bubble but not really. If you are one person working in private practice, the amount of money you stand to make is usually close to, if not equal to, what you would make if you worked for someone else. For example, I have a travel business. I charge $100 per hour. Sounds like a lot of money, right? But it takes me almost two hours for every one hour client, with travel time and set-up time. Right away I am down to $50 per hour. Take out expenses and I am knocking on the door of $40 per hour. Gee... I could work for a chiropractor and not have to do any marketing, not have to do any laundry, not make any phone calls, and make about $35 per hour. Why don't I do it then? For me, it's simple. It's about control and the need to be in command of my schedule. So ask yourself, why do you want to be self-employed? If it is for more money, think again. If it is because you want more control, freedom and flexibility, read on.
Knowing When the Time is Right
So when is the right time to make the leap? My suggestion to students is to do both at the same time. If you really know you want private practice and that is the "big" dream, start right out of school, in addition to working for someone else. After all, private practice can mean one client. But that one client turns into two and four and so on. Once you have established a solid base of 10-15 private clients per week and consistently can count on those numbers, it would be safe to consider leaving your employment situation. The problem with those numbers is that often an employment situation means 10-20 clients per week as well. That seems like too much work for the average therapist. The trick is to find the balance.
If you are currently working at Main Street Spa and see 20 clients per week over five days, consider reducing your days to four and taking private clients on two days. That may mean you work six days a week but that is what it takes to build a business. As your two private practice days fill, give up another day at the spa. As your three private practice days fill, give up another day. At this point the spa may catch on that you are working privately and unless you have signed a non-compete agreement, there is no problem. But as a former business owner, I looked for consistency of care for clients and once you are no longer "available", you may want to consider leaving the spa altogether and running with your private practice. If I have the numbers figured right, at this point you are working three days privately and three days at the spa. Your private numbers should be around 12 or so per week, seemingly enough to rely on so that if you quit the spa, you are not destitute. You now have created space for new private clients as well. Remember the universe hates a void and space must be created in order for abundance to fill it.
The bottom line is that I cannot tell you when to make the leap from employment to private practice. Every situation is different. It also depends on how much money you need to make and who else is able to support you, if anyone. This is a case-by-case situation and a large part of my consulting revolves around this very issue. Check your motives, ask yourself the tough questions and be realistic about expectations. Businesses fail every day. The latest statistics suggest it takes two years to build a self-supporting private practice. Having built two massage businesses of my own in two states, I concur with those findings. However, if you do your homework beforehand and don't rush the process, you can enjoy the fruits of self-employment.
Click here for more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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