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Relieve Competitive Tension with Massage Therapist, Dina Haffner

The comparison trap comes in many forms. Sometimes we stumble into it on social media, other times, it hits us while we’re looking at our numbers or at a networking event. As you consider your competition, you may find yourself asking, “How can I possibly achieve success when other people are doing the same thing I do?” Massage therapist and owner of Kinetric Wellness, Dina Haffner, would argue that competition doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Her business group, NJ Wellness Networking Group, is a testament that there’s more benefit in celebrating our professional commonalities than bemoaning them. You’ll be standing a little taller after reading about Dina’s honest look at work balance and healthy competition. Relax and enjoy!


Give us a brief description of your business.

I started Kinetric Wellness in hopes that my vision for a well-rounded approach to wellness had a place to grow. I am a licensed massage therapist, yes, but beyond that I offer a place for people to learn about their body and how to heal it on their own.

How did you get started?

I fell in love with massage when I received my first massage nearly 15 years ago.

I thought, “If I could make people feel as good as I feel right now, then this is what I’m meant to do,” so I started school a year or two after that. I worked for a lot of corporations, wellness centers and such, but ended up taking a break from it all for a while until I decided to follow my passion completely. I found Babes in Business and this community supported me in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

What inspires you?

People. The goodness and resilience of people. I am in constant awe of the strength and vulnerability that people have shown through some of the darkest times. It constantly inspires me to grow and overcome the tough days.

It’s so exciting to see Babes branching out. Tells about the NJ Wellness Networking Group.

I started NJWNG because I found a need in the community within the Health and Wellness field. As health and wellness practitioners, we always want to help people but there are better ways to help them beyond what we know. While it’d be great to spend the majority of our lives and money attending schools and tacking on certifications that would help them, it’s better to find people that are already incredibly knowledgeable. We also (as practitioners) seem to put ourselves LAST with regard to self care. I wanted to create a safe space for people to learn about how to help their clients, but really how to help THEMSELVES so they can be the best version of who they are for their clients. The whole, “you can’t fill from an empty cup” motto.

How do you balance running your own business and meeting the needs of this new group?

I don’t do it well. I try, but in all honesty, something is always suffering. Unless I don’t sleep (and I cannot physically function if that happens) there’s no way for me to do all the things I want to be doing for both. I’ve been trying to relinquish some control and hire help, but it’s hard to know where to start. NJWNG is a passion project, in no way does it serve as an additional source of income and it never will - but I devote my time and energy to it because I see the value. If my business is suffering from it, I know I need to get help.

You’re definitely an advocate for collaboration instead of competition. What helps you keep this in mind in your field of work and how can fellow Babes make this a mindset?

I understand fully that competition needs to exist but it should be healthy competition, and by healthy, I mean honest, transparent, supportive, positive competition. In no way does it benefit anyone to bash anybody’s business especially when you don’t fully understand it (and you don’t - nobody knows unless they’re IN IT.).

It’s important to collaborate because of the support it creates. There is beauty in having another set of eyes on your business that will offer insight and experience. Whether that insight or experience is something you enjoy or not, you will always learn from it and learning is growing and growing is making money and making money is providing a better life for you and your you see where this is going?

What ways can Babes use their businesses to foster community?

I think sharing valuable knowledge is one of the best ways to do that. Not everyone is going to resonate with your message, and you don’t need that. I think we need to stop focusing on quantity (ie. more followers, likes, etc...) and focus on quality (ie. engagement and IMPACT). If you are putting a message out there that could help even ONE person, then you should put that message out there. Community is about supporting one another and I believe that we can do that by sharing our knowledge and experience even when it’s not the prettiest little package.

What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts that you follow?

I follow a lot of health and wellness accounts because it’s what I do and it’s inspiring to see how people grow in this field, but I also like to follow people that inspire me in other ways so I’m not bombarded with the same material. I also find a lot of benefit in laughter and transparency so I follow people that are hysterical and aren’t always sharing just their pretty photos.

  • @imsylviabeatriz is a spirit connector who’s always challenging herself well outside of her comfort zone and it’s inspiring to watch every day.

  • @interwovenap because I am not a fashionista in ANY WAY shape or form but they inspire me to get outside of my comfort zone and it transcends beyond my wardrobe (which mainly consists of yoga pants and my branded t-shirt)

What advice do you have for getting our bodies moving this Spring?

Find what your body responds to best. We all have those exercises that we don’t love to do but, how are your body and mind responding to that movement? Are you sore or in pain? Are you energized or drained? Know the difference and listen to your body. If it needs rest, then rest it, but know there’s a difference between resting and being lazy! Get up and get motivated!

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