Rachel started her massage practice in 2008 with the intention of combining a medical-based massage practice with the relaxing environment of a healing space. Her motto is “Delicious Pain, Not Scary Pain”. She first studied massage in Thailand on a trip through India and Southeast Asia, becoming certified in Thai Massage at the famous WatPo School in Bangkok.
Later she continued her education at the Swedish Institute and became Licensed as a Massage Therapist. She has expanded her business to two locations, and a third is on the way. She's been featured in the Wall St Journal, Forbes, Allure, and Vogue. Rachel also helps individuals working in the wellness field to grow their practices through business coaching. She is a proud member of the YEC.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I am a licensed massage therapist and small business owner, originally from Michigan.
What inspired you to start your business?
I'm not very good at managing up, and I really didn't like working for other people. I saw so many instances in my career where I felt exploited, unhappy, or that I could do it better. When I started my business I aimed to remedy everything I disliked about working for other people.
Where is your business based?
My business is based in Brooklyn, NY
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
I first started my private practice by trading work for space. I couldn't afford to rent a space yet, so I found a physical therapy studio that was willing to trade me hours of work in exchange for letting me use it to see private clients. I built up a client base over time by targeting individuals in other fields who see a volume of their own private clients and trading them services (for example, massage for haircuts or training or acupuncture). They became huge referrals sources for me.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
SEO by far. The internet truly is our storefront.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenges I have faced have often been getting out of my own way and not allowing fear to lead how I operate. When facing a problem or challenge, I often ask myself "What else could this mean?" or "What's good about this?" to help me get into a better head space to deal with issues. I remind myself that I am resilient and resourceful.
How do you stay focused?
Taking a few moments each morning to set a daily intention is very helpful for staying focused.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
We offer clinical style massage therapy (like you'd find in a physical therapy clinic or chiropractic office) but without the cold, sterile environment and paper sheets. Our studio is warm and welcoming and doesn't feel so clinical, and the work that we do is deeply therapeutic.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Building strategic referral sources and partnerships have been extremely effective.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Don't be afraid to try different ideas, and fail at them. Entrepreneurs are the people who've failed the most and gotten back up the most. It's persistence and perseverance that makes someone successful.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite app is Crew - it's an easy tool to rapidly communicate with my team remotely.
My favorite blog is by Tim Ferriss because he's always challenging and inspiring.
My favorite business book is Book Yourself Solid; it helped me establish great boundaries and healthy practices for building my studios.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
I recently completed the MBA on Sneakers program and it was the most inspiring and helpful week: http://www.sisinbiz.nl/en/mba-on-sneakers-the-sisterhood-edition/
Who is your business role model? Why?
Sara Blakely is a major role model because she built her business from the ground up, and she inspires and empowers other women to pursue their dreams.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
I will open up the third location of my business in the next six months!
How can our readers connect with you?
Consulting website: www.wellnessbusinessconsulting.com