Thoughts on not giving up
It was roughly six and a half years ago that I decided to “launch” myself as a professional reader. I had been reading for friends, friends of friends, neighbours of friends of friends…. For some time.
I had put business cards in various shop windows- but I wanted to create a more structured way of building my business.
So I decided to start a Tarot reading class. I booked a venue for monthly workshops, took out adds in local publications, distributed leaflets, paid for Facebook advertising. I read endlessly about how to advertise and tweaked my marketing to the best of my ability.
The big day arrived- a three hour workshop on the court cards. I wasn’t sure whether to be sick with nerves, or sick with excitement. So much effort and momentum leading up to this- the launch of my new career.
And. Two people turned up. Two. It didn’t even cover the cost of my venue hire, let alone time and advertising. Chronic disappointment washed through me, and I made a decision that I will always be grateful I made. If they had turned up I would teach them as well as if my class had been fully booked.
The next month they both returned for a workshop on the suit of wands, and a couple more turned up too. By month three we were at six people.
I can trace my entire business structure back to that first handful of students…
The first person to walk through the door was Rachel Burge. She continued coming to my in person workshops until I was forced to pause them due to COVID-19. After numerous talks (we became good friends) she published two books inspired in part by shamanic journeys with me, and my love of the Nordic myths.
The second person to walk through the doors moved area a while ago, but still visited for readings, and has now joined my tarot zoom classes.
The workshop I crafted then is still being taught twice a month-I moved it to zoom at the start of the pandemic, and am loving the ease of teaching from my own desk.
The original course was due to be 9 months, but by the end friendships were developing and we were all keen to continue. The follow on monthly group was still going until the pandemic forced me to pause it, and now runs on zoom in a slightly different format.
A couple of my students were curious about the odd words that sometimes slipped into conversation. Soon it was discussed that in the past I had learnt a form of Nordic shamanism, then some of the group were cramming into my work caravan to have a go. My caravan wouldn't hold enough people, so a local venue was found.
I still teach Nordic shamanism (seidr), in person and on zoom, running five workshops a month. I would have never considered this if it hadn't have arisen naturally from a chat, to having a go. Finding my confidence as I worked with that first group of tarot students.
I could have so easily allowed disappointment to distract me from teaching to my best ability in that first workshop. I could have let resentment and failure block my path forward, and given up and that first hurdle.
Its incredible to think my first students, the workshop I first taught, has created such a diverse and satisfying business life. I find I am still learning as much from my students (tarot & seidr) as I hope they learn from me. Listening to what my students want is probably the most intelligent business decision I have ever made.
Most of all now- I am glad I swallowed my disappointment and didn’t fall at the first hurdle (I was so tempted to flounce out and slam the door).