When I started my tarot business, I was determined never to go back to the 9-5 I’d left behind.
After working for eight years in the charitable sector, and hustling my days away as a freelance journalist in the years before that, I was tired.
It wasn’t just the nature of the work I was doing that had worn me out.
It was everything else on top of it, too. Errands and chores felt like they were chasing me. As soon as I finished one thing, something else needed to be done.
I was also pursuing a career in creative writing at the time and working on my writing as often as I could.
And I was doing tarot on the side, reading at parties and for friends, and starting a newsletter to build my network.
Instead of feeling like I had evenings and weekends to relax, my downtime became just as busy as my workdays.
I was always trying to catch up to myself. While my friends and family were getting together on weekends, I was sitting at my computer, writing.
Which doesn’t sound so bad. Except I’d left myself with very little downtime to do anything else.
Like, just relax.
But my time felt so compartmentalized I couldn’t figure out a way to work a 9-5, read tarot, be a creative person, and maintain a social life on top of it.
I felt like I was always trying to catch up to myself.
So when I was finally out of my 9-5, I thought, This is it. This is my chance to build the schedule I want to be on.
I was going to take back my weekends.
I was going to have more time to write – finally.
I was going to have a social life again.
I was going to take Fridays off whenever I felt like it.
I could see it all…
Except that’s not exactly what happened – at least not first.
Not even close.
Why? For one, I had drastically underestimated how much time it takes to launch a start-up business. I had also not taken into account my own drive or dedication. (If you tend to overwork, then being self-employed will ramp up that tendency quite naturally.)
Instead of taking Fridays or weekends off, I ended up working most weekends at first, saying yes to every tarot party I was offered.
Instead of setting time aside to work on my creative projects, I would obsessively overhaul my website and tweak my business strategies whenever times were slow. (And there were a lot of slow times at first.)
I realized that instead of having the kind of business I’d envisioned – one that gave me more freedom and flexibility – I had basically replicated the schedule and I was trying to leave behind.
The work was different, yes. But the pressure and stress weren’t, and I still didn’t have as much room in my life for the things I valued: Time for myself, my relationships, and my creativity.
Things didn’t stay like that, but they could have if I didn’t make some big changes.
What was I doing wrong? It turns out my mistakes are pretty common in tarot businesses. Here are some of the main reasons tarot readers get burned out:
I used to see clients whenever they wanted me to. Even if I wanted the day off, I used to tell myself, “It’s business: I can’t say no. Besides, what if this person really needs my help?”
Where did that belief come from? Scarcity and hustle mentality, with a little bit of martyrdom mixed in.
Which is not a healthy combination if you want to have a long-term business.
If your schedule is pulling you in all sorts of directions, ask yourself why – and then look at what you can do to change it.
One of the fastest ways to burnout is booking up your days without room for downtime, breaks, or whole days to do whatever you want.
There is something about human nature: We make things way harder than they have to be.
I’m not saying that running a tarot business is easy. There is a lot of work involved. But when you get the opportunity to do something we really love, your mind can start to trick you into thinking you need to work even harder for it.
Self-worth and deservedness come up for evaluation when we choose to walk our paths. If you feel like it’s somehow not fair that you get to do work you love, you can subconsciously start to punish yourself by taking on more work than is necessary as a way to prove your worth.
Pricing is a tough one in tarot. When you look out at other tarot businesses, you’ll see prices are all over the map.
Not only that, but it can uncomfortable and confusing process to place monetary value on your work. Even saying that your work is valuable (and believing it) can be a challenge.
But pricing is really important to having a successful business. And it’s one of the best ways to cure or prevent burnout as a tarot reader. Because if you’re not compensating yourself appropriately for the work you’re doing, the exchange will never feel fair between you and your clients.
It’s not always easy to raise your rates, though. Or even get clear on what they need to be.
Need help aligning with a clearer vision for your work as a tarot reader? Download my free guided visualization for tarot readers to see if it helps.
Until next time,