This week the New South Wales Supreme Court heard that a psychic encouraged management at failed stockbroking firm BBY to use “incantations” to improve the share price of a company that was held in its portfolio. But while the practise may seem unusual, the market for psychic business advice is growing.
As Fairfax reports, BBY’s liquidator KPMG called the “professional intuitive and energy healer” to give evidence at a public examination of the company’s collapse. The court also heard about the astrological chart Nevine Rottinger reportedly prepared on Firestone Energy, a troubled South African coal explorer that BBY had invested in.
This form of business advice might seem unconventional but Australia appears to be starting to borrow from the United States in its enthusiasm for clairvoyant advice when it comes to building businesses.
Last year Fortune profiled some of the top business psychics in the US, many of whom charge upwards of $US10,000 ($13,264) a day for advice – including “intuitive coach” Laura Day, who has published several books and provides business consultations to companies and not-for-profits. Entrepreneurs told the magazine the advice they received kept them ahead of the curve.
In Australia, there’s a large number of online testimonials for clairvoyant coaches and psychics that offer company consultations. Several operators say they will help SMEs with the initial stages of branding, and later expansion, by letting a psychic force guide decisions.
“A lot more people are coming forward for assistance on this than they were five years ago,” psychic medium Dawn Cleary told SmartCompany this morning. Cleary works with a number of small businesses in Australia and overseas.
“People come to me once they already have a business – asking for advice on what to do next.”
Cleary’s background is in marketing, but she says she now uses her guide to give business owners straight-shooting answers on whether their companies will last in the long term.
“I’m giving them information from my guide, from my psychic ability. People don’t like to be told they’re doing the wrong thing [with their business] but later on, they’re very, very grateful,” she says.
There’s also a move towards branding “psychic” business advice as “intuition”, which is in line with the drive towards mindful business practices and small team communication techniques that are often workshopped in start-up incubators and business development networks.
“People don’t go to the bank and say ‘I’ve been to a psychic’. Instead of looking it as a psychic medium, look at it as an intuitive counsellor,” Cleary says.
However, scepticism about clairvoyance is still strong, with many people poking fun at the revelations of BBY’s psychic use on social media. Australian investor group Forager Funds tweeted that while the situation was serious, the news was “one of the funniest articles ever written”.
— Forager Funds (@ForagerFunds) September 19, 2016
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Eve Ash, psychologist and chief executive of Seven Dimensions, told SmartCompany a spike in use of psychics in the world of business could be a result of people frustrated with traditional business plans that are just not working.
“Maybe there are so many people having twists and turns with regular advice,” Ash says.
“It doesn’t mean that a psychic is predicting the path necessarily, but if you have strong belief and strong alignment [after a visit], it may well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Let’s see the results though. This is the first I’ve heard of someone actually following a psychic’s advice actually about the business.”
Cleary says she speaks with many business owners who have just acquired companies, have large amounts of loan debt and are looking to get their way out of problems.
“A lot of people have great imaginations when they have a business, but I always give them very direct information,” she says.
Ash says the best outcome would be for business owners to be work with a class of clairvoyants who have some knowledge and context of the business space in which they were giving advice.
“I think it would be great if there were psychics who were well trained and know business and marketing,” Ash says, which she says means they could carry clients on the message while also having knowledge beyond a medium guide.