In late 2007, I started giving Akashic Record Readings to the general public. It has now been 10 years since I became a professional intuitive – and what a wild ride it has been! What started out as a blog to promote my readings has over the last decade turned into an online learning hub for spiritual and intuitive development that has had millions of visitors.
In this intimate, no holds barred article, I am going to share the 4 most important things I have learned in the last 10 years in this business:
Lesson #1: If you have a dream, and know it’s the right thing for you, focus on your vision and tune out the naysayers
One of things that used to annoy my mother about me was that I rarely took advice from her about anything, or from anyone who told me I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.
I was self-directed, in tune with what I wanted and how I wanted to go about it. I now think that what was once considered a shortcoming on my part has served me well in business.
To give one example, when I started out in this field (which was when the recession hit in 2007-2008) I was warned by a couple of people ‘in the know’ that the industry of psychic development was extremely crowded, a lot of people were struggling, and there was unlikely to be room for my new business.
I also had feedback from various sources close to me who thought it was ridiculous that I quit my teaching job in a recession to become an Akashic Record reader. Especially because I had no capital, no computer, no client base and no IT skills. I literally had just a couple of hundred pounds in the bank.
In hindsight, it was reckless! But the voice inside said ‘do it anyway’ and I managed to swim rather than sink.
I do remember crying the day my website went live because I stumbled upon a website belonging to someone else that seemed so similar to the vision I had for mine, and I began to wonder if it was true that there was no room for me – it had all been done before. But something inside me knew this was the right direction for me, and so I tuned out the external sources of advice and tuned in to the internal one, and followed that.
Experience has taught me that in the spiritual industry, there is always room for another business in the marketplace, as long as you’re bringing your real self to it and you’re authentic. People work with other people based on who they like and fit with, personality wise and so there is always going to be a group of people who are attracted to your personality – you’re a good fit for them.
So in this field, it is best to be yourself.
I seem to attract a lot of students who are down-to-earth and often very left-brained with it. They seem to have that weird combination I have of being spiritual yet also kind of skeptical & analytical at the same time.
Lesson #2: You can’t avoid breaking a sweat in the pursuit of something you really want
“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work” – Oprah
One of the things I have learned as an entrepreneur over the last decade is: the more work you put in, the more successful you become. It is actually very rare to see a true ‘overnight success’ – most seeming “overnight successes” are a combination of prior preparation (i.e. putting the hours in) + being in the right place, at the right time.
Personally, I do not put much stock in ‘cosmic ordering’ or the Law of Attraction as used to build a business or a career. You might be able to find a partner this way or manifest a piece of furniture for your living room that is a bargain, but you can’t build a business through envisioning success or setting intentions that clients will find you.
I was into that when I first started out in business, because I came across trusted teachers who were espousing it – but the results were not great. And when I became more well known in the online sphere and some of those people became my colleagues (and I found out more about their lives and their businesses) it turned out they were very hard-working and dedicated. I am sure mindset and LOA had a part to play, too, but in my experience, the law of attraction is highly over-rated in the realm of business.
Of course, there are always ways you can work smarter rather than harder, but there’s no success without putting in the hard yards and the law of attraction should only be a small part of your business plan (the bigger part of your plan should focus on action) for the best results.
Lesson #3: Some people will reject you
I think this is true not just of business but of life in general.
This is a hard one for me and many other people in this field because we are a sensitive bunch. I’ve had mean emails that made me want to cry (but these are a very small proportion of the emails and feedback that I have received over the years.)
Over time I have learned not to take that personally.
We can’t always know why we are rejected – and I have come to believe that in many cases, it has nothing to do with us and whether we are ‘good enough’.
For example, let’s say you are doing online dating and you don’t get as many replies to your messages as you would like. Perhaps it is because you’re too far away geographically from the person you wrote to and she’s not up for a long distance relationship. Maybe it’s because you have 4 dogs and he is not a dog lover. Maybe he definitely wants kids soon and on your dating profile you state you’re not sure. Maybe she only dates redheads with beards!
Even the really harsh feedback or rejections are often not about us.
The most memorably harsh email I ever received was from a person who was taking my beginner’s course and did not like it – or me.
It is seared in my memory because it was so cutting and personal – criticising my character and personal qualities. It also did not make sense because this person had given positive feedback about their experience in the week prior to the email. This sense of confusion went round and round in my brain for days and I ruminated over it, in an attempt to extract some sort of lesson from it (probably in the hope that if I did so, it would never happen again.)
Shortly after the person gave me that feedback, they launched their own intuitive program very similar to the intuitive course I ran. I realised that they had not been at the learning level they should have been to benefit from a beginner’s course and they probably had not taken part with the genuine intention to increase their skills. Perhaps they were just looking around to see what else was on offer as a form of market research.
That experience taught me that when feedback is essentially a character assassination – unnecessarily personal and cutting, it is usually for reasons that don’t have a lot to do with you. I think it is important not to hide away or water oneself down in reaction to such feedback.
(And I reckon that this is true of relationships in general – not just business ones.)
There may also be the times when someone is not pleased because maybe something happened in the business and it was your fault. I have learned it is important to use feedback from incidents like those to improve and make it right with one’s customer.
What is the difference between these two forms of feedback? I have found that the feedback you need to discard will focus on what is wrong with YOU. Whereas the genuine feedback or complaints focus more on what has not met the client’s needs and on what could be improved about your product or service.
(Incidentally, I just read an excellent book on the topic of rejection by Alexandra Franzen: You’re Going to Survive: True stories about adversity, rejection, defeat, terrible bosses, online trolls, 1-star Yelp reviews, and other soul-crushing experiences―and how to get through it)
Lesson #4: don’t put all your eggs in one basket
My biggest disappointment as an online businessperson in the last 10 years has come from putting all my eggs into one basket – Mr Google’s basket!
In mid 2016, my website was doing extremely well and attracting so many visitors from Google because of all the online articles I’ve written over the years. (Blogging is my primary way of letting people know what I have to offer on this website.) I had more students and customers than I could handle and it was time to bring in some help.
I brought on board two new assistants and two guest intuitives to help me deal with all the business.
Just after I brought these people on board, a mistake was made by my web hosting company where they accidentally changed my web address from http://annasayce.com to https://annasayce.com, then to www.annasayce.com and then back to http://annasayce.com following the purchase of an SSL certificate.
Google does not respond well when you make small changes like this to your domain name. I didn’t realise it was happening at the time so I didn’t take the appropriate steps with Google to mitigate the effects on the website.
The mistake wiped out between 35-40% of my reach (and also income) overnight and it was not a temporary setback. I was saving for a deposit on a house at the time and looking to buy, and this really destabilised that dream, as it showed me that my business was actually in a very precarious position, being so dependent on the approval of one organisation.
I decided to house sit while I worked on taking some of those eggs out of that basket and putting them in other places, too.
Was this a blessing in disguise? Possibly. Losing that much income so quickly would have been really bad news if I had had a mortgage to pay so I believe this experience was showing me where my vulnerabilities were on the way to achieving my goal of home ownership – so that I could fix them. And as a result of what happened, I have a much more solid set up for this website than I had back then. It turned my focus towards a more sustainable set up for the years to come.
I think this is a lesson that is true of life in general – don’t rely on one thing for your success or security. It is good to diversify and have back up plans.
Oh, and if you are starting a website or an online business and you plan to be in it for the long haul, choose your domain name carefully. I have changed mine several times over the years, from annafrancesconlan.com to healingandinsight.com, to psychicbutsane.com to annasayce.com
If you’re not sure what your brand should be, open a website under your name and keep it. Don’t change your domain name every time you feel a new branding direction coming on – Google rewards stability and longevity. I’ve lost so much favour with Google over the years over these changes (and as a result, it is not as easy to find me online as it would have been, had I kept my original domain name).
I hope this article has been helpful for those who are looking to get into this field or anyone who is starting an online endeavour – please leave a comment below if you have something to add!