Eric Brown of BodyworkBiz (an online massage business resource) also owns Thermal Palms, Relax to the Max, World Massage Conference and Massage Therapy Radio. Sign up for the free BodyworkBiz massage marketing newsletter at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php
The profession has certainly come along way since I became a therapist in 1989. Indidana State University now offer a minor in Massage through their Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation. They are using Erik Dalton’s myoskeletal alignment techniques as a basis of the curriculum. That a university it taking this one as a minor certainly shows how far mainstream massage is becoming.
This blog is a bit of a ghost town since I’ve closed down BodyworkBiz two years ago, but if you’re curious as to what’s happened to me over the past year, here’s what’s been going on.
My attention has shifted from the world of massage to the world of English. Almost two years ago I became CELTA certified as an English as a Second Language teacher. I knew absolutely nothing about English. Just like a fish that realizes he’s wet, I discovered I was swimming in a linguistic sea that I knew nothing about.
I started teaching my first class and was writing the conjugation of “to be” on the board:
But I heard myself saying:
Weird sounds were coming out of my mouth. Why was I adding y’s and w’s to every sound? It was bizarre! When I told my fellow English teachers that they do Wit, everyone said, “No Wi don’t!” It was my first clue that things are not as they seem when it comes to language instruction and learning.
Anyways, I’ve continued to devote a lot of my time to the development of a very unconventional online English as a second language learning program. It’s an enormous project, but I will start releasing some of it in 2017. Very exciting stuff.
I never thought I’d visit India, but in the name of love, spent two months living there in the spring. It was my first time to a developing country and was truly a mind-shifting experience. It’s a country that personifies resourcefulness and the strength of the human spirit.
The thing I love about travelling is that your senses are on alert and even the most mundane things are new. When I spent a month in France last fall, I had a lot of fun blogging about the little cultural differences I was noticing each day. In the case of India, there was really nothing familiar that I could hook into. Everything was new and different. Each foray into the outside world was an adventure. It was difficult to take in the experience because my senses were constantly overwhelmed with the exotic sights, sounds, smells, tastes and way of being.
I got my first Rickshaw ride (they call them “autos” here) and it was a harrowing experience. I can’t even begin to tell you what traffic is like here. It can only be experienced. The roads are filled with every sort of vehicle imaginable (trucks, cars, motorcycles, bikes, and thousands of rickshaws). Sidewalks are pretty much non-existent and where they do exist they are vendors stalls, homes, trash heaps, public urinals, cow parking and more. So everybody walks on the street. Throw in a smattering of cows, goats, chickens, and dogs (unbelievable numbers of street dogs) and you have the makings of complete chaos.
In a city of about 12 million people, there is not one stop sign. There are no such things as lanes. Where lane markings exist, they are simply regarded as decorations. Traffic lights are suggestions rather than absolutes. And everyone beeps their horns non-stop – everyone! I don’t understand what all the horn honking does except perhaps making you believe that it gives you some type of magical control over the hordes of moving things on the streets.
I worked for the two months I spent there. And I got the feeling for what it was like being an outsourced overseas worker. I sat pretty much right on the other side of the globe, so I would be up at 5:00 am to prepare for an North American evening broadcast and was working up to midnight on broadcasts that were happening the next morning. I had such a hard time getting my time zones right. Living a half day into the future was very confusing!
I feel eternally grateful for the opportunity to have had an India experience and thank Krittika Sharma for all her love and care.
Without travel, you can never return home. And on my return I had a whole new appreciation for the place I call home. My senses were awakened to all the things I loved about Canada. It was as if I was experiencing my country, my home, for the first time.
My son, who many of you have come to know through my courses and this blog (and through Seth the Chef) is growing up. He is now in his last year of high school and like me, is thinking about what he wants to do when he grows up. Here he is today with his step-sister.
I had some fun expanding my video skills. Here’s a little video I did of a flash mob. See if you can spot Marla Gold, World Massage Conference’s administrative goddess. And you’ll see my weaving in and out of the dancers, playing with one of my new gimbals.
I continue to extract myself from the massage profession. Slowly, but surely. I produced the ABMP Head & Neck Summit. About 17,000 massage professionals signed up for the event. And this was followed by a groundbreaking full day online workshop with Erik Dalton. Nothing like this had ever been done before in the profession, so it was very exciting. My hats off to ABMP for being willing to entertain such a crazy idea and push innovation in the profession.
World Massage Conference ran its 9th annual conference. Next year will be the last year of my involvement. I came across this schedule (see image) from the 2009 show when we did almost 80 live presentations in the span of a week – all live streaming. Was I insane?!
I also attended the World Massage Festival this year to meet up with some old friends and meet some of my loyal BodyworkBiz fans.
With our inaugural issue’s cover girl: Monica Pasinato-Forchielli.
Oh ya, almost forgot… I served as Editor-in-Chief for Canadian RMT Magazine. My good friend Scott Dartnall always drags me into projects even if I’m kicking and screaming. So I was enlisted to help with the launch of a new Canadian magazine. We had super high level people contributing to the magazine including Tina Allen, James Waslaski, John Barnes, Til Luchau, Erik Dalton and so many more talented writers and educators. We got two issues out before the end of the year and each magazine was distributed to about 10,000 therapists free of charge. If you are interested in taking a look, I believe you can view it online and you should be able to find links on the magazine’s Facebook page.
One of my highlights of the fall was hanging out with a falconer for the day. She was the real deal with about 80 birds of prey. I got to fly some owls. (I have completely fallen in love with owls). And to finish the day, we took a hawk for a walk in the woods. He followed us through the trees and every once and a while I’d call him to come back to my arm. It was truly a day I’ll never forget.
Access to the BodyworkBiz site will close for good in 2017, but I’ll extend everyone’s access until June. I’ll publish some of the resources as books through 2017 so practitioners can continue to benefit from the information. Currently, 60 Clients in 60 Days and Fill Your Practice 101 (also in Kindle) are available on Amazon at discounted prices. You’ll have a short time to pick them up so you can add them to your library. You’ll still see my face around for one more year before I make my final exit.
I’ve been doing these posts for a number of years now (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and it’s a great exercise to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and learned over the previous year. Feel free to publish your own “Year in Review” and post it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you’re up to.
At the end of each year I take the time to reflect back, take stock of what’s happened and chart my direction for the future. This year has certainly been a year of shifts and changes, of closing old doors and opening new ones.
Last year I decided to take a leap and leave the massage profession by giving up my massage license. I wanted the departure to be quick, but it’s difficult to extricate myself out of a world that I’ve been deeply involved in for 26 years. The departure continues. BodyworkBiz is now closed, I’ve scaled down my involvement in World Massage Conference and have been actively looking for a buyer for Thermal Palms.
I always wanted to write a best seller and was sure that I could. So as proof of concept, I released 60 Clients in 60 Days on Amazon where it shot up to the number one spot like a bullet. Amazingly, I was able to write, edit, format, publish and get it to the number one spot in just two weeks! By the way, it’s still available on Amazon for just 99 cents! (And as I was writing this blog post and checking out the book on Amazon I see it got an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5!. Hey, that’s better than the iPhone!)
With time on my hands I got more into French language. It’s my cultural background, but I’ve only ever been functional and never fluent in speaking. And as I explored courses and programs, I realized that language instruction sucks and I wanted to learn how it could be done better.
So I did an intensive ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor certification program to better understand conventional approaches to language learning. I absolutely loved the experience of being back in school again. But I’m not someone who loves convention and as you can see from the slide in this photo, I took some unusual approaches to teaching that got me applause from the class, but failing marks from my trainer.
I discovered some unique and somewhat radical teaching approaches and came up with a crazy idea for an online ESL training program. This lead me to hanging out in cottage in July with Hollywood writer, Stephen Witkin, as we explored narrative for the project. (Oddly enough, although he lives in LA and he’s not someone I know, he has a picture of my ex-wife in an elephant suit hanging in his cottage. Don’t ask me to explain.) A fascinating process and fun times. What’s to come of all of this? I’ll let you know in 2016.
I crossed off one big item off my bucket list in September as I journeyed through France with only my knapsack and a desire to meet some cool people, speak French and eat great food.
I booked a AirBnB residence for only two nights on arrival. After that, I made up my itinerary from day to day, going wherever circumstances or curiosity took me. That lead me to lots of adventures including eating giant snails and pig cheeks, exploring catacombs, mushroom hunting, climbing sand dunes, singing the blues, sleeping in a medieval village, and hanging out (literally) at a nudist colony. I kept a daily blog of the France trip for anyone who was interested in joining me on the journey.
It was back to work on my return to Toronto as my World Massage Conference partners Melanie Hayden and Scott Dartnall and I produced the ABMP Back Pain Summit, the largest event in the history of massage. We stopped promoting it when we got to 14,000 registrants as we were quite certain that our servers would explode. Over 7,000 people ended up attending the live event. It was awesome!
I never thought I would own a house. That just seemed too grown up for me. But I picked up a little place in my hometown. Although I have no plans to move out of Toronto for the immediate future, at least I’ll have a nice little home for retirement whenever that may happen. A big thanks to my mom and dad for the work they did on it.
I crossed a second item off my bucket list this fall as I made a trip to the Big Apple with the lovely and talented Krittika Sharma. It’s crazy that I’ve never visited New York before. Otherwise, I took most of the fall off, thoroughly enjoying my home and the people in my life.
The one thing that we can count on in our lives is change. As much as we would like to freeze our lives as a moment in time when things are good, that’s not the way life works. This year I’ve felt the pain of many losses, both professionally and personally. At the same time I’m thankful for the pillars that have remained unchanged and I’ve thoroughly delighted in the new people, experiences and opportunities that have filled the vacuum.
This may be the last post I do for this blog as I continue to migrate out of the massage profession. But feel free to keep in touch on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter where I’ll be sharing new projects, experiences and lessons learned in the years to come.
The BodyworkBiz Retirement package is only available for a few more days, so check it out and get it now. We’re both savvy enough to know that leaving it “til later” means “never” and you don’t want to miss out. And the pay what you can offer means there’s no excuse for not getting access to these awesome resources.
This is a “pay what you can” offer. That means you choose the price.
But some people are uncomfortable with that and have been writing to ask me what they should pay. These resources are worth well over $2,000 and I’ve suggested you pay just $199. It’s less than a 1/10th of what they are really worth. That is incredible value and is pretty much within anyone’s reach.
If you are really struggling financially, then pay $99.
If you are absolutely destitute, enter $20 to $50.
If you are homeless or can’t even afford to buy groceries, you can get it for $0. I’ve gone hungry at points in my life because I couldn’t afford to buy groceries, so I understand.
I just ask you to be honest and pay what you can, not a low-ball price because you’re cheap. I’m doing this to help therapists who sincerely want to change their life circumstances, transform their business and touch more lives. I’m not doing this for tire kickers or curiosity seekers.
If you used this pricing structure for your own clients, you’d want them to be honest.
A little self-reflection…
This offer has been an interesting exercise because it makes me, and hopefully you, think about what has value in your life. Most therapists are willing to pay $700+ per year for their cable TV package (that’s the average cost), but therapist surveys show that most therapists spend less than that on marketing their practices each year. That means most therapists value entertainment and distraction more than building a solid client base and a firm financial future for themselves and their families. Is it no wonder that the average therapist makes under $20,000 per year?
How about you? Where do you put your resources? Where do you spend your time, energy and money? What’s really important to you?
Personally, I believe in investing in myself and my goals. I attended two events related to book publishing last year. They weren’t cheap and I debated whether to make the investment. Between travel and the cost of these two trainings, I probably invested about $10,000. But as a result, I was able to write, format, publish a book and get it to the number one best seller list on Amazon within a couple weeks. I feel confident that I can do that over and over again predictably and I will. Furthermore, I can charge $5,000 to $10,000 to help other aspiring authors do the same. Do you think I’d be able to do that after watching a few free videos and reading some free articles online? Of course, not. I made a real investment and got a real return on my investment.
The sad thing is that most therapists don’t recognize the value of investing in themselves and their businesses. As a result they struggle with frustration and financial uncertainty each day or end up working for minimum wage at a franchise or in jobs completely unrelated to massage.
If you are not successful in your practice it’s because you have not invested sufficiently. I urge you to invest in your business education. If you don’t like my approach there are others in the profession that are qualified to help you. For example Irene Diamond, Laura Allen and Felicia Brown are a few that come immediately to mind. They are all awesome humans, business consultants and educators who offer great business resources.
So I encourage you to do a little self-reflection this week. Think about how you invest your time, energy and money and whether those investments are being used in the best way possible to help you reach your life goals.
This is a “pay what you can” offer, not a “take advantage of the situation” offer. I believe that you’ll be fair in entering the price. If you can afford $100 or $200, I trust that’s what you’ll pay for what amounts to over $2,000 in resources. If you are in dire financial curcumstances and can only afford $20 or $50, that’s fine too.
As a reference point, the average cost of cable TV in the USA is $64.61 per month or $772.92 per year. Even Netflix at $7.99 per month is $95.98 annually. If you can afford to pay that for entertainment, certainly it would be wise to invest more in your career and your future.
Please take action before this opportunity is gone and don’t keep it a secret. Click one of the share buttons on this page to let your colleagues know.
Imagine that you are closing your massage office for good as you get ready to embark on a new career. You are finishing up paperwork in your clinic when someone knocks on your door desperately in need of help. They outline their issue and you know you can really help them. Do you say:
1) “Too bad! You should have seen me months ago!”
2) “Yes, let me set up my table and I’ll take care of you before I leave.”
Seriously, how would you respond?
This week I find myself in that situation and I chose response #2. Of course if I can help someone I will. Why wouldn’t I?
In my case, I have therapists knocking on my door asking for help:
“Can I get access to any of your courses? I am getting close to opening my own practice and don’t know where to start.”
“I just moved to Germany and have only one client so far.”
“I’ve gone from being single and financially stable my entire life to supporting my boyfriend (who is back in school) and his four year old son since they were completely flooded out of their apartment.”
“I didn’t have the money to make any purchases when you offered it before.”
If I can help them before I’m gone, why not? Wouldn’t you do the same?
I’m closing shop at BodyworkBiz, but I still have a responsibility to my existing customers. As much as I’m ready to move on, I’ve promised therapists that they will continue to have access to BodyworkBiz resources until June 30, 2016. That’s why my retirement from the profession has been a process and not an event. I’m not going to disappear and leave people hanging. I’m not that kind of person.
This month my shopping cart service that processes purchases on my site comes to the end of its subscription period. I’m not renewing it. This is the equivalent of locking the doors for good, but I want to help those therapists that need help as zero hour approaches. So I’m giving everyone a final chance to pick up the entire package of resources at BodyworkBiz before the purchase links are deactivated.
You can get pretty much every resource ever produced at BodyworkBiz: From client education newsletters and technique videos, to courses and teaching kits.
Whatever you are able to pay. You tell me what you can afford and that’s the price you pay. No questions asked.
I’m going to suggest $199, but you can pay $100, $50, $20 or even nothing if you are truly destitute. You decide.
Some detractors think I’m some kind of scammer for making this package available one last time, but I’m not here for their approval.
I’m here for every therapist who wants to extend their reach, every therapist who wants to touch more lives in their community and every therapist who wants to improve their lives and the lives of those closest to them.
And I know those people are extremely grateful. I’ve already got notes like:
“Bless you!!! I would have bought this long ago if money weren’t so tight.”
“I don’t know how to thank you enough!”
“Thank you. Hopefully I will be making money soon and I will gladly pay you more.”
“Too good to miss out on a second time around.”
There is not one therapist who cannot benefit from the invaluable information and resources archived on the site, whether you own a clinic, are a sole practitioner or are contracted by someone else.
Please take advantage of this opportunity. There are only a few days left.
When looking at a local restaurant website recently I came across the About Us page that listed the staff. I immediately yelled, “YES!! This is the way clinics need to write their staff bios!”
They are fresh and personal and reflect the unique personalities that we all are. Check a couple out…
What’s important to note is that people don’t like dealing with businesses. They like dealing with people… and people have personality. The more you get to know a person, the more you connect with them. These bios give you unique insights into the staff that makes you feel like an insider. You already know the server, cook and busboy before you even step into the restaurant. This familiarity gives you a certain level of comfort that you just wouldn’t have if you were to walk into this restaurant off the street.
PS By comparison, here’s your typical massage clinic bio or about us page which just makes you want to yawn:
Susan graduated from the LaHands Massage Therapy Program in 2001. She has also earned a degree from UofT in Law, Policy and Government. She is excited to be applying her legal knowledge to the various Massage Therapy regulations and Health Profession Acts in order to improve their clarity and scope for massage therapists and the public. Susan is trained in Reflexology and Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Susan also has a strong interest in the benefits of massage therapy for those dealing with dementia. She has written articles for Massage Therapy magazine. Susan believes that massage therapy is an integral part of anyone’s goal to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Over the years I’ve amassed a large number of domain names. Here are some of the massage-related domains I’ll be selling over the next year. If you are interested in purchasing any of the domains below, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. To facilitate our correspondence, please put the words “Massage domain name” in the subject line and let me know what you feel would be a fair purchase price for the domain.
Chair Massage Related (will sell as a group or individually; other chair massage domains are available)