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Massage Today
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05

Transform Your Mind, Then Market Your Business

By Cary Bayer

A business coach for massage therapists, my work is a lot like an LMT's–we both relieve headaches, stress and strain. Perhaps because my name is Bayer--the name of a pain reliever that works wonders–some massage therapist coaching clients sometimes wish that my coaching solves all their business problems.

Coaching plus a therapist's efforts, can. But coaching alone isn't a wonder drug that you pop into your mouth and you suddenly have more clients than you can handle. Don't get me wrong...usually, when an LMT makes attitudinal shifts that coaching brings about, business suddenly picks up. But ongoing success usually requires combining attitudinal shifts with marketing changes. As the saying goes, "Only a new seed yields a new crop."

As a massage therapist, you see firsthand that massage often provides immediate comfort from the pains and strains that clients' bodies are heir to. But weekend warrior clients who abuse their bodies, for example, often need to augment the temporary relief that massage brings with certain actions on their part. This might include stretching before and after strenuous workouts and daily supplements like glucosamine. The best results in many areas of life aren't an A or B solution, but an A and B. As educator Horace Mann said, "It is well to think well. It is divine to act well."

An illustration will clarify my point. In one of the most well-known studies ever conducted on creative visualization in sports, two Russian scientists analyzed the training regimens of four groups of Olympians. The first group's schedule was entirely physical. Group two broke its workout into 75 percent physical and 25 percent mental components. The third group balanced its schedule with half mental and half physical efforts. The last collection of athletes worked out physically only 25 percent of the time, while devoting a whopping 75 percent to mental activity.

Which group do you think experienced the best results? Interestingly–perhaps, some might say, shockingly–it was the one with the greatest amount of time devoted to inner work. Robert Scaglione and William Cummins, writing about their study in their book, Karate of Okinawa: Building Warrior Spirit, wrote, "The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses."

A different study was conducted by Dr. Judd Blaslotto, at the University of Chicago, to determine if visualization could help basketball players improve their foul shooting abilities. The scientist assembled three groups: the first practiced free throws daily for an hour; the second simply visualized making free throws, without taking any extra practice; the last did nothing different.

Not surprisingly, the control group that made no changes, had no increase in accuracy. The foul shooters improved by 24 percent, while the visualizing group, which never even touched a ball, had an improvement of 23 percent. Imagine what might occur if players added additional shooting and visualization.

As the trailer to the film K19 said, "Some men pray for miracles. Other men fight for them." Quite a few LMTs hope that the Universe will bring them clients, putting Cosmic Intelligence in the role of their sole new business source. A Muslim proverb refutes such a strategy when it says, "Trust in Allah, but tie your camel." The wisdom of tying your camel is age-old, gleaned by St. Augustine, a Catholic saint in the Dark Ages, when he wrote, "Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you." The insight was echoed by Oliver Cromwell, the great English military and political leader, 1,200 years later, when he wrote, "Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry." In the critical 48th verse of the second chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita, the handbook of Yoga, the teacher says, "Established in Being (that great steady evenness of mind), perform action." In other words, spend a few minutes a day getting your mind right, then go into the world in a powerful way.

By the way, if it makes you feel better, you should know that massage therapists aren't alone in hoping that business will grow through osmosis, hypnosis, or magic. Of the thousands of LMTs whom I've come into contact with, the majority would rather focus on the practice of their art than on the marketing of their business. I have seen this in artists, in new age professional alternative healers, and in amateur believers in the Law of Attraction, as depicted in The Secret--the best-selling book and video–which states that you'll get whatever you want if you just affirm and visualize enough. I've also seen this in the highly religious who pray that Providence will provide them with everything they need regardless of any effort they don't put out on their behalf.

My favorite joke on this point concerns one Morris Greenberg, who sits in his synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Amidst all the solemn prayers for atonement and forgiveness going up around him, he fervently admonishes God to arrange for him to win his state's $40-million Powerball lottery. Just then, thunder roars through the heavens and, in a booming voice, God bellows, " me half way: Buy a lottery ticket!"

Imagine what might occur for the LMT, who buys a lottery ticket–that is, who works her mind and her mouth, keeping not just her sheets, but also her powder dry. That means, transforming from within, while undertaking an expanded marketing program. Here's a massage marketing tip: let your inner work include affirmations, visualizations, success consciousness building, and enthusiasm training, among other components. Here's another massage marketing tip for you: let the marketing campaign include a networking effort, package pricing programs, promotional discounting for first-time clients, client referral programs, an advertising campaign, and a public relations program, among other methodologies.

As for wonders, no greater an American than the Father of our country, the great George Washington, who, when being tested as general on the battlefield in an eight-year so-called "can't win" war against Europe's greatest military power, wrote, "Perseverance and spirit could work wonders."

The massage therapist clients of mine who do both inner and outer work see noticeable wonders. At the risk of sounding immodest, these people tell me that Bayer also works wonders.

Click here for previous articles by Cary Bayer.


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