by Kathryn Weber
Many of my readers and even clients ask about working as a feng shui consultant. It’s a career that doesn’t have much written about it — especially from an insider’s view. And many people think it’s a New Age-y kind of career, but it’s much more than just good feelings! Feng shui is about black and white principles of placement, not just esoteric thoughts and holding the right kind of intentions.
We don’t make the environment, but we can make it suit us and we can learn how to adapt and cultivate our environments — much like a garden.
As a feng shui consultant, you can show you clients how to create home and office environments for better health, improved business, greater opportunities, and yes, more prosperity.
Here’s a basic outline of some of the most commonly asked questions.
1. Do I need to speak Chinese or know Chinese culture?
No, you don’t, but it’s a help if you have an understanding of the culture because of its influence on feng shui. You can pick up information about the culture by reading, traveling or even speaking with Chinese friends or neighbors. Visiting museums and Chinese cultural exhibits is another way. If you can travel to China or Asia where feng shui is often practiced – such as Singapore or Kuala Lumpur – you can learn a lot about Chinese customs and feng shui, too.
2. Do I have to be a new-age kind of person?
Many people have an idea that feng shui is very woo-woo or airy fairy and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Feng shui is basically thousands of years of plain old common sense. As a practicing consultant, I’m always amazed at how often clients tell me my recommendations are common sense and I’ll often remind them of what Mark Twain said, “Common sense isn’t so common.” Actually, the more down to earth and pragmatic you are, the better. But feng shui is big enough for people who enjoy the mystical as well as those who (like me) or more practical-minded.
3. Is there a demand for feng shui consultants?
Yes! In certain areas of the country and the world, there is great demand. California, the East Coast, and Hawaii probably have the highest demand, but consultants are also sought after in Las Vegas, large metropolitan areas such as Miami, Houston, and Denver. Even in the very remote area where I live, I am often amazed at the people who find me and want feng shui consultation. My largest and longest client resulted in a phone call from a hospital and school construction firm based in Corpus Christi, Texas!
4. What personal qualities make a good feng shui consultant?
You must be a person who cares about your clients and who puts their needs and concerns first. Having good communication skills is also a plus because you will need to deliver both positive and negative information.
Another highly prized skill is the ability to provide options to your clients and give them choices. Perhaps the best skill? Being a good listener. Your clients will want to share their very personal details of their lives and they need to know you can hear them and that their details are confidential and that they a talking to someone who cares about helping them.
5. How much money can I make as a feng shui consultant?
Some of this depends on where you live, but as a going rate, I would say you can safely charge about $250 an hour for an in-person consultation or about $500 for a two-hour consultation. If you just have two clients per week that adds up to $4000 per month.
Plus, you get the tax advantages of being in business, allowing you to write off mileage and any costs incurred getting to and from your appointments. You can also charge by the square foot of the space if you are involved in a large commercial project, for example. A fee of fifty cents per square foot would net you $2,000 on a 4,000 square foot office building assessment.
6. Are there other ways I can make money in feng shui?
Oh, yes. You can take your business online and work as an online consultant doing telephone consultations. You can also begin an import-export business and sell feng shui products. Lillian Too has franchises for her World of Feng Shui shops. You could become a shop owner if you like.
You can also work with builders, architects, designers and decorators, and professional organizers. Some feng shui consultants go on to become authors, teachers and bloggers! I’ve taken my remote location and turned my feng shui consulting practice into a lucrative business that pays me over six figures – and allows me to work in pajamas if I want to.
7. Do I need training to work as a feng shui consultant?
It isn’t necessary, but if you want to be taken seriously and be able to command higher prices for your services, you should. Training is also important for you because you will have the confidence to speak knowledgeably and have no problem asking for your fees because you can say you are trained and certified – and a lot of consultants out there can’t say that. And, if you’re serious about being in this business, you should be trained and certified.
8. How do I find clients?
You have to decide who you most want to work with and how your business model will be set up. If you’re a consultant, it pays to network and to have your services listed with feng shui directories and other professional sites. If you want to work with the more esoteric side of feng shui, such as Black Hat Sect, you may want to contact local New Age bookstores or advertise in New Age publications.
If you’re a classical Chinese feng shui consultant, you may want to advertise in home and business publications, contact local real estate, architecture and design professionals and advertise in their trade publications. Word of mouth is another invaluable way to begin your career. Trust me: once you have a few successful clients, they’ll start looking for you!
9. What kind of work do most consultants do for clients?
When you do feng shui consultation work for clients you may be asked to advise them on color selection, site placement if they are wanting to start construction, give an opinion on whether or not to buy a certain house, help them to correct problems in their lives, such as marital problems, health concerns, or even help with landscaping or where to place a swimming pool.
Some clients have very simple needs and may not know what they want, they just know they want their home or office “feng shui-d.” In this case, you tell them what they need to know about the space – such as harsh illness energy, or great wealth potential (they love that!). It’s important that you remain balanced and give them both sides and offer ways to handle negatives and boost positives.
10. What’s the best part about being a feng shui consultant?
There are many wonderful things about being a consultant, but it comes down to two main things – helping people and having freedom. Well, those are my two priorities. When it comes to helping people, working as a consultant gives you the ability to help someone correct a problem with their home or business that results in more abundance and prosperity to helping their children have more friends at school and everything in between. Sometimes you help save a marriage; other times, it’s salvaging a business.
It’s obvious that helping people is its own reward. But as a career, working as a consultant gives me the flexibility and options few other careers have. My business has allowed me to live the way that I want instead of the way I have to if I had a regular job. In other words, feng shui has given me a freedom in my life to work the way I like and earn a handsome living. But it’s freedom combined with an income that I set and is limited by how much I want or don’t want to work — and I’m helping people. What could be better than that?
Still curious? Download my TOTALLY FREE ebook The Successful Feng Shui Consultant: A Guide to Starting Your Feng Shui Business.