Thanks, Mom, for the “Creative Thinker” gene

I have often thought that my mother should be President – she’s amazing at coming up with solutions to problems that keep everyone who deserves to be happy, happy. I’m not as good at it as she is, but I’m not too shabby.

So here’s the dilemma I presented her with today: I’m not sure how this recession is going to affect my business and I really need to say yes to as many clients as possible. Now, Mom lives at the Jersey shore, and I have a client from her area who comes to me for really long massages, like 2-3 hours. I’m one of the few therapists out there with this kind of stamina, so he actually drives 70 miles to Manhattan (which involves $30 in gas/tolls AND $30 for parking) just to see me a few times a year. He would see me more often if I were more convenient, so I offered to see him for housecalls in NJ about once a month when I visit my mom. Unfortunately, he doubts he’d be able to relax in a house full of noisy kids and pets. Being able to accommodate him would realistically be worth another $1000 a year, and if timed right, could boost the bottom line of a slow week by as much as 25%.

So where can I do this? My mom lives in a claustrophobic, weird little house – not an option. However, she does the books for a chiropractor who has a massage therapist within his suite. In other words, she has access to two people who might know about hourly room rentals in the ‘burbs or perhaps even make a direct arrangement with me to use their space. I’m also hoping that my mom will come up with two possibilities on her own: a friend who has a nearby studio apartment that she uses on the occasional weekend and might allow me to borrow for 2 hours, and my aunt (her best friend), who has a nicely finished basement with a lockable door. I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask her to pursue these…but I did try to direct her train of thought in that direction.

And now my head is spinning off on a slight tangent… When my father died 4 years ago, I spent a lot of weekends with my mom. I started keeping a massage table at her place, and did half a dozen housecalls, giving her a $20 cut for “chauffeur services” (I have a UK license, which I somehow doubt would pass muster if I ever got in an accident). I never really tried to establish a clientele there, but now I’m wondering if it might be worth a shot. I’ve decided to leave this one in the hands of fate…see what, if anything, grows out of my attempts to find a private space to borrow for 2 hours. It doesn’t meet my niggling need to find a second source of income, which stems from the fear that if anything happens to my body (accident, disease, repetitive strain injury, etc) that can’t be fixed in a month, I’m screwed – not because I don’t have emergency funds to get me through a longer stretch than that, but because my clients will start going elsewhere if I can’t see them. I need a less physical, more cerebral second “job” that mixes well with my lifestyle. Those wheels have been turning in my head for over two years without an answer, grr.

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2 Responses

  1. I hope you come up with a solution soon. I’m the problem solver in my family and, like you, I got it from my mother. We’re looking for solutions which lean more towards budgeting ourselves at the moment – ‘make do and mend’ type ideas, or more home made as opposed to bought items.

  2. @Jennie, have you discovered Crunchy Chicken’s hearth-and-home eco blog? It’s full of great info along those lines – http://www.crunchychicken.blogspot.com

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