Building a Feng Shui Career
For those who have been consulting as a Feng Shui practioner/Master, the road is never as smooth as it may seem. Growth within this field always comes with aches and pains; those aches and pains can come from how to build a client base, all the way to how to produce results for their clients. How does one go about becoming a Feng Shui consultant, and to make a living in this field?
Like any other industry or career, education is always the starting point. The problem with education is who should a new incumbent to this field trust? Taking up courses and certification programs in Feng Shui can be very costly, and time consuming, yet at the same time, the returns after completing all the programs can be a paltry sum, particularly for those who are new to this field. Without any type of a certification or training, it would be very difficult for people to trust the practitioner.
Finding a starting point from education is another road block in the Feng Shui field. Within this field of study, there are many branches of Feng Shui and the most common methods in Feng Shui taught today are Eight Mansions and Flying Stars. To go further into this field and to understand the individual, many may venture off into the study of Four Pillars (Bazi) and other forms of Chinese Astrology. There is also the divination side which includes the use of the I Ching. When does one stop with the learning? Learning in this field is almost never-ending so prepare for a lifetime of studying and research.
The choice of who you learn from may have a lasting impact on the way you practice. The master/teacher that you study under should be willing to respond to questions in class. With the internet readily available, masters/teachers may also have their own private forum fielding questions from their students; the forums can serve as a learning tool not only for you but for other like-minded students.
Treating Feng Shui as a Hobby
In order to do well in any career, we have to be passionate about what we do. If you enter a bookstore and see Feng Shui books, but decide to overlook them and walk towards a completely different section, you may want to ask yourself if you love what you are doing. Anytime you see an awkward road, building, or strange feature out in the open field, you may get excited and talk about the feature and its impact towards the residents, occupants, and surrounding neighborhood; if this isn’t you, and you end up strolling by not noticing these features which are in your face, you might want to ask yourself whether you have any interest in Feng Shui. Treating Feng Shui as a hobby would relieve you of the pressure of making money in this field. If you have a full time day job, studying during your free time can be much more fulfilling than trying to generate Feng Shui dollars.
Feng Shui Dollars
After investing thousands of dollars on the study of Feng Shui, Astrology, Divination, and so forth, how does one make that money back? Some may enter this field thinking or believing that they can make a living off Feng Shui consultations. So what should be done from a business standpoint to grow some dollars? Here are some general startup considerations:
- Business Cards
- Website setup fees
- Design costs
- Promotional/Marketing materials
- Business License
In the list above, the startup costs can be very low, a minimum cost of about $100USD to get you rolling. Obviously, the designs and branding may not be as professional as you would like. The fifth point about marketing materials can be self-generated; this can come from the form of publishing or writing articles for any Feng Shui websites. You can also consider writing about some case studies in your neighborhood or some specific buildings that are well-known in your city. By doing so, people who are searching for Feng Shui consultants may search for keywords, and strangely enough, they may indirectly land on your website.
In order to build a client base, you may have to do Feng Shui jobs at an extremely low cost. By doing so, you can also treat it as your personal case study and have the clients as your reference. The pitfall here is that the next client may ask you to charge the same low fee. Imagine spending 2-5 hours on analyzing the Feng Shui of a unit, and being paid only $25 per job. You might be better off working at McDonald’s serving up Big Macs. The key in the beginning is not the money, but the experience that you build behind all of this. But that doesn’t answer the question of how one gets by working as a Feng Shui consultant if the income isn’t even enough to cover a few meals. The best approach is to continue on with a day job as a supplement while building up the Feng Shui knowledge.
In certain parts of the world, there could be more than a dozen Feng Shui consultants in your city; this makes it difficult for one to operate. The key is separating yourself from the rest and offering services that are superior to others. Customer satisfaction and offering superb service can go a long way as your customers can refer you to his/her friends, family, and relatives. Sooner than you know, it will be like a domino effect as people queue up for your services. With competition, there is always another approach to consider, partnering. Rather than treating your next door Feng Shui consultant as public enemy number one, consider partnering with them. You may have knowledge of something that he/she may not know about and vice versa. By partnering and working together, both parties may seek to gain something.
How much training is enough? Many in this field have dished out tens of thousands of dollars learning from one master after another. The amount of education in this field is unlimited and knowing where to put your education dollars to use is a challenge and a pitfall. There may also be that key formula missing in your ‘Feng Shui arsenal’ that you can apply for your client as a remedy. You may want to ask yourself what you’d like to learn and ask around for feedback about the master/instructor. After investing a certain amount into Feng Shui education, there is a fear that the money may not be recuperated leading to financial stress and anxiety. Prior to making all the financial decisions, consider setting aside a personal budget and lower your expectations.
Whether you are entering this field, or already in the field, you can consider your journey as never ending. Many who are practicing in this field find it taxing to the mind, but generating positive results for the clients can be a very exciting experience. After receiving phone calls or emails from clients who experienced a positive change in their life, it would make you sleep better knowing that you have made a difference in somebody else’s life. The positive impact that you have provided cannot be quantifiable by dollar figures. Your first positive feedback and results can become a springboard of what’s to come in the Feng Shui world. In this field, it is also about reputation and attitude. If you are a pessimistic and a troubled person, it will not reflect well upon your clients as they may receive the negative energy from you making matters worse. If your attitude is solely on making money, I think you may want to consider becoming a day trader since the chances of recuperating your educational dollars in a short period of time is much higher.