Running an Holistic business- what I wish someone had told me.
Tarot reading professionally, is a business. It takes business skills
When I started it was teaching a small class monthly. Most of my time was spent researching and writing my course which in time became the basis for my book.
I loved this stage- focused on research, writing and teaching. I was only making a little after costs were taken out (advertising & room hire) but I really didn’t mind.
I had no long term awareness of how my business would need to grow, I was only focused on teaching, and enjoying exploring and sharing tarot.
I’m sure some people are so placed that their business grows organically, with little effort or focus. But I bet most readers & holistic practitioners have to start thinking about the business side, to work to grow their business at some time.
And I bet many, many readers struggle with this- i know I did. I felt like I had to learn a whole new language. As if every part of the journey needed a new skill, and I spent a LOT of time reading, reading, reading.
Some of the skills I have learnt (and are learning)-
Marketing & advertising
Punctuation and grammar (still working on this)
Dealing with pay-pal (when it goes wrong!)
And much, much, much more.
Since I first released that to earn an income from tarot I would need to run it it as a business I have read a LOT of business books & blogs. When I started out I didn’t even know what a P.D.F was, I had no internet connection, and (honestly) we didn’t even have a computer.
Learning to run, grow and keep a business was take a huge learning curve. I have enjoyed the learning side- the actual practice behind the business I still don’t particularly enjoy.
Most modern businesses are on-line (in some form)
As I said earlier- when I started my business we didn’t have a computer, just an old smart phone. Writing emails was time consuming!
I am a techno-phobe. I have been dragged (kicking & crying) in to this virtual world. I still don’t know how to store files in specific folders on my computer.
I have learnt how to run my website, I am a touch typist- which is a great skill-but keeping up to date with technology has been, and continues to be, a major part of my work time.
I intend to master Skype & excel spread sheets next.
I didn’t expect to enjoy the online community as much as I do, it’s actually really nice to be able to swap ideas & share inspiration with people from all over the world.
I may have been dragged on line, but now I am here- I mostly enjoy it!
Tarot reading hurts
Every Tarot reader is different. When I read I immerse myself in the spread, and I literally connect with the other person. Oftentimes this hurts. I have cried through many, many readings. Both email & face to face.
I have wept at the sadness, the injustice, I have laughed at the joy & hope.
I have one regular customer- a gruff older man. When I read and see the pain and love he holds, I simply weep. He’s quite used to it now. Sometimes I almost think he comes because seeing me cry helps him to cry.
I have learnt to switch off after a reading. To be in the moment, let the information and feelings flow through me- and leave.
I do not remember peoples stories. They are private, and often painful. I remember cards, when I click that I have read for you it is likely I will remember key cards from your reading- but often not your story.
Tarot reading is not a get rich quick scheme
I’m sure some people manage it
I do need to earn an income, but my husband often reminds me I’d earn more at the local supermarket for the hours I put in.
Tarot for me is an urge, a need, something I really want to do. More than that, I want to do it well. So I probably do take longer on readings than I should if I was really business minded. But then again, it’s well worth it for the feedback that I get from clients.
For me Tarot reading is a time intensive business, and there are far easier ways to earn an income. But the personally satisfaction I get is worth the time invested. And I love the flexibility of running the business around the needs of my children.
But if you are looking for a simple, quick way to make money- I am sure there are much better ways.
Comfort zones (Don’t really exist)
Not sure where to start on this; my first public post about tarot on face book, my first paid for reading, my first telephone/email reading, my first blog post, the first time I put a photo of me online….
The hardest comfort zone has been writing about (in my blogs & books) my take on the tarot cards. Let’s be honest I am standing on the backs of giants (if you know what I mean) to be where I am now. With out the inspiration of amazing trailblazers & writers like Rachel Pollark, Mary k Greer, Phillip Carr-Gomm I would not have reached my own understandings.
Sharing my own thoughts on the Tarot has been a real leap of faith. Most of my understandings have come from reflecting on my own life through the tool of tarot. When I share my understandings on tarot I am sharing a glimpse of my soul.
I am almost used to it now, but I still get nervous when sharing a blog. I have been told it is a sign I care, so I guess it will always be with me.
In my naivety I had not realized that developing a business based on tarot & shamanism would demand such personal growth.
Every reading, healing and shaman session reflects back on me in some way. Demands that I consider some small part of my life.
I guess also there is a sense that if I am offering to guide, mentor, support others- I must also be moving forward on my own journey.
It’s hard to put into words really, being a Tarot reader & Shaman are both positions of immense responsibility, and could easily be positions of power too. Continuing to work with my own wounds, shadows and issues keeps it all real to me. It keeps the ego out of the equation.
This may not make much sense, but it works for me.
I feel under qualified to share advice, I am still learning so much myself. But reflecting on my own journey, here is some advice that could help;
Be yourself. Find your own, unique tarot voice. Blend it with other therapies or expertise that you may have. You can never be better than any one else. You can only be the best you can be.
Pace yourself. By which I mean not exhausting yourself, nor dissolving in to a pit of procrastination (& both are all too easy). I read once that if you did one thing each day to move your business along- you’d have done 365 things in a year.
Celebrate each minor success. There will be many, many, many failures along the way. So whenever you succeed, in anything, you might as well enjoy the moment!
Accept failure as inevitable. My first workshop was heavily (heavily) advertised, and in a very expensive venue. Two people turned up. Honestly I felt like storming out in tears and stopping right there. I ignored the sinking feeling of failure and got on with it anyway. The next month more came, and in the end I ran the workshop every month for over two years. It has morphed into a different format now, but still running- and my books are the course notes from those workshops. So that one day was a failure- but in time it has been a foundation for my success.
Try new things. Any success is simply a story of past failures that didn't stop you. Continue to try new things, reflect on what has worked, then try a whole bunch of new things again.
Build a support network. I would not be where I ma now with out the support and help from my husband, friends, students, clients, online connections. When I am feeling frazzled, overwhelmed, and unsure having a circle of light to help lift my energies is an amazing gift.