Last November I interviewed the amazing Joanna DeVoe to coincide with Wonderworker Week. I took the opportunity to ask her some questions about the business journey and it was amazing! This time around I couldn't wait to ask my darling friend and much respected fellow online biz owner Carrie Mallon some questions. Her answers have seriously enhanced my Wonderworker Week tenfold! I am so happy to finally be able to share her amazing insights with you and I am so pleased to be able to call her a friend. Read on and you'll totally understand why!
I’d love to know what originally led you to realize that you wanted to start a Tarot business..
I’d love to know what originally led you to realize that you wanted to start a Tarot business..
Carrie: There were a handful of years where I had the sensation the universe was leading me to something, but it took a while for me to figure out what that was. It really was like following breadcrumbs! During those years, I was slowly liberating my creative energies that had been blocked – tarot was a huge part of that process.
As I went through all this growth, it became undeniable to me that the corporate world wasn’t where I was meant to be. I knew I wanted to do something ‘bigger’. I had such a strong desire to help people work through their blocks and take ownership of their creativity. I’d gone through all this transformation and I felt like I could contribute something to others on their own paths. But all of this seemed really vague, and I couldn’t quite grasp what that next step would look like.
In this way, it was almost like the concept of starting a tarot business had been sitting there staring me in the face for a while, but it took me ages to see it! When the idea did come to me, it was just like “oh yeah. I should start a tarot business. That’s perfect!” It felt like exactly what I’d been waiting for. Looking back now, I feel like the timing unfolded perfectly. I really had to work through a lot of my own BS and show a level of trust in life before I realized that starting a tarot business was what I wanted to do.
Did you find that you had to battle a fair amount of resistance or insecurity before actually taking the plunge and starting Happy Fish Tarot?
Carrie: Oh yeah, totally! Ha! I talked about that a little in my response to the previous question. Right before I started my business, I couldn’t stop thinking about this quote from Anais Nin: “and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Once I knew I was at that tipping point the resistance was still there, but I also knew I HAD to expand. That was when I started to feel a force within me that was even stronger than resistance, and this was what helped me move forward.
What was the most challenging thing about the first few months of being in business?
Carrie: The most challenging thing was realizing that this really was just the beginning of my adventure. I think I kind of hoped it would be like, I learned so much about myself, worked through all this resistance, started a business and then everything was great! But of course, it didn’t quite go like that. It WAS great, but I still had SO much to learn about myself and about running a business. I had to learn consistency, I had to learn grit, and perhaps most importantly; I had to learn to keep following my creative impulses no matter how the external world reacted.
Along those lines, one of the challenging things about the beginning phases of business was showing up even when it felt like no one was listening. I did not have an audience when I started putting out content, and feeling like I was talking to myself tripped me up. Of course, this ended up being yet another learning experience. I learned the importance of creating for the sake of creating versus creating for outside validation. And the funny thing was that as I made that mindset shift, more people slowly started paying attention to my message.
As you look back over your business journey so far, how would you say you’ve grown as a biz owner and as a person in general?
Carrie: I’ve grown so much, and I know I’m still evolving! It’s only been a little over two years, but when I look back at my first few blog posts and videos I can really sense how my energy has shifted. One of the main things is that I’ve just become more consistent at letting myself inhabit my creative bad-assery. I do still get in my own way sometimes (as most of us do!) but overall I feel like I’ve become more unfiltered ‘me.’ It’s not that I wasn’t me when I started out, but I had a lot more self-consciousness and uncertainty. I think I’ve now learned to sort of set that shit to the side and let the more powerful parts of myself come forward.
Carrie: A lot of the things I’ve talked about already is tough stuff: encountering self-doubts, putting out content that sometimes gets ignored, all that jazz. But that’s the tough stuff I think you have to be grateful as a business owner (or even just as a human being) because you can learn from it.
Aside from all that, one thing that’s tough for me is how lonely it can be. Not everyone understands what it’s like to be so immersed in something that means so much to you. Some people think “it’s just a business” and don’t get that it’s more than that! It’s an ongoing creative project that I pour myself into. It’s been so important for me to spend time around people who do get that. I’m not saying I can only be friends with passionate, entrepreneurial people, but I do need some of those people around me! Especially for the last year or so, I’ve been making a conscious effort to regularly talk with people who understand the business journey. This has been huge in helping me feel less lonely and more connected.
There are people out there who are only just starting their business journey. They are right at the very beginning, trying to build an audience and hoping for that very first sale. What would you say to inspire and encourage them?
Carrie: First I would say: good for you! You should be so proud of the bravery it has taken you to get here. From time to time, you may find yourself feeling impatient or overwhelmed. Know that this is okay, we all feel this way – but this energy isn’t really conducive to your creativity (and you need all that creative energy to build your business!). Make it your intention to cultivate patience and assurance. Remind yourself to focus on tuning into your soul and taking the next right step in any given moment. Usually, that next step will be quite small, but that’s how meaningful things are built, through a series of small and consistent steps. You’ll need to hustle to make this business work. You’ll need to get comfortable putting yourself out there, seeking clients, taking risks. But remember that hustling is only beneficial if it feels good and comes from an authentic place. Clarify why you are starting your business, and constantly bring yourself back to that why. Keep learning about business, keep learning about yourself, and remember to enjoy the ride.
You now offer business mentoring to help people realize their own business dreams. What is your core philosophy as a business mentor?
Carrie: My core philosophy is that your business is your own hero's journey, and it will come with trials. I’ve experienced that firsthand, and it lends itself to the way I approach my mentoring clients. For many of us, starting a business brings up a lot of our issues. I alluded to this earlier: my business has taught me that I often just need to get the eff out of my own way! That’s one of the main things I work on with my clients; helping them get out of their own way. I guide clients in looking at all the monsters that come up in business: resistance, impatience, procrastination, the list goes on. We consider what shifts can be made to move through these things. I think that we are often our own biggest barriers in business, and the best part of business mentoring is seeing people recognize and step out of those patterns and into a more empowered way of being.
I think that mindset stuff has to come first, but I also work with people on more traditional business themes: starting and growing a social media account, figuring out content creation, looking at how to market themselves, etc. I really enjoy talking about business stuff, and it’s super cool to see my clients making real progress.
You made the switch from Happy Fish Tarot to doing business under your own name. Lots of people worry about taking this step! What do they need to consider in order to make the transition smooth?
Carrie: This is going to go against probably everything else you’ll read about ‘rebranding.’ Seriously, I was Googling so many articles about how to make that transition and most of them implied that this was a Huge Deal and I needed to spend ages planning the change. This is probably true for some businesses, but I run a small heart-centered thing. I didn’t need to be getting hung up about how this change would impact SEO or any of that more nuanced stuff.
That said, my main advice is don’t overthink it. If making that switch feels right for you, just do it! It really doesn’t have to be some huge dramatic thing. I managed to stay pretty calm and self-assured through the whole transition, and I think that embodying that energy was key in helping the transition go so smoothly.
Why did you personally decide that it was time to use your own name?
Carrie: On a subconscious level, I think I wanted to use my name from day one, but I wasn’t ready. Using a business name made things feel more safe, like there was a protective wall between vulnerable little me and my business. It’s not that using the name Happy Fish Tarot was inauthentic, it’s more that it was a healthy stepping stone for a while, but I reached the point where I felt confident without it. Aside from that, I think it just makes more sense to use my name considering the type of business I run. I’m a one-on-one service provider. Different naming philosophies work better for different types of business. For my business, using my name just seems like the natural thing to do.
Who do you currently recommend for awesome heart-centred business advice? Lay some links on us!
I can’t get enough of Paul Jarvis lately (pjrvs.com). He has this approach that I find centered, practical and kind. He’s kind of the antithesis of the ‘make six figures while you sit on an island!’ type of business teacher – in fact, he regularly pokes fun at a lot of mainstream marketing advice. He also has refreshing perspectives on how business ties into our experience as human beings, and I’m hugely interested in that.
I also recently discovered Meighan O’Toole (meighanotoole.com) and I’m digging her style, too. She gives a lot of straightforward advice on the day-to-day tasks of running a business. I like that she has a heart-centered perspective but she doesn’t shy away from things like analytics and growth. I really admire teachers who walk that balance between the logic, data driven parts and the creative, artistic parts of business.
What do you wish someone had told you before you became a professional Tarot reader?
You’re more talented than you think, you have a better work ethic than you think. You have a lot to offer others, and you really can inspire, encourage and transform people through your work. You’re heading in the right direction, keep going.
Tell us one thing you’ve learned about the art of getting sales and making coin in this game?
Is it okay if I tell you three things I’ve learned? ;)
I’ve learned that the old cliché is true: people buy from people they know, like and trust. This is even more true if you do one-on-one tarot readings, mentoring, counseling, etc. People want to get a feel for who you are, what you know, and how they resonate with you before they invest in your services. I recently had a client who told me she’s been following me on Instagram for over a year and just decided to make a purchase for the first time.
I’ve also found that when you’re generous with your free stuff (blogs, social media posts, etc) people are more inspired to work with you. I did a huge series on my blog where I went through the cards from the Wild Unknown tarot one by one, pouring heaps of knowledge into the process. I’ve now had many clients who purchased from me because they enjoyed that free series.
And the last thing is the most importance: get your own energy right. I do think there’s something to the notion that people are drawn to energy. If you’re approaching your business with a desperate “I need to make sales NOW” energy, things tend to get murky. It’s much better to do the inner work it takes to approach your business with a calm, trusting energy. That’s when things start to feel like they are gradually clicking into place.
Hang out with this amazing woman online:
Carrie's online home