We had the good fortune of connecting with NIkkole Rodgers and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi NIkkole, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I believe this year I am really starting to learn about work-life balance. This is my sixth year as a Massage Therapist. Three of those years I massaged for medical and sports medicine clinics, a black-owned nail salon, a casino, cannabis events, spas and within many other industries. Year three, I began to take private clients while still working part-time for other jobs. Prior to the pandemic, I worked during the day, privately, as a mobile therapist in between taking clients for a corporate chair massage company. At night, I decided to provide chair massage at the Commerce Casino from 7pm to sometimes 4am or 8am. Being someone who has always had a strong work ethic it made sense that if I’m a night owl I might as well try and make money. I’ve never enjoyed working for others which is why I’ve constantly taken the risks I’ve needed to push myself forward. Always reminding myself that nothing is permanent. But during this time I also started noticing that this behavior would lead me to burn out and I really wasn’t living the lifestyle that I would suggest to my clients. Resulting in zero balance over the years. The philosophy behind my lifestyle brand, MBN, is unapologetically pouring into yourself and viewing massage therapy as healthcare for our mental, emotional & physical selves. I’ve come to understand that I have to lead by example in this way of thinking and being. The clarity I feel from body work is uplifting and brings me out of the fog in many ways. At the time I wasn’t living by that and I, instead, was being of service to everyone yet hardly to myself. The topic of work-life balance has become increasingly important to me. Especially this year, as I’ve realized healthy self-care and a strong, growing business are synonymous. I don’t have to burn out or please anyone outside of myself to reach my goals. This year I’ve changed my focus in a few different ways, made myself the main character, which allows me to be of better service to my clients instead of operating out of alignment. I’m also focusing on discipline as well as various other projects such as developing products and instruments to incorporate into my services. I just recently opened a spa in the Downtown area and so many exciting things are happening at MBN. The more balance and discipline I have in my private life, the more doors of opportunity open. At this point in my life, balance means having boundaries then everything else will flow and follow.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Massage by Nikkole is simply one of my purposes. The gift of touch! We all have our gifts to be of service. I know that what sets me apart is my touch. All therapists have a different touch so none of us is the same. I went to the Art Institute, first, for Fashion Marketing and Management. I believe during some of my time away the experiences I had tapped into my spirituality where I also found my passion for touch. I knew after art school I was going straight into massage school. I can’t remember the exact experience, but thinking back, it’s funny that all of my friends had memories of being massaged by me. I still have a journey ahead but it can all be very simple, I got here by seeing my vision for myself and not settling. It’s exhilarating to see the vision before me, even when I’m knee-deep in all of the actual work that it takes. I invest in myself and live my dream. No it’s not easy, I’ve lost friends, family, sanity and have had plenty of sleepless nights. Business deals have and will continue to fold and unfold. I know I’ll be tested and blessed all at the same time. At the end of the day, I just want my peers to value massage therapy more. It should be a monthly or bi-weekly routine. I see the shift happening. It’s exciting!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has changed so much but there’s definitely still some gems.

Here’s our weekend itinerary:

– Roller Skate or Bike the Long Beach boardwalk
– Culver City stairs/ Hillcrest Park stairs
– A cruise along the PCH from Newport to Topanga Canyon
– Zuma or Malibu beach to relax
– The top of Elysian Park for a downtown view
– Novacanne Bar
– Black Bar on Santa Monica (pre-covid)
– Jamaican Food restaurants in Inglewood for patties
– The Reef in Long Beach for brunch
– East LA for Mariscos
– Javiers in Century city
– Lemeirt Park on Sunday

I love food so we would go all over.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed to have crossed paths with a lot of great teachers. Whether the encounter was in high school, at art school internships or elders who have taken the time to connect with me. My friends and soul-family have always had my back. Even when they didn’t agree with the risk I was taking they always knew I held within myself what it takes to obtain the goal.

Instagram: Massage by Nikkole

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