Business has always been second nature to me. Selling rhubarb pies at an Amish market with my family sparked my entrepreneurial spirit at eight years old.
After college, I worked in direct sales, securing a spot in the top 2% of consultants at my company. The job came with many perks: I was rewarded with free trips, designer handbags and mansion parties.
As a 24-year-old mother from a small town in West Virginia, it was more than I ever dreamed of. Still, I had this nagging feeling that something was missing. I started asking myself: Who am I? What am I here to do? Am I living my purpose?
These questions would eventually inspire me to a build The Royal Shaman, a spiritual advising business for elite CEOs and entrepreneurs. Last year, my company brought in $972,000 in gross revenue.
Becoming a shaman
I've always knew I had a gift — a way of knowing and seeing things other people can't. After feeling disconnected from my sales career, I decided to follow my intuition.
So in 2013, I quit my job and began a five-year spiritual journey that led me to South Africa, where I trained to become a shaman. A shaman is a "healer" who in a variety of ways bridges the physical and non-physical realms.
Initiation involves rigorous training in psychology — healing a person physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually by diagnosing their roadblocks, performing rituals that call upon ancestors to help, or guiding them back to harmony with their soul.
The process can be very expensive, as you're covering costs like travel and materials for rituals. Overall, I spent more than $100,000 and had to take on jobs in marketing and business strategy to get by.
The Royal Shaman: How I started my business
In September 2018, I returned home and started offering individual spiritual advising sessions.
Spiritual advising is different than life coaching. Life coaches typically focus on personal growth and success. But I help my clients expand and uplift their consciousness on a more spiritual level. This is an ancient and esteemed practice — even the Dalai Lama has a "spirit advisor."
At first, I priced each session at $197, which was in line with what others were charging. Most of my clients found me through my Facebook group page, where I'd been sharing the details of my own spiritual journey.
After a few months, I knew I had to expand my services. I launched my first group program in December 2018. For $97 per month, members had access to weekly group coaching calls.
The first month, I enrolled 20 students in my group program, but only brought in around $17,000 the following year. I continued working behind-the-scenes as a marketing consultant to pay the bills.
From $17,000 to $972,000 in 2 years
In 2020, I knew I needed to pivot, so I narrowed my client focus by asking: Who is actively seeking the best of what I have to offer? How do I find them? What is it that makes me unique?
My new goal was to attract an elite clientele — particularly high income earners and high-level entrepreneurs. I stopped posting on Facebook began marketing myself on podcasts, interview appearances, and on Mighty Networks, a community platform for brands.
I later changed my prices to reflect the work I was doing with my clients; sometimes, my advising was influencing multimillion-dollar business deals.
My current product offering starts at $15,000 for a group coaching membership and extends to over $200,000 a year for exclusive, one-to-one coaching. I am much more selective about who I work with.
I now have an incredible team of five full-time employees — a business manager, virtual assistant, digital marketing manager, sales specialist and a mindset coach — with plans to expand the coaching staff this year.
In 2020, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, my gross revenue grew to $209,000. And in 2021, we closed out with $972,000. We're on track to make more than $2 million in gross revenue this year, and have made an average of $119,000 per month this quarter.
All of this was possible because I gave myself permission to follow my passion and purpose. If you're looking to do the same, here's my best advice:
1. Your purpose isn't what you do, it's who you are.
We weren't put on Earth to just "work a job." We are here to use our unique traits and talents to better the world.
Your business or work is simply a vehicle for expressing who you are, and it will be most successful when you allow it to align with your unique self.
2. Step into your clients' shoes.
If you truly want to serve your ideal clients, immerse yourself in their world and embody their experiences in your day-to-day life.
For example, if your ideal client regularly takes solo trips abroad, and you know nothing about what it's like to travel alone, there's going to be some disconnect when you work with them.
3. Know your clients better than they know themselves.
A lot of market research focuses on a surface-level understanding of demographics. You need to know not just what your clients say they want, but also the deeper reason behind why they want it.
Perhaps they want to make more money. There are many different reasons why a person wants to earn more. For my clients, it's to change the world, pursue their dreams, and enjoy the luxuries of life.
If you can decipher a client's "why," you will be able to know them on a level nobody else does.
4. Slow down to speed up.
It's easy to get caught up in trying to achieve your vision of success as fast as humanly possible. But I've learned that building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
When I consciously made the decision to slow down, ask questions, and create something that will last, I was able to gain sustainable momentum because I wasn't constantly chasing that next shiny thing.
Candiss Pitts, who goes by the name "Makhosi Nejeser," is the founder of The Royal Shaman. She is a shaman specializing in personal development, energy alignment and spiritual guidance. Follow her on Instagram @theroyalshaman.
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