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For Spa Therapists the Struggle Is Real

By Linda Harding-Bond. Growing up as an introvert I learned to adapt to an extroverted world. It wasn’t easy; sometimes it was just plain difficult. But I discovered that the axiom is true; what doesn’t kill you does truly make you stronger. Acting like an extrovert has had its rewards; it was necessary to develop that muscle and flex it hard if I wanted to be successful.

And successful I was. But after 15 years in corporate America as a training manager, it became too exhausting to play that game every day so I decided to switch gears and work in the spa industry.

It was a natural progression. After all, I would spend at least 2 weekends each month at my spa anyway. The atmosphere just felt right to me; quiet, serene, the sound of water gurgling or splashing in the background. Spa means water and as a person born under the astrological sign of Pisces (the fish) I had a natural affinity for that environment.

But mostly I enjoyed the tones. The low voices of the staff and the one on one intimacy of the treatment rooms. I was surrounded by introverts. Despite differences in race, ethnicity, financial status or sex we recognized each other immediately. Instant simpatico. I was informed by the therapists that I was a “spa person”, which apparently for them was a distinction of the highest order. They encouraged me to change careers and join their tribe, so I did.

Becoming an esthetician was probably one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.

As a child, my father would tell me that “no education ever goes to waste”. I found this to be true as my natural drive for upward mobility kicked in. Unwilling to remain solely a therapist for long I began to develop myself and explore other areas related to the spa industry. I finally landed as a training consultant overseas.

Earlier experiences in the corporate world conducting classes for extroverts provided me with great insight. As I watched the therapists and managers struggle on a daily basis to meet the sales goals set by senior management, I knew that their traditional old school methods of training simply were not effective in a spa environment. Unlike corporate sharks, therapists have no desire to be the center of attention or engage in boisterous morale building, fist pumping sessions.

Currently with the spa industry losing 5-30% of retail revenues from anemic sales it is clear that the time is perfect to try something new. But are the decision makers willing to embrace a brand new viewpoint that is the polar opposite from how they’ve been operating?

Only time will tell.

Follow Linda Harding-Bond on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lindaskindiva

Author Info

Brandy Ali

10 years licensed massage therapist, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan has always been driven by her passions to help others. Growing up she was determined to “beat the odds” of an inner city youth and instead become successful while helping others.

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