Posts Tagged ‘Business’

What it Takes to Bring Energy Healing to Everyone

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

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A friend wants to make energy healing available for everyone, not just the well-to-do. That’s a great goal, and I’m totally on board. But what would that take?

Some numbers: Let’s say one energy healer can see 6 people a day, 7 days a week. That’s ambitious but not crazy, which will be a theme for this post. That’s 42 people a week, or about 2,000 people per year, one session per person.

There are 7 billion people alive right now. 7,000,000,000 / 2,000 = 3,500,000, or 3.5 million healers.

The US has 300 million people. 300,000,000 / 2,000 = 150,000 healers in the US.

Those numbers are intimidating. They certainly were for my friend. Years ago, when I first started thinking about building energy healing into a science, those numbers intimidated me too. But having those numbers lets you plan, it makes the difference between a daydream and a goal.

A few takeaways:

  • That’s much larger than a single company. If we want energy healing to be available to everyone, we need an entire industry, including trade schools. Currently, our competition isn’t the other companies or healing systems, our competition is market penetration (fewer than 1% of Americans use biofield healing).
  • Energy healing either needs to be easy to learn (think Reiki), or a high-skill, highly-paid profession (like doctors and nurses.) I want to build the second, which means published studies to build credibility and connect energy healing with medicine.
  • Helping the currently-existing healers offer lower-cost sessions won’t help. That might let them help different people, but it wouldn’t let you help more people. We simply don’t have enough healers right now.
  • How do we get more healers? Create jobs. Currently, if you want to offer healing sessions, you also have to market yourself and network for clients. If healers could instead join a company, be assigned healing cases, and have a marketing team to bring in clients, healing would be a safer, easier career to succeed in, which means more healers.
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Manifesting for Career Decisions

Monday, September 9th, 2013

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Last week, a job offer fell into my lap. I did manifesting, asking about the job vs my current path vs some other options. Then I did it again, with spirits helping me, and got the same answers each time. But I was asking the wrong questions, and the accurate (I assume) data was leading me to the wrong choice. Here’s what happened, what went wrong, and how I fixed it.

Thursday morning, I got a call from a computer consulting firm. They knew me by reputation, and wanted me full time for a year or more, flying to their client every Monday, home every Thursday. Not as brutal as some consulting schedules, but not easy. But I’m in a slow period, steady work is nice, and 3 days a week at home isn’t bad. I was interested.

I started manifesting right after that call. Questions: Tell me what will happen if I take the job. Tell me what will happen if I keep doing what I’m doing.

Answers (summarized): Your life will be about the same, but if you don’t take the job, you’ll be worried about money, about not having enough work. So take the job. Also, make sure to push for a high salary, at the top range of your standard consulting ask. (Note: I don’t actually make what I ask, no one does, it’s just how you negotiate rates.)

I said OK, and manifested for success on the recommended path. (The command: “Make me successful on that recommended path.”)

An hour later, I was talking with their HR rep, negotiating salary. Their offer was good, she was friendly, I felt awkward asking for more. But manifesting had said, so I asked for an additional $40k, because if you’re going to ask, might as well ask big, right? With very little fuss, we settled on $30k over their initial offer. Score one for manifesting.

But the question remained: Did I actually want the job? Time for more thorough manifesting. I asked about this job vs the freelance work I’d been doing. I asked about a potential job with another former colleague, and about starting a business developing healing techniques. I did some of the manifesting myself, then checked with some spirits I know, and got the same info both times: Take the job, save up, then use that money to start the healing business in 1-2 years.

My normal decision was in alignment with my manifesting: Maybe not the perfect job — I wasn’t wild about the travel — but a good rate, reasonably interesting work, and a steady paycheck. I’ve had worse years.

But I forgot to ask something. Any guesses? It took me a couple of days and a friend prompting me, so don’t feel bad if it hasn’t jumped out at you.

The missing question: What about other jobs in San Francisco? I never asked the broad question to catch all the other paths I might take. Which probably has to do with my relative inexperience with manifesting — I needed this experience (and maybe a few more like it, since I’m a slow learner sometimes) to build up the reflex of asking broad questions like that.

When I did, both manifesting and my ordinary logic agreed: A local job is the best option, if I want a job. So that’s the plan: Keep doing what I’m doing until I’m bored, then get a normal job in San Francisco. And when I do manifesting, make sure to ask broad questions, otherwise accurate data can lead to poor decisions.
Do you have a similar experience? Share it in the comments.

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Refocusing My Healing Business

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

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When I started offering healing sessions last year, I did what everyone else does, and offered generic healing sessions for whatever ails you. But I’m realizing that’s not the right approach for me, and that I should offer specific healing techniques for particular problems.

This grew from a couple of experiences over Thanksgiving.

First was a friend with a chest cold. On Tuesday, she said she’d probably be home sick and avoiding people all week. I worked with her Wednesday morning, and she felt much better by lunchtime. Thursday evening, I email her a “happy thanksgiving,” and she writes back that she’s feeling even better, that her day was great, and that she’s still socializing. In short, a nice, successful healing session.

I felt comfortable offering the healing sessions because I’ve had success with colds before. I even sent her those case studies, and felt all professional and sophisticated. I wasn’t 100% sure it would work, not even 90%, but I thought it would probably work the first time, and if not, that I’d probably be able to debug it quickly.

The second experience was a call from a very nice man asking me to work with something I’ve never encountered before. I didn’t even know how to approach it, and I didn’t know how to respond. And I realized: I don’t want to debug healing techniques on strangers.

If you’re new here, a bit of background: Most energy healers work by channeling energy. They use roughly the same procedure (or a short menu of procedures) for all clients, regardless of the problem. They channel, the energy does its thing, badda bing badda boom, they collect their $60.

I can do that, but I don’t want to. For the kinds of results that make me happy — the kinds of results I feel good offering — you need to get deeper than the energy layer, and you need to develop a technique specialized to that particular problem. Which brings us back to debugging.

When I try to work with a new problem, it rarely works the first time. There are just too many options to get them all right the first try. So, I debug, try again, debug some more, and after a few days or weeks or months, I get it working.

(The second time I encounter that problem, the same technique usually works right away. So it’s not just a matter of trying things until the person coincidentally gets better. It really is a matter of developing an effective technique.)

But that first attempt needs to be with a good friend. Someone who believes in me enough to keep showing up for more debugging, even though the last three times only produced temporary results. Someone who will encourage me as I struggle and hit dead ends. Someone who will keep track of their condition and give me good, detailed feedback, so I can figure out what works, attempt after attempt.

I can’t count on a stranger to do all that. And even if I could, what do you charge for that?

So, this is my new approach to offering healing services:

First, I develop the technique on a close friend, for free. They help me debug it, and I feel good about helping a friend.

Second, I work with acquaintances to get experience with the technique, work out the kinks, and so on. For less common conditions, I might offer the healing technique to customers, with the explanation that it’s in development, and is priced accordingly.

Then, once it’s working for a bunch friends, I’ll offer that particular healing technique to anyone who calls. This lets me practice adjusting a healing technique to a bunch of different people, without forcing me to develop a technique from scratch for strangers.

Another bonus: This lets me have case studies for that particular condition, and generally feel much more professional about my offerings.

I’m still not sure how much time I’ll spend on my healing business. But now, I think I’ll feel good about it when I do.

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Pro-Mages and the Goetia (Strategic Sorcery)

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

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Continuing my week of catching up with other blogs, I’m on to Strategic Sorcery today.

The Magic Biz

I always enjoy reading Jason’s take on being a pro-mage. It’s something I’ve thought about on and off for the past year. It’s a hard way to earn a living — much harder than computer consulting, I’ll give him that — but I imagine you would learn a lot by seeing more clients, and by getting the more honest feedback that comes from paying customers, because they don’t feel the need to be polite.

But back to Jason’s post, there are 2 points I found particularly interesting:

In the 90s, mages got status by writing books. For the past decade, mages have gotten status by selling their services. Makes me wonder what the next status-focus will be.

And a fun paragraph:

Some people look at magical orders as the measure of success. The same gent mentioned above bragged to me that the Caliphate OTO has “won”, because they were the biggest group to come out of the Crowley Era. They had the money, and the numbers. He was none to happy when I pointed out that by his standards Scientology would be the obvious winner, not the OTO…**

(Full post here.)

Be Nice to the Goetia

In July, we had a discussion about the Goetia in the comments of my blog. Taylor and Knarrnia recommended just being friendly, and now it seems Jason is in the same camp. I may have to check out the Goetia in the next few months, especially as I start digging into manifesting more.

I also enjoyed Jason’s post for the descriptions of his own path, and for the tips on how to be friendly. And, to avoid post hoc ergo propter hoc, Jason’s article seems to be totally separate from the discussion on my post.

(Full article here.)

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Wrapping Up a Month of Consulting

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

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Yesterday was my final day of hard consulting — sorry for skipping the post, by the way. This coming week is tourism in Australia: An open-range zoo, an aquarium, some museums, and so on. Then two more consulting days to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, and back home on August 30.

A few observations after this month of consulting:

I still practiced a ton of manifesting, and did some healing sessions and other useful effects I already knew, but did very little to develop new techniques. When you’re short on time, the useful techniques get practiced, and the not-yet-useful ones don’t.

And yet, I did develop the enlightenment technique with that spirit. So, research wasn’t at a standstill, just much slower, done mostly on train rides, rather than in focused hour-long sessions. I could assist with research, but not drive my own.

Same for writing: I wrote a post almost every day, but made roughly zero progress on my book.

I did not find a magick community here. Not that I looked that hard. I did run into one chaos magician and one freemason, so there is some stuff in Melbourne if you want to look for it. But nothing that got me terribly excited.

But I did make a lot of awesome friends in Melbourne. Circus performers, artists, and otherwise really interesting people. Didn’t tell most of them about magick, though. I don’t want to present it as a religion, but I don’t have the right demonstrations yet to present it as a science. Maybe next year.

Yesterday,  after the final bit of consulting, I was pretty exhausted. But today, after napping a few extra hours, I feel recharged, and ready to develop some new magick. I think this month made a nice change of pace, a good way to take a vacation from magick without feeling guilty for wasting the time.

And I have a career recommendation for aspiring mages: Freelance work. When you have a gig, you can take a break from your magick work, and when you don’t have a gig, you can do full-time magick. It works quite well.

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In the Future, Everything Will Be a Coffee Shop

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

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A few months ago, I read this great article by Stephen Gordon about how all businesses will become coffee shops in the future. The idea is that, with all the core functions of a business going online now — university classes and most retail, for example — the only real function of most businesses will be for meetings, which can happen more cheaply and deliciously at a coffee shop.

I was brought back to Gordon’s article after visiting the occult store in Melbourne this week. The striking thing about this shop is, it truly wants to be a bookstore. The books themselves are wrapped in plastic, so you can’t thumb through them — Amazon gives you more of a preview than you get here. I don’t think there were any chairs, let along a place to sit and chat over coffee. In fact, between the books on every wall and the jewelry cases in the middle, there would barely be space for two people to pass each other. The goal seems to be to stock as many books as possible, and get customers in and out as quickly as possible, with a minimum of interaction.

And I can’t imagine it’s going very well. Amazon will always have a bigger selection, plus reviews and better prices. Blogs like this one make much of the content free, and most online content is fresher and more cutting edge than print books, anyway. When I told him I’m a blogger and asked about local events, he was outright hostile, saying that everyone is just talking online and not meeting, and that the community is falling apart because of … (wait for it) … blogs.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about coffee shops. Some place with meetups, classes, and books to read while you’re there. Roughly 90% of coffee shops succeed* because it’s a relatively high-markup product, and it’s a lot less overhead than a restaurant. Basically, you let Amazon have the product sales, and you focus on the community. The Occult Bookstore in Chicago is pretty close: They have an event most evenings, and a truly lovely community there, but I don’t think they actually sell coffee. You pay $10 for the event, and bring the coffee from next door, which seems like a huge missed opportunity.

*That 90% statistic was from some article comparing coffee shops to restaurants. It’s probably as well-researched as most things on the internet.

Right now, this is just an idea bouncing around my head. I doubt I’ll do anything with it. But I am curious: Does anyone live in an area with an occult coffee shop, or an occult bookstore that primarily lives on events and coffee sales? I’d love a link to the place.


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Magick Doesn’t “Work Like Magic”

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

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Remember those cheesy ads for cleaners, where they’d dip a stained cloth in a bowl of special soap? Remember how they said it “works like magic”?

One of the ironies of any mage’s life is that magick doesn’t “work like magic.”

Real magick promotes healing, but it doesn’t alter tissue instantly. Real magick guides you to make better decisions, and might even guide people around you to make decisions slightly more favorable to you, but won’t make you Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Like marketing and medicine and psychology, real magick makes small alterations that, over time, add up to something significant.

Real magick doesn’t “work like magic.”

What does this mean for us, as practitioners of magick? It means that, when we say we “practice magick,” we may be conjuring up an expectation that only illusionists and frauds could hope to meet. It means that, if our customers expect our magick to work like magic — and can you blame them? — they’re going to be disappointed. It means that we may be using the wrong word.

I don’t have an answer. But now I can at least express the problem concisely: Magick doesn’t “work like magic.”

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Why I’m Resistant to Selling Magick

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

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How do you deal with magick that might harm others? I asked Ona this question recently, and she turned around and asked it back to me.

There are a lot of things I could talk about. I could discuss intentionally harmful (curses) vs incidentally harmful (I got the job, someone else didn’t) vs accidentally harmful (I got the job, but in the end, the job didn’t suit me). I could show you how I phrase requests to avoid accidents (see this post for some tips). I could even discuss ethics of curses, and why I treat curses like physical violence — if I’d punch someone, I’ll curse them, but if it’s too petty for blows, it’s too petty for curses.

I discuss those topics in this comment, posted today (June 5 2012).

But there’s something on my mind lately: Magick for hire. Someone hires you to do magick to help them get a job, and that incidentally harms the other job-seekers. And since I do some magick for hire, it’s been on my mind.

Note: This post is exploring my own personal ethics. I’m not trying to tell other pro-mages how to live, just trying to decide what I’d like to do for myself. I’m going to explore feelings and turn up contradictions in my own thinking, which is the first step to resolving them. I don’t have an answer in mind yet.

Magick Should Be Earned

I have a feeling that magick should be earned. That it’s OK for a mage to do whatever magick they want (within reason — don’t be malicious, but incidental harm, on the same level as writing a great resume or wearing good clothes, is fine). That if your luck translates into someone else’s unluck, well, that’s their fault for not learning magick, just like it’s their fault for not hiring a professional resume editor. But I feel uneasy doing magick for a stranger for money.

Part of it is that I know the spirits who made the ethereal software I use. I train with them. And they made that software to teach people to do magick. That’s the deal: You learn enough to do X, and you can do X. That’s part of the incentive to learn. And it feels disrespectful to then sell those skills to people who won’t ever learn any magick.

I wonder what happens if there’s too much manifesting. Like, maybe a few thousand people doing manifesting is OK, but a few million people makes it all less effective, or messes something up in some way. I don’t know the algorithms behind the software, but I bet I could ask my trainers and find out if there’s a thing as “too much manifesting.”

Those two feel like the meat of it. I say “feel like” because this is the first time I’ve expressed any of this consciously, and it’s hard to tell if there are other aspects that make me uncomfortable, too. But let’s address them, then see if there’s other resistance.

Talking with My Trainers

I called the spirits that teach me — the ones that made the ethereal software. And I asked them about those concerns. The salient points:

  • We trust you to only do non-harmful things. Doing any basic manifesting, or really any energy healing, would be non-harmful.
  • If you’re really worried, key the manifesting to just guide the person to make good decisions. I can’t see any harm in that.
  • Don’t worry about the idea that the person receiving energy healing should be learning magick. You’ll be learning magick. And if we can help you meet your human needs for money and food and whatnot, we’re glad to do it.

Seems I was worried over nothing. And I wonder how common this is: That you’re unconsciously uncomfortable about something, but once you make the concern conscious and do some digging, it turns out to be nothing to worry about. If you have experiences like this, please share.

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Why Starting a Magick Career is Terrifying

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

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Self-help types sometimes ask, “What would you do if you knew you’d be successful?” I’m not big on self-help, but sometimes they do have good questions.

Once we toss out things like, “Learn to manifest stock trades,” which is like picking “Play for the NBA” or “Get elected president,” I wind up with:

Stop the computer consulting and build an energy healing / teaching practice.

And, between moving to San Francisco, developing some good healing techniques, and getting a handle on how to teach direct magick, now seems like a good time.

And when I focus on just the next steps, it feels good. I’ll do healing sessions for friends for free to build the experience and referrals I’ll need for paid clients. I’ll teach event organizers in the pagan and magick communities 1-on-1, with the understanding that they’ll help me organize classes if they like what I’m doing. Those feel doable. And I ran some numbers, and I can pay my bills with about 3 clients per day every day, charging reasonable rates. (Including taxes and room rental.) It all feels pretty feasible and concrete.

But then I dial into the big picture: Leaving an established career with a good hourly rate for a woo-woo field. Trying to create genuinely amazing healing results, on the level of modern sciences, when so many others have tried and failed and been ridiculed out of their jobs. Actually taking steps to turn magick into a mature, respected field, instead of just saying I want to do that on my blog. Really, it’s all pretty terrifying.

I’ve already thought about the effects of failing. There’s a great exercise in [L amazon] The 4-Hour Workweek: Imagine what would happen if you fail, and how you’d recover. For me, I’d teach myself Ruby (a programming language), make some open-source projects, blog as I do it, and get a job as a programmer. It would probably take 3 months. So failing and having to go back to a normal job isn’t hard.

The terrifying part, I realize, is about being different. Being weird. Going against my tribe, where you’re supposed to get a degree, a sensible job and a house in the suburbs. It just feels like what I’m doing is Wrong, or only done by Dumb People, or in some other way thoroughly taboo. And I notice, this is the same feeling I had when I left my full-time consulting job in 2010.

Incidentally, leaving that full-time consulting job was a great decision. I became way happier, got tons more free time to blog and practice magick, and still earned more than I needed. Which is probably a good data point to keep in mind when considering how much to listen to this terrified feeling.

Now that I know what I’m dealing with, time to resolve it. Yes, just like that. Five years ago, I would have meditated, let my unconscious speak and tried to work through my feelings over a week. These days, I use consciousness integration* for about three minutes, and I feel so much better.

*Quick version of the consciousness integration technique I use: Activate thought paths between my conscious mind and the semi-conscious parts of my psyche that were worried; have them talk; and apply a calm, relaxed energy to those semi-conscious parts. There are simpler versions of the technique, too. I’ll be writing about this more as I write my book later this year.

So, what’s the point? Maybe it’s that you can be terrified for no good reason. Or that feeling terrified has very little to do with what will actually make you happy. Or that the first step to resolving it is admitting you’re scared and figuring out why.

Or maybe it’s whatever you take away from the story. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

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Evidence-Based Magick

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

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I just figured out how to introduce non-mages to direct magick. Last night I was at a meetup with a few pagans and a lot of non-magickal folks, and I was more interested in letting everyone get to know me than in making polite-but-shallow connections. So, I tried something new:

“I do energy healing, but focused on testing and verifiable results.” Most folks asked follow-up questions and seemed genuinely interested. It went over really well. Feel free to borrow the phrase.

Based on that, I’m thinking of a new tagline (at the top of the page, below “Magick of Thought”). What do you think of:

  • Evidence-based energy healing, manifesting and other magick.
  • Results-focused magick for energy healing, manifesting and more.
  • Magick focused on testing and verifiable results.

Which do you like best? Why? Also, you can like the first half of one (“evidence-based” vs “results-focused”) and the second half of another. And feel free to suggest another phrase.


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