Welcome to part III, if you missed the others, here is part I and part II...
As you might've guessed, running a long term practice is less about the nuts and bolts of running a business and really more about the kind of attitude you need, the attitude you need for you as well as towards others. Here, I outline the rest of what I consider to be huge factors in having a successful business as a tarot practitioner. Thank you so much for reading!
Create Strong, Loving Boundaries
You do not want people who expect you to drop everything and read for them right now. You do not want people who blow up your phone at 3am. You do not want people who are unable or unwilling to go through your business procedures. You do not want people, "who will gladly pay you Tuesday for a reading today." Those people will be convincing, as to why they needed to ignore your boundaries. They will trigger the healer within you, they will appeal to the part of you who wants to help.
People who are unable to respect your boundaries are often takers. You cannot build or have a business that will sustain you unless it is a relationship, and taking is not a relationship. Psychic vampires exist; there are people who will suck and slurp and take and grab and want and need and want and need until YOU have nothing left to give. Often, it is not conscious but rather a way someone learned to live in the world. A low-vibrational, dysfunctional way of living in the world.
Now, every bad review I have is from someone who took exception to my boundaries. Every review I have that is negative is because I told someone, "no, I cannot do it. No, this is not a good fit. No, I cannot read for you in this way." People really dislike being told, “no” and you can see their inner saboteur being triggered and having a good old fashioned temper tantrum after hitting your boundaries. This is good practice and an important lesson for them. Even if we do not read for someone, they are getting karmic lessons about why.
You are not here to please everyone. You are not here to make everyone like you. You are not here to enable. Please do not let people run roughshod over you. This can be hard when we learned messages as children about our worth. How you hold your boundaries is a direct relationship to your true beliefs about what you really think you deserve.
Professionals have rules for engagement. You need them and you need to enforce them. As a reader, this may be some of the hardest moments you have to undertake, but trust me, your long term viability depends on you being able to guard your health, your sanity, your energy and your gift. Trust me, more boundaries doesn't mean all your clients will go away, just the takers.
Trust your Own Guardianship.
There is No One Right Way
Sometimes tarot practitioners ask me, “How did YOU do it?” Well… the thing is, each tarot practitioner can give only examples, guidelines, and best practices. Your journey is your own, this building of a tarot business is a deeply spiritual practice. What I have learned is, that whatever personality strengths I have, whatever psychological hang-ups I have will all show up, loud and bright in my business style, approach, vision, and operations. I truly believe that drilling down to our core person hood and amplifying it, is what having a practice does. You will be in a house of mirrors, all reflecting back upon you, the truth of you. To own a business is to learn how to manage this Selfhood of yours.
Because your business identity is unique, there is no one right way to build it. Do not confuse best practices (which you can learn) with business identity. Do not a lemming be; otherwise you will find yourself gasping as you swing from one thing to another. There are so many bright and shiny things that come to the market for business owners, but the first question you must ask is, "Is this...me?" Watch the people you admire, take up pieces and see if they fit, it they feel right, if they are you. But what you offer is limitless and priceless, do not get too hung up on how other people do things, fads come and go. Be you. Just start already.
Have a High Risk Tolerance
Piggybacking on the last point, you are going to have to figure things out for yourself. You are going to try things and they won’t work. You are going to abandon things. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to hold on too long to things that don't work. You are going to appear foolish and naive, You are going to burn bridges that you will regret. You are going to question yourself, and this, and are you crazy? Good news!This means you are an entrepreneur! Welcome to the tea party, you mad hatter!
The point is, is that you need to take risks, be okay with risks, you will have to tweak and discover, strive, and fail before your handmade business is humming along. If you are afraid of failure or even taking a risk, then you will limit your practice and yourself. If you wait until it's perfect to launch, you will never launch. Remember, growth is outside the comfort zone and you will learn as much from your failures as you will from your success (actually, more.)
The great thing about owning your own business is that , guess what? no one can fire you! Encouraging mistakes runs anathema to how we are trained as employees, working in organizations we are taught to hide mistakes, we get punished for mistakes, but as an entrepreneur you need mistakes, they will make you grow. Watch for the Saboteur, he is usually very loud and insistent when we are about to risk. Perfectionism and shame are particularly good weapons that the saboteur uses to control you, watch for them.
Trust the Leap
You Only Need to Know the First Two Steps
One of the nastiest tricks of our inner Saboteur is to convince us that we need to know all 50 steps, all parts of the how-to, to begin. But that is not true. All you need to know are the first two steps, the rest will be revealed in turn. In fact, its better if you don’t know all 50 steps because that knowing will actually limit your decision tree; you will cling to the plan, so busy looking at your map that you are not seeing what is actually surrounding you. You need to learn to feel your way, this is imperative. Get used to not having a map but making it as you go along, if this makes you anxious, that is your saboteur. Learning to feel your way makes you flexible, lets you learn how to trust your intuition, allows you to cultivate the present focus you need to make each step well thought out.
It’s kind of like that friend who just broke up with her boyfriend and now wants you to read tarot on her future husband. You can tell from the cards (who are not answering her question anyway) that the NOW moment, so ambiguously precious is what she needs right now. That the liminal point of not knowing means our unconscious selves are doing the number crunching right now. If you told your friend about her future husband, that only serves to feed the ego and she will be looking for him instead of doing the heavy spiritual work of the now. Same for you and your business; you really do know, you know. Just not the awake part of you.
Again, trust your selves
Comparison is a Thief, but Collaboration is a Joy
Finally, as you begin to become successful, you will start to compare yourself to other practitioners. Oh wow, look how many followers she has. Look at how nice his website is, (jeez I suck). KNOCK IT OFF. Again, you will do this your way, not their way. Do not peek onto any other reader’s stuff if you know your saboteur will use it as ammo. Rather, engage in your guide, reach out to other readers who make you feel something good, and work with them, partner with them. Create and be part of tarot communities that support you.
Though, be diligent, too. As you become successful you will begin attracting bottom feeders. People who want what you have, who will copy what you make, who want you to teach them, mentor them, and they will use you up and spit you out. Be very discerning about who gets your light and your attention. Again, refer to loving boundaries. Say no to the sudden friends who want to pick your brains over lunch or lurking at your edges, you know sneaky when you feel it.
Trust your Gut.
Thank you again for reading my little listicle here and thanks for stopping by!
If you liked what you read, you can always subscribe to my blog, and email me with any questions and yes, I do mentor tarot practitioners. Here's to the rising tide, and the wonderful Spirit of Tarot that makes it so...
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