Category Archives: work

Sound Alchemy

That’s the name of my new business, Sound Alchemy.  Sounds cool, right?

There’s a place in Wallingford that sells all organic vegan food called Pure Alchemy and that’s where I got the idea from.  Pure Alchemy sounds like a cafe I’d like to own but they beat me to the punch.

I always loved the word Alchemy.

I’ll be incorporating sound therapy into my massage sessions.  There’s quite a big following for it but nobody here in CT practices it.

I ordered my chakra tuning forks and an 8 inch singing bowl from Amazon.  I set up my new business website and email address.

When I was in massage school my friend, Matt, brought in his singing bowls.  He had us lay down with our eyes closed and the lights off and he played them for us.

Now, I’m a very skeptical person.  I don’t believe in new-age stuff like crystal healing, reiki, psychics..etc.  It all screams bullshit to my ears.  But when I was laying down listening to Matt play those bowls, my whole body felt it.  That’s all I know.  Is that I felt it and I liked it.

I don’t have to believe in chakra balancing or vibrational healing frequencies in order to enjoy it.  My brain felt drugged and my body limp – it was awesome and I didn’t want him to stop.

I still think it’s bullshit, but that doesn’t matter.

Sound Alchemy.  Oh god it’s so perfect!  I’m deeply in love with the name.  I even acquired a legit .com address and not one of those pansy-ass .net’s or .org’s.  No, I’m a  dot com’er baby.  My new business email is even svelte.

Everything is fitting so perfectly in order like it already exists in the world just for me.  I’m merely reliving the memories of putting it all together.  It’s already there.

I’m not even thinking that hard.  I’m actually really hungover today.

My website domain is set up, but I still need to write it up and add pictures.  I went with a free WordPress site and the default set-up they have is perfect.  It looks polished and professional.  I don’t need to do a damn thing with it except write in the spaces they tell me to write in.

I’ll do that tomorrow.  Maybe at Cheshire Coffee where I won’t be distracted with Netflix and games.

I’ll need to make some big purchases soon if I want to get this place up and running quickly.

What I need:

Surround sound stereo

iPod

Massage table, fleece, memory foam, face cradle

Cabinet (I already have an extra one I don’t use at work)

Chair for client

Stool for therapist

Small desk

iPad and Square swiper iPad stand

2 Samsung tracfones

Solfeggio wind chimes

Floor fan

Tapestries and pier one art deco

Safe with a slot for envelopes

Foot scrub and dispenser bottle

A bench for storage

Pillows for pregnancy massage

I may or may not need a room divider

And my biggest purchase; a PEMF mat.

PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.  It sounds like more new-age bullshit to me, but Doctor Oz gave it street cred and a lot of people seem to like it.

The mat costs $1000.  Is it worth it?  I highly doubt it.  It can very well be a scam.  A new-age snake oil.   But supposedly it’s what they use on race horses, olympic athletes, and NASA uses it in space so the astronauts don’t get sick.

It’s FDA approved and all the devices out there got really good reviews.  I searched for it on the skeptic and scam forums and there were more people praising it than there were skeptics bashing it.

So……I want one.  I want one right now.  And I want my Mother to test it out.  She’d know better than anyone if the damn thing actually works.

$1000 freaking dollars.  Hot damn.  Hot damn it to shit hell fuck.

But it’s another reason for people to choose Sound Alchemy rather than the other guy.  We got the good shit man.  Crap you want to try but can’t buy.

Anyway, I’m hungry.  It’s 11PM, my parents are at the casino, I’m home alone watching The Colony on Netflix.  I haven’t played my game in two days.

Maybe I’m not addicted to my game after all?  Some days I feel the need to play it.  I can’t help myself and I need it.  But other days I’m fine and only play it to pass the time when I have nothing to do.

Or maybe my new addiction is getting this new business up and running?  I don’t know.

I really want this PEMF mat dammit.  I need more money.

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My New Business Plan. Don’t read it, it’s pretty boring

I wrote out a business plan when I first opened up shop.  I somehow accomplished all the phases of my business plan after years of struggle.  I did everything that I set out to do.  And now here I am with a well maintained business that needs little support from me.

But I might lose it all.  Every scrap I slaved away for, gone.  All because of a few photo’s.

But I been through the depression already.  I’ve been through several of them.  Just when I think I’m out of it, I slip right back in like an old scruffy sock with a hole in its toe.

The one thing that gets me out of depression is to have a PLAN.

P:  Perpetually

L:  Learning

A:  Alternate

N:  New ways to make money

The hardest thing about depression (I’m talking about the type of depression brought on by circumstance) is having to accept change.  It’s the hardest thing.  You’re depressed because something in your life that you rely on, is no longer there.  But I don’t like to use the word “loss”.  I like the word “change” better.

I hate the word loss because nothing can replace a “loss”.  The thing is gone, can’t be replaced.  Your life will suck now.  But if you use the word “change”, you’re not suffering any loss with change.  Things are changing and that’s all.  But you can only change if you have something to change in to.

In other words, you need a backup plan.

The only way out of depression is to accept change.  There’s no other way.  Don’t bother with hope. Hope leads to dwelling and anyone who’s been depressed before can tell you that dwelling is the root of all evil.  You have to let it go.

I accepted the fact that I might lose my business.  I accepted it a long time ago, but depression still hit me a few times after the fact.  I may have accepted the loss, but I didn’t have a plan to fall back on when shit hit the fan.

I was stuck with having that phrase “What am I going to do?” looping in my head.

Luckily, I found my back-up plan.  I have a new comprehensive business plan all laid out and get this, if this plan actually works, I’ll make more money than I do now.  Not only will I make more money, but there will be less stress and less over-all work on my part.

It’s feasible, it’s rational, it’s irrefutable.  A part of me wants to completely make the switch over to my new plan and sell my current business – that’s how good this plan is.

My biggest hurdle right now is funding.  First I need to pay off that $5,000 I gave to my lawer yesterday.  The question is, how much time do I have?  Do I have time to pay off that $5,000 and then save up for the new biz?  Or will I lose the business before then?

I have other worries too….like my clients.  The one’s who bought gift certificates.  I’m planning on my brothers help for that.  His spa will accept my gift certificates and I’ll pay his therapists at cost to massage those clients.

And as for my employee’s, if they want to stick with me, I’ll hire them at my new place.  Or my brother will hire them.  Either way, I’ll take care of them.  Even my office manager will still have a job.

But my absolute big-time worries are my Groupon customers.  You see, in order for me to pay back that $5000 I spent on my lawyer, I need to sell Groupons.  The question is, will I lose the business before or after all those Groupons expire?  And since Groupon is such a big part of our business, I can’t burn bridges with these people.  I can’t lose their trust.

Plus, bankrupting a business is no cheap task.  Luckily my business insurance will cover a bankruptcy lawyer, but I’ll need to have other income coming in not associated with the bankrupted business.  So I can continue paying my therapists and the rest of my bills for at least a month.  Money going out, nothing coming in.

The best way to avoid all these problems is to open my new business as soon as possible.  That’s the only way.

What’s my new business?  I’m going to rent one office – just one room in an office building and hire independent contractors to massage clients.

This is where I started out, just me in a little ol’ office massaging people, but this time around will be much different.

The massage I’ll be offering will be different.  It’ll be like no other massage seen here in Connecticut.  The fist of its kind; SOUND THERAPY MASSAGE

I have the logistics of it.  I researched what I need.  Sound bowls and tuning forks, and Amazon sells special wind chimes called Sacred Solfeggio that I’ll implement somehow.  I may even look into acquiring a PEMF mat for added effect.

Each massage will be 75 minutes long and include a foot scrub.  And Hana introduced me to a disposable eye mask that smells like lavender and heats up when exposed to air.  I bought 90 of them for a dollar each.  I’m trying not to use them on myself.  They are fantastic!

Each massage will be 75 minutes long.  No more, no less, and will include sound therapy and the foot scrub and eye mask all for $90.  It sounds expensive, but nobody pays full price for anything these days.  If clients book once a month with us, they’ll save $25 per session which brings the price down to $65 – the price of a massage envy membership.

My independent contractors get paid $25 an hour, so for $75 minutes that’s $31.25 a massage.  $65 – $31.25 = $33.75 for me.

I can fit 6 clients in a day.  From 9am to 8pm, that’s 12 hours.  Each client will need a 90-minute time slot, so 6 clients.  6 X $33.75 = $202.5 per day.  $202.5 X 6 days a week = $1215 X 4 weeks a month is $4860.

But that’s the cap unless you count gift certificate sales.  The most money I can possibly make is $4860 in one month – the absolute most.  But I’ll more likely make $1000.

I have roughly 5,000 emails in my database.  Each of those people get an automatic email sent to them on their birthday for a half off massage.  We are basically the birthday massage clinic – we get tons of them.  $90 / 2 = $45 – $31.25 = $13.75 for me.  $13.75 X 6 (clients) = $82.50 X 6 (days) = $495 X 4 (weeks) = $1980 a month.

$1980 would be a really good month.  But then lets factor in Groupon clients.  I may or may not utilize their service.  I do have over 5,000 emails in my database and with such limited space (we’re only going to have one room and one therapist at a time), I might not need Groupon at all.  Maybe in the beginning, but we’ll see.  I’ll break even with Groupon.  Maybe I can finagle a couple extra dollars from them, but otherwise I’ll just about be breaking even.

So that brings my total down to about $1000 a month and that’s if I’m lucky.  Take $500 for rent, and I’m left with $500 when all said and done.

Once the business is stabilized, I project my net income to be roughly $1500 a month.

But it doesn’t end there……

I’ll have multiple locations!  Now that’s when things get interesting.  What if I had 6 locations?  All making the barest net income of $500 a month?  $500 X 6 = $3,000 a month for Melanie.

As for the little bills…..

The therapists will be in charge of linen and lotion.  They buy that shit, not me.  They wash that shit too.  If they have 3 clients a day, that’s $93.75 and if they all leave $10 each, that’s $123.75 a day X 6 days a week, $742.50 a week.  That’s great money for a job they can come and go as they please and make their own hours.

I’ll use Google voice and buy a tracfone for the business.  One phone number for multiple devices all done through one app.  I tried it today and it works perfectly.  I can answer all the calls remotely even while the therapists still have access to the same number and can make calls with the tracfone.

I’ll buy an iPad and use the Square swiper for payments.  It’s the poor mans POS system and it looks damn sharp.

Schedulicity for online booking and payments.  It’ll be $35 a month for the price of Schedulicity and its compatible with Square.

Yes….I have it all mapped out.  All of it.

As for the independent contractors, I can’t tell them when to work.  I can’t legally tell them what their schedule should be.  So I’m leaving it as first come first serve.  Whoever puts hours in first, gets those hours.  I’ll hire more independent contractors if I see gaps in the schedule but that means everyone has to compete with each other to see who can nab the hours fastest.

I’ll pay my therapists weekly using my Bank of America app that lets me transfer money to friends.  Or I’ll use a different app, I don’t know.  I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Monday we’ll be closed.  Mondays will be the day of the week I go to work.  I can picture myself driving to all 6 locations in one day just picking up money as I go.  Like picking flowers in a green pasture.  I’ll pick up money and client intake forms so I can plug in their email addresses and expand my reach further.

Money Monday is what I’ll call it.  Happy Money Monday day.  And even if I do only make $3000 a month, that’s not a bad living.

There, I told you all my secrets.  If you tried to do it yourself, it probably wouldn’t work unless you’re willing to massage a few of those people yourself.  But I have those 5,000 emails (and birthdays) so I have a bit of a leg up.

Now I just need to calculate how much money I need in order to start it all up….

2018 will be the start of something beautiful.  I know it.  I’m only 12 days into it and I’m already feeling good about this year.

 

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Demolition Deposition

I fucking hate winter.

I’m nearly 38 years old and each time winter rolls around, it catches me off-guard like a punch to the gut.

Me thinking – “How did I forget how much I hated winter?”

During the warmer months, I feel invincible.  I never get cold, I never get hungry or tired.  Not only do I not get cold, hungry or tired, but it’s as though those things are beneath me and I will NEVER get cold, hungry or tired ever again.  My disposition is too strong and healthy.  I beat all the odds.

But then winter lumbers in like a 400 pound cranky old monstrosity and my body crumples like a heap of laundry under my blankets.  I wait for the sweet release of death.

This winter is not a mild one.  There’s snow and there’s single digits.  It’s like no other winter that came before it.  It reminds me of the time I went to Alaska in February and lost my gloves.

I swear a lot in my head.  It’s always “eff this” and “eff that”, “mother fucking shit fuck”…etc.  But it’s always in my head.  I’m too respectful to swear out in public.  But come wintertime, guess what?  The fuck in me comes out where I normally wouldn’t give one.

*********************

It’s been years since my business suffered by the hands of one twisted perverted therapist.  It’s taken me that long to get over it.  But it’s back.  The worry is back.

My lawyer is hard at work undergoing the deposition hearings with the three victims of the lawsuit and holy shit.  Holy mother of pigs it’s brutal.

I know that depositions are meant to clarify facts, to get them straight with an unbiased account of what happened.  But I didn’t know how grueling they are.

My lawyer, god bless him, is one of those lawyers you can’t help but to hate.  A brutal man with no compassion or mercy.  An unfeeling vermin who cares nothing for others.

And he’s on my side!!  Yay for me!  I’m being serious.

He’s interrogated one of the 3 victims so far.

In my opinion (and I do value my opinions as being both logical and reasonable), the deposition itself is a more traumatic experience than the actual incident I’m being sued for.  I shit-you-not.  I’m scared of getting doubly-sued for being the harbinger of a traumatic deposition!

In case you forgot, I’m being sued for one of my former employee’s taking pictures of his clients while he massaged them.  He never touched them inappropriately or shared the photos online.  He just taken pictures.  I’m not downplaying it, I know it’s a vile thing he did, but it could’ve been worse.  Much worse.

My lawyer sent me the transcript of the first deposition.  It was done by a court reporter on one of those little keyboard machines.  Three hours worth of personal information – very personal information.  I know more about this woman than I do about anybody.

She’s a doctor here in town (I won’t tell you a doctor of what), her last name is infamously known from it being plastered on big ass signboards littered up and down the main road during voting season.  Her family is in politics.  And now I have dirt on her.

Her ex-husband emotionally abused her, she’s on anti-anxiety meds, she got a DUI, had a coke and drinking problem, spent 3 months at a rehab center down in Florida…..etc.

My lawyer – “Did you use cocaine during the day?”

Her – “Sometimes.”

My lawyer – “Did you inform your patients when you were under the influence of cocaine?”

Her – “No I did not.”

My lawyer – “Did you inform the state licensing board of your addiction to cocaine?”

Her – “No I did not.”

It was a full three hours of invasive questions such as this.  The type you don’t want getting out in public.

Her – “Do I have to answer these questions?”

Lawyer – “Yes you do.”

I now know what a “leading” question means.   It leads to more questions that you’re forced to answer truthfully due to weaving a trap for yourself by your previous answers.  Only one answer can now fit and it’s the picture he’s painting, not yours.  All done in the guise of finding the “facts”.  Black and stupid fucking white.  You tie your own noose sort of speak.  Cognitive dissonance won’t help you here.

Reading that deposition was like watching a master sculptor at his best.  Like listening to Beethoven’s symphony No. 9 for the first time.  Live in concert.  In Vienna.

My lawyer covered everything!  All possible angles she could get me for, he kept digging to find the real answers as to why she installed a surveillance camera at her house, why she’s taking anxiety meds, why she see’s a therapist….etc.  Her life was fucked up before the incident is what he was getting at and he accomplished it.  Bravo.  You da man.

The victim is a young, smart professional and figured out what my lawyer was doing half-way through the process.  The heated questions and being under oath caused her to fluster but once she figured it out, she started answering more carefully.

But my lawyer is smarter than she is.

Lawyer – “So we’re changing answers now?  Any more answers you want to change?”

My lawyer is a sociopathic genius, very quick thinking, leaves no holes or gaps in his understanding of things.  Nobody stands a chance against him.  I think I’m in love with him.  I’m so impressed and I’m NEVER impressed with anyone.

I hit the jackpot with this guy.  He has a booming voice and a commanding presence.  I see no weakness in his confidence.

As for her lawyer, the guy just sat there like a doofus.

Granted, I wasn’t there (fuck that shit), but I could picture his face all mild mannered with his republican hairdo flopped to one side.  He kept saying “I object”,  like they do in the movies.  But my lawyer completely ignored him which I found funny.  I actually laughed out loud when I read it.

Yes I’m sadistic and yes these are horrible circumstances and I feel bad for what happened, but she’s the one coming after me, you know?  For something that I could not prevent.  It’s like if one of my employees got caught stealing from the till and I’m the one held responsible for their actions.  I’m the one who gets blamed.  Like I wanted them to steal from me, you know?  It’s ludicrous!

The only words her lawyer uttered throughout the whole 3 hour ordeal was, I object.  He said it 3 or 4 times.   And each time he said it, my lawyer went Erin Brockovich on his ass.

And that’s not the funny part!  The funny part is, when I was fumbling around looking for representation, her lawyer was the first guy I turned to.  He was supposed to be MY lawyer.  But even before I gave him my name, he told me he’s already representing one of the plaintiffs.

It’s a small town.  Everybody who’s anyone knows what happened.  It was plastered all over the news and in the paper.  The guy knew who I was before I barely said two words.

Me – “So, what do I do?  Do you recommend anyone?”

Which is a really stupid question, I know, but I was annoyed and wanted to annoy him.

Her lawyer – “I suggest you speak with your insurance company and they’ll provide you with a lawyer.”

Me – “Okay, I’ll try that.”

He was actually really nice.  He sounded sympathetic over the phone.  A sweet guy.

I bet he’s wishing now that he’d recommended someone to me other than my insurance company.

When I first met my lawyer during the free consultation, I felt like I was the one being interrogated.  I felt him snaking his way into my psyche and the first thing that popped into my head was, “I need to hire this guy.”

You do NOT want a nice lawyer.  Nice lawyers suck.

If you want to dominate someone emotionally and intellectually, you have to have more confidence than the other guy.  That’s all it is.  And this guy’s got a bunch of it.

And you have to look at the person like they’re either stupid or crazy.  Not just look, but believe they are stupid/crazy.  You have to feel it and actually see it and just by looking to visually see their stupidity (weakness), you’ll find it every time.  No matter how smart the guy is, you’ll find it.  The more confidence and belief you have in yourself, the more you’re able to break a person.  But you can find other things too.  Anything you want, really.  If you look hard enough.

Portrait artists do this but they call it “finding their humanity”.  It’s when they finally “see” a person for who they really are.  Even for a glimpse.

It’s a form of weakness showing through.  A way for others to sneak in while a little of themselves sneak out.  A two-way street, an opening.  It’s usually the heavily guarded people who break while the open people bend in the breeze.

Weakness happens to be strength.  That’s something most people don’t know.  If you’re open all the time, you sorta get immune to shit.  Like getting inoculated before the virus strikes.  The virus is already in you so you have no choice but to toughen up and either brush it off or ride it out.

I know this from experience.  The most open people I’ve met in the world are also the strongest people I’ve ever met.  That can’t be a coincidence.

I shouldn’t say strong, but resilient.  They’re too sensitive for me to use the word “strong”.

When I say strong, what I really mean is intelligent.  But not book intelligence or IQ.  It’s more like…….hmmm…..it’s like they know themselves and are fully present.  Being resilient only comes with being intelligent.  So, open people are more often the smartest people that I know.

And I believe that form of intelligence is brought on by introspection.  A hard honest look at themselves.  But it’s impossible to know who they are if they don’t know others first.  They’re forced into seeing people and understanding them in order to understand themselves.

I suppose they are more empathic than the rest.  Empathy doesn’t always equate to intelligence though.  Think about dogs.  They can be empathetic if you look hard enough.  Who’s to say what’s real?

I wish I was more open.  Blog Melanie is a lot different from real life Melanie.  I can break.  I’ve been broken before.  But hot damn I’m a resilient mother fucker.

When I was walking across Spain, I would listen to podcasts.  I listened to this one episode in particular that talked about how our expectations effect others.

They experimented on mice and people.  Hold on a sec, let me find the podcast…..it’s a really good one.

Okay I found it.  The Podcast is an NPR show called Invisbilia and the episode I’m referring to is “How to become Batman”.

The scientists experimented on two groups of mice.  They labeled one group “smart mice” and the other group “dumb mice”.

The scientists explained to the participants that each mouse undergone an IQ test that proved them to be either smart or dumb.  The participants understood this and didn’t question it.  They understood that one group of mice was dumb and the other, smart.

Both groups of mice had exactly the same IQ.  They’re freaking mice!

The participants watched the smart mice navigate a maze.  The scientists explained to the participants that these mice are expert navigators that always finish the maze quickly.

And sure enough, each mouse found the cheese very quick.  Every single one of them.

Then they preformed the same experiment with the dumb mice.  Once again, the scientists told the participants to expect these mice not to preform as well.

And surprisingly enough, that’s just what happened.  With every single mouse in the dumb group of mice.  They all sucked at the maze.

This shocked everyone, obviously.  How can this be?  Well, yada yada, the scientists broke it down into pheromones.  Our thoughts, aka expectations in this case, are chemically processed in the brain which transmutes hormones in our bloodstream which in turn discharges a chemical blueprint out through the pores of our skin.

We smell our expectations before we can make our own.

Think about it…..The quickest way to the brain is through the nose and the nose is the back door of your subconscious.  You don’t even know it’s happening.  You can take on someone else’s beliefs and not have any idea or recollection of it happening.

Middle-aged mom – “How the HELL did I become my Mother?!!”

But it doesn’t work on everybody.  Like for instance, if you walk into a room full of cult fanatics that are about to drink the kool aid, you’ll most likely “smell something fishy”.

Maybe, now just hear me out, maybe some of us can smell crazy?

When we smell a potent belief seeping heavily out a persons wet spots, instead of taking on that person’s belief, we instead interpret them as crazy?  So in a way, there are some people in the world who are immune to flocking with the sheep because they subconsciously interpret the “belief” pheromone as “crazy”.

Am I crazy?  I sound it.  Crazy is what crazy do.

Now, I have to be completely honest with you here.  I haven’t listened to this particular Podcast since the Camino and I may have gotten it confused with another episode called Fearless which is also an Invisbilia episode.  I listened to Fearless before the camino and I think I combined the two episodes together.  Maybe mice don’t smell pheromones, but snakes smell fear?  Ugh, I forgot dammit.

I should’ve blogged about it after I listened to it.  I remember most things I write about.

Listen to both episodes, they’re really good.  Everyone with an iPhone has the Podcast app preinstalled already so it’s easy to listen to them.

I love Podcasts…..I want to walk across Spain again just for the Podcasts.  I’m being serious.  I want to walk across Spain for a 3rd time this April.  It’s not going to happen though.  I’m sort of in deep shit with this lawsuit.  I’m going to have to pay my lawyer another $5,000 soon.

Anyway, what I was trying to say for this whole entire post is that my lawyer is like one of those participants watching all the dumb mice fumble through a maze.

How does he do that?  How does he fluster people enough to have them spill everything?  It’s like that magic trick, the one that mentalists do.  The best lawyers are mentalists.

I better stop writing or I’ll get insomnia.

 

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Keep it small, keep it all

I’m back to enjoying Netflix and living my small quiet life again.  All it took was a few days at work massaging people to make me want to crawl back into my den away from reality.  I’m always tired here.  I just want to sleep.

I want to see the sunset again the way it’s supposed to be seen.  I don’t want to lose anymore time.  I’ve lost enough time as it is.

It feels like I’ve spent most of my life in repair mode.  Recovery mode.

I’m not shaping my life, my life is already there submerged in a cement block and I’m merely chiseling away at the surrounding debris.  I chisel a little bit here and there and than recover from the exertion.  Chisel, recover, chisel, recover.  Sometimes I recover so much that I end up repairing the parts I already chiseled off.  Like, wait a minute….I still need this part here or everything will fall apart.  I need my support pieces.

Working is my number one support piece.  I need to make one last valiant effort before I can let it all go.  For real this time, not just for two months.

I’m going to pay off the $3,000 of debt I made for myself by January 5th.  After that, I’ll be ready to start my next business phase – to open another massage clinic.

I have all the details already worked out in my head.  Just one room in a quiet location that focuses on sound therapy.  Each massage will be 75 minutes long and I’ll hire independent contractors only.  “Keep it small, keep it all” as my brother once told me (yesterday….he told me this yesterday).

And that might do the trick.  My little island off the main land.  My missing support piece.  I’m uncovering my support piece, chiseling the surrounding debris.  It’s already there.  You can’t float without water and money is my water.

Shit I’m tired.

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I WANT TO MOVE OUT!!

For the sole purpose of not having to live in squalor.

I’m a huge fan of feng shui.  HUGE.  But since my brother took over the downstairs, it looks like we live at an indoor flea market.

I stepped on something sharp earlier and bled all over the linoleum, couldn’t find what stabbed me amongst the debris.

The cheapest condo I could find in Cheshire is $89,000, I’ll need a $18,000 for the down payment.  But there’s a much nicer condo for $135,000 in which case I’ll need $30,000.

I have almost $2,000 saved in cold hard cash hidden in my bedroom, but I’m using that for when I go bankrupt from that stinkin’ lawsuit against my business.

And I’m still $12,500 in debt.

Which means I’m fucked.

But get this……just listen……I’m starting to have free time again.  Lots of free time!  The business can stand on it’s own legs without me there.  My mind is already spinning with new business idea’s.

I cleaned my car and tidied up my bedroom today – I only clean when my brain has free space, when I’m not overly worked or stressed.  I clean when I’m happy.  That’s what brought on my wanting to move out.  A nice clean slate with ample room for all my shit.

But until then, I need $30,000 for a downpayment.

It’ll take forever for my business to come up with that kind of money and I don’t have forever, not anymore.  I’m already 30 fucking 7 years old!

When I make up my mind to do something – it’s urgent.  Always urgent.

As for my massage business, we’re rated 5 out of 5 stars on Groupon from of over 500 votes.  We are creme de la creme, cream of the crop, A number one, KING OF THE HILLLLLLL.

And since I hired a receptionist, I feel she ties everything together.  She takes pictures and tapes them up in the break area along with notes and reminders.  I smile whenever I see one.  It’s like, she really loves it there.  She gets it.

I feel successful, kinda sorta.  In my own unique way.  But I’ll never feel it fully until I own my own place.  Even if it’s a shitty place, I don’t care.

May 1st is Monday, my first official day off the work schedule.  But I still have two clients that day…..I know, I know.  I have trouble saying no to people.  And then I have one on Thursday and another on Saturday.  And then that’s it.

But if I’m serious about this condo thing, I might need to put myself back on the schedule and sell a shit ton of those signature couple’s massages again.  If I sell 100 of them a month for 5 months, I can afford the downpayment for the condo in about 5 to 6 months.

I don’t know…..we’ll see.  First I want to see how much I make without selling Groupons.  100 a month is a lot and would definitely require my hands.

Everything is such a process.  A long lengthy process.

Today I woke up at 9:00, went to work for one client, came home and napped while listening to my audiobook for almost 3 hours, woke up and ate grilled cheese and tomato soup and then finished the day with Netflix.  Well, technically I’m finishing it off with my blog.  I can’t believe it’s 1:00AM already.  I’m not even tired.

One of my therapists cut her thumb open and needed stitches so I’m taking her clients tomorrow which is fine, it’s extra money towards my debt.  Besides, I ain’t got shit to do.

I can handle being on-call for when therapists call out.  “It’s extra playing money”  is how I see it.  I’ll be making at least $100.  But having to do it every day?  No sir.

This is a good set-up.  A win win really.  But that 30 grand…..so far out of reach.

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I’m Not Hypoglycemic

My mom tested my sugar level a few days ago with her diabetes machine and it was perfectly normal.  I don’t have hypoglycemia, but I know for sure I can’t drink 12 beers anymore.

My moped came in the mail a few days ago.  It came in a big metal crate that I had to take apart with my tiny wrench and delicate hands.  My hands got all cut up in the process and once it was unboxed, the damn thing wouldn’t budge until I installed the front wheel and the handlebars.  It was cold and wet out, I was tired.  And I had to give a massage in a couple hours.

After 3 hours of unboxing and fitting the pieces together, I was completely covered in mud from the melty snow and having to sit in puddles.  I wheeled my moped into my bedroom for the time being and here it sits still.

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I’m supposed ride across the country on this thing?  I had to use a damn crowbar to get the front wheel on!  What am I supposed to do when I’m out in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire?  I’m not carrying around a damn crowbar, that’s for sure.

And they spelled “riding” wrong.  Not just once, but several times on a warning label printed to the bike.

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I can’t figure out the first bullet point, pay attention to natural protection when ridding in the field.  Say what?

********************

I’ve been so tired lately.  I know I’m always tired, but more so than usual.  Last night I fell asleep at 7:00.

I took a quiz online to tell me if I’m depressed but when I got to the end result page, they asked for my email address and wouldn’t give my results until I confirmed my email address and I said, “ah fuck it.”

I don’t feel depressed though, just really really tired.

I have to do my taxes.  I’m blogging instead and feel like taking a nap.  And I have to do some other things like fill out the online warranty for my bike, fill out a very long questionnaire about my credit card processing software I use at work.  If I don’t fill it out by tomorrow, I get fined.

My insurance company is doing an audit to see how much I pay my employee’s and if it matches up with what I told them.

Two of my employee’s who’ve been with me for the last 3 years are quitting.  One got offered a managerial position and the other is opening up her own spa.  It didn’t come as a shock as they both told me months prior.  And one of them only works 10 hours a week (and rarely gets requests) so she’s not a huge loss.

It’s just that I have all these little (big) things to do that I can never relax.

The receptionist I hired recently, my friend Jill, I don’t know how I managed without her.  I don’t know how I got through last month, massaging all my clients, massaging the onslaught of couples massages, cleaning, organizing, restocking, answering the phone…..

December feels like a millennia ago.  So much has changed, has gotten better, but every time I see improvement, a new worry crops up.  I need to find a full time morning therapist who can also work Sundays.  I need her by March.  And she HAS to be good.

I need to do taxes not only for my current business, but for my last business as well – the one I closed down due to inappropriate behavior of one of my therapists.  It’s like having to do double taxes.

The shit doesn’t stop.

I had to massage 4 clients yesterday because my therapist took the day off due to her dog having puppies.  My employee, the one who is a close talker, annoyed me so much.  He makes what is called “small talk”.  I HATE small talk.  I hate when people get physically close to me.  And I’m starting to hate being touched.  Having to give 4 massages while having a bunch of other shit to do on top of it, and then having some guy in my face making “small talk” is enough to take me over the edge.

I don’t have to go to work until Friday night for one couples massage.  Today is Monday.  This is an improvement, a very noticeable one.  But like I said, I still have shit, I still worry.

As for my finances, it’s still too soon to tell if I can make it to April without going into debt.  (I sold 600 massages on Groupon last month and used that money to pay off $14,000 of debt which leaves me with no money to pay my employee’s with.)

If I can’t make it to April, I’m not going to go into actual debt but instead sell more groupons until everything evens out.  But in all honesty, it looks like I CAN make it to April without selling more groupons or dipping into my line of credit.  The business is finally slowing down and we’re not as booked up as before except on the weekend.

So my plan is to not sell anymore groupons until I replace my full-time therapist.  Once she’s been replaced, I can get away with selling at least 200 more couples massages for $12,200, and pay off the remainder of my debt by April.  I’m hoping to sell 100 couples massages at the end of February, and then another 100 at the end of March.  Space them out a bit.

I should fill out that goddamned questionnaire now before I get a stinking business fine.  Ridiculous.

My dog is taking up my whole bed and it’s pissing me off.

Just find one more therapist – that’s all I need.  I’m almost there, I’m almost free.

What will my life be like in April?  Will I be debt free?  Will I never have to work?  It’s incredible to think about how so much can change in 3 months.  So much has changed in just this last month, let alone 3.

Then I can start writing about my bizarre dreams again.  I had a few doozies that I wrote down, but they fade from memory if I don’t blog about them immediately.

 

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Self-diagnosed hypoglycemic

My brain doesn’t want to function today.  I’m clumsy, having trouble remembering things, trying hard not to slur my words – it’s bad.

I’m sure a lot of tired, over-worked people say that their brains don’t want to function, but when I say it, it’s quite literal.

Today marks the second time in my life where I felt like I might die from alcohol poisoning.  The first time I encountered this, I’m pretty sure I wrote a post about it entitled “Melanie gets alcohol poisoning” and I written it at least 2 years ago.

This second time around (not as bad as that first time), I decided to do some research and found out that that my glucose levels were dangerously low.  Our brains don’t function without glucose.  Every single symptom I had matched up with hypoglycemia and even the cause of the attack matched.

The worst of these symptoms involves a sheer unadulterated terror of dying.  You think water boarding is torture?  Try low glucose.

I hope I don’t get permanent brain damage from a glucose shortage.

The cure to this?  I have to eat a lot of carbs and drink sugary beverages – basically enlarging my ever widening ass.

Exercise causes low blood sugar, alcohol, caffeine, carb-free diet fads, any diet in general really.

I’m never drinking again.  I really mean it this time.  I drank 12 beers last night and I felt wonderful.  My friend tested my blood sugar by the end of the night and it was at 98 (after drinking 12 beers), but the thing with that is, it doesn’t start dropping until hours later while I’m sleeping and I wake up with a scary histamine headache and an inability to comprehend human speech.  I can telepathically communicate with dogs though.

It takes 16 hours for the liver to fully process all the alcohol out of my system and after that 16 hour period, my liver can start making glucose again (or whatever it does, I forgot already).  I went 16 hours without the ability to produce glucose.

It’s 11:13 PM and I’m feeling better, but there’s still a lingering panic.  Not like the death panic I had earlier, but about my business.

I hired so many people and I used the groupon money to pay off $21,000 of debt, where now I’m left in that horrible gray area of not knowing if the business can survive these rash decisions.

If the business can survive these next 4 months (the groupons expire in 4 months), it’ll be a success.  I can permanently end all worry pertaining to my business.  I’ll still worry but it’ll be about my parents getting old, where my life is headed, if I got residual brain damage from this last hypoglycemic attack…etc, etc.

Drinking 12 beers and almost killing myself was not the worst thing I did last night.  You want to hear the worst thing?  I’ll tell you anyway.

My dear friend whom I was visiting yesterday asked me (when I was over-the-wall inebriated) if she can work for me and I gave her my stupid toothy grin and said “sure!”.

My brain, although half-way dead and poisoned at the time, still managed to preform its stunning micro-minute “think before you speak” response (my sugar was still normal at the time) and it reasoned “I trust this girl.  If I don’t hire her now, she might find a different job and I’ll regret it later.  I can’t leave my business unattended or it’ll burn and fizzle into a fiery hell pit of regret where I’ll live in squalor and die penniless and alone with a weighted cement-filled chest cavity replete with a side salad of suicidal slaw.

After I responded with “Sure!” and having my micro-minute think session, I told her “The job is $12.50 an hour 10-2 Monday through Friday.”

She fired back:  “That’s perfect.”

We agreed right then and there that we shall go to work the very next day (today) and train.  I trained her during my glucose shortage attack.  Without eating, and after drinking coffee which only acerbated the problem not to mention I slept for a total of 10 minutes because I couldn’t stop picking at my damn cuticles.

It taken me two and a half hours going over everything with her, at least, that’s what I said once the clock chimed 12:30.  Then I remembered more stuff to tell her and another hour went by.  I’ve never taken the time to train anybody so thoroughly.  My reasoning behind that being; if I make it simple, they’ll think it simple.

But anyway, then how you ask, is this decision the worst thing that happened to me last night other than almost killing myself?  Because now, no matter how much sense it made at the time and even now it makes sense still, It was a bad decision because it’s causing me panic.

The saying “slippery slope” is playing on a loop in my head like listening to the worlds worst iPod Shuffle.

“Slippery slope Mel, you’re on a slippery slope.  Don’t forget the slope is slick.  Slick and down you go.”

“Evil august 2015, you remember that?  This feels similar, yes?  Making the same mistakes?  Biting off too much to chew?  Are we ready to see your money all gone this time next month?”  (Each question getting higher and higher in pitch).

I annoy myself better than anyone else can.  Man, what a douche I can be.

I’ve been through this shit before so I know how to handle it this second time around.  It’s always about making a choice.  I’m choosing that my business will succeed – I choose that.  At all costs, it will prevail these trying times.  I’m giving myself no other option.

This kind of mentality stops my panic dead in its tracks.  There’s so much power behind it.  I know how I sound right now, I know I sound nuts again…..

Maybe if I put it a different way;  Like for instance, when I say “at all costs”, to me those words mean an infinite array of chances.  An infinite throng of opportunities, making it quite literally, impossible to fail.  There exists too many ideas and variables that are fully in my control, making the fate of my business entirely my doing (or undoing).

It’s like this;  Sometimes you can’t predict the situations being thrust upon you – it’s as the great saying goes, Shit Happens.  But it’s solely your responsibility on how to handle said shit.  Even if it doesn’t belong to you, it’s literally impossible for you not to react to it.  If you choose not to react, guess what?  No reaction is still a reaction and it’s nobody else’s but your own, hence the responsibility.  And with great responsibility comes great power.

You’re only a victim if you choose not to fight.

Did someone leave a baby on your doorstep?  Well, that baby might not be yours but you’re definitely responsible for him now (at least by bringing him inside and calling the authorities).

I got that last little bit from a book.  I think it’s called “How to not give a fuck.”

Shit, I need to go to sleep god damn it.

But what I’m trying to say is that we are responsible for the choices we make.  And by knowing you’re responsible, creates your personal power juice bank.  Why is this?  Awareness of responsibility, breeds choice.  The more you hold yourself accountable for your actions, can breed a litter of choice puppies – ways out, puzzles solved, stresses put to their final resting place.

Oh shit I really have to sleep now.

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Business Update

I went to work at 10:00 today to see there were 16 missed calls.  16 unheard voicemails blinking on display.

“Mother fucking shit.”

I’m still having trouble going to work while I have no clients as I stated in my last post.  I rationalized that my employee’s will never learn how to do anything on their own if I’m there spoon-feeding them.

I hired yet another therapist, Lara, bringing the total count to 13 massage therapists that work for me.  I felt I had no choice.  I was entering panic with the amount of clients we have.  We’ve been so busy that I’m massaging again, only couple’s massages though.  We sold 600 couples massages last month so I’ve got no choice but to help out.

I love this new therapist though.  I want to be her best friend kind of love.  She’s a 41 year old hippy chic with dreads, one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

Tomorrow is Payday for all my new employee’s.  It’s the moment of truth day.  My employee’s made $2,136 and my independent contractors made $2,060 bringing the total to $4,196.

It’s January 11th and I have $18,600 in the bank.  If I want to pay my debt off by April, I’ll need to pay $4,600 of it this month, but I’m too scared to do it.

I’d be in good shape if I didn’t pay off $21,000 of debt these past few months, I’d have $40,000 in the bank right now.

Anyway, I have to go back to work.  Lara is coming in to learn how to do the signature couple’s massages at 2:00 and I need to be there anyway to answer phones, and I have a couples massage at 6:00.

Things are scary for me right now, I ain’t gonna lie.  It’s unnerving not having to massage as much as before, it’s discombobulating.  I feel uncalibrated.  I’m not sure if I screwed myself or what.  I need a few months to normalize, to get these signature couples redeemed and balance my books – to stop massaging for good and see what I’m left with at the end of each month.  Too much is questionable right now.

According to my current fear level, I doubt I’ll make my cross-country trip this year.

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I slept for 15 hours today

It might be more, who’s counting?  I went to bed at around 12 midnight last night, woke up at 11 than took a long nap after lunch – a seriously long nap until 5:30 in the evening.

I could NOT wake up.

December has been the longest month of my life.  I put in 70 hour work-weeks, decorated a new massage room, massaged about a hundred people, trained new employee’s etc etc…

And the money I spent…..oh god the money I spent……If you knew how much money I spent, you would push me down a flight of stairs and stomp on my head while yelling “what’s wrong with you?  What’s wrong with you?” Until I resembled Glenn from the Walking Dead.

I felt like Glenn last month.  I welcomed in the New Year while looking like Glenn.

Thus, why I’ve slept 15 hours today.  I’m surprised I haven’t gotten myself sick.  In fact, I haven’t gotten sick since I switched the type of e-cig I use.

As for my debt, I’m now roughly $14,000 in the hole.  A little less than $14,000 actually.  I just have two bills left to pay, my car loan and my credit card.

I think the last time I wrote (December 3rd, seems like forever ago), I was $27,000 in debt.  I spent $13,000 on my debt alone last month and while I was at it, bought myself a moped for my cross-country adventure this summer.

$13,000 towards my debt, $1,700 on a moped, paying my employee’s 3 times instead of two, christmas presents, christmas bonuses for my employee’s, I bought my business insurance and workman’s comp insurance for next year (about $1,000).

This was all made possible by selling 600 signature couples massages on Groupon in the span of one month.  We are SLAMMED at work.  We’re at full capacity.  And these 600 signature couple’s massages expire in April, only 4 months away and the damage is gone.  I can lob off the rest of my debt before then.  At least, I think I can.

And the glory of it all, Groupon still owes me $15,000.  They pay it off in little chunks until April and with that money, I can pay my employee’s with.

Basically, my plan worked.  It worked better than expected.  I didn’t expect I’d be able to take myself off the schedule entirely and enter into Phase III so soon.

Anyway, I feel like I can sleep for a week….

That leaves me with two very important things I must do in order for my moped journey to happen.  ONE:  Pay off the rest of my debt and TWO:  hire a receptionist/manager.

When I left the business for a month two years ago, we had less than half the clients we do now.  I had less than half the staff.  Everything was simple, easy.  Things aren’t like that anymore.  The business will crash and burn without someone there holding it together.

I’m really good at visualizing and getting a feel for things, how everything looks on paper is not how it is in real life and I can see the real life side, not the paper side.  That’s partly why I was a shitty student.  In real life, without someone there, it’ll be complete chaos.  Long time employee’s will quit and clients will lose faith.  Having an online scheduling system only takes us so far.

But that’s not my main problem right now.  I have one very BIG pressing problem at the moment and once you hear it, you’ll hate me.

Having to go to work even when I have no clients.

I don’t want to bore you too much with explaining this, but yes, this is actually a problem for me.  It is just as it sounds.

I need to be there or else the business will crash and burn – especially now.  Now that we have 600 signature massages out there that need to get redeemed.

It’s not funny, it’s critical.  Quite critical.

My new employee’s don’t know how to do anything.  They don’t know the computer, don’t know how to answer the phone, answer questions….cash people out….They are still too new and some only work one or two days a week making it very difficult to even learn anything.

I wanted to go to work today.  I set my alarm for 9:00AM and slept right through it.  When I finally woke up, I couldn’t move.  This was day one of not having to massage anymore.  If this behavior keeps up, I lose everything I worked for.

It comes down to discipline.  I’m not disciplined.  I hated homework.  Going to work when I have no clients, is like having to do homework.  That’s the best way I can explain it.  And it’s not actually homework since I can’t stay home to do it, it’s more like workwork, which is worse than homework.

I gotta do workwork….

It might sound like a trivial problem, but it’s so much deeper.  It’s like going to the gym.  Most people don’t like going to the gym and they get stuck with a year-round membership they wish they can take back.

It’s like that.  It’s like going to the gym during winter when it’s freezing out and instead of working out, you go there to do workwork.

You know what will fix it?  A receptionist.  But I can’t hire one until my debt is paid and even then, I don’t know if I can afford one.

I keep learning and evolving, that’s what owning a business has done for me and I’m entering into the hardest evolutionary process of them all:  Discipline.  As much as I hated massage, I did it because I had no choice hence requiring little discipline.  But now….the fate of my business hinges on me finding some.  It’s harder than massaging people, harder than anything I’ve done so far.

I can’t explain it any better, but I’m rambling so I gotta end this post.  Tomorrow I must work.

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Phase III Initiated

I might be dumb, I might be a lot of things.  But there comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to make a choice.

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I just hired my last and final therapist.  Someone who can rip the nails out from my coffin, bringing me to life again.

With her here, she is the missing piece.  The last to my jigsaw.  I no longer have to massage anybody for the rest of my life.  My prayers have been answered.

While I was massaging today I kept thinking to myself, – “Thank you Jesus,  Oh thank you Jesus.”

I know what’s happening here.  I think it’s a form of transference.  When you project your hopes onto a false reality.  It’s why so many people blindly believe in organized religion (I still love Hinduism and Judaism, don’t get me wrong).  It’s a hope that you want to believe in so badly, that you end up donating your entire life savings to.

I’m about to donate my entire life savings on such a hope.  The hope of entering into Phase III.

What’s Phase III?

Phase I was hiring employee’s to work for me.

Phase II was taking myself off the online scheduler.

Phase III is taking myself entirely off the schedule.  Including clients who request me.

Phase III is freedom, that’s what Phase III is.  And according to my limited scope of reality, it’s here.

I’m laying in bed.  Inconsolably tired and aching at 10:30pm after working from 9:30am until 8 o’clock at night.  I work these hours just about every single day.

I decided today that I’ve paid my due’s.  Whatever bad karma I did in my past life that caused me having to massage thousands of people in this life, well, I’ve met my quota dear friend.  I wash my hands of it.  My soul is so fucking clean you can eat off it like it’s goddamn kitchen floor tile.

I’m sorry, my brain is liquified.

I picked a day that I will cross-over into Phase III and that day is January 1, 2017.  Next month.  Which means that all the clients who request me this month, can’t rebook with me next month.  It’ll be like breaking up with 32 people.

A few weeks ago, I decided to prep a little for my cross-country trip by counting all the clients who request me.  I wanted to have a list of them ready so that way, when it came time to notify them that I’ll no longer be massaging, I’ll be prepared.

I have approximately 32 clients who absolutely love me and refuse to see anyone else.

Think about it.  Just think that these poor people who pay me, who only take an hour out of my life a month will now be denied access simply because I don’t want to do it anymore.

Client – “But Mel, it’s only for an hour, I’ll work around your schedule!  I’ll pay you extra!”

Me – “No no no, I don’t want to.”

I mean, what kind of monster am I?

I have 3 of these people that I have to face tomorrow.  All of them will be hard to handle.  It’s like it’s my last test of strength – the hardest test of all.  I completely buckle, I’m a wet noodle when it comes to saying no.

I don’t deserve them anyway.  It they read my blog, they wouldn’t want me.

But the thing is, everything has to come to an end at some point.  People move away, get laid off, don’t have the time – whatever the reason may be, they’ll eventually stop seeing me.  It doesn’t matter what the reason is, they will all eventually stop.  And then new ones crop up.  A continuous cycle.

It ultimately DOES NOT MATTER how it ends, how ANYTHING ends.  We all have a single destination and that place is called change.

I have to send them all a group email so that way no one feels like they’re being singled out.  So they don’t take it personally, like they’re the only one’s being rejected.  There’s safety in numbers.

I hope I have my brain back by the time I write the letter.  It’s awfully soggy as of late.  Damn 60 hour work weeks….

But yes, January 1st, 2017 is quite literally a fresh new start to bigger and brighter adventures.  Having it land on New Years Day couldn’t be anymore perfect.

But what was I saying in the beginning?  I may be dumb?  Well, what I’m about to do might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.  All based on one girl who told me (yesterday) that she wants to work 12-5 Wednesday thru Saturday.  A girl who is young, smart, and experienced – my perfect replacement.  She has yet to tell me when she can start work.

Yes, I’m majorly stupid, majorly projecting my hopes.  But this nonsense has got to stop.

Oh shit now I’m worrying myself that she’s not going to call back.    >.<

Another stupid thing I did was pay off my Amazon credit card bill which brings my total debt down to $27,300.  It’s stupid because, what if I still need that money?  It’s gone now.

I have to sleep.  Tomorrow is a big day, a long day.  But my fantasies and daydreams never felt more brilliant and real.  Thank you delusion!

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