Funding For Entrepreneurs
When I graduated from school for massage therapy in March of 2011, I had been trying to come up with ways to raise the funds I need to start my business. My main concern has been the funds to pay for my exam, which costs $225, and the licensing fee, which is an extra $150. In addition to that, I need the costs of tools and various business startup expenses covered to get my business going.
Since I hadn’t worked since 2010, I didn’t have the funds to do it. I had time available while I was working on a plan to get the funds, and I began going to every business and informational free seminar I could find in my area.
Meanwhile, I was consulting with the ultimate CEO, God, as to how I could raise the funds. Then this idea came to me to try to get donations in exchange for massage services at a great discount.
A Matter of Convenience
Do you feel uncomfortable imposing on others?
Outside The Box
I thought I had a really great idea, so I ran it past a few friends, who also agreed that it was a really good idea. With their encouragement, I was ready to proceed with this idea.
However, when you come up with a great idea that sits way outside of your comfort zone, it makes you hesitate; even if you know it is a fabulous idea. What makes me extremely uncomfortable is to bother people.
If I feel like I’m bothering or disturbing you, that is the last thing I want to do. Thus, if I have a need, I usually won’t tell my friends; and especially my family. They are the last people I want to bother.
The reason is, I never want to wear out my welcome. I don’t like to bother people with whatever challenges I’m facing, because when I run up into a real problem, that’s when I want to be able to call on someone, and know that they wouldn’t feel resentful helping me.
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Additionally, money is such a touchy subject for many people. Now, with the current economy, its even more so. It was for this reason that I didn’t just want to simply ask for money.
I wanted to be able to offer something of value to people for their monetary help now. I knew that offering my services as a massage therapist would be the best value because of several reasons.
First of all, I really care about eliminating my clients’ pain, even if that means I spend a few extra minutes beyond the client’s paid for time to do so. I ask a lot of questions because most people don’t tell you everything in an initial questionnaire, or even when asked.
Additionally, others outside of myself including previous clients, consider me to be a very detailed and excellent massage therapist. With the care and passion I have about massage therapy, I feel that that is the best value I have to offer anyone. Eliminating people’s pain relaxes them and makes them happy, and better gift could I give in return for monetary support?
Locating The Source
Your pain is not always caused by the location or source that seems most obvious. By means of example, I had a client who complained of low back pain.
He had not had any accidents. There were no hernias. His was a small frame, and he is slim, so it was not related to his weight. In his work environment, he used proper bending and lifting techniques. His body alignment was perfectly fine, and he was in good overall shape.
His back pain was unexplainable. When I massaged him, he felt great, until the last time that he turned over. At that point, something about the way he turned caused him to wrench his lower back, and immediately, he began complaining of pain.
I did give him a bit of extra time to try to relieve the discomfort he felt, but when I called the next day to check on him and see how his back was feeling, he stated that he was in a lot of pain, and could barely move.
He was seated on the couch watching the T.V., but he was really hurting. I immediately advised him to put an ice pack on his back and elevate his feet.
Internal vs. External
After several calls and texts asking questions, I could discern no physical, viable reason for his pain except one. I called him back and began asking about his diet. Was there a sufficient balance in his diet?
His answer told me what was causing his pain. It couldn’t be related to anything else. I remembered when something similar had happened to me years ago.
Too Much Of Anything...
I had tried the “Cabbage Diet.” In this diet, you make a cabbage soup, blending cabbage up, and you can include chopped pieces in the soup with seasoning. Basically, this is the majority of what you consume for an entire week.
However, as they say, too much of anything is not good for you. As healthy as cabbage is, too much roughage will irritate the bowel and throw the ph levels out of balance.
If this occurs, inflammation will ensue, and the lower back will start firing signals of major pain to the brain, as the area swells and begins putting pressure on the spine and all organs and muscles in the surrounding area.
Eliminating The Pain
My clients problem was the reverse. He was not getting enough leafy green vegetation in his diet. This resulted in the colon becoming impacted, and when that occurs, the same inflammation issue can ensue.
Knowing the importance of colon health, I told my client that in my opinion, he needed to detoxify and cleanse his system, and that would eliminate the problem and the pain.
He had a natural product that benefits the colon and its immune system immensely, and he began taking it. Within 2 days, all his pain was gone, and he no longer had a problem with his back.
He was all smiles when I saw him, and commented on how much I “know my stuff.” If I did not care and have a personal interest in my client, I would not have been able to help him and alleviate his pain.
Something Of Value
In my opinion, being able to offer that sort of service is very valuable. My goal is to relax my clients by eliminating their pain. My main focus is neck release and foot massage with Reflexology techniques.
I do full body massage, but I focus on the neck because it is the end product of everyone’s tension and resulting physical pain. I also focus on the feet because I love giving foot massage as much as I love receiving it.
Additionally, if you know what you are doing, you can read the entire body through the feet in particular, as well as in some other specific areas in the body.
I utilize Neuromuscular, Tai (stretching), Myofascial, and Trigger Point therapy techniques. Additionally, I use Energy and Cranial Sacral techniques if needed. So I believe that if I offer this sort of value for the relief of pain, people would be willing to help me to launch my new career.
Have you ever heard of Crowd Funding?
God Is Full Of Surprises
Despite this great idea, and the fantastic value I knew I could offer, I still had some trepidations due to my own personal hesitation. Sometimes, when we are struggling with our faith, God steps in and helps us out.
So I went to yet another of the informational free seminars being given by my local Chamber of Commerce. On that particular day, there was a lady there that began to explain a new concept called “crowd funding.”
Little did I know that this lady and her partners had created a site online that assisted people in the very idea I had for getting donations; an exchange of donations now for a product or service of value shortly thereafter by the entrepreneur. Amazing.
The idea of crowd funding is based on the idea that people always want to see people they know succeed in whatever they are trying to accomplish, especially if it is a blessing to society as a whole. They are usually ready to congratulate a successful effort that results in victory and success.
How much more could they demonstrate their support, than by helping an active entrepreneur to get there by giving a donation towards their cause? They may not be able to invest the total funds needed; but if many people contributed a small part, or even got a group together to contribute by involving their job, association or corporation; it could really be a big boost towards getting your venture to completion. The venture must get at least 80% of the donation goal in order to get those funds.
How could I not take advantage of that? I posted my venture with full details about myself, and what I’m trying to accomplish, including a full breakdown of the costs I am trying to cover. Feel free to take a look; donate if you choose, and tell your friends and family. Thanks for your time and consideration. Peace and blessings.
Do you think that crowd funding is something you would be comfortable trying?
Despite the fact that this particular effort did not work as well for me as I would have liked; the viability of it is very good, and I have since discovered a better site to make that effort through. It's called kickstarters and the great thing is, if you don't meet your goal the first time, you can resubmit your project and try again. This particular site is powered or backed by amazon.com, so the reach is far better than the first such site I tried. Check this site out and explore the dozens of creative and fantastic ideas that everyday people have and are trying to launch. Lend your support, and get your own project going.
I've learned since this time, that sometimes if you just do favors for people, just give of yourself with no expectation of a return, God will open doors to you. I have a praying friend who is in the habit of doing that, and right now, it has opened the doors of financial freedom to him. This is a guy who used to work with me for the same bad employer. But people in key positions assisted him with his business plan, and now, he is traveling and enjoying life because he can now afford to. As the good book says, give and you shall receive.