It's not crazy to think you can quit your job and be a full-time reader. It does take a lot of preparation, commitment, creativity, and courage. You need to overcome many fears. I was petrified in the beginning, with a thousand worries. What if I stink and I am just deluding myself? What if everyone thinks I'm a crackpot, a fortuneteller, a snake oil salesman? How the heck will I pay the rent? The only remedy I found to allay these fears was direct and consistent action. Every day I did research in the library, did an exercise in a workbook, made a phone call, or went to seminars until I built a special client base that led me to an abundant and fulfilling full-time tarot practice. You can too. Before you even do your first paid reading, here are twelve actions you can take to lay a solid foundation for your future career.
The Magician: As Popeye says, "I Yam What I Yam."
Be proud of who you are and what you do. As a responsible reader you can help so many people deepen their connection with the divine and get clarity on what they want to do with their life. What a worthwhile profession! Be able to tell people clearly and without a trace of shame what you do and how your work benefits others. Prepare and practice a simple twenty-word purpose statement. A single sentence like, "Hi my name is Kyle, I am a tarot reader; I specialize in helping people identify and pursue their dream jobs," will work wonders. It will open doors to booking readings and give you security when you're sweatin' it.
The Empress: Creating Sanctuary
Make your reading area, no matter how humble, into a sanctuary that inspires confidence and at the same time relaxes clients. Create a private garden of the senses. A client coming in from the insanity of the city may be instantly soothed by your periwinkle blue walls, the hint of lavender from the aroma lamp, the sound of a gurgling fountain, the feel of a comfy chair, and the taste of a cool glass of water. People will be more open and receptive to the reading and want to come back to you just to be in that kind of energy.
The Emperor: Help for the Organizationally Impaired
Planning out the financial and structural details of your own metaphysical business requires courage, hard work, and the acquisition of information on subjects most of us never were taught in school. There are great mentors for you in the form of books! I am ordering you to read The Medicine Woman's Guide to Being in Business For Yourself by Carol Bridges. This book is perfect for creative, spiritual types like me who tend to go white with fear when someone says nasty words like "business plan" and "tax time." Good teachers like Bridges helped me understand that my adding machine was a sacred business tool, as opposed to an object of terror.
The Chariot: Go Pro...Slowly
Ease your way into your new life as a self-employed tarot reader. Becoming a successful reader doesn't happen overnight. It took me years. Do the prep work while you are still employed full-time. Putting in an hour every night when you come home by doing dream collages and brochure design can be almost fun. When you are ready to give your tarot business a go, you may want to switch to a part-time job to keep guaranteed money flowing in and provide you with networking opportunities. Be prepared to bust your butt at psychic fairs and do all sorts of free or low-cost marketing on your days off. I worked for years part-time as a retail clerk, and then as "tarot reader on staff" at two of Chicago's biggest metaphysical bookstores before I went off on my own. Try yoga centers, chiropractic offices—anywhere your ideal clients and ideal community members will be.
Wheel Of Fortune: Be Open to Receiving
Miracles will happen for you in your work if you ask the universe for what you want. Stay open, serve others, and follow your intuition. Read Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization for more info about getting clear on what you want to create in your life. I had a lot of fun envisioning a thriving practice when I worked with Janina Rene?e's book, Tarot Spells, which has specific rituals for starting up a new business.
Many of us know what we want to create, but sabotage it if it starts to come true. If this is you, it is time to address your inability to receive. Catherine Ponder's Dynamic Laws Of Prosperity is an oddly soothing book to read that will quietly rock your world.
Temperance: Give a Lot, Get a Lot
Barter your way to prosperity. Trades are great in the beginning when you are shy and still insecure about charging. I started with haircuts and bodywork and then focused on services that helped my business grow. (You must claim barters on your tax return.) I bartered for success coaching, typesetting, business card art, office furniture, office painting, and even accounting. Yep, accountants want readings too. A lot of those seeming conservative-types are closet tarot-philes. Who the heck do you think keeps those 900 lines in business?
The Devil: Take the Fork Out of Your Forehead
Identify your fears and blocks about being a reader so you can overcome them. I had to let go of the idea that people would think I was stupid because I was a tarot reader and not a lawyer. For a year, I carried my tarot cards in a briefcase when I went to work at the New Age store because I was still in denial. Go to therapy to work on your beliefs about your worthiness. Do affirmations to diminish the terror. Throw out old junk and clutter to make room for your authentic new life.
The Tower: Mentally Prepare for Major Life Changes
Understand that you are making a huge life shift and that it will shake up the snow globe. Your relationships with everyone will be reevaluated because you are moving on. Self-actualized people will be psyched for you. People that are stuck will project their fears onto you. Hang with secure, positive, excited-to-be-alive types of souls who are not threatened by your courage and willingness to take a risk on yourself.
The Star: Marketing Is Just Another Form of Magic
Work on attractive brochures, business cards, gift certificates, stationery, display, and classified ads. Keep a list of names and addresses to do class announcements, holiday cards, and thank-you notes. Write articles, join organizations, donate readings to charity auctions, go to tarot conferences, make a web page. Run, don't walk, to go buy Cherie Sohen Moe's Business Mastery and learn how to successfully market yourself to your ideal future clientele.
The Sun: Show Your Passion
Clients want a passionate practitioner. If you incorporate your individual creativity and your other passions into your tarot practice you will triple your chances of success. If you are a mad gardener or herbalist bring it into your work! You might use cards from Michael Tierra's Herb Deck; show a client how to design a healing, abundance, or meditation garden with feng shui; or take a class of people on a nature walk where you share the sacred history of plants and herbs. Don't stay safe and run with the pack—make up your own career and use the cards as a springboard to sharing the divinely inspired you with the rest of the world.
Judgment: Fess Up About Procrastination/Resistance
Be honest with yourself about what you never seem to get around to doing. We can't be good at everything. If it has been three years now since you began working on your brochure and you get sick every time
The World: Find Your People
You are not alone: you are part of a big, thriving community of like-minded individuals who need what you have to offer. Get involved and inspired. Lastly, mentor, connect, and refer people to other readers. There is room enough for everyone.
From Llewellyn's 2001 Tarot Calendar. For more Llewellyn tarot books and decks, click here.