The way I see it, everything we do in life is built from four basic elements:
fire, water, earth and air.
This applies to all aspects of life, to our homes, our relationships, our relationships
with ourselves, and of course to our creative lives and our businesses.
Because we are humans, not robots, we will rarely have all four of these elements in
perfect balance. But I want to show you how understanding the four elements and
noticing which might be overpowering/lacking in your life can help you to identify
issues, celebrate achievements, and get a little more harmony happening in your life
and in your biz.
First, the elements themselves:
…is your inspired self. Your creativity. The spark of
passion that makes you do the things you do. It’s the “YES!”, the “let’s do
this now!“, the “I wanna be like that when I grow up, and the
“I’ve got this great new idea and I can’t wait to get started…”.
…is your emotional self. Your heart and soul and the things they
long for. The very essence of you and everything you feel deep inside. The way you
love, the expression of your soul. It’s where you bring your heart into your business
so that what you’re doing is truly you.
…is your physical reality. It’s your body and your health, your
family and your home, your relationship with nature and your environment, your
work, your money, your comfort. In your business, it’s the bottom line: will it actually
make you money? Can you physically deliver on your ideas?
…is your intellectual self. This is where you communicate your
ideas, where you articulate your thoughts. This is where judge right from wrong,
where you understand cause and effect, and where you strategise, rationalise and
plan for the future. It’s where you take the long view. It’s your first year/three year/five
year plan, it’s the pathway towards your goals.
As a tarot reader I think a lot about the four elements.
People tend to go for tarot readings when they’re struggling with something, and
often, a tarot reading will reveal an imbalance – the lack or flood of one or more
elements – creating disharmony in a querent’s situation. Through identifying the
elemental issues, I was able to work with the querent to establish ways forwards and
help them to see how to become unstuck. I even developed a simple exercise for my
querents to do, to help them to get things back on track.
I find that my clients really appreciate this approach. Looking at life via the four
elements becomes a way to nurture ourselves, ensuring that the
different aspects of our selves are loved and cared for (and I’ll wrote more about that
on Kind over Matter in the future!)
Things got interesting when I started to apply this theory to my web design
clients, most of whom are creative women with new business startups.
One might be all fire – desperately excited about their new idea…but with no earth yet
to ground it in reality. Another might be full of air – with business plans and
strategies…but lack water to bring in the soul. I wanted to help these women to
articulate what was missing, celebrate what was working and nurture their
businesses into something more rounded, more whole.
By the way, it is definitely, definitely okay to experience this sense of
imbalance when you’re working on your business! No-one, not me, not Leonie
Dawson, not anyone I know has this all sorted 100% of the time.
The short exercise I want to share with you is simply to help you learn
to identify surplus or missing elements in your situation, so that you can
address issues and aim for a more balanced place both in your life and in your
business, and at the intersection of the two.
You’ll start with fire – looking at the idea behind your project, then
water, the essence of your self that makes this all
worthwhile. Then you’ll think about practicalities in the earth
section, and finally, you’ll look to the future with the element of air.
Print out the worksheet and try it out! Don’t overthink it – jot down
the first things that come into your head. Let your gut lead the way and remember
there are no right or wrong answers.
Need an example? When I tried this out with my tarot business
earlier this year it really helped me to work out what I needed more of to make my
project successful. I wanted to develop an online course which people could work
thorugh in their own time, which would enable them to develop their own unique
approach to tarot.
I’d never done anything like this before, and in all honestly, when I started writing the
course, I felt all over the place! I worked through the simple four elements worksheet
to help me to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of my idea.
Here’s how I got on:
1. Start with Fire.
My brilliant idea is:
approach to tarot and teaches others how they can develop their own.
My spark of inspiration was:
I’ve received, the way people are excited by my approach and want to connect, to
2. Water: Time for some flow.
What I love about this idea is:
individual, which is something I really love to do.
This business is really me because:
creating community, empowering others, making something people think is difficult
or impenetrable into something anyone can do and enjoy.
When I create my product/sell my service I feel:
3. Let’s get down to Earth.
I know this idea can make money because:
[NB: I had crossed out ‘know’ and put ‘hope’ instead…which tells me a lot!]
this something people expect for free?
The physical needs of my business are:
don’t want to work at home all the time. Do I need a studio? Co-working space won’t
work for me – I need solitude for this project.
4. Now for Air: Wisdom, analysis, vision.
In the first year of this project I aim to:
monitor how it goes. Invite feedback, tweak and develop.
establish a strong reputation for being a great resource for ‘alternative
In three years, here’s where I want to be:
and sells really well – has turned into an online community so learners can connect
with each other.
go-to person for alternative tarot resources.
and services, building on my learning from the course.
is online so I can travel and work.
Time to reflect
clearly the ‘earth’ questions. I feel clear about my aims, clear about the what and
why, my heart is really in this, I’m passionate about my ideas and know where I want
to head. But when it comes to the meat of it – the prices I’ll charge and the physical
needs of my business, things get very hazy.
can start putting practicality first – put the project on hold until I’ve found a decent
studio/office space, for example. And that pricing issue – it’s as though I’m scared of
putting numbers on my product. It’s time to get over this – this is a business and in
many ways earth (or in this instance, money) is the most important thing. So I’ll do some research, find out what others charge for similar products. I might
also consider doing an online course – I’ve seen various things about finding your
pricing ‘sweet spot’ and so on – this might help me to ground my ideas.
Try it for yourself!
…and you need a little more information about the four elements, try
We’d love to hear how you got on! Which are your stronger elements, and which
need more work? Got any tips to share? Let us know in the comments!
|Hi – I’m Beth! I run two creative businesses which overlap in the most beautiful of
ways: I write about all things tarot and provide readings at Little Red Tarot, and I help
creative women develop their online businesses at Four Elements Web Design.
also the tarot columnist at the progressive queer website Autostraddle.com and am
currently working on an online course for tarot beginners.
I live on a narrowboat in the Yorkshire Pennines with two cheeky cats (of course!)
and spend my spare time walking the hills, planning future travels with my girlfriend
or mining the internet for beautiful music and writing.
Website | Twitter | Instagram