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BTP62: From Bricks & Mortar to Online Business with Winifred Costello

By February 21, 2017 September 2nd, 2021
local-to-online-tarot-business

Many Tarot readers start their reading career reading for people face-to-face, in a traditional bricks & mortar business. But over time, they see the benefits of going online – greater freedom & flexibility, lower costs, and bigger impact.

Making the transition from a bricks & mortar business to an online business can be hard. It's a completely new skill set, new audience, etc. But the benefits are huge.

In today's episode, I welcome Winifred Costello, founder of Awentree in Western MA and now online at www.awentree.com.

Winifred has made the transition and now she's growing her business online.

In this podcast episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Winifred grew her business by going online
  • The biggest challenges to a ‘bricks and mortar’ only model
  • How to navigate the transition from bricks and mortar to online business

Additional Resources

Podcast Transcript

Brigit: You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 62: From Bricks and Mortar to an Online Business with Winifred Costello.

VOICE OVER

Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence.

And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.

Introduction

Topic Overview & teaser

Hello, and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast.

We are again talking about my favorite topics:  Tarot and business.

Now, many Tarot readers start their reading career reading for people face-to-face, in more of a traditional bricks and mortar business. But over time they start to see the benefits of going online – things like greater freedom and flexibility, lower costs, and bigger impact and reach. And if you’re keen to find out more about the benefits of online business, make sure you listen to Podcast Episode Number 58, which is over at biddytarot.com/58

……and I talk a lot more about why you should consider going online.

Making that transition from a bricks and mortar business to an online business can be a little bit challenging.  It’s a completely new skill-set, a new audience, and just a new way of operating. But the benefits are huge when you do so.

Again, it means greater reach; often greater profitability in the business; and an avenue to do so much more with what you’re here to do in this lifetime.

In today’s episode I want to share with you a real-life case study, and this is with Winifred Costello who is the founder of AwenTree in Western Massachusetts.  And she opened this as a bricks and mortar store back in 2006. While she had a website at that time, it was only in the last couple of years that she’s really started to grow an online business in addition to her local store.

Winifred is going to be talking a bit more about her journey with AwenTree, and how she’s made that transition.

I do want to give her a proper welcome, so let me tell you a little bit more about Winifred.  She has over 20 years of direct experience and knowledge in Paganism, Goddess traditions, Witchcraft, Sacred Dance, Reiki, and, of course, Tarot.  And embracing the divine ability for all beings to connect to Sacred Source, she empowers others to find and listen to their own inner voices and to participate in the sacred traditions that honour life.

So really, really beautiful Soul Mission that Winifred has.

I first met Winifred when I stepped into her store back in 2014.  I was staying with a friend and I thought, ‘I’ll go and get my friend a gift to say thank you.’

And I stepped into this New Age store thinking, ‘I wonder what I’ll find in here?’

Well, I found a gift that’s for sure, but I also found Winifred.  And I was up there paying for my item, and I was looking at the Tarot readings and the prices and I said, “I hope I’m not being – overstepping my boundary, but have you ever thought about increasing your prices?”

And she was like, “Oh, yeah, maybe.  Maybe I could.”

And we started to strike up this conversation about her business and her store, and so on.  And she was very open and receptive to what I had to share with her. And I said to her, just at the end, “You know what, I’m actually running a class in a couple of days for running a Tarot business.  Do you want to come along?”

She said, “Yes, yeah,” and she was probably one of the most hardworking people in that workshop when I ran it.  She was asking questions and thinking so much about her business.  And I could see lightbulbs going off everywhere.

And then later Winifred joined us for the Grow Your Tarot Business Online program, and was a really active member of that group.

Now Winifred and I work in a one-on-one coaching relationship, and I’m supporting her as she’s really transitioning to this online business that is AwenTree.com

I’m so excited to have Winifred here today on the Podcast.  She has just made huge leaps and bounds in these last couple of years, from being a store owner/manager – that’s a job in itself – but now she’s really starting to step into becoming a true leader and an entrepreneur, and a visionary for her business.

And you really start to see some of that in this conversation that we have together.  I just know that she’s got huge potential for further growth.

So let’s hear a little bit more about how Winifred has made this transition into creating an online business, and how she’s going about growing that online business.

So, welcome Winifred.

Interview with Winifred Costello

Brigit:  Welcome Winifred.  I am so excited to have you here on the Podcast.

Winifred Costello: Thank you Brigit, I’m excited to be here.

Brigit:  Let’s start kind of at the beginning, and that is:  Where did your journey with Tarot and all things Woo – all things Witchy and magic?

Where did it all start for you?

Winifred Costello:  Oh my goodness, we’re going way back.

I definitely was an unusual child, and I was very curious about any really unusual, unseen kinds of things.

When I was really young I used to have very – I still have very vivid dreams – I used to have these very intense, extreme dreams……from my earliest memories.  I think I was just very open and aware in the sense of other aspects of the world than what met the regular eye.

And as I got older I – I don’t even know how I became obsessed with things about Witches and the Occult, but I always tell people, in 5th and 6th grade I used to have these little neighborhood friends. They were these very sweet girls my age and they were very Catholic, and my parents did not raise us in a Church.  We didn’t attend Church.  They were very spiritual but not religious.

And I would play with these little neighbor friends and I invented this game that was literally called Witch.  We would spend the summer days running around this field behind their house – my friends’ house – playing – looking in the field – looking for herbs.  I’m not even sure how in 5th or 6th grade I was aware of these concepts, but I would go to the library and I would ask the librarian for books on herbs and I didn’t even understand what I was looking at.

Then fast-forward – my teen years, there was a local Occult store that was near where my parents lived.  My best friend and I would always go there to go shopping – like a Mall/Plaza place – and they had a Tarot reader behind a curtain.  But we never had the nerve to go actually behind the curtain and get a reading, but we really wanted to!

But it was – the fact that you had to go behind a curtain was too scary – so we never had the courage.  But we would go to the store all the time, look at all the incense, and the Tarot cards and the herbs.

And my best friend and I had the same birthday, and we were born four hours apart, one town apart.  Astrologically our charts are very similar, except the Moon transition.  This is totally a side tangent, but the Moon transition in the houses.  So my Moon is in Pisces, and her Moon is in Aquarius.  And we have different Rising signs because we were born four hours apart.

It is interesting how our lives are both very spiritual, but we ended up having different focusses as we grew up.

But when we were teenagers we were really into Tarot.  So, on our 16th birthday, without talking to each other, we literally gave each other the same exact present which was, from this store, we had each gone to the store – not together – and she gave me a Tarot deck, package of incense, and an essential oil.  And I gave her the exact same gift.

We hadn’t planned that.  It was completely – I don’t think there are coincidences.

Is that creepy?

I gave her a Tarot deck, a package of incense, and an essential oil from the same place.  It was just crazy!

And I still have that deck.  I always tell my Tarot students this story:  I literally tried to give that deck away three times.

I’m getting ahead of myself!

So I get this deck.  My deck was the Morgan-Greer deck. I gave her the Aquarian Tarot. So, while we picked different decks for each other, we each picked a Tarot deck.

And I tell people, from the time I was 16 to 25, I had this love/hate relationship with Tarot.  I would make some progress and it would make sense to me, and I would go forward; and then I would get frustrated, or get stuck and then stop.

I would have these patches of really obsessing and working with the cards a lot, and I would have these big droughts where I felt like I just don’t get it.

And in that period, there were three distinct times when I actually even gave the deck away.  I just decided:  That’s it, this is not for me!

And on three different occasions I gave that exact same deck away to three different friends.  The first time I gave that deck away it was gone from my life for a couple of years, and then in some random turn of events the friend gave the deck back to me.

So I started working with it again, and then I had progress and I eventually hit another road block.  I eventually got frustrated and I gave the deck away a second time.

I always tell people the deck was gone for a shorter time each time. The second time the deck came back within a few months, and then the final – and then I would work with the deck again.  I would have some progress.

I started reading some different kinds of Tarot books. I remember I read the Motherpeace Tarot, and I really connected with the way that deck was written and designed. So, I had a lot of movement working with the Tarot cards.

And then the third time I gave my deck away was right after the birth of my daughter.  My daughter’s 25 now, so this is a long time ago.  I gave the deck away to my best friend who had helped at the birth, and she had the deck two weeks and she brought it back, put it in my hand, and she said, “I don’t know what it is that you need to figure out, but these are your cards.  You’re meant to work with them and you’re meant to read for people, so you’ve got to figure out whatever it is that you need to figure out because you’ve got to do this.”

So it was like, “Okay now, I’m not going to give this deck away anymore and I’m going to figure this out.”

So, that’s how my Tarot journey really embarked.

And the Pagan and Witchcraft stuff kind of grew alongside each other simultaneously.

And when I was 16 The Mists of Avalon came out – Marion Zimmer Bradley’s book, and that book really impacted me – specifically a Witchcraft book.  Just the fact that it was the Arthurian legend told from the position of the women, and it had this very magical, mystical, empowering perception for the women – that really just blew my mind open.

So that kind of sent me further into wanting to know about Paganism, and Witchcraft, and Wicca, and all those things.

Brigit:  When did Tarot become something that you did professionally – that you were being paid for it?

Winifred Costello: In my mid-20s I met this amazing women named Wendy Weatherwax.

She had a shop that is a direct – my store is directly inspired by hers.  I studied Tarot with her in my mid-20s, and she was the one who really empowered me to stop second-guessing myself, and to get out of my own way. And encouraged me – she was the one who said, “Why wouldn’t you do this professionally?  Why wouldn’t you?”

And I lacked confidence.  I said, “Who’s going to pay me for that? I’m just throwing these cards down and just getting what I get.”

And she said, “From my experience, what I see you offering in a reading is really valuable.  You should charge!”

So I didn’t really – that was in my late-20s – but I wouldn’t say I felt comfortable charging until my early-30s, and I started off very low key.  Very much like a hobby.

I didn’t really read for family.  I read more for friends and co-workers.  And I would do somewhere between 10 and 20 bucks.  I kind of positioned it – people knew I worked with the cards and they would hit me up for readings, and I guess they probably saw more of something in me than I saw in myself at that point. And so I would see them at a coffee shop – usually Starbucks – I don’t know if we can say Starbucks on a podcast – but we would meet at a coffee shop and do the readings.  And I would charge – basically if it was a half-hour reading I would charge 10 bucks, and if it was an hour reading I would charge 20.

So I read for friends and friends of friends.

And that’s how I got started reading professionally.  That was my first professional readings.

Brigit:  Then with your store, AwenTree, when did that start coming into play?

When did you open that?

Winifred Costello:  I wanted to open a store long before I actually finally was at a point where I was able to open a store.

So when I – like I said, I had this very inspiring mentor, Wendy, she had a business up in North Hampton which is a town near here. And I found her store because I wanted to get an Astrology – my Natal Chart done.  And when I walked in – more importantly the moment I walked into the store and met her……

I always had a sense of purpose or this calling.  It’s a little bit hard to articulate. I had this feeling I was here to do something very specific.  It sounds kind of Woo-woo and silly but I really did.  I had this calling, but hadn’t quite figured out how it was going to manifest – like how it was actually going to be expressed so that I knew it would have a spiritual alternative – maybe we’ll call it New-Age, maybe just call it Pagan component.

And I stepped into her store, and I had this very incredible experience.  I stepped into her store, met her, and there was this – you would call it an A-ha moment – where I thought:  This is it! I don’t really know this person.  I don’t really know her mission here.

But in her store, which was very much a New Age, metaphysical inspiring – a place where healing and solace and inspiration –  I recognised I think something in my own potential in myself….if that makes sense?

Does that make sense?

Brigit:  Yes, sometimes you just need like little seeds, and then those seeds turn into huge opportunities. You almost need to see that possibility.

Winifred Costello:  Yeah, she was doing – I was like, “You’re doing it. This is it, and you’re doing and it can be done!”

Because prior to that I grew up in a pretty – while my parents were very spiritually progressive they were – you would also say they were very conservative, lifestyle wise.

I had always wanted to lead this alternative – I had some pretty neat ideas. I wanted to have a homestead.  I wanted to live off the grid.  I’ve always had a lot of big visionary ideas, and a lot of people were like, “Well, you can’t make a living at that.  You can’t do that.”

And when I stepped into Wendy’s store, I just knew:  Yes you can!  Here’s someone doing it. It’s being done here.

She really was a mentor to me.  That’s where I took my Tarot skill to this first level of yes, you can do this.

I got my Reiki training.  I got trained a fair bit in Astrology.  But more importantly, saw someone living a heart-centred, spirit inspired life – and that it could be done.

So that’s really where the seeds for AwenTree got planted – was way back then in the mid-90s.

Brigit:  When did the store first open?

What year was that?

Winifred Costello:  I opened the store in 2006 – so you can see that it was a long time from inspiration to store.

Brigit:  What happened between 2006 and 10 years later?

What’s been the journey for AwenTree?

Winifred Costello:  Since I’ve opened it?

AwenTree has gone through a lot of transformation.  It’s almost like I don’t even – have you ever gone through so much growth that you don’t really recognise yourself when you look back?

Like you know you were that person, but you almost don’t recognise yourself?

Brigit:  Yes.

Winifred Costello:  I think of the early days of AwenTree and I always tell people that I had this notion that I was opening a magic store, but really the magic store was opening me.

That’s really been my – that’s always been foremost in my mind.  In the early days of AwenTree it was a very much a brick and mortar; very much a focus on a healing centre; a magical hub for the seeker.  I really wanted to have a strong energy around community.  It’s really important to me that it feels good – energetically when you step into the store – when I hear people say – take a deep breath and say, “It feels so good in here.  It smells so good.”

And very inclusive I want it to be a very welcoming, healing oasis. That was my original thought around AwenTree.  And that still is my original thought.

The biggest transformation from the early days is it’s gone from being solely just a brick and mortar, to now we have an online presence that I’m really focussed on growing.

It’s kind of like AwenTree went from being a Kindergartner to being in college.

Brigit: It’s funny how that happens.

Winifred Costello:  Yes, in the early days you put your Kindergartner on the bus and you’re so nervous.

Brigit:  Yes, though at least with kids you know they’re going to grow up.

With the business, it can – I think often times it just starts just because, and you don’t necessarily know what it’s going to become in 10 years, 15 years’ time. It kind of evolves and it can surprise you along the way.  In good ways of course.

Winifred Costello:  Sure, right.

Brigit:  So with going online, what was your motivation around that?

What spurred you on to create a website, and then start selling online as well?

Winifred Costello:  AwenTree did have a website from the get-go, even though we were a brick and mortar.  So, I was savvy enough – in some brilliant moment I knew enough to at least have a website when we opened.

Let me backpedal.  When we very first opened, when we had a Myspace – remember the good old days of My Space?

While we built out our website, because it took us – we opened the store and it just took a long time to build the initial website. So, the website launched six months after we opened the shop, but the website….

Now I am on my second website.  It’s very different from the first website. My first website’s role – my understanding of my website in the beginning was:  Oh, it will generate traffic – foot traffic – people that come to find me, that come to my store.

It never occurred to me back when I built the first website, that – because the Internet was really young in 2006 to where..

The Internets transformed incredibly, as you know, from then.

So, the first website was really more of a visual representation – almost like the Yellow Pages, and then you would go to the store.  And now the website – my vision for the website now is to be more of a portal that people can access education.

The website currently isn’t so much about people buying little things. Some people have online web stores for their shops and it’s about putting a candle or a CD or something or a book into a basket and buying it.  The online focus of AwenTree’s website right now is more of an educational place, and a place to get readings.

Brigit: So what was your motivation around choosing that, versus having an e-Store?

Winifred Costello:  A primary thing about AwenTree is, I’ve always wanted it not to be the same old Witch shop you can get anywhere.

I always wanted it to be distinct and unusual, and having something of a – to offer you a real experience, so when you come each time it’s like you’re having an experience, not just getting a thing.

So, for me having things on my site has never really been part of my vision.  It’s more about I want people to have an experience or a transformation by having encountered the store, or come to a class.

So the motivation – one of the things I realised – if we go back in time, in 2008 through 2010 in the US the economy went through this terrible crash.

So AwenTree has an early phase. Between 2006 and 2008 we started really strong, and then the economy crashed.  And it was a really rough period from 2008 to 2009.  And it was in that time, I had to pick up a part-time job. I had to really think outside of the box to get through that economic crash. And when the store and myself –  when I emerged from that place, things had changed dramatically and the whole market place had changed dramatically.  And I went on a quest to sort of evolve – to respond and evolve to that.

And through that class I met you, and took your incredible course Grow Your Tarot Business Online because I knew, even before I met you, I was seeking.  I knew that I needed to evolve my business, and that online was the place to be.  That I wasn’t really –  you can’t really control many elements to brick and mortar store.

You can’t control – I’m on a street, I’m not in a mall. And while it’s a really lovely, cool, historical, pretty, little street to be on – I have a beautiful storefront – so many thing affects the traffic to a physical store, from competition of Big Box things, to the weather.

One of the things I’ve learned from owning a brick and mortar is that, the street could change. When 2008 happened and the crash happened, a lot of businesses left and that affected my traffic even though I hadn’t changed.  It just affects you.

So there are a lot of external things that a brick and mortar.  And I saw – to me I just knew that if I wanted my business to survive and grow and evolve, I had to go online.  I knew that.  I had to be more in charge and more in control of my traffic and what happened.

To me it seemed like online was the way that was going to happen.

Brigit:  Yes, it’s interesting.

So at the moment you’re obviously working across a bricks and mortar and an online website.  How do you balance between the two?

I assume the energy around both is quite different, and what works well for you in a bricks and mortar may be different to what works well for you in online?

Winifred Costello:  Yes, my gosh, that’s a big question.

I might ask you to get more specific on that.  Are you asking me what skills do I bring to the physical store versus the online?

Brigit:  How do you manage yourself across both?

Because I assume you bring in different parts of yourself to those, effectively, two businesses. I know they’re under the same umbrella, but how do you manage yourself across both?

Winifred Costello:  Yes, it is two businesses.

I think the first step was to acknowledge it was two businesses, because I think at first I was, mentally, approaching it like one.  And when I realised this is – I am running two businesses.

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And at first it seemed daunting and overwhelming, but from listening to a lot of entrepreneurs tell their stories when they still had a 9 to 5 job, and then they built their businesses on the side – I decided my first mind shift, my first mindset change was that, you know, if I look at the physical store, the needs of the store when I go to the store and I’m like the store owner having to be there running all the operations, seeing clients, and workshops that happen at the physical store, I then decided to approach the online component the same way that someone who has a 9 to 5 job.

So I would leave my job at AwenTree, and then I would either go home in the evenings, or my days off, or my weekends, work on the online component.

So initially I had an – I saw it as an investment – I still worked too many hours.  But initially, I worked an insane amount of hours.  And then last year I finally grew myself to a point where I could really expand my team at the store.

So now I can be out of the store three days a week, sometimes longer.  And I work on the – I compartmentalize, so sometimes I work on the online component from home, and sometimes I work on specific aspects of the online part of the store while I’m at the store,if that makes sense?

Brigit:  Yes.

Winifred Costello:  Basically when I’m in the physical store, I know the store from having had it for 10 years.  I sort of know the pacing of:  These are the things I could reasonably think about taking care of or doing when the store’s quiet and I’m at the store, if that makes sense?

Brigit:  Yes, and I think what you’ve done by employing staff members to take care of the store is really smart, because that’s freeing you up to now invest more in the online business as well.

Winifred Costello:  Yes, that was tremendous.

I brought my first employee – I have a VA, and I have a Bookkeeper, and I’ve had an Accountant.  So I’ve had those on board for a little while, but the big transition I went through last year was that I finally brought on a real employee – someone who is there on one day a week and I can walk away from the store.

She came with a – she’s a great fit.  She’s a great match.  She came with great skills.  So it was very seamless for her to step into – like the store’s in good hands when I’m not there.

One of the things I noticed actually immediately was that the revenue increased immediately.   And I actually, initially when I brought the first team member on, I actually ended up still being at the store, but I could see more clients which was great for revenue, and for my mental mindset.Yeah, absolutely.

I just felt more calm.  Like I wasn’t alone anymore running AwenTree.  And that was huge.

Then more recently I brought on a second person.  And, again, I saw the revenue immediately jump, so I should have hired sooner.  All that nervousness around hiring that first person.  Now I’m like, “Oh my God, silly!”

Brigit:  I know.

I was under this impression that I couldn’t afford it.  And the first month or two I was very nervous when I brought my person on.  But then by the first month I was like, “What was I worried about?  This is fine.”

I just brought the second team member on about three months ago.  And it’s been very nerve wracking, so now I have enough experience:  Oh, I’m nervous when I first expand.

And there’s nervousness, but then you start to see it pay off.

But delegating, and empowering your people, your team and trusting them – because there’s no point in bringing them on if you’re still going to do all the work.  You have to also let go.  You have to.

Brigit: Yes, absolutely.

And I think that’s a learning curve as well.  It just – learning how to trust and delegate is very important.

But that’s how you grow as a business, and that’s what frees you up to do all the visioning for the business, and to really follow your Soul’s Purpose which is what this is all about.

And then you’ve got folks in your team who can actually just get on and do the work as well.

It’s a huge mindset shift, that’s for sure.

Winifred Costello:  Totally, and I think it’s no accident that my client load doubled the minute I brought one person on.

And while I always bring my A Game to my readings and my Reiki sessions, I was not as exhausted so I just feel like I’m in good hands.  I’m like, “I ??? to book my client”.

So I know I’ll have helpers at the store and that the store’s in good hands. I arrive, the lights are on, the store is ready to go – they’ve saged – they’ve turned the lights on in the room.  It’s just I am more refreshed, and I think I bring more to the table that way. And I can focus on what I’m really passionate about.

I think it shows. I think my clients respond to it; I respond to it; and my teams responds to it. It’s just a win-win situation.

Brigit:  As you’ve stepped into the online space more through online courses and so on, what have you seen have been the biggest opportunities as a result of that?

Winifred Costello:  I always do this work because I believe in the transformation that I’ve personally experienced by working with brilliant teachers, and I want to share that gift to the world to help other people heal and transform their life and live a more empowered life.

And I am always coming from the heart, but honestly the biggest thing that change I’ve seen since going on the online courses is increased revenue.

And I don’t do this work for the money, but if you don’t have the money you can’t do the work.

I don’t know if enough people really understand that.  There is a lot of overhead, but in order to hold the space, whether you have a brick and mortar or you have an office – or even if you had an office in your house, that takes time, money, and energy.  And in order for you to bring your gift to the world you have to have enough revenue.

There were days as AwenTree when I was working a part-time job, my needs weren’t being financially met in the early days – and I understand that you initially invest in the business and it takes a while to make money back, but I literally was doing stuff for really not enough pay.  And it’s great to do things for the healing – there’s that reward for touching people’s lives and helping that kind of transformation.  There is no price on that.  However, when I go to the grocery store I can’t give the clerk at the grocery store a Reiki session to get a bag of groceries.  I can’t give my landlord a Tarot reading. I have to give them cash.

So going online and managing my revenue with a different approach, and bringing on the online courses, it does a few things:

  1. There are people able to get the classes they couldn’t. They have access to material they couldn’t have before if they weren’t local, and
  2. It dramatically improved my profit and my revenue and made everything easier. And I can offer more at the store because there’s more revenue.

Brigit:  Yes, one’s sort of nurturing the other at the same time.

Winifred Costello:  Yes.

Brigit:  I mean obviously with online you’re able to serve people who are not just in your local community.

How far are you reaching folks?

Outside of the US? Or mostly in the US at the moment?

Winifred Costello:  That’s pretty exciting.

This year I have different online courses, some of the courses I teach myself, the Tarot stuff, but I also host Orion Foxwood, an author that I collaborate with, so I host him as an online presenter.  He teaches and I’m moderating.

So in my courses I had someone from Costa Rica, and somebody from England.  That was tremendously exciting.  And in some of Orion’s classes we’ve had people from Canada, and all around the country.

One person in one class was from Norway.  That just blows my mind.

And I know for a fact that for one person taking one of the online courses, she’s bedridden.  She’s an older woman and she’s bedridden, so going to a physical store isn’t even a possibility.  This happens to be a student of Orion’s work, but just the fact that how this has affected her life because now she can go and attend something via online that the teachings and wisdom and information and connect to community that she couldn’t connect to before is – you can’t really put words to that! That’s pretty incredible how we reached her – changed just one person’s life. That’s pretty tremendous.

Brigit:  Yes, I think the Internet is such an enabler on so many different levels.

And even just as a student and thinking about:  I obviously want to reach the best teachers.

But you may not necessary have the best teachers within a 10-mile radius of you. So online there’s just that huge reach to the right people, and the right people for you.

Winifred Costello:  Totally.

Brigit:  Yes, it’s lovely.

Winifred Costello:  To that thought that you just said, I don’t know about in Australia, but in America, there are a lot of Witches and Pagans living in very isolated parts of America where it is not safe or okay.

I mean you probably encounter this with Tarot, to be out. They’re not out of the broom closet, and they may not have a local store.  And they may not have any access to classes and workshops of this nature.  So that’s another tremendous thing that the Internet goes to them.  They can be safe and in their home and they don’t have to worry that there might be repercussions in their community, for pursuing something that they want to learn more about.

Brigit:  Yes, absolutely.

And that was one of the driving reasons for me creating the Biddy Tarot Community, because I wanted to have this safe space where people gather and go:  Yeah, I read Tarot and I love it.

Because, unfortunately, so many folks are in communities where it’s not acceptable, or the individual feels really uncomfortable about sharing that part of themselves which is fine.  It’s part of their evolution.

I want people to feel safe and great, and still have those avenues to learn about these different modalities.

Winifred Costello:  Totally.

Brigit:  Lots of goodness there.

So tell me what’s on the horizon for you, say over the next 12 months?

Particularly in the online space?

What are you aiming to create?

Winifred Costello:  I’m looking to – I’ll collaborate again next year with Orion.  We do a monthly course on Witchcraft-Conjure-Magical practices.

I also will be continuing with my online Tarot course, and I’m looking to roll out an advanced level Tarot course.

And my other big thing, this is more in the store – but I’m looking to create Spellbooking Candle Circle which will be a membership experience for people that are looking to connect with other Witches and Pagan, or Magical Practitioners, and have community without necessarily having to take on the commitment of joining a coven or what that would all entail.

So I’m pretty excited to expand in those directions.

Brigit:  Yes, absolutely.

And just imagine if you could fly all the way back in time to when you walked into that store for your Astrology reading, what would you say to yourself back then about what’s possible?

Winifred Costello:  Start sooner!

Start sooner!

Go for it!  Do it!

And also, the blood, sweat and tears are worth it.

It’s not always a pretty ride.  There’s a lot of self-doubt and a lot of stretching and growing, and you have to leave your comfort zone.  I always say to people:  Sometimes you just buy the ticket and get on the ride.

And that’s what’s involved.

So I would go back in time and tell myself to start sooner, and all the tears and anxiety and all the hard work is totally worth it.

Brigit:  And I’d even add to that what you were saying a little while ago:  You opened AwenTree, but AwenTree was actually opening you.

Winifred Costello:  Totally.

Brigit: Again, all that blood, sweat and tears – it’s all about your spiritual evolution, I believe.

Particularly in this kind of work, where you’re growing a business and it’s in this spiritual field, you can’t help but become a new person as a result of it.

Winifred Costello:  Totally.

Brigit:  It’s so exciting to hear it.

And, of course, when you’re in the middle of it and you’re going, “This is crap.  I don’t like this. What is going on!?”

But hindsight is a beautiful thing.

Winifred Costello:  I had – I’ve always believed in – I am a Reader but I get readings from another Reader. I am a Healer but I get healing sessions from another Healer.

And without that I don’t think I would have succeeded.  You have to constantly up-level yourself spiritually and emotionally.  You have to keep growing your own container if you want to get – I am kind of struggling for words here but it’s sort of like who you were – what got you here won’t get you there.

And that’s magically, spiritually, emotionally.

You have to – you are worth the investment.

But it’s true.

Brigit: Yeah, absolutely.

Winifred Costello:  You buy the ticket and go for the ride. You might be surprised at what that entails.

Brigit:  Yeah, just get on with it.

Because if we let all that self-doubt and fear get in the way and go, “Oh, but I’m not 100 per cent sure so I’m not going to do it.”

I don’t think you’re ever 100 per cent sure about these things.

Winifred Costello:  Right.

Brigit:  So, Winifred, where can people find out more about you?

Winifred Costello:  I guess the top place would be to go to my website which is awentree.com

You can also find me on Facebook under Winifred Tannetta Costello and AwenTree has a page.

Brigit:  And then of course if you’re over in Western Massachusetts, pop in.

Winifred Costello:  That’s true.

I’m thinking globally because you’re in Australia, but yes, if you’re in Western – just like you did. That was such a fortuitous moment when you walked…

It still blows my mind that Brigit from Biddy Tarot walked into my store.

That was one – when I look back on the journey of AwenTree, that was a transformational moment because I knew I needed to find a mentor.  For me to move into the online space, I knew I needed to find a mentor in that realm.  And I’d been looking for a while, and the same way that when I walked into Wendy’s store and I knew there was right alignment.  When something clicks, you just know.

I had been looking for that mentor to take me into that online realm.  I had checked out a lot of things, and it was like, “No, that’s not it,” and then you walked into AwenTree and we struck up that conversation.  And then you said, “Oh, I’m teaching a seminar in two days.”

There are no accidents.  I think that everything is – I guess we’re in charge of our own destiny and it’s a free-will planet, but I do think that there is a way that Mother Fate can put her finger on the thread that’s spun.

And you walked in and we started talking and I was like ?????  It was coming.  It was in the works.  And I was like: Well I’m getting on your Newsletter because when you put it out I’m signing up.

That same feeling struck me: This is someone I need to work with.

Brigit:  Yeah, it was a lovely, synchronistic event in so many ways.

Winifred Costello:  Yeah, just so cool.

Brigit:  And of course it’s been such a pleasure supporting you in your journey over the last couple of years as well.

And just to see you grow, not just personally but professionally.

And for you to just really step into the boss of your business.

This isn’t just bringing in some pocket money. This is now about how do you grow something that’s really sustainable for you, and that’s an expression of your Soul and what your purpose is in this lifetime.

So it’s nice to be supporting you with that.

Winifred Costello:  Thank you.

It’s totally true.  None of us do this work, unless it’s like a Heart/Soul calling.  It’s really true.

Brigit: Yeah, absolutely.

Winifred, it’s been such a pleasure to have a chat with you and really learn about your journey with your business.  I’m sure it’s going to be inspiring to others who may be at the start of that very journey, or maybe even a few steps along.  Thank you so much for sharing so openly about your travels on the business journey.

Winifred Costello:  You are welcome.  Thank you for having me.

Brigit: My pleasure.  We’ll speak soon.

Winifred Costello:  Okay, thank you.

Brigit:  Thanks Winifred.

Wrap-Up

Brigit: So there you have it. I hope you found that conversation with Winifred really inspiring, and really helpful.  And, again, it doesn’t really matter where you are along the journey, if you’re just starting or thinking about starting a business, or maybe you are a couple of years along, someone like Winifred just offers huge inspiration about what is possible.

And like Winifred said in the conversation, often times you just need to see that something is possible and then you can really go for it. It’s like the 4-minute mile – it took forever for anyone to run the 4-minute mile over, and then once it had been achieved, that 4-minute mile kept happening over and over again.  And now it’s something that’s almost – well I can’t say that I’ve run a 4-minute mile, but that 4-minute mile was just made possible by one person doing it.

And seeing Winifred’s journey, maybe this is the little seed for you just to see that these things are indeed possible.

Now, if you are thinking about creating your Tarot business online, then I have some great news for you:  Our signature program Grow Your Tarot Business Online is now open for enrolments.

In this program you’re going to discover how to create a thriving Tarot business online, that is both financially and spiritually rewarding.  I’ve taken all of the lessons that I’ve learned along my journey, and what I’ve taught to others, and brought it together in this online training program.

Grow Your Tarot Business Online is a really comprehensive learning program to give you the step-by-step to how do you create this business. How do you make it really work for you?

And I’ve set it up in a way that it’s not only supporting you as you grow into becoming a business owner, but it’s also helping you to learn, and then do.  This is all about implementing.

Learning about how do you start a blog; how do you set up your social media and so on. And then giving you that space so that you can go and create it and make it happen.

Specifically in this program I’m going to be showing you how to:

  • Align with your vision
  • Attract your dream clients
  • Connect with your tribe
  • Market your business authentically
  • Expand your offerings
  • Build a sustainable future

This is one powerful program, and already I’ve taken at least 100 people through this program and have helped them as they grow their business online.  So if you want to find out more about the Grow Your Tarot Business Online program, make sure you check it out at biddytarot.com/business

I would love to have you in the program.  And, again, it doesn’t really matter if you’re at the start of your journey of growing a business, or if you’re already a little bit along that journey as well, because I know that I can support you wherever you are.  Just having that someone there – someone there to support you and show you:  Okay, focus on this. No, you don’t need to focus on that.

That can just be such a game changer for you.

And, of course, I know that by creating an online business so much becomes possible for you, and you can really share your message with the world in a really powerful and big, big way.

So, again, check out the Grow Your Tarot Business Online program here.

And our enrolments are open right now.

Alright, thank you so much for having me in your little earbuds.  It’s been an absolute joy and I look forward to connecting with you again next week.

Bye for now.

-END-

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