Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rainbow Raaja, a Shamanic Massage Therapist and Coach, based in Bonney Lake, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am Rainbow Raaja, a Shamanic Massage Therapist and Coach. I specialize in Alternative Medicine Modalities such as Sound and Vibrational Therapy, Deep Tissue, Reiki, Crystal Therapy, Life Coaching utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Intuitive Healing Arts, among others.
I describe the work I do as Spectrum Healing. Life is a spectrum. People are all unique with different problems, life situations, and ailments. The work I do is very versatile. I offer specific services that address issues arising in the physical (massage), mental (reiki), emotional (sound therapy), inspirational (life coaching), and spiritual (shamanic healing) areas of our lives. By weaving these techniques together, I am able to address the whole spectrum of our being. This allows for better communication with the other care providers of my clients and less confusion when someone wants to meet all their needs.
When we see just a massage therapist or just a life coach, we never get the full picture of our health. Our issue may present in the body but stem from emotional trauma. That emotional trauma also affects our interpersonal relationships and our sense of confidence in pursuing our dreams. A massage therapist is only equipped and legally able to release the physical and sometimes emotional tension held in the body. They cannot counsel or guide. They may not know how to shift or move the energetic blocks or to guide energy in a way to offer a new outcome to a behavior pattern.
My goal is to re-empower my clients through healing and education on different approaches to shift their reactions and perceptions. The work we do together helps them stabilize and regain confidence in themselves and their life.
If you have a body, then Spectrum Healing is for you. That's why my main motto is "Rainbow Raaja is for every BODY."
Tell us about yourself
I was very lucky. I knew when I was four years old that I wanted to be a massage therapist. I remember playing massage spa with my friends on the playground. I loved having a line of kids and teachers waiting patiently for their shoulder rubs. For each person, I could feel the tension melt right off of them. I could see the relief and peace in their faces afterward. I loved knowing that each one of them felt better when I was done.
It just so happened that my childhood was also enmeshed with very mystical experiences that I had assumed were normal for most. These experiences were brushed off and later became the foundation for my Shamanic and healing work.
I went to Hands on Healing Institute for massage in 2013. I had a wonderful teacher named Andrea Schally who encouraged me to "forget everything I thought I knew about massage." She helped me kill my ego and taught me to really listen to my client's body. During my time at school, I also was trained in Reiki, Energy Therapy, and Crystal Therapy. Shortly after my schooling and a few jobs at some spas, I opened my own Spa and Wellness Center in Santa Clarita, CA. OM...Healing Bodywork was well received by the community, and by the second year, we were awarded "Best Spa of SCV."
Several years later, in 2016, I decided to go off on my own and start a solo practice- Rainbow Raaja. I worked in Pasadena and Santa Clarita but now have moved to the Pacific North West. Almost all my services are now "Virtual" offered internationally.
I have been doing this work my whole life, and I can't imagine doing anything else. It brings me so much joy to share my gifts this way, and my clients share their praise and gratitude for my work. Everyone benefits, and everyone feels immensely better.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was also my underdog story. When COVID hit, I had two offices and was booked out six months in advance. Having to shut down my offices and completely stop working was one of the most heartbreaking things I've had to do. My partner was offered a job in Seattle, Washington, that we couldn't refuse. At this time, I had a newborn and a five-year-old, and we were moving thousands of miles away from my family and friends and my very successful career. I didn't know how I would come back from that.
After we moved into our new place, I received some guidance that I should start a podcast. I had never listened to a podcast. I didn't know what it was. But I decided to try - I named it Rainbows Rising, and it was an educational platform offering healing and skills to empower listeners. My podcast was an instant success. Within the first year, it had won an award; after the second, I acquired 10,000 downloads. Rainbows Rising is now in the final slate for the Podcast People's Choice Awards. The show is a reflection of the type of work I do with clients one on one.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult struggles I have had to overcome is "Entitled Client Syndrome." There are people who want to work with me, but they feel I owe them something. Whether they are upset that I am booked out for several weeks, or they don't agree with my rates. They know I am good- they chose me because of my raving 5-star reviews. They love what I offer but don't want to respect my time and rates.
I've had people who claimed I should charge less because sessions are virtual or because if I really were a Shaman, I wouldn't charge anything. But virtual services cost more money than in-person services. They take more time and energy too. I have to pay for the zoom platform, record the sessions, and edit the audio, so clients have a copy of their sessions.
The stigma that Shamans shouldn't charge or aren't "real" is also upsetting. Shamans in indigenous cultures used to be supported by the community. Their community would clothe them and feed them - build their home too - in exchange for their service to the community. Money is the new currency, and I honor my time, education, and experience. I would hope they would too.
I now offer my Podcast as a way to allow everyone a chance to work with me, no matter their budget or beliefs.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
These tips are in regards to owning any business, not just a private healing practice.
- Play into your strengths. I have always been creative and a strong communicator. Those skills now serve my business better than all the ads and marketing I paid for.
- Hire out your weaknesses. If you can afford to hire people, do it. It will save you time and stress later. If you are awful at social media, hire someone to manage that for you. Check out Fiverr for little jobs, or check local colleges for interns to help you out.
- Take some business courses. Go to your local college and take some business classes. Having now owned a spa and a private practice. I wish I had taken some business courses beforehand. Learn the legal requirements of your industry, learn how to target market, learn about the codes and regulations in your city for your industry, make a business plan and ensure you file all the correct paperwork. Doing all this could save you some serious fines, fees, or legal troubles.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm just grateful for the opportunity to share my story and what I do with the readership.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.