I love Richard Branson’s idea in “Finding My Virginity”, that the sweet spot is where we can really differentiate ourselves from the competition – in service and in product but the sweet spot is most effective where there is also a real appetite for change.
For me, when I started building Shyft, my massage business, I as a consumer or recipient of massage knew that it was extremely difficult to find a good deep tissue therapist. Sure everyone says they can do deep work, but it was extremely rare for me to actually find someone who could do what I considered a true deep tissue massage. I used to get upset that I would pay extra for deep tissue and then only receive what I thought was an ordinary treatment. Early on I decided to brand myself as specializing in deep tissue bodywork. Even now, I won’t even advertise that I do anything else. I don’t advertise relaxing massage because that’s not what I do. Customers come to me because they want the deep work. And I am determined to charge a flat rate for my work because I never want one of my clients to walk away thinking they just paid extra for something they thought was ordinary. Not that I think what I do is ordinary, but I can’t control the perceptions of those who end up on my table.
I like to find gaps in industries. Where is there a need that is not being filled? Where is there a desire for something better but no vision on how to get there?
Sometimes what I find most difficult is when I see a need in an industry but those potential clients don’t recognize or prioritize the opportunity. With Nuwati Bodywork Education Center, this comes up a lot as a leader and educator in the massage industry. Massage therapists jump into the industry because they want to help people and they want the flexible working hours. Unfortunately, when you are an employee in the massage industry, you do not have a whole lot of control over your schedule, and your ability to help people is limited by the expedience expectations of the owner. I’ve seen so many therapists burn out of the industry because they have over worked their bodies by shuffling bodies on and off the table too many hours a day/ week.
As you can see, right now I am focused on the massage and alternative wellness industry. There is a real need for teaching business skills to small businesses and entrepreneurs. There is a real need for community among business builders.
When a massage therapist ventures out on their own, they often struggle to make ends meet because nobody has taught them the reality of starting a business. We started Nuwati Bodywork Education Center because no one is teaching massage therapists, or any alternative wellness provider for that matter, how to start/ run/ and grow a business. You get started and have to muddle your way through trying to figure it out as you go. It’s defeating and hard. I am by no means an expert, but I have muddled my way through. I have lived what so many are living through and I don’t think it’s necessary for anyone else to struggle in that way. We, at Nuwati, want to be your cheerleader. We want to create an environment where people can come and learn, find support and get creative.
I like the idea of community. The idea of co-working space. We want Nuwati Bodywork Education Center to be a place you can come and be around other like-minded people. We want you to be able to have intelligent, inspiring conversations while you work. Not only that, but you have a professional office setting where you can bring your clients or business partners to, instead of always having to meet for coffee or eat four meals a day because you’ve stacked your client meetings all at restaurants.
I think there is a real appetite for change in the health care industry. People are fed up with traditional medical care and it’s puppet strings tied to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. I am a firm believer that traditional medicine has it’s place when dealing with injuries and infections, and sometimes major illnesses, but I also believe that non-traditional, alternative wellness therapies have the opportunity to take the lead on teaching individuals to take back control of their own everyday health condition and become cognizant of their own bodies on a wholistic level... But I guess that’s for another soapbox moment.