Evelina's story: from a vocational school for the visually impaired to an entrepreneur

Career story

When the counselor recommended a Vocational School for the visually impaired, I completely rejected the alternative. The profession of a massager sounded heavy and didn't really interest me at all, but now for more than 10 years in my entrepreneurial career, I haven't regretted it for a moment.

I am Eveliina, a licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master, and entrepreneur. I have worked as a massage therapist for 10 years. I studied in Helsinki, but my office has always been in Tampere. I provide my customers with traditional massage, Indian head massage and Reiki treatment, and Reiki courses whenever necessary. During my free time, I do exercise, play music and also perform at a theatre for the visually impaired.  

How did I become an entrepreneur? One could rather ask how I became a massage therapist. After upper secondary school, I wondered what I should do with my life. My student counsellor recommended attending a vocational school for the visually impaired in Helsinki. At first, I rejected this alternative altogether: the profession of a massage therapist sounded heavy and did not really interest me at all. I was interested in studying social work at an open university, but ultimately I went and had a look at the vocational school, and providing massage did not seem so unpleasant after all. Studying muscles and the anatomy was interesting, and the exercise hobby I started at the same time increased my interest. 

After graduation, I thought about becoming an entrepreneur, but it felt really scary. A colleague of mine gave me a lot of encouragement, though. We had been told about start-up grants and other subsidy opportunities, and I obtained the subsidies needed to found a company. A colleague also suggested joint premises at an indoor swimming pool we both knew. Today, I have been an entrepreneur for over 10 years – and it has never occurred to me that I do not have the perseverance to work as a massage therapist or an entrepreneur.

A certain kind of humility is important. You have to flexible with regard to the work and the customers. My motto is "You are allowed to be brave" and other guideline for live "One should always try".

Entrepreneurship is always worth thinking about! It has its good sides, but the lack of paid summer holidays is frustrating sometimes. However, freedom of choice and the ability to influence one's own work are really great aspects of being an entrepreneur. I can travel to London or Lapland whenever I feel like it, if I can foot the bill. If you want to play it safe, entrepreneurship is not necessarily the right choice for you. 

It is a great thing that accessibility has been taken into account in public online services. The guides can be listened to, so even we blind entrepreneurs can obtain information about different things.