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Don't Have Time to Start a Business? This Doctor, Lawyer and Now Part-Time Franchisee Would Disagree. Dr. Shania Seibles understands the dedication required to meet big goals, achieving her dream of becoming a physician while adding a law degree along the way. Now, she's venturing into the world of entrepreneurship.

By Carl Stoffers Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • New franchise owner Dr. Shania Seibles is venturing into entrepreneurship after earning medical and law degrees.
  • Siebles credits much of her success to her parents, who earned PhDs in the 1960s as African American students.
  • Seibles' strategy of maintaining her medical career while pursuing entrepreneurship showcases a balanced approach to getting into business.

As someone who holds a medical degree and a law degree, Dr. Shania Seibles knows what it takes to pursue big goals. But she isn't stopping there and is embarking on the different — but equally challenging — journey of entrepreneurship as a new MassageLuXe franchisee.

Siebles credits her successes to her parents, who taught her perseverance, determination and the value of education. "My parents have always been a huge inspiration for me," Seibles says. "As African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, they had a lot of challenges in terms of gaining access to higher education. But they persevered and attained PhDs in the study of chemistry."

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Grueling training

The grind of medical training, which is notoriously stressful, taught Seibles about will and perseverance. "It took me 30 years of school education and training to become a maternal-fetal medicine specialist," she says. "I spent eight years after graduating medical school in hospitals training to become great at what I do — that takes a lot of work. The culture is really to beat you down and build you up, and that challenges everything about you."

"I spent eight years after graduating medical school in hospitals training to become great at what I do — that takes a lot of work."

This culture led her to the wellness industry in the first place. By the time she finished her medical training, she was burned out. The long hours, stressful environment and constant evaluation of her skills had affected her health. "Working those hours and being in that kind of grueling environment can take a toll on you," she says. "When I finished my fellowship, I needed to figure out what wellness meant to me and how to get there because I was not at my most effective."

That was in 2018, and she signed up for a MassageLuXe membership, beginning her wellness — and, as it turned out — entrepreneurial journey.

Related: Want to Become a Franchisee? Run Through This Checklist First.

Searching for a side hustle franchise

After finding massage therapy life-changing, Seibles formed her company, Alchemy Health and Wellness, in 2022. The name is a tribute to her parents, as alchemy is the root word for chemistry. Then, she began researching a franchise to invest in. After more than a decade of intensive training, Seibles didn't plan to abandon her medical career to become a full-time entrepreneur. She knew she needed a franchise that she did not have to run every day. She was also careful not to let financials be the sole focus and looked for something connected to wellness but not purely medical.

The intimate connections unique to the wellness industry were ideal. Seibles sees her medical training as an asset, as how she deals with patients personally goes hand-in-hand with how she treats them medically. "I see a ton of patients from different walks of life, and they've all got different things that contribute to who they are," she says. "It's very similar in the physician realm as it is in the business ownership realm and the spa industry — there's a lot of connection."

"It's very similar in the physician realm as it is in the business ownership realm and in the spa industry — there's a lot of connection."

Aside from its connection to the medical field, wellness is a $5.6 trillion industry globally — $105 billion of which is credited to spas — and is expected to grow, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Additionally, as a longtime MassageLuXe client, she knew the brand well and felt it was a great fit. "MassageLuXe aligned with a lot of my values and what I was looking for," she says.

A huge plus was her career situation: "I'm employed," she says. "I'm not in private practice, so I don't have to deal with the business side; my employer handles all those things." This meant that she could spend her day seeing patients and then focus on the franchise on her off-time rather than having to manage a bureaucracy-heavy business on top of a full patient load.

Opening a MassageLuXe franchise

After completing her advanced medical training in Michigan, Seibles moved to Georgia and opened a MassageLuXe in Peach Tree City in May 2023, the first in the state. So far, she and her staff have developed a pattern of communication that enables her to keep tabs on the operation without being on-site more than once a week. "I am not the face of the day-to-day operations on the ground at my franchise location," she says. "I have excellent management and staff that are there on a day-to-day basis. I communicate with my general manager every day, whether it's via email or phone, and then I usually am there physically on a week-to-week basis."

Although Seibles is still new to franchising and business ownership, she is doing something she loves — learning — every day and has tried to create a space with the appropriate atmosphere for a wellness franchise.

"You feel that's a place that you want to keep coming back to, whether you're an employee or customer."

"You immediately feel the peacefulness," says Gena Holts, an esthetician at Seibles' franchise, "from the employees to the management, you feel that's a place that you want to keep coming back to, whether you're an employee or customer."

Seibles also understands what it means for the franchise to be the first in the state and the expectations that go along with it. "We're a brand new territory, so we have been tasked with building the brand and franchise presence in Georgia. That doesn't come without challenges."

Related: Is Franchising Right For You? Ask Yourself These 9 Questions to Find Out.

Multi-unit ownership

Seibles says the franchise is tracking where it should be in terms of growth and credits the support received from MassageLuXe as a big part of that. "I've received a ton of support from the franchise, which is the only way I was able to become a business owner," she says.

Now that she has one successful franchise, she says multi-unit ownership is possible. "The idea of opening multiple locations and being a multi-unit developer is very appealing," Seibles says. "That would be an overall goal for me. The timetable of that is yet to be seen because you want to make sure, as a business owner, you're making smart investment decisions as you're growing at the correct pace."

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Carl Stoffers

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Business Editor

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