Top 5 Reasons Why Massage Therapists Fail

Why do so many massage therapists fail at business?

Over the years that I have helped therapists start and grow their businesses, I have watched many succeed and many massage therapists fail. While there are countless reasons for why some make it and some don’t, I thought it would be helpful to list the ones that I see the most. In this article, I will do my best to pass along to you what I have experienced as the main reasons that therapists fail and the steps that you can take to increase your chances of success. In this article I will cover:

  • Top five reasons why massage therapists fail at starting their own business,
  • Top five steps that will increase your chances for success,
  • Information on a free tool that will keep you on your path to success.

Top 5 Reasons Why Massage Therapists Fail At Business

  1. You Don’t Even Start

Inertia: An incination to do nothing or remain unchanged. Overcoming inertia can be difficult. Leaving our comfort zone and producing change in our life literally require overcoming inertia. How many times have you thought about starting your own massage business but haven’t made the move?

Massage therapists fail because they don't even start.
Massage therapists fail because they don’t even start.
Success Key

     Take Action Now!  The fact that you are reading this is a powerful statement on your part. You are flexing your muscles and thinking about moving. Newton’s First Law: An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion… Let’s get moving! Take one step for your business right now. At the end of this article, I will give you information on a free app that I use to set goals, set-up actionable tasks and get things done. Download it and get your business rolling.

“The difference between try and triumph

is a little umph”


Massage therapists fail because they get overwhelmed.
Massage therapists fail because they get overwhelmed.
2. You Get Overwhelmed

Most of you already know there are lots of things to do to start and grow a successful massage business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re faced with multiple tasks. Most people, when they have too many things to get done, end up doing nothing.

Success Key
     The One Thing! Focus on one thing at a time. Set a small goal and outline the steps that you need to achieve this goal. Set a schedule with dates to complete these steps. Set aside time to work on the steps even if it’s only a few minutes a day (or every other day).

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions,

that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that

failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

Arianna Huffington

3. You Lose The Faith

We’ve all been there. You get excited about something, get started on it, you put work into it, and then when nothing happens you push it to the side and forget about it. I’ve had many therapists over the years tell me they started their own businesses, but it just didn’t work out for them. 

Massage therapists fail because they lose the faith
Massage therapists fail because they lose the faith.
Success Key

     Take Small Steps! The truth is things just don’t happen right away. They take time and hard work. But actually it can be a very simple thing that separates success from failure: persistence. Keep moving forward. Take small steps and try to get something done each day or every other day or once a week. If you keep moving towards your goal, you will reach it even if it takes some time.

“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake.

You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”

Elon Musk

Massage therapists fail because they get derailed.
Massage therapists fail because they get derailed.
4. Get Derailed

This one is similar to reason #3 – ‘Losing the Faith,’ but it differs in that it is not you that gives up but an outside force that knocks you off your path. Life has its many distractions. Whether it’s your day job, your family or something that just comes out of left field that you didn’t expect, there are many things that can distract you from putting in the time necessary to reach your goal.

Success Key

     Keep Moving Forward! Stay focused on your main goal by setting a schedule for the steps that you need to complete. By writing down the steps and setting completion dates for the tasks necessary to complete the steps, you are more likely to stay on your path. I can’t emphasize how important it is for you to actually write down the steps and mark them off when you’ve completed them. Don’t stress out if you don’t complete a task on the date that you assigned for completion. Just keep moving forward, and as you check off each one of your steps, you will be that much closer to your goal.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and

I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

5. Fear

I’ve saved the best for last. Fear is such a powerful emotion that can control our actions without us even realizing it. Don’t worry; I don’t claim to be a psychologist. I just understand from the experience of starting and running several businesses over the years how fear can play an important part in your success or failure.

Massage therapists fail because of fear.
Massage therapists fail because of fear.
Success Key

     Support! Creating a support structure around you can have a huge positive effect on controlling your fears and ensuring your success. Utilizing businesses such as can help you with information, tools, courses and mentoring. Joining forums, Facebook groups or mastermind groups can be essential. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when there are people out there that are already doing it. Even if you want to reinvent the wheel and do your own thing, it’s helpful to have a foundation of how others have started and grown successful massage businesses. By surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you will receive the support you will need to reach your ultimate goal.

What Can Hold You Back?
  • I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • I don’t know how to start a business.
  • I’m not sure that I can really do this.
5 steps For Success

Step One: Take Action:  Get started. Do something right now, even if it is a small one.

Step Two: Set Goals:  Focus on one thing at a time. Write down what you need to do and set a schedule.

Step Three: Keep Moving Forward:  Be persistent. Take small steps. Try to do something little every day or every other day.

Step Four: Stay Positive:  Be patient. Look at the big picture. Where will you be in five years?

Step Five: Build Your Support Foundation:  Information is power. Utilize this site and others like it. Seek out support forums and groups of people just like you. These are the people that will keep you on your path.

“Do one thing everyday…

that scares you”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Do That One Thing Now!

Trello is a free app that I have been using for many years to set my goals, schedule tasks and complete the steps necessary for finishing my projects. Check out Trello here.

Features of Trello
  • It has everything you need to organize projects.
  • You can attach pictures and files.
  • You can save and access links to your important websites.
  • You can create check lists to keep track of tasks and check them off as you complete each one.
  • You can use color-coded labels for organization.
  • You can access it from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • It’s free!


When I talk to therapists about their careers, I always ask them this question, “Where will you be in five years?” Most of the time I don’t get a coherent answer. That’s pretty common; we don’t really think most of the time about where we will be in the future. It’s important, though, if you are wanting to start and build a successful business, to not only think long term but to plan out your strategy for reaching that goal. Take action now! Knowing the best way to accomplish this and also to avoid the traps along the way will increase your chances for success. You can do this. You can build a successful massage practice. It’s not rocket science, but there is a real difference between wanting and doing. Take action now! Let us help you by giving you the tools that will help you on your journey.

Here’s what you can do right now:   

  Click on this link to get the free Trello software.

  Check out the ‘Start Your Massage Business’ guide here.  

  Set up your goals and actions in Trello to begin your journey to a successful massage business.  

I hope you found this article helpful. Please, leave a comment below and let me know what you think. If you want to spread the word, please, share this article on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest by pinning the image to the right. I wish you success and prosperity.

About The Author

Dave Kennedy

Dave created as a tool to help massage therapists start and grow their own successful businesses. He has worked in the field for over 25 years as a therapist and as the owner of multiple massage clinics.

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Some of the resources listed in this article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This commission will come at no additional cost to you.  I have worked with these companies and they come highly recommended as helpful for your massage business. However, please do not spend your money on any of these products unless you feel they will be helpful to you. Thank you for your support.

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