Going Pro: How to Overcome Inner Blocks and Nerves

Tarot PerformanceYou have been studying the Tarot for years, practised on family and friends, who all gave you encouraging feedback, and now you are thinking of going pro – advertising your services and charging for them.

You will meet people, you’ve never met before, and suddenly that is making you feel a little nervous.

Will you do a good job? Will paying clients be happy with your readings?

When on the threshold of turning your hobby into a business, it is normal to feel a little insecure about your abilities; after all, reading tarot cards isn’t an exact science. It depends much on your intuition and how well you connect with your clients.

At times you can feel like a performer, especially when you do corporate events and parties. Indeed, my insurance company files my profession under “performing arts”, so it is no surprise that some Tarot readers can feel stage fright Laughing

Here are some common issues I have come across, and over time have found my personal solutions, most of which involve a simple mind shift and learning my lessons. Perhaps some of them you have experienced, too:

1. At Tarot parties / corporate events, peoples’ reactions to your readings are mixed. Some are happy, others are dismissive, perhaps even ridicule what you do. They then reveal that they are sceptics anyway. Negative reactions can be disheartening.

My experience: Tarot readings for entertainment purposes need to be approached differently from regular Tarot healing work you do with clients, who approach you for guidance.

You need to realise that people at parties and large events want to have fun, they have had a few drinks and expect some good old-fashioned fortune-telling. The last thing they want to do is have a therapy session.

In addition, when you read for many people at an event amidst music, laughter and banter, you can easily get distracted and lose concentration.

Suggestion: Public events get most Tarot Readers nervous, and it is perfectly normal NOT to get it right for every person. They all have different expectations, which you cannot always meet.

Rather than getting flustered by the noise and amount of people, take your time to tune in to each individual; yes, some will see you for the fun, but others will have some serious questions.

Learn to interpret the cards in a light-hearted and witty way to entertain the sceptics and fun-seekers.

Don’t take any negative comments personally. Detach yourself from wanting to give the perfect reading to everyone.

Make sure you drink plenty of water during the gig to stay hydrated, and really try to relax!

If you tend to be a somewhat shy and introvert person, then busy party events may not be ideal for you.

Instead, you could focus more on small house parties with up to six people, who are genuinely interested in Tarot and other esoteric services you can offer, such as Reiki, astrology charts, angel readings, palm reading etc. You may find these type of events more rewarding.

2. When you offer free readings, they flow beautifully. You can easily tune in, and the client is delighted. But when you charge for them, you tend to freeze up and get panicky.

My experience: The moment you charge for readings, it’s easy to feel the pressure of doing a good job for your client and offering value-for-money.

Perhaps you need to shift some beliefs around the value of your work. You may even have fear of failure, worry about negative feedback or you feel like a fraud, questioning your authority to be in a position of guide, healer and illuminator.

Suggestion: Learn to acknowledge that you ARE worthy of getting paid for your services. Offer a full refund on email/phone readings, which have been paid for in advance, if they haven’t gone too well.

Knowing in advance that the client can ask for a refund, can take the pressure off.

Likewise, at face-to-face readings let the clients know they only need to pay you at the end of the session, if they are satisfied with the reading. That takes pressure off you, too.

You could also start by asking for a donation rather than payment; this can be ideal, if you want to build your confidence.

Fellow card readers have had mixed experiences with this approach; people do like to get things for free and are reluctant to pay voluntarily, so don’t take a non-donation as negative!

And when you do get a donation, you know that you’ve done an exceptional job.

Always remember the positive feedback you have received; it is proof that you can do it! Keep going despite your fears, and your confidence will grow.



3. Negative comments and feedback

They do crop up, especially at the beginning, when you lack experience. Make sure you take them on board and learn from them rather than getting depressed.

My experience: Negative feedback most often relates to not being specific in a reading. Perhaps the client wants you to mention names, places or the colour of their granny’s car. But there can be all sorts of reasons.

One complaint I received a long time ago was about the number of cards drawn; the reading was basically fine and I was accurate, but I only drew 3 cards! The client expected 10 cards to be drawn…Duh!

My lesson learned: communicate with the client in advance about their expectations!

On another occasion, my reading really sucked; I just couldn’t connect with the client. It happens. I’m not perfect and have bad hair days like anybody else.

At least I’m not in a job where I could kill someone with my imperfection. My lesson learned: take it with dignity, apologise and move on!

Suggestion: It’s all down to communication. Make sure your client knows in advance about the type of readings you offer. Find out what they expect to gain from the reading.

By all means, let them know how many cards your will draw, and of course how long the reading will take. In time you will learn how to handle a reading and being in charge of it.

But a good reading doesn’t solely depend on you; your client needs to cooperate too, so there is no point in completely blaming yourself or doubt your abilities.

Remember to ask your client early on, if the reading so far makes sense to them, so you know you are on the right track.

If you find yourself in a position, where you can’t seem to get it right, it is best to bow out gracefully and terminate the reading to avoid wasting any more time trying too hard.

Believe me, it only happens very rarely, so don’t get hung about it when it happens.

4. Reader’s Block

The cards are in front of you, the client is waiting expectantly for your reading, but you can’t make sense of the cards at all.

My experience: Once upon a time, four court cards and an Ace in a five-card spread lost me.

On another occasion, I found it hard to focus on the reading due to my own personal circumstances at the time. But I did manage to save both readings.

Suggestion: Don’t panic! Take a deep breath. Focus on one card first rather than trying to see the whole picture immediately.

You can also avoid confusion and overwhelm by turning over just one card at a time rather than revealing the whole spread in one go.

This way you can interpret each card separately, and once all the cards are turned over, you can read the whole spread and story.

Make sure you aren’t preoccupied with your own personal issues that can inhibit your mental clarity.

Take adequate time before the reading to relax and ground yourself. If you have some major things going on in your life, then perhaps it would be best not to do the reading.

Don’t let your client down by trying to do a reading despite feeling physically unwell or emotionally not up to it.

Overall, it is important to learn from your mistakes and not get discouraged by challenges, which I believe keep us humble and our egos in check! But whatever you do, don’t let your inner blocks and nerves hold you back.

What kind of blocks did you have to overcome, and how did you do it? What current challenges are you facing? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below. Love to hear from you!

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Making a Living as a Tarot Reader

making a living as a tarot reader
Temple Newsam House Leeds, February 2013

When I started my Tarot business in 2006, I was terribly naive and ignorant. Nevertheless, in typical Fool-fashion I pursued my dream without knowledge, planning and foresight.

Shortly after my launch, a sudden health scare with a traumatic stint in hospital followed by a scary operation six months later didn’t help either.

But I had to keep going, because I couldn’t afford to wait for some bureaucrat to create a suitable job for me (one that allowed me to work flexible hours AND was intellectually stimulating, too).

So, here I am, seven years later, still alive to tell the tale. It has been a roller coaster ride, and today I am in a position that allows me to make a modest living from doing what I love.

“Modest” is a good description of my income; after ten years of working in a stressful but lucrative corporate world, starting my own business as a Tarot reader meant down-shifting, to put it mildly.

What have I learned along the way?

1. Be authentic

Do it your own way. Don’t compare yourself with others or imitate them; find your own voice and style. Create your own niche. Offer something different and unique, i.e. offer your feelings, opinions and true personality. Find new ways of expressing your knowledge.

2. Be generous

Share your knowledge freely on your website. The more you share for free, the more your content is shared and the number of your readers grows. You will also increase sales of the products you do charge money for, because your readers have learned more about you and what you can offer.

3. Network

Don’t try this all on your own. Connect with like-minded folk, make friends, support others in their ventures, and you will be supported in return. I have noticed a few people online, who didn’t make it, because they failed to maintain a support network that reached well beyond the limited Tarot community. Spread your wings. Collaborate. Don’t ignore people, who support you.

4. There is no competition

I don’t see my fellow Tarot readers as competitors. Just like lawyers, accountants, hairdressers and so forth, there is plenty of opportunities for all of us. We are all unique, offering different approaches and services, and clients should have a healthy choice when they are looking for Tarot guidance or teaching.

I don’t hesitate to recommend fellow Tarot readers, whose work I admire and respect. It adds to my reputation, and I admit that I learn from them, too! Follow me on Twitter and join my Facebook page to see who I adore and recommend.



5. Evolve

I started off with a website created in MS Publisher and now run four websites/blogs using WordPress and Blogger. I began with Tarot and now incorporate astrology, spirituality, positive and conscious living, self-development… the whole shebang.

I’ve created eCourses and eBooks, and I will be creating more. It’s important not to stand still but to grow and develop your business. Learn from your mistakes and ditch what doesn’t work for you, so you can concentrate on implementing new ideas that do.

6. Be honest

Don’t hype; don’t make promises. A Tarot reading isn’t a miracle cure or solves a problem from one minute to the next. Learning Tarot takes perseverance and commitment. Clients can have unrealistic expectations; make sure you don’t feed them with exaggerated claims.

7. Get help

Don’t wait too long for professional business coaching if you get stuck. It can save your business and is worth the money. Coaching has helped me double my income.

No, I’m not earning a six-figure sum, but paying my monthly bills has become a little more comfortable. And I also have a clear vision about how I can develop my business further.

8. Declutter

Applying the Zen philosophy to your business (and indeed life!) can accelerate your creativity, productivity and efficiency. I used to have over 200 emails in my inbox (urgh!), which I have now cut down to 10 (ideally should be ZERO at the end of the day).

My workspace is clutter-free, and important paperwork filed rather than floating around randomly. Keep your mind clutter-free by making notes of your ideas and to-dos; this way you don’t try so hard to remember the important bits. I just love my A4 task notebook! Remember, your surroundings can reflect your state of mind.

9. Take time out

When you are enthusiastic about your business and love what you do, it’s easy to work every day for many hours including the weekend. After all, it often doesn’t feel like work at all, but it is important to switch off on a regular basis. Set times for breaks and stick to them. This will help you find new inspiration and recharge your batteries too. After all, you don’t want to run out of steam or suffer burn-out.

10. Limit your time on the internet

If you are marketing your business online, then you can take advantage of automated services, which help you spend your time on the internet more efficiently. I use hootsuite.com to schedule my social media marketing 24/7.

It has significantly reduced my time spent on repetitive tasks, and it generated new business too, because I could run my marketing campaigns at times when I was actually asleep.

I don’t hang out on Facebook either; only occasional updates. I prefer to be busy creating, research new ideas and just post status updates I feel are really important.

A few months ago I started my new website Tarot for Business, on which I share knowledge and experience about how to combine Tarot and spirituality with creating a fulfilling working life.

In the meantime, my journey is still continuing and evolving, and I’d love to hear about yours.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Why I no longer rephrase my Clients’ Questions

Why I no longer rephrase my clients' questionsAs a professional Tarot Reader I have been asked hundreds of questions, such as “Is my husband cheating on me?”, “Will I ever find love again?“, “Am I pregnant?”, “When will I get a new job?“, “Does he love me?“, ” and so forth…

At first glance it’s easy to roll your eyes at some of the questions, but I have learned over the years to take these questions seriously and treat them with respect; after all they reflect my client’s deepest concern/worry/fear/mystery, and it is the main purpose of my work to offer the best and clearest answer I can possibly give.

When I started learning Tarot many years ago, I was taught to ask the “right” questions, and there is no doubt that they do invite insightful and enlightening readings in return.

However, I cannot assume that my clients have had a crash course in tarot and question phrasing before they contact me for a reading.

Now it no longer feels right for me to make changes to questions, dilute them, make them fit or even make them more vague for the following reasons:



  • Rephrasing a question is judgemental. It implies the client is judged as being stupid, silly, careless, dim, ridiculous…etc. Surely he/she could have thought of a more “empowering” or “intelligent” question to ask? Tut tuut…
  • Rephrasing a question is condescending and suggests a hint of arrogance. Tarot Readers are NOT superior to their clients, and they shouldn’t give that impression by lecturing them about better choice of words.
  • Rephrasing a question is rude. Bear in mind that some clients will feel offended. Do your best to avoid that.
  • Rephrasing a question can knock a client’s confidence. They have taken the courage to ask you something that plays on their mind, troubles them, and all they get in return is some “friendly advice” on how to ask the right question. Ouch.

Can you remember your school days, when your teacher said “Don’t be afraid to ask. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a stupid question. Just ask.” You were encouraged to open up without worrying about being ridiculed, and this is my philosophy when it comes to tarot questions my clients ask me.

But…

what if you feel uncomfortable answering certain questions?

It’s perfectly okay to say no, and I’m perfectly fine with admitting that my abilities are limited: I’m not a qualified doctor, lawyer or financial adviser, and I cannot connect with dead people.

If I feel uncomfortable with a question, I am honest and let the client know I cannot answer it. It’s the extreme ones like “pregnancy”, which I have to decline, but thankfully they come up very rarely.

My experience over the years has also taught me that many questions I would have dismissed immediately in the past were actually quite interesting on second glance and lent themselves to deeper exploration, just like the famous “Will I ever find love again?

It is always worthwhile giving any question careful consideration and regard it as an inspirational challenge to answer it with humility, grace and integrity for the highest good of the person, who is asking. So much better than slapping the client in the face with a rephrase.

Warmest Wishes,

Christiane

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