Does the thought of reading tarot for a stranger terrify you?

You’ve been reading for a while now.  You’re pretty good.  At last that is what your friends and family tell you.  You’ve got this tarot thing!

You’re developing a buzz amongst your kin.  But then, one day, one of your loved ones declares  “hey, I have a friend who wants to get a reading and I told them how great you are!”


You agree to it and there you are…face to face with a complete stranger.  They are looking at you with anticipation.  Or is that fear?  You can’t tell because you’re scared out of your ever-loving tarot mind.

You don’t know what to expect. What if they hate it? What if you choke?  Or – gasp – what if you are completely wrong? You might even try to get out of it…but you can’t because they are already at the door.

As your mind races, you start getting hot.  Sweat pours down your brow.  (If you’re older like me, you might blame it on a hot flash but it’s not.  It’s sheer terror.)

Ever been in that position?  If you’ve read tarot, I can guarantee you have.  (If not, you will be one day.  That’s a prediction, yo.)

So what’s a nervous first-timer to do when you’re finally sitting before someone who isn’t related to you?



That means deep, belly breathing.  Take that breath down into your belly and let it expand.  As you exhale, gently draw your belly in as if you are bringing your belly button towards your spine and pressing the air out.  Repeat.  (PS this breath does not work well with corsets so you may want to forgo the Ren Faire costumes.  Just sayin’.)

A few rounds of belly breathing will bring you right into the present moment…and into your body.

Hand the deck to the client and let them shuffle.  (If you are doing this over the phone, shuffle the cards and tell the client to take a few nice, deep breaths.)

Now, sync your breath with your client’s.  That means paying attention to how they are breathing.  Link your breath with their breath and then slow it down.  See if they shift their breath.  (You can do this and be subtle.  It doesn’t need to be obvious.)  Once you feel that you’ve made a connection with the breath, start laying out the cards.

Now read ‘em.

Do your very best.  Ask for confirmation if you feel called to do so.  Breathe some more.

Finish the reading.

You did it!  Reading tarot for a stranger isn’t as bad as you thought, right? It all comes down to calming your nerves and breathing is KEY.

Now do it 10,000 more times and it won’t ever be a problem again.  (Yes, I’m grinning but dead serious.)



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

Whether you’re running a Tarot biz or just beginning to read tarot, you need extra-special tools to protect your energy & sanity. My top tips? Right here: How To Read Tarot Under Any Circumstance

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Soul Proprietor – Well meaning business advice

by Theresa Reed on August 24, 2015

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Over the years, I’ve gotten some well meaning advice from business coaches.  Most of the time, it’s been extremely helpful.  Other times, not so much.

For example, the blogger who asked me what my reader demographic was.  I told her it was mostly women ages 18 – 60.  She shook her head…”Nope, that’s too wide.  You need to narrow it down.”  Huh?  But that IS my demographic.  I know my readers and clients well.

And then there is the coach who asked a group of us about our most difficult client.  I mentioned the high maintenance woman who always tries to overextend her stay and get freebies.  Her assignment: fire that client.  I did not follow that advice because although my client can be a pain, she’s a good woman and she’s been with me for many years.  Sure, I have to wrangle her but I learned how to do that over the time we’ve been working together. (I got that advice years ago and my client is still with me – but that coach is long gone.)

Then there is this advice that I hear all the time: you need to double your rates.  While in theory that may be wise, in practice, not so much.  It’s not that I’m afraid to charge more it’s just that I am wise enough to know that I live in a blue-collar city and my rates are already a challenge for some of my locals.  Plus, I have elderly clients who have been with me for over 20 years and it doesn’t feel right to suddenly double my rates. I prefer to raise my rates slowly and incrementally because it FEELS right in my heart and it makes sense for my audience.

I care about my clients, not just making big stacks of cash.

So thanks for that but no thanks.

Other advice that I’ve disregarded: get involved in “list building teleseminars and  joint ventures” (um…most of time these are kinda gross once you see how they operate), create high-end packages that have your clients working with you constantly (I am not into creating dependence), hire someone to manage your emails (I practice extreme client confidentiality so that is a no) and so on.

Notice something?

I trust my gut, know what my clients want and how they operate, and I have policies that feel right for my line of work – which, in some cases, may mean extra work for me (ex: can’t hire a VA for my emails so I am stuck with every single one).  And guess what?  My business runs like a well-oiled machine – and I make plenty of money.

I know my industry inside and out.  That’s what happens when you’ve been at your game a long, long time (25 years!).

Nobody knows my business better than me.

And no one SHOULD.

That same rule applies to you: know your business.  Be present with it.  Do the actual work.  Study your demographic.  Pay close attention to industry trends.  Notice what works with your clients…and what doesn’t.

And before you hire someone to advise you on your business, make sure you do your homework and see if they understand the nature of your work.

There are plenty of people who may “get business” but they may not “get you”.

Scrutinize them carefully.  How long have they been in business (there are a rash of business-to-business coaches that have only been at their own business for a short time – yikes!)?  What do they know about your industry?  Who have they worked with?  How are they running their business and is that the type of model that you want to follow?

When it comes to advice, it’s always smart to listen carefully and to consider your source.  It’s also wise to test that suggestion out and see how it works (stubborn isn’t a good look on anyone).  Then, listen to your audience and your gut.

Because that’s where the real wisdom lies.



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

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