Friday, June 3, 2011

The New Game Plan

Yes, I'm back. Finally with a new plan of action. So we're going to have to play catch-up again so you understand what's going on in the crazy world of mine. And of course know, what has taken me so long to get back to blogging important things. Or at least meaningful things. =)
I'm going to start with, where things went terribly wrong. I think that was only the start of the madness.
First let me explain a little background. When my family moved to Missouri, the idea was find somewhere reasonable and then eventually move to a better location, or purchase a home. Well the first couple years were nice and quiet and being our location was large enough that we could survive without getting in each other's way. We simply just stayed here. A fourplex, on the end. When we moved in; there were a family living next door that we never heard, nor hardly ever seen. And when we did happen to cross paths. They were nice and seemed to be pretty decent people. Something went wrong and we came home a few weeks later and they had an eviction notice on their front door. For some time after having NO neighbours at all, well I couldn't complain. Then "they" moved in. It was nightmare from day one.
That six months they were here was one episode of COPS after another. They were the kind of people who were nice to your face, but as soon as you walked away they would slash your tires. And they did in the end. The three daughters were very lovely. The middle child actually rode the bus with my son. And after getting to know the oldest, you could just tell she wasn't happy. I guess the "adults" did not like the idea of me sitting out on the porch in the morning waiting for the bus with my son and talking to their daughters. Because they at one point would drive all their daughters to school, and if by some off chance they were up too late in a drunken state of mind didn't get up. The oldest was left to care for the other two.. One being 3rd grade the youngest being only 4 with no communications skills. I understand gibberish pretty good. But this poor doll. Couldn't understand a word, her sisters say it's not even words its just gibberish to get attention. Beside the point. Anyways. So the family would be up till 12 or later on school nights screaming and laughing and being drunk. The police were phoned alot. We would ask them to quiet down on several occasions getting some of the greatest responses ever. Ranging from "my daughter turned it up" (after the TV would boom my back bedroom for 30 minutes before I went over there) to "You just need to learn to have fun." (this comment came after they tried to split our cable TV wire outside. Funny. We don't watch enough TV to validate cable, so they didn't get very far with that)
Extremely long 6 month story of hell cut as short as I can besides rambling of the insanity. It really was six months I spent little time in my home at all. After the police stand-off that resulted in the arrest of the mother. The family ditched and ran. Prolly the best thing they ever did. I spent alot of that 6 months crying. I really, really hated living here at that point.
The quiet location was a nightmare. And getting Rob to actually deal with home sales people only lasts long enough for them to tell him what he wants a few dozen times before he gets through. And then we don't look again for months.
At the time I was also working for a salon here in town. Which was another nightmare all in itself. It was close and it gave me the opportunity to get a feel for the LMT thing. At first it was nice. I had this large 15x12 room to myself. The only down-side was the owner tried to control everything I did. From telling me when to clean to telling me how to actual perform my job. (she and her mother did hair and nails) The dirty little salon wasn't doing so hot so they ended up closing half of it. Which included by room. But, because they wanted to keep a Massage Therapist on staff they prepared another room for me. And at first glance, I really wanted it to work. However, in the end I was doing more damage to myself then anything else. The room was a small 6x8 space with cabinets that stuck out 14 inches from the wall. There was no more then 12 inches of space around the table to "work" I also had to share the space with the cosmetologist. Who was a slob, leaving hair and crap all over the room and ruining the sheets so that I could not use them for my work ever again. Let's also remember they demanded that I stay there all day, even if I didn't have anything booked (just in case someone walked in) So I stayed there from 10 in the morning (sometimes I would have to wait till 11 for them, and then my entire day would be off) till sometimes 7pm. And lets not forget those Saturdays when I was there from 10 to 3, or 4, or 5 The salon closes at 3, however they often booked me massages after hours and then call to make sure I locked up properly. I was not allowed to book my own clients, They controlled everything. And took half my wages in the process. Almost a year later, I cashed my last check and text messaged them that I wasn't coming back. It took less then a year for them to suck the love of what I do out of me. I hated going to work, I hated being around them. I really, really, was in a bad place.
February of 2011. I started my own massage business in an office building closer to my home, and in a great location for my clients to find me. A good 95% of my regulars from the salon followed me to my new location. And within my first two weeks of opening I had three new clients. Which I know doesn't sound like much. But I'm talking a good 30 regulars who come between once a week to once a month. That's not bad considering I just opened my doors.
Since opening I have taken on at least 3 new clients a week. And the referrals are great. I have a lot of hard working clients =) One thing that was very important to me, was keeping the same prices I had at the salon. It's a big difference when someone is not taking half of everything you make. That being said. I work on the low end of the massage spectrum. Not really ideal, but most weeks I'm making rent for the office space in a week.
Rob has been amazing through all of this. And if it were not for him. I may have still been at the salon. As I said before I wasn't in a happy place. And if Mom isn't happy, then no one is. I was crying most days, it was the only way to get it out of my system before going postal. There was no sanctity for me at all. I was miserable at home (the neighbours were ALWAYS loud) and I was miserable at work (because some people don't have a clue what I do, but want to dictate my life) Through it all Rob has been right beside me. Even on those days when me being a women just looses it. My poor son, too. He knew why I was upset and that itself made it horrible. He shouldn't have had to see me like that. Sometimes we just loose our path in life and someone needs to smack us to wake the hell back up.
So here is the update on the down-low.
Currently there is an older couple who lives next door to us. Great people. We hardly ever see or hear them. EVER. Occasionally their granddaughter comes over and runs down the stairs like a maniac but its only on the weekends, and it's not anywhere close to the thundering booms we used to hear. So I am A-OK with it.
I am also in the start of 5 months in business for myself. Wow, has it really been that long. OK maybe not. I started the last week of February and now it's the first week of June. Regardless. WOW.
My space is my own. I come and go as I please and if I want to have an appointment at 7 in the morning. I can. And there are days I just can't tell a client NO, I can't book you today. So I squeeze them in. The past two days I have been there from 9 am to around 8 pm. Tiny little breaks in between so I can run home and spend time with the boys.
Anthony is out for summer vacation, he starts band camp next week. And by Friday we will be heading out to Chicago for a week on vacation. On the way back, Anthony will be dropped off at my folks place, he will be brought back a week from then. The rest of summer.. I dunno. Chicago was the big plan this year.
So... I appologize for being absent this many months, years, whatever. It was all a nightmarish blur that I really would much rather forget.
I get to set my own work schedule so if I book myself the time to do something. YAY I can actually do it. Unless I pull something like I did today. I told myself I wasn't going to work after my own massage today. But I know I'm going to be out of town next week. So I booked two massages later in the evening. I feel bad, but, I'll have a whole week off.
The game plan is to actually schedule time to do this once a week. Show you some things that I have been working on. And generally share my funny adventures as a Massage Therapist. We do have alot of adventures.. LOL
No clients will be harmed in the making of this blog. So no worries.