Tag Archives: starting a business

I’m officially the boss of someone

I had a panic attack last night all because the girl I hired didn’t text me back right away.

“Oh no she changed her mind!  Now I have to settle on one of those other girls I interviewed!”

I interviewed four people so far.  The only one I really liked, I hired on the spot.  I gave her a key and put her on the schedule starting April 18th.

I’m learning so much about myself during this whole process of hiring people.  I’m learning the importance of confidence and especially of self-worth.  The girl I hired acted like she belonged there.  That she’s not below me, or below being a confident MT.  I see her potential.

And as silly as it sounds, I hired her because she’s a new massage therapist.  I’ll get to mold her to my liking without her taking offense.  That can’t be done with seasoned vet’s.

Yesterday I interviewed a woman from India.

“Oh yay!”  I thought to myself.  “This woman must know her shit.  People from India take massage very seriously.”

I glanced at her application, and looked up at her.  “Oh man I really want you to massage me right now.”

“You do?  I can do that.”

Me – “Are you sure?  I don’t want to put you on the spot.”

Her – “No problem.  I’ll massage you.”

Well, she massaged me and it wasn’t what I had hoped.  She has experience, she’s Indian, professional, confident, but, eh.

Racial profiling is rarely accurate…

Also, she’s somebody that can’t be molded.  She’s somebody that believes there’s a clear definitive line between swedish and deep tissue.  There is no clear line, only sucky massage verses a great one.

Another girl I interviewed felt a bit impulsive and overbearing.  She told me I should charge more for pregnancy massage and that I should keep the massages to 50 minutes.

Another girl was incredibly sweet.  She’s been working at Massage Envy for 3 years and wants out.  She treated me like I was an actual boss and sincerely laughed at my stupid jokes.  But…..would I want to get a massage from her?  Would I come back to see her?  To request her?

She gave me the impression that no, I wouldn’t anticipate another massage from her.  But she’s so sweet and genuine!  Why Melanie must you be such a prick?

It’s business.  Nothing personal.

I’m looking for people with intelligence, confidence, and charisma – someone who wants to learn.  Someone I can teach without them taking offense.

And so, last night I panicked because the one girl I felt was perfect for the job, didn’t text me back right away.  My mind swirled out of control.

“It’s not real Mel.  None of what you’re feeling is real.”

The thing with panic attacks is that they’re just as much physical as they are mental.  Meaning, that becoming aware of my thoughts and getting a grip on them doesn’t always stop the physical side effects from happening.  Shortness of breath, speedy pulse, complete terror.  I swerved very close to experiencing the terror – I felt it before, and so I recognized what was happening to me.  And it IS physical.

“It’s an attack!  Calm the eff down girl.  Calm the eff down.”

It’s like sitting atop a spooked horse.  You, the rider, know what’s happening, but the bucking bronco between your legs won’t stop.

“First control your thoughts….but businesses fail.  MOST businesses fail!  I don’t know what I’m doing.  And I’m alone in this!”

“It’s not life or death.”

“But it’s my life!”

The physical side of anxiety can best be described as chronic pain.  People with chronic physical pain can’t get better because they can’t separate themselves from the pain.  It’s always there.  They can’t forget and let go, but cope.

Anxiety is no different.  You can’t separate yourself from the physical repercussions of it.  It’s a cycle that needs to run it’s course.

At the time of the attack, I was playing a video game called Borderlands which I attribute as being the trigger.  It wasn’t all because that girl didn’t text me back, but that I was playing a highly frustrating first person shooter game on a big screen TV.

It stressed out my adrenals, I was dehydrated, I haven’t been eating well because of stress – it was NOT a good time to be playing that game.  I’m throughly convinced now, after getting an attack, that video games cause ADD.

I’m home and working on a sign for my business that I can zip-tie to a poll on our one main road in town.  There aren’t many signs on polls where I’m from, so when I come across them, I notice and can’t help to read them.  One guy buys houses, another one is selling mattresses.  Really guy?  Mattresses?

My sign is going to overpower their little crappy signs.

$45 INTRO MASSAGE

GRAND OPENING APRIL 18TH.  

And since I’m an artsy dork with Prismacolor markers, I colored the crap out of it.

But anyway, interviewing people really got me thinking…

What makes a person confident?  Belief?  But what makes them believe?

I took this question and kneaded it over for about three hours while I was massaging.  And what I found it all comes down to is this:

Experience.

Not only experience, but the ability to do something scary – something you’re really not confident for, but you do it anyway.  It’s how people learn.  And in my personal experience with walking the Camino, it’s only when you push yourself, do you find your self-worth.

I’m slowly getting my mind back.  Slowly – very slowly.  This past week I blocked off most of my schedule because well, I needed it.

How easily we can get lost in our lives.  To lose perspective, to lose ourselves.  It’s too easy.  But for me, it’s a necessity that I don’t.  Because when I do, episodes like last night happen.

The thing is, no matter what I’m thinking about, no matter where my focus is, I go deep into it and stretch my sanity strands until they’re frayed and broken.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  I could be sitting on the toilet completely engrossed in my bathroom book (the lazy intellectual), reading about linguistics and the history of language – amazing.

Like for instance, did you know that seibzehnhundertsechsundseibzig is 1776 written out in German?  What’s it like writing out checks for those guys, you know?

It’s like massaging a person and palpating their tight muscles – it’s understanding them to the point where I communicate with them, I experience them as much as the client.

So if we learn through experience, and experience alone, what entails experience?  What is it exactly?

I kneaded this one over too.  While I massaged for those 3 long isolating hours.

When we perceive something, our eyes are the first to see it.  If what we are seeing doesn’t register, we have no gut reaction to it – no feeling towards it.  And so, our thoughts are used to decipher what we see when our feelings are absent.  Can thought be experience?

I found the answer to be no.

“Can you experience a thought?”  I thought to myself.  “Not if that thought doesn’t carry any emotion.  A thought can’t carry emotion like an idea can.”

In buddhism, yes.  Technically yes you can experience a thought.  As long as you’re an outside observer of that thought, you can say, “hey look guys!  I’m experiencing a thought right now.”  But that’s besides the point and will only confuse you.  I’m sure you’re already confused.

No, what I’m trying to say is that experience happens when you are emotionally moved by a thought.  Emotions help you to understand the thought.  Without emotions, we wouldn’t be able to comprehend anything and grow.

So, in conclusion, to feel something emotionally brings about experience.  Experience teaches you.  Experience brings you confidence.  As long as you’re aware of your emotions, you gain experience.

“But what about con men or sociopaths?  They have no emotions and yet they come off as being charming and experienced.  If you only learn through emotions, than how do you explain that?”

Rational brain, I missed our debates!

“Answer the question.”

Um, okay.  That’s a good one.  I was wondering that myself.

“You’re completely schizophrenic I hope you know.”

Con men and sociopaths have no empathy, but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of feeling emotion.  If they were incapable of emotion, they wouldn’t get off on doing what they do.  They are emotionally selfish and have reached the highest level of narcissism.  Their emotions are self-fulfilling, completely turned inward.

“But aren’t all emotions inward?”

Not love or curiosity.  With those two things, you are connecting yourself with something outside yourself.  You can only know yourself by seeing the contrasts, and you can only see the contrasts if you experience the outside world.  This is where you find self-love, worth, and confidence.

“Sociopaths can be curious.  They can set people up and prod them to get a reaction.  Like all people are guinea pigs to them.”

“You are so freaking difficult.  Yes, okay, they can be curious.  I guess that’s partly where they get their experience from.”

Anyway, it’s late.  It’s 1:25am actually.  My sign board for my business sits uncompleted.  I won’t be able to sleep until it’s finished.

I have two more interviews to give tomorrow and then hopefully I’ll be done with that portion of the business building.

A part of me feels like it’s all pretend.  Like I’m interviewing these people, but not really.  I don’t have the money to employ them, I’m not a boss, I have no work for them.  It almost feels like I’m playing.  I’m playing a game called “let’s see what it feels like to start a business” game.

It would be horrible – absolutely horrible if this feeling actually holds merit.  A portion of it does, but the bigger part of it is yes, I can pay them, yes, I can get them tons of work and damn right I’m the boss.

Okay, I really need to finish my sign.

Tonight is the first in months where I was able to settle down and think.

There are three types of people in the world;  Those who can be moved, those who can’t be moved, and those who move.

Let your emotions move you, but not control you.  Let your thoughts guide you, but not fool you.  Let experience in, and become it to the world.

A wise tribal man once told me to “Be the experience.”  Since I’m on the topic of experience, I thought I’d throw that in.  I’m too tired to connect it to the post however, and I already wrote about his phrase thoroughly in the past, so I’ll just let it sit for now.

Okay, I gotta go.

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Following my unexplored heart

Life is certainly bizarre.  I could’ve settled into my one-room office doing everything myself, building a 401K, paying off my bills, eventually saving enough for a house.  Get married, double my income, pop out a few kids.

But instead I’m choosing the scarier, more unexplored option by following my heart.

I would’ve been miserable in that other, more stagnant life.  I know what I want, and I don’t want that.

Anytime a person follows their heart, it moves them towards progress.  And while in the act of progressing, you WILL suffer.  It’s all part of the game.  It’s all part of growth.  The suffering that takes place is all done in your own mind.  A rewiring of old beliefs to make room for the new.  You’ll doubt yourself, worry, suffer loss.  Any type of change you face, has to do with also facing some type of loss.

It’s the loss that makes you suffer.

I’m losing the ground beneath my feet and investing everything I have into following my heart.  And I’m doing it all without a mentor, a guide, a Dumbledore to tell me what to do.

Do you have any idea how much an employee actually costs?

I have to pay:

  1. Employer portion of Social Security tax
  2. Employer portion of Medicare tax
  3. State unemployment tax
  4. Federal unemployment tax
  5. Worker compensation insurance

Plus I still have to figure out about liability insurance.  Massage therapists come equipped with their own, but I’m not sure if I need more.  I can’t find this information anywhere!  And I searched my towns website for a general business license, but I can’t figure out how to get my hands on one.  Maybe I don’t need one?  Legal Zoom has a company that says they can get me one for $100, but they might be scammers.  Legal Zoom also offered to obtain an EIN for me for $79, even though it’s free and easy to do yourself.  Research such as this is the stuff I have to learn on my own.  And it’s time consuming.

Before I buy anything, I always do my research.  Just as I did while hunting for a new car.

When I get home from work today, I have to sign my business up with federal unemployment tax and workmen’s comp.  Tomorrow I have a Spa Booker online training seminar at 3:00 and the phone and internet guys are scheduled to come to the office between 1:00 – 3:00.  I have four applicants waiting to hear back from me, a shit ton of Ikea crap that needs to be put together.  My new website has yet to be built.

My deadline is March 31.  If I can be done by March 31, I can leave my old office.  Once I’m moved into my new office and my clients start going there instead, I’ll be somewhat settled.  The transition will near its completion.

I was a live wire of emotion yesterday.  Any cruel look or comment could’ve sent me into a crying frenzy.  Mostly from the Facebook haters.  They really did a number on me.  It’s insane how cruel and hopeless the world feels after getting the shit kicked out of you by 70 plus people.  How everything, and everyone feels mean.  It’s something darker than depression, it’s fear.

And today I feel fine.  I’m back to my old self.

I asked my brother yesterday – “Do you need liability insurance for your workers?”

My brother – “Ha ha I hope you have a lawyer.  Do you have a lawyer?  I paid my lawyer 10 grand last year.  Yes you need insurance and it costs a LOT.”

Me – “Can you help me?  Do you have the name of the guy you use?”

Him – “Sorry, you’re on your own.”

He was back to his phone.

My brother was preoccupied with his phone all while I was trying to talk to him.  He was laughing and saying funny things as usual.

Him – “No ain’t going to help you.  You’re moving in here and taking my business away.  No way.”

Me – “You’re kidding, right?  You must be kidding.”

I literally felt the tears welling up.

Me – “I would help you if you were me.  You really won’t help me?”

Him – “Yeah, I’ll help you.  But I’m still going to spread rumors that your place has maggots.”

I felt a 100 pound weight lift from me when he said that.  I’m not joking when I say I was a live wire of emotion yesterday.  Even though he was having a go at me, I still wanted to cry.  It felt like not only did Facebook people hate me, but my brother hated me as well.

I’m insanely sensitive at times.  Times when I feel not together, when I feel there’s too much that needs to be done and nowhere and no resources to pull from.  It’s like finding myself stranded at the bottom of the ocean with half a tank of oxygen left and no strength to swim up.  I can’t swim up because it’s hopeless and I won’t make it out in time.

But then I bounce back.  Like today.  I’m perfectly fine and have my head back.  Thank God for my resilience.  Maybe my resilience comes from never wanting to give up and lose hope.  I can get through and get over anything because I never give up.  My heart always leads me, and I trust it.

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Cold Feet

There’s no turning back.  I’m officially up to my ears in debt (I’m being dramatic).  No, it’s not that bad – but it does have the potential of getting into crisis mode.

I’m waiting for my next client.

I can’t believe I massaged around 600 people here in this shitty little stink hole.  First off, it’s in the middle of nowhere.   It’s farm country.  Apple orchards aplenty, lakes, hiking trails, hunters hunting, motorcycles motoring.  And here I am all walled up inside a building that nobody know’s about.

Client #1 – “I never knew this place even existed.  And I lived here for 5 years!”

Client #2 – “You should put up some signs outside to let people know you’re here.”

Client #3 – “Man you’re hard to find.  This place is like a maze!”

I’m looking at my office differently.  Almost like I’m embarrassed of it.  How funny life is?  I was never embarrassed of it before.  Not before I leased my new and improved office space.

If this business venture fails, I’m in trouble.  Big trouble in little China kind of trouble.  All I can do is pray, and I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.

Please God.  Please oh please oh please God.

Tomorrow I call CL&P to turn the power on.  Then Bob’s discount furniture where I’ll try to find a love seat in the pit (that’s the really discounted stuff).  Then maybe I’ll go to Ikea again.

Money money money, all drained from my pockets like an elephant pissing on a flat rock.  That rock is my new business.

Last night I dreamt I was massaging somebody’s forearm and out of nowhere sprouted a half dozen little human fingers protruding out of the flesh of the arm.  They squirmed around like the legs of an animal when flipped over on its back.  It frightened me so much that I jumped and woke myself up.

What the hell does that mean?

It’s now the next day and I’m once again walled up inside my little office.  I’ll be here all day and all night.

When I first moved into this office, Guardian Angels (they hire companions for the elderly) occupied the office across from mine.  They moved out a few months later.  Well, I come to find out that they now occupy the house directly across from my new office in Cheshire.  I mean come on now, what are the chances?  Right?

I’m taking that as a good sign.  And what a name to have, Guardian Angels!

Last night while I was walking out of Ikea with several large, heavy boxes, the family parked next to my car was also leaving.

Me – “Oh great, now they can watch as I struggle with these boxes without offering to help.  Instead of helping, they’ll blame me for being by myself.”

But that wasn’t the case.  They helped me.  A father and his small son not more than 13 years old, asked if they can help.

If they weren’t there, I would have struggled a lot.  Trust me, it was no easy feat.  I couldn’t see out of my back window, or the passenger window on my ride home.  I had to keep one hand on a large heavy box to stop it from sliding into the side of my head.

It’s funny that my Nissan Cube was able to fit these long slender boxes, but they couldn’t fit into the back of my Dad’s huge truck.  I tried when I got home.  I had to leave the tailgate down.

I spent around $900 yesterday.  I freaked out and had to take inventory of exactly everything else that I still needed to buy.  According to my calculations, I need around $2,000 more in furnishings and equipment that I have not yet purchased.  Not to mention that I need to assemble everything.  The book shelves, file cabinet, armoire, cabinets – everything.

One day at a time.

Then the website.  Then hiring people.  Then more praying.

What am I doing God?  Am I crazy?

Truth is, I have no idea what I’m doing, nor do I have any idea what I’m up against.

I’m getting cold feet.  It’s bizarre how true cold feet is.  I mean, I knew I was going to go into debt and struggle with this business (it was all part of the plan), but when it’s actually happening, I’m freaking out and doubting my decision.

Damn my first client is 13 minutes late.  Maybe he won’t show.  It’s my obligation to call him, but I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t show.

I called and left a message.

He showed :(

I’m a massage therapist opening up her own clinic and I have no desire to work anymore.  Is this me being irresponsible?  One of those words people use to describe me with?

One of my friends accompanied me to Ikea Monday night and appointed herself as my interior decorator.  She’s really creative, went to RisD where they learn all about that stuff. She’s going to be upset when she hears that I already picked out everything I need.  She’ll be upset that I bought that armoire – the one she didn’t like.  I did it all in one day.  Yesterday.  Because I couldn’t help myself.

The thing is, when I’m scared and nearing the edge of panic, I go into hyper drive and get things done immediately.  The sooner I get everything done, the sooner I can relax and continue with my normal routine of lounging, playing video games, and eating hot pockets.

Two more clients to go.  Both of them 90 minutes each.

One more client to go.

Zero clients to go.  My life force is depleted.

Just in case you guys don’t know my plan, I want to make a mini Massage Envy type of massage clinic.  Massage Envy’s make money.  They are easy to book with, nothing fancy, dependable hours – people feel safe going there because they know exactly what to expect.  Just plain effective massages with no surprises.

This is my goal.  My goal just so happens to be an expensive, time-consuming gamble.

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