Episode 49: Intuition + Strategy = Intuitive Entrepreneur with Brigit Esselmont 

Shivani Gupta (00:16)

I'm Shivani Gupta, and welcome to the Ask Shivani podcast. I believe that one of the best presents that you can give yourself is time to be able to sit down and ask yourself some questions. I believe that the quality of the question that you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life.

Hi everybody and welcome to the Ask Shivani Podcast. I'm so excited about having Brigit Esselmont here with us today. She is an intuitive business strategist, entrepreneur, mentor and published author. I had an opportunity to meet with her almost three years ago through EO or Entrepreneurs Organization that we're both members of. Let me tell you a little bit about Brigit. She is the founder of Biddy Tarot. And I guess she took that love that she had for Tarot into this abundance seven figure business, she employs 30 people and serves over get these 14 million Tarot lovers every year. And prior to that she also had a career that was long spanning over 15 years. As a management and HR consultant working with Australia's top companies. She's been featured in a bunch of stuff, including the Huffington Post, The Body and Soul, The Mind Body Green, Refinery 29, The Oprah Magazine, and the list goes on. Also, she's appeared on live audiences across the US and Australia. She's got a master's degree in HR, and as a Master Practitioner in NLP, or neuro linguistic programming and hypnosis. And when she's not coaching or teaching or flipping tarot cards, she loves spending time with her two daughters and husband on the Sunshine Coast. Welcome, Brigit.

Brigit Esselmont (01:56)

Hello, thank you for having me.

Shivani Gupta (01:58)

It's so lovely to have you and Brigit, you know, everybody gets to this point that you have to in terms of your journey. And I know everybody talks about it. But I'm always fascinated by the massive highs and the massive lows, you know, because they're those transformational moments that form us into who we are. So, tell me and tell our audience a little bit about your journey. What's got you here? And I guess some of those highlights and lowlights that have occurred so far.

Brigit Esselmont (02:25)

Yes. So, it's I think it's always good to cover those highs and lows, isn't it? Because oftentimes, what you see on the front is just like the high and look at me, well, everything's amazing. But really, we know that the journey is full of, you know, little bumps and wobbles, and so on. So, I think for me, my first like real big high was 2012. And that was the year that I finally left my corporate job. And I decided to be a tarot reader online. And I can tell you, everyone thought I was insane. Like, why would you leave, you know, secure corporate job, and go and read tarot like that. That's very odd. But I knew like in my heart, and my intuition was telling me so strongly that this was the path for me. And I knew that, you know, I really loved my corporate career. But those last few years, I was just so disengaged and disconnected. And I knew I had to do something more and more meaningful with more purpose.

So that, you know, August 2012, saying goodbye to corporate land, and the hello to tarot, whoo, spiritual land was a huge turning point for me. And really, between like 2012 and 2018, that's when I was really growing the business, adding different online courses, books, and so on building out the team. By 2018, though, I feel like I got to a point where the growth of the business had had plateaued. So, I think we're about one and a half million in revenue at that point and started to plateau. And I look kind of looked around me, I thought do I have what it takes in my business, and my resources and so on to really grow this, like, next level, and I realized that I didn't quite have the right sort of formula. And I decided at that point, that that's when I wanted to grow quite significantly. So, in a way, that was a high point, but also, you know, a point of like, courage. It takes a lot to go, okay, yeah, I could kind of sit here and be comfortable. And, you know, highly profitable and you know, everything feeling really great. But actually, no, I'm going to take the leap. I'm going to go, let's see if we can take this further into that next level. So, what followed that quite quickly 2019, the year of burnout.

So, you know, you make those decisions of like, Yeah, let's go big. This is going to be amazing, okay, I'm going to hire all these amazing people. I'm going to grow my team; I'm going to expand our product suite. And by 2019, the end of 2019. I was like, just barely scraping through. I remember sitting there in November, my husband was overseas somewhere for about three weeks, and I was sick with the code. I was looking after my kids. And I had two or three key team members resigned. And I remember just sobbing on a zoom chat with one of my team just going I don't know what to do. And it was like I was a mess. So thankfully, that's when I had about six or seven weeks of time off over December, January. And I needed that so very much, because that was pretty. That was intense. And I think, you know, like, I'd love to be able to say, oh, and then my life turned around, it was 2020. But it wasn't 2020. And look, I'm very grateful because for us, the pandemic hasn't had a significantly negative impact for us. We're all online, we have a virtual team. And our products and programs are geared towards personal development and growth. So, it was actually something that could support the community. And we could support ourselves during that time. So thankfully, 2020 doesn't actually come up on my little list of the lows. But, you know, now here we are in 2021. And having made that decision to really grow, you know, there's that discomfort of growth that we are experiencing, the team's expanded, but also the costs expand. And then you know, we were kind of like waiting for that extra lift until like, like bursary or next layer of skin, just like a snake does, you know, getting through into that next layer of skin. And it I've got to say, like, this year has been hard, it's been exciting and challenging, but it's also been hard, in a good way and uncomfortable. And I'm super grateful for it, because it means I'm learning so much more about myself and becoming a better leader. I'm learning so much more about how to run a business. So many things are coming together. But it's not one of those Instagram, like pretty moments of like – look at me! I’m living the highlife, you know. Like, no, it's actually hard work. I've got to stay really grounded, really focused. So yeah, that's, that's kind of the highlights.


Shivani Gupta (07:36)

That's a great, great update. And also, I think I loved your analogy of the, you know, the snake shedding its skin, because that's what it feels like, doesn't like when you're going through these major transformational moments. But shedding that skin is painful, like there's always some pain involved in shedding it. And then there's, you know, waiting for the new skin to fall through.

Brigit Esselmont (07:58)

Yes, and what's really interesting about the snake is it goes blind before it sheds its skin. And sometimes we have to go through those like periods of darkness or not knowing or uncertainty, you know that you're getting like you're outgrowing your current model, or whatever you're in. But you don't really know what it is you're growing into. And so, I also think of like the snakes got to like, you know, kind of wedge itself to get out of this skin and I can smell a comfortable journey. And then they're so vulnerable afterwards. Because they're so like soft, fresh and shiny. And, you know, they're still just getting their sight back. So, yeah, I really do tune in to the snake analogy. And I've got to tell you like, right now I have snake skins all over my office because I connect with it so much about our transformational journey.

Shivani Gupta (08:53)

Oh, that's beautiful. I didn't even know that I just really resonated with when you were speaking about, about that and yeah, I can so relate to that. Because it does feel like that it's that discomfort of going through that. And so, Brigit, when you go through all these different challenges, like some people when they go through challenges, you know, they have like a system or a process or a ritual. And some of those are for little challenges. Sometimes it's a bigger challenge, or sometimes it's just how people approach things like, do you have a way that you do stuff? I know in your introduction, I speak about that, you know, do you do Tarot? Do you sit? Like, what sort of processes do you have when stuff comes at you like even growing or going through the pandemic last year. And you know, it's great that your business wasn't as greatly affected as some of the people I've interviewed. And so, tell me a bit about, like, what happens in your process or your mind or how you go about navigating challenges that come your way?

Brigit Esselmont (09:51)

Well, we do real talk. Because I can tell you one of my systems is stress and overwhelm. I'd love to tell you that like everything was like, oh, I just start meditating and it's all fine. It's not, you know, like, I definitely do stress and overwhelm and I know when it's coming up because I start to like I tidy the house. I start like throwing things out I get very particular I just want order and control everywhere. And that's a sign an indicator to me that I'm actually feeling out of control in other areas. So do find that level of self-awareness is actually very good and see knowing what my little red lights yellow lights are. If when I'm feeling off balance and when I'm more in a constructive, mind state, or you know, I can get myself a little bit more grounded.

The things that I do use is definitely meditation and visualization. And it's funny because I can go like, I can go a week or two of stressing and worrying and all of this stuff. And I think I don't even have time to meditate, I've got too much to worry about, right? Either finally go, okay, come on through it, just sit down, do it. It's like, you know, find something. 10 minutes, do it for 10 minutes, I get to the other side. I'm like - oh, my goodness, I've got all the insight that I need in 10 minutes. Why didn't I do this earlier. So, I have found that just the technique for me that I like to use is just go into meditation, I relax, I breathe, I ground myself, almost like a giant chord taking from me down into the earth. And I let that mind, that monkey mind just chatters away and say whatever it needs to say. And then I go, okay, great, thanks and it goes. And then I move up into my higher mind. And from that place, I just say alright higher mind, just help me, help me just understand what's going on? What answers do I need, and then I'm silent. And then for me, what happens is I play, it looks like a movie playing. So, something to start seeing, maybe I see a symbol, and then that starts to form into something else. And it may not make sense at the time. But by the end of that meditation period, I have a whole different state of mind about the problem. And then that movie, I guess, in my mind, starts to help me put the pieces together. So, in the practical life, I can then start to find that solution.

So, I find that helps a lot. And of course, I can't go without saying like the tarot cards, because I do use those a lot. And for me, it's just a one card pool. It's the act of just having five minutes to tune in and go, Alright, how am I feeling? What's really going on here, like what's happening in my subconscious mind, not just all this stuff that goes on in the conscious. And then you know, even might be journaling about what I've seen in that card, and just letting those thoughts process. And so, I know that when I do those two things, tarot and meditation, I'm in a much better space. And it helps me move through that sort of stress and overwhelm in a lot more effective way.

Shivani Gupta (13:04)

I love that meditation, I can say relate to that or, you know, I'll start to meditate and the kids come in, and I'll be like – I’m meditating. Give me 10 minutes. And then I go, kind of defeats the purpose, the way that you're speaking to your own children right now. And that's great. And just that notion of tuning in, right? Because we've got those answers and just yeah, tuning into your own wisdom. That's great.

What about, like, you've achieved so much when I look at, you know, there are businesses that go for two decades Brigit, and they don't achieve what you've achieved, since you sort of left the corporate world and started up your own business. When you look at the future. I know, you've spoken about growth a little bit. But when you look at the future, what are the other aspirations that you have? And again, they might be business, they might be personal? What are some of the things that you got, I still really want to get to that and again, they might be medium term or long term, you know, talk, talk me through some of the things that you still want to get to or learn or do in the future.

Brigit Esselmont (13:27)

Yeah, so in the context of Biddy Tarot, my vision is to bring Tarot into the mainstream, just like yoga and meditation have done over the last 2030 years, I really see a place for tarot, for helping us connect more with our inner wisdom, and also to empower ourselves to know that like the answers already sit within, we don't have to keep looking outside of ourselves constantly hoping that someone's going to tell us what to do, or you know who to be, like all of that is stored within ourselves. And for me, Tarot is one tool of many, that can really help you bring back that. Yeah, reclaim your power and bring back that sense of awareness that you actually have the answers. And you know, when you finally realize that, or when you have an experience of that, like that is just so energizing, because you're like - oh, great, all of this energy that I've been putting out, I actually don't need to do that anymore. If I just bring it in, just like you know, stress for three weeks or meditate for 10 minutes you choose.

So that's kind of big, broad concept, bringing tarot into the mainstream. That's my vision. And I really want to be able to create a platform which I call the Biddy verse, which is that space where we are teaching Tarot students, we are certifying them. We're giving them a platform so that they can share their readings, start reading for others get paid for what they do, but also start to shift the way that people see Tarot. Because I bet you know, many of the listeners, if you've had a Tarot reading before you probably go - oh, yeah, they predicted my future. It was right. It was wrong, whatever it might be. That's not how we do Tarot. And I really see Tarot is that coaching, intuitive coaching tool, empowerment tool. So, I would love to see our, you know, students out there having an impact, getting an income for themselves, but also having that ripple effect on the community by sharing this whole new vision of what Tarot really is. So that's kind of my big, bigger vision. And then personally, I get really lit up by intuitive entrepreneurship. So how can we use our inner wisdom and intuition to grow our businesses in a very ecological and sustainable way. I think it's a massive superpower, when we can bring together intuition and strategy to create our businesses, because I know a business with just intuition, it's a bit wishy washy, and just through strategy might get a bit like hard edged, and you know, disconnected. But when you bring those two together, what it feels like is just being completely in the flow and things just happening, or being attracted or coming to you in such an easy and natural way. So that's how I've been running Biddy Tarot. And I imagine, you know, I do some coaching now. But I imagine there's something a lot more that will flow out of that space as well

Shivani Gupta (17:07)

That's beautiful. I also love the fact that it's that combination of a thing, I'm just going to go off track here for a sec. So, a lot of people I've come across in the last year, particularly have been speaking a lot about that, and using your gut to make decisions, and you know, the guts, your second brain and some of the research that's coming out of that. Do you call that intuition? So, do you call that gut feel that you know, that because a lot of people are calling that gut feel or that intuition. Do you call that or do you think it's beyond that? I'm just curious, because I've been having so many interesting conversations with people about it.

Brigit Esselmont (17:43)

Yeah, it's a great question. Because I've often seen, like, when the word intuition is used in business, and entrepreneurship, it's often a bit more of the safe slash scientific version. And the way I say that is, you know, we're constantly bringing in 1000s, and 1000s of bits of information every second, right? 1000s, even more like with our phones, and whatever. And our conscious mind just simply can't process it all. So, a lot of it gets stored back into the subconscious mind. Now, when you say that someone's using their intuition in work, sometimes it may mean that they've had so many years’ experience, that they now no longer have to process things from the conscious, but they can access the subconscious. And so, all of those data and information and going in, and one can easily just tap onto that without having to think or process it. So that's kind of one level of intuition. And I think that's a great level of intuition. It's easy for people to understand and kind of buy into, then there's the whoo version or intuition. And for me, like, I strongly believe, like, no, let's see how we go here. But, you know, we're in kind of this whole, like, multi-dimensional matrix of information and knowledge and divine wisdom. It's stored within ourselves; it's stored around us. And when we can really tap into intuition, on a very deep level, we can tap into not only our inner wisdom, but this kind of collective or universal wisdom. And this universal wisdom in my belief, extends way beyond like physicality, it extends beyond time, you know, you can be kind of time traveling in a way through this knowledge system. And so, for me, like intuition is tapping into that much bigger space, which gives you so much more information and that deep knowingness, you know, even like, even to kind of bring it down into tangible terms, that idea of like, oh, well, what's my soul's mission? Like, that's kind of in this big vortex of information. But if we can just tap into that and go, Okay, what is it that I'm here to do in this lifetime? How can I make an impact? How can I be of service? We are already tapping into that collective wisdom, and we're contributing to it as well. So, I've probably gone a little bit too far out, but you asked the question so here we are.

Shivani Gupta (19:37)

Absolutely, I remember probably the first time I was exposed to that concept was, it was about 17 or 18 years ago, when this documentary film came out called What The Bleep Do We Know? And I remember when that first came out, and that Introduction to Quantum Physics for me, and it's been around for a lot longer than that, and just sitting there and I went, that was interesting. So, I kind of went back to watch the movie like three times, I think, because the concepts were so big around that. So that's really interesting that there's different levels of it. And it depends on the fact that people are now starting to at least access that first level. And maybe that there's that bigger stuff to access as well.

And Brigit, because you keep so much of you away, like you've got a big team to manage, you know, 30 people, you're helping millions of people around the world, what are some of the things that you do to manage your wellness, your rituals? You know, some people have rituals daily. And we've talked a little bit about meditation. Some people do stuff weekly, or monthly, or yearly, like, what are some of the things that you go, you know these are some of the things I need to, you know, keep myself well so I can continue to serve others.

Brigit Esselmont (21:18)

Well, again, I wish I could tell you I have this hour-long morning ritual that I do every day. I do not. I am normal, I'm human. But some of the things that do nourish me, I find is being down at the beach and getting into the water is extremely calming and grounding for me. So, I know if I've had a big week, just getting down to the beach to walk is great. I also have really gotten into basket weaving in the last couple of years. And I absolutely love it because it's about connecting like you go and find like materials on the land, we're on five acres here, we have access to so much plant material, you know if it's like banana bark from the banana trees, or lomandra, all of the things and you're sort of like collecting and you're getting into this nice tangible space, and then weaving the baskets, this repetitive motion and knowing that you can, for me, knowing that I can create something out of nothing is huge. And I just love that feeling of being able to manifest a physical thing. So that is great for me, because it just it's slow. It takes a lot of time. It's nothing fancy at the end. But that's exactly what I need to try and bring my energy back into my body and into like the present moment.

Shivani Gupta (22:45)

Yeah, that's gorgeous as now in terms of that ritual. So, do you take some time out like, once a week, like, how often do you do that to ground in? Or is it something that you're going look, I just want to make more and more of that part of my practice. Because you know, I love the way that you said that it brings you back into your body.

Brigit Esselmont (23:05)

Yeah, I found to be honest, if I have a set schedule or an expectation, I'll do something each week, it actually starts to stress me out. And I get the guilt. I haven't done it this week, right? So, I'm finding I need to be a bit more like what do I really feel called to do right now. And so, for example, like in my work week I have Mondays are like a strategy day. But then Thursday is a flexi day, and those flexi days are really about like what do I want to do today? If I feel called to work, great work. If I feel called to tidy the house, make a basket, go for a walk, whatever it is, you know, it's having that level of freedom and flexibility that matters most for me.

Shivani Gupta (23:51)

Yeah, gorgeous. And Brigit, if people want to follow you look at your work. Maybe you know, there's somebody that's an aspiring tarot reader. Maybe they go - oh, wow, I really like what she's got to say.

What's the best way to find you and people could follow you?

Brigit Esselmont (24:04)

Yeah, thank you. So come on over to https://www.biddytarot.com/ And even if it’s just something tiny and new has sparked some interest or curiosity, just go to https://www.biddytarot.com/. Don't worry, you haven't turned into a tarot reader straightaway.

Have it, go have a look because I think, you know, the wonderful thing with tarot is it just, it sparks something new, we think it's something but it's actually something else. And I think you'll really find that when you come over to our site. You can also find us on Instagram @biddytarot. If you are a little bit more interested in the intuitive entrepreneurship side of things, you can head over to https://brigitesselmont.com/ and I spell my name like Brigit. So b-r-i-g-i-t.me. And you can find out a little bit more there as well.

Shivani Gupta (24:53)

That sounds fantastic. Brigit, I could talk to you all day. I just so want to thank you for coming on. And I just think it's amazing. I remember the first time I met you, I was like, wow, this is so cool that you've taken what I thought, you know, existed in very, very small forms into this amazing, extraordinary business and such a good example of somebody that's taken a love for something. And actually, as you said, put some strategy around that and created a really extraordinary business about it. Thank you for being on the podcast. I really appreciate you.

Brigit Esselmont (25:26)

Thank you Shivani, I appreciate being here and everything that you're doing and putting out into the world. It's beautiful.

I'm Shivani Gupta. And you've been listening to the Ask Shivani podcast where I'd like to ask some questions. Thank you so much for listening. Please follow Ask Shivani on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And if you haven't done so, please go to the Apple podcasts and subscribe rate and review this podcast. It would mean a lot. Thank you.