Book Review – Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People by Jessica Leigh Levin

You might be surprised to see a review of a “business book” on a tarot site, but there are specific reasons why I’m doing that here. Firstly, this book firmly straddles the line between business and self help/self improvement and that makes it relevant to many people I do readings for. Secondly, as you’ll read below, Perfect Pairings has changed the way I think and will certainly influence the advice I give to some of my clients.

perf5.000x8.000.inddI was originally going to preface my review of Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People by Jessica Leigh Levin with a disclaimer, saying that the author is a personal friend of mine (in fact, she gives me a shout-out on page 80!); however, I realised that being a friend of the author put me in somewhat of a unique position to add something to my review that I think is particularly important. You see, this isn’t a book containing armchair theories and “pipe-dreams.” I know from personal experience that Jessica practices what she preaches – she lives her life as a “connector.”

You’re probably familiar with “networking,” the technique of meeting people at events, etc., and finding out how those people can help us and vice versa. Connecting, as Ms. Levin describes it, is an alternative that can yield extraordinary and far-reaching results. Here’s an example of how the connector mindset works: I may be talking with someone, either in-person or online. I will be thinking of someone in my network who might be able to help this person meet their challenges, or I may be thinking of someone in my network who might benefit from the experience or expertise of the person I’m talking with. On the surface, it’s a very selfless act, but there are hidden benefits to the connector, as the author describes.

I always think that one of the signs of a great business or self-help book is that it gets you thinking about things you can do yourself, and Perfect Pairings is a perfect example of this. On almost every page I found myself thinking of parallels in my own life and how I could put the techniques and suggestions in the book to immediate use (and the book has inspired me to actually follow through with that); in addition, Jessica helpfully ends most chapters with an action item that pretty much anyone can do. The book also reassured me that, while networking is often an extrovert’s game, connecting works well for introverts too.

While Jessica started writing her book with the intention of it being a “business book,” she soon realized that the connector mindset could be a benefit to many aspects of one’s life, and so the book is full of great advice for not just making business connections, but personal ones too.

In conclusion, this is an easy-to-understand, practical, life-changing book that can benefit almost anyone.

Purchase the book from Amazon using the links below:

Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People (Paperback)

Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People (Kindle)

Testimonials Page Added

Testimonials   Tarot Readings by Graham

I’m feeling particularly blessed right now. It was pointed out to me that I might have been hiding my light under a bushel somewhat by not including a “Testimonials” page on my website, highlighting some of the lovely things that my clients have said about my readings. When I’m shopping for services myself, I know I like to see things that real people have said about them. So, I started going through some of my reviews for my readings on Fiverr.com. In addition, when I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was working on a Testimonials page, some of my clients came forward and volunteered to write something about my services. To be honest, it was difficult to pick out which ones to include and which to omit. Which is why I’m feeling blessed. I’ve added the page, so please see for yourself.

Time For a Tarot Reading?

watch imageSometimes when I’m looking for ideas or inspiration for a new blog post or business direction, I’ll turn to social media to see what’s being said about tarot. It can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but occasionally a gem will appear. Doing such a search on Twitter a little while back, I found a post from someone who said she thought she was going to go get a tarot reading the following week because “it felt like it was about time.” I’ve been on Twitter a long time and I’m guessing she was probably bombarded very soon after with messages from tarot readers offering to do her reading. I was not one of them. I just felt like reaching out to her and saying that I would hope any decent reader would likely tell her that she’s wasting her time and energy getting readings under those circumstances and to go out and make her own destiny!

In my experience, treating tarot like a game to play when you’re bored, rather than using it as a tool when you have important decisions to make, usually results in frivolous answers… which will probably bore you even more. Don’t get me wrong – you’re not going to somehow wear out the tarot deck by getting readings like this, but you could become disillusioned with tarot, which would be a great shame. That’s one reason I’m not keen on reading tarot at parties or similar events. At a lot of parties, the presence of a tarot reader is quite exciting, and many people will want a reading. The trouble is that a lot of those people won’t really know what questions to ask because they’re not at a stage in their lives where they need to make a big decision (which is, in my opinion, the best time to get a reading).

When someone is first learning tarot, it’s common to want to do many readings. The temptation to read for oneself, for all one’s friends, for celebrities or even for fictional characters (it happens!) is huge. And in itself, it’s not a terrible thing. But some people take it to extremes, especially when reading for themselves, and a dependency on tarot can be the result; a situation where someone can’t make their own decisions without asking tarot, almost like asking permission to do the smallest things. And that’s not a good thing.

Thankfully, and largely because of the way I present my reading style, most of the people who come to me for readings do so when they have big life-decisions to make. It probably costs me clients, but I don’t regret taking my approach at all. Come to me for a reading when you’re ready, not when I’m ready.

 

(Image courtesy of Aleksa D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

New Year Resolution Round-up

Something a little different today: I’ve been thinking a lot about New Year Resolutions. Whether you made a resolution and were unable to stick with it; if you didn’t make a resolution (it’s not too late to set a goal!); or if you just want some general help with goal-setting, I’ve collected together some articles from around the web that may help. The easiest way to check them out is to look at the Pinterest board I’ve set up (but you do have to log in or join Pinterest to access it) and linked to below. The advantage of this is that you’ll automatically find any other articles I find after I’ve published this post. Alternatively, you’ll find the links listed individually below.

Why 90-Day Goals Are Better Than Year-Long Ones – Trade shorter goals for year-long ones, for greater success in keeping new habits.

Sarah Dawn Designs: New Year Resolutions Printables

Free Printable: Family New Year’s Resolutions & Year-in-Review – Look back on your year and make goals for the year ahead – the “I want to try” and “I want to stop” categories are great ideas.

29 Things to Remember for the New Year – Small things, but good reminders.

50 Simple and Smart New Year’s Resolutions – We tend to bite off more that we can chew with New Year’s Resolutions. Here are 50 Simple and Smart New Year’s Resolution Ideas that are easy to implement.

Setting Goals – Helpful steps to make it easier to reach your goals.

Here’s What You Should Do Instead Of Making New Year’s Resolutions: Rememberlutions. Such a nice idea for an alternative to making resolutions.

Contact Page Added

Contact

Since I want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to my website to get in touch, especially if they have questions, I’ve just added a Contact page. You can find the link in the menu at the top of the page. On the page, you’ll find my e-mail address, links to my Facebook page and other social media accounts, and a form where you can directly send a message to me.

Questions, Questions… and the BIG Question!

Having returned from a vacation at the beginning of last month feeling refreshed and enthusiastic to get back into the swing of doing more readings, I decided a challenge was in order. On both my Facebook tarot page and on my personal Facebook timeline, I asked friends, clients and potential clients the following:

Is there anything you’d like to know about tarot, about the way I read tarot, or anything like that? Do you have any reservations or even fears about tarot? Don’t be afraid of asking “stupid” questions. I don’t want you to be embarrassed about asking me anything, but if you don’t feel comfortable about sharing it here, please feel free to send me a private message instead.

Question Mark ImageI didn’t know what to expect, really. My main goal was to find out whether there was anyone out there who was wondering whether they should ask me for a reading, but was hesitating for some reason.

Little did I know that an old school friend was going to try to turn the challenge around, by asking the following question:

Go on then: “how does it work?”

To be quite honest, I don’t think he expected me to give a serious answer. But I think he (and anyone else reading the post) deserved one. This is how I responded:

My “flip” answer: Very well! 😉

I think that if you ask 20 different tarot card readers this question, you’ll get at least 10 different answers. I can only tell you how I *believe* it works. At least this is how I reason to myself it works, because it fits into my belief system:

I believe that when you communicate with someone, your subconscious automatically collects a whole bunch of information from that person’s subconscious. But that information is often very difficult for most of us to access in any meaningful way.

Here’s where tarot cards come in. To me, the images on the cards act as a focusing tool. They prompt me to access certain elements from all the information my subconscious has collected, that are relevant to the question a client has asked me.

It’s a little more complex than that, because I not only look at an image on an individual card, but also what I see as interactions between images on different cards, but I’m sure you get the idea.

I personally do not claim to be psychic and I don’t believe there to be anything “magical” about the cards, although the results often make it seem that way. Beyond that, these days I try not to think too much about how it all works, because that distracts from the readings themselves. Which work “Very well!” 🙂

What matters the most to me is getting meaningful advice for the people who come to me for readings. It really doesn’t matter whether or not they agree with me about how tarot works, as long as they find what I reveal to them to be helpful. Having said that, and as I brought the subject up here, I would love to hear back from you on this subject. How do you believe tarot works?

Making the Connection

Connections - http://www.flickr.com/photos/moonty/4072715092/in/photolist-7cTJiJ-7iufmC-7iBHdj-7myGLY-7n3rc4-7n7jnY-7wDyHT-7wQJHD-7wQKUz-ghxMUw-9zXxgM-8nUJMp-dANTW2-dAUncU-at5vcs-8RhBsT-dAUn4N-7WYeCw-aB5s7V-aB5sCz-afSnsf-aB7CKo-aB4WXv-aB7CsS-aB7DuS-87RRpL-a465GC-bpcrAM-fxtUDt-fxJqqm-8bedS1-8zgsmZ-c2S7wJ-7MzKFE-83wHSp-amNgNf-i5ifd9-bEzx7i-ajLR2U-815rr3-aaZ3U9-8yHq9y-8367Sm-8kAyRc-agGcvE-fHFY5i-aB89BA-aB7D4u-aB7CgU-c2S8ky-aafmEv/I know that in my last post I said that next time, I’d share a little about my tarot background, but it occurred to me that I haven’t really talked about the different ways you can connect with me. There are several right now, and they each have some different content. Fiverr, which I am currently using exclusively for my readings, doesn’t like users communicating outside of their system, because they make their money in the form of a percentage of each transaction, and they worry that people will cut them out of the equation. Personally, I prefer to make the connection outside of Fiverr, then send people into Fiverr to purchase a reading.

Firstly, there is, of course, this website. Make sure you Follow it, so you can be informed of any new content. If you have a WordPress account, you can simply click on the “Follow” button in the WordPress toolbar.

I have an email list that you can sign up for in order to get my newsletter. I’m using that to share a little bit of background and news about my services and some news and stories from the tarot world that I think may be of interest. I’ll also run the occasional special offer or freebie.

I have a Facebook page. I send my “Graham’s Tarot Musings” blog posts there in addition to this site, but it’s a little more interactive, so it should be useful, even if you follow  blog itself.

I’m on Twitter. I don’t have a separate Twitter account yet for my tarot reading services, so expect to get a bit of everything there.

I’m on Google Plus, again with just a personal account, but if you prefer that platform, it’s there if you want it.

Please do feel free to recommend any of these connections to your friends and family.