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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

Hi. I don't work at Massage Envy. I'm not a LMT. And I've never paid (directly) for a massage. My wife, however, is a fantastic therapist. I came here to find out about Massage Envy in case she might be interested in working there.

I'm glad I did. I've learned a lot from the passionate writing of many therapists here. Still, my outsider's perspective has me wondering about a few things:

First, if those who claim to be doing amazingly well without Massage Envy really are, why are they spending their time at a job search site?

Secondly, why does it seem like every impassioned person posting here is not telling the whole truth?

Let's look at the Massage Envy vs. Private Practice issue (seems to be the most common scenario argued, but certainly not all possible situations) from a more general perspective: Employed vs. Self-Employed

The system limits the length of my posts so I'll divide this up.

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

Employed Pros:
* Unless you are in sales, someone else is doing the selling. You can go to work and do what you are good at and you don't have to spend any time doing something you aren't good at (this describes an ideal organization with appropriate division/specialization of labor)
* Steady paycheck. Maybe you have downtime, maybe you don't. But you can usually budget for a consistent rate of pay.
* Potential for group benefits. The larger the organization the greater the potential. The comparison has been made between Walmart and Massage Envy, which is precisely why I say potential. The point is that you don't have any potential for group discount health care when self-employed. When employed you have something.
* Gain experience. This appears to be Massage Envy's business model. Nobody with 5 years of experience is likely to go work for Massage Envy for $15-25/hour. If you're right out of massage school you don't have the clientele for a highly profitable private practice and you don't have the experience for a high paying clinical or spa position. In this respect ME does provide a great opportunity for new grads, all other disputes set aside. I can't emphasize this enough. I'm not trying to make a determination that this experience is worth the greater costs, I'm just saying that it does get a therapist experience.

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

Employed Cons:
* Someone else sets your schedule. You have to coordinate with others to take a vacation, and you're limited to the HR policies of the company.
* Due to the high overhead of running a company, particularly one that rents prime real estate in busy shopping centers (if you've ever been in business and investigated these costs you'll understand how significant this is), the percentage of revenue that you actually see is very low.
* You have to deal with other people, and their direct influence on your life. You don't get to make many decisions about your work. This is most obvious in the arguments that Massage Envy apparently overbooks therapists. (Which is ironically listed alongside the complaint that therapists don't have enough bookings. Obviously it depends on the location, the management, and the level of service.)

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

Self-Employed Pros:
* You set your own schedule. If you don't want to work this Wednesday, you don't have to. As a therapist you can simply choose to not schedule sessions on that day.
* You make your own rules. Obviously you'll want to stay within what's legal, ethical, moral, and good for business if you want your business to succeed and you don't want a criminal record.
* You make the decisions. If you think the advertising is done poorly you can change it. If you think you need at least 1/2 hour between sessions you can schedule it that way. Micro-manage till you're blue in the face!
* You get to see every dollar of revenue. (For those who weren't paying attention in the business courses of your school's program, revenue is total dollars in. IT DOES NOT MEAN PROFIT.)

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

Self-Employed Cons (This is the part that most people posting here seem to omit in their statement, or completely don't understand about their business):

* You reap the consequences of your own decisions. For most people it is very difficult to get themselves to work hard on their business every day. They take too much personal time and their business suffers. Otherwise they spend too much time on their business ("working for their business" rather than making their business work for them) and their personal life suffers. (No other success can compensate for failure in the home.)
* You have to make all the decisions, or pay someone to do it for you. Either way it can be very costly. Most small business owners are entrepreneurs who are good at the service or product their business provides. They are not good, however, at all things business. I am a photographer, not an accountant/bookkeeper or sales person or office manager. Because I am self-employed I have to do all those things for my business. And because I'm not good at them my business suffers.
* YOU DON'T GET PAID FOR DOING THOSE OTHER ROLES. You have to count ALL of the time spent on your business, not just the time spent taking pictures or giving a massage. Every minute spent getting supplies or cleaning or maintaining records or selling or marketing or networking or answering phones or anything else relating to your business counts as time spent on your business. Suddenly you aren't making $65/hour. Only when you understand this aspect can you have any idea how profitable your business is.
* There is no one else to blame if you fail. If you are a responsible person this concept is already a part of your life. If you are the type for whom external influences always seem to ruin things, you may want to spend some time on this subject before going into business for yourself. And go read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Live them.

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

I hope nobody sees all of this as some sort of lecture. I just see the lack of perspective in a lot of the conversations taking place here, and feel that my experience in business, while far from perfect and all-encompassing, may be helpful to others.

Wherever you work, in whatever situation, think about the specifics of that arrangement. All of life is a tradeoff. With employment you trade a great deal of freedom for some degree of stability and sanity. If you don't know how being employed can be considered sanity just try running your own business for a while without a support staff. If it's easy then you probably don't have enough clientele to know what busy really means.

If you are self-employed, congratulations and good work. Also, consider seeking professional psychiatric help. :)

Obviously my lists above are far from complete. I entirely forgot to put "HR/payroll handles your taxes" on the Employed Pros list, and "You have to deal directly with the IRS and forget about form 1040EZ" on Self-Employed Cons. Please add to the lists in the form of a professional discussion.

As though I have some sort of authority here (I created this thread didn't I?) I would ask that you refrain from political debates, name calling, pestering, and general childish behavior. Let's keep it professional and about the subject of Employed vs. Self-Employed, and how it applies to Massage Envy and massage therapy in general.

Best of luck to everyone!

- Jon

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Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah

80 months ago

I'll go first!

How much do you private practitioners really make per hour? Spend some time and come up with a realistic amount based on what you charge per hour for massage divided by how many hours you have to spend on your business to do that massage.

For my photography I honestly charge over $300 per hour. But I make around $30/hour. Equipment (seriously, have you ever shopped for professional photography equipment? 4 and even 5 figures for a single lens or camera body), equipment/property insurance, liability insurance, marketing, ongoing training, consumables, etc. That's a lot of overhead that already takes the figure down. Then divide what's left by how many hours I spend on my business and the rate really takes a dive.

To put it in perspective, a 4 or 5 hour wedding shoot typically involves 10 to 12 hours of archiving, editing, archiving, designing, archiving, and sometimes even fabricating (custom albums and frames). Then there's also the time spent answering the phone and emails, meeting with clients, travel expenses, utilities, etc.

Maybe it's less than $30. When I was new in the business I calculated that I was making less than minimum wage. I wasn't charging enough and I was spending WAY too much time.

How about you? When did you realize that the figures your massage school was stating were literally unreal, and how much do you find is a realistic amount?

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Rolinda in Chula Vista, California

80 months ago

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said: I'll go first!

How much do you private practitioners really make per hour? Spend some time and come up with a realistic amount based on what you charge per hour for massage divided by how many hours you have to spend on your business to do that massage.

For my photography I honestly charge over $300 per hour. But I make around $30/hour. Equipment (seriously, have you ever shopped for professional photography equipment? 4 and even 5 figures for a single lens or camera body), equipment/property insurance, liability insurance, marketing, ongoing training, consumables, etc. That's a lot of overhead that already takes the figure down. Then divide what's left by how many hours I spend on my business and the rate really takes a dive.

To put it in perspective, a 4 or 5 hour wedding shoot typically involves 10 to 12 hours of archiving, editing, archiving, designing, archiving, and sometimes even fabricating (custom albums and frames). Then there's also the time spent answering the phone and emails, meeting with clients, travel expenses, utilities, etc.

Maybe it's less than $30. When I was new in the business I calculated that I was making less than minimum wage. I wasn't charging enough and I was spending WAY too much time.

How about you? When did you realize that the figures your massage school was stating were literally unreal, and how much do you find is a realistic amount?

Jon, I appreciate your decorum and attempt in bringing perspective to both sides of any business. The reaction you received is unfortunate. You are not alone. I along with several others have experienced the same unpleasantness. It is explained as passion for their profession. They have forgotten "Compassion". There are unhappy, angry MTs here on this thread/forum and with their attitudes, communication is useless which leaves a lasting impression on those that happen upon these forums. It is very sad. I wish you well. Good luck.

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Rolinda in Chula Vista, California

80 months ago

The unpleasant comments were deleted by the host of this forum.

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LMT/CMT in Phoenix, Arizona

80 months ago

Rolinda in Chula Vista, California said: The unpleasant comments were deleted by the host of this forum.

How convenient. Beleive me, there were so many horrible posts that were deleated you will just have to take my word for it?? Right! read some of your own posts. So far as the reaction you say Jon got for his comments, I dont see any here, what are you talking about? As far as compassion, that works both ways. I have worked for ME and for myself, I can tell you there is no comparison. I love what I do, and make a lot more money so for those who still want to say that owning a business costs too much and your end profit is less than working for ME, sorry its just not true.

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LMT/CMT in Phoenix, Arizona

80 months ago

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said: Hi. I don't work at Massage Envy. I'm not a LMT. And I've never paid (directly) for a massage. My wife, however, is a fantastic therapist. I came here to find out about Massage Envy in case she might be interested in working there.

I'm glad I did. I've learned a lot from the passionate writing of many therapists here. Still, my outsider's perspective has me wondering about a few things:

First, if those who claim to be doing amazingly well without Massage Envy really are, why are they spending their time at a job search site?

Secondly, why does it seem like every impassioned person posting here is not telling the whole truth?

Let's look at the Massage Envy vs. Private Practice issue (seems to be the most common scenario argued, but certainly not all possible situations) from a more general perspective: Employed vs. Self-Employed

The system limits the length of my posts so I'll divide this up.

This job site is also a forum for therapists. A therapist I know sent me a link to this site. I could ask the same of ME therapists and owners, why are THEY on this site?? I do own my own business and I can tell you that nobody will make more money at ME than if they went into private practice. Even after you do the budget and debt analysis, in the end you are better off, if not, then you need to learn how to run a buisness before trying it. Its not about not making it being in private practice, its more about the therapist and how motivated and educated they are in their field.

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Rolinda in Chula Vista, California

80 months ago

I hope and pray that you all find what you are looking for. I sincerely wish you all the best. Good journey.

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Rolinda in Chula Vista, California

80 months ago

LMT/CMT in Phoenix, Arizona said: How convenient. Beleive me, there were so many horrible posts that were deleated you will just have to take my word for it?? Right! read some of your own posts. So far as the reaction you say Jon got for his comments, I dont see any here, what are you talking about? As far as compassion, that works both ways. I have worked for ME and for myself, I can tell you there is no comparison. I love what I do, and make a lot more money so for those who still want to say that owning a business costs too much and your end profit is less than working for ME, sorry its just not true.

How about it Fed Up. Are you honest enough to admit you also read the unpleasant comments? Or will you deny it? Yeah, thought so. Anyway, I won't waste any more of my time. Peace and Good journey.

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elsewhere in Burbank, California

80 months ago

LMT/CMT in Phoenix, Arizona said: How convenient. Beleive me, there were so many horrible posts that were deleated you will just have to take my word for it?? Right! read some of your own posts. So far as the reaction you say Jon got for his comments, I dont see any here, what are you talking about?

I've monitored this thread since it's inception. There were no other posts pleasant or unpleasant in this thread despite Jon's sincere efforts to start a dialogue, not a single one. Rolinda is just starved for attention so she's making an attempt to stir things up. You'll notice she offered nothing in the way of dialogue with Jon other than a patronizing pat on the back and more hate thrown in the direction of anti ME MT's.

That's all she's got.

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cs_colvin in Downers Grove, Illinois

80 months ago

Jon, creating a thread does not imply you have authority over it.

Answers to your questions and challenges may be found here tinyurl.com/3y36hw and here tinyurl.com/2j9fa7

The amount of detail you present about yourself and photography is entirely off topic considering this forum is specific to massage therapy. Your pros and cons don't apply as straight across the board as you might believe. You would know this if you had ever been a massage therapist and there you raise another red flag.

As for the lack of response, ask yourself why people would repeat hundreds of responses to someone outside the profession who obviously hasn't taken the time to become acquainted with massage therapy's past, present and future.

It's interesting that you and Rolinda, who are not massage therapists yourselves, take time at all to discuss massage therapy so in depth and with such certainty despite a clear lack of knowledge about the profession. Rather it is reminiscent of indirect baiting and trolling, such as Rolinda has chronically persisted with.

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cs_colvin in Woodridge, Illinois

80 months ago

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said:
First, if those who claim to be doing amazingly well without Massage Envy really are, why are they spending their time at a job search site?

If you read through all the posts you claim to, why are you asking this question?

[quote]Secondly, why does it seem like every impassioned person posting here is not telling the whole truth?

Again, what is the purpose of asking a question in this manner? No one knows any truth but their own. Do you believe it's reasonable to expect any single person to cover every aspect? Are you inviting others to speak for anyone but themselves so you can it out as inappropriate?

[quote]
Let's look at the Massage Envy vs. Private Practice issue (seems to be the most common scenario argued, but certainly not all possible situations) from a more general perspective: Employed vs. Self-Employed

Let's not. There is far more to consider in massage therapy than differences of being self-employed or a contractor.

This is another pointless attempt, identical to Rolinda's in other threads, to separate massage therapy from more important core issues.

Again, since I haven't said it in this thread yet, there are always exceptions and it's understood some MEs may be run conscientiously; and therefore benefit at least some massage therapists. But if all the threads combined here are weighed, ME appears substandard more often than not.

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cs_colvin in Woodridge, Illinois

80 months ago

Reposting to see if the quotes appear correctly.

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said:
First, if those who claim to be doing amazingly well without Massage Envy really are, why are they spending their time at a job search site?

If you read through all the posts you claim to, why are you asking this question?

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said:
Secondly, why does it seem like every impassioned person posting here is not telling the whole truth?

Again, what is the purpose of asking a question in this manner? No one knows any truth but their own. Do you believe it's reasonable to expect any single person to cover every aspect? Are you inviting others to speak for anyone but themselves so you can point it out as inappropriate?

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said:
Let's look at the Massage Envy vs. Private Practice issue (seems to be the most common scenario argued, but certainly not all possible situations) from a more general perspective: Employed vs. Self-Employed

Let's not. There is far more to consider in massage therapy than differences of being self-employed or a contractor.

This is another pointless attempt, identical to Rolinda's in other threads, to separate massage therapy from more important core issues.

Again, since I haven't said it in this thread yet, there are always exceptions and it's understood some MEs may be run conscientiously; and therefore benefit at least some massage therapists. But if all the threads combined here are weighed, ME appears substandard more often than not.

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Fed up in Wilmette, Illinois

80 months ago

Jon in Pleasant Grove, Utah said: Self-Employed Cons (This is the part that most people posting here seem to omit in their statement, or completely don't understand about their business):
* You have to make all the decisions, or pay someone to do it for you. Either way it can be very costly. Most small business owners are entrepreneurs who are good at the service or product their business provides. They are not good, however, at all things business. I am a photographer, not an accountant/bookkeeper or sales person or office manager. Because I am self-employed I have to do all those things for my business. And because I'm not good at them my business suffers.
* YOU DON'T GET PAID FOR DOING THOSE OTHER ROLES. You have to count ALL of the time spent on your business, not just the time spent taking pictures or giving a massage. Every minute spent getting supplies or cleaning or maintaining records or selling or marketing or networking or answering phones or anything else relating to your business counts as time spent on your business. Suddenly you aren't making $65/hour. Only when you understand this aspect can you have any idea how profitable your business is.
* There is no one else to blame if you fail. If you are a responsible person this concept is already a part of your life. If you are the type for whom external influences always seem to ruin things, you may want to spend some time on this subject before going into business for yourself. And go read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Live them.

Jon,
JC Penney is looking for photographers and based on what you've stated in here, you'd be perfect for them! Good luck and let us know how it works out.

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J-me LMT in PG, Utah

79 months ago

I think what it all boils down to is that we are talking about success in whatever feild you are in right? Well here is a quote I came over "Success is not the destination it is defined by the journey."

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cs_colvin in Woodridge, Illinois

79 months ago

J-me LMT in PG, Utah said: I think what it all boils down to is that we are talking about success in whatever feild you are in right? Well here is a quote I came over "Success is not the destination it is defined by the journey."

There are various types of success. A core success that allows supports other successes including spiritual success, is being able to pay bills. Unless you can live on air, if you don't take care of yourself there will be less opportunity to help others.

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