Staying Flexible in Times of Change
by Joy Marcinkowski, Professional Bowenwork Practitioner and Instructor, who lives and
practices in Los Angeles, California
While change can be invigorating for some, change is hard for many people. Me, I have mixed
feelings about change; it is hard for me, yet at the same time I sometimes welcome it. Covid-19
turned the world upside down. It brought our industry to a halt for some time and some regions
experienced longer restrictions than others. My county was one of those where restrictions were
My business was shut down at the most inconvenient time. I was out of state on leave so I could
be with my mother who was on hospice, and when I returned to Los Angeles, I returned to a
different life. The powers-that-be had imposed the lockdown for an unspecified time, so I was
not going to be returning to work any time soon, as I had planned. The Module 3 class I had
scheduled for March 2020 had to be postponed for two and a half years.
I paid full rent for my empty office space for ten months! That is an expensive storage unit.”
Times were so uncertain. I was able to return to work in the summer of 2020 for a mere three
weeks until we were shuttered again. Not knowing what to expect, I decided to let my office go
at the end of my lease. There I was, not working and not knowing when or if I ever would. If it
were not for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, I would not have been able to survive
financially. I am forever grateful to have had that help for the time it was available.
In the spring of 2021, things started to have a semblance of “normal” because the personal
services industry had reopened and stayed open, but I no longer had my office. “Now what do I
do,” I thought. Real estate exploded and the cost of rent for me would increase by $400 per
month. That is a lot of money when you must start from ground zero and rebuild a business with
no capital. I was at a loss as to what to do.
My husband suggested going mobile. I was reluctant because traffic in Los Angeles is not a
pleasant experience. But what were my other options? I had to be flexible. So, I started
crunching numbers and researching local competitive rates for in-home visits. With
encouragement from my husband and a couple of other Bowenwork practitioners, I built up
enough confidence to take the leap and do it.
Emails went out to existing clients to let them know I was back in business, but with a new
business model. I also notified all of the potential clients who contacted me while I was shut
down to let them know they could now schedule with me. It was interesting to see my business
rebuild as it did. Most of my clientele are new and willing to pay a higher rate for me to come to
their homes. My new target market loves the convenience of having their session in the comfort
of their own home! Thankfully I still have a few of my original clientele who also schedule to get
their Bowenwork “fix” at their homes.
As if that wasn’t enough flexibility for one year, I found myself being challenged to grow in
other ways. This past July I had a new client schedule her appointment at a park. I was not sure
how this would work out. To my surprise, it was a beautiful success. The whole experience was
so refreshing. Surrounded by nature in the fresh air, my client and I both loved it! Even more
recently, I had another client who wanted to have his session at a local park. I set my table up
under a nice shade tree next to a babbling stream. What a venue! Now I give my clients the
option to have Bowen in the Park.”
You might be wondering; would I want to return to an office? Of course, I would. For now, I
must continue being mobile. When the time is right, an affordable office space will come
available, and I will set aside days specifically for “Bowen on the Go.”
And you might ask, “But what about teaching?” I now have classes scheduled and students
enrolled. My other students who have patiently waited throughout the pandemic can pick up
where they left off and resume learning Bowenwork with Module 3. Finding a class venue can be
a challenge now, but it always works out. I am so grateful for the students who generously offer a
place to use for class.
What did I learn from this whole experience? I must be flexible. Do not let fear of the unknown
prevent me from exploring new options and ideas. Be open to ideas and feedback from others.
Make a plan, set goals, and stick to them. In the words of James Yorke, Professor of Mathematics
and Physics, “The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.”
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