January 28, 2021 1 Comment

Owning a business is all about the success, the failures, all of it, but nobody seems to talk about the struggles that we have. Today, I want to talk about the real things that business owners struggle with, and then how they get success after that. 

"The most successful thing for my business has been doing giveaways and linking arms with other local businesses saying, hey, we are all in the same boat. We are all looking for new customers. We're all on the struggle bus.

Join me as I talk with Alexandria Fairbairn SEO & Founder of Sacred Oasis Massage Studio. Alexandria shares her struggles with owning a business in the middle of a pandemic, losing all her clients and how she rebuilt her brand from ground zero!  

If you would like to listen to the live show you can do so here! 

Karen Holcomb:

Good evening, guys. Oh my goodness, the universe has been something today, but thank you for joining me. It is another segment of my Struggles to Success. As you guys all know, we all know what it's like to own a business, but nobody talks about the real stuff and the struggle. I want you to join me and my  guest speaker, Alexandria. She is an owner of Sacred Oasis Massage Studio! 

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Hi.

Karen Holcomb:

Thank you for joining us. Can you tell us a little bit about you and your business?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

I am a massage therapist. I've been licensed for about two years now, and I had always had hints that I was interested in something in the health and wellness industry, but never knew quite what it was until I actually ended up with chronic pain myself. I got rear-ended by a Ford F 450 work truck, loaded down to the gills with toolboxes and welders. It was quite the impact. I ended up with sciatica all done on my right side. So, from about my mid back down to my toes, I either had numbness, tingling, or just intense, strange throbbing pain that would come and go. So, I sought out massage therapy, because at the time I was 23 and I was like, I'm too young to be in this much pain. This is my prime, I should be able to go live life, and do all the activities, and feel fantastic.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Massage therapy helped me get rid of that pain. So, praise the Lord, as long as I take care of my body and listen to my body, I am pain-free. After that, I was like, yes, this is the profession I need to be in, this is where I'm called to be. It wasn't much longer after that, that I went to massage therapy school.

Karen Holcomb:

Nice. I love that. What year did you open your business and what kind of struggles do you feel that you faced?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

It opened in 2020, of all years to open a business, I opened in November. So, I have been open just a little over two months, approaching three, and all of the things. Government offices being at reduced capacity, or just completely closed, it took me four months to get my business license, whereas usually it'd take you two to four weeks. It delayed my opening. Thankfully, the studios I rent from were super understanding and they're like, hey, this is 2020, nobody planned for this. Then I also work in an industry where you build your own clientele. I actually was not able to let my clientele know that I was moving from working at a day spa to working for myself. So, I started from ground zero again.

Karen Holcomb:

Oh gosh, now was that a requirement from where you were before that you couldn't take your clientele with you?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Yes and no. In the spa industry, whether you're a massage therapist, and esthetician, a hairdresser, and nail tech, some companies choose whether or not they will let you tell your clientele when you leave and how you do so. So, it's a personal preference from the business. Most will let you, unfortunately, mine did not, even though I should have been able to from the information I was given when I was hired. So, unfortunately I was not able to, though I was supposed to, it just depends on how you present that information, and where you work, and what the agreement is with them.

Karen Holcomb:

So not only did you have to start over from ground zero, you're also doing this in the middle of a pandemic?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Yes. In an industry where you're not six feet away.

Karen Holcomb:

Right, exactly. Because it's literally, hands on! What state are you in?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

I'm in Texas. Fort Worth, Texas.

Karen Holcomb:

What is Texas like right now during this pandemic? Are you guys still shut down, are you guys still required to wear your mask? What is your state going through right now?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Right now we are still required to wear masks. Most places are open to 75% capacity. So, we're really close to being fully back open, but there still are a lot of things, wearing your masks, extra sanitation protocols. Then we have taken a step back to 50% a month ago. So, when I opened, we took a step back to 50% capacity, just depending on what the COVID numbers are in your particular county. So, for two weeks, we did go back to being to where certain industries had to limit being open, being closed, or how many clients that they could take in a day.

Karen Holcomb:

Wow, The whole pandemic is challenging for anybody, even if you don't work, it's still a challenge because life isn't normal anymore. We used to have that freedom, not only freedom of speech, but freedom to do and go where we want. 2020, there was no freedom I felt. additionally, Owning a business on top of that, I know I was fortunate where I didn't lose a lot of customers. When you're used to that income, it can knock you down. It can knock anybody down, really. 

Karen Holcomb:

I want to know about the benefits, because massage therapy is totally different from chiropractor, but I think a lot of people, when they think of massages and anything to do with your body, really, I feel like they always go straight to a chiropractor. I don't feel enough people know enough about the benefits of massage. So ,tell us a little bit about the benefits of getting massages and what it can do for you.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Massage therapy can help in a lot of ways. The main three is mentally, physically, and emotionally. You'd be surprised how much emotion that we hold in our muscles on a daily basis, even from the past, that we don't realize we're holding. Also mentally, if you've ever been super stressed, I know when I was in massage school, I took a six month intensive program, so it was very intense. My husband walked by one night when I was working on a project and he's like, are you okay? He's like, your shoulders are touching your ears. I was so stressed that I had pulled my shoulders all the way up and didn't even realize it. I was like, oh, maybe I'm a little stressed. So, we can help with stress reduction.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

It helps with circulation if you have a health condition where circulation is an issue. It's fantastic for obvious pain management if you've been in chronic pain. It does work well hand in hand with chiropractic, because a lot of issues that you go to a chiropractor to see are not only skeletal, they're also muscular because the two systems literally are completely intertwined. So, you can actually have a muscle pull you out of alignment if it is tight enough. So, doing both, especially if you're going to do them on the same day, you'll get much more benefit out of it, especially for long-term relief, doing them hand in hand. So, there's a lot.

Karen Holcomb:

So, you can do both then?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Oh, absolutely. Yes, it's really good depending on what you're working on with your chiropractor to get a massage and then go get your adjustment. Because if there are any muscles that are too tight to let you be adjusted properly, you'll relax them before you go in.

Karen Holcomb:

I have only had one massage my life. I've always wanted to get one. So, when my husband and I got married seven years ago, our honeymoon was in Jamaica. I loved the resort, it was awesome. They had where you could do a couple's massage.  It's like, yeah, we got to do that. But, let me tell you, when we walked out, I was so sore and even more so than when I went in. So, why is that? I mean, is that something that people can expect? It ruined two days for us because we were both so sore, our muscles. I don't know if it was them or if that's something that we should have expected, but weren't told.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

What everyone experiences after a massage is different. Some people get really sore, some people have zero soreness. So, part of it is just going to be your body and how it accepts pressure. Sometimes it is going to be your therapist. A lot of people think no pain, no gain. So, they think more pressure, more benefit. That is not true. You really need to, as a therapist, listen to the muscles in the body and be like, you know what? This is too tight. This muscle may not accept deep pressure as helpful. It may think it's harmful and it may actually get tighter. In a lot of cases, if you go in with a lot of tension and you book a deep tissue massage right off the bat, that's exactly what happens. You'll end up really sore the next day, your body doesn't see it as help because it's just a lot of pressure all at once, and it actually sees it as harm. So, it tries to protect you from that by tensing up.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

I always suggest if you haven't gotten a massage recently, or if it's your first massage ever, to book a Swedish, that's a focus on relaxation with light to medium pressure and keep an open line of communication with your therapist. You should not hurt their feelings by asking them for more or less pressure, to use a different massage style if something's uncomfortable or if you're ticklish, and if you do offend them, you should find a different therapist.

Karen Holcomb:

So,  I'm thinking our mistake was a deep tissue then, because like I said, we've never gotten any, so that was our first. It's like, my gosh, we were so sore, and that's what I've always been curious about, was it them, or was it us? We say that we wanted this and not knowing what you're getting into, because I've always heard so much about the benefits of massages. I have girlfriends that it's like, what are you doing? They're like, oh, I just got a massage.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

It can also be your hydration levels. I will say, when you get a massage, whether it's light pressure, medium pressure, or deep pressure, you are stirring up things in the body. You are increasing circulation. So, if you have a buildup of toxins that your lymphatic system needs to flush out, you've got that lactic acid buildup if you work out on a regular basis or if you have an injury, that all flushes through your body with water. So, a lot of times, especially if you're at an all-inclusive resort, water is not what she wants to be drinking. So, the more water you drink afterwards, the better. I always recommend to my clients to try to drink 64 ounces within 24 hours. So, you don't have to check it immediately, but 64 ounces is half a gallon. So, it's going to give you a lot of water so that if you don't drink a ton of water already in your daily regimen, you're not going to be stuck in the bathroom. But it's giving your body enough hydration to be able to flush that lymphatic system, so all those things that you stirred up don't just sit there and make you feel sore, or get a headache, some people feel a little bit nauseous. Just depends on your body. You have to learn how your body takes massages, what's best for your body depending on what your health and wellness goals are.

Karen Holcomb:

Okay. So, water, not alcohol.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Yes, water not tequila!

Karen Holcomb:

What do you feel  was your biggest struggle through it all?

"You have what it takes to be able to start from ground zero"

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Well, I think my biggest struggle was mentally, because I knew I had a client base that I couldn't reach out to. I had all these customers that if they knew where I was, I knew they would come see me here. I had to get over the mental hurdle and tell myself, you know what? You have what it takes to be able to start from ground zero. You just have to be confident in yourself and you have to devote that time. Coming up with creative ways, I actually haven't paid for any marketing yet. All of my clients have come to me either through friends, recommendation from another professional in the suites that I rent at, or I have used social media to reach out to people.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

My biggest thing that has helped me is if you never ask, you don't know. The worst thing someone can say is no, and that's not even that bad. So, just sending a message to people and saying, hey, it's been a rough year. If you are comfortable, I would love to invite you into my massage therapy studio. I'll give you a free enhancement, so you can get a scalp massage, aromatherapy, a CBD lotion, whatever you choose to add on just to make it a little bit more relaxing for you. I can't tell you how many people were like, hey, I actually need a massage. I need some time to myself. You're right, I needed someone to validate that I deserve to take care of myself, and yes, I'd love to come in and book, that didn't know anything about me besides what I had put on my Instagram and my Facebook. So, I think having lots of your personal information so they can get to know you, especially in a personal field like a massage therapist, aesthetician, hair stylist, is very helpful, because obviously right now, they can't see my face except for what I post on social media. When they come into the studio, I'm wearing my mask. So, it really helps me with that personal connection to where they feel like they already know you, like all of my old clients already know me.

Karen Holcomb:

I know that there is so many people out there who own their businesses, or even just getting started during the pandemic, what is one major advice that you would give them if they were talking to you face to face and was like, yeah, I want to open a business, but it's in the middle of a pandemic and I don't know what to do about this and that. So,  what would be your one big advice to them about opening a business, or who are currently struggling with their businesses during this time?

"If you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want."

Alexandria Fairbairn:

 I would say several slightly cliche things that really ring true, where there's a will, there is a way. If you really have the desire and the passion, you will find a way to make it happen. Zig Ziglar, one of my favorite motivational speakers said, "If you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want." That is so true. The most successful thing for my business has been doing giveaways and linking arms with other local businesses saying, hey, we are all in the same boat. We are all looking for new customers. We're all on the struggle bus. We don't have a large corporate budget to advertise ourselves, so let's advertise each other to our existing customers.  I can't tell you how huge it is for me, starting out. Finding people who are like-minded and small business owners and understand, and are like, yes, I want to link arms with you. I want to refer my customers to you, and vice versa. I want to help you however I can. That has just been huge. So, don't focus on what you don't have, focus on what you have to work with and make it work. It's nice to have all the frills, but start with your basics. Add as you can. It doesn't have to be perfect to start. You'll get there eventually.

Karen Holcomb:

Yes! I love that you found a tribe to work with, because I feel like a lot of girls go at this alone when they don't need to. Even your competition can be your tribe if you link your arms together and be one. You're not corporate, so you don't need to compete with a bunch of people. This goes back to you, and I say this in every segment, it's community over competition. You've got to find your people, you've got to find your tribe to work with, because I think that is one way that we're all going to succeed. We just need to link our arms and become one. If we do that, I believe that we can beat those corporate companies. 

Karen Holcomb:

I absolutely love all the advice that you've given me. I truly feel that my girls, they'll get something out of it. I do have quite a bit of followers and clients as well, a handful are  from Texas, so if they want to find you, share how they can get a hold of you, what is your best way?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

 I'm in the Sola Salon Studios, in the Alliance Town Center in Fort worth, Texas. So, if you're familiar with DFW, I'm right off of I-35, straight north of 820. You can get in contact with me on Facebook or Instagram. I am there most often and can respond the quickest. Then I also have two websites. I have my main website, which has most of my information on there for services, frequently asked questions, what to do before massage, after. Then I also have my booking website, which you can book a massage through if you'd like to come in. It's sacredoasismassage.com for the main website, and the other is, sacredoasismassage.glossgenius.com.

Karen Holcomb:

Perfect! Any  final thoughts that you want to say or anything that you can think of?

"don't focus on what you don't have, focus on what you have to work with and make it work. "

Alexandria Fairbairn:

 I would definitely say don't spread yourself too thin. Find what your specialty is and really focus on that. My specialty as a massage therapist is long-term pain relief. My focus isn't only for you to feel good now, it's for you to feel good a week from now and two weeks from now so that if you're a stay-at-home mom and you constantly are picking small children up, and carrying them around, and all their stuff and all your stuff, you get to have that longer. You don't feel like you have to come in every two weeks. Whatever industry you're in, find what you think is your niche. What is your specialty? This is what I enjoy, and this is what I'm good at. That will help you create your ideal client, and that's who you want to market to.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Don't start marketing to everyone that Facebook ads says you can market to. That's how you attract clients that aren't actually going to be your client, or don't really appreciate your services. For me, my ideal client is someone around 25 to 38. It's a woman who's in similar stages of life that I am ,young, married, becoming a new mom, whatever that is, and who also values being able to live life pain-free, values natural products. I use Farmhouse Fresh in my studio. It's actually a Texas based company, it's woman owned. All their ingredients are from the US, all of their bottling and packaging is in the US, so it's a USA made product, which is very important to me. Having grown up in family owned businesses, I like keeping things local as much as I can. I also have hypersensitive skin, so there's a lot of things I can't use myself or on my clients because it's also on my skin.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Finding products that you really believe in are important, because once your customers see how passionate you are about it, they will love it just as much as you do. If you're trying to sell something that you don't really like, or you're not passionate about, or you think is just okay, your customers can tell and that'll come through. They'll be like, well, she said that one was okay. I want one that's great, so I'll wait and find one somewhere else where someone is like, oh my gosh, you won't believe the Shea butter lotion. It smells fantastic, it's natural, it's good for hypersensitive skin, I use it at home. That's what they're going to want to buy. So, don't try to put your fingers in all the cookie jars. That'll get you dizzy and really tired.

Karen Holcomb:

Yes, absolutely. I love how you mentioned your ads, you don't have to go after the ones that they think are your ideal client, because that is not always the case. I love that you said that, and I love that you link arms with a local company and not only that, it's good for you, it's not full of all the chemicals. Is your product something that women can buy off your website, or is it in the studio only?

Alexandria Fairbairn:

I'm actually working on building my online website. Until then, they can actually message me on Facebook or Instagram and I can show them the products I have available here. I do ship, so if there's something that they're like, Ooh, I want to try that Shea butter you mentioned, which is one of my favorite products I use at home, I'm more than happy to ship you what I have here in store. I really love retail. I love full circle, always having something available that goes along with your service. 

Karen Holcomb:

I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your day today and contributing all your advice. I love your advice. I love that you have overcome the pandemic and all the struggles that come with it, and you're still pushing forward, and you're still here today to tell others, hey, listen, you can't let this bring you down, and here's why, because if you can do it, so can they. I love it, and I want to thank you so much for your time today.

Alexandria Fairbairn:

Absolutely, thank you so much. I'm so glad to be able to hop on and hopefully what I've shared helps someone else and gives them some encouragement to go out there and make the day great.

Karen Holcomb: If  you have any questions for Alexandria Please comment below or, you can reach out to her at her website , Instagram, or Facebook! 

Thank you for joining our podcast about Struggles to Success. If you would like to be a guest speaker please email me at: info@boutiquemarketingstudio.com

Welcome to my Marketing Studio tribe! Every business has a story. Let me help you tell the world! If you are an entrepreneur you have come to the right group. I am looking for all boss babes & boss dudes! Here we can all ask questions and share tips on running a business! Xo, Kiki If you need help with Marketing please reach out to me! Website: http://www.boutiquemarketingstudio.com Join my tribe for FREE Marketing tips, daily!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/marketingstudio



1 Response

Rebecca
Rebecca

March 18, 2021

Hi, I’m looking for someone to manage my Pinterest and TIK tok pages. I have someone to do my FB and IG already. Is hat something you do?

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