Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carey Coffin, founder of Carey Coffin Massage Therapy, located in Halifax, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Massage Therapy, and my clients are... anyone! Humans of all kinds and all shapes, anybody who wants help to maintain their quality of life, reduce anxiety, facilitate their healing, or just relax into self-care.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Carey, and I'm a queer, neurodivergent 'zebra' which is sort of what got me into the field I'm in today. When I first moved to Halifax from Winnipeg, I'd just left a profession as a circus performer, and I needed to find work. I got a job as the clinic administrator at ICT Northumberland College School of Massage Therapy. I was entirely unqualified for the job, and I'd never done office work before, but I learned quickly. Sometimes, when the students' demonstration clients didn't show up for them to work on, I'd wander into the classroom from my office, and they'd demo techniques on me. One of the techniques was Suikodo™, and it was so strangely effective for my chronic pain, I HAD to learn it. So I enrolled in the school I'd worked at, and here we are.
I'm motivated by how rewarding it is when a client recovers a range of motion in a previously stuck area or discovers that they were not just imagining their discomfort. I'm also fascinated by puzzles and mysteries, and getting to the root of anatomical issues can feel like detective work. Bodies are fascinating and weird in the best way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Sometimes I feel like my biggest accomplishment is persistence. Striking out on my own instead of working in places that didn't align with my purpose or needs takes patience and perseverance, and I'm proud of myself for keeping at it. Though being awarded the MTWPAM Wholistic Therapist Award when I graduated didn't hurt.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The uncertain nature of attracting clients when my actual purpose is to be able to discharge clients who have accomplished their wellness goals. There are also seasonal peaks and valleys in the business of massage therapy, and preparing for a dry spell is challenging.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start with more money than you think you'll need.
- Build a website early on; you'll thank yourself later.
- Don't light yourself on fire to keep other people warm
personal boundaries are healthy and important.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Laundry. I'd love to share my laundry duties with someone else.
For real, though, be as true to yourself as you can be you'll attract the clients or customers who are 'for you' if you can be radically honest and fully you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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