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Going ‘Pro’: From Marketing Consultant to Tarot Consultant with Joanna Ash

By January 25, 2013

I first came into contact with Joanna when she signed up for free Tarot readings on Biddy Tarot. I could tell this was one dedicated woman because she wanted to make sure she was fully qualified and certified even before she started offering free Tarot readings. (Read more about her personal experience of becoming a certified Tarot reader.) I have watched Joanna grow as a Tarot professional over the last year or so, embracing her business, Sun Goddess Tarot, with such enthusiasm and professionalism. Today, she shares her insights into her own journey to becoming a professional Tarot reader.

{Brigit} Tell me about your Tarot journey, from when you picked up your first deck of cards to now?

{Joanna} I was interested in cartomancy since I was a child.  I found a book on cartomancy sitting amongst my Dad’s library of books and started playing with regular playing cards whilst using that book for reference.  As an adult, when I started working, I went to a Tarot Master quite regularly.  I used to pick up the card meanings from her as she interpreted the spreads because I was inquisitive.  When I hit a low point in my career some years back, I made a conscious decision to turn my life around by finding a new interest that could revitalize me.

So I chose to pursue a course with my Tarot Master in Singapore and graduated from her class with a certification. Shortly after, I got myself certified as a numerologist as well.  Hence my reading style always veered on overlaying numerology with the Tarot cards.

Armed with the new Mythic Tarot deck, I started practising my Tarot reading on family and friends.  I realized that it had changed my outlook on life, imbibed me with a new drive and renewed positivity.  More importantly, I realized I did the same for the people I read the Tarot for.  By then, I was so fuelled with enthusiasm by the clarity and assurance that I brought to the people around me through Tarot that I wanted to better my skills.

I then pursued a CPTR  qualification (Certified Professional Tarot Reader) from the Tarot Certification Board of America and I also pursued a Tarosophy Tarot Diploma from a course I took with Marcus Katz from Tarot Professionals.

sungoddesstarotArmed with more than 10 Tarot decks, and having had a substantial amount of Tarot reading experience under my belt, I established  a consultancy called Sun Goddess Tarot which I am running till today as a supplement to my day job as a marketeer.  Being a marketeer trained in marketing communications work which included public relations, marketing strategy, digital engagement and social media management, it made marketing Sun Goddess Tarot one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my entire life.  Moreover, I found synergies between what I do as a marketeer and my Tarot reading when I started giving talks and informal coaching sessions on managing interpersonal relationships within corporations, using Tarot and numerology.

{Brigit} What did you do to prepare for yourself for becoming a professional Tarot reader?

{Joanna} When I was a Tarot reader in training, I volunteered as a free reader for Biddy Tarot as well as the Free Tarot Network (FTN).   With the former, I found a friend and mentor in Brigit whose blogs, books, and write-ups were very helpful to my development as a Tarot reader.  She was also my sounding board every time I needed more clarification with my readings.

Before I was involved in the FTN, I went through substantial training with a mentor appointed to guide me through my role as a reader for the FTN.   At the same time, my Tarot teacher in Singapore continued to coach me every step of the way and provided great advice whenever I needed it.  I also continued to read for my colleagues, friends and family which was critical to honing my skills.  I also have to credit the American Tarot Association, Tarot Association of the British Isles and Tarot Professionals UK for the wonderful amount of reading materials, courses and social network platforms wherein I met so many great Tarot “teachers” who helped shape me as a professional Tarot reader.

After being armed with substantial amount of reading experience and my certifications, I was appointed a mentor for the American Tarot Association. I also mentor a few Tarot protégés here locally in Singapore.  Mentoring Tarot protégés is one of the most gratifying experiences for me particularly when I see them follow a similar journey and setting up their businesses respectively.

{Brigit} How did you know you were ready to become a professional Tarot reader?

{Joanna} Honestly, I didn’t.  I spent a good number of months doing free readings and not charging because I was not confident of myself.   Then I started to do Tarot readings at events to raise funds for charity.  That was when my confidence increased a lot more and from then, I went on to charge a fee for the reading, with part proceeds given to my favourite charity, the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

{Brigit} What has been your biggest fear or challenge in taking this leap, and how did you overcome it?

{Joanna} My biggest fear is that I would not be able to manage my day job as a marketeer whilst running Sun Goddess Tarot.  I was worried that time and commitment would be my barrier.  However, it wasn’t really as most of my weekends and week nights are spent on Tarot readings.  The timings coincided with my clients who also preferred to meet me after work in the evenings, or during weekends.

{Brigit} How did you go about setting up your Tarot business?

{Joanna} The first thing I did was to be clear about my objectives which was to bring light to my clients by giving them clarity and assurance through my Tarot readings.  That’s when I saw an image of the Sun in my mind.  True to my Leo personality, I was fired with so much enthusiasm and energy when it came to Tarot, and this helped me envision what my business was going to be called.  That’s how the name Sun Goddess Tarot came about.

I promptly wrote a creative brief and worked with a designer to develop my logo and create my website www.sungoddesstarot.com I also set up my Facebook page and Twitter account by then as additional platforms to engage my clients as well as people who are generally interested in Tarot.

As a marketeer,  I was able to create a marketing plan and a digital engagement plan to support my Tarot business.  These skills were also useful when I helped my protégés set up theirs eventually.

{Brigit} Tell me about your Tarot business. What makes you special?

joannareading{Joanna} I do face to face readings locally as well as email readings for clients who reside overseas.  I also do a lot of Tarot readings at corporate events  and charity fund-raisers as well as smaller events like birthdays, seasonal events like Halloween  and bachelorette parties.  I also run coaching workshops and talks to targeted groups of people like a women entrepreneur’s networking group and a financial sales managers’ group.

{Brigit} What’s your vision for the next 12 months for your Tarot business?

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{Joanna} I am continuously learning along the way, and haven’t stopped taking courses to better my Tarot reading skills.  In the next 12 months, I envision that corporate and personal training programs will become increasingly in demand.  Beyond the usual training program packages that one gets from a soft skills trainer or a  human capital development professional, there will be demand for Tarot reading and Numerology skills like mine to support the need for coaching interpersonal communication skills.  Hence I am in the midst of garnering a lot more knowledge in that area and have plans to upskill myself to develop that aspect of my business.

{Brigit} What do you believe will be critical to your future success?

{Joanna} In the face of continuous scepticism, what’s critical for future success is my efforts to demystify Tarot by continually educating people whom I touch everyday either via my social networking sites, or my clients.  Also, credibility and professionalism is important so what’s critical to achieving that is the continuous pursuit of knowledge to enhance my skills and to keep abreast of the latest developments within the Tarot community.

{Brigit} What is your one piece of advice to aspiring Tarot readers who want to take the leap and become professional?

{Joanna} When you have decided to set up a Tarot business, it’s not longer a situation where your sole responsibility lies just between your querant and yourself.   You will need to think of it as a business.  Like any business, it needs to be not only governed by a set of code of ethics, it needs to be a registered business, established legally, you will need to keep track of your own P&L you need to have a 1 year to 3 year plan for the business and part of your plans will need to include investing in the marketing of the business.

It may seem daunting at first, but if you enquire within the Tarot community, there are fellow Tarot professionals who run business coaching skills… like Brigit’s Tarot business coaching.

It’s not enough to hone your Tarot reading skills.  Marketing skills are essential.  Understand what are the latest and greatest in the marketing world so that you can make use of these tools to enhance the way you do business, and the way you communicate with your clients.

Always ensure you operate with a set of code of ethics and you uphold your professionalism by continuously honing your skills through courses, and Tarot reading practice.  You owe it to your clients to provide them with as clear a reading as possible that could help them influence their own outcomes.

Never lose your confidence. Keep practising.  There’s no such thing as a bad Tarot reader or a good Tarot reader.  You are a Tarot reader only if you are clear with your objectives and are pure with your intent.   And there’s no such thing as “I am not intuitive”.  Everyone has intuition, and everyone can read the Tarot.  However, there’s always a chance of reading that’s not clear.  It is not enough to know the meanings behind the cards.  Intuition plays an important role in interpretation and intuition can only be honed by practice.

Also, like any job, don’t be afraid to work very hard.  I meet my clients after work on weekday evenings and then start on my email readings at night or run through reading scenarios with my protégés then.  At about 11pm, I will start studying for some of the courses I had signed up for and will then get ready for bed at about 2am.  On weekends, I do meet clients for Tarot readings, do Tarot readings at events,  run my coaching sessions, meet fellow Tarot reading friends and protégés, and prepare my coursework.  In between these, I am always planning the next marketing activity or looking for other business opportunities.  The pace is almost non-stop but because I am so passionate about Tarot, I feel it is extremely energizing and rewarding..

{Brigit} Any other comments or learnings you want to share in closing?

{Joanna} The Tarot community worldwide is my extended family.  Like family, they are critical in my development as a Tarot reader when they share their experiences, and when they provide me with sound advice.  So if you are a Tarot enthusiast keen on starting your own business, please start by getting involved with the Tarot community by subscribing to Tarot blogs, joining Tarot associations, going for the local Tarot meetups.

And don’t forget to pay it forward.  There are other up and coming Tarot readers out there who are starting out like you did before.  Please render help and support the way the rest of the community had rendered you the same.

Want to ask Joanna a question about her journey? Leave your question in the Comments section and she’ll get back to you! (NOT for request free readings!!)

About Joanna Ash

joanna-free-tarot-readingsJoanna is a qualified and experienced tarot reader who obtained her Certified Professional Tarot Reader’s qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America.  She also holds a Tarosophy Tarot Diploma. She is a member of the Tarot Association of the British Isles and the American Tarot Association.  She volunteers as a reader for the international Free Tarot Network and currently mentors beginner tarot readers on behalf of the American Tarot Association.

Joanna is also a certified numerologist and her tarot reading style involves combining numerology with intuitive reading of the tarot cards.

Besides face-to-face and email Tarot readings, Joanna has been involved in tarot readings at corporate events including fund-raising events in support of charities like the Children’s Cancer Foundation.  She also runs coaching sessions and corporate talks on interpersonal skills development leveraging Tarot and Numerology.

Joanna blogs regularly about Tarot at http://sungoddesstarot.blogspot.com and engages her friends and clients via Facebook at www.facebook.com/sungoddesstarot and Twitter @SunGoddessTarot.  More details about Sun Goddess Tarot can be found on www.sungoddesstarot.com

Inspired? Start Your Own Journey to Becoming a Professional Tarot Reader

If you’re inspired by Joanna’s story, I can help you create a sustainable and successful Tarot business. A business where you’re helping transform the lives of others and generating a serious income for yourself because your customers value what you do. Find out more about Tarot business coaching with me, including how you can receive a free 15 minute coaching session.

Or, if you want to build your confidence first and offer free Tarot readings in exchange for feedback, check out my Free Readings page and get in touch to add your profile.

Coming Next Week: Girl Next Door Becomes a Professional Tarot Reader

Next Friday, I’ll share with you another inspiring story of how this ‘girl next door’ turned her love of Tarot into a business.

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ABOUT Brigit

Brigit Esselmont is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling books the Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings and the Biddy Tarot Planner, and the brand new book and Tarot deck, Everyday Tarot. A professional Tarot reader for more than 20 years, Brigit founded Biddy Tarot in 1999, where each year more than 4.5 million people (like you!) are inspired to live more mindful and enlightened lives, using the Tarot as a guide.

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