I recently decided to book my daughter and myself Thai massages at my spa business to celebrate my upcoming birthday. What I discovered that day was completely unexpected.
We had been operating for exactly a year and five days and it had been a ferocious rollercoaster ride from the moment we opened our doors. After a year of admin, marketing, management and the stress of paying salaries and rent, I realized I had completely forgotten about what we really do for people. My mind had been so filled with all the behind the scenes activities that I had missed the point. I had been so busy backstage that I actually had to ask myself, “Why did you open this business and how are you actually serving people?”
As I lay there waiting for my treatment to begin, I felt the heaviness of the small handmade eye bag that my mother had so carefully made for us as a gift when we opened. I smelled the natural, raw, wooden deck that lay beneath my mattress that Phillip (who worked very closely with my late dad for many years) had custom made for us. I felt the warm sun on my skin shining through the blinds on this very cold winter day. There was a faint smell of tiger balm left lurking in the room from the previous client who had just had her treatment. And the music (the playlist sourced and created by my soulmate, dearest friend and the only person I know with the crazy ability to sense exactly which song anyone wants to hear at any given moment) took me on an hour-long journey to the most peaceful place I had been to in a while. I then realized that I had completely forgotten what it was all about.
Suddenly, every single one of my senses was alive, alert and ready to receive.
I could smell the pleasant perfume of my therapist Noy as she entered the room. I have known her for close to four years and she had only recently started working with me again. I felt her warm hands on my feet as she slowly started to apply pressure to the insides of my feet. As she continued to slowly massage my legs, arms and eventually my whole body, I noticed her touch, so gentle, kind and loving. I knew she was completely in the moment with me, extremely attentive to every single stroke as she released the tension in my aching body. (I had been overdoing it at the gym again and every single part of my body was stiff, tense and in desperate need of some love.)
For the remainder of the treatment I thought about how important touch and the power of human connection really are.
So it finally hit me. We don’t just offer massages at our spa, we offer way more than that. We give people a sense of connection. We help them step out of their minds and into their bodies, allowing them to listen to what their bodies have been trying to tell them all along. We give their bodies the love they so desperately deserve and need—something most of us rarely get to do.
Through this experience, I no longer doubt myself or our service, and I truly fell in love with my business again. I remembered how important what we do for others is and I was honestly shocked that it had taken me so long to see what we had created and how beautiful it really was.
It is far too easy to get caught up in what other people say about us and how we do things. We easily begin to doubt ourselves and our actions. These thoughts start to creep in everywhere, especially in our businesses, and when they do, our clients will feel it too.
So if you’re struggling with your business and you’ve wrecked your brain trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong, my advice is to trust yourself and what you’ve created. You’re serving others in the best way you know how and as long as you can remember that, you can’t go wrong.
Author: Jelena Lakic
Editor: Evan Yerburgh