“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” –Ernest Hemingway
What I didn’t realise was that there is an added amount of anxiety that comes with setting up a new business, particularly around hidden costs. My anxiety heightened. In addition, going into the corporate sphere was very different to the quiet spa environment that I was accustomed to. This meant that I would have had to adjust and adapt my behaviour in order to achieve the same healing levels for my clients that I could so easily achieve within the spa setting. My intial step into it, saw me entering into a creative environment within an advertising agency. The energy was really fast-paced, upbeat and social – which was awesome – but it was initially a challenge for me to facilitate a happy, soothing medium.
Back then the treatments were only 20 minutes and there wasn’t really time for too much of a consultation. Some of this consultation inevitably happened during the treatment. People often wanted to talk during their massage, and sometimes the experience became conversational. In addition, because we massaged the same people monthly, we got to know them. Over time, this built up rapport, increasing trust, providing a space for people to share some of their personal challenges. I found that the depth and intensity of their sharing increased over time – to the point where I felt a little anxious about having to reply to the person sometimes. Moreover, I felt like I needed to provide my clients with the answers to the challenges that they were experiencing.
I was always interested in psychology, but the anxiety that I was experiencing to be able to “have the answers” started to gain momentum. To be proactive about the situation, I took the step to register for a coaching course at the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). I felt confident that through my studies I would have the answers… Instead, my training taught me to start listening to others and that they have the answers to their own questions within themselves.
Because my studies took up a lot of my time, I had to delegate some of the work to the contracted therapists that I employ. This was difficult as I am naturally a very responsible person, and feel safe when all my ducks are in a row. People depended on me to provide their team with therapists to complete all the treatments. Giving someone else the reigns – even in small amounts was a challenge for me. What I started noticing, is that others were as capable as I was in running my business – if not better in their own areas of expertise. It was time for me to look inward and to work out why I needed to be the person having all the answers for others.