Theresa Means Business

I was fascinated and excited to meet tarot reader and entrepreneur Theresa.  You would be too.  This hottie’s been in business for more than 20 years!

I was expecting someone maybe a little bit woo woo.  I was THRILLED to meet someone with a clearly huge business brain and a gorgeous, fun loving, no bullshit vibe.  Cards on the table, I loved meeting Theresa! (Yes, even when she told me she actually had a daughter close to my age after I told her I thought she and I looked the same age!  Yikes!)

Chatting with her, I was super impressed by how disciplined she is about walking away from the computer when her office hours are up for the day.  To me, this type of commitment to a life away from work – even when you really love what you do – shows someone who wants to keep enjoying what they do, and who’s totally switched on to the bigger picture.

I think Theresa’s very fucking smart.  I bet you’ll agree.

Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.

Years ago, I got a palm reading and the guy told me that I’d one day have my own business. At the time, I thought he was nuts. I had no clue about business, never went to business school – what could I do?

Flash forward a few years into the future and I’m reading tarot at a bar (I was bartending because I wanted a mindless job until I could figure out my path.  I’d started taking my tarot to work because I was bored out of my skull. Tarot was a passion of mine that I had been working with about ten years at that time.). Soon, I developed a following but people wanted more than a quickie at the bar.

I started thinking about business and told my boss that maybe I would start my own business reading tarot. He went behind my back and told people that I would fail. That was my sign. I quit on the spot and never looked back at a “regular job”. The hardest part was believing I could do it. But as soon as you tell me I’m going to fail – that is a motivator. I am rebellious to the core and I like a challenge.

I’ve now been self employed for over 20 years. It was the best decision I ever made in my life. I can’t imagine working for “the man” ever again.

What’s been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced establishing your business?

Learning how to market myself. I’m actually quite introverted and the idea of doing anything “salesy” felt gross to me. I don’t like being pushy, I don’t like “chasing a sale” or none of that.

How did you overcome this challenge?

Taking marketing classes was very helpful. I learned that I could market without being one of those aggressive types. In fact, I learned that I work better when I do what I call “sincerity marketing” – I am simply myself without any gimmicks. I don’t employ any tricks or shady tactics (I hate those). I just put out good content and actually make an effort to connect with my tribe. If you really give a shit about people, it shows. I care about serving my clients and dishing up some fun tarot stuff at the same time. I’m not about SEO – I’m about LOVE. Focusing on that is how I create a marketing system that is authentic yet comfortable for my introvert tendencies!

What, if anything, do you use to guide your business decision-making?

My intuition! Call it sixth sense or street smarts but when I get a vibe about something, I go with it. Even if it seems totally illogical. All of my best business decisions come from my gut instincts. For some odd reason, I have uncannily good business instincts which is why I think I’ve survived for so long. Oh, and yes, I will sneak a peek at the tarot for guidance and I’ll use astrology to time stuff. Shhh…..

Talk us through your typical workday.

I’m up at the computer first thing in the morning after the cats are fed. I get on social media and say hello. I then post my “cards for the day” and check in with my peeps. Next, I tackle my email. If anything came in overnight, I want to be sure to get to my clients as quickly as possible. I don’t hand any of my communication over to a VA. I believe in being utterly personal with my clients – so every single email and phone call is answered by yours truly. Sometimes that can take up a chunk of my day!

After I have taken care of any emails, I’m off for breakfast and errands. I’ll then come back to the office and hit some writing before my clients start checking in for readings. I’ll do a mix of phone and in person appointments with small breaks thrown in.

Later in the day, I’ll make sure to answer any emails that might have floated in and then I shut down promptly when my office hours are done so that I can enjoy dinner with my family and a little “Bad Girls Club” or some other trash television nonsense.

I may hit my email one more time later in the day because I really do love being in touch with my clients. In fact, I’m a little too plugged in at times.

What’s been your most exciting business success to date?

The fact that I have been doing this full time for as long as I have is my biggest success. I’ve had a lot of luck with my career and some cool things have happened over the years but ultimately, my longevity is what I am most proud of.

I’m also proud that my online business has done so well. Would you believe I was terrified of computers and the whole thought of a website? Now I’m actually pretty savvy. Learning to go high tech is another win for me!

Imagine it’s Spring 2005. What are you doing?

Oh my goodness – I have the worst memory! I can’t remember what the heck I was doing back then. I’m sure I was reading tarot somewhere and trying to figure out how to use email. LOL

**

You can learn more about Theresa here.

Here’s your key take away hottie: 

Theresa is dead right.  Sales doesn’t have to feel grimy.  Conveying your authentic enthusiasm for what you do, and really coming from a place of wanting to serve – is the key to feeling comfortable while making the sale.

I know putting yourself out there can be totally nerve wracking to begin with.  For me, switching my focus from selling to serving helped calm me down A LOT.  It was like I said to myself: ‘Selling?  I’m not sure about that…  Serving?  Now that I can do!’

Who was it who said that a dude who serves will always have clients?  They were totally on the money.

(I’ll be writing dedicated posts on this topic soon.)

Now I’d love you to share so we all learn:

  1. Is the idea of selling something that makes you feel uncomfortable or are you a-ok with it?
  2. If you have experience selling, what mindset works best for you?

BLYB xo

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Kate xo
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About Kate

Through her passion-fuelled coaching, consulting and writing, Dr Kate Byrne helps women coaches and consultants intentionally engineer success so they can shine neon bright in business. She is an advocate for being all in, charging what you’re really worth and premium pricing.

Connect with Kate now at Betty Means Business, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Laura

    I have been told I have natural sales ability. I do have to believe in what I am selling or be doing it for a good cause. As I get older, I do sometimes feel pushier and I don’t like that feeling.

  • So a friend had a little photo of Betty Means Business on their webpage. I subscribed two weeks ago, thinking, hum, whatever. Today I get an email with Taylor Swift and roller derby in it, so I go to post a thank-you on Facebook to my friend, and when I snag your URL Theresa freakin’ Reed pops up.

    Are you kidding me? It’s like awesomeness dipped in sprinkles with a sassy cherry on top! Theresa is the bomb! Dress up a Victorian kittie, grab a cup of White Peony Tea, and hold on – this is gonna be an awesome ride!

    • Kate

      Haha! Amethyst, I’m stoked you’re here and loving it!! And you’re SO right: Theresa is GREAT! xo

  • Thank you so much for the interview! It was great chatting with you – it is such an honor to be featured here. 🙂

    • Kate

      Oh.My.Gawd. WOMAN! you’re so welcome! Meeting you was a total pleasure – thanks for sharing your business wisdom with us! xo

  • In response to the questions, I’ve had to try and sell things that made me uncomfortable but I did it, cringing most of the time. For example, I had to ask a 90 year old woman if she wanted to buy a $10 warranty to go with the $10 stapler she was buying. I felt downright dirty about this but my manager was standing right next to me. She did end up deciding to buy it but it made me feel pretty low. For the 2nd question, I’ve had a number of retail sales jobs in the past and always refused to do it in a manner that was uncomfortable and unnatural for me. Like Teresa, I’m an introvert and I refuse to be pushy, so my attitude was just “if they want it they’ll buy it, if they don’t, oh well. If I push, they’ll never wanna come back”. It worked actually, because I always won the awards at the end of every month for selling the most warranties, coverage plans, and getting the most charity donations for things that we sponsored (like March of Dimes). I’m also a card reader now like Teresa, with my own very small business, and I’ve kept the same practices in place…courteousness, no pressure, no desparate pushiness, just friendliness. I would love to be as successful a card as Teresa someday, but that’s not likely 🙂

    • Kate

      Rhett, thanks for your great comment. The idea of you selling a warranty that was just as expensive as the stapler to the 90yr old made me grin. I guess you never know. That woman could have been a millionaire with a family history of women living to 120yrs! Your approach to selling sounds great, and it’s probably because you’re so comfortable with your approach that you keep winning those awards (Congrats!). Also, there’s no reason why you won’t be as successful as Theresa if you set the intention and follow up with solid action. Keep going! xo

      • Aww, thank you! Love love love your blog!