A couple months ago, I had my first appointment that didn’t go so well. I’m fortunate that this is really the first time this has happened since I have been doing this work.
It was all due to a communication issue. The client was under the impression that because I’m a medium, I would bring mediumship into everything that I do.
She had come in for a 2020 Year Ahead Tarot Session and was disappointed that I wasn’t connecting with her loved ones in spirit. On my website I keep these offerings separate and I use specific language for each. In tarot I’m reading the clients energy and giving them insight on their life and struggles that come up for them. (This is not the case for all readers but this is how it works for me).
That was not what this client wanted. She was very frustrated that I was not giving her a mediumship reading, despite the fact that she did not book a mediumship reading. About twenty minutes in, she stopped the session and said she really didn’t feel like it was connecting the way she wanted so I asked for some clarification on what she meant.
Did she feel that I wasn’t accurately getting a picture of her situation? No.
She said she knew what I told her was what was going on, and it made sense that she knew she needed to work on those things. Everything I had told her was accurate and connected with her current circumstances. But she was under the impression that because I’m a medium I would be connecting to spirit and bringing through messages because that’s what she experienced when she went to another reader. I reiterated what I always say at the beginning of my sessions that we all read a little bit differently, but that this type of reading is meant to read her energy, not her loved ones in spirit.
So I made what I thought was a good business decision, I stopped the session. I told her that maybe we just weren’t a good fit, and told her I would refund her payment and I did so as soon as she left.
That is a violation of my no refund policy but I wanted to do right by her, and even though I had already invested my time and energy. As a new business owner it was more important for me to have someone leave happy even if they didn’t get what they want, than finish a reading that they weren’t receptive to and try to force it.
I think this is one of the hardest things as a reader. You aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. You have to try not to take it personally.
I wanted to talk about this today to bring up a few things.
First of all, if you are a reader or any kind or a healer, really try to take your ego out of your work. When you care so much and love what you do, it can be easy to take things very personally. Sometimes you will have readings that are lights out. You will feel super connected and super in sync with your client.
Other times clients come in with very real pain that is consuming them and with a desire to hear a specific thing. They might be disappointed when they don’t get the exact message they wanted out of the session and while this is disappointing for both client and reader, it’s not personal. It will feel personal, but it’s not.
And then there are clients who won’t be satisfied no matter what you do. You also have to make peace with that as well.
For example, this same client felt a need, after I had apologized for the misunderstanding about what service she was purchasing and sent her a full refund, to still send me another email insulting my space, my reading style, and my tarot cards and explained how because I was a medium she “would expect to see those skills on display” . She also implied that because she felt my fees were high, she felt entitled to that.
It was a lesson to me on boundaries. I let her cross one boundary by giving her the refund, and so she felt entitled to more. You have probably experienced this with boundaries in your own life. If you give someone an inch, they feel entitled to a mile.
It’s been a huge gift for me to be able to take my ego out of the equation. I am in charge of providing the reading or healing session, translating what I see and hear, and giving my full attention, compassion, and concentration to my clients. But I am not responsible for their outcome.
So often with spiritual work, clients come in thinking that a practitioner is required to give them what they want. They are focused entirely on the outcome they want. But your job as a practitioner is to provide the space for them, to provide a healing environment, to listen to their concerns, and provide them with what insights you have. You have an obligation to give them what they need, which may not be entirely in alignment with what they want.
I think of it like going to the doctor, you can give the client the medicine, but it’s up to them to take it. Not every client is going to be ready to do what they have to in order to grow. Not every client is going to be ready to hear what you have to say. Part of being a spiritual practitioner, maybe the hardest part, is learning to be okay with that.
This whole experience reminded me how important it is as a service provider to have clear service descriptions and a clear cancellation and refund policy. Setting expectations for clients is paramount.
It is also the responsibility for the client to do their research and be sure that they know what they are purchasing and that they approach readings with an open mind.
So here are my pointers for finding the right practitioner:
Know Your Goal
Whenever you are seeking a service, you should be sure you know what your ultimate goal is. You should be sure that the service that you are purchasing fulfills that goal and that you understand what you are buying. I am always happy to answer questions or direct clients towards the service that is more in line with their goals and almost every reader I know, does this regularly.
It’s in the readers best interest to make sure that the client is set up for success. That’s just good business.
Make Sure You Understand that Practitioners Philosophy and Limitations
I have very specific language on my page about what service is good for which type of issue. I also have a breakdown of my philosophy towards reading and healing in my “About Me” section. I list what I will and won’t read on because there are a lot of legalities, especially in Pennsylvania, about what you can and can’t give advice on. I state clearly that I am not legal, financial, or medical council and this type of work is not included in any of my services.
I also have specific language in my terms and conditions of my services about how I don’t provide refunds, and that while I will give guidance on topics ultimately, my clients have free will.
You should be wary of any reader who acts as though they have all the answers, rather than empowering you to get your own answers or validating what you already intuitively know. Do not give your power away to someone else.
Get a Personal Referral
I am also a big believer in getting and giving personal referrals for any spiritual work. My business is almost exclusively personal referrals, and I love it because it sets clients up for success and I know that the people coming in know exactly what to expect.
I also only see other practitioners that I know personally, have been referred to, or that I have seen how they provide their readings to other people via their website or a podcast.
This will give you a clear expectation of how the reading works, if they have the type of style that you would find helpful, and what kind of questions or prep work you might need to do ahead of time.
I hope that sets all of you up for your best experience with your next intuitive or healing session.
If you are a practitioner, I hope it validates your experience and inspires you to stay firm with your boundaries. Healthy boundaries help you to feel safe as a practitioner, and to build your business without feeling burned out or resentful of the work that you love so much.
If you haven’t taken the time to set clear boundaries, don’t beat yourself up, make the time this week to do it. It doesn’t take very long and it only requires a bit of clarifying language on your website or in your literature. Take the time now to invest in yourself and your business. It only takes a few minutes to do the research and set yourself up for success.
© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved