Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ani Sevag, Owner of Newtown Square Massage Therapy, located in Newtown Square, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a licensed massage therapist, and my customers are people who have acute or chronic physical/emotional pain. Modern medicine hasn't helped, and they are seeking alternative care.
Tell us about yourself
What got me to fully devote my time to my own business was getting laid off from my previous job. I was an instructor at a massage school and loved what I did there. I was a valued member of the staff there. Unfortunately, the school was sold, and I was laid off. I couldn't stand the idea that I had poured my heart and soul into that job that could so easily let me go by people who had never even met me. Having my financial stability in the hands of someone else was no longer an option. I wanted to be more in control and make sure if I failed financially, it was by my own hands. What motivates me is that because I've created a job that pays well and gives me a good work/life balance, I am the best version of myself for my clients. If something isn't working for me, I can simply change it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the fact that I am becoming a more business-savvy entrepreneur is a true miracle in and of itself. When I got into this work, I wanted to set up a "pay what you want" business and never deny someone a massage. I always felt like business was cutthroat and failed to account for our humanness. This was only reconfirmed by my job at the school when I saw the delicate balancing act between integrity and profitability. After all, I lost my job due to a "business decision," but I truly LOVE running my own business, and I find it to be an interesting journey.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Setting appropriate boundaries. Creating and enforcing policies that reinforce those boundaries. I often find myself and read about other therapists that really put their clients at the cost of themselves. For example, creating and enforcing a late cancellation fee is probably one of the hardest things for a massage therapist.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a niche. The more specialized you are, the more profitable your business.
- Be open and honest and real about your relationship with money and what you deserve.
- Never sacrifice yourself or quality.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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