Sunday, August 29, 2010

Major, Major Mistake to Avoid Before Starting a Business or Career in the Spa, Massage Therapy or Wellness Industry

Major, Major Mistake to Avoid Before Starting a Business or Career in the Spa, Massage Therapy or Wellness Industry

By Eunice Estipona

There were two major, major incidents that happened in our country this past week. The first was a hostage crisis, a very saddening and scary incident. One which exposed lots of major, major flaws in the police system (even a child can easily detect that). The other was a light hearted moment where our very own, Bicolandia born lady became one of the top five candidates to be chosen at the Miss Universe pageant 2010. Although very different, both have one major, major lesson that we can all learn from. One major, major mistake to avoid before starting a business or career in the spa, massage therapy or wellness industry and that is in the area of preparation.

Preparation. Before you shell out capital for that spa business that you have been dreaming about, before enrolling in a massage training course, etc. what do you do? In last Monday’s hostage crisis, we have seen the lack of preparation from the police. In the spa, massage therapy and wellness industry, there are also a lot of emails I received from people who ventured into the career as a spa therapist or massage therapist or they entered the spa business without a clear understanding of what the spa business is all about. The 2nd Habit of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey says it well: begin with the end in mind. How do you prepare before you embark on this career or business? We all have different God-given abilities, you have to assess your passion, talents and skills not your kapitbahay (neighbor) not your kababata, not what anyone says, it has to begin with yourself. What does your heart say? As Dr. Robert Hartman said “Stop trying to put in what God left out and instead work with what He put in”. Ask yourself what would you want to do five or ten years from now then write them down (anything that is not written is not concrete). It does not end there this is just the beginning of preparing yourself.
There are countless of ways to prepare. Get your mind to work and think with the end in mind by (I am just giving you a handful of ways to prepare):

1. Reading books and magazines

2. Attending Meetups ( or

3. Attend seminars, trainings, workshops

4. Ask knowledgeable people who are experts in the field. Even if you have to pay for the expert’s advice, the knowledge that you gain will eventually be a wisdom that will set you apart from the vast pile of mediocrity.

5. Start preparing a career plan and/or a business plan. Start writing things down in a notebook, make lists of things to do, etc.

6. Act one day at a time, at least do something everyday to achieve your purpose. Especially if you feel overwhelmed by the many things to do. List them down and do something everyday to achieve your highest priority.

Enter the spa and wellness industry and get your beliefs to line up with what your true destiny is to live a more productive and happier life. More than ten years ago, when I started in this industry- I have not seen any book or advice to be successful or advise for this career but now, we have endless resources including people who are ready to help us- only if we know where to look.

In preparing oneself, you have to prepare mentally, emotionally, physically and last but not the least, financially. In Luke 14:28 it says, "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it." What do you have to sacrifice and give up (emotionally, physically, mentally and financially) to be a financially successful spa owner, to be a massage/spa therapist, to be financially independent? Those are the costs you have to consider.

If you feel alone and down today, God will bring productivity out of a seemingly hopeless situation once you act in faith. Acting in faith is acting by doing your homework and due diligence. Take time but do not take too long. That is faith in action. Stop dismissing all the reasons why you cannot do something and begin to take action to put the resources in your hands and be able to advance to the next level of your goal. Once you prepare, God will provide all the resources you need to accomplish your dream and you’ll find yourself motivated to act and to activate your vision.
As an old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” So, Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

God speed!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why? Your specifics....

The Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness Blog by

Why? Your specifics.....

When asked, how much do you charge? We, Filipinos are shy to state specifics, it is normal to hear the replies "bahala ka na" (it's up to you) or "kahit magkano" (any would do) one of the reason is because we are have an indirect culture. Eastern culture's language is very indirect as opposed to Western way of saying things. We shy away from money or asking money but when I attended a non-profit organization's fund raising workshop, a couple of days ago, I realized that in some areas, specific answers are needed and it works and at other times, it doesn't. It has it's positives and negatives. It goes on to say that who is asking is also important. But in every area of fund raising even for non-profits, they need specifics.
When asked by a client of your fee/s. State the specifics.
When asked how much. State specifics.
When asked how many. State specifics.
When asked how often. State specifics.
When asked how much money you need. State specifics.

It also goes the same before embarking on any project or endeavor. It is important that we addess the specifics (yeah...and I would stress it again and say, it has to be specific answers NOT vague) on why we are doing such things.  A specific answer should give the following detail/s: a number (monetary or time-wise) or range or duration, it should be brief but should outline your specific outcome, result, desire or goal or vision of things. Things that you should answer for yourself BEFORE and not during the project...

Why are you starting a business?
Because I want to earn.- is vague.
Because I want to earn at least 10,000 Pesos a month -is better because it will narrow down your focus to businesses that can at least earn you a minimum of 10,000 Pesos a month.

Why do you want to teach?
Because I love teaching. - is vague.
Because I want to share my skills, talents and abilities in the area of spa, massage therapy and wellness. -is better because you focus on areas for which you want to specialize in. In any profession, there are generalists and there are specialists. There is nothing wrong with being a generalist or a specialist but consider this: their earnings are also different from each other. Specialists are paid more than generalists.

Why do you want to start a spa, massage clinic or wellness center?
Because I think its a good business.- is vague.
How did you know it is really a good business? Have you done any pro-forma financials? until you have, you cannot say it's a good business.
Because I love to get a massage, go to a spa or a wellness center. Although a good specific reason, it's not enough reason to start. In fact, this is one of the fatal reasons to start a spa business. Being a client is very different from being an owner. A client does not have to worry about staff ramblings, about monthly rentals and quotas- an owner assumes those responsibilities.

Why do you want to become a massage therapist? A spa therapist? A spa consultant?
Because I want to work abroad is vague.
Because I want to work abroad after two years, send money home and save for my retirement fund.- is better. But of course there are better reasons---- at least this reason is starting to get more specific.

Why do you want to volunteer?
Because I wanted to. -is vague.
Because I get my "highs" when I can see I am helping people in my own little way.- is better

By answering and writing down our why's, we will now see our flaws. What needs to be improved. We can dig deeper. Increase our thinking capacity. One thing that I have to learn and remind myself everyday. My whys should be specific....what are you whys?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Business of Innovation

The Business of Innovation in the Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness Industry

Memory was something you might lose as you age older age...a sign of old age.

An application was used for employment

A program was a TV show

A cursor is a person using profane words

A keyboard was a piano

A web was a spider's home

A virus was any type of flu or that exhibits flu-like symptoms

A CD was a bank account: a cash deposit

A hard drive was a long trip on the road with traffic along the way

A mouse pad was where a mouse lives

and if you had a 3.5 inch floppy,

you just hoped nobody finds out.
Funny but so much has changed since the advent of the computer/digital age. We see progress, we see innovation in all aspects of our daily life: from the way we send cards to the way we conduct our businesses. From the way we view our careers to the way we live our daily lives. We have softwares to schedule our clients inside the spa, check our inventory or use bar code systems, know who was absent at what day and who among the staff is scheduled for a day off or a vacation (yes and maybe one of these days I can demonstrate some of these applications with the Meetup group that I organize). The netbook, the printer, scanner and lap top replaced the typewriter, the ebooks replaced books, email and e-cards replaced postal letters, envelopes, and the post, the phone book and rolodex replaced the address book. These are just amongst the other things that technology can help us with.
Last Saturday, after visiting the Fitness and Beauty trade show, I attended a Meetup group outside the Meetup group that I organize. It was composed of techie people. I have learned that even if I (and another Japanese lady who was out of place for the time being) was the only one who has a different field amongst all the others, we are still (a bit) in touch with technology. This blog for instance, has its foundation in communicating through technology. I might not understand what JAVA, Cloud, SAP means (amongst all the other technology terms that I have heard) but the nice thing about technology is that we do not have to understand the applications behind --as long as we can use it in our daily lives. Except for the high profile technology inventors, we do not even know who invented which and what. We can only thank God that it has reached our hands and we can use it. There are a lot of things we can use technology for and one of which is educating ourselves. We have to, at the very least adopt to the changing times, hindi yung ayaw na nating matuto mag-text or mag-email man lang. Hindi man lang alamin kung papano mg-FB. Kung ayaw nating matuto ng bago ano ng gagawin natin sa buhay? Life is a continuous learning experience. Kailangan mag invest din sa sarili by improving what we know. Do not go into the spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness industry without doing your homework or performing due diligence including adopting to new and better ways of serving our clients through technology.
Here are some ways you could use technology in your spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness career or business:
1. Use high technology machines to assist you in fighting cellulites, aging and other degenerative diseases. Attend trade shows in and outside the country even if you are on vacation. Whenever I go out of the country, I try to search for events for the country that I will be visiting and attend any seminar, workshops or trade shows that will be held during the time that I will visit. It adds up to my knowledge and my expertise. You will learn from the products, gadgets and services of others. I am not saying that you have to copy them but adopt what you think might be good and remove things that might not be suitable/ applicable for you. The bottomline here is to know the trends in the industry.
2. Use Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) and Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) to speed up transactions in your spa, massage clinic or wellness center. EFTPOS means that prospective clients can pay for goods and services using credit and debit cards.
3. Use a website that will serve as your point of contact and sale. You can offer gift certificates online, special promotions and email subscribers using your website. Use it as an e-commerce website. E-commerce is the ability of businesses to trade with the world via websites. This means that there is a larger market and your spa, massage clinic or wellness center is now open 24 hours a day.
4. Lessen the use of paper, communication is improved through the use of the intranet and Internet. The intranet is an internal system of computer communication while the internet can be used to communicate with clients, suppliers amongst others in the outside world (through websites and email). Spa staff can work away from the office using mobile technology such as phones, laptops and modems. But a word of warning, do not use naman technology just to play games online or chat with others while you have no client. Use technology wisely.
5. Instead of advertising, use the Internet for recruitment purposes. You can post job vacancies online or using the Meetup message board and positions can be advertised and targeted to the right audience, often costing less than print alternatives. And it can be done for free at
and many more....
However, the use of technology should be a balance between our needs and practicality. Use it to be more effeicient, better and be able to focus on things that machines and computers cannot do. If the benefits outweighs the cost, then consider in investing in technology. We can just hope that technology can complement and ease our lives rather than burden it.
The more high-tech we become, the more high-touch we need -yunesa

Sunday, August 8, 2010

An Investment You Should Not Miss

The Spa, Massage Therapy, Beauty and Wellness Blog
by Eunice

Last Tuesday, my father and I visited an older cousin's husband in a hospital. The last time I saw him was way back when I was in high school, some twenty years ago. Manong Gener, as I fondly call him, was in his mid-thirties and was driving their new Toyota Corrolla. It was a very long drive I suppose, because he started puffing his cigarettes when they arrived. From Las Pinas to the Fairview area of Novaliches. From South area to North- just imagine a drive of two and a half hours--- if the traffic is good. He also used to drink beer and liquor a lot, he along with most of the many relatives that I knew are more than social drinkers. Believe me, socialization is part and parcel of every occasion since birthdays, weddings, infant baptisms and baby showers, debut, anniversaries and of course who can forget Christmas time....they are all common occasions. Even a funeral is an event for bonding of long lost relatives and again a time to eat, drink beer and drink to their heart's content. Something that until now, I don't quite understand why they do people drink a lot of beer even if it tastes bitter? On side note, I remember experimenting and drinking beer with my sister when we were in Elementary, long ago and we both laughingly sipped a tiny bit which made my world swirl. But alas, I forgot about that experience and just a couple of years back when I was in the Balkans, I remember when my good friend and a great German chef, Falk announced his engagement to another good friend of mine, Andrijana. Upon announcement, they arranged for a toss of champagne, I was thinking to myself that champagne isn't beer- so I sipped less than 1 ml from that champagne glass. But the effect was too much. I have to excuse myself for the whole day and our hotel's GM that time, Hubert Eikel, asked me to rest in our employee lounge. I was too dizzy to work. Everything was swirling. Good thing they understood my situation although they were all laughing at me. But from that time on, I knew that I wasn't cut to drink even a sip. So whenever we hang out around, I order orange juice or chai (tea) especially during winter.

In Philippine setting and Filipinos gatherings, most often than not any form of gathering (except in a very few instances like ours) consists of a lot of food and beer. Cases and cases of beer....(if you know what I mean). Coming from a family also where tuba is common - Mr. Tuba is also present most of the time. That Tuesday, I felt worried and hurt in my heart as I see my 58 year old relative in a sick bed and in pain due to kidney problem (he has been on dialysis every week for the past month). We prayed for his speedy recovery and meanwhile, I realized that in order for a person to reach a long and satisfying healthful life- we also have to plan and act upon healthy regimen. This consists of doing things that are commonly overlooked but medically proven to be healthy: no smoking or puffing of cigarettes, do not allow yourself to be drunk or drink alcohol more than you can take, eat a balanced diet, exercise, do not carry any emotional baggage like: do not harbor hatred, be forgiving of yourself and others, etc. There are no guarantees but if we neglect to take care of these things when we are young our chances of suffering from diseases, ailments and emotional problems in the future will be higher than those that did take care of their body, soul and mind. Prayer also helps a lot because when others cannot listen, God can. He is not limited by distance or even time. Another topic which we can discuss next time.

Which comes to mind a 50+ year old doctor that we have met just yesterday, he looks like he is in his 28-35 years old and Cecile and I can't believe our eyes. He really looks 20- 25 years younger than his age. His secret? time folks.....
In the meantime, give yourself a break, invest in yourself before investing in your business or any entrepreneurial endeavor, do something healthy for yourself this week. Start ten things you need to do and if you are having a difficult time, start with listing one or two things that you would do for yourself and your health. Start them this week. Let me know how you felt about it and how it went. I would like to connect with people who are in this for the long haul and support you. It maybe the urging desire to jog, to go to a gym, to give up that cola addiction, to stop eating red meat, to go to a spa, to seek help and advice from health professionals- anything that adds value for your health. Do it now. Before it's too late. It's an investment you have to make for you and your family and your future.
Your daily health rituals yesterday and today will determine your future's quality of life- yunesa

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This blog article is written by: Eunice Estipona a spa consultant, mentor, advisor, speaker and lecturer. One of her advocacies is to make healing and information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness accessible and affordable to everyone. If you are serious about turning your business or practice around, making the right decisions, getting an unbiased opinion and knowing where to get help, for lectures and other concerns she can be contacted at or +639184745685. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at

These along with hundreds of resources found locally and abroad are contained in “The Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource and Career Book”, the first book of resource information to know more about the Spa, Massage and Wellness Industry in the Philippines and other countries including the United States, Australia and other Asian countries. You can view, read, download and print for FREE the book’s summary at this link

If you are a spa, massage therapy and wellness information seeker the resources contained in the book for you. This book is a collection of data and valuable information regarding the spa and massage industry in a global perspective with a focus on the Philippines. Her advocacy in writing the book is to make “unbiased” information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness resources and career, accessible and affordable for everyone. If you are considering a career in the massage, spa and wellness industry, this book will prepare you and give you a glimpse of what it is like, the preparation you need to take: emotionally, intellectually and financially. In this book, you will learn more details in the spa and massage field and the possible paths you can take. You will also learn about local and international training programs offered and numerous employment possibilities. Giving you much needed information at your fingertips. You can order it from
or for local Philippine residents, you can email and get in touch with Eunice at


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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wanted: Visionaries

Many of us arrive, stay a bit and leave in haste. People are so busy, stressed out, always wants something done quickly and fast. Our world is changing rapidly that sometimes it so difficult to cope up or be informed and stay informed. Too many blogs to subscribe to, too many books to read, too many ebooks to download. The next big thing is about to happen and another and another- and yet another. As you are reading this, there is someone somewhere that is doing something that could change all of us. Something that can change how we communicate, how we buy, how we eat, how we drink, how we watch, how we view things- and a gazillion more. It could be you.

Today, more than ever, we need people who gets into a business or a profession that goes beyond what is traditional and the expected. We need people who can bring more than profits and money on the table- and more than what is expected. In a (very) fast-paced society, there will always be opportunities lying around- the question is- where do we stand? and what are we doing?

In the video below, I hope to share with you insights on how our world, our actions and how we could shape the world by our choices today- and the choices are in our hands.

So, are we one visionary?