I’ve been wanting to write a personal message to you and the other wonderful, kind and compassionate bodyworkers we have the privilege of working with for some time now. I’ve been fixated on pulling together an amazing team here who could help grow and refine MassageBook to be the ideal software solution that would help all of you who dedicate your lives to helping people feel better and be healthier through bodywork. We’ve done some impressive work here in a relatively short period of time towards that goal and are well on our way to helping thousands of practitioners realize their dream of building and managing a successful practice. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see so many of you doing so well using what we’ve built from the ground up with love (and technology).

But software is just software. It’s only part of what I’d like to share with you…

I have over 25 years in the bodywork world now. Before starting MassageBook, I built a practice from a hopeful idea to a successful multi-therapist practice and started a company called Massage Warehouse out of my massage office, growing it to be the largest reseller of massage and bodywork products in the country by the time I moved on in 2006.

It was never easy and I learned a ridiculous number of painful and expensive lessons during those years. It is these lessons I learned that I would most like to share with others, for I believe that I can help avoid some of the pain and make others’ journeys towards independence a little easier.

I’ll pick a topic each month to write about and hope you find them to be helpful, encouraging and uplifting.

Once I get fired up on a subject, it’s my tendency to get a little carried away, so I’ll try my utmost to keep these monthly emails fairly concise. (no promises)

There is magic in doing

Long before I started my own massage practice I dreamed of what it would be like to open up the doors to my own practice each day, what it would be like to have my own clients and how it would feel knowing I had control over every detail of the experience my customers would have. Independence. It was going to be a wonderful thing!!

But when others told me how difficult it would be, and I started looking at what it would cost to rent an office and get a practice going, I quickly became fearful. “What if it doesn’t work out?” How would I feel being a failure? What would others think?, etc.

Now that I’m approaching 50, I have the benefit of a few years experience to look back on and realize how very important it is to just start. Take the first step. Have a dream that would make the world a slightly better place? Then I think it’s your responsibility to act on it and share it with the rest of us.

But it won’t be easy.

Want to know a big secret that very few big shots will tell you? Everyone deals with fears, questions, self-doubts, and up and down emotions. Everyone. You’ll be in very good company.

I’ve watched so many who are in the planning stages of starting something that never quite get to the actual “doing” part. Be better than that. Feel the fear and recognize it as being a simple emotion. That’s all it is. Sometimes it’s useful to listen to, and sometimes it just gets in the way of great experiences and improving the world.

It never feels like just the right time. Don’t look for someone else to walk up to you and say “Now is the time to start.” It’s not going to happen. So just go on already and start.

For those of you who have already opened your own practice, you’ve shown your courage and your ability to act in the face of uncertainty. So what’s next? How can you build on what you’ve already created? I know you have ideas about what you’d like to do. Everyone does, but precious few act on it. And that’s a shame.

Perhaps it sounds a bit harsh, but keeping an idea that could help others and make our world just a little bit better place in your head is selfish. Do something about it. There is extraordinary magic in action derived from love and passion.

Be a contributor to the world around you. Share the amazing brilliance that you hold inside of yourself. Life is not meant to be spent only consuming the things that others have made.

_Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished?

_ _Yes; work never begun.

_ –Christina Rossetti

Let’s make the world a better place,

Mark Volkmann

CEO and Chief Therapist