Article by Deborah Flanagan
Over the years, so many Reiki practitioners have asked me to meet for coffee to “pick my brain” because their trainings didn’t fully prepare them for the business side of starting a practice. The most important piece of advice I can give you about making a career transition toward a Reiki practice is this: don’t give up your day job! But how do you make this work? Read on for concrete, practical ways to start a successful Reiki business.
1. Why Keeping Your Day Job is Ideal When Starting a Practice
I think keeping your day job is actually the best way to start a successful Reiki business. At least initially, keeping your full-time job and then perhaps transitioning to a part-time job is best.
It can be incredibly stressful to rely solely on client income when you’re first starting out as a practitioner. If you have an additional income source—from a full-time job or part-time work—this can help you be more financially stable as you build your practice.
From the beginning, this was really important for me, because I knew I would worry if I didn’t have enough clients in a particular week, and I didn’t want to worry at the expense of focusing on the work I was doing to help my existing clients.
2. Figure Out the Right Number of Client Hours Per Week
Doing some other kind of work also helps you avoid burn out because you’re not just seeing clients full-time. Treatment hours are very different than working full-time at other kinds of jobs.
- Being present: With this work, you need to be very present for your Reiki clients, and it can be taxing emotionally and physically.
- Don’t overestimate: I remember when I first started out I thought I would be able to see clients for 30 hours a week. Turns out, that’s way too many!
- Building stamina: Not only could I not keep a pace of 30 hours a week now, when I was first starting out, I could do even fewer sessions, because you build up stamina to do this work. In the beginning, if I did three sessions back-to-back, I got tired.
- Seeing clients full-time: 15-20 hours a week is full-time in terms of treatment hours.
- Taking care of yourself: Seeing clients full-time can be tough, and if you do choose this path, it’s all the more important that you take time to take care of yourself and have a strong Reiki meditation and self care routine.
3. Set a Consistent Schedule to See Clients
Seeing one or two clients a day is ideal when you’re first starting out. Set aside one or two days a week to see clients, and set the general time slots as well. It may seem counter-intuitive, but being clear about the days and times that work best with your regular job will make it easier to book clients rather than asking the prospective client when they want to come in.
For example: “I see clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6pm-8pm.” This provides a clear container and boundary, allowing you to take care of your needs and schedule. It also comes across as professional to your prospective client by not sounding too open ended.
I used to worry about losing potential clients this way, but over time I learned to think about it differently: I want to attract the ideal kinds of clients for me and part of this includes clients whose schedules fit well with my schedule.
4. Learn How to Avoid Burnout and Take Care of Yourself
When you’re first starting your Reiki practice, especially if you have a full-time job, it will take extra time to get your new business up and running. This is something to take into consideration as you’re getting started. As you figure out a schedule that works for you, consider having a set time when you “turn off.”
Ideas to consider:
- Don’t work the hour before you go to bed.
- Reserve Sundays for downtime.
- Find time to play or relax: read a novel, go to yoga, meet a friend.
- Schedule in your downtime on your calendar as if it’s a real appointment.
Hopefully, this article gives you a sense of the possibilities as you move forward in creating a vibrant practice that works with your existing job and allows you to focus on what’s most important—doing work you love helping people help themselves with Reiki.
Here’s to your successful Reiki business!
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Author of Building a Powerful Practice: Successful Strategies for Your Wellness Business, Deborah Flanagan established the Center for True Health in NYC in 2008 and has since guided thousands of people through major life changes using Reiki, hypnosis, and reflexology. Her unique approach has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show and in O, the Oprah Magazine. For additional resources for practitioners, go to www.centertruehealth.com where you can sign up for her monthly newsletter and get a free business starter kit. You can reach Deborah on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deborahflanaganreiiki, on Pinterest at https://ro.pinterest.com/flanagandl/, YouTube https://www.youtube.com/CenterTrueHealth, and on Twitter @DeborahReiki.