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There are a lot of opinions on what makes a successful massage therapist. There are just as many opinions on what makes your business successful too. Whether it’s a certain amount of revenue or expansion into hiring other therapists, everyone has an idea of what equates to success. But no one can define what success means for you and your life other than you.

For you, and for many massage therapists, success may mean that you can stop seeing clients; that you’ll hire others to do the hands-on work and handle the business and managerial side of things while still pulling in a good income. This could be just out of a desire to step away from hands-on work, schedule constraints, or an injury pushing you toward this. For some, they only see a select few clients each month and others want to never take clients again. There’s nothing categorically right or wrong about how exactly you go about this, but what I want to make clear, is that having a desire to move in this direction, having this as a major goal for you and your business, is perfectly okay. Do a lot of therapists want to continue to see clients forever? Of course. But there’s a whole lot who don’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

This is actually a fantastic goal for a lot of people who want to shift from being a full-time worker bee in their business to being the full-time boss of their business. There is still plenty of work to be done when you expand to include others within your facility and someone taking on that role full time is often a must. So why not be that person?

Now, let me be clear, you can most definitely expand, hire a bunch of massage therapists and other professionals, and still see clients full time. You’ll more than likely have to either hire someone to take care of all that extra behind-the-scenes work, or delegate out very specific tasks like payroll, accounting, marketing, and stuff like that to individuals and companies who can do that job. Then you also have the option of just cutting back on your clientele and still overseeing the managerial side. That’s the great thing about this idea…there isn’t a one-size-fits-all sort of setup. You can take your time and slowly figure out what works for you and what your priorities really are in this. You can start cutting back on clients as you bring on others and start overseeing those managerial tasks and figure out how far you want to take it. The key to making this a successful transition and ensuring your happiness when it’s all said and done, is to evaluate at each step. So every time you start to move more toward this goal ask yourself these questions…

What are you letting go?

What are you now gaining or adding in?

How are you feeling about your new role?

How are your finances doing in the process?

Answering these questions can help ensure you’re not only moving toward your goal, but that the goal is what you really want. It’s not uncommon for those who jump into this to suddenly miss the hands-on work. So if you see that you find some happy balance of seeing a few clients and the managerial side, then so be it. Or if you thought that would be good for you and see that you’re dreading that one day a week you still take clients, then that’s a good indication you might want to step away from the hands-on work completely. It’s always a good idea to transition a little more slowly so that you can evaluate as you go and tweak your goals accordingly.

Of course, this entire concept doesn’t fit everyone’s dreams or goals. For me, the idea of hiring other therapists was an absolute no. I loved being independent and not having to worry about keeping someone else’s book filled or babysitting adults if I made a not-so-great hire. But if this is something you’re considering, just know that it is a great option and you can be wildly successful doing it.

So, is stepping back from the hands-on work a goal of yours?

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