Every once in a while, I look at my life -- at my schedule -- and think I must be a crazy person. Today is one of those days.
Well. I seem to have taken this whole "new business owners work insane hours" thing to heart. Since I'm not really ready yet to invest in a long scary expensive lease on an office for myself, I've been working in a variety of places, building my client base, until I can figure out where to settle in. I've always planned to pare it down to one ...
For awhile, it was mostly sane.
I work out of my house, seeing clients who come with good referrals from people I trust.
I also worked one afternoon a week at a lovely little shop where I did mostly Reiki. That shop is an eclectic mix of beads and art and jewelry and tarot and polished rocks and crystals. They offer Reiki and Tarot readings and classes in making jewelry. I pay commission on every service I offer. They book a few clients for me, but otherwise provide only the room. Now, I'm there only every other week.
Then, I added working for my former physical therapist in a wonderful facility that focuses on Personal Training and Rehabilitation, but that is also a holistic wellness center, with a Naturopathic Doctor, a kinesiologist, and now three of us with active massage licenses. They pay me as an employee, but the effect is that I pay a slightly larger commission. They book some clients for me, but also provide the linens, and even do most of the laundry. I'm there erratically. The only real restriction on my time there is that one day a week, the room I use is used by someone else.
Most days, I only worked at one place until I added the last one. Then sometimes I'd work there in the morning and at the wee shop in the afternoon.
Looking back, that seems pretty good.
Then, I began to fret that somehow, I wasn't working enough. I kept having days in a row with no clients. Instead of luxuriating in the time off, I added another place to work. Despite my doubts about working for a franchise, I added two days a week working where I don't get paid as much as I normally do, but where I have no responsibilities for marketing, booking, doing laundry -- or even taking full SOAP notes. All I have to do is massage and change the sheets on my table.
So, that was four.
Suddenly, I found myself working one place in the morning and another in the afternoon. There have even been days where I worked at three different places in one day. But there are still days when I look at my calendar and see big empty spaces ...
So... I added another place. Now I have an office wholly under my control ... I pay rent. I share a suite with several other people -- two massage therapists and two estheticians. I also share my room with one additional therapist, but his hours are really limited, and we don't anticipate any problems with conflicts -- at least in the short term.
It's not a perfect location. It's not a perfect space. But, it's a chance to work outside my home without having to accommodate anyone else's hours. It means that I can happily and safely take new clients without having to invite them to my home.
And best of all: no sooner did I announce my new space -- but I got a new client! Seems like it was a good move.