Part II to my three part series (find part one here) I continue to dish on what I think are some of the greatest factors of success as an independent tarot practitioner.
As you might have guessed, success is mostly an inside game. I found self employment to be one of the biggest head games I have ever encountered. We truly are only in competition with ourselves, and the better able we are able to manage our mind, the more successful we can be. Below, are the next five points for your consideration, also stay tuned for the third in this series coming later!
Lack of consistency is an inner saboteur tactic. Keep the same reading hours, commit to x number a week. Commit to office hours for your business. Be available in the same ways and with the same platforms. Make your communication consistent, your style consistent. I know, yawn, everyone wants ‘the new thing’ right? Well, people also yearn for islands–places where they know what to expect, and that you will be there for them when they need you. This is an unconditional element to a successful tarot practice. If you find yourself slipping, there is a reason; be a professional and don’t avoid it, look at what’s going on and get a grip on your process. Since you no longer have a boss, or coworkers, or annual reviews to externally motivate you, you will have to figure out ways to motivate yourself. Since our motivation is not held in another person's authority, it needs to be held within a plan or process. Watching for backslide is critical. Kind of like starting a new diet program or work out regime, it is easy to fall back into old behaviors one small thing at a time. Guard against that by being consistent.
Trust Your Process.
Your Real World Support Determines Much
Your tribe is a big deal. The Mom who can watch the kids twice a week so you can do readings, the partner who can carry your health insurance while you shift your career, the boyfriend who believes in you so much that looking at him makes you believe that you can do it, too. You need these people, you need support from the people who love you. But also, some people who love you very much will also not want you to succeed, and they will sabotage your efforts. This is an important distinction to make, someone's level of love for you does not equate to how much they will be able to support you. Make no mistake, as you begin to chase your calling the people in your life will organize themselves into two camps: the supporters, and the deniers.
See, the thing is, when we start to chase our calling we may unconsciously trigger the inner saboteur within the people in our lives. Their inner Saboteur does not want you to succeed because your success will remind them that they had a calling they gave up on. They believed walking away was right, good, and necessary. They have talked themselves into accepting the fact that they didn’t need to follow their dream (and they don’t have to.) But when you begin pulling away; they get scared. What if you change, what if you challenge them, what if they have to look in the mirror and question what they see? That is terrifying. These deniers can love you so much, but what you are attempting is so fearful they will withdraw their support.
Conversely, people in your circle with whom you have had limited contact, or do not know very well at all will all of the sudden rally to lift you up. Find these people. Bring them close to you, take their help. The funny thing is, is that relationship does not always determine support. Move quickly to understand who is in this camp and bring them closer to you.
I have seen more than one very promising reader never make it because someone in her circle made her life a living hell. Figure out who will help, who cannot, and make plans accordingly, do not ignore this. Ignoring this means a lot of heartache later on.
Trust the Tribe that Cheers you On.
As you begin your tarot practice, be realistic about what you can achieve. Expect for a turnaround of 2-5 years to build a client base–provided you are very good, provided that you work very hard, provided you treat your clients well. Expecting to go full time and replacing a salary within 6 months to a year is not realistic in most cases. Just because you want and hope for that to happen does not mean that that is the industry standard. Ask tarot practitioners what and how and for how long it took them. Again remember, you are in it for the long haul. Run the numbers, create financial goals and milestones to celebrate. Again, if you are having dreams of being the tarot reader of the rich and famous and you live in Anchorage Alaska with no plans to move– that’s your Saboteur talking, he likes to make grandiose dreams that are impossible for you to fulfill. What you can create by dint of effort and time, will be so beautiful on its own. Give yourself time, and give yourself goals that are attainable so that you keep winning.
Trust in Building Realistically
Be Prepared to Work Extremely Hard
If you want a tarot gig where you work 20 hours a week then owning a small business is not for you. Launching and building a small business is extremely hard work. I laugh at the times where I complained about overwork when I was in a traditional 40 hour work week. There is so much to do when building your business and client base, I don’t think I saw my husband much my first two years of launching, and I lost friends because I shut down my social life to make it happen. Was it worth it? Yes. Oh Gods, yes. I cannot believe that I get to read tarot, be my own boss, call my own shots for a living–sometimes I have to pinch myself! I could never go back to being an employee. No more meetings, no more bosses, no more office politics, no more pantyhose! But, most importantly, reading tarot is endemic to who I am, it is me at my best. It is my calling, and in order to give birth to my calling, the labor was worth it. It has to be worth it to you. It will be hard, and also amazing, I promise.
Your saboteur doesn’t want to work hard. If you ever get that weird, 'but I am afraid of being overwhelmed feeling' that is your saboteur. Your saboteur creates imaginary futures to freak out about. It wants to keep you small, but launching a business is like launching a rocket ship, you need massive push to escape the velocity of the life laid out for you. You need heat and light. You need to push because when you do, you get the stars, the stars that were lined up for you the moment you were born. See, your inner guide knows this, which is why you are reading my blog post, your guide brought you here to remind you.
Trust Your Strength.
But, Everyone Has Their Limits
This was a hard lesson for me. I ignored my limits until I became very sick. I pushed and pushed until my body began to break down. I got tennis elbow from shuffling the cards so much. I got sciatica hunched over my laptop for hours and hours at 3 am. I got a 4 month migraine because I refused to give myself time off. The last one was the hardest thing I have ever lived through. I was scared of stopping because I feared becoming irrelevant, forgotten, unimportant–what fears of the ego. What a tough but necessary lesson. Real relationships will wait, but an audience of followers will move into the next bright thing. Which do you want, relationships or 'followers'?
Because I am a stubborn woman, it took a near physical breakdown for me to totally realign my business in a way that was healthier for me. I realized I could not be all things to all people, I cannot do it all. I learned to say no more. I learned to reorganize my business to support me better. I was so fearful of losing the momentum I built, but, even with the new supports in place, my business continues to climb.
The things that were ego driven, fell away. Less splashing near the surface of the water, but lots of movement underneath. This particular lesson goes out to my A Personality people, you know who you are! Please, respect your limits. Rest, take a day off. Take a vacation, don’t answer your email after 9pm. Teach people in how to best reach you, take good care of yourself, we need you around. The ones who are worth it, will respect you. Otherwise, you just have an audience, and gawkers don’t pay the bills.
Trust What You Build.
Did that resonate, sugar plum? If so, there is more where that came from! Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I drop part III. 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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M.S. in Organizational Psychology and Leadership