Nearly twenty-five years ago, shortly after my father died suddenly from lung cancer, I had the “calling” to leave my profession as a civil rights lawyer and become a healer. It hit me like a ton of bricks, as I had spent more years studying law than practicing! Back then, I felt I had no choice when Spirit called then to instantly take a leap of faith. I quit my job at Legal Aid very soon after receiving this message. I had no money to pay the rent and I ended up staying at friends and family’s houses and going deep into debt.
But, I was on a mission! With little more than a clear purpose and lots of passion for the healing power of Reiki, I “began” a Reiki practice — far from a business! I had not a business bone in my body and seemed to make every mistake possible. It was a long and painful learning curve and I lost everything more than once. One year, I moved over 10 times! Suffice it to say that I would NOT recommend doing it that way to anyone!
Imagine my surprise when I was chomping at the bit recently to share the numerous time and money-saving tips I now have with a new Reiki student who wants to open a healing practice (I think we should all get used to calling it a BUSINESS and get over it early on!) I had to rein in the volume of all that I knew!
So, if you feel ready to start a healing business but are not sure where to start, you are certainly not alone. I have watched so many talented healers never able to share their gifts because they can’t sustain themselves financially and they struggle like I did. I don’t want others to suffer and not get their much needed healing gifts out to the world.
Spurred on by my passion to demonstrate that it is not only possible to follow your heart whispers, and ultimately have a full time energy healing practice, but to actually create a thriving 6-figure business, I hunkered down and began to get mentoring in all aspects of internet marketing and business skills — the parts that I always hated and therefore avoided.
I wish I knew this all much earlier, as I know that each one of these tips will save you years of heartache, struggle and living out of a suitcase. I know all too well the anguish of feeling a deep calling and not being able to accomplish it because you have no clue how to create a living doing what you love.
1. Dedicate Time Every Day/Week to Your Reiki Practice (aka, Your Business)
“But I don’t have any clients yet” you say? It is crucial to schedule time to get into the energy, intention and aligned action of your new venture.
When I started to do this consistently, my healing business began to build, slowly but steadily. I spent time daily to give Reiki treatments to myself, to select pro-bono recipients, or friends that would help by giving me referrals and testimonials. I created a list of things I needed to do (see below) and began working on them. In this way I was staying in the energy and intention of Reiki, and my healing business, and taking daily steps forward even though I had NO clients. I shifted from a passionate but vague “leap of faith” mindset to a grounded seriousness with goals, intentions and aligned actions.
2. Decide How, When and Where You Will Give Sessions
Ask yourself the following questions about your sessions:
- Will you do the sessions in your home, at a wellness center, by renting space, giving distance healing, etc
- Do you need a massage table? Check out Costco and Sam’s Club for some decent deals (I just saw one for only $114! I spent more than double that decades ago!)
- Will you work part-time, nights and weekends? Put in on your calendar!
3. Be Ready to Receive… MONEY!
Yes, that dreaded five letter word that most healers can’t stand to deal with. We will skip over the many emotional, mental and spiritual blocks we all carry in our relationship with money for the moment and focus on the practical aspects. So what happens if you actually get a paying client? Start with the basics:
- Decide and Establish a Business Entity (Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corporation)
- The easiest and cheapest way to start out is as a sole proprietor; meaning you take money in directly. A legal entity costs a bit to set up and maintain and I recommend getting experts to help here. Later on, you can revisit this as I now save thousands in allowable business expenses and taxes as a corporation.
- Open a Business Checking Account and Perhaps Paypal or Square Accounts
- No need to get merchant account at this time as it is pricey and difficult without a track record and some merchant providers don’t support more esoteric ventures
4. Print Your First Small Batch of Business Cards
- Vistaprint.com is a great online resource
- Don’t print too many cards or spend too much time on this as it will keep evolving and changing
- You definitely DON’T need a logo or fancy expensive graphics yet
5. Create At Least Two Initial Income Streams
- Establish initial fees: find a number that feels good to you and makes you happy but not too much of a stretch so you can stand firmly behind it
- Create a package of several sessions at a special savings where both you and the client benefit. You have cash flow and commitment up front and they receive special rates. Interestingly, whenever a client committed to a package, they almost instantly received better results too!
6. Create a Daily / Weekly Marketing Schedule
For instance, as part of my dedicated Reiki time, I researched where I could give demonstrations or offer Reiki services and I called them. I got booths at Health Fairs and Expos. I found networking meetings and began to build referral relationships. I posted my card in public bulletin boards.
Follow up with potential leads. Share your passion and your own story of healing anywhere and everywhere. Even though I had no marketing or business skills at all and no start-up capital or other income much of the time, I did have passion and some courage to share it despite a lot of rejection and glazed looks. I was known to grab people at train stations if I heard someone saying they had a headache! Passion counts for a lot!
7. Go Get a Client and Let’s Get This World Some Healing!
There is no greater feeling of accomplishment and deepest gratitude for serving with your divine gifts of healing, and getting paid (and paid well) to do it! I believe it is a great healing in itself for the age-old split between spirituality and money, and the deeply embedded concept of struggle and having to do things you hate in order to survive. You have no idea the blessing and paradigm shifting power that exists within each of you as you take your Reiki to the streets… and are amply rewarded and valued for it!
It is important to note what is NOT on the list as well as what is here; for instance these days most people feel that the first step is a website and they get completely stuck for years at times. It is possible to have a thriving healing business with some very basic tools. Start simply and Reiki on!
Another point I would like to add is that, if you need to be a communicator in putting your message in the language meaningful to the people.