Starting a Business While Getting Certified in B.C.
Amanda Kihn graduated from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in mid-August and completed her exams to become a Registered Massage Therapist in October. We reached out to chat with her about how she’s been keeping busy during the six-week wait for the results of her exams, her thoughts looking back on her time at WCCMT, and what it was like balancing being a mom and a full-time student.
“The College of Massage Therapists of BC will not let me call myself a Registered Massage Therapist until a long checklist is complete,” Kihn explains. “Finishing the WCCMT program and the Board Exams are only the first two items on that list.”
Luckily, Amanda had a great business teacher in Rosemary Caulder, who taught WCCMT students the steps to go through in order to start a business as a sole proprietor. She wasted no time. “I got my business licence and I negotiated a contract that included renting a treatment room in a clinic a few blocks from my home (Refined Health). I graduated from WCCMT on the 15th of August and gave my first relaxation massage on the morning of the 16th!” (Graduates in BC can perform relaxation massages while waiting for their licence. Graduates of Ontario cannot perform any type of massage until they obtain their licence.)
“I also connected with a downtown business owner, Eva Build of Mothering Touch, during a networking event at the college,” she continues. I had done a birth partner (doula) course with Eva about five years ago and she was looking to offer massage to her clientele before and after their pregnancies. You can now book Perinatal Massages online with me on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Friday afternoons.”
She concludes: “Is it easy? No. But if you’re motivated to do some work getting organized, getting a business licence and being your own boss is worth the effort!”
Since graduating, Amanda has also been refocusing on her own health and wellness. She is eating better, exercising regularly, and walking her children to and from school. Things that sadly often fall to the wayside when we’re busy learning new skills. “I enjoy working part-time but my full-time focus until I build my practice is my two young children.”
Amanda tells us she cannot state how vital her own health care team was while going through school and highly recommends prospective and current WCCMT students learn more about meditation.
“Meditation in general can be a great tool to cultivate calm,” she says. “Taking time every day to find my centre meant that when I would get anxious before exams, I could come back to my breath, adopt a mantra, and know that one way or another, I’d make it to the other end of EVERY challenge that was between me and my dream.”
Finally, Amanda offers some advice to new students entering the program.
“I recommend that students who are in the program or just getting started find a way to take all their notes from each class and collate them in between terms. It’s hard enough to balance being a mom with two small children, it was so easy to get swept up in the sea of knowledge.”
“Bottom line,” she says “put the time in to master the material. Do not memorize and do not study to the test. MASTER THE MATERIAL. You need to know it all, so buckle down and only dedicate the rest of your spare time to what matters most to you… this is the secret to success.”
Thanks, Amanda! We know you’re going to make a wonderful Massage Therapist!