business basics

  • People Who Con Tarot Readers – Avoid Being Scammed

    The realization just dawned on me that no one talks about or covers the people who rip off or con tarot readers and psychics. It is a HUGE problem in our community, so much so, in fact, that many of us can’t work with PayPal or other payment collectors. These companies might think there is too much financial risk in working with psychics and tarot readers, not only because of the fakers and scam readers out there but also because of the issues caused by refund seekers and people who demand refunds for services already rendered.

    And—perhaps because most of us are solitary practitioners who work alone most of the time or because of privacy and confidentiality restraints—we aren’t really talking to each other about the people who rip us off.

    I used to work for a psychic hotline doing administration, quality assurance, customer service, and pretty much all of the background stuff. I saw the seedy people on both sides of the business—both “psychic readers” who were anything but psychic, and also the con artist clients who would rack up hundreds—even thousands—of dollars worth of readings and then request a refund for the whole amount, even after leaving 5-star ratings and communicating about how happy the person was with their readings. I’ve even heard of PayPal reimbursing hundreds of dollars to clients who decided that they “weren’t happy with a reading” and requested a refund, again, after praising the reader. You never see those stories on the news, only the stories of the sham psychics who con hopeful lost souls out of their life’s savings.

    The refund requesters aren’t the only people who rip tarot readers and psychics off. There are some people who will call a psychic or initiate a chat, using the site’s free minute promotion—which is totally fine. Some of those people, though, try to dupe the hotline, creating multiple accounts to get more free minutes. They even try to contact the SAME expert to continue the reading where it left off. Many times, the hotlines don’t really even do anything to keep these people from coming back, especially if one of their profiles has spent money on the site.

    Then there are those people who ask for an IOU for the reading they desperately need right now but don’t really have the money to pay for. Those IOUs oftentimes sit for weeks, either until the person needs another reading, or the reader just gives up on collecting funds and chucks the amount of time into the “business loss” tax pile (don’t forget to claim those as time lost from services). Oftentimes, these clients start out as OK clients, but then overspend or get addicted to readings (make sure you watch out for this) and then, like those who rack up thousands on a credit card just to file bankruptcy, they turn their backs on the money they owe.

     

    When you are a part of the reading and healing communities on Facebook, it’s common to see the same people regularly requesting free readings. They go from one group to the next, shopping for freebies and hoping to hook someone, anyone, into doing a reading for them. There are also those who play a more subtle game, posting a reading they’ve pulled for themselves—without providing any of their own insights or interpretations—expecting the tarot readers in a group to kindly interpret the meanings of the cards for them, free of charge, of course.

    Before I learned my lesson (or as the grounds for the lesson itself), I got conned by a woman who called me requesting a live reading. She found my profile and phone number at Best Psychic Directory. I told her my rates and she said, “Oh yes, bill me to this email address after the reading.” We talked for 2 hours. She never paid me. When I mentioned this person to another tarot reader friend, we compared the email address; she said the woman had done the exact same thing to her.

    You know, clients can look up our ratings on the sites we work with or on Yelp!, but we, as readers, aren’t allowed to collect or share data on our clients, even those who are playing games and ripping us off. It isn’t fair, but it is the reality of our work.

    Tarot readers, psychics, and healers have to have solid boundaries in place, or readings booked for 30 minutes will extend into 90-minute sessions—but for the 30-minute price, naturally! Even if you remind these people of the time—of course, of course—they want to continue the conversation and make it awkward, if not impossible, to end the session. Then they send emails or chat requests to discuss “just a point”, and get us involved in yet another discussion, requesting more cards be pulled for them.

    Honestly, these things happen to professional tarot readers all of the time.

    I get requests in my email and Facebook inbox for readings. When I send a response that includes my prices and a link to my calendar, I either get ghosted or chewed out for being such an awful person who won’t share her gift for free! People expect that I will drop everything to honor their request for a free reading, nevermind that I might be doing homework with my son, doing my accounting, or just plain chilling out. These people expect something for nothing, and NOW, plain and simple.

    My time is just as valuable as any other person’s time is. And really, requesting a refund for a reading that was given, that you’ve given excellent feedback about—or one that mentions that you have some work to do in your life that you don’t want to face—taking my time and then requesting a refund is stealing from me.

    So, how does a professional tarot reader, healer, or psychic guard against being ripped off by one of these con artist “clients”?

    1) Require an appointment. This is one way to eliminate spending time on a call or chat that doesn’t pay—and it also sets up good boundaries for potential clients to honor your time. If you have the time and desire to cater to your client at the moment, that’s great! But make sure you get paid before you start the session.

    2) Collect payment in advance. (Internet only) I don’t get my cards out for a spur of the moment telephone or chat client until that person has paid the bill in full unless it is from a trusted client—unfortunately, as I mentioned, I learned this the hard way. You can send an invoice instantly through PayPal, and Facebook even allows you to bill via PayPal or bank transfer (in the US). The client can hold the line while payment is processing. In person clients, however, can pay at the end of a session.

    3) One person, one freebie from you. It might be hard, but you might want to keep a running list of the people you’ve done free readings for. Aside from a birthday reading special, a prize, or a bonus, you shouldn’t give one person multiple free readings (unless you want that person to expect free readings in the future).

    4) Having a strict “no refunds” policy in place. This is one that I’m not fully sold on, because people will play “the customer is always right” or go around you, right to a credit card company if they really want to get a refund.

    Ultimately, it seems like there are more protections in place for clients than there are for service providers, like tarot readers, which is a shame. Most of us come to the table with a HUGE dose of empathy and skill, keeping the client’s highest good in mind. Most of us are also extremely generous and have given tons of free readings while we were working on honing our crafts and growing our businesses. Of course, a reading will be off from time to time, and I am one who totally ends a session right then and there if the energy is off, and I do refund the cost in those cases (we can tell in the first 5 minutes).

    As a professional tarot reader, you will have to keep firm boundaries in place about your time and payment structure. Hopefully, you can use some of the recommendations I’ve made to avoid getting ripped off or conned by a client. While we read plenty of articles about psychics and tarot readers who take advantage of their clients, we never hear about the other side of this, and it’s time that we tarot readers and healers start talking about this topic so that we can all avoid being taken advantage of in the future.

    Are you a professional tarot reader? Have you had to deal with being ripped off by a client? What did you do about it?

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  • 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Fears – A Guest Post by James Bulls

    What questions do some Tarot Readers fear when looking into themselves and their tarot practice?

    JamesJames Bulls, from Left Hand Tarot, shared a pretty amazing post with us the other day on the Tarotholics Group on Facebook. I asked if I could share his fabulous wisdom, as it totally encouraged me to take a look at who I am as a reader. Others might not want to be so honest with themselves… 😉

    So, without further adieu… some questions for all the Tarot Readers out there to ponder… if they dare! In the words of James…

    I’m not an ancient Greek, but I happen to think that there’s a lot of value in the Delphic maxim, “Know thyself.” The ways and reasons you can approach this maxim are countless, but since I’m a Tarot reader talking about Tarot, I’m going to talk about how important it is for you as a Tarot reader to know and understand your reading style, and how important it is for you as a client to know and understand your Tarot reader. Knowing yourself as a Tarot reader is important because it will show you what you really want to be doing and where you strengths lay, but being a client who knows your Tarot reader is also important because it’s going to save you a lot of frustration and even more money spent on readings you didn’t really enjoy.

    So with that in mind, I propose a list of 10 questions which I believe every Tarot reader should answer for him or herself, or which every client is welcome to ask their Tarot readers. These questions are designed to threaten shallow egos and to reveal things about either yourself or your reader that are poorly understood. If, in the process of asking these questions to yourself, you find yourself feeling anxious and uncertain, then congratulations! You just found a blind spot you didn’t know existed. Or, if you’re asking your reader these questions and he or she either refuses to answer, or the answers offered don’t inspire confidence, then you should carefully reconsider your reasons for working with this reader. All of which is to say, the length of the answer isn’t what’s important here, only that the person answering the questions can do so clearly and confidently. Are you ready to begin? Let’s get started.

    #1) How did you become a Tarot reader? Did you have a teacher, or did you teach yourself?
    This is a harmless enough question to get us started. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a teacher who initiated you into Tarot, and, of course, there’s nothing wrong with being your own teacher. I mean, ultimately, all learning is self-guided so I think it’s fair to say that all Tarot readers are self-taught, but that’s sort of an argument for another day. The point is, some people care deeply about their Tarot lineage, and others don’t. For the people who do, their egos are often wrapped tightly into the identity and prestige of their teacher, and while there’s nothing wrong with being proud of one’s accomplishments, the way a reader talks about his or her initiation into Tarot can reveal a lot about his or her personality, but more importantly will reveal the reader’s level of confidence in his or her overall abilities and whether he or she is comfortable owning his or her Tarot lineage – no matter where it came from.

    #2) Do you really have psychic abilities?
    This question is something of an ego trap! Does your Tarot reader claim to have inborn or developed paranormal abilities? And if so, how big a deal does your reader make out of those abilities? If your Tarot reader doesn’t have psychic abilities, does he or she feel the need to apologize? This question isn’t intended to be a criticism of people who claim these abilities, nor is it intended to be a criticism of those who don’t. The point is, can your Tarot reader express confidence in him or herself as a reader without feeling the need to exaggerate or apologize? The answer itself isn’t strictly important – instead, look to see if the reader can answer the question confidently and securely.

     

    Are you psychic-

     

    #3) Do you get the answer from your cards or from your head?
    As an extension of the previous question, Where does the message come from? Is your Tarot reader getting the message entirely from the cards with a non-intuitive reading style which uses complex occult interpretations of the symbols on the cards? Or is the reader an intuitive who uses the cards as inspiration or a tool to direct their third eye? As with all these questions, the answer itself isn’t really important and this because there are lots of readers who fall everywhere on the spectrum of this answer and still do a great job. The answer itself is less important than whether the respondent can provide an answer confidently and without feeling the need to apologize or brag. If your reader feels the need to diminish others in order to promote him or herself, or can’t answer without feeling the need to apologize, then you should reconsider hiring this reader. If you’re the reader answering this question and you’re stumbling, then this is an area for self-improvement.

    #4) Are your predictions 100% accurate?
    Here’s a dirty question: does the Tarot reader say that his or her readings are 100% accurate? Ask this question and watch the respondent squirm! This is a great question for revealing the quality of the respondent’s character, but is also a great question for eliciting answers to the implied bigger question: “How does it all work?” Believe it or not, but some Tarot readers haven’t really thought about this. The point of this question isn’t really to measure the reader’s claimed accuracy, but to see how he or she responds. Is the reader defensive? Angry? Apologetic? Bashful? Anxious? Uncertain? If your reader’s response makes you feel uncomfortable, chances are good that he or she is either hiding something or has honestly never considered the question.

    won'tpredict#5) Is there anything you won’t predict?
    For professional readers who maintain clear business policies, this question may already be answered, but this is a very serious question that readers should ask themselves and clients should ask their readers if only because it’s going to save a lot of headache and frustration later. Is there anything your reader won’t predict? If you want to know about your physical or mental health, an investment, a legal decision, or some dark venture better left unspoken, then you’d better be sure your reader is game before your put your money on the table because in most jurisdictions around the world it’s absolutely illegal for a Tarot reader to give advice best handled by physicians, bankers, and attorneys. And of course, it’s always illegal for a Tarot reader to advise you how to commit a crime or to harm yourself or somebody else. This is an example of the most overt reasons why a reader wouldn’t answer some questions, but there are other kinds of questions such as past or future lives, karmic debt, psychic surveillance of another person, how to break up a relationship, etc. that some readers won’t answer. Get the answer to this question before you ask for answers to other questions. And if you’re a reader, this is a really important question to answer because it will help you define who you are as a professional and what kind of clients you’re willing to accept.

    #6) Is there anything you can’t predict?
    Following on the previous question: is there anything your reader is unable to predict? I don’t mean is there anything your reader won’t predict because he or she has specified that the subject is off-limits, I mean is there anything that your reader is unable to predict because the desired answers aren’t possible with his or her method of divination? This question is intended to elicit “deep thinks” that he or she honestly may never have thought to ask before. As with the previous question on this list, the answer itself is less important than how the reader offers the answer. Watch or listen closely and other telling answers will reveal themselves.

    #7) Are you a Tarot specialist, or do you use other tools?
    This isn’t a trick question or even a dirty question, it’s just a good general-purpose question to ask anybody whom you’re going to trust to divine your future if only because it’s going to help you understand how the reader arrived at the answer you requested. It doesn’t matter if your reader uses only Tarot, or if your reader also uses bones, mediumship, tea leaves, oracle cards, angel communication, astrology, or numerology. None of that is important. What is important is that your reader can say how he or she is providing the message you paid to hear and can do so without apologizing for the way that he or she gets it. In this answer, an excess of confidence isn’t as concerning as a lack of confidence; after all, bad artists blame their tools – good artists blame themselves. Is this true for your Tarot reader?

    #8) Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?
    For some readers, a Tarot deck is just colored paper. And for some readers, their Tarot deck is akin to a Holy Bible. I don’t mean that they’re picky about who touches their deck – and that’s an entirely different discussion! – I mean the degree of religious fervor invested in their Tarot practice. For some people, Tarot is tightly wrapped up in their spiritual or religious beliefs, and they might even call themselves priests or priestesses or play the role of sacred confessor. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but if your religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack of the same) conflict with a reader’s tightly held religious or spiritual beliefs, then you’re going to have a clash of personalities and chances are excellent that the reader isn’t going to be able to find what you’re looking for. For example, a highly religious Tarot reader would probably offended by an uninspired question, just as a irreligious reader would be confused why you asked for a past-life reading to investigate karmic debt and how this impacts your cycle of reincarnation. So, save yourself and the reader a lot of trouble and find out if you’re talking to a priest or a fortune-teller.

    #9) Am I on my own, or do you give advice?
    This question is largely a matter of personal preference and how much you want your reader to be involved in the reason you requested his or her services. Some readers are lookers – they’ll lay down cards and show you what they say, and then leave it entirely in your hands what to do about it. And then, some readers like to give advice and explain how they believe you can change your fate. There’s nothing wrong with either position, but if you’ve got a complex question and are expecting some help with your problem-solving, then it’s helpful to know in advance if your reader is willing to do that for you.

    charge?#10) Do you read for free, or for a fee?
    There’s nothing wrong with charging a fee for your services, and there’s nothing wrong with working for free. Each reader decides for him or herself what his or her time is worth and how much work (if any) he or she will do pro bono; however, the reasons that people do or don’t charge for their services can be very revealing. A pretentious, overly confident reader is something to take note of, but a reader who feels guilty about asking to be paid for the work he or she does is even more concerning because this means they lack confidence in their trade, and a lack of confidence is often synonymous with a lack of skill.
    If you’ve reached the end of this list, maybe I’ve offended you? And then, maybe I’ve taught you something, too. Whether this is a matter of “know thyself” or “known thy Tarot reader,” follow the answers wherever they may take you because this knowledge about yourself or your reader will open doors you didn’t even know existed.

    What do you think? Did this list force you to explore your views about how your read, or to think about a reading you’ve had before? Feel free to discuss your position in the comments below.

    Blessings to you,
    Sue

    If you’d like, you can read my responses here: 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Except Me Fears

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  • Let Inspiration Drive Action

    Let Inspritation Drvie your2

     

    Perhaps the coffee hit my brain in exactly the right way this morning… It might be the New Moon in Gemini that’s turning some internal tides. I don’t know – and it doesn’t really matter all that much.

    Whatever it was has me rushing to get out my calendar and to get organized so that I can achieve what I truly want to with my life and with my business. I’m in ultra-achiever-mode. I need to harness this energy and use it to ACCOMPLISH MY GOALS!

    You see, it’s so easy for me to get totally sucked into LIVING – which isn’t bad on one hand, but – when I look back and see what I had wanted to achieve and wanted to do this year – well, I feel bad about myself because I haven’t regularly done ANYTHING and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished so much.

    I mean my kids are fed and my house is reasonably tidied and my hubby is all loved up, but I don’t feel like I’ve actually done anything for myself or my business.

    No regular blog posts.
    No regular weekly readings.
    No regular emails going out to my list.
    No regular posts to Instagram or to Facebook.
    No regular visits to the museum.
    No regular workouts.
    No regular time for meditation.

    Despite the fact that I feel like I work ALL. THE. TIME., I’m not getting the results I want. And that feels bad.

    So, I want to get organized – get an action plan into place – get some short-term goals set that will help me build toward the long-term goals I have.

    Here’s what I need to get focused and organized:

    • I need to take the time to focus on what I want – on a monthly basis AND on a weekly and daily basis.
    • I need a calendar to write things + a “to-do” list + a vision board.
    • I need to get that all set up TODAY! (or it certainly feels like I do!)

    You see, I know I don’t need to wait for January to feel like I can “start” planning and strategizing. I can start NOW. I can focus on the 2nd half of 2016, cause that’s what we’re in right now!

    I don’t have to wait for January 1st, 2017 to make a HUGE life change or to plan for success. I can start today. In this moment. NOW!

    I can let those lightning bolts of inspiration drive my actions. Let them lead me from where I am to where I want to be. Whatever. day. they. hit. me.

    Tweet: I can let those lightning bolts of inspiration drive my actions. Let them lead me from where I am to where I want to be. Whatever. day. they. hit. me.

     

    So, today is all about setting my goals for the last half of the year, scheduling things like my workouts and my posts directly in my calendar, getting my computer a bit more organized so that I can save time because it isn’t so laggy – and getting disciplined and organized.

     

    What do you need to

     

    What is it that you are raring to get done in the second half of 2016? How can you set yourself up for feeling successful?

    Feel free to comment with YOUR best advice to get focused, organized, and disciplined.

    Would you like to explore where you are, where you want to be, and how you can get there? Book a Quartz Session with me and we’ll focus on setting you up for success in the second half of 2016! Click here to see the details.

     

     

     

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  • Walking Away Before You Get Started…

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    Yesterday, I spoke with one of my Angel friends. She is three months into building her practice – helping women reconnect with their internal spirit through getting connected with nature. I know her spirit: she wants to empower others, reconnect them with the Earth, and help them gain a new level of happiness and understanding.

    Three months after starting, she’s ready to quit.

    When I asked her how much time she was putting into promoting her business and how she was working to promote it, she balked. “That is all too stressful,” she replied. “I don’t even want to think about all that DOing. It’s too masculine…. I’m just going to take a break from it for a while. Hey, I’ve gotta go…” (That isn’t verbatim – just the gist of the conversation.)

    I see this sooooo often in our field. People rush in with a dream and a mission and a vision that they KNOW will help to change the world (even if it is person-by-person). They are in love with what they do. They get the training, do plenty of  freebies to hone their practices, build a website and put a page on social media… and then they wait.

    When the clients don’t just magically appear, their enthusiasm wanes and they schedule a bunch of posts for their Facebook pages and write a bunch of blog pieces, hoping that someone will see them. When the readers don’t come, they pull back a little more – hoping that doing some internal work will bring the clients and followers in droves.

    When that doesn’t happen, most of them sigh and either learn yet another form of energy healing or massage method to add to their extensive list of qualifications – and then repeat the process all over again. Or they just quit.

    For some reason, many people think that excitement + a website + qualifications + social media profiles + creating (programs, blog posts, freebies) MUST EQUAL success.

    But it just isn’t so.

    You see, there are a couple of things missing from that equation: consistent energy, promotion, reaching out to the community, communication, relationship building – and time.

    Building a successful and fulfilling business organically (not buying leads or followers) requires a lot of patience and some hustle. You’ve gotta be willing to put the required hours into promoting your business – anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour a day, creating new content, building relationships with people (they won’t be jumping to buy your stuff until they get to know you – we’ll talk about that in a minute) – putting yourself out there and putting energy into your business.

    And it takes time. Not a month, not three months – maybe not even a year. There are so many conscious and spiritual business people who pour their hearts and souls into their businesses for years before they find the level of success they were hoping for – and there are those who quit after 2 months.

    Personally, I am in my fifth year now, and things are starting to pick up. My FIFTH!

    I know that there are many “business gurus” out there who will tell you that you can earn $5,000 in your first month if you do X, Y, and Z. I know that there are rags to riches stories tugging at your thought strings, convincing you that everyone out there achieves success in a short amount of time – everyone except for you, that is.

    I want to be the one to gently give you the reality of it. It takes hard work. It takes time. It takes COMMITMENT (think of this as a marriage, not a casual affair).

    Speaking of marriage versus a casual affair, this is the way you have to see attracting clients. People aren’t going to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter and instantly book a reading or session with you. They will follow you for a while, see what you have to say, get to know you a bit better and THEN become a customer. Wooing them will take time – and they won’t jump into a relationship with the first practitioner, instructor, or reader they come across.

    They will watch what you say and how you say it. They’ll get to know you and the way you do things. They will laugh at your jokes (or not), and they will seek to understand how it is you see the world. Most of all, they will want to see if they have that connection with you – that’s why it will take a while for each of your clients to pick YOU, specifically, to serve them. And that “getting to know you” phase can take a while.

    What do you do when people don’t like you? Read here: Getting Unfollowed

    Not only that, but you really, really have to consider how many people actually know who you are! Reaching new clients and followers requires that you put yourself out there and meet new people. You have to find ways of attracting new clients to your website or introducing yourself to new audiences.

    Word of mouth referrals are golden, but you can’t rely solely on them when you are first starting out! When you are first starting out, you will need to stretch a bit to introduce yourself and your work to others. You’ll have to put yourself out there. You’ll have to toot your horn a bit.

    And you will meet some fabulous people in the process. You know, your ideal clients aren’t just anybody – they are the people who you will adore working with – your superfans. It’s likely that you will fall just as in love with them as they are with you. And that is good!

    So, just remember, it will likely take a while.

    Creating the business of your dreams is a marathon, not a sprint. It might take a while to reach the finish line, and your finish line might look much different in your third month than it does in your third year.

    Don’t give up! Keep at it. It might take you outside of your comfort zone, but it will be well worth it!

    Are you ready to throw in the towel on your spiritually based business? Let’s chat! I offer complimentary half-hour sessions to help you identify some easy changes you can make to your site and social media presence in order to attract more clients. You can schedule yours today!


    Book a package with me to get the support, motivation, and advice that will help you feel confident in working to build your dream business! You can find the details by clicking here (Business Mentoring).

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  • Money Mindset – Feng Shui

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    Money Mindset March 9th – Using Feng Shui to attract abundance

    I know some of you were following Kate Northrup’s recent 21 Day Money Love Challenge – and one of the things that she mentioned was working with feng shui to increase the flow of money into your home/life.

    Now, I did a little clean-up of my money corner. It had been cluttered with toys, my plants were in need of some TLC, and I have a map of the US in that corner (I need to put a framed, golden map of Austria there! 😉 )

    I still have some more changes to make to help it be more auspicious, and I would also like to re-do my upstairs money corner to be super attractive to abundance.

    So, for today’s Money Mindset in March assignment: find YOUR home’s money corner and pretty it up! Gold and red are very good for money corners, as are broad-leaved plants and crystals!

    Feel free to post a picture of your money corner here!

    This article tells a little bit about how to find your home’s money corner:

    http://fengshui.about.com/od/wealthcareer/qt/wealtharea.htm

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