Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mercury retrograde approaches

From September 24th to October 15th, Mercury will be retrograde again, this time in the sign of Libra.

So in plain English, what exactly does that mean? Simply, that most all forms of communication can and will get a little messed up. E-mails lost in the ethers, phone calls missed, talk misunderstood, and on and on.

How can you make surviving a retrograde easier? Simple! Follow up all important communication in another fashion. If you call someone, send an e-mail to confirm what was said. If you are working with a written communication, summarize and repeat the understood details with a quick phone call. It's all in double checking.

Increase your patience during this time. Folks, including yourself, aren't trying to muck up the communication works, it's just that these things happen. Take a breath, work the problem with calm and patience.

Remember to use I statements like "If I understand you correctly and can summarize what you said, this is what I heard."

If you haven't heard from someone you are expecting to, give them the benefit of the doubt and pick up the phone or write to them. They may indeed have tried to get a hold of you and the connection just wouldn't go through.

Remember, PATIENCE! AND out. Repeat.

Relax and don't fight the bass ackwards communication that can happen during a Mercury retrograde...just laugh, shrug and go with the flow.

This too shall pass.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Alex and Me

My dear friend, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, gave me a call last week and let me know that Alex's memoirs would be out at the end of October!

Irene and Alex, for almost 30 years, did ground breaking research in human/avian communication. Sadly, Alex passed a year ago on September 6, 2007.

I was so excited to hear that the book is about to come out! Look for Irene to be on Good Morning American on October 30th~!

Personally, I can't wait to get an autographed copy of her new book!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Starting a Psychic Business

Once in a while I get a call from someone who is hugely gifted, above and beyond the average intuitive. It's not uncommon that the conversation will turn, and the caller will as me, "how did you get started doing this?"

Well, like many small businesses, the first years were touch and go financially. I have learned many valuable things about running a business over the years and am happy to share those with you.

1) In this business, your clients will be about 95% women, usually between the ages of 21 and 59. Keeping track of their names and addresses and sending out a letter or postcard to them at least every 4 months or so is a really good idea. The more personal this connection, the better.

2) In your first 3 years, at least 33% of your budget MUST go to advertising expenses. Other expenses like telephone, office rent, utilities, supplies, pay to yourself, taxes, etc., are above and beyond this one huge chunk.

3) Your own city will NOT be big enough to support you at any more than about minimum wage unless it contains more than two million people. IF your skills allow, I suggest that you offer work over the phone as well as in person. This can vastly increase your demographics from a thirty mile radius to the entire planet.

4) Here and now in 2008, unless you have a website that is well designed with good photos and a web master who knows his or her stuff in getting your website ranked highly on the search engines, you won't be found on the Internet. If you Google the word "psychic" you bring up 32 MILLION sites! A search for "clairvoyant" brings up 2.7 MILLION sites! Most people search through about 3 pages of listings before they stop. This means if your website doesn't show up in the top 60 listings, more than likely you won't be noticed. This is where 90-95% of your advertising dollar needs to go!

5) Get both a business phone and a sales tax id number before you open your doors! Most states in the United States consider "psychic" work something that is for "entertainment purposes only." Because of this, you are subject to charging sales tax and reporting it monthly or quarterly. Do NOT delay either getting your sales tax license or paying your sales tax on time every time!!!

6) To consider having a really quality professional photo taken of yourself for your business cards, stationary, or website. A picture is worth a thousand words and several thousand dollars in business if someone can look at it and automatically feel a connection with you.

7) Have a good long discussion with a CPA about your taxes and what you can and cannot claim. Consider a home office and putting advertising via magnetic signs on the doors of your vehicle. Educate yourself about business taxes and what is and is not deductible!

8) DO NOT expect your business to support you and pay your bills at any time in the first 9 months! You WILL need another income source in year one and possibly year two to start this kind of business up from ground zero.

9) Expect to work 7 days a week, and an average of 60 hours per week of actual business work or planning and even more hours "on call." At anytime you are self employed, take the call and the business whenever you can get it, even if it's 2 AM.

10) Work like each and every client is your boss. If you meet clients in your home or office, act like the boss is showing up and make sure everything looks, feels and smells wonderful! If you are working on the phone, act like the caller is your supervisor or the person who signs your paychecks and treat them with that sort of respect. Always remember, the phrase "self employed" is a bit of a misnomer. The entire world is your employer...never forget this!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Missing Macaw

The Missing Macaw

Yesterday I got a frantic call from a dear friend who owned a scarlet macaw here in Ames. She and her bird had just moved and, as she sometimes did, she took him outside for a bit of a walk around the yard.

To make a long story short, at 4:25 something spooked the bird and he took off, flying up into the dense foliage of the neighborhood trees and was no where to be found. "B" called me immediately, worried sick and not knowing where to go or what to do. Could I provide some psychic help to find her bird "Charlie."

There was a bit of a weather front on the way yesterday afternoon, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. We had to act fast.

I focused in on Charlie and realized that everything seemed to be from a very strange and scary vantage point to him. He was used to seeing everything from the ground....not from up in the canopy. He wasn't sure where home was by sight.

"B" had been calling and calling his name, but gotten no response. Again, I honed in on the bird and suddenly realized that he would come home if he HEARD familiar sounds that he normally associated with B and the house. It was 4:38 and I hastily gave her the following instructions:

"Get your boom box and the cds you normally play at home repeatedly. Put it on top of your car in the driveway and crank up the volume. Do it quick! And get Charlie's favorite treats and have them in your pocket. Charlie will be home within the hour, don't worry. He has to hear the familiar music to guide him back to the house. He's within 2 blocks of where you are but just doesn't know visually how to get home. He will follow the music! Look for him about 5 PM."

Twenty minutes later, at 4:58 I got a wonderful relieved and thankful call. Charlie indeed picked up on the familiar boom box tunes and came right back as soon as he heard the songs associated with home for him. B spotted him at three minutes to five when he flew closer to the ground and landed in a bush in the backyard near the driveway. She enticed him over with his favorite treats and took him back into the house safe and sound.

I was really really thankful Charlie had some home and been reunited with B! But I found myself also thanking the Universe for my abilities and that I could, when push came to shove, truly make an immediate difference.

Sometimes being a psychic can be stressful, draining, and downright exhausting. It is a job with huge variety, that I'll grant you...and actually, truth be told, that part I DO really, really like.

But it's little moments like today, that make me wanna say, "I really LOVE my job!"