How Do You Define Success?

Rianne Chavez | July 2, 2021

Has anyone ever expressed "concern" about what you want to charge in your business? 

It's awkward as fuck. The "concern" they show is less about you and more about their limiting beliefs. 

I'm going to share a little story about it happening to me. 

After I moved to Wichita and settled a bit, I was growing tired of being an employee in a spa and started looking for space to rent. I came across a multi-therapist business with a room available and thought it might be the perfect setup. The current therapists were completely booked and didn't want to accept new clients. When I met with all of the co-owners of the business, the conversation naturally meandered to rates. I mentioned I was thinking of charging $80-$85 an hour, but hadn't settled on it because I don't accept gratuity in my practice. It wasn't lost on me that one of the owners was a little shocked when her eyes grew large. 

Later that afternoon, or a day or so later, I honestly don't remember, I received an email from the main point of contact I had been communicating with. She wanted to let me know they were excited to have me in their office but that after discussing it with the other owners they were a little concerned about how "successful you will be charging those rates..." 

Hold. Up. 

1. This was a situation where I was renting space in their office suite to have my very own business, so my rates are honestly none of their business. Which they admitted, but still wanted to share their concern. 

2. What kind of undermining, limiting bullshit is that to say? 

Me being me... 

I immediately responded back and asked when was the last time they RAISED their rates? The woman I was talking with replied back that she would be raising her rates for NEW clients to $70 an hour. This felt like such an empty concession considering she wasn't taking new clients. Then she wanted to schedule a call to speak directly to each other because she didn't want anything to be lost in an email... Also, they didn't answer my question about when their rates were set. (For background, the spa I was working at charged $75-$90 per hour and Massage Envy charged $67 for an "hour". This was a woman with 20 years of experience that was completely booked...)

The phone call came, and we had a chat. I inquired what "success" meant to her because for me it's about more than a full appointment book. Success includes: 

  • Creating the schedule I want
  • Vacations
  • Investing in retirement
  • Feeling financially secure
  • Investing in continuing education

I may have mentioned that her decision to raise her rates for new clients reminded of the phrase "way to step outside the box but press right up against it..."

I expressed concern about working in a place that didn't support women charging what they were worth. When the call ended, I knew I would not be working there. I guess that wasn't clear in our salutation and a few days later I received a voice message that they didn't think "you are a good fit" for our establishment.

I laughed and thought, "finally, we can agree about something."

It's unfortunate to encounter people in business that have such limiting beliefs and it's easy to doubt yourself. Luckily, I had a community of other massage business owners that had my back.

I went on to open a practice that charged $97 an hour. I am confident in the value I offer and my clients have no issue paying me. 

Have you thought about what it will mean for you to successful in your business?