Yesterday, I spent some time on the street doing what I call (pardon my French) “little bullshit $20 readings”. It’s my way of introducing myself to the ‘hood and pass around my business card. I’ll admit: it’s a little weird to be in an area where I’m not known. VT is such a small community that even if someone hasn’t had a reading, they know my name from all the flyers I plaster around. Sitting outside so exposed is not a preferred way of doing my work but it has brought me great clients in the past. Besides, I have lots of time down here in FL, so why not?
It was a slow Tuesday night. About 2 hours into it, an older man with a much younger, pretty woman approached. The shop owner (who I call my “agent”) encouraged them to get a reading. We laughed a bit and much to my surprise, the man sat down. This is rare. Most men I’ve met either pooh-pooh it as girly-stuff or look completely frightened. I could feel my body girding up a bit. I never know what to expect with male clients—some have been like brick walls, others relatively open. Very different than the majority of my female clients, who are open books and already know the answer.
He was very well groomed, Florida-style. Silky shirt, leather loafers, neatly pressed khakis. White hair that was probably cut daily. He said, “The last time I had this done, I was in Vegas,” and smiled at me. No doubt a life-long charmer. When I asked him to shuffle and pick 3 cards he seemed a bit confused but gamely went along.
The reading was straightforward—I saw clearly what was troubling him and let him fill in the gaps. It wasn’t about telling him what to do—the cards were like neon arrows pointing directly at what needed attention.
After the reading, I asked him one of my favorite questions: “What’s it like to be rich?” I’m endlessly fascinated as to how people create their world, especially the very wealthy. This was a man with 10 houses, 5 ex-wives and an empire built from scratch. “To be wealthy?” he replied. “Lots of responsibility. I take care of a lot of people.” He told me the story of how he started from nothing and spent the first 20 years full of gain and great losses. “These Wall Street kids nowadays…all they want is to chase money. And when the bottom falls out, they fall apart. You gotta love what you do. The money will follow. I took lots of risks, lost lots of money. Those first 20 years I had alotta sleepless nights. Now money’s no problem—but you gotta love what you do.” He proceeded to tell me that money’s nice but it’s not everything. He still spends time mentoring younger colleagues at his corporation to see the whole picture and have patience to stick it out during the tough times.
Talking with clients in such a manner makes my “street-time” that much richer. I just never know who is going to sit at my table. I thought about his patience today with business—and that I need more with my own. 20 years is a long time to build a foundation. I basically started reading full-time from my couch 3 years ago. I offered $40 readings for clients who found me through flyers. It’s easy to get discouraged when there’s not a ridiculously full client load. At times I wonder if I should be doing this full-time. Then I meet clients like him who pique my endless curiousity with stories that inform my own experience and I know I’m on the right track. There’s nothing, in fact, that I want to be doing more than following my heart, whether it be healing through Tarot, photography or even chatting with someone I’d otherwise never meet.