Take a Break!

surf pictureI’ve just returned from vacation with my family, and I’m feeling good! It was just a week away, and it was nowhere exotic, just staying with my Wife’s family in Michigan, but we needed it. Even though I still have unpacking to finish, and I realized that my daughter doesn’t go back to school for another two weeks, I do feel energized. This led me to give some thought to the role that vacations have in our lives.

Many of us, especially in the United States, work too much and play too little. A lot of people have become used to going into work early and returning late, giving up weekends and not taking enough vacation time. Even when we get time off, we’re still connected to our work by mobile devices that can (and do) interrupt us at any time of day or night. I’m convinced it makes us less productive.

So what constitutes a vacation? It doesn’t have to be sun, sand and surf (we spent one afternoon by the shore of Lake Michigan, and I soon left the rest of the group to go for a walk because I’m not especially into simply laying on the beach and the sun was just relentless – even so, I still got sunburned!). It was lovely not to have to cook and to have relatives to look after my daughter.

There’s an expression, “A change is as good as a rest,” and I’ve found that to be true. I didn’t do any tarot readings and kept my online time to a minimum. I continued work on some music I had been writing, and started a brand new piece. My business didn’t collapse! In fact I had some new ideas pop into my head, and I wrote them down for later consideration. Changing things allowed me to recharge my batteries, so I have the energy to enthusiastically tackle what needs to be done upon my return.

Sometimes, when you’re faced with a lot to be done, the answer is not to work harder, but to take a break, so you can work smarter when you get back.

Have you taken a vacation recently? How has it helped you? Reply here and let me know.

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Changes To My Price Structure As Of July 1st, 2015

When I first started reading tarot seriously, I had a “proper” job, and I was reading as a sideline. I considered tarot to be a calling, and I didn’t want to deny anyone a reading just because they happened to be on a low-income. Therefore, I had a “pay what you will” policy. Some people gave me a pretty good donation for my services, while others didn’t pay at all. My attitude to this was that if anyone took advantage, that was their problem, not mine. I felt pretty comfortable with that policy, but I did have a steady income from my regular job.

Unfortunately, the company I worked for went through a restructuring process, and I was laid-off after many happy years working for them. As with many others in that same situation, I had difficulties finding new employment. It was at that point that I decided I would change the nature of my tarot reading services, and started offering a fully paid-for service, firstly via Fiverr.com, and then via my website. Still wanting to make my readings available even to people on a low income, I set my prices very low. Many of my clients have actually said at one time or another that they felt my prices were too low, especially considering the time I spend doing a reading and the service I provide.

calculator and pen imageI’m sure many of you have been through the process my family and I went through recently; we looked at our financial situation. As a result of that, I felt I needed to contribute more towards my family. I have a difficult time with anything financial; my eyes glaze over when I see numbers! Nevertheless, I sat down and created a spreadsheet. On it, I put the various services I provide, how much time each takes me, and the money I make. I was shocked at what I found. It was worse than I thought.

I had to make some tough decisions, and you’ll see the results of those decisions immediately. I’ve eliminated a few options, because there was no way I could make them financially viable. Some will be temporarily removed until I can make some changes and reintroduce them. And the prices of what I continue to offer have been increased slightly. I have tried (and I think I’ve succeeded) to make the increase minimal, while at the same time, they will make a difference to what I can contribute to my family. As for Fiverr, since I can’t increase the base price of a reading there, I will streamline what I provide, so I can complete a reading in less time. I would definitely encourage you to pay just that little bit extra to obtain your reading directly from my website, so what you get will be more complete. Please know I will always strive to provide a simple option at as low a price as I can.

One final thing: I’ll be offering some exciting new services soon. I’m working on some of them right now. Once they’re ready, I’ll let you know.

Your feedback is important to me. Do please tell me what you think.

Order Your Reading Now

(Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Announcing the Winners of a Free Reading!

CongratulationsCongratulations to Samantha Popp (of La Force School + Services – I love that her business name was inspired by a tarot card!) and “K” who have both won a free tarot card reading. Samantha is a recent subscriber to my Newsletter and “K” is a longtime subscriber.

Sorry to those new and existing newsletter subscribers who did not win this time. Please stick with us – there will be more freebies and other offers available in the future. In the meantime, I hope you find the newsletter to be entertaining and informative.

Subscribe to my Newsletter now

 

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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)

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.

Some Changes For the New Year

ID-100178821Here we are at the beginning of a new year, a time when people often make changes in their lives. Sometimes though, we start out with good intentions but we don’t follow through. Often that’s because we haven’t chosen the best ways to achieve our goals. A tarot reading is a great way to help choose the best things we can do to reach our goals more effectively. If you want help coming up with a game-plan, just ask.

I’ve made some changes to the ways you can order a reading on my website. Starting immediately, rather than being redirected to the Fiverr.com website to place your orders, you can order directly from my Order a Reading page, and pay via PayPal. While I’ve appreciated the business I’ve received via the Fiverr platform, they also take a large cut of every order. By handling the orders myself, I get a little more in my pocket, at no extra cost to you.

I’m still offering my readings through Fiverr.com, so it will continue to supply me with new clients, and if you prefer to order via that platform, you may do so.

 

(Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/)