with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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In this episode of The Inner Chief podcast, you’ll hear from Brigit Esselmont, Founder & CEO of Biddy Tarot on executive intuition, busting the myths of tarot, and from zero to 7 figures.

Brigit is the Founder & CEO of Biddy Tarot the world’s leading online learning community for people who read Tarot.

She is the best-selling author of Everyday Tarot and is on a mission to bring Tarot out of the closet and into the mainstream.

Brigit has been featured in Huffington Post, The Oprah Magazine, and appeared on numerous podcasts including Being Boss and Truth Telling, and has appeared on stage in front of live audiences across the US and Australia.

Before diving full-time into Biddy Tarot, Brigit was a management consultant and human resource strategist at organisations such as Telstra and ANZ.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Busting the myths around tarot, and what it actually is;
  • Executive intuition and how elite chiefs use its principles to execute their game plans;
  • How she quit her corporate career and developed what is now a multi-million dollar business; and
  • A live tarot reading with me!

Connecting with Brigit Esselmont

You can connect with Brigit via the Biddy Tarot website

Books and resources

“My soul's mission is to empower people by connecting them with their inner wisdom.”

On executive intuition

  • As entrepreneurs, if we can find a way to blend really top notch strategy, but also integrate our intuition and our inner wisdom and all of the stuff that we know to be true, that's what creates absolute magic.
  • It's been my superpower, but also entering a spiritual industry with a business background and a business mindset has been integral to the growth of Biddy Tarot.
  • How it works relates to the 10,000 hours rule and becoming a master in what you do. If you've done something so many times and you've been so absorbed and invested in it, all of that knowledge starts to get stored into your subconscious mind. And therefore, you don't necessarily need to consciously process things to access that knowledge. Now, it's coming from your subconscious. So if you can have time for quiet reflection or meditation or thinking time, then you're able to access this deeper part of yourself, which in this context is more about all of the knowledge that you've accumulated over a long period of time. That's layer one to what intuition is.
  • Then there's another piece which is more about innate knowledge. As babies, we start to learn how to walk, we know what is safe, what's not safe. And it comes from our ancestral thread, our genetics, our accumulated knowledge over many, many years and lifetimes and so on. And so when we're put into say a business situation and we're tapping into intuition, we're tapping into that in a part of ourselves that already has an innate knowledge.
  • Ask yourself regularly, “Am I in alignment with what my true mission and my purpose is, or am I out of alignment?” That is just a constant interplay that will keep guiding you through your journey towards success.

On mentors and mentoring

  • I had so much respect for our partners doing that with us as young consultants, just that belief and faith that you are so much more capable than what you realise, and we're going to hold the space for you to really step into that potential. And even if you fell down or you made a misstep, you wouldn't be berated for it. They kept coaching, kept supporting, kept guiding and I think that's what's given me the confidence throughout my own career to really be bold and be brave and take that step forward even when I really don't think I've got a clue of what I'm doing. I just do it anyway.
  • Every interaction I have with someone, there's a little gold nugget somewhere. Any conversation you have, the other person doesn't realise that they're saying something magical. You just hear that one thing that you needed to know at that one point in time, so long as I'm being receptive to that and I'm being open to receiving whatever I need to receive.
  • If we looked at everyone as a mentor in some way, there's so many surprises and gifts and opportunities.

On her core principles

  • You can never fail if something is an experiment. Because if you do fail, that's just information or data about what you can do next time. So if everything's an experiment, you can just have fun and be curious.
  • What I've realised recently is my loyalty to my mission and to my company's mission. Every decision I make, everything that I do is in service to my company and my community and customers. So when I think about making decisions in a business context, that's always front of mind and that's what really helps me make the right decisions for our business.

On what tarot is and what it isn’t

  • Tarot is often portrayed in the movies and popular culture as this fortune-telling prediction tool so no wonder we have this perception of it. But the way that I work with tarot is entirely different; I see it more as a personal development and a coaching and growth tool and more about what's happening in the present so that you can create your future, instead of just telling your future.
  • Tarot is really 78 tarot cards. They each have a picture and each of those pictures really tells a story and it has a meaning. So you might ask a question, pull a card, and that card's reflecting to you, what are you experiencing now or feeling? What's some guidance for your next steps and so on. So it's a way of just accessing your subconscious or your intuitive mind.
  • I think when tarot can be ‘evil’ is when we are too projected into the future and we are operating outside of ourselves thinking that everything is set in stone, but really the power and the magic comes from when you're in the present, you can change things from the present state.
  • The other myth is that you have got to be psychic, that you've got to be able to speak with dead people or you have to have these crystal clear visions. I actually think tarot is what helps you become more intuitive and get in more touch with your intuition; you don't need to be intuitive to start reading tarot, but actually it's something that helps develop intuition.

On going from zero to 7 figures

  • I started with the website and then I was offering service-based tarot readings. But rather than this, I pivoted to offering courses and education, so teaching people to read tarot. And from 2014 onwards, I started building out a course-based product suite. And that was a game-changer because that meant I could start to scale my revenue a lot more, because I was out of a service-based model and into a product-based model.
  • I learned a huge amount about digital marketing and applied that to my work. And by 2017, that's when I reached my first million dollars of revenue in the business. And that was really by focusing on courses and realising that I've got a real legitimate business. I needed to get out of my solopreneur paradigm and focus on actually building and growing a business and a company. And that's been my mindset since then and now we're in the multi-millions of revenue.

On growing pains

  • I made a decision in about 2018 to really grow and scale the business. My vision is to bring tarot into the mainstream and normalise it like yoga and meditation. And I made a decision to grow, like grow big. And with that came a lot of great things, but it also came with all the horrible, messy things of growth. 
  • I grew the team to like 30 people – we're a virtual remote team – but I realised quickly that if we grew our cost incredibly, it also meant we grew the amount of opinions. And so decision-making became a lot longer, we suddenly needed an HR function and processes. And then I thought that we went off track so we are back down to around 16, 17 people now in the team.

On how I use tarot in the workplace

  • If I'm about to go into a meeting where I just don't quite know what the dynamics will be, I might pull a few cards for each person and just kind of read into how I want to show up in that meeting. If I'm considering a couple of different ideas, I might pull a card. It's not the thing that determines what I will do, but it's data and information. If I am stuck on a project, I will pull a card and try to ascertain why it’s not moving forward.
  • I use this with entrepreneurs. When we start a forum each month, we pull a card each and it's a way of opening up a conversation about what we’re feeling and experiencing, and allows you to be more vulnerable.

On the human element

  • As you start to reach bigger markets or you have a bit more of a mass influence, it's easy to just get absorbed in the numbers and focus on how many sales you make and how many subscribers you have.
  • But I'm constantly reminding myself and my team that every one of these people is a person. They have a life, a family, loved ones, they have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and each one of them is about to start on this massive journey that's going to go for 12 months where they discover new things about themselves through tarot.
  • So we have to balance keeping our eye on the numbers so that you can maintain a profitable business that can grow, but not losing sight of the people who are part of that, and not losing contact and connection with them.

On zones of genius and excellence

  • Your zone of genius is the thing that you do that only you can do that has immense value.
  • But the zone of excellence is that thing that you can do really well, but other people can also do it. And that's often the hardest zone to delegate and to let go of but it's not where you really add value.
  • As a leader of your company, you need to look at just continually focusing on your zone of genius.
  • Then there is the upper limit problem when we reach ever-increasing levels of success. But if we're not in alignment with that new success, we can sabotage it. We might get sick, we might push away a top client, we might start looking for negativity in the place and find it. So we've got to always be in this place of alignment with the success that we are creating. And that's why I think it is so important to have that spirituality or self-awareness as entrepreneurs and leaders.

Final message of wisdom and hope for future leaders 

  • I really believe in listening to and trusting your inner wisdom. Alignment will come when you really tune into what feels good and right for you from within. So make that time to reflect, to meditate, just to pause, and that is what will connect you with your inner wisdom.

Stay epic,