Years ago, a peer lifted the web copy directly from my tarot business consulting page. She shifted a few words around but there was no hiding it. It was my web copy, almost line for line, complete with my slang.
When I confronted her, she said it was “standard business practice” to “model your business after a successful business.”
Spoken like someone who came from a corporate background (she did) and who didn’t seem to understand that soul-based businesses don’t quite work that way. In fact, we may run our businesses like businesses but we aren’t about that cold vibe that puts profits over people.
Soul based entrepreneurs value people over numbers, always.
While there are some standard business practices that every business SHOULD adhere to (pay your taxes, keep good records, file appropriate legal papers, etc.) or try, there are some that you might want to ignore.
Don’t be a corporate tarot raider like my example above. Admire your colleague’s work and get inspired but don’t rip them off. Your business should be a reflection of you and your work, not a cheap imitation of someone else’s.
All pitch and no witch is a weak business model. That’s because bombarding people with constant sales pitches turns people off. If your only concern is “getting the sale” with as little human contact as possible, you’re missing the point – and in the wrong business. Heart-based businesses that focus on service and care feel good for both the customer and the business owner. Instead of pushy sales techniques, try focusing on making genuine connections. It’s magic. (I’ll be writing more about this in a future post, magic mamas.)
Which means: relationship building instead of list building. Standard business practice says that your goal should be to have some big fat list because the “gold is in the list.” While having a big list sounds grand, if you’re just collecting names to bombard people with constant sales pitches, you’re moving in the wrong direction. Instead, follow the lead of someone like Racheal Cook, who offers something helpful and then creates community around it. Her Fired Up and Focused series is an excellent example of how to build strong relationships with clients.
That same relationship building needs to move to your peers too.
For example, when it comes to networking, don’t approach it like some sleazy salesman at a single’s club. If you’ve ever been to a networking event or some other gathering, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You can spot those types a mile away – the thirsty ones who aren’t there to get to know anyone unless they benefit from it. Just ew. While networking can be great for your business, there is nothing worse than a disingenuous reach. You can avoid that by trying this novel approach: work on creating genuine friendships with your peers. Ta da! Remember: your industry is not a meat market.
Drop the corporate espionage. I remember hearing some marketing guru promote the idea of “spying on your competition.” Imagine the time and energy wasted obsessing over what a colleague might be doing. Not to mention, that vibe feels more like a dog fight. Let’s do better than that. Instead of spying, why not reach out and say hello?
Which leads me to: throw aid, not shade. I know of one tarot reader who calls up her colleague’s clients directly to offer them a deal and talk smack about the other reader. Instead of building her biz through talent and merit, she’s trying to drum up business by tearing someone down. Who does something like this? Someone who’s operating from a place of scarcity and envy. I’ve seen big corporations employ this strategy. Like the insurance agent who dissed her competitors with such venom that she instantly lost my business. It’s gross. It’s even sadder coming from a small spiritual business. Let’s be bigger than that. Be friendly and helpful to your peers, not cutthroat.
Be approachable. It’s nearly impossible to get connected to the people in charge in those big corporations. I’ve seen this start to filter down to smaller businesses too. A lot of people employ “virtual assistants” to handle all the company communication these days. While I understand the wisdom behind that (hey, we’re busy), I tend to shy away from businesses that pass me through an assistant. Why? It’s because it feels like a disconnect. A little effort to make a genuine, heart-felt connection goes a long way.
Lastly, you can be a pro without sounding stiff. I’ve seen fellow mystical peers put up websites that are slick and corporate-sounding. Then I meet them in person and it’s so NOT them. Don’t assume you have to put on airs in order to find clients. Just be you. I’m a hip hop loving cookie-making tiny plastic animal loving cat fanatic. I don’t hide any of that and I’m doing just fine.
What this boils down to is rather simple: create a business with love, soul, and a deep desire to connect and serve. Be the exception. You can still be a corporation but you don’t have to be “standard” anything.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2017