By Jennifer Shaw, Austin Massage Therapist and Guest Blogger
Massage therapists, have you done your 2010 taxes? Like all good citizens, I’ve made a start. I’ve collected a lot of stuff I think I need. I’ve also collected a lot of stuff I’m pretty sure I don’t need, but am keeping anyway “just in case.” But that’s all I’ve done – I’ve collected. In between my laundry and my children’s artwork is a crate of tax documents. W2’s, I-9’s, room rental statements and lotion receipts, they’re all in there. Somewhere. And they’ve been there for weeks.
One of the hardest and most intimidating parts of being a self-employed (or even a semi-self-employed massage therapist) is managing your taxes. Am I wrong? I dread it every year. It is one of the reasons I shy from doing more massage. If I do more massage, I know I’ll have to deal with my small business taxes head-on.
For now my taxes just haunt me every night from a crate on my bedroom floor. And they do. I am haunted. Don’t be like me. Be better. Be braver.
Fear is a major stronghold that keeps me from doing what I’ve been shaped to do. And I know I’m not alone. I believe I was created to become a massage therapist, and now I have a license that says I am one. But the fear of having to do my taxes – that they might be hard or complicated, that I might have to pay someone to do them, that I might have to pay the IRS, just the idea of their existence – keeps me from fulfilling this purpose for myself. It’s overwhelming!
But even as I’m writing this (and glaring at my crate of tax documents), I feel like if I just did them right now, doing them next year would be easier, and better yet, I feel like maybe with courage, my massage business would grow. (And I know I wouldn’t have to sleep in the same room with a crate full of fear.) I think that might be worth it. Do you?