Erin Howk, BCTMB, is a Therapeutic & Stress Reduction Massage Therapist in Fairmont, Minnesota.  We caught up with Erin for some insights in to starting a business and being a part of the Relational Economy.

How has being a part of the Relational Economy enhanced your life?

It has changed my life in so many ways, being part of the relational economy has really forced me to examine my strengths and weaknesses as a person. I find it difficult to be the first one to start a conversation, but it is essential in my business to be the person who is greeting the client first, and starting the conversation. If I don’t ask the questions, I don’t find out the information that I need to perform my job correctly. I’ve also had the privilege of working for a hospice giving massage to those in the last weeks of their live. Those relationships were life changing and have helped me make more of my personal relationships. Not only that, but I’m an independent woman, doing my own thing, and I’ve been able to help others around me when they’ve been struggling either physically, or in some cases financially.

What tools could you not live without in your business?

Well, with massage, you only really need a massage table, blankets, and therapist to do the job, but my business could not live with out the communication I have with my clients. That sounds really basic, but if I wasn’t able to communicate with them effectively, they wouldn’t care what fancy gadget I had. Having online scheduling is a major perk, it frees up my time to spend with my family and my clients feel really taken care of when I provide the convenience for them.

What is some advice that you would give to new professionals starting off in the Relational Economy?

You don’t have to everything at once. It’s seems overwhelming at first to think of everything that you need to do to have a successful practice, but if you narrow it down to the essentials and start there, you can start adding things piecemeal. Doing that will also help you pick the right option for your business when you have a better understanding of how your business works, and how you work.

How about some advice for other Massage Therapists?

Building relationships with other practitioners goes a long way with helping with that. Also, the laundry never ends.