In this photo, I remember, I felt so official. So proud. People joke with me that my business boomed overnight but they never saw the blood, sweat and tears. They never saw the missed dinners at home, the 14 hour days everyday, carrying around my breast pump and cooler bag to supply my newborn at home and the fire that burned in my belly to make ends meet. I never met a day back then that didn’t exhaust me to the bone, yet excite me to the max. I wanted change but I was so scared. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had always thought making money meant working extra. Working longer. Working until exhaustion.
I remember working for a massage facility here in Lex and my husband, Mark, encouraging me to venture off on my own and start my own business and I told him I would never own a business. Why? Because I didn’t know how to run a debit card. Because I didn’t know how to make a website. Scheduling apps and business bank accounts terrified me. The growth never stopped scaring me then and still hasn’t now.
People assume once you reach a certain level of success, that big decisions come easy. I think it may even be opposite. Yes, the small decisions are easier than they once were, but with a larger business come much scarier and larger decisions. Finally, once I took the leap and started my business, I came to a point where it was booming so much as a single therapist that I physically didn’t have the time nor endurance level to see more clients. I was about 5 months pregnant at this point. The room I was massaging in was a room I had rented out of the back of an old warehouse style building that housed a Mixed Martial Arts facility. We had no air conditioning in that building and my sweaty, pregnant 25 year old self would tell my clients, “its going to be better than this one day, I will get a nice facility, you have to believe me. Wait and see..” and for some reason, they did. (Shout out to all my loyal clients who have been with me since the dark days.)
Again, my rock, my husband, urged me to push forward and hire my first employee. I remember…I howled with laughter. How could I hire an employee? I don’t know the ins and outs of taxes. Whats a 1099/w2? I don’t know how to perform payroll. How would I find an employee with the same quality body work as myself? All of these things were so foreign and to say the least: terrifying. I hired that first employee (hi, Tim). I got a teensy taste of passive income. Finishing my day’s work, heading home to hand with my kids, yet still getting paid because Tim was at my facility massaging someone under my name. It felt good. No, it felt AMAZING. I had officially been bit by the bug of passive income.
So, I hired a second. Then my 1-room massage studio wasn’t enough space for the three of us so I made a leap into a 2 massage-room studio, which a friend let me rent down the street from the Mixed Martial Arts studio. I was only there 7 weeks before I realized it wasn’t going to hold the capacity of what was to come. I will never forget Mark coming to me with an ad for a 7-office suite in Lexington that was for rent. The rent payment was $900 and I absolutely cringed. I fought it for a solid week and told him we couldn’t afford it. I am not sure what changed my mind the day that i finally agreed. Maybe I was feeling empowered that day, maybe I was drinking margaritas…I cant recall but I gave in.
We broke lease to move into the seven room studio. Talk about scary. I stayed up at night thinking of the monthly rent amount. It was 4x what I had paid before. I would lay awake, rocking my new babe…shivering at the statistics at hand: I only had 3 total massage therapists but seven rooms. That’s four empty rooms. That’s two massage therapists counting on me to get them enough clients to pay their bills as well as my new rent. That’s two people sitting in my shadow waiting to see if I could produce. I wish I could go back and tell that sweet girl to calm her mind, that the universe had her back. In that 7 office space is where I would eventually hire employee #3 through #14. Clearly we had hit a niche in Lexington and word was spreading quickly. Thank God I am good under pressure.
It’s only been two and a half years since the above photo. Since that photo, my husband quit his corporate job to come on board. We now drink coffee together every morning and make our own schedules. Since this photo, we have hired 15 more therapists. We are going to see well over a half of a million dollars in sales this year. Since this photo, we have built, in my opinion, the most bad ass massage studio I’ve ever stepped foot in, while keeping the quality top notch. Am I still scared sometimes? Hell yes. Not as often and now it’s about much bigger things, but guys: TAKE.THE.LEAP. If you’re scared, good. Use it. If this is something you want and have thought about daily for more than a year: FREAKING DO IT. Stop living in the fear. Its beautiful on the other side if you could just get there. Hell Yes Coaching can help you.
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