Eric Brown 2012: My Year in Review

It’s fun to look back at the year on a personal and professional level and think about all that’s happened. Here are some highlights from 2012 for me…

The year started with a Caribbean family cruise as my brother celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary and my parents their 60th wedding anniversary. The highlights were cave tubing (about 30 minutes in an underground river) and watching my 80 year old mother ziplining.

After getting back I went right back to work as I produced the video for Anne Williams’ newly released book Massage Mastery: From Student to Professional published by Lippencott. (Good work, honey. You just gave birth to a five year old baby.) The challenge was to shoot the video in an all white environment. Thanks to Natali and Yasmin at NYB Media, we were able to pull it off. I think the end result looks great. Take a look:

I did lots of travelling this year and went to the ABMP Schools Issues Forum and the American Massage Conference in San Diego, California where I got to interview some of my favorite educators and industry people, like Tina Allen, Leslie Young, Erik Dalton, David Palmer, Ruthie Hardee, David Kent, Bruce Baltz and many more.

I rediscovered roller skating (old school) and Seth, Stacey and I went skating for charity with the West End Wayward roller derby chicks to be followed by some regular visits to Scooters, complete with disco music and lights.

I was pretty much consumed with World Massage Conference through May and June. It keeps getting bigger and 2012 was the biggest year yet. We had over 15,000 paid participants this year and over 50 presenters from around the world. I had no idea what I was getting into five years ago when Scott Dartnall and I thought up the idea during a little road trip.

The entire summer was spent in Boulder with my sweetheart, Anne Williams. I arrived the week that Anne got an evacuation notice because of the severe fires that were ravaging Colorado. This is the view of the mountains from Anne’s porch and they were afraid that the fire would come down over the ridge into her town.

We never take pictures so I have nothing to show. I did weights for the first time in years and pretty much exercised twice a day for the entire summer. I don’t have any pictures, but I looked good naked.

We did some climbing, but weren’t nearly as ambitious as last year. Seth got to climb the epic Bastille crack. I was in awe, but he thought it was too easy. See if you can spot him in this video. Maybe I’ll do this climb next summer.

     In August I was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the World Massage Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Got to hang out in the pool for two days with some of my favorite people and have a chat with Judith Aston who won the Lifetime Achievement award.

August was the “31 blog posts in 31 days” challenge, started by Kellie Wise. To generate some excitement I offered to give anyone who completed the challenge a “Bad Ass Blogger” trophy. I was amazed at the number of people who joined the challenge and the quality of work that was produced. I ended up buying a truckload of trophies to send off to the winners.

In September Anne and I took our first real vacation together, visiting Montreal and Quebec. Great little hotels, nice bathtubs, charming environs, amaaaaaazing food. As always, no pictures to speak of. One day we’ll learn to bring a camera with us and take some shots. These cities are very dear to my heart and soul and I’m glad I got to share them with someone I love so much.


Lots of travelling again through October with trips to the AMTA Convention and the Canadian Massage Conference.

Adnan Shareef, my webmaster for the last six years had a baby boy, just weeks before the conference. Congratulations to him and his lovely wife.

And then of course, the fall World Massage Conference event. After five years, we are finally getting it together. I remember the first year doing about 60 live broadcasts from speakers around the world in six days straight. The idea of a webinar, let alone a virtual conference, was entirely new, so we were making it all up as we went along. We had 20-hour days as we feverishly tried to get it all together without blowing something up. We’ve got it all down to 18 hour workdays now and the extra two hours of sleep is heavenly. Having virtual hosts also helped take some of the load off our shoulders. It was great to have Felicia Brown, Laura Allen, Cliff Korn, Ryan “Massage Nerd” Hoyme, Drew Freedman and Kevin Cunningham helping out on the air.

A big thanks to my World Massage Conference partners Scott Dartnall, Melanie Hayden and our administrative goddess Marla Gold. Also thanks to the worker bees behind the scenes: webmaster Adnan Shareef and our assistants Bryan Gales and Mira Lou Rossit.

It’s December already and my feature story for Massage and Bodywork Magazine was just released. This is not the first time I’ve been featured on the cover of a national magazine, but it’s still exciting when it happens. This particular article lays out a month-by-month “success roadmap” for massage therapists for 2013 because 2013 is just around the corner.

December is always a relatively quiet month for me: A time for reflection. I look back and wonder where the year went. It all goes so fast.

But it’s also a month for planning life’s new adventures as I look ahead to the possibilities for what the new year could bring.

What’s in the works? Here are a few things I’m working on…

  • I’ve been more or less been keeping Thermal Palms a secret for the past five years and this will be the year when I officially launch this fantastic alternative to hot stone massage in a big way.
  • I’ve avoided writing any books for two decades. So this year I plan to release a Chair Massage textbook through Pearson Publishing and self-publish two additional marketing books.
  • I did the 31 blog posts in 31 days challenge this year. In 2013 I’m going to aim to produce 200 videos in 200 days. I’m in the process of setting up a small home studio now in preparation.
  • After a two year teaching hiatus, I’ll be back to teaching chair massage workshops in Canada and developing a teaching team to help me out.
  • And I’m working what I think is a brilliant online learning platform that will incorporate the best practices in education along with elements that make video games so addictive. It’s mapped out and we’ve started the programming side of things. We’ll see how that all rolls out.

Of course it goes without saying that I’ll be doing some travel, climbing in Boulder and generally having lots of fun with my friends and family. My 13 year old son will be going to France on a three month exchange program starting February, so I’ll have a little less responsibility on the home-front and will take advantage of those extra hours for various adventures.

I’d encourage you to dedicate some time before the end of the year to visualize and map out your life for 2013. What do you plan to move your business forward this year? Waht adventures can you have? What would you love to do that you’ve always put off? What makes your life yummy and how can you incorporate more of that to make your life even yummier? Why not make 2013 your best year ever?

I’d like to send you a heartfelt thank you for your support over the past year and I wish you all good things for the coming year. I’ll continue my commitment to support you and the profession and look forward to the journey with you.

All the best,

Eric Brown, Grand Massage Poobah