I had this idea not too long ago that from time to time on the weekends I might do a personal post or a post about something I love that has nothing to do with anything witchy. This post today kind of straddles a line though. It is definitely personal but it is about my work and my business. So sit back and relax, this is a long one…or you can just skip all the story and down at the end, you’ll see the important business related announcements.
I think it’s really important that no matter what you do you should do it because you love it. That goes for anything in your life but it especially goes for your career, that thing that you do for hours every day. Since you have to spend so much of your time at work, you sure as hell better enjoy it! Whether you love it because of what you actually do or because of the people you do it with, every day you should get up and be excited to go to work.
I remember being in high school and working at a grocery store and I loved it! I genuinely loved ringing up people’s stuff, and I especially loved bagging. To this day I insist on bagging my own groceries at the store, simply because I love to do it.
Before you get any ideas, no, this is not a post about me quitting my current work to go work at a grocery store. But wouldn’t that be hilarious!
Also, my dance career never took off…so I’m not doing that.
Actually, this is me coming to tell you that, yes, I am going to be ending what I do right now in order to start doing something else that is truly a passion for me. It’s something that I honestly don’t know why I haven’t tried before.
OK, that’s actually not true…I do know why. So let’s backtrack a little.
When I was a kid, I grew up spending summers and days off from school hanging out in my grandfather’s print shop. (Over there on the left are my grandparents in the office at the shop…I’m guessing this is the very late 70s or early 80s.) I would sit with him at his desk and marvel at the ledger books and the piles of job tickets for stuff that people were ordering. In the front office, there was a retail space where people could come in and by pens and notebooks and office supplies. I am convinced that this is why I have an addiction to stationary and office supplies.
One of the things that he had in there was a shelf with books of wedding invitations. People would look through them to pick out their invites and then order through his shop. When the books would change once a year or so he would let me take the books and rip out the cards and keep them if I wanted. I would go home with PILES of wedding invitations because I thought they were pretty.
I would also spend a lot of time hanging out with my aunt who also worked there. She did a few different things there but what she did the most was graphic design. I would sit with her at her light table and watch her use an X-Acto knife to cut out little pieces of clip art from books and use rubber cement to create graphics on pieces of super thin see-through paper. Then we’d go up to the attic to the room where the plate making machine was that would turn her cut and paste art into a printing plate for an offset printing press.
I had to start drinking really early because it was quite a crazy job there!
This wicked beat up picture is me in 1977 at the shop (notice the printing press
behind me) at the shop Christmas party.
I loved all that stuff! And this was back in the early 80s, so it was all done by hand. No computers, no Photoshop. X-Acto knives and glue, that’s it! And back then the platemaker was so big that it had its own room. Not like today where there are platemakers that are as small as a Xerox machine.
The other thing I would do is watch my uncle (my aunt’s husband) and my great uncle work on the presses. The shop had offset and letterpress so I got to see two really different types of printing happen, which was super cool. I would help my uncle clean the plates when they came off the presses sometimes. And the day that he finally showed me how to glue notepads and he let me have that as a “job” when I was there was so exciting.
I also loved helping him and my great uncle clean up all the type from the letterpress machines. I would watch them take each individual piece of type that had the letters on them backward and make printing blocks with them that would go on the presses, always finding it fascinating that they could do that backward! But as a kid, I’d help clean the type off and then put the pieces away in the tiny little draws that divided them all up when a print job was done.
I took a printing class as part of shop in high school and thought I’d breeze through it thanks to all of that. No. Not at all. It’s fucking hard!
My grandfather passed away when I was about 9 and my aunt and uncle took it over after he died. My aunt would let me work there when she was really busy doing things like filing job tickets, pulling plates, inventorying paper reams, and doing some of the same things I did as a kid like cleaning type and gluing pads.
At one point in my very late 20s, I worked there full time, helping out in the office mostly. I would drive 45 minutes each way just to work there every day because I loved it. And I loved being able to spend a lot of time with my aunt and uncle because they were like a second set of parents to me. But I also just loved what we did there.
My sister and me standing on the front steps of the shop one summer day, which I’ll
guess was somewhere around 1983/1984.
Besides my love of office supplies, I gained a love of design over all those years. When I was little, hanging out with my aunt at her light table, she let me keep the scraps and leftover clip art that she didn’t use. This would keep me occupied for a good couple of hours each time I was there because I would sit on her stool at the table while she was off doing something else and use a pair of kid’s scissors and a glue stick to make my own graphics. I was a big fan of people doing silly things like standing on cars and holding buildings above their heads.
When I was about 21 or 22 I got my first computer that was my very own. It was a huge Compaq Presario that I bought from CircuitCity that probably had like a 100GB hard drive at best and something like 16MB of RAM. Yes, you read that right! That thing on the left was what I had. And it weighed like 20lbs. But it was mine and I was able to get on the internet so that was all that mattered. But the one thing I couldn’t wait to do was make my own website!
I don’t even remember what my first website was. I know it was hosted on Homestead and had a lot of horrific, but oh so cool at the time, animated graphics like spinning ankhs, dancing skeletons, and flickering patches of fire for no reason. And of course a Cosmic Cursor! At some point, I do distinctly remember having a horrible midi version of Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus on there too. Oh, the 90s internet cringe.
The good thing from all of this was that I discovered that I could sit for literally hours working on a website, learning how to write my own HTML (it was 1996-ish), and making graphics without a care in the world. I was so happy to be doing it and would actually get pissed if anyone tried to interrupt me or make me stop before I was ready. (And I was also developing a deeper interest in things like hacking, password cracking, code sniping, keylogging, overtaking mIRC chats with code…and eventually social engineering…but that’s another story for another time. Anyone going to DEFCON this year? ?)
That love for creating and design has continued up to today. I redesign and rebrand my website probably twice a year strictly for a love of design and branding. I love to design my own logos, social media images, and ebooks. It’s fun to put on music and make something pretty with a purpose. That to me is heaven.
I made these color boards one day this week after having this epihpony and I had a fucking blast making them.
I also have a great sense of joy when I do one of these rebrandings and people ask me “Who designed your site? Who made your logo? I need those things too and this work is awesome!” When I say “I did it myself” everyone always seems surprised. Over the years people have asked if I would do something for them or simply why I don’t offer that as a service.
That’s a good question. So why in the FUCK do I NOT do that for a living?!?
That was the question I finally found myself deeply contemplating over the last few months. It’s popped up here and there for years but recently it’s been especially plaguing me because I’ve found myself spending so much time creating art and imagery for myself just for fun while avoiding other things I probably should be doing to grow my actual business.
I have also, subconsciously, been sending out the sign to the Universe that I don’t want any coaching or reading clients, and believe me, the Universe fucking listens!
This past week I came to the realization of why I hadn’t been doing it. Just simply not feeling qualified. I have no training, didn’t go to school for anything related to this stuff, and everything I know is from either personal experience with it or taking courses to learn how to do things for myself. That’s all I got! Meanwhile, I have certifications up the ass for spiritual work, magick, and coaching. So that’s what I should be doing, right?
No. It’s not. Not when I’m doing things to stop myself from actually doing that work!
After a few very poignant discussions with some people this week I’ve come to realize that my passion, and indeed my skills, are actually in design and branding. That doesn’t mean I can’t have a passion for magick and coaching, but I don’t have the passion to keep doing it professionally.
The other night I started working on this (work in progress) for a
gaming project I’ve been working on for like three years now…eventually
it will be something I actually publish and start really doing.
Know this though…
I will NEVER, EVER stop teaching and writing about magick and spirituality. That will ALWAYS be something I will do. In fact, it’s something that I plan to do more of soon…work smarter not harder, basically. I have a new spirit guides kit coming next month-ish and I’m working on plans for two different group magick programs. This stuff will never stop.
I ALWAYS have loved to write. That’s me in 1995, a few months before graduating
college, carrying around another notebook and writing away. It’s what I’ve always
done and what I still do.
What I’m not going to do anymore is offer coaching.
I’m also not going to do readings but with a few exceptions. I’m still going to offer Skype readings and one custom email option. I’m also going to still do my Samhain readings and my New Year Power Animal readings. But otherwise, that’s all I’ll be doing.
I’ll be writing on my blog probably three times a week or so and offering group magickal training a few times a year. I’ll put out ebooks and self-study courses when I feel inspired to create them.
What I’m mainly going to be focusing on is using my magick to create graphics, design, and branding tools for other magickal and spiritual businesses. And I’m being very specific in that target market because if you’ve ever tried to look for witchy design items like logos or blogging elements, they aren’t easy to find. While you can always get something done custom for you, that can cost thousands of dollars even for just a single logo. Lots of witchy bloggers and businesses can’t afford that, especially if they’re just starting out. But at the same time, they shouldn’t have to compromise on design just because of the cost.
For years I couldn’t afford custom design work, which was one of the main reasons that I was doing it for myself to begin with. But then a few years ago I hired a designer for the first time and paid $1000 for a graphic it was utter trash and I was never able to use it. And working with this person was a horrible experience as well. They were just a bad listener and bag communicator, two things that I like to think I’m quite good at given my coaching background.
There is magick and intention in every single element of a logo I make for myself. Right now when you look at my current (and definitely my favorite ever) logo you’ll notice little things that you might think are just aesthetic choices but they aren’t. They have a very specific purpose. Like the fingernails painted those two very specific shades of pink and orange. That wasn’t random or because I just liked the colors. There is a magickal intention behind them.
So here’s what I’m going to be doing
I’ll be doing magickal design and branding ranging from affordable pre-made designs all the way up to high end personalized custom design. My plan is to eventually offer a package that involves not only the design and branding work but magickal work as well. I’ll make a sigil for you or your business, create a custom candle spell you can do each month to empower your work, and include a reading to help you get clarity on your work.
I’m going to also offer WordPress website design along the way. You buy the hosting and the domain, I’ll do the website and even help with guiding you through creating your initial copy if you need it.
I have a bit of a timeline as well for the transition.
Closing Coaching – email coaching and one-on-one spiritual coaching will close next month. Each has a final off date on their respective pages. If you have ever been interested in these services, now is the time to check them out.
Spellcaster’s Edge Coaching Program – this program is going to close to new clients at the end of July but will remain a service I offer on a case by case basis. I LOVE this program and believe in it 1000% and I don’t want to take it away. I debated it and was actually planning to do it, but something told me not to, so I’m keeping it. It will become something really limited and the clients I take on for that program will be chosen very carefully.
Etsy Readings – I’ll be closing my Etsy readings with the exception of the Custom Reading at the end of this month. Skype readings will remain unchanged.
Everything Else – my blog, Facebook groups, Instagram, writing ebooks and teaching online courses will carry on as usual.
I like to see this as me taking my magick and using it in a way that is actually going to be more helpful than it has been. I’ll be doing work that I’m truly passionate about, that I can do all the time without ever feeling it’s a “job” and that I know I’m waking up excited to go and do every day.
And knowing I’m weaving magick into it in ways that may not even be noticeable but that’s very real is just icing on all of this.
In the meantime…go out there and make some magick. Find what you truly love, what you’re truly passionate about, and just fucking go for it. Fuck what you have been doing if it isn’t right for you any more.
In the words of one of my favorite humans who left us last week…
…yeah…I made that too.