If you build it…

“Keep the overhead low” is the first business advice any owner gets to hear.

The little place with low rent where you do everything yourself is the romantic ideal. And it is what most good therapists do, whether they’re counselors, massage therapists, acupuncturists.

It’s what I used to do in my practice as a naturopathic physician in Germany. One room as my office and treatment space, a small waiting area in the hallway. You might even be able to do that in your house, depending on zoning laws.

It doesn’t get you anywhere.

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The Problem with Yoga

The New York Times had a very discouraging article on Yoga a few days ago. It’s a good article. If you’re looking for excuses NOT to start doing Yoga this year, you’ll find plenty.

Unfortunately this photo isn’t the joke it’s meant to be. I often see poses like that in Yoga classes, and am surprised that severe injuries aren’t happening more often.

Answers to the NYT article popped up everywhere: you can read Josh Schrei’s post in Elephant Journal as an example. I like his perspective and insight, but he’s missing the point.

People don’t start Yoga because they want to be heroes like Josh.

They want to get rid of their chronic pain, they want to be more flexible, they want to lose weight–or they just want to find a way to deal with stress. After a first class they feel inadequate, are hurting more, and give up.

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Twitter Guide for my Father

My father loves technology. So now he’s on Twitter.

Of course he isn’t new to Social Media, and he “likes” and comments on Facebook, but Twitter is tricky. I know how hard it was for me to “get it”.

Only 6 months ago I did have an account, but I had no idea what to do with it. Follow @LuMuellerKaul to see my ongoing efforts.

Check this to understand why I even bother. Doesn’t apply to my father, he’s retired and doesn’t seem to be interested in self-promotion. But it can be fun…

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Of course we can’t ignore competitors. When trying to determine what to charge for services, we have to look at what others ask. Figuring out our marketing priorities, we have to check where our most important competitors are best represented.

In the first year of Balance, the dreaded 2009, my vision was challenged by my business partner. He said we had to drastically lower our rates or we’d die–because we were competing with all the cheap massage offers. In my opinion, we had to charge more than other small clinics because we offer higher value. It got to the point where I had to say “ok, if you want to run a different business, you have my full support… now go and run a different business.”

The challenge, however, remained. There are places that charge $40 for a one-hour massage. A real full hour, not the 50 minutes a lot of chains do. Our one-hour massage costs $90, for members $76.50.

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2011 –> 2012

I love the term “between the years”. It’s a German expression for the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The old year is over, and the new one has not yet begun.

Following tradition, I haven’t been productive in those days. I like to use them for contemplation, for thinking about what was important to me in the old year, what is no longer needed in the new year, and what I’d like to continue and explore more.

2011 was all about business development for me.

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