Closing Out 2020 with Lessons Learned

It’s no secret that running a business is hard. But running a business during a global pandemic, a social justice uprising, and an election year is damn near impossible. In this episode I discuss My experience and some of the biggest learnings from working through 2020 as an entrepreneur. 

I talk about managing burnout and chronic health issues. I also share some larger takeaways about the importance of focusing on the work that you love and focusing your work in general. It’s never been more important to be strategic and intentional with the work that you’re doing and the more focused you can be, the better outcome you’re going to have.


I discuss how even as an intuitive person it can be hard to listen to intuition and to trust that the things that I want to do in my business will be the things that serve me best. I talk all about how I shifted my business to be more focused on business and career tarot reading and energy healing. I also speak to some of the fear that I had about letting go of long-term offerings and services that were popular but did not suit me this year.

I learned how to truly lean on my tarot and energy work practice as tools to keep me healthy and sane through the year.

I also discussed the importance of community and having an effective support system. You don’t want to wait until you’re in a crisis to find people that can help you stay grounded and healthy. Ultimately I’m a human before I am a business owner and taking care of my human needs has never been more important than it has been in this past year. I discuss some of the ways that I learned to take better care of myself and how you can too.

I hope this episode will serve as validation for your own feelings managing through this year and give you some insight into how to prioritize your own needs. self-care is a popular buzzword but it’s also an integral part of being a human being. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of other people and your ability to do that affects how you show up for the people you love.

I also wrote this blog post all about this topic here:

Connect with Sheila:

To get your Career Ahead Tarot Guide click here

To book a career tarot reading or distance energy healing session with Sheila click here

To read more about Sheila’s offerings click here

Or on Instagram

Check out this episode!


Sheila M  0:05  

Welcome to Living Tarot. I’m your host Sheila Masterson. I’m a tarot reader and teacher, an energy healer and medium, and creator of Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives. Each week on this podcast, I’ll share my own experience of embracing and growing intuition and interview guests about how they heard the call of intuition, embraced the adventure, and embodied the tarot along the way. Join us and learn how you can stop second guessing, empower yourself through intuition, and live intentionally with the tarot.

Welcome back to Living Tarot. I wanted to put an episode together for you today that’s a little different, a little more personal than some of the episodes that I do. Because I realized that with the year that we’ve had, there have been some things that I’ve realized about being intuitive and running a business that might help other people who are out there doing similar work. And so I wanted to kind of put together a roundup of what I’ve learned this year, and some of the lessons that I am hoping to carry into 2021 with me, and hopefully, implement for real and not just, you know, maybe this will serve as some sort of accountability to me to actually do those things that I say that I’m going to do. So first of all, it comes it’s an obvious thing to say that this year has been a really challenging year to run a business for everyone, any small business in your community, any entrepreneur, any solopreneur. It’s just been, it’s been a tough year to be a human being. And it’s been a tough year to try to run a business with a lot of moving parts and a lot of things changing on a regular basis and being under a tremendous amount of stress just from the outside world. So I think I want to start with the idea that no matter how spiritual you are, how intuitive you are, no matter how much you connect and really use your spirituality in your life, or in your work, you’re a human first. And I have been fighting against this all year. I know about self care. I know the importance of self care. I deal with some chronic health issues. So it’s a necessity in my life. And yet, I still want to fight against it, you know. I think there’s something to be said for my astrology in that. There’s something to be said for my general attitude towards life. And I’ve really learned a lot this year about how to treat myself like a human being, before I treat myself like an intuitive or a business owner because just with dealing with chronic health issues, and also dealing with an extremely, extremely traumatic and stressful year, I’ve been separated from my family for most of the year. I’ve seen them a couple times outside far away. My sister is a nurse and I have not given her a hug in nine months and she could probably really use one. And you know, we haven’t seen my boyfriend’s parents. I haven’t seen really good friends, like so many of us. And I’m also fortunate that I am in a situation and you know, privileged to be in the situation of being able to shift my business online, which a lot of people have not been able to do. But I found myself as a person who does a lot of caretaking for other people, and does a lot of healing work feeling like I needed to constantly do more. This feeling of helplessness that comes up you know, people respond to it in different ways and what I found myself doing, and what I often find myself doing in situations of helplessness is trying to find more things to do. Well, if I can just do this one thing, then I won’t feel so helpless or if I can just help with this one thing or if I can just create one more class or if I can just run one more workshop or if I can just add one more course. And I was basically trying to solve like all of the world’s problems personally myself with like one workshop, which is totally unreasonable and I don’t, you know, intellectually, I think I could tell myself Like, that doesn’t make any sense, but emotionally that’s how I was dealing with things. And I really threw myself into my work. And I, you know, I tried to do way too many things. And I ignored my own nervous system, I think initially, over the first two weeks of being in lockdown, and having things really be pretty scary where I live, outside Philadelphia. You know, I was kind of, you know, very emotional and falling apart a lot at the beginning. And then I was kind of like, Okay, I guess we’re just like living in this emergency state, you know, like so many of us. So now I just need to keep running my business. And I think if I could go back and remind myself at the beginning, that I’m a human being, and that maybe I need to slow down a little bit, maybe I need to take less clients on week to week, less commitments for myself, right now, I might have had a different experience, I’ve gotten to that place now. And if you’re a person who’s worked with me, for a long time, you will notice that I’ve set up parameters in my business to be seeing clients less often. So less days a week and less sessions per week. So people have to book out a little farther now, which, you know, I was afraid to do and, you know, I’ve changed some of the work that I’m doing as well to be the work that is most sustainable for me, and that I enjoy the most. So there are a lot of lessons in being human. I also found myself, you know, in the middle of this pandemic, having a… luckily, and very fortunately for me, minor COVID-unrelated health crisis, that really threw me for a loop, because I was not… you know, I was certainly not expecting it. And, you know, luckily, it is manageable and under control. But it was a very big surprise that I had to pretty much, you know, handle unexpectedly, and readjust, you know, my business, my teaching, and really caused me to have that moment to pause, you know, in the middle of all of this chaos and be like, Okay, what I’m doing is not going to continue to serve me. What I’ve done so far is not going to do it, for me moving forward. And it’s really hard to allow yourself to be human when you’ve got all these, you know, big dreams and big ideas. And I know that people can relate to this, because I’ve had these conversations with a lot of my friends this year, that both those who run businesses and those who are just in the business world, and also those who are parents and staying at home with their kids. God bless. I really… it’s a hard year for allowing yourself like time and space to just like, be present and feel how you’re feeling because we’ve kind of been moving from emergency to emergency and I feel like on a collective level, and even for me, personally this year, on a personal level. And so that was really hard I am very type A and very ambitious. And I always want to be, you know, going after that next thing. I have all these ideas, and I want to make all of them happen. So I do want to talk about that because I think if you are a person who this year has felt like you need to operate at the same level, and we’ve all seen the memes, we’ve all seen things about this, but if you are a person who feels like you need to always be operating at that level, and any drop off is like a… it’s a flaw in your character, just you know, maybe over the next month or so, like give yourself the opportunity to have some time where you’re not doing. You know I always go back to that phrase, you’re a human being not a human doing. And it is hard to be in that space, even as somebody who embraces spirituality and meditation and yoga and has worked for a long time on being more mindful, more present in my body. I mean, the nature of everything that’s happening this year is so traumatic that a lot of us don’t want to be in our bodies. And if you have a history of trauma, like myself, then you might be extra hyper vigilant right now and that might show up in all different ways. For some people, it’s dissociating. For some people, it’s abusing substances. For some people, it’s you know, throwing yourself into work and pretending that everything else isn’t happening and that you should be functioning at the same level. And like I said, I say this all without judgment, because this is entirely coming from my experience of trying to run this business this year, to the best of my ability, and also keeping it authentic, you know, keeping it real with people. I can have a really hard time as a healer and as somebody who is an authority on these things of being really open about the things that I’m struggling with, and like what’s going on with me personally, and not to say that I need to share stuff about my personal experience, or my personal life with my clients, but more that humanizing the experience of being a healer is really to everybody’s benefit, because I don’t actually see myself as in some way, like elevated over my clients. I believe very much that they are doing the healing, and I’m just providing the space and the conditions for them to be able to do it themselves. So it’s really not about me feeling like I need to be some elevated teacher in some way, but more that there’s a perfectionism in how I want to be perceived. And so if that is happening for you, as well, I will really say what helped me a lot is to slow down, like, slow down and focus and focus on one thing, which is…. I’ll kind of go right into that as as the next thing that I’ve learned, but less is more when it comes to what you’re doing and what you’re offering, especially if you are a person who is a solopreneur like myself, where you’re just you and your business, working for yourself. And as I’ve learned from being in business for myself, you know, I really have two jobs. I have the Sheila who’s showing up and facilitating healing and reading Tarot and doing all these things for clients. And then I have the business manager, Sheila. And those are, you know… both of those jobs take time. And I think when I was initially thinking about my work, I was only thinking about the hours that I was healing and working with clients. So it’s been an adjustment for me to focus a little bit more. So like I said, allowing myself to be human meant reducing the types of offers that I was doing, and reducing and just completely eliminating the offers that were too much work or that I found to be too draining, to successfully sustain throughout, basically a global state of emergency and a personal state of emergency, you know. So that was really important for me to realize, and if you’re like listening to this, and you are like hell no, like there is not a chance that I’m letting go of these things, I like all of these things. Listen, I am with you. I am a Sagittarius rising. I want to do everything. I want to learn about everything. I want to be an expert at everything. I want to deeply study everything. I have a million ideas and I want to do them all. And it’s been very, very difficult for me to do less, which sounds crazy, but it’s really, really true. It has been so hard for me to allow myself to be more focused on just one or two types of work. So if you have been following along, I reduced the types of readings that I was doing down to just career and business tarot readings. And I’m still doing energy work, as well. And I do want to say, you know, I was resistant to doing that, even though my favorite type of readings were working with people through career transitions and, you know, I had this experience of working with a client where we went from the time that she was laid off from her job, until she was job searching, until she was looking at these two specific offers, and then deciding how to approach those offers. It was such an amazing and clarifying experience for both of us because she got all this clarity about exactly what job she wanted, exactly how to negotiate a huge raise for herself and that was amazing, but for me, it really brought me face to face with the work that I love so much and that I really enjoy so much. And frankly, I was worried about letting go of the other things because you know, I do a lot of relationship readings historically, but I also find that, you know, nothing happens in a vacuum. So when we talk about our career, you can’t really talk about what’s going on in your career without also talking about what kind of support you have at home or what kind of support you have in your relationship or from your family or from your friends; like all of these different areas of our life interweave with what’s going on in our career and in our business and in the work that we’re doing. And so I really… I had this very clarifying moment with this client, where I realized that that would actually be a really good thing for me to do, because it’s what I enjoy. And when I lead the session, I feel really energized and really excited. And it’s not to say that I didn’t feel that way about the other work that I was doing, but that was the work that I really, really, like 100% wanted to dedicate myself to. And the more focused I have been on that, the better my business has been doing, and frankly, the better I feel. So I’ve noticed that it’s easier for me to sustain my energy level. It’s easier for me to not feel like I need to go, go, go all the time. And it really has set me free to be more creative about where I see my business going long term. So it’s really exciting for me, because just having that little bit of mental space has freed me up to be more creative, which is really what I wanted this year anyway. So it’s been a lesson for me. And if you’re listening to this, and you’re like I couldn’t possibly let go of these things. One of the things that really helped me was looking at it as temporary. I can always choose to add those things back in. And once life goes back to relative, relatively normal, I may do that. But for now, this has really helped me talk about the work that I’m doing. It’s helped me find the right clients. It’s helped me help the clients that I have been working with to my maximum ability. And it’s also kept me in kind of a similar headspace when I’m going into these readings, which has been just… it’s really been amazing. So what else have I learned? Okay, so walk your talk. This is really important because I see a lot of people who teach things and don’t do them. So let me be totally honest with you. I really use the stuff that I teach. Like everything that I teach in my Tarot course Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives, which by the way is going to be available, you know, evergreen next year. You’ll be able to access it whenever you would like. So I’m not going to be running like monthly or, you know, quarterly trainings. It’s just going to be available all the time. But in practical Tarot for everyday intuitive, the way that I teach Tarot, and the way that I teach intuitive spreads, and intuitive reading is literally the way that I use Tarot in my life. And I have relied on Tarot very heavily this year especially. I suffer from anxiety and, you know, historically have suffered from depression. Both of which before Coronavirus, were pretty well managed and maintained. Doesn’t mean that they weren’t there, or you know that I wasn’t still working with them, but they weren’t debilitating or like running my life. But throughout this year, with so many different things happening in the world, and being a person who is very empathic, and really takes on kind of the energy of whatever’s happening out there, I was struggling and so I used… I have a spread, called Tarot for Anxiety. I used that spread a lot. And I also used one of my favorite questions when I am having anxiety because sometimes even just doing a whole spread is too much and I just need to sit down with my deck and say what do I need right now. And even just asking that one question is enough to get me from that overthinking place more into my body, a more receptive place. And I’ll talk about that a little bit more in another episode that I’m going to do about using Tarot for anxiety. But I did want to talk about that because I really have needed to walk my talk in my business this year. I have needed to rest more. I have needed to do my own spreads more. I have needed to rely on Tarot to help me to make decisions in my business. I mean, these are things that I teach, but they are really things that I do in my business. And when I’m mulling something over, when I’m evaluating things, when I was thinking about I mean, the perfect example, when I was thinking about moving to just doing career and business work, I was really nervous about it. And my logical brain was like, Sheila, don’t say no to business. But I had to go, I had to sit down with my deck, and I had to kind of work through that anxiety by doing a spread and looking through some stuff and asking some intuitive questions because truly I have found it to be an invaluable tool at self reflection, like self reflecting in my business, and keeping me accountable to what I say I’m going to do because when I write things down, and I journal about these things, and then later on having anxiety and don’t want to do them, I can go back and read that book out what I was thinking and what I was processing in that moment, and then I have to do it. So that has been really helpful. And if you… I do Reiki on myself as well. If you are an energy healer, if you are a tarot reader, I highly encourage you to use your tools, because I think so often when we do them as a job, we only think about how they can help other people and forget to use them to help ourselves. So that’s definitely something that I have relied on so much. 

Hey there, I wanted to let you know that I’m currently accepting bookings for my career ahead tarot readings. These readings are designed to help you see the energy of the year ahead, to close out anything that’s been holding you back in the present year, and help you expand into your highest level in your career or business. Each reading happens to go through the year, month by month, talk about what you’ll be dealing with and how to best approach any challenges or hiccups that might come up in the year ahead. I have very limited bookings around the holidays. And I’m starting to get booked up into the new year as well. So if you are interested, please head on over to the show notes for this episode or check out my website at And if you’re more of a do it yourself kind of person, I’ve also created a DIY year ahead Tarot guide that will lead you through a very similar spread to what I do with my clients, and help you to define what you really want out of this year and see any challenges and how to approach them through the year. It is an entirely personal reading, it is a very accessible price point, and you can use it over and over. So it’s not specific to next year and it’s not even specific to this time of year. You can use it for your relationship around your anniversary, you can use it on your business anniversary, or your birthday. The options are really endless. So if you are interested in purchasing your own DIY year ahead guide, you can do that by heading over to the show notes today. 

And then, really, you need to choose yourself first. Which can sound selfish and seem crazy. Especially like I said before, when you when you have that logical side of yourself that’s like you can’t say no to money, you run a small business. You really have to choose what you want, and not what you think other people expect. And the perfect example of this is at the beginning of quarantine, I happened to have a bunch of mediumship readings scheduled. And I had already been feeling like I wanted to move away from that work and not that I don’t want to do it, but I don’t really enjoy doing it in that type of setting. And so when things shut down for quarantine, it was kind of like a… it was almost like this, like boundary was set for me. And it’s not that I can’t do it over a distance, but I did find because it is already harder for me to like sit down in a session and pull in spirits for that person, rather than just the spirits who may come and talk to me on a regular basis. You know, there’s two different qualities to how much energy it takes to do those things. And because I was already finding that draining, and I had all of these sessions scheduled that I had to then postpone, it was an interesting experience because at first I postponed and then you know, I kind of said, I don’t see this happening in the foreseeable future. So I referred people to another reader that I know who is still working with people. And I basically… you know, it was really hard for me to let go of that. But when I did, I felt relieved. And to me that is always a sign that I’m doing the right thing and that I’m I’m making a good decision for myself, even though it’s hard. And I kept thinking about things, when I was thinking about what I wanted to offer in terms of like, what other people wanted me to do. And you know, obviously that needs to be consideration in your business, but I was only thinking about that. And that’s how I kind of got to this place of doing all of these different things. And I liked all of them, but I felt like I had to keep doing all of them, rather than refining things down and like, managing my energy better and feeling, you know, more aligned with the work that I was doing on a daily basis. And so I think that that’s really important to remember is that when you run your own business, and for me, you know, I worked in corporate America for 12 years… 13 years… 14… I don’t even know. It’s a time warp. But I spent all of these years doing that and I didn’t leave doing that, so that I could also like, work myself to death, and work crazy long hours and do stuff that I didn’t really love doing. It is hard work to run a business. It is really hard work, even though it’s just me. I’m not like running a team or anything. It is super hard work. I can’t stress this enough. And it is hard to shut down. It’s hard to take a break. It’s hard to give yourself that grace. So you need to really love what you’re doing. I mean, you need to really enjoy it, you need to feel revitalized by it. Doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work or that you won’t, you know, feel tired or whatever, but you don’t want to feel drained afterwards. And so I was really being drained by having too many different things going on. And when I focused on what I really wanted to do, and what I really, really am enjoying right now, it’s been a completely different experience for me working with people, and it’s been really wonderful. So that’s another idea, okay. And then I also have to say that one of the most important things for me this year, was finding community. And it can sound crazy, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You can’t really be near people, but I did a small group business training program with a group of really fabulous, intuitive, amazing people, and have kept in touch with all of them. And we all talk on an ongoing basis. Hi to all of you. They have all either been on or will be on in the new year on the podcast. And are just amazingly talented and wise human beings who have kept me accountable to my own boundaries, my own agreements. And really been a touch point for me at a time when it can feel especially isolating to be an entrepreneur. I’ve said it before quite a few times, but it can be a really isolating experience to work for yourself. You don’t really have any co workers. And as Davis Carr, who’s been on the podcast, said in our group chat the one day, I feel like this is like my business watercooler chat time because like we’ll talk about stuff that’s going on and we get to kind of catch up with each other and we aren’t alone and it does feel a little bit like having co workers. And sometimes we literally do have co working time where we’ll just hop on zoom, and we’ll work through issues that one of us is having, or we’ll check, you know, copy for each other or talk through issues or problems that are coming up or client problems. And it’s been just so amazing to have this sense of community. And the sense of people who understand exactly what I’m going through, even if their business is slightly different. And that has been so important for me. And there’s also a huge community of other people as well, who I follow and who give business advice and who are just like amazing, wonderful human beings who have so much wisdom and support. And having that sense of community for me this year has been so important, even if it is just my internet friends as I say. We’re all internet friends now, right? All of our friends are internet friends. But really finding that group of people who can validate your experience, talk through stuff with you, offer ideas and support, and really like that sense of encouragement and camaraderie of being in something together has been so powerful for me. And then finally, I want to talk about planning. So at the end of 2019, I did everything right. I had done everything right, according to how you’re supposed to run a business. I was in my first year of business. So I went full time in my job, May of 2019. And I actually did really well. May and June, I was super booked up. I was very, very busy. The summer was a little bit quieter, but I still had some like consistent business. And then in the fall, I was like, booming. I was doing great. So I invested in myself and I did a training on how to plan your year from a fabulous business and scalability coach, and really learned a lot also met two of my other very good business friends. And it was really just like a fabulous experience. I really learned a lot about planning. And I can get very far ahead of myself, as I discussed earlier. So I made a whole business plan for 2020. And you can probably guess where I’m going with this. A lot of it relied on being in person and doing in person events, which was kind of like my big plan for my focus for the year. So just a reminder that being intuitive doesn’t mean that you know, everything, okay? And it also doesn’t mean that it’s easy to listen in those moments when you have an impulse that that might not work because both of those things happened. But I had this whole plan and then when the pandemic really started raging around here, and we went into a lockdown, and everything was shut down, I had to completely pivot my business. I was already doing some stuff online, but I had to move clients who were used to having access to me in person online, which, you know, not everybody enjoys technology, and not everybody enjoys technology in their healing experiences, which I understand. But I think that that was one of the things that, you know, kind of caused me to be in this place of feeling like I was playing catch up all year. You know, I think a lot of us felt that way. But, you know, I had this whole plan, I had done everything right. So planning is great because I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew what I wanted to accomplish this year. And I had ideas and I already had the plan to do my course online. So I was fortunate that that was in my plans for the year. But as much as planning is important, you also need to leave the space for it to be dynamic. And this is both true, you know, on a large scale in terms of you know, shifting business to entirely online and it’s also true in the small scale. So I needed to find ways to use my time efficiently because I do have some chronic health issues and energy management issues. You know, I kind of have to have days where if I feel really good, and I’m really inspired, and I want to work like I got to be able to work that day, and I got to be able to, you know, maybe put in longer hours than I normally would. And on days when I don’t feel good, that means I need to rest, take the opportunity to slow down and to really take good care of myself and to allow my schedule to be a little bit more dynamic, which meant things like narrowing down the number of days per month that I was working with people. And really being intentional about the times that I chose to work with people and the time that I allowed to be either downtime or work on the business time. So that’s been one of the things that I think is really important. You know, it’s great to have plans, it’s important to plan ahead, but you also need to leave a little bit of flexibility in there and not have too much perfectionism because there comes a time when even the best plans are pretty much worthless. So I hope this has been helpful for you. It has obviously been a really challenging year, but I have learned a lot personally and I feel like I am a different business owner in the best way now and this isn’t to like sugarcoat what has really been a real shit sandwich of a year. And I’ve been fortunate to, you know, have the support of my partner, the support of my family, the support of friends through this whole time and also to have, you know, be financially in a place where things are tight, but I’m not like struggling right now. And so I think it’s really important to take stock for yourself and give yourself some credit for you know, where you were at the beginning of the year, where you are now, and how you’ve managed through what is really a pretty major crisis. And probably for most of us, hopefully the most difficult thing that we will go through in our businesses. So I hope that you will take the things that you’ve learned and really take stock of them. Let this be, you know, a guide for you to kind of assess for yourself, and also to really look at what you might want to change in order to feel differently at the end of next year. So like, if you could take everything you learned this year and distill it down into a couple important lessons, how will that affect the way you plan for this year? So I hope that helps. I will talk a little bit more about how to plan your year with Tarot over like the next couple episodes. We’ll talk a little bit about the year ahead and what to expect and how to really use Tarot as a tool for embodiment and staying in touch with yourself and really feeling that sense of like connection to your life and your purpose. Thank you so much for listening as always. And of course, if you are interested, my year ahead, Tarot DIY guide and guided meditation is still available. And it is a great time of year to purchase that, and can be a really excellent tool for helping you do an assessment of where you’ve been, there’s a very intentional way that I have set that guide up. It includes a PDF workbook, and also

some audio meditations for you to listen to, as you’re going through the exercises in that workbook. And I’ve set it up very intentionally, so that you’re doing an assessment of what you’ve learned where you’re coming from, and what you’re moving into, and how to work with that energy rather than working against it, which I think we try to like enforce our will on on the things that are happening around us. And doing this kind of spread can really help you be in more of a receptive and constructive place. So if you are interested, the link is in the show notes for today’s episode. And if you feel like you are at a point where you really need to assess your career or assess your business and get a little bit more clarity around what you want to do over the next year, if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut and you’re trying to break out of it, if something is missing, and you’re just feeling that sense of dissatisfaction and discontent, feel free to book a career tarot reading with me, or business tarot reading with me and we can talk through obstacles that are coming up for you. We can talk through where that dissatisfaction might be coming from, and how to move to more of a place of satisfaction and contentment, and what that looks like for you personally. So you can also sign up for one of those sessions in the link in the show notes today. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you next week.

Thank you so much for listening to Living Tarot. If you loved today’s episode, please leave us a review and subscribe so that you never miss an episode. This helps us reach even more budding intuitives. Feel free to share on Instagram and tag me @starsagespirit and let me know what you learned, what surprised you, and what you’d like to hear even more of. As always, if you want to hear more about my courses, or book a reading with me, or for full episodes show notes, you can head over to