We had the good fortune of connecting with Deja Drewit and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deja, how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
I’ve noticed not long ago that my whole life sort of went against the grain, at least compared to many people that I know. I found I’ve always been a lot riskier than most of the people that I’ve known, but I feel those risks always came with a bigger reward for me. Naturally, I was not as scared to take risks in my online art business. One of the riskier things I’ve done with my family did not support was when I had my son, I decided to quit my full-time job with no money saved up and no backup plan. This meant that I needed financial help from family which I know they weren’t happy about, but I was thinking about long term goals and hoped that it would all pay off in the end. I also had to move in with my family while I decided what I was going to do financially. I knew I did not want someone else raising my son while I was at work for 10 hours a day. That is just not a risk many people take, but I was so unhappy with my career, I knew this was an opportunity for me. For over ten years, I wanted to have my own business but didn’t know what kind of business to start. It was while I was raising my son that I accidentally discovered a new passion which ultimately turned into an online business. Within a few years I had discovered spirituality, oracle cards and began to create my own, with no real goal other than, I really enjoyed making them and I felt they would actually help people which was really important to me. Living with family was very difficult for me because we did not always get along and as an introvert, I really needed my own quiet place. That however only drove me harder to create success in my life so my son and I could finally have our own place again. I found some freelance clients and worked for them for about 2 years while also creating oracle cards on the side, at night and on weekends. My very first deck flopped. I had created it, launched it on Kickstarter and it never met its goal. I decided to print 50 on my own and after it sold out I decided it was not worth to continue that deck and I discontinued it. I then went on to creating a new self-care deck which did really well. It can be very scary when you first put out a new project because you don’t know how people will react. I never really know which of my decks will be a great seller or a flop. I have to trust my intuition and as long as I enjoy creating it, and I see myself using it, I have to take that risk and complete the deck. Ultimately in the oracle deck community, no one will buy it until it’s finished. Many people want to see all the cards before they are buy it. They also don’t like buying a deck and then waiting a year for it to get finished. So it’s definitely risky investing time into creating a deck of cards which usually consists of 44 different works of art and not knowing how well it will sell and it is ver time consuming. My third deck was a self-empowerment deck and took 3 years to complete because I was juggling being a mom and freelancing as a graphic designer. I honestly did not think that deck would sell as well as my self-care deck, but it became my best seller. I was so glad all that time and energy paid off and so many women reached out to me on how much this deck was helping them and how uplifting it is. That was the best feeling of all. You can sell something but when people get it they may not like it. It’s really important to me that every one of my customers loves and uses my cards. I don’t care about just making sales. I want people to be really happy with their purchase. It’s just like going to the movies, you can make millions on opening weekend but that doesn’t guarantee that people will like the movie. I’d much rather make less money but know that my customers are truly satisfied than make tons of sales and none of my customers would ever buy from me again. Three years into my business, I began to hear a lot about coaches and I felt that the Universe was guiding me to invest in a coach. I was very reluctant because I didn’t see the point or value in it. I felt I was really good at teaching myself everything and doing everything myself, but I turned out to be wrong. Then the perfect coach showed up and I knew instantly this was something I had to invest in. This was a coaching program, not a one on one coaching. It included a large online community of other business owners and entrepreneurs. I was not yet making much money in my business so the next risk was investing money I did not have, so I used my credit cards. I simply knew I couldn’t get that much further as fast as I needed without help. Owning a business often comes with risk. I invested a lot into my business and a lot of that went on credit cards. I also began to invest in other courses that would help me clear any limiting beliefs and become the ultimate manifestor of my life. I have to say that investing in a coaching program was a game changer for me! I had no idea that I had so many limiting beliefs many of which stemmed from childhood and past traumatic experiences. This happens to almost everyone but not everyone is willing to do the work. It’s not easy, can be scary and painful but it’s so worth it. Having an online business comes with a big risk which is that the income is inconsistent. One month you make thousands and other months you can make nothing. You have to be prepared for that. When I sell out of decks, I can be out of inventory for months. This is something I am still learning to catch up on but on the upside, it also creates demand because as soon as it comes back in stock, people want to buy it before it sells out again. It’s just important to learn to manage your income and be prepared for the months when income can be low. For years, I wanted to invest in paid marketing and advertising but a close friend of mine kept telling me that it was a waste of money and that it did not work. And then one day, I listened to a podcast where a woman used online ads and began to make tens of thousands of dollars per month. I immediately realized that I had been taking advice from people who were not experts in that field and I sort of kicked myself for it. I immediately became obsessed with learning online marketing and invested in several courses to teach me how to advertise. I spent thousands of dollars with no return and knew I either had to quit or hire someone. Ultimately, I simply could not give up and eventually and after a lot of mindset work and with the help of a few coaches from my new coaching program, I made the decision to try again, and finally, I started to see real profit and I sold out of 2 of my oracle decks in just a few months. This taught me that I had to listen to myself and not to others. I’m an optimist and when I hear other people’s success stories, I get excited because I immediately think it is possible for me. I am one of those people that needs to find out for myself if something works or not and not listen to other people, even if I end up wrong. I can’t let other people tell me what will or will not work especially if they are not experts in that field. When it sold out in 6 months, I had reached a new level of success in my business. In October 2019 I felt it was time to quit my freelance job and focus 100% on my business. I was terrified and had anxiety for weeks before letting my clients know. I was scared of giving up a steady paycheck once again. But I knew in my heart that the Universe was pushing me to do it. My decks finally began to sell well and I just felt if I could commit all my time into my business, I could create so much faster and I could spend more time with my son. I was simply so exhausted from juggling so many things. I am so glad that I did. Even though I only worked 20 hours per month freelancing, it really felt like I was working a full-time job. I am still absolutely shocked by how that is even possible but today, I have so much free time, I finally feel like my own boss and that I get to help people through my art; what a dream!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I absolutely love creating oracle cards and I love the community that I am part of. It’s such a supportive community. As an artist and oracle deck creator, I learned not everything I make will be a hit and that is okay. It’s important to just keep going and staying true to what you believe and what you create. It’s important to create from the heart and not just for the money. Intention is everything and people can feel your energy and intention. If you create something just for the money, it won’t be as successful and you probably won’t enjoy making it. I’ve actually tested this myself. The last few years have been really challenging for me but I am so proud and excited how far I’ve come. We may not always have someone that believes in us, so it’s really important to believe in yourself first.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love being in nature so if my best friend came to visit, we’d definitely go to Balboa park and visit the Japanese garden. We could have a picnic there as well. I love to go out and eat, so I’d love to try Pushkin Russian Restaurant & Bar because I am Russian and don’t get to eat Russian food very often. I’d take my best friend to my favorite pizza places Tony Pepperoni and Best Pizza & Brew in Oceanside which is by the ocean. On Thursday, I’d take her to the Oceanside Fair which has tons of amazing food. There are just way too many amazing places in San Diego!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my mom for financially supporting me when I chose to leave my job in 2014. She helped me to make it possible to get to where I am today. I also want to thank all of my customers and online friends who send me notes and messages that mean so much to me. It is so personal and I never expected to receive that type of love and support from anyone, it truly keeps me going.