The word integrity comes from the Latin, integer, meaning whole. If you lack integrity, I feel you’ve lost the most important thing not only in business but in life. I’ve worked hard over the years to maintain the highest integrity and the few times it’s been questioned I’ve lamented even the notion of its being lost.
Integrity in business is particularly important to me as my business grows. Until recently it’s felt like I was putting compost and water on the plants to get them to grow and was just excited they weren’t dying. Now, I’m looking at a growing tree and thinking, it may be time to prune. Different phases, different focus but a continued focus on healing and healing work.
Revolving door does not work for me. Revolving door clients with the same issues who do not wish to improve don’t interest me. Clients that work on themselves, want to get better and aspire for humanities greatest good, are. Sometimes this confuses people who see me. They expect that immediately after our session I’ll pull out a book and ask when we can schedule them again. I never do that. I may mention that we can schedule again if you wish but this isn’t sales, not in the used car way. There is no pressure and I refuse, due to my integrity, to sell you something I don’t feel you need.
Most can use a once a week session. Sounds great doesn’t it? I’ll never push for that though. Finances are what they are. Most can’t afford work that often. The good news is that if you team up with me I show you how to do lots of it on your own. That way you can get a solid session once every two weeks or once a month and live a primo life. No back pain. Read that again. Can you imagine walking around feeling unencumbered? If I have my way we’ll walk around like we did as children, good posture, hearts full of love and curious minds exploring. That can be yours. I’m working on mine, it’s a process but I’ve had glimpses and it’s worth all the work to get there.
Integrity in a bodywork business means I’m not going to wait until you’re relaxed and try to sell you things while you’re in a stupor. I’m not opposed to retail but the product must be something I use and it must be something I deem necessary, not something sold just because I’d get a percentage. This business is about relationships, not dollar signs. The minute I treat you like a commodity to be bought and sold I’ve lost my humanity. There are enough businesses running on a starvation mentality treating you like a cog in a machine, I refuse to be another.
The integrity I aspire to means that my teacher can come in and get a session and feel that it’s worth every penny. It’s worth what I charge because it’s about healing, helping and assisting. It’s an extension of my life not a lucrative late night scheme with an infomercial. That same integrity is what I would hope would be felt by clients (we can dream can’t we?) like BKS Iyengar, Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. I want a business that they would look at and say, “I’m glad I helped inspire what you do. Thank you for helping others.”
If I could dig up Bill Hicks I’d hope he’d realize that I understood his messages about marketing and putting dollar signs on everything. Then as he lit up a cigarette post session I could ask him if he’d ever explored pranayama and what it could do for his oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
If my business seems odd, then I’ve done well. It’s Never going to look like other businesses and that’s fine. The American dream is what you make it. My American dream is showing people they can live free, unencumbered lives in one of the most blessed countries on earth. Real health! Real integrity. No limitations.