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So, how's your dream job going? I have to ask! With all the issues with the economy..... Can't get away from it, so I thought I would start this little discussion so we can give and get some candid responses. I feel that the people in this group tend to tell it like it is, with no sugar-coating. Ya welcome! Seriously, how are you guys doing with your businesses? Building, growing, staying afloat? Yanking your hair out as well as anyone in your general vicinity? What's working for you and what has totally bombed? There's a lot of great advice through various threads, but I tend to listen a little more closely when it comes from someone I have "contact" with. Not the "it works for me it will work for you too" sales pitch. Inquiring minds want to know... 

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Rough!! I find that trading for things you need and want will help to boost your practice. Something with your hairdresser or dentist. This will help to conserve whatever cash you have for other more immediate needs.
Heather, I assume you're speaking hypothetically about bartering unless you are reporting the fair market value of the services you receive as income on your taxes every year.

When I'm reporting my income and tips I always keep in mind that Al Capone went to jail for tax evasion, not for anything he did as a mob boss.

These days I also remember what the governor of South Carolina discovered: that once something is posted on the internet, it's there forever for anyone to access.

That said, I agree with you. Hypothetically (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) bartering can be a wonderful way to stretch your money and to keep busy when regular appointments are slow.
Steve, glad that thing are working out for you.

"Building any business is difficult, but the wonderful thing about massage is that if something is not working, you have so many other avenues to explore." So I said...

I have decided to start doing equine massage. I have worked with horses my whole life and have a strong anatomy and phys knowledge of the horse, actually much stronger than my human anatomy. All along I have read about and bought dvd's to study various techniques and have practiced on my own horses and have had good results, even got my old 28 year old horses' pelvis to balance I have life long contacts in the industry and have decided it time to put that to work. Once I can get established, it can be a tremendous income source.

The only reason that I have not pursued this before is that I will be spending alot of time on the road. My target clientele is actually in town from Dec - April. From May - Labor Day, it will only be a two hour drive each way and it is in the mountains which will be a nice break from the desert heat. Sept - Dec would be a 5 hour drive one way which will be a pain in the butt, but if the clientele is there, I will do it.

I will not give up my 'human' clients and will continue to build actively my practice. But I do love working with the horses so it would be silly not to try.

If you want to know the truth, you have to watch the documentary "Massage - an inside story"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=159ZaAwq8i8

You have to hustle and be flexible to survive in this business and you have to love it.  It's that simple.  It's important to do what anyone else would do who had a business, go to Business Networking Meetings, canvas, always be in a mindset of marketing.  I think having a mentor is important.  That has helped me a lot but it's tough out there period.

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