Richard is a former massage therapist entrepreneur of nearly a decade, who now educates other massage therapists in how they can create much more within their careers. Richard is as well the author of the best selling book ‘Massage Therapist Success Mindset’.
Through his own experiences of being a massage therapist and clinical hypnotherapist for over 11 years; Richard utilizes his knowledge and skills to help other budding and seasoned massage therapists and practitioners find and remove the mental roadblocks that prevents them from fulfilling and successful careers.
Richard firmly believes that success starts in the mind and everyone should be taught how to understand the inner workings of their own mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or seasoned massage therapist, it’s never too early or too late to enable yourself with the tools needed to create the career and life you want to live.
Richard works primarily with his 8 success principles which can be found in his book ‘Massage Therapist Success Mindset – 8 Success Principles for the Massage Therapist Entrepreneur’; and as well through his success mindset coaching program.
Richard has worked with and mentored by some of the world’s leaders in human growth and potential such as Bob Proctor – author and featured in the 2006 movie ‘The Secret‘ and the 2017 documentary ‘Think & Grow Rich’.
1. How easy was it for you to transition from being a Massage Therapist to a Business Coach? We see so many Therapists wanting to do the same. Please tell us your story and any tips you might have for those wanting to do the same.
The transition story has two parts to it and took me about 6 years from when I retired from massage and Clinical Hypnotherapy to what I do now, which is coach massage therapists on their career success.
I was burning out from massage, but at the time I didn’t have the understanding around pivoting within my career that I do now. So, I decided to leave massage entirely, and go into Occupational Health & Safety where I worked for almost 5 years.
This was a massive change and shift from what I was doing at the time (massage), which I was very good at. I felt like I was learning how to do something completely alien to me. I had to learn how to function in a completely different industry and navigate a corporate setting.
My OH&S career took me into the heavy equipment industry working up in Canada’s oil sands, to the health care industry where I supported the safety of the staff in one of western Canada’s largest cancer centers, to working in the aviation industry.
It was through my experience of working in OH&S that I re-discovered my love of human behavior and adult education as a very large component of my career was onboarding new employees and ensuring they were set up for success in the safety aspect within their position.
Even though I enjoyed doing what I was doing, I felt a deep longing for the massage industry as it was what I felt I needed to be involved in. I missed every aspect of it, but I didn’t want to go back to practicing hands on treatments.
At the time I was doing some work with a mentor of mine named Bob Proctor, who I ultimately started working alongside facilitating one of his elite self-development programs.
It was Bob who saw my passion for massage, coupled with personal growth & development coaching, and he encouraged me niche my passion into the massage industry where it’s needed.
Fast forward a year and a half and here I am.
The transition wasn’t easy, and if it was easy, then it probably meant I wasn’t challenging myself enough and I set my goals too low.
It has taken me almost two years to build my coaching business to where I am now, and I am only recently started to see the recognition and payoff of my hard work.
If I were to give one main tip to anyone who is wanting to transition into the coaching field, is understand who you’re serving and why. You want to become known for something in what you are doing, and this helps you identify your ideal client, and helps them find you.
Also, make sure you are walking the talk. I do not teach my students and clients anything that I has not done myself either in my own business, or my personal life.
Collaboration is key in this industry and every coach has a niche, so build relationships with other coaches as they are also your resources and you can help each other.
Coaching is about the clients your helping and not the perceived competition of another coach, so do not badmouth or put down other thought leaders in this industry. It’s a very quick way to isolate yourself from the support and networking opportunities.
2. What is the biggest obstacle you see as a Business Coach that solopreneurs are dealing with/struggle with when trying to build their practice? Please share some solutions/tips you have for them.
The biggest obstacles I see that solopreneurs are struggling with is self-confidence, money blocks and a clear direction of where they’re taking their business.
Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely road at times, and if you don’t have a supportive community of other like-minded entrepreneurs who you can talk about what you’re struggling with, it’s a quick way to de-rail your success.
Confidence is not something you are born with, it’s something that is practiced and embodied through repetition.
If you do not have peer support and are not part of a community which provides that for each other, it makes the road tougher and longer to travel.
Money is a touchy subject for a lot of massage therapists, and there is a common industry stigma/ belief that if you’re a massage therapist, you cannot make much money in this industry.
That couldn’t be further from the truth; however, many massage therapists fall into this mindset trap which more times than not is only exasperated by their own unconscious belief and relationship with money.
Your mind does a funny thing when it comes to what you accept as truth; it literally scans your environment to bring you into experiences and situations that are a match to that self-fulfilling truth.
If an individual doesn’t change their relationship with money and even sales, they will keep finding themselves repeatedly encountering roadblocks and setbacks due to their current limiting beliefs regarding the topic.
Finally, I mentioned that most massage therapists I talk to do not have a clear, articulated direction toward what they’re wanting to achieve. Many have an idea of what they want, but often that idea remains as something in the back of their mind and isn’t articulated into a solid plan.
The lack of goal creation and planning is by far the biggest de-railer I see within this industry and the primary cause (in my experience) as to why so many talented massage therapists give up on starting their own practice.
This isn’t because they’re lazy or because they don’t want to create a plan of action; it has everything to do with not ever being taught how to set goals.
You must think of this like you’re wanting to go on vacation. You know you want to go somewhere sunny where you can relax, maybe by a beach somewhere.
So, you get into your car and pull out of your driveway and just start driving, hoping that maybe, just maybe, you will encounter a beach at some point so you can have that ideal vacation you wanted.
No, people don’t operate like that.
If you’re going on vacation, you plan out where you’re going and the stops along the way to get there.
You book a hotel ahead of time, you plan out the things you want to do while at the beach, and the estimated amount of time you give to yourself to get there.
Planning is an essential part to any endeavor, especially your business! But for some reason, massage therapists don’t do this very often.
This is a large reason why I created the Massage Therapist Success Fundamentals online program, which is launching on September 16th, 2019.
I designed the program to not only help massage therapists understand where they’re going and to create a clear plan of action, but also to deep dive into those mental blocks that are preventing their growth and abundance.
In the program, we are going to working on all thing’s success in their business, and also build a community of like-minded massage professionals which will be exclusive to those who were in the program.
This adds another ongoing layer to the success of those who take the program, even long after it’s complete.
3. How important are consistency and good work ethic when building your practice? When creating their online presence what tips do you have for therapists to help build their practice?
Consistency and work ethic are key when building your practice, hands down.
There is something called “The law of averages,” which I first heard about many years ago from a network marketer named Jim Rohn.
When I learned how this works, something clicked inside of me that I believe gave me the work ethic I have today.
The Law of Averages says that if you do something often enough a ratio will begin to appear. If you talk to 10 people and 1 books a session with you, a ratio will begin to appear; you are at 1:10.
You’ll notice that once it starts, it picks up momentum.
If you talk to 10 people, you’ll get 1. Talk to 10 more, get 1 again.
However, as your work ethic increases, you improve your skills in marketing yourself, you talk to more people and get more experience, your ratio will then also improve.
So, in the beginning, you will make up in numbers what you lack in skillset.
Your ratio may be 1:10 or 1:20, but as you’re consistent in the application of what you’re doing and get better at it, then your client numbers are guaranteed to also improve.
My tip for those wanting to build an online presence; know who you serve, how you serve them, and then communicate to your audience 90% in that focus.
I had a client when I first started my coaching business who was a massage therapist that focused on prenatal massage. I looked at her social media presence and almost all her posts on her business page were inspirational quotes and cute puppy videos.
She was not relating to her ideal client, and this had literally nothing to do with who she was serving or how she could help them.
I had her understand this concept of how she should communicate to potential clients, which she then shifting how she was showing up in front of her audience, and her social media presence completely shifted – which in turn created more bookings.
4. Mindset is an important element of any thriving business. How important is mindset to an Entrepreneur? What there ever an event/a time period where you struggled with this as a Business Coach. Please share this story. How did you overcome this?
Having self-awareness regarding where you’re going in your practice, why you’re going there and who you strive to become are on that journey, is everything for an entrepreneur.
It quite literally is the difference between you just making ends meet, or you to thrive within your industry.
If you are not immersing yourself in personal growth and development and learning how your mind functions regarding your success; you are leaving money on the table, and you will not grow yourself or your business to its full potential.
I struggled a bit when starting out in my career as a business success coach for massage therapists with impostor syndrome, which is very common for almost everyone who serves others in some aspect.
I did a lot of work on myself and had to remind myself that I am the right person for my clients because of a few major factors.
#1. I was once a massage therapist who ran a business, so I had to remind myself my massage colleagues/clients are my tribe.
#2. I am trained and certified in advanced clinical hypnotherapy and practice.
#3. I have spent over $60,000 training and mentoring under some of the industry’s leaders in human growth and potential
#4. I wrote a book that caught the eye of a traditional New York publishing house.
Therefore, I think I am qualified to do what I am doing, and to effectively help those who I am serving.
I just had to work on my own self-defeating, limiting belief about that for a while.
I struggle with certain aspects of self-image daily and I think everyone does on different levels, but that’s normal and part of being a perfectly flawed human.
It’s important for people to know that even coaches have coaches.
I respect authenticity in coaches who can say they have their own limitations they work on too; in my eyes that’s what makes a great, and effective coach.
I would much rather work with someone who gives me direction through their knowledge and experiences from overcoming adversity within their own nature, over someone who has little experience in what they’re talking about and pretends to have their stuff together.
I can educate, coach and empower a massage therapist in creating most any improvement they want to experience in their business and even their personal life, but it’s 100% up to them on if they want to work with the guidance, I give them.
Coaches do not give their clients the answers, they show them how to find those answers themselves.
Feed an individual so they can eat for a day or teach an individual how to grow their own food so they can eat for a lifetime.
5. For a student just graduating from Massage School, what is one piece of advice you would give them?
If you don’t know what you want yet out of your career (which 90% of new massage therapists don’t), then go work for someone for as long as it takes until you figure it out.
You probably don’t know what you want in your career because you have yet to experience much of this industry, and its many layers.
My BIGGEST tip for budding entrepreneurs in this industry is to go work for someone and STUDY how they run their business.
How does your boss behave? What’s their temperament? How do they lead their staff? What actions do they take in their business? And most importantly, what works in their business and what doesn’t.
Being observant and taking note of how things are run where you are working, is not only going to prepare you for what to expect as an entrepreneur at a certain stage in the game, but it’s going to teach you how to do it better.
I had an older brother growing up, and I watched carefully the things he said to my parents which got him out of trouble, and the things he said that got him into trouble.
There is nothing more valuable than information, and if you can gain that knowledge without being the guinea pig to learn that lesson, then do it!
6. What changes do you think are crucial for the Massage Therapy Industry to be implemented in the future, if any? What frustrates you, if anything?
I am happy you asked this question because my answer is a big part of the reason why I coach massage therapists and why I created my success fundamentals online program.
There is such a huge focus within our industry’s education system on anatomy, physiology, client intake, practical application of certain techniques, contraindications etc.
However, there is close to zero education on how to create a successful, fulfilling massage business.
Most massage schools do not teach a graduating massage therapist how to set clear goals, what a niche is, how to network, a success mindset, or anything business succession planning.
The average burnout rate for a massage therapist is 3 to 5 years, and I attribute a very large reasoning behind that to the lack of empowerment we are giving our newly graduating massage therapists.
I wrote my book Massage Therapist Success Mindset because of this very reason.
I wanted to have a greater impact, and if I can start letting my graduating massage colleagues know that this information exists and it’s an important part of their career to-be, then maybe I can play a small part in changing that unfortunate statistic.
7. How can you help Massage Therapists? Do you work with new businesses or already established Massage Practices?
I help massage therapists who are wanting a big change or improvement from the results they are currently getting.
My favorite clients to work with are the ones who are just starting their business and are trying to create clarity on the direction they should be going in with it.
My program Massage Therapist Success Fundamentals is designed to give the massage therapist a clear goal to begin working toward, a strong purpose of why they’re working toward it, and the self-awareness tools that are invaluable to any entrepreneur.
8. Where can people find you?
Facebook Page: @mtsuccessmindset
Facebook Group: Massage Therapist Success Mindset
LinkedIn: Richard J Platt
Success Fundamentals Course: Click Here for Access
Learn how to find massage clients for your practice.