It’s been almost 14 years since I became an Ashiatsu instructor and provider of continuing education for massage therapists. It was never my intention to start my own company. I was happy to teach classes for another. The requirements were to own a computer and printer, back when that was an investment rather than a necessity, pay for the printing of a 30 page handout, the advertizing and the 30% commissions to the company after becoming a certified instructor. I was to be an independent contractor not an employee or franchise. To become a certified instructor of Ashiatsu, one had to observe and help out with 3 classes at their expense. Then teach a 4th class, while being observed. My 4th class turned into a quite a challenge. My observer, who will remain nameless, decided that the program was to be presented from a prewritten memorized script. This was unexpected, as I had my own style of doing it as an independent contractor. Whenever I would not say it verbatim, she would interrupt and correct me. The more corrections, the more I messed up in frustration. On the last day of the class, I was on the verge of tears. All at once I stood up and declared, “I quit” and ran to my room. This was awkward as the class was held in my home. She promptly packed her luggage and called for a taxi to take her to the airport. The students came knocking at my bedroom door. I didn’t know what to do. They told me she had left. I came out to find a note from her. The note read: Congratulations, you are a certified instructor and to call her when the dust had settled. I felt more certifiable than certified. She told the class, to tell me to finish up and call her later. I did and all was forgiven. Concerned, my family asked me if I could work for someone like this. I believed that left alone, I would be fine. I then taught two more classes and loved it! Meanwhile, I was receiving emails from her that she wanted to revise the training and was drawing up a new contract. I was to fly up on Easter weekend at my expense or else! Up to this point, I had not signed the old contract yet and Easter was a religious holiday I observed. Besides, I did not think I could handle another training ordeal. This was not working and I felt cornered. After I consulted an attorney, I was advised not to go to the training or sign the contract. I was also asked why I didn’t start my own program. It was not an option I had considered. It was clear, I was not really an independent contractor and when I refused to go, as expected, I was fired like an employee. Then I was ordered to cancel and give back the money that had been collected for the next class, which I did. Also, I forfeited the monies for the advertisements and printing. All that time and hard work I had devoted to become an Ashiatsu instructor was now down the drain. It was only then, I decided to start the Barefoot Masters® and develop my own programs.