Being self-employed as a massage therapist is the norm, at least in North America.
However, the vast majority of people would be much better off as employees, rather than working for themselves.
Part of the reason for this is the hybrid model we’ve been operating under for many years. That is, practitioners are treated more like employees by the clinics they work at; the clinic sets the hours, fees, provides supplies, and for the most part, keeps the clients if the therapist moves on. And yet, the therapist gets none of the protections and benefits of being an employee, such as vacation pay, a predictable paycheque, and simplified tax time. They are ‘contractors’ but not business owners – even if on paper, they do run a business.
This leads to a lot of therapists feeling that they would be better off if they worked for themselves instead of for a clinic, spa, or studio. They feel they’d earn a better income and have more freedom.
However, this isn’t always true.
It also results in a lot of clinic owners being frustrated. They put in a lot of hard work to build a great clinic and treat their therapists well. But they can’t seem to find more practitioners to work with them and find that some just don’t respect their business when they do.
The real issue with massage therapy self-employment
Here’s the truth: many people are just not suited to running a business, even if they think that they are. Being successful as a massage therapist is different than being a successful business owner.
So, what if we changed things and had more clinics hiring therapists as employees? Would that make a positive change for all involved?
This is the third and final episode in my short series on Controversial Topics Within Health and Wellness. Ready to dive in and hear about this controversial topic? Just hit play! Or, search for Life Beyond The Massage Table on your fave podcast app. More episodes can be found right over here.
Resources for this episode:
- Why Gen Z is keen on entrepreneurship
- Article on employee vs self employment for massage pracititioners (from an American lawyer, but this generally applies here in Canada too).
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